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18. After this, he overpowered such of the Pisidians as had offered him resistance, and subdued Phrygia; and after he had taken the city of Gordium, 1 reputed to have been the home of the ancient Midas, he saw the much-talked-of waggon bound fast to its yoke with bark of the cornel-tree, and heard a story confidently told about it by the Barbarians, to the effect that whosoever loosed the fastening was destined to become king of the whole world. Well, then, most writers say that since the fastenings had their ends concealed, and were intertwined many times in crooked coils, Alexander was at a loss how to proceed, and finally loosened the knot by cutting it through with his sword, and that when it was thus smitten many ends were to be seen. But Aristobulus says that he undid it very easily, by simply taking out the so-called ‘hestor,’ or pin, of the waggon-pole, by which the yoke-fastening was held together, and then drawing away the yoke. 2

[3] Setting out from there, he subdued Paphlagonia and Cappadocia, and on hearing of the death of Memnon, one of the commanders of Dareius on the sea-board, who was thought likely to give Alexander abundant trouble and infinite annoyance, he was all the more encouraged for his expedition into the interior. [4] Moreover, Dareius was already coming down to the coast from Susa, exalted in spirit by the magnitude of his forces (for he was leading an army of six hundred thousand men), and also encouraged by a certain dream, which the Magi interpreted in a way to please him rather than as the probabilities demanded. For he dreamed that the Macedonian phalanx was all on fire, and that Alexander, attired in a robe which he himself formerly used to wear when he was a royal courier, was waiting upon him, after which service he passed into the temple of Belus and disappeared. [5] By this means, as it would seem, it was suggested to Dareius from Heaven that the exploits of the Macedonians would be conspicuous and brilliant, that Alexander would be master of Asia, just as Dareius became its master when he was made king instead of royal courier, and would speedily end his life with glory.

1 Early in 333 B.C.

2 Cf. Arrian, Anab. ii. 3.

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