On this occasion, he made a very long speech to the Thessalians and the other Greeks,
and when he saw that they encouraged him with shouts to lead them against the Barbarians, he shifted his lance into his left hand, and with his right appealed to the gods, as Callisthenes tells us, praying them, if he was really sprung from Zeus, to defend and strengthen the Greeks.
Aristander the seer, too, wearing a white mantle and having a crown of gold upon his head, rode along the ranks pointing out to them an eagle which soared above the head of Alexander and directed his flight straight against the enemy, at which sight great courage filled the beholders, and after mutual encouragement and exhortation the cavalry charged at full speed upon the enemy and the phalanx rolled on after them like a flood.
But before the foremost ranks were engaged the Barbarians gave way, and were hotly pursued, Alexander driving the conquered foe towards the centre of their array, where Dareius was.
For from afar he was seen by Alexander through the deep ranks of the royal squadron of horse drawn up in front of him, towering conspicuous, a fine-looking man and tall, standing on a lofty chariot, fenced about by a numerous and brilliant array of horsemen, who were densely massed around his chariot and drawn up to receive the enemy.
But when they saw Alexander close at hand and terrible, and driving those who fled before him upon those who held their ground, they were smitten with fear and scattered, for the most part. The bravest and noblest of them, however, slain in front of their king and falling in heaps upon one another, obstructed the Macedonians in their pursuit, weaving and twining themselves in their last agonies about riders and horses.
But Dareius, now that all the terrors of the struggle were before his eyes, and now that the forces drawn up to protect him were crowded back upon him, since it was not an easy matter to turn his chariot about and drive it away, seeing that the wheels were obstructed and entangled in the great numbers of the fallen, while the horses, surrounded and hidden away by the multitude of dead bodies, were rearing up and frightening the charioteer, forsook his chariot and his armour, mounted a mare which, as they say, had newly foaled, and took to flight.
However, it is thought that he would not then have made his escape, had not fresh horsemen come from Parmenio
summoning Alexander to his aid, on the ground that a large force of the enemy still held together there and would not give ground. For there is general complaint that in that battle Parmenio was sluggish and inefficient, either because old age was now impairing somewhat his courage, or because he was made envious and resentful by the arrogance and pomp, to use the words of Callisthenes, of Alexander's power.
At the time, then, although he was annoyed by the summons, the king did not tell his soldiers the truth about it, but on the ground that it was dark and he would therefore remit further slaughter, sounded a recall; and as he rode towards the endangered portion of his army, he heard by the way that the enemy had been utterly defeated and was in flight.