Persis was difficult of access, owing to the roughness of the country, and was guarded by the noblest of the Persians (for Dareius had taken to flight); but Alexander found a guide to conduct him thither by a circuit of no great extent. The man spoke two languages, since his father was a Lycian and his mother a Persian; and it was he, they say, whom the Pythian priestess had in mind when she prophesied, Alexander being yet a boy, that a ‘lycus,’ or wolf
, would be Alexander's guide on his march against the Persians.
In this country, then, as it turned out, there was a great slaughter of the prisoners taken; for Alexander himself writes that he gave orders to have the inhabitants butchered, thinking that this would be to his advantage; and they say that as much coined money was found there
as at Susa, and that it took ten thousand pairs of mules and five thousand camels to carry away the other furniture and wealth there.
On beholding a great statue of Xerxes which had been carelessly overthrown by a throng that forced its way into the palace, Alexander stopped before it, and accosting it as if it had been alive, said: ‘Shall I pass on and leave thee lying there, because of thine expedition against the Hellenes, or, because of thy magnanimity and virtue in other ways, shall I set thee up again?’ But finally, after communing with himself a long time in silence, he passed on. Wishing to refresh his soldiers (for it was winter time), he spent four months in that place.
And it is said that when he took his seat for the first time under the golden canopy on the royal throne, Demaratus the Corinthian, a well-meaning man and a friend of Alexander's, as he had been of Alexander's father, burst into tears, as old men will, and declared that those Hellenes were deprived of great pleasure who had died before seeing Alexander seated on the throne of Dareius.