how did alexander the great treat his army
December 25, 2020
Step #2: Take notes on aspects of Alexander the Great and his army that you find to be very important or that you would like to write about. Alexander had intended for instance, to build a coastal road with intermittent ports stretching from Egypt to the Straits of Gibraltar to supply his future campaign in the west. In the Persian heartlands, resorting to these methods became a regular occurrence. Although a Spartan boy learned enough to be literate, more importantly, he learned how to endure p… United in a single purpose, they fought as one. Alexander began his reign by subduing rivals in the Greek and Macedonian regions. His empire ushered in significant cultural changes in the lands he conquered and changed the course of the region’s history. Wasson, Donald L. "The Army of Alexander the Great." Close. How did Alexander the Great feed his army during his conquest? At age 21, shortly after assuming the Macedonian throne, young Alexander embarked on a conquest across Asia that would last the remainder of his life. As Alexander and Coenus were secured more cities, Spitamenes was left without bases and means of provisioning. As was evident at Gaugamela, he was able to rally his men to fight with him. The Ancient History Encyclopedia logo is a registered EU trademark. Submitted by Donald L. Wasson, published on 04 April 2014 under the following license: Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike. He was not slow to take advantage of this. They would leave their home city and travel to an agreed battleground suitable for phalanx warfare. Eventually Darius III fled, along with his army. They were recruited for their skill and physique, requiring a special level of training. He would not advance into the region with the entirety of his force. Yet as Alexander’s campaign went on reinforcements from Macedon ended and the number of his foot-companions slowly dwindled. Not only was his army now able to move quicker and inflict ‘lightening strikes’ on opposing forces, but he could sustain his army in the field for significantly longer periods of time than his mainland Greek counterparts. Gino's mom. All in all, when he invaded Persia, Alexander’s army numbered perhaps 50,000. Why Polyperchon Is the Unsung Hero of the First Successor War. But Alexander's soldiers were far better drilled and far stronger than the Indians. Favorite Answer. There was only one drawback to the phalanx - it worked best on flat, unbroken country; however, despite this disadvantage, Alexander used it with amazing success. With trade and the Greek world expanding, for political and economic reasons, each city had to learn to defend itself. Answer Save. Legend says that she had relatives who fought in the Trojan War. Check out the video below and read on for the accompanying article. The story of Alexander the Great is popular and well-known. The legend of this painting, "Alexander cutting the Gordian Knot," is that in 333 B.C. His Generals were all friends of his youth and many of his soldiers were veterans who had fought with his father Philip II. Alexander the Great - Alexander the Great - Evaluation: Of Alexander’s plans little reliable information survives. And so, just as with his infantry, cavalry and siege craft, Alexander inherited a logistics system that his father had radically transformed into the most efficient of its time. During his time of leadership, he united Greece, reestablished the Corinthian League and conquered the Persian Empire. Alexander and his Royal Companions always fought on the right while Parmenio commanded the Thessalian Cavalry on the left flank. Yet Alexander could not maintain this highly-mobile baggage train during the entirety of his campaign. Signup today and receive free updates straight in your inbox. Ancient History Encyclopedia Limited is a non-profit company registered in the United Kingdom. Olympias was Alexander’s mother, protector, and best friend. Alexander included botanists and scientists in his army to study the lands he conquered. Although not as heavily armed - carrying only a shorter spear or javelin - they served a special role in both Philip and Alexander’s army. What did they eat? The tent also contained a vestibule, an armory and the king’s personal apartment. Instead, he would acquire intelligence about the region – information such as its topography, routes, climate and resources – before deciding his next move. A few carts inevitably remained and were tasked with transporting certain heavier, essential items – most notably siege machinery and the wounded. And Alexander didn't forget his geography lessons when he marched his army across the known world. He did all this in a little more than a decade after taking power at the age of 20. This was the end of his campaign. 20. Alexander III of Macedon, more commonly known as Alexander the Great, was king of the Ancient Greek kingdom of Macedon, inheriting the kingdom at the age of 20 in 336 BC. They would then engage their enemy in one determining battle, before returning home. Philip soon realised things needed to change. The Wars of the Diadochi: Gabene and Paraetacene. He could erupt like a volcano, and it was best not to get to close so you wouldn’t get any fallout. Although he owes much of his success to his father’s foresight, the young king’s achievements in battle can be traced back to the origin of the hoplite phalanx of early Greece. Its success was crucial to the survival of his campaign – a factor that is so often overlooked. For him, speed and mobility was key. It was the birth of the citizen-warrior. The Army of Alexander the Great: Composition The force that under the command of Alexander the Great invaded and conquered the Persian Empire, thus ensuring the extension of the Hellenistic culture to most of the world known at that time, was composed in total … It was the birth of the citizen-warrior. Why Was Alexander the Great's Corpse so Important to His Successors? Truly they were more of a nuisance than an aid. However, just as Xenophon had before him, he soon had most of them burned to avoid them undoubtedly hindering his army in harsh terrain. Google Classroom Facebook Twitter. Just as with the temporary reintroduction of wagons and the use of camels, Alexander would make one other critical change to the Macedonian baggage train as he advanced deeper into Asia. No commander can win a battle, let alone a war by himself. 81% Upvoted. For only $5 per month you can become a member and support our mission to engage people with cultural heritage and to improve history education worldwide. Alexander was shot with darts a couple times and his army was exhausted. It proved incapable for anything else. Luckily, this tension was kept to a minimum. To be successful he needs the support of a well-trained army who will follow him regardless of the cost whether it be a stunning victory or hopeless defeat. Around 700 BCE the cities of Corinth, Sparta, and Argos created a close-ordered battle formation that became known as the phalanx. They were mostly from the peasantry of Macedon and, thereby, had no tribal or regional affiliation meaning they loyal only to the king himself. On 1 October 331 BC, Alexander the Great won a definitive victory at Gaugamela against the Persian empire. This loyalty and restructuring became evident at Philip’s victory over Athens and Thebes (with the help of an eighteen year old Alexander) at the Battle of Chaeronea; a battle that demonstrated the power and authority of Macedonia. In 336 B.C.E., at age 20, Alexander became king of Macedonia when a political rival assassinated his father. In addition to receiving replenishment from centralized redistribution, Alexander’s army could expect to collect sustenance and good grace from any ruler through whose lands it passed. Alexander's relationship with his father forged the competitive side of his personality; he had a need to outdo his father, illustrated by his reckless behaviour in battle. While the army that crossed the Hellespont in 334 BCE was mostly Macedonian, there were others from all over Greece: Agrianians, Triballians, Paeonians, and Illyrians. (The Phoenician god Melqart was roughly the equivalent of the Greek Heracles.) It is believed Parmenion – Alexander’s ill-fated second in command – filled such a role until his execution in 330 BC. 3. He aimed to create a system that prioritised his army’s sustainability, mobility and speed in the field. Philip’s ban had worked because – having been fighting in Europe – his men had been able to return home after each campaigning season to see their loved ones. However he ensured they were well-fed. Philip completely restructured the army. Most historians believed Philip developed his ideas while a hostage in Thebes, observing their notorious Sacred Band. How Critical Were Alexander's Allies to His Victories? Suppose that you are a soldier in the army of Alexander the Great. While Alexander worried that his father would leave him "no great or brilliant achievement to be displayed to the world",  he also downplayed his father's achievements to his companions. Alexander died in 323 B.C., and his death plunged his empire into a civil war that lasted for the next 20 years. The Greeks in the East: How a Powerful Greek Kingdom Arose in Afghanistan, How the Bosporan Kingdom Became the Jewel of the Black Sea, How a Wealthy Greek Kingdom Descended Into Fratricidal Civil War. Alexander realised this and soon adapted the logistics system he had inherited from his father to suit his new theatres of war. Although he would always listen to the suggestions of his command staff, Alexander’s decision was final. Likely influenced by Xenophon’s success, Philip forbade the use of ox-carts and wagons in his army. Previous wars such as the Persian and Peloponnesian War had demonstrated that the old ways were no longer dependable. Supply depots were likely also constructed along these new roads. When he entered Asia, the young king brought with him 12,000 phalangists - 9,000 pezhetairoi and 3,000 hypaspists. of grain products – the equivalent of nearly 1 ½ kilograms of bread – as well as half a gallon of water to supply the troops in these conditions daily – some 3,600 calories. He immediately initiated a series of military reforms. Why the Wars of the Successors IS the Real Game of Thrones. But Porus gathered a great army and came marching against the Greek invader. The leadership Alexander had influenced home to be a leader. The skoidos would look after the baggage train’s defences, marching order, the welfare of the pack animals and distributing supplies. In almost every campaign the formation of Alexander’s army remained the same; however, due to the nature of the field of battle, some changes were made at Hydaspes where archers led the field against Porus’ elephants. … save. Furthermore, most agricultural societies in the East did not have a surplus of food from which they could help supply Alexander’s passing army. Before Philip and Alexander, the Persians under Darius I and Xerxes had been repelled by a smaller force - these men of Greece fought unlike anyone and anything the Persians had ever experienced. The reason for the act was never discovered. For additional protection he wore a helmet (most often the Corinthian style), covering most of his face except for a t-shaped opening that exposed his eyes, nose and mouth (unfortunately, it did not allow for peripheral vision); Philip would replace this with a Phrygian helmet that allowed for better hearing and visibility. The force that under the command of Alexander the Great invaded and conquered the Persian Empire, thus ensuring the extension of the Hellenistic culture to most of the world known at that time, was composed in total from 40,000 Experienced and well-armed fighters.. a) Cavalry. This intense training became evident when Greece was invaded by the Persians under the command of Darius I and later his son Xerxes. In order for Alexander to afford this army, he had to either disband a portion of it to save money, risking much in doing so, or go on the march to salvage his kingdom. We hear Alexander tasked these men with clearing obstacles and constructing roads to aid his army through difficult terrain. The wars of Alexander the Great were fought by King Alexander III of Macedon ("The Great"), first against the Achaemenid Persian Empire under Darius III, and then against local chieftains and warlords as far east as Punjab, India (in modern history). Some argue this devastating crossing occurred because of the man’s pothos, his desire to outdo all before him or out of revenge for his troops’ earlier mutiny in India. But another equally-important task was distributing rations to the troops – most notably food and water. While he was on campaign, these rations would usually be enough for ten days. However, all three of these men must pay homage to a single individual and his army. The pezhetairoi were in the center; the hypaspists were to their right with the cavalry on either flank. Essentially, Alexander needed to pay the bills by conquering and confiscating Persia. Grain products were the major staples of a Macedonian soldier’s diet. Yet transporting supplies overland was fraught with difficulty: there were few carts and pack-animals available in many of these regions and there was also the constant threat of banditry. No other Greek city-state other than Sparta was able to keep an army permanently mobilised. Besides the sarissa, each man possessed a smaller double-edge sword or xiphos for close-in-hand fighting. Yet his untimely death at Babylon in 323 BC, aged only 32, brought a swift end to these bold plans. When Alexander … He therefore decided to round his troops up to make one great assault. Alexander's Army In the 4th century bc, the Macedonian army was the best in the world. Ancient History Encyclopedia Foundation is a non-profit organization. It was remarkable, mainly, because it was a standing army. The far-reaching schemes for the conquest of the western Mediterranean and the setting up of a universal monarchy, recorded by Diodorus Siculus, a 1st-century Greek historian, are probably based on a later forgery; if not, they were at once jettisoned by his successors and the army. Eventually his troops refused to go on and had to turn back. When she couldn't have more children, Phillip bec… The detail of the Alexander Mosaic showing Alexander the Great. Given the sparsity of replacements available in Asia, ensuring the welfare of the pack animals never lost its importance. This new style of fighting was primarily offensive, advancing in a line into the center of the opposing enemy. We will … Alexander the Great was lucky to have very supportive women at his side throughout his life. Why was the Macedonian Army so good? this Macedonian changed the whole nature of the Ancient World. This was the exception in a campaign epitomised by many episodes of logistical brilliance. This lightened the soldier’s pack as they did not require cooking utensils. There was however, one occasion when this forward planning of provisions failed the Macedonian king. Alexander therefore reversed one of Philip’s keystone logistical decisions and permitted women once more to travel with the baggage train. Huge thanks to Johnny Shumate, Angel Garcia Pinto and Malay Archer for letting me use their fantastic images. 24 Dec 2020. Email. Instead, he used horses as the prominent pack animal – the first time a western commander had done this. It would also require ten pounds (4.5 kg) of grain and twenty-five pounds (11.3 kg) of straw. 3 Answers. What Do We Know of the Ninth Legion and Why Did It Disappear? On both the right and left flanks were the cavalry. License. These could be the answer. Alexander’s charismatic leadership and brilliant use of cavalry secured his immortality, and signalled the end for his wily foe, the Persian ruler Darius III. Yet acquiring supplies would prove anything but easy. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to the relevant author and Battles of the Ancients with appropriate and specific direction to the original content. Alexander the Great Alexander of Macedon Biography. He sent messengers ahead of his army to meet the officials to secure arrangements for the army’s supply through their territory – on some occasions taking hostages to ensure the officials stuck to their side of the bargain. Alexander the Great. Zopyrion’s Scythian Expedition: Macedon’s Teutoburg Forest? Near the end of his Campain, he marched his army through the "impassible" desert, thought to be compleatly impossible for an army to cross, Many many soldiers were dieing every day from lack of water, they found a tiney bit of water in the desert and put it in a helmet to give to Alexander, but he pourd it in the sand and said if his soldiers cant drink, then he wont either. Although Alexander’s baggage train experienced alteration during his conquest, the primary tasks of the skoidos remained the same. We will never share or sell your email address. He therefore decided to round his troops up to make one great … Greek armies used oxcarts and wagons in their logistics system and this inevitably impeded an army’s speed and mobility further. During his intrepid march of the 10,000 out of Asia some 50 years before, Xenophon had decided to burn his wagons to lighten the load of his army. Alexander was a fearless young boy, and even as a child he always wanted to be the king. Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License. His use of the phalanx and cavalry, combined with an innate sense of command, put his enemy on the defensive, enabling him to never lose a battle. Next, Philip changed the principal weaponry from the hoplite spear to the sarissa - an 18-20 feet pike; it had the advantage of reaching over the much shorter spears of the opposition. For him, speed and mobility was key. As a consequence, scholarship is largely reliant on the works of Diodorus Siculus and Arrian , plus the incomplete writings of Curtius , all of whom lived centuries later than the events they describe. The tent was guarded at all times by a special detachment of hypaspists. When Heph – aestion fell sick and died in 324 BC, Arrian says that Alexander’s grief was so great that “he flung himself upon the body of his friend and lay there nearly all day long in tears.” While he was not considered an alcoholic by today’s standards, he did turn to spirits heavily on occasion. We have also been recommended for educational use by the following publications: Ancient History Encyclopedia Foundation is a non-profit organization registered in Canada. It was Philip who revolutionized the Army, but Alexander took them to another level. Yet Alexander evidently found a solution. He crossed Asia into India, often fighting a force that outnumbered him. To further lighten his baggage train, the Macedonian king drastically reduced the number of non-combatants accompanying the army. 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