Is Alexander the Great actually as bad as some people say he is?

Sep 2019
13
'Merica
Not necessarily speaking for others, but I believe it would be nice for all if this rubbish were not to contaminate yet another thread. There are plenty of other threads (mostly locked I'd imagine) for this stuff.

Thanks in advance.
So Alexander did not run away? I have great respect for the historical method and all GREEK sources agree that the Nandas were too mighty for Alexander. Here's one :
"
As for the Macedonians, however, their struggle with Porus blunted their courage and stayed their further advance into India. For having had all they could do to repulse an enemy who mustered only twenty thousand infantry and two thousand horse, they violently opposed Alexander when he insisted on crossing the river Ganges also, the width of which, as they learned, was thirty-two furlongs, its depth a hundred fathoms, while its banks on the further side were covered with multitudes of men-at-arms and horsemen and elephants. For they were told that the kings of the Ganderites and Praesii were awaiting them with eighty thousand horsemen, two hundred thousand footmen, eight thousand chariots, and six thousand fighting elephants.
"
- Plutarch's lives

Here's another :
"
Gangaridai, a nation which possesses a vast force of the largest-sized elephants. Owing to this, their country has never been conquered by any foreign king: for all other nations dread the overwhelming number and strength of these animals. Thus Alexander the Macedonian, after conquering all Asia, did not make war upon the Gangaridai, as he did on all others; for when he had arrived with all his troops at the river Ganges, he abandoned as hopeless an invasion of the Gangaridai when he learned that they possessed four thousand elephants well trained and equipped for war.
"
-Megasthenes' Indika

You speak as if the Greeks were the only ones to consider a "combined arms" approach when both the Indians and Chinese had similar, older doctrines. Look up "Chaturanga-bala".

Eurocentric garbage is still garbage!
 
Nov 2011
1,046
The Bluff
Still not sure how historians substantiate Darius' ability to field an army 100,000 strong logistically.
As I've probably said several times, I don't necessarily agree on 100,000. Certainly the Persian force well outnumbered Alexander's 47,000 as is plain from the Macedonian's dispositions. Given Dareios' decision to fight in the heart of empire, he'd secure lines of both communication and supply. He also had plenty of time to put this force and its required supply lines into place - two years. He'd chosen the battleground - just as Artaxerxes had some seventy years earlier - and forced Alexander to come to him. This suited the army he would put into the field, one which played to his strengths: cavalry, including mounted archers. If Alexander's cavalry had won the day at Issos, Dareios would see him and raise him.

Conversely, Alexander's lines of supply and communication were stretched wafer thin and he'd Antigonos dealing with Persian insurgencies in his rear. Defeat here would be near enough to terminal. To topple the empire meant defeating its king and army in the field. Alexander had no choice but the follow the path laid down by Dareios and his high command and traipse well into dust of what is now northern Iraq. Not for Alexander, as Kyros, a comfortable trip down the Euphrates.

Dareios, with the time Alexander granted him, had time to assemble and supply virtually a small city. A force of 80,000, with near half of that cavalry, is not out of the question I'd have thought.
 
Likes: nuclearguy165

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