Alexander halted

The battle of Hydaspes won by the Indian King PORUS

Alexander in the Temple of Jerusalem, Sebastiano Conca, ca. 1736

Alexander III of Macedon son of King Philip II is renowned as one of the worlds greatest military commanders. By the age of age of 18, he brought down the greatest empire the world had ever seen and conquered much of the known world by the age of 33, but the stories are not all truthful.

As a child Alexander had a passion for philosophy. He attended lectures at Mieza and was tutored by Aristotle. While there he would met Hephaestion who would later become the 2nd most powerful man in Alexander’s empire as well as Alexander’s life long lover and confidant.

Their tutor Aristotle described the friendship as “one soul abiding in two bodies”. Alexander would describe his relationship with Hephaestion, to that of Achilles and Patroclus who are said to be lovers by Plato and Aeschylus.

When it came to war, Alexander happened to be in the right place at the right time, the Persians had been a continuous thorn and had invaded the region we know today as Greece several times. But the Greeks had improved their military technology and Alexander was in a position to teach the Persians a lesson and get revenge.

Many books have been written about him, but the general story goes is that he pushed his way across Persia and up into the region of Bactria or northern Afghanistan butchering tens of thousands and introducing elements of Greek culture while leaving the local populations destitute. His victories were not all gained through military prowess, some were no doubt gained by political corruption and siding with local warlords.

Alexander seemed unable to quench his thirst for global conquest conquered many kingdoms, but when he arrived on the borders of India, in the ensuing war with King Porus,  Alexander had no answer to the Hindu kings war tactics. The elephants of King Porus destroyed most of Alexander's entire army and he was deeply wounded so he had no option but to surrender and retreat.

Porus was a king of the Pauravas  in what is now the Punjab, yet even today although Greek historians have acknowledged the fact of Alexander's defeat, most of the worlds textbooks and websites like Wikipedia claim that Alexander was victorious but so impressed by the fight and military strategy put up by Porus, that he allowed Porus to retain his position.

The stories of Alexander and the battle of Hydaspes against Indian King Porus continue to be faked, but the reality is that Alexander lost. But years after greek historians disclosed the real fact, the knowledge of King Porus is circulating.

Alexander’s invasion of India is regarded as a huge Western victory against the disorganised East. But according to Marshal Gregory Zhukov, the largely Macedonian army suffered a fate worse than Napoleon in Russia.

After the great victory of King Porus over Alexander in the battle of Hydaspes, India has produced one legend after another: Vikramaditya, Chandragupta, Porus, Prithviraj, Maha Rana Pratap, Shivaji,Ranjith Singh. Great Empires like Vijayanagara, Mauryan, Magadha, Maratha, Rajputs. The surprise is, most Indians don't know about these great kings of India.

The city of Persepolis was the ceremonial capital of the first Persian Empire (the Achaemenid Empire) which dated from 550 BCE-330 BCE. The oldest parts of the site date back to 515 BCE.

Persepolis was chosen by King Cyrus the Great (founder of the first Persian Empire & first King of Iran) as the capital of Persia, but it was during the rule of King Darius I (522 BCE-486 BCE) that the terraces & great palaces were built, they were mostly finished during the rein of King Darius’s son & King Cyrus’s great-great-grandson Xerxes I (486 BCE-465 BCE).

The city built on democratic principals later attributed to the Greeks was destroyed by Alexander the Great in 330 BCE upon his conquest of Persia. Some scholars & historians suggest it was an act of revenge for the burning of Athens during the second Persian invasion of Greece in 480 BCE. Persepolis today is a UNESCO World Heritage Site

Further reading:
Alexander’s invasion of Bharat


2 comments to Alexander halted

  • Ram Katha

    Another factor is that the Macedonians had learned to fight in flat open or mountainous regions, they were not ready to fight in dense tropical jungles far from their homeland with no resistance to local diseases. Macedonian army took a great toll on their way back to Karmania passing through Gedrosia alone, forget about advancing in hostile tropical jungles.

  • Gregg Headington

    Hi, I often wonder what the world may have been like if guys like Alexander and all the colonialists had stayed home and minded their own business?

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