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Cilician capital. Arsanes, the governor, hastily decamped with the

garrison, and fled to Darius. The city authorities thereupon opened the

gates, and Alexander was admitted without opposition. It was the last

act in the conquest of Asia Minor. In all the rich and beautiful regions

of the western division of the Persian Empire, not a foot of territory

remained to Darius.

The exertions and anxieties of the ambitious young king now began to

tell upon his constitution. In the long marches from Cappadoda into

Cilicia, he had suffered the extremes of fatigue. It is likely,

moreover, that some of the districts through which he passed were

miasmatic, and that some of the towns were infected with contagion. Soon

after his capture of Tarsus, Alexander was attacked with a fever which

came near ending his life. The severity of his illness was heightened

by his own indiscretion. Just before he was prostrated, oppressed with

fatigue and the summer heat, he plunged into the river Cydnus, noted for

the icy coldness of its waters, and amused himself as a swimmer. On

coming forth he was presently prostrated, and rapidly brought so low

that his life was despaired of by all except Philip, the Acarnanian, his

favorite physician. The latter continued to attend and encourage his

master. While Philip was engaged in preparing a draught for his royal

patient, the king received a secret dispatch from his old general,

Parmemo, informing him that Philip was a traitor and had been bribed by

Darius to poison his king. While the letter was yet in Alexander's

hands, the cup containing the draught was handed him by Philip. The king

received the potion, and at the same time handed the dispatch to the

physician. Observing no change in Philip's countenance as he read,

Alexander without a word drank the potion, and the loyal attendant was

soon gratified with a favorable change in his patient. For once the

faithful Parmenio had been misled by false information, which had well-

nigh proved fatal both to the king and his physician.

As soon as Alexander had sufficiently recovered from his illness to

resume the direction of affairs, he sent forward Parmenio to occupy the

pass which led into Syria. This order was issued with the double view of

preventing a like action on the part of Darius and of securing to

himself an easy route into the Greater Asia. He himself made a brief

campaign into the mountainous district of Cilicia. On his march thither

he was surprised on coming to the city of Anchialus to observe the

extent and magnificence of its fortifications and public buildings. It

was here that the statue of Sardanapalus, the reputed founder of the

city, was found, still bearing that famous old Assyrian inscription,

which the Greek scholars accompanying Alexander interpreted as follows:




Leaving this place the conqueror proceeded to Sali, upon which he

imposed a tribute of forty thousand pounds. Thence he made his way to

Megarsus and Mallus. At the former place he made sacrifices in honor of

Pallas Athene; and at the latter he won the people over to his cause by

freeing them from the Persian tribute. Nor were the inhabitants less

ready to join his standard on account of their nationality, Mallus

having been originally founded by a colony of Argive Greeks.

While Alexander tarried at Mallus intelligence arrived of the movements

of Darius. The Great King had already crossed the Syrian plain, and was

but two days' march from that mountain pass which the Macedonians had

already seized. The soldiers of the conqueror were eager to meet the

enemy, and he quickly moved forward to the gateway leading from Cilicia

into Syria. It is related that at this juncture Darius was perplexed

with contradictory counsels. The Greek officers in his army advised him

to tarry in the plain near where he was, and there receive the

Macedonian onset, but the Persian generals urged the king to press

forward to the foothills and drive his enemy back through the passes.

The monarch followed the advice of neither implicitly, and of both in

part. Instead of going forward to the Syrian Gate,