MACEDONIA-ALEXANDER THE GREAT.
a manner that would have done honor to a crusader. He told the queen
that she had made no mistake; that Hephaestion was another Alexander, as
worthy to be esteemed as himself.
In the mean time, one of the eunuchs in attendance upon the royal
household made his escape and carried to Darius the story of the
treatment accorded to his family. To him the thing seemed incredible.
The great Oriental, believing in the essential badness of human nature,
at once conjectured that his beautiful queen had fascinated his
adversary, and that that was the occasion of his clemency. Jealousy
seized him, and he was in a transport until his attendant informed him
that the Macedonian was in no sense his rival-that his conduct towards
the queen had been a sincere act of courtesy and consideration. Then the
mood of Darius changed, and in great excitement he offered a prayer to
the gods that if the empire of Asia should ever depart from himself it
might fall to Alexander.
Before he could follow up his victory, Alexander deemed it prudent to
complete the conquest of Syria and Phoenicia. These were the only two
provinces remaining unconquered in the western countries of the Greater
Asia. The king dispatched Parmenio with one division of the army against
Damascus, the capital of Syria, while he himself with the other division
advanced into Phoenicia. The first expedition was soon crowned with
complete success. Damascus was taken without serious opposition.
Parmenio also captured a number of agents who were employed by Darius in
corresponding with the anti-Macedonian party in Greece. From these
Alexander learned the exact nature of the intrigues which were
constantly hatched in Athens, Thebes, and Sparta, with a view to
compassing his overthrow. Upon these malcontent elements in the Greek
states the intelligence of the battle of Issus and of the capture of the
Graeco-Persian spies fell like a cold bath.
The knowledge that Alexander was absolutely master of the situation in
all the western parts of Asia was disagreeable news to the
reactionaries, who were endeavoring to sow the seeds of insurrection in
the West. Nor was the success of Parmenio at Damascus limited to the
capture of the city and the emissaries. He likewise secured possession
of the money chest of Darius, out of whose abundant coffers the Western
Greeks were to be persuaded to favor the interests of Persia. With this
sinew of war in the hands of the Macedonians it was not likely that the
Ionians and continental Greeks would any longer so greatly prefer a
Persian to a Macedonian ruler.
In no part was the effect of the battle of Issus more distinctly felt
than in Sparta. Agis, the Lacedaemonian king, still continued, even
after the death of Memnon, to agitate measures unfavorable to Alexander.
To support this movement and disposition of the Spartans Darius had, on
setting out with his army to meet the Macedonian, dispatched a fleet
under Pharnabazus and Antophradates to sail into the AEgean and
cooperate with the Peloponnesians in a proposed expedition against
Macedonia. The squadron reached the shores of Southern Greece, and Agis
was busily engaged in preparing for the northern invasion when the news
came of the victory of Alexander at Issus. Of a sudden the Persian
commanders came to the conclusion that there was need for them in Asia.
They accordingly dropped away as quickly as possible, and returned with
the fleet to Persian waters. Great was the relief of Alexander when he
learned of the collapse of the proposed descent on the coasts of
In the mean time the conqueror was proceeding to lay siege to Tyre. It
was considered of the first importance that this great maritime city,
from which the fleets of Persia were supplied with whatever gave them
strength and efficiency, should be converted
into a Macedonian dependency. While