Page 0645

645

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

Macedonia.

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