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MACEDONIA-ALEXANDER THE GREAT.

permit them to fall into the hands of the destroyer of Asia. It was,

therefore, of great importance to Alexander, by becoming the herald of

his own victory, to prevent the contemplated destruction. So rapid was

his march that he dashed upon the city gates unannounced, nor could

those in authority, anxious as they were to save themselves by flight,

interfere to prevent the pillage of the capital. Persepolis went down,

like the other great cities of Asia, before the conquer of the Orient.

Once safely established in the capital of the Empire, Alexander again

found time to pause for a season from the anxieties of war. Both he and

his soldiers' gave themselves up to festivities not wholly free from

excess and rioting. At this juncture occurred one of the least

creditable transactions of Alexander's life-the burning of the

magnificent palace of the Persian kings. It appears that a certain

Thais, an Athenian Hetcera, celebrated for her beauty and

accomplishments, was invited by Alexander to a banquet given by him to

his generals. Wine flowed freely, and the Macedonian, in common with the

rest, was under the influence of the inebriating cup. In the midst of

the feast, Thais recalling to mind the demolition of her native city by

the Persians, and feeling towards them that burning hatred of which a

woman only is capable, proposed that, as a measure of retaliation and

revenge, the torch should now be applied to the royal palace of

Persepolis. It is related that the Greek generals, having recently

noticed on the part of Alexander a certain inclination to look with

favor on the luxurious and effeminateness manners of the Persians, and

fearing, as is believed lest he should, in reorganizing the Empire,

conclude to establish his capital in the East, and seeing in the great

palace of the Persepolitan kings a temptation to such a course,

interposed no objection to the revengeful freak of the Athenian woman.

Alexander, perceiving that his generals did not object to the incendiary

proposition, not only gave his own assent to the wish of his favorite,

but himself rushed forth with a torch and fired the royal dwelling. The

progress of the flames, however, soon sobered the temporary madman, and

in sudden repentance for his crime, he endeavored to save the palace

from destruction; but the conflagration had already proceeded so far

that only a part of the royal house could be rescued from the flames.

For four months after his entrance into Persepolis, Alexander remained

in the city. Darius, meanwhile, had established himself in Ecbatana, and

was there rallying such forces as he could command, in the hope of

saving the northern provinces of his empire. He also busied himself with

that business which had now become a part of the traditional policy of

the Persian kings, namely, the instigation of a revolt among the states

of Greece. In collusion with Agis, king of the Lacedaemonians, Darius

succeeded, in the winter of B. C. 331-330, in organizing a formidable

rebellion among the confederated powers of the West. An army was raised

in Southern Greece, and an expedition planned against Macedonia.

Antipater, who was still regent of the hereditary dominions of

Alexander, prepared resistance, and even anticipated the movements of

the enemy by marching into Peloponnesus. The war was thus precipitated

upon the Spartans and their allies, and the whole issue was soon decided

by a decisive battle, in which Antipater was completely victorious. The

insurgents were dispersed and Agis slain. So complete was the triumph of

the Macedonian cause that even in Sparta the friends of Alexander

secured control of affairs, and a contingent of Lacedaemonian troops was

sent forward to the king at Persepolis.

With the opening of spring the conqueror left the Persian capital and

set out into Media. On his approach to Ecbatana, Darius, having heard of

the failure of the movement in his favor in Greece, and finding himself

unable to confront his antagonist in the field, gathered together his

treasures, and with a guard of ten thousand men, left the city to become

a fugitive in the earth. The city was taken without a blow, and the

whole of Media was added to the new empire of the Macedonian.

With the latter it now became a prime ambition-a passion-to gain

possession of the