terça-feira, 4 de março de 2014


VALDEMIR MOTA DE MENEZES A briefer but no less brutal siege followed the fall of Tyre. A few months after the fall of Tyre, Alexander and the Macedonians made their way down to the Philistine city of Gaza. Gaza was the last real outpost of resistance to Alexander before he would reach Egypt. The ruler of Gaza was a eunuch named Batis, whose name was probably Iranian or perhaps Babylonian. Batis had hired a group of Arab mercenaries, and also had collected a bunch of stores to put inside of Gaza in preparation for a siege. Believing that the city was well enough defended to resist Alexander, Batis denied Alexander entry into the city, which was located about 20 stades inland from the sea coast. The ensuing siege lasted for about two months, from September to November of 332. The siege was notable for a number of reasons. First, the Macedonians' use of shored mines to undermine the walls of Gaza, which were built on sandy foundations. Second, Alexander was wounded twice during the siege-- once by a bolt from a catapult that went through both his shield and his breast courslet. However, most importantly, Alexander almost was assassinated at Gaza. At one point during the siege, one of the Arab mercenaries went over to the Macedonians, and feigned that he wanted to surrender. When he was brought into the presence of Alexander, he threw himself down on the ground, and then suddenly popped up with a sword, and took a swing at Alexander. Alexander ducked and lived. Batis, whose vision apparently wasn't all that good, thought that the guy had succeeded, and he started to celebrate inside of the city. Big mistake. Alexander was alive, and more ominously, extremely angry. As soon as the siege equipment was brought down from Tyre by sea, the Macedonians set it up around walls of the city, and soon had breached the city walls. The Gazans resisted three Macedonian assaults, but the fourth assault succeeded, and every defender in Gaza was killed, and once again, the women and children were sold into slavery. It was from the spoils of Gaza that Alexander sent those tons of frankincense and myrrh to his old tutor, Leonidas, so that he wouldn't deal so parsimoniously with the gods. Batis himself was apparently taken alive. According to Curtius Rufus, who uses the sources, Clitarchus and Hegesias, who were both near-contemporaries, Alexander had Batis tied by the ankles, and dragged along at the back of a chariot around the city walls of Gaza, just as Achilles had dragged Hector's dead body around the walls of Troy. A week after the fall of Gaza, the Macedonians arrived at Pelusium, in Egypt. Egypt, of course, had been the object of Alexander's march southward from the very beginning.

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