terça-feira, 4 de março de 2014
BATTLE OF THE ISSOS
VALDEMIR MOTA DE MENEZES The Battle of the Issos - Study Guide For those of you who wish to look over a narrative account, read G. Rogers, Alexander: The Ambiguity of Greatness (2004), Chapter 7 (pp. 65-77). Everyone then should read through our ancient sources. These include: Plutarch, Life of Alexander Chapters 20-21, at: http://penelope.uchicago.edu/Thayer/E/Roman/Texts/Plutarch/Lives/Alexander*/ Diodorus Siculus, Bibliotheke or Library, Book 17, Chapters 30-36, at: http://penelope.uchicago.edu/Thayer/e/roman/texts/diodorus_siculus/home.html Arrian, Anabasis or Journey Up-Country, Book 2 Chapters 5-12 at: https://archive.org/details/arrianar01arriuoft Curtius Rufus, Historiae or Histories, Book 3.4.1-3.13.17 at: http://babel.hathitrust.org/cgi/pt?id=mdp.39015008158415;view=2up;seq=130 In many ways, the battle of the Issos was the decisive military victory of Alexander's Persian campaign. After the battle at the Issos, the road east to the heart of the Persian empire lay open to Alexander; it was a road that he did not take, at least immediately, for reasons we will discuss. Before that discussion, we will need to straighten out how the battle of Issos came about and why. For, as you will rapidly discover, the events leading up to this great battle reveal Alexander and his staff did not have accurate intelligence about the movements of their enemy. And yet, despite an enormous failure of intelligence (does that sound familiar?), Alexander still won the battle. When your intelligence fails as dramatically as Alexander’s did before a critical engagement against a numerically superior foe and you still manage to bring off a crushing defeat of your adversary, maybe you do deserve the epithet of “Great.” But that will be for you to decide. Among the questions you might consider as you do the source reading(s): How did Darius end up north of Alexander before the battle of Issus? How common are intelligence failures in warfare? In the end do such failures determine who wins and who loses? How and why did Alexander win the battle (which opened up the Levant to him)? What were the long-term effects of this victory? What do you think of Alexander’s treatment of the Persian royal women after the battle? Further relevant modern bibliography: Cohen, A. The Alexander Mosaic: Stories of Victory and Defeat (1997). Devine, A. "The strategies of Alexander the Great and Darius III in the Issus campaign," Ancient World XII (1985) pp. 25-38. Devine, A. "Grand tactics at the battle of Issus," Ancient World XII (1985) pp. 39-59.