— the eastern expedition




in 334 B.C. in the 4th century B.C., the contradictions within and among the Greek city states were complex and frequent. King Philip II of Macedonia took the opportunity to intervene in Greek affairs by means of diplomacy, money inducement and military attack. In 337 BC, after Philip II established his hegemony over the whole of Greece, he convened the assembly of states in Corinth to announce the cessation of war among States and establish a pan Greek alliance with him as the leader. After establishing the supremacy of Greece, Philip II’s next target of aggression was Persia and other civilized world in the East. However, in 336 BC, Philip II was assassinated. His son Alexander was supported by the army and ascended the throne at the age of 20. He is determined to inherit his father’s career and achieve his goal of dominating the world.

statue of Alexander

Alexander once worshipped the famous Greek philosopher Aristotle as a teacher and received Greek cultural education since childhood. He loved Greek culture and dreamed of not only conquering the world, but also hellenizing the world. At the age of 16, he learned a lot of military knowledge and military skills. In the famous battle of Catalonia, Alexander, 18, once commanded the left wing of the Macedonian army and achieved brilliant results. After Alexander inherited the throne, he began to imitate the Greek system, implement political and military reforms, weaken the power of the clan aristocracy and strengthen the power of the monarch; Reform the currency and reward the development of industry and commerce. The most important thing is the military reform. He founded the Macedonian standing army, including infantry, cavalry and navy. The infantry are formed into a dense and in-depth combat formation, known as the Macedonian phalanx: the middle is heavy infantry, and the two sides are light infantry. Each phalanx is also equipped with heavy cavalry composed of noble sons as the front and wing of the phalanx. Through these reforms, Alexander quickly made Macedonia a military power. After putting down the domestic rebellion and the Greek anti Macedonian uprising, he began to realize his ambition to dominate the world.

in the autumn of 335 BC, Alexander formed an expedition of 30000 infantry, 5000 cavalry and 160 ships, mainly composed of Macedonian army, supplemented by mercenaries and allied forces of various states. In the spring of 334 BC, he authorized general antipat to be regent and led the expeditionary army to set out from the capital Pyla, cross the helespan Strait and board the Asian continent, starting the famous Alexander eastward expedition in history.

Alexander’s expedition was invincible all the way. After defeating Persia on the graniku River, he first conquered Asia Minor. In the autumn of 333 BC, Alexander’s army defeated the Persian army in Isis, and the Persian King Darius III fled. Darius’ mother, wife and two daughters were captured, and about 100000 infantry and cavalry were lost, with all his luggage lost.

after the defeat of Darius III, the king of Persia, sent messengers to see Alexander, willing to pay a large sum of money to redeem his mother, wife and two daughters, and cede half of the Persian Empire to Alexander. “If I were Alexander, I would accept this condition,” said pamaneu, a senior general of Alexander Alexander was not moved by this. He looked at Darius’s luxurious palace and said, “it’s like a king!” “I’m not Pamela, I’m Alexander,” he said He refused to bargain with Darius and asked Darius’s messenger to bring back a letter, This paper expounds the reasons for the eastern expedition:

“Although our country has never invaded your ancestors, your ancestors have invaded Macedonia and other parts of Greece, which has done great harm to me. I have been officially appointed commander-in-chief of all Greece and have led troops into Asia in order to defeat Persia and avenge humiliation. But you picked up the bad things first. You helped porenzas do evil and harm my father … then I couldn’t bear it and took up arms against you. It was you who provoked the dispute. Now, since I have conquered your generals and supervisors on the battlefield first, and defeated yourself and your troops this time, so as to occupy the land in this area, it is the will of heaven… Therefore, you should respect me as the overlord of Asia and come to pay homage… When you come to pay homage, ask, and you can get back your mother Wife and children and everything else you want. As long as I think your request is reasonable, I can give it to you. In the future, whether you send someone or send a letter, you should admit that I am the supreme overlord in Asia. No matter what you ask me, you can’t match it with equal status. Admit that I’m your master. Or I’ll treat you like a misbehaving person. If you want to return to your land, you should hold your position and fight for your land. You can’t escape. Because, no matter where you run, I always have to chase you. ”

through Alexander’s reply, it is not difficult to see that Alexander’s apparent excuse for the eastward expedition was to retaliate against the Persian Empire, because Persia had repeatedly invaded the Greek mainland, ravaged and looted almost the whole Greek urban and rural areas, burned the Athena temple, and left indelible pain in the hearts of the Greek people. Greek city states dream of revenge.

but the most fundamental reason for Alexander’s eastward expedition is not “revenge”. It is the Greek slave owners and nobles represented by the Macedonian royal family. In order to expand the scope of rule and grab more wealth, they must extend their claws to the East.

Macedonia rose rapidly in the 4th century BC, when the city states of Greece fought against each other and their forces declined one after another. After Philip II succeeded the king of Macedonia, he carried out comprehensive political and military reforms and made great efforts to develop the economy, so that Macedonia quickly became the most powerful military power among the Greek city states. In order to plunder the land, slaves and gold and silver wealth of the East, open up a broad future for Greece’s handicraft industry, commerce and a large number of “surplus” population, and divert Greece’s anti Macedonian vision, Philip II began his expedition to Eastern Persia in 337 BC. Unfortunately, on the eve of the eastern expedition, Philip was assassinated and died. After Alexander succeeded to the throne, he was determined to complete his father’s unfinished great cause – conquering the East.

before the eastern expedition, Asia