John F. Lazenby

in Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Classics

Published online December 2015 | e-ISBN: 9780199381135 | DOI:

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River in NW Asia Minor (now Kocabaş), scene of *Alexander (3) the Great's first victory over the Persians (334 bce). Of the sources *Arrian's version is probably preferable. Alexander began the battle on the right, launching an attack on the Persian cavalry lining the river-bank with the left squadron of Companions (see hetairoi) and other cavalry between them and the phalanx to their left. The attack was driven back, but when the Persians pursued into the river-bed, Alexander led his remaining Companions obliquely to the left into their disordered ranks. After a short fight, the Persian cavalry fled, leaving their Greek mercenaries, stationed in the plain beyond the river, to be surrounded and annihilated. Assessment of Alexander's tactics depends on whether his first attack was a feint, and whether his second, oblique advance was deliberate or dictated by the terrain.

Article.  178 words. 

Subjects: Historical Geography ; Middle Eastern History

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