By Samuel Willard Crompton
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Extra resources for Alexander the Great (Ancient World Leaders)
Another was Ptolemy, who was slightly older than Alexander and would become one of his confidantes. Still another was Parmenion, his father’s most trusted general, who would serve as Alexander’s second-in-command. Last and certainly not the least in importance was Bucephalus. The horse was older and slower now, but he remained Alexander’s most treasured companion. The Macedonian army came to the Hellespont. C. Alexander had no such intention. His army was smaller and more mobile than the Persians had been.
His army was smaller and more mobile than the Persians had been. He wanted speed. The Macedonians crossed in a fleet of merchant ships hired for the occasion. Stories are told that Alexander sacrificed to the Greek god of the sea Poseidon as he crossed, and that as his ship neared the Asian shore he hurled a spear that stuck in the eastern bank — which seemed to declare that Asia would be his. As soon as he had crossed the Hellespont, Alexander visited the ancient city of Troy, which had been the scene of a legendary ten-year siege, commemorated by the poet Homer in his epic song, the Iliad.
By the standards of his day, Alexander was one of the most vengeful of men. But if his record is applied against that of the Assyrians, 500 years earlier, or the Romans of 300 years later, Alexander appears “normal” by the standards of the ancient world. One thing he never did—and which the Romans later practiced—was to parade his victims in chains. From Tyre, Alexander pressed south. He did not see 51 52 ALEXANDER THE GREAT Some think that Alexander was uncharacteristically brutal towards the inhabitants of Tyre because of their long and costly defiance of his authority.