The Anabasis of Alexander/Book I/Chapter XVII

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CHAPTER XVII.

Alexander in Sardis and Ephesus.

Having appointed Calas to the post of viceroy of the territory which had been under the rule of Arsites, and having commanded the inhabitants to pay to him the same tribute which they had paid to Darius, he ordered as many of the natives as came down from the mountains and surrendered to him to depart to their several abodes. He also acquitted the people of Zeleia[1] of blame, because he knew they had been compelled to assist the Persians in the war. He then despatched Parmenio to occupy Dascylium,[2] which he easiluy performed; for the garrison evacuated it. He himself advanced towards Sardis; and when he was about 70 stades[3] distant from that city, he was met by Mithrines, the commandant of the garrison in the Acropolis, accompanied by the most influential of the citizens of Sardis. The latter surrendered the city into his hands, and Mithrines the fortress and the money laid up in it. Alexander encamped near the river Hermus,[4] which is about twenty stades[5] distant from Sardis; but he sent Amyntas, son of Andromenes, to occupy the citadel of Sardis.[6] He took Mithrines with him, treating him with honour; and granted the Sardians and other Lydians the privilege of enjoying the ancient laws of Lydia, and permitted them to be free. He then ascended into the citadel, which was garrisoned by the Persians. And the position seemed to him a strong one; for it was very lofty, precipitous on every side, and fenced round by a triple wall. He therefore resolved to build a temple to the Olympian Zeus on the hill, and to erect an altar in it; but while he was considering which part of the hill was the most suitable site, suddenly a winter storm arose, though it was the summer season, loud claps of thunder were heard, and rain fell on the spot where the palace of the kings of Lydia had stood. From this Alexander thought that the deity had revealed to him where the temple to Zeus ought to be built; and he gave orders accordingly. He left Pausanias, one of the Companions, to be superintendent of the citadel of Sardis, Nicias to supervise the collection of the tribute and taxes, and Asander, son of Philotas, to be superintendent of Lydia and the rest of the dominion of Spithridates, giving him as large a number of cavalry and light-armed infantry as seemed suflBcient for present emergencies. He also sent Galas and Alexander, son of Aëropus, into the country of Memnon,[7] in command of the Peloponnesians and most of the other Grecian allies,, except the Argives, who had been left behind to guard the citadel of Sardis.

Meantime, when the news of the cavalry battle was spread abroad, the Grecian mercenaries who formed the garrison of Ephesus, seized two of the Ephesian. triremes and set off in flight. They were accompanied by Amyntas,[8] son of Antiochus, who had fled from Alexander out of Macedonia, not because he had received any injury from the king, but from ill-will to him, and thinking it not unlikely that he should suffer some illtreatment from him (on account of his disloyalty). On the fourth day Alexander arrived at Ephesus, where he recalled from exile all the men who had been banished from the city on account of their adherence to him; and having broken up the oligarchy, he established a democratical form of government there. He also ordered the Ephesians to contribute to Artemis[9] all the tribute which they were in the habit of paying to the Persians. When the people of Ephesus were relieved of their dread of the oligarchs, they rushed headlong to kill the men who had brought Memnon into the city, as also those who had pillaged the temple of Artemis, and those who had thrown down the statue of Philip which was in the temple, and those who had dug up and carried off from the tomb in. the market place the bones of Heropythus, the liberator of their city. They also led Syrphax and his son Pelagon, and the sons of Syrphax's brothers out of the temple and stoned them to death. But Alexander prevented them making any further quest of the rest of the oligarchs for the purpose of wreaking their vengeance upon them; for he knew that if the people were not checked, they would kill the innocent along with the guilty, some from hatred, and others for the sake of seizing their property. At this time Alexander gained great popularity both by his general course of action and especially by what he did at Ephesus.

  1. A city at the foot of Mount Ida.
  2. A city of Bithynia, on the Propontis.
  3. About eight miles.
  4. This river flows through Phrygia and Lydia, and falls into the gulf of Smyrna. Its present name is Kodus-Chai. See Vergil (Georg., ii. 137); Silius, i. 159; Claudian (Raptus Proserpinae, ii. 67).
  5. Nearly two-and-a-half miles.
  6. For a description of this fortress, see Herodotus, i. 84.
  7. Memnon had succeeded his brother Mentor as governor for the Persian king of the territory near the Hellespont. See Diodoras, xvii. 7.
  8. This man took refuge with Darius, and distinguished himself at the battle of Issus. See Plutarch (Alex., 20); Curtius, iii. 28. He met with his death soon after in Egypt. See Arrian, ii. 6 and 13; Diod., xvii. 48.
  9. The temple of Artemis at Ephesus had been burnt down by Herostratus in the night on which Alexander was born (Oct. 13-14, B.C. 356), and at this time was being restored by the joint efforts of the Ionian cities. See Strabo, xiv. 1. Heropythus and Syrphax are not mentioned by any other writers.