The Anabasis of Alexander/Book I/Chapter XXIII

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CHAPTER XXIII.

Destruction of Halicarnassus.—Ada, Queen of Caria.

Then Orontobates and Memnon, the commanders of the Persians, met and decided from the state of affairs that they could not hold out long against the siege, seeing that part of the wall had already fallen down and part had been battered and weakened, and that many of their soldiers had either perished in the sorties or been wounded and disabled. Taking these things into consideration, about the second watch of the night they set fire to the wooden tower which they had themselves built to resist the enemy's military engines, and to the magazines in which their weapons were stored. They also cast fire into the houses near the wall; and others were burned by the flames, which were carried with great fury from the magazines and the tower by the wind bearing in that direction. Some of the enemy then withdrew to the stronghold in the island (called Arconnesus), and others to another fortress called Salmacis. When this was reported to Alexander by some deserters from the incendiaries, and he himself could see the raging fire, though the occurrence took place about midnight, yet he led out the Macedonians and slew those who were still engaged in setting fire to the city. But he issued orders to preserve all the Halicarnassians who should be taken in their houses. As soon as the daylight appeared he could discern the strongholds which the Persians and the Grecian mercenaries had occupied; but he decided not to besiege them, considering that he would meet with no small delay beleaguering them, from the nature of their position, and moreover thinking that they would be of little importance to him now that he had captured the whole city.

Wherefore, burying the dead in the night, he ordered, the men who had been placed in charge of the military engines to convey them to Tralles. He himself marched into Phrygia, after razing the city to the ground, and leaving 3,000 Grecian infantry and 200 cavalry as a guard both of this place and of the rest of Caria, under the command of Ptolemy. He appointed Ada to act as his viceroy of the whole of Caria.[1] This queen was daughter of Hecatomnus and wife of Hidrieus, who, though he was her brother, lived with her in wedlock, according to the custom of the Carians. When Hidrieus was dying, he confided the administration of affairs to her, for it had been a custom in Asia, ever since the time of Semiramis, even for women to rule men. But Pixodarus expelled her from the rule, and seized the administration of affairs himself. On the death of Pixodarus, his son-in-law Orontobates was sent by the king of the Persians to rule over the Carians. Ada retained Alinda alone, the strongest place in Caria; and when Alexander invaded Caria she went to meet him, offering to surrender Alinda to him, and adopting him as her son.[2] Alexander confided Alinda to her, and did not think the title of son unworthy of his acceptance; moreover, when he had captured Halicarnassus and become master of the rest of Caria, he granted her the privilege of ruling over the whole country.

  1. Hecatomnus, king of Caria, left three sons, Mausolus, Hidrieus, and Pixodarus; and two daughters, Artemisia and Ada. Artemisia married Mausolus, and Ada married Hidrieus. All these children succeeded their father in the sovereignty, Pixodarus being the last surviving son.
  2. Amyntas, king of Macedonia, grandfather of Alexander the Great, adopted the celebrated Athenian general Iphicrates, in gratitude to him as the preserver of Macedonia. See Aeschines (De Falsa Legatione, pp. 249, 250).