The Anabasis of Alexander/Book VI/Chapter XXX

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CHAPTER XXX.

Peucestas Appointed Viceroy of Persis.

Thence he proceeded to the royal palace of the Persians, which he had on a former occasion himself burnt down, as I have previously related, expressing my disapprobation of the act[1]; and on his return Alexander himself did not commend it. Many charges were brought by the Persians against Orxines, who ruled them after the death of Phrasaortes. He was convicted of having pillaged temples and royal tombs, and of having unjustly put many of the Persians to death. He was therefore hanged by men acting under Alexander's orders[2]; and Peucestas the confidential body-guard was appointed viceroy of Persis. The king placed special confidence in him both for other reasons, and especially on account of his exploit among the Mallians, where he braved the greatest dangers and helped to save Alexander's life. Besides this, he did not refuse to accommodate himself to the Asiatic mode of living; and as soon as he was appointed to the position of viceroy of Persis, he openly assumed the native garb, being the only man among the Macedonians who adopted the Median dress in preference to the Grecian.[3] He also learnt to speak the Persian language correctly, and comported himself in all other respects like a Persian. For this conduct he was not only commended by Alexander, but the Persians also were highly delighted with him, for preferring their national customs to those of his own forefathers.

  1. See iii. 18 supra.
  2. According to Curtius (x. 4, 5) Orxines was not only innocent, but was very devoted and attached to Alexander. The favourite eunuch, Bagoas, poisoned the king's mind against him, and suborned other accusers against him. He was condemned unheard.
  3. Purpura et nitor corporis, ornatusque Persicus multo auro multisque gemmis. — Cicero (de Senectute, 17).