Darius at Gaugamela

Fri Aug 7 13:16:58 2009
From the Greek sources it would seem that Alexander over came impossible odds in the Battle of Gaugamela. The Babylonian sources suggest that Darius’ army, despite its size, may already have been crumbling around him. The eclipse, portents and prophesies, the death of his wife must have had a terrible effect on them. The Astronomical Diaries suggest the troops were deserting him and returning home, although I wonder whether that happened before or after the battle. Finally, within the year, he is killed and replaced by Bessus, his cavlary commander and satrap of Bactria. All this suggests a lack of confidence and loyalty. While the loyalty and cohesion of the Companions may have been an important factor, I suspect it was a general lack of this kind of cohesion that may have ultimately brought down the much larger Persian army at Gaugamela.

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~ by severalfourmany on August 7, 2009.

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