Downfall of Persia

Downfall of Persia - Waves of empires have been prosperous...

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Waves of empires have been prosperous in the past centuries eventually falling down to destruction. One of these empires, founded originally by Cyrus the Great was the Achaemenid Persian Empire (550 BCE- 330 BCE) which was wiped off the map for several reasons. This paper will focus on Alexander the Great’s ability to conquer Persia, the fact that Persia was weakened by the rebellions, and its land space which was so vast it was difficult to protect from all sides. Alexander the Great was one of the most thriving emperors known to have created the largest empire. He inherited one of the most disciplined and swift armies of time from his father Philip of Macedon. According to W.W. Tran in his book, Alexander the Great, “at sixteen he [meaning Alexander] had governed Macedonia in Philip’s absence. The use of his cavalry and his military capabilities resulted in the Macedonian victory of three vital battles with the Persian Empire. The battle which marked the defeat of the Persians was The Last Battle of Gaugamela taking place in 331 BCE. The battle scene was described as intense where “there was a brief moment of hand to hand combat, which led to the cavalry with Alexander, and the king himself made a vigorous thrust pushing the Persians and striking at their faces” (Arrian 113). King Darius 3 fought in the middle of the battlefield where his infantry and foot guard of spearmen supported him. It was requested from Darius to choose a battlefield, a flat plain where both empires could deploy their significant number of armies. Significantly, it is important to note that Alexander’s army was less in number than Darius’s but the way he trained his army was of importance. The Macedonians were divided into two, with the right side of the army falling under the direct command of Alexander and the left to Parmenion (Macedonian general). Alexander began the battle by ordering his fleet to march towards the center of the land mass and used one of the most unusual strategies which was to draw as much as the Persian cavalry as possible. On the other 1
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hand, Darius launched his chariots and it was a poorly planned tactic. Alexander and his army had already encountered this attack in a previous battle so they were well prepared for it. As the Persians moved farther and farther to the Macedonian flanks in their attack, Alexander slowly
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This note was uploaded on 11/05/2010 for the course HIST 101 taught by Professor Wormer during the Spring '08 term at Simon Fraser.

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Downfall of Persia - Waves of empires have been prosperous...

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