Plutarch, Life of Alexander 20

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טקסט

[1] Now, there was in the army of Dareius a certain Macedonian who had fled from his country, Amyntas by name, and he was well acquainted with the nature of Alexander. [2] This man, when he saw that Dareius was eager to attack Alexander within the narrow passes of the mountains, begged him to remain where he was, that he might fight a decisive battle with his vast forces against inferior numbers in plains that were broad and spacious. [3] And when Dareius replied that he was afraid the enemy would run away before he could get at them, and Alexander thus escape him, "Indeed," said Amyntas, "on this point, O king, thou mayest be without fear; for he will march against thee, nay, at this very moment, probably, he is on the march." [4] Dareius would not listen to these words of Amyntas, but broke camp and marched into Cilicia, and at the same time Alexander marched into Syria against him. [5] But having missed one another in the night, they both turned back again, Alexander rejoicing in his good fortune, and eager to meet his enemy in the passes, while Dareius was as eager to extricate his forces from the passes and regain his former camping-ground. [6] For he already saw that he had done wrong to throw himself into places which were rendered unfit for cavalry by sea and mountains and a river running through the middle (the Pinarus), which were broken up in many parts, and favoured the small numbers of his enemy. [7] And not only was the place for the battle a gift of Fortune to Alexander, but his generalship was better than the provisions of Fortune for his victory. [8] For since he was so vastly inferior in numbers to the Barbarians, he gave them no opportunity to encircle him, but leading his right wing in person, extended it past the enemy's left, got on their flank, and routed the Barbarians who were opposed to him fighting among the foremost, [9] so that he got a sword-wound in the thigh. Chares says this wound was given him by Dareius, with whom he had a hand-to‑hand combat, but Alexander, in a letter to Antipater about the battle, did not say who it was that gave him the wound; he wrote that he had been wounded in the thigh with a dagger, but that no serious harm resulted from the wound.

[10] Although he won a brilliant victory and destroyed more than a hundred and ten thousand of his enemies, he did not capture Dareius, who got a start of four or five furlongs in his flight; but he did take the king's chariot, and his bow, before he came back from the pursuit. [11] He found his Macedonians carrying off the wealth from the camp of the Barbarians, and the wealth was of surpassing abundance, although its owners had come to the battle in light marching order and had left most of their baggage in Damascus; he found, too, that his men had picked out for him the tent of Dareius, which was full to overflowing with gorgeous servitors and furniture, and many treasures. [12] Straightway, then, Alexander put off his armour and went to the bath, saying: "Let us go and wash off the sweat of the battle in the bath of Dareius." "No, indeed," said one of his companions, "but rather in that of Alexander; for the property of the conquered must belong to the conqueror, and be called his." [13] And when he saw the basins and pitchers and tubs and caskets, all of gold, and curiously wrought, while the apartment was marvellously fragrant with spices and unguents, and when he passed from this into a tent which was worthy of admiration for its size and height, and for the adornment of the couch and tables and banquet prepared for him, he turned his eyes upon his companions and said: "This, as it would seem, is to be a king."

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