Curtius Rufus 3.1.11-18
11 Phrygia erat, per quam ducebatur exercitus, pluribus vicis quam urbibus frequens. 12 Tunc habebat nobilem quondam Midae regiam. Gordium nomen est urbi, quam Sangarius amnis praeterfluit, pari intervallo Pontico et Cilicio mari distantem. 13 Inter haec maria angustissimum Asiae spatium esse conperimus, utroque in artas fauces conpellente terram. Quae quia continenti adhaeret, sed magna ex parte cingitur fluctibus, speciem insulae praebet ac, nisi tenue discrimen obiceret, quae nunc dividit maria, committeret. 14 Alexander urbe in dicionem suam redacta Iovis templum intrat. Vehiculum, quo Gordium, Midae patrem vectum esse constabat, aspexit, cultu haud sane a vilioribus vulgatisque usu abhorrens. 15 Notabile erat •iugum adstrictum conpluribus nodis in semetipsos inplicatis et celantibus nexus. 16 Incolis deinde adfirmantibus, editam esse oraculo sortem, Asiae potiturum, qui inexplicabile vinculum solvisset, cupido incessit animo sortis eius explendae. 17 Circa regem erat et Phrygum turba et Macedonum, illa expectatione suspensa, haec sollicita ex temeraria regis fiducia: quippe serieº vinculorum ita adstricta, ut, unde nexus inciperet quove se conderet, nec ratione nec visu perspici posset, solvere adgressus iniecerat curam ei, ne in omen verteretur irritum inceptum.18 Ille nequaquamº diu luctatus cum latentibus nodis, 'Nihil', inquit, 'interest, quomodo solvantur': gladioque ruptis omnibus loris oraculi sortem vel elusit vel inplevit.
12 Gordium is the city's name and the river Sangarius flows beside it, and it is equally distant from the Pontic and the Cilician sea. 13 We have been informed that between these two seas is the narrowest part of Asia, since they compress the lands into a narrow passageway. And because Asia is joined it the mainland, but is in great part surrounded by waters, it presents the appearance of an island, and were it not for this slight intervening space what now separates the seas would unite them. 14 Alexander, after reducing the city into his power, entered the temple of Jupiter. There he saw the wagon in which it was known that Gordius, the father of Midas rode, and it was in no way more elegant than ordinary ones in everyday use. 15 The noteworthy feature was the yoke, which was made fast by a great number of thongs, closely tangled with one another and concealing their interlacings. 16 Thereupon, since the natives declared that the oracle had predicted that whoever should loose the intricate fastening would rule over Asia, the desire entered Alexander's mind of fulfilling that prophecy. 17 Around the king stood a throng of Phrygians and Macedonians, the former on tiptoe of expectation, the latter in anxiety because of the king's rash self confidence; and in fact the series of thongs was so closely bound together that where a hidden inter-lacing began or where it ended could be made out neither by the eye nor by calculation; and the king's attempt to undo the tangle made the throng anxious lest a failure should be regarded as an omen. 18 After having struggled for a long time without effect against the hidden knots: "it makes no difference," said he, "how they are loosed," and cutting through all the thongs with his sword, he either tricked the oracle or fulfilled it.