The Battle of Gaugamela By Charles River Editors

  • Narrated by: Daniel Houle
  • Length: 2 hrs and 4 mins
  • Release date: 12-12-19

The Battle of Gaugamela AudioBook Summary

“Then the Scythian cavalry rode along the line, and came into conflict with the front men of Alexander’s array, but he nevertheless still continued to march towards the right, and almost entirely got beyond the ground which had been cleared and levelled by the Persians. Then Darius, fearing that his chariots would become useless, if the Macedonians advanced into the uneven ground, ordered the front ranks of his left wing to ride round the right wing of the Macedonians, where Alexander was commanding, to prevent him from marching his wing any further. This being done, Alexander ordered the cavalry of the Grecian mercenaries under the command of Menidas to attack them. But the Scythian cavalry and the Bactrians, who had been drawn up with them, sallied forth against them and being much more numerous they put the small body of Greeks to rout.” (Arrian)

At one point in antiquity, the Achaemenid Persian Empire was the largest empire the world had ever seen, but aside from its role in the Greco-Persian Wars and its collapse at the hands of Alexander the Great, it has been mostly overlooked. When it has been studied, the historical sources have mostly been Greek, the very people the Persians sought to conquer. Needless to say, their versions were biased, and attitudes about the Persians were only exacerbated by Alexander the Great and his biographers, who maintained a fiery hatred toward Xerxes I of Persia due to his burning of Athens. The Macedonians targeted many of his building projects after their capture of Persepolis, and they pushed an even bleaker picture of the king, one of an idle, indolent, cowardly, and corrupt ruler. It was not until excavations in the region during the 20th century that many of the relics, reliefs, and clay tablets that offer so much information about Persian life could be studied for the first time. Through archaeological remains, ancient texts, and work by a new generation of historians, a picture can today be built of this remarkable civilization and their most famous leaders.

Of course, far more is known about Alexander the Great and his military accomplishments, the most important of which was bringing about the demise of the Persian Empire. Over the last 2,000 years, ambitious men have dreamed of forging vast empires and attaining eternal glory in battle, but of all the conquerors who took steps toward such dreams, none were ever as successful as antiquity’s first great conqueror. Leaders of the 20th century hoped to rival Napoleon’s accomplishments, while Napoleon aimed to emulate the accomplishments of Julius Caesar. But Caesar himself found inspiration in Alexander the Great (356-323 BCE), the Macedonian king who managed to stretch an empire from Greece to the Himalayas in Asia by the age of 30. It took less than 15 years for Alexander to conquer much of the known world.

Darius III, king of Persia at the time of Alexander’s invasion, was no tactical genius, but he was an intelligent and persistent enemy who had been handed the throne just before the arrival of the indomitable Alexander. His misfortune was to face an enemy at the forefront of military innovation and flexibility, a fighting force that he was not equipped to handle, and the unconquerable will of the Macedonian army, fueled by devotion to their daring and charismatic king. He would personally face Alexander twice, once at the Battle of Issus and again at the Battle of Gaugamela, with the latter conflict deciding the fate of the Western world.

The Battle of Gaugamela: The History of Alexander the Great’s Decisive Victory and the Destruction of the Achaemenid Persian Empire looks at one of antiquity’s most important conflicts, and the profound ramifications of Alexander’s campaign; you will learn about the battle like never before.

File Size: 113.76 MB


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