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The Final March and the Legacy of Alexander


If Alexander’s soldiers believed the war had concluded, they were mistaken. Darius, still evading capture, hid in Ecbatana. In the spring of 330 B.C., Alexander redirected north in pursuit. Though Darius contemplated surrender, his second-in-command, Bessus, the satrap of Bactria, opposed it vehemently. Bessus arrested Darius and retreated toward his home province.

Alexander relentlessly pursued, covering an astonishing 36 miles daily. Near the Caspian Sea, the armies confronted each other. Bessus, betraying Darius by fatally stabbing him, declared himself King Artaxerxes IV, asserting Achaemenid lineage. Viewing Bessus as a rebel, Alexander pursued him into Central Asia, capturing and executing him. Subsequently, Alexander embarked on six aimless years beyond the known world, engaging hill tribes, scaling citadels, and confronting steppes’ horsemen Gaugamela Triumph and the Persian Conquest. His Indian fo

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