How did Alexander cross the Hellespont ?

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alex_z

How did Alexander cross the Hellespont ?

Post by alex_z »

did he cross it with ships or bridge of ships ?
how did thousands of horses cross it ?
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Vergina Sun
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Post by Vergina Sun »

I believe Alexander crossed the Hellespont with galleys - rowing across the water. I suppose they were large enough to accomodate both men and horses. I can't recall any ancient sources saying how many ships there were, but there's always that story about Alexander throwing his spear upon the shore and claiming Asia was his. If I'm not mistaken, it was Xerxes, with his massive force, who built a bridge out of ships for his army to cross.
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rocktupac
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Post by rocktupac »

Robin Lane Fox writes that "At Sestos, on the straits between Europe and Asia, Alexander was met with 160 warships." He also mentions that "his horses and siege machinery would have to be shipped in flat-bottomed craft."

Alexander then left on a voyage to pay tribute to the tomb of Protestilaus with sixty warships "taking the helm of the royal trireme himself," while "Parmenion and the main army planned their passage from Sestos." He would meet up with the main army later.
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Post by Semiramis »

Vergina Sun wrote:I believe Alexander crossed the Hellespont with galleys - rowing across the water. I suppose they were large enough to accomodate both men and horses. I can't recall any ancient sources saying how many ships there were, but there's always that story about Alexander throwing his spear upon the shore and claiming Asia was his. If I'm not mistaken, it was Xerxes, with his massive force, who built a bridge out of ships for his army to cross.
Before crossing, Xerxes too is said to have made a speech about the avenging of the sacking of Troy by the Greeks. They all loved their theatrics, didn't they? :) Or is it just later historians trying to spice up the story?
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Paralus
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Post by Paralus »

Semiramis wrote:[Before crossing, Xerxes too is said to have made a speech about the avenging of the sacking of Troy by the Greeks. They all loved their theatrics, didn't they? Or is it just later historians trying to spice up the story?
A bit of both but more likely the later. The action at the Persian gates - with its own supposed "Ephialtes" - took three days. The day of the reverse, two nights and the intervening day; the pass falling on the third. What is it about Greeks and three days?

As has been noted on another thread, Arrian modelled his work on Xenophon's Anabsis. Thus we have Alexander recalling Xenophon's words with respect to the baggage.
Paralus
Ἐπὶ τοὺς πατέρας, ὦ κακαὶ κεφαλαί, τοὺς μετὰ Φιλίππου καὶ Ἀλεξάνδρου τὰ ὅλα κατειργασμένους;
Wicked men, you sin against your fathers, who conquered the whole world under Philip and Alexander.

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