The death of Alexander #5 - Quintus Curtius Rufus

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Hetairos (companion)
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The death of Alexander #5 - Quintus Curtius Rufus

Post by Alexias »

Quintus Curtius Rufus 'The history of Alexander' translated by John Yardley © 1984

Book Ten
There is a large gap in the original text here

[1] Tears welled up as they looked at him, and they appeared not as an army visiting its king but one attending his funeral…

[3] Incredibly, he maintained the same posture which he had adopted before admitting the men until he had received the last salute from the whole army. He then … collapsed in exhaustion. [4] He bade his friends draw near since … even his voice had started to fail, and then took his ring from his finger and handed it to Perdiccas. He also gave instructions that they should have his body transported to Hammon. [5] When they asked him to whom he bequeathed his kingdom, he answered, 'To the best man,' but added that he could already foresee great funeral games for himself provided by that issue. [6] When Perdiccas further asked when he wished divine honours aid to him, he said he wanted them when they themselves were happy. These were Alexander's last words; he died moments later.

[7] At first the sounds of lamentation, weeping and the beating of breasts echoed throughout the royal quarters. Then a sad hush fell,…as from grief they turned to considering what would happen now. [8] The young noblemen who formed his customary bodyguard could neither supress their bitter anguish nor confine themselves to the vestibule of the royal tent. They wandered around like madmen, filling the whole city with their mournful grieving. … [9] … The Persians recalled a master of great justice and clemency, the Macedonians a peerless king of outstanding valour;…

[10] Expressions of indignation as well as grief could be heard…that, through the envy of the gods, a man of such vigour had been removed from the world when he was at the peak of his life and career. … [11] The Macedonians then regretted having refused him divine honours, and admitted they had been disloyal and ungrateful in robbing him of a title his ears should have heard… [13] Then they had premonitions of the civil wars that actually followed: once more they would be obliged to shed their blood not to win dominion over Asia but to have a king….

[15] While such considerations occupied their mind, night came on to increase their terror….

[17] The Persians had their hair shorn in traditional fashion and wore garments of mourning …[18] Nor was grief confined to the area within the city walls ..[19] They quickly reached Darius' mother too. She ripped off the clothes she wore and assumed the dress of mourning; she tore her hair and flung herself to the ground. [20] Next to her sat one of her two granddaughters who was in mourning after the recent loss of her husband, Hephaestion…. [21] But Sisigambis alone felt the woes that engulfed her entire family: she wept for her own plight and that of her granddaughters….One might have thought that Darius was recently lost and that at the same time the woman had to bury two sons…. [22] … Who would look after her girls, she wondered? .. This meant a second captivity, a second loss of royal status….

{23] …Sisigamis was reminded of how her eighty brothers had all been butchered on the one day by the most barbarous of kings, Ochus, …augmented by that of their father; of how only one child remained of the seven she had borne….[24] Finally… She covered her head, turned away from her granddaughter and grandson, who fell at her knees to plead with her, and withdrew simultaneously from nourishment and the daylight. Five days after deciding on death, she expired….

[37] Such was the man for whom a successor was now sought, but the burden was too great to be shouldered by one man.
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