After Alexander solidified is rule over Macedonia and Greece, he went east to Asia specifically to the Persian empire, which was led by Darius III. Alexander assembles a Greek army of 5,000 cavalry and 32,000 infantry to avenge the Persian invasion of Greece in 290 B.C. (I’m sure they were quite willing.) In 334 B.C. Alexander crossed the Hellespont a narrow strait separating Europe and Asia (now called the Dardanelles.) Alexander threw his spear onto the shore from his ship, when he took his first steps on he raised his spear and declared Asia would be won by the spear.
But before any conquest occurred Alexander wanted to do some tourism: being extremely fond of the Trojan war, so much so that he kept a copy of Homer’s Iliad tucked under is pillow. Alexander made a special trip to Troy where he preformed many sacrifices and, traded some his armor for a sacred shield in the temple of Athena. Alexander also went to what is now Turkey. Where, according to legend, the Phrygians were told by an oracle to make a king of the first man to ride into town on an oxcart. Gordias a poor peasant as luck would have it was that man. After Gordias’s coronation, he dedicated his cart to the god Zeus and tied the cart to a pole using cornel bark, which hardened over time ( the same material Alexander’ army’s spears were made of.) It was also said that whoever can untie the knot would conquer all of Asia. Alexander being the prideful strapping young man he was could not pass up such an opportunity, but there were no ends to the knot for him to even start untie the knot. Out frustration Alexander drew his sword and cut the knot in half proclaiming “I have loosed it!” The Gordian Knot has since become synonymous with a problem that requires an unconventional solution to solve.
- Bon Voyage, Mon Amie!
- Why Alexander the Great is so Great (part.4)