For purposes of this series, the details of Alexander’s campaign itself aren’t really relevant. We all know how it goes: Alexander invades the Achaemenid Persian Empire, inflicts a series of devastating defeats on the Persian army and gradually overruns their territory, turning it into his own empire which he then expands into Bactria (modern Afghanistan) and the borders of India before turning back and dying without an heir, leaving his generals to fight amongst themselves over possession of the vast territories he had conquered. What we are going to concern ourselves with is Alexander’s rule once a region was under his control.
Following Alexander’s final victory over the Persian king Darius, he issued a proclamation declaring that the Greek cities were finally free of tyranny. However, the cities of Greece and Anatolia were free only in name, being in truth merely subordinated to a new ruler. The simple reality was that the Greeks were powerless to resist the might of Alexander’s armies. The traditional Greek citizen-militias, though heavily armed and armoured, lacked the discipline, numbers and coordination of the professional Macedonian soldiers, leaving the cities open to the whims and dictates of their military superior. As well, the resources of any one city-state were woefully inadequate when set against the reserves that Alexander had at his command, just as they had been against the vast ranks of the Achaemenid armies that had come before him.
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