History of Phoenicia - George Rawlinson

Phoenicia in the Time of Alexander the Great

(333 to 323 B.C. )

Alexander's invasion of Asia—Preparations made to resist it, insufficient—What should have been done—Movements of Memnon in B.C. 333—His death—Paralysis of the Persian fleet—Attack on Phoenicia after Issus—Submission of all the cities but Tyre—Siege of Tyre—Fall of the city—Cruel treatment of the inhabitants.

The invasion of Asia by Alexander the Great, though it found the Persians unready, was by no means of the nature of a surprise. The design had been openly proclaimed by Philip in the year B.C. 338, when he forced the Grecian States to appoint him generalissimo of their armies, which he promised to lead to the conquest of the East. Darius Codomannus had thus ample warning of what he had to expect, and abundant opportunity to make the fullest preparations for defence. During the years B.C. 338 and 337, while Philip was still alive, he did do something towards organising defensive measures, collected troops and ships, and tried to foment discontent and encourage anti-Macedonian movements in Greece. But the death of Philip by the dagger of Pausanias caused him most imprudently to relax his efforts, to consider the danger past, and to suspend the operations, which he had commenced, until he should see whether Alexander had either the will or the power to carry into effect his father's projects.

The events of the years B.C. 336 and 335, the successes of Alexander in Thrace, Illyria, and Boeotia, woke him from his fool's paradise to some sense of the realities of the situation. In B.C. 335 the preparations for defence were resumed. Orders were issued to the satraps of Phrygia and Lydia to draw together their troops towards the north-western corner of Asia Minor, and to take the offensive against the Macedonian force which had crossed the straits before Philip's death. The Persian garrisons in this quarter were strongly reinforced with troops of a good quality, drawn from the remoter provinces of the empire, as from Persia Proper, Media, Hyrcania, and Bactria. Notice was given to the Phoenicians to prepare a considerable fleet, and hold it in readiness for active service. Above all, Memnon the Rhodian was given a command on the Asiatic seaboard, and entrusted with a body of five thousand Greek mercenaries, which he was empowered to use at his discretion.

But these steps, though in the right direction, were quite inadequate under the circumstances. Everything that was possible should have been done to prevent Alexander from crossing to Asia in force. The fleet should not only have been commanded to hold itself in readiness, but should have been brought up. Four hundred or five hundred vessels, from Phoenicia, Cyprus, Egypt, Lycia, and Cilicia, should have been moved into the northern Egean and the Propontis, and have kept watch on every Grecian port. Alexander was unable to muster for the transport of his army across the Straits a larger number than 160 triremes. Persia should have met them with a fleet three times as large. Had Memnon been given from the first a free hand at sea, instead of satrapial power on land, it is quite conceivable that the invasion of Asia by Alexander might have proved as abortive an enterprise as the contemplated invasion of England by Napoleon.

As it was, the fleet of Persia, composed mainly of Phoenician vessels, did not appear in the northern Egean waters until some weeks after Alexander had transported his grand army into Asia, and fought at the Granicus, so that when it arrived it was of comparatively little service. Too late even to save Miletus, it had to be a tame spectator of the siege and capture of that important town. It was then withdrawn to Halicarnassus, where its presence greatly helped the defence, but not to the extent of wholly baffling the besiegers. Halicarnassus fell, like Miletus, after a while, being entered from the land side; but the fleet saved the troops, the stores, and the inhabitants.

During the early part of the ensuing year, B.C. 333, while Alexander was engaged in conquering the interior of Asia Minor, the Persian fleet under Memnon at last took the aggressive, and, advancing northwards, employed itself in establishing Persian influence over the whole of the Egean, and especially in reducing the important islands of Chios and Lesbos. Memnon was now in full command. Fortune smiled on him; and it seemed more than probable that the war would be, at least partially, transferred into Greece, where the Spartans only waited for Memnon's appearance to commence an anti-Macedonian movement. The presence of a powerful fleet in Greek waters, and Memnon's almost unlimited command of Persian gold, might in a short time have raised such a flame in Greece as to necessitate Alexander's return in order to extinguish it. The invasion of Asia might have been arrested in mid course; Alexander might have proved as powerless as Agesilaus to effect any great change in the relations of the two continents; but, at the critical moment, the sudden and unexpected death of the Rhodian chief cast all these hopes to the ground, and deprived Persia of her last chance of baffling the invader.

Thus, first by mismanagement and then by an unhappy accident, the Phoenicians were precluded from rendering Persia any effective service in the time of her great necessity. Wiser than Napoleon, Alexander would not contest the sovereignty of the seas with the great naval power of the day, and he even, when he once felt himself strongly lodged in Asia, disbanded his naval force, that so it might be impossible for disaster at sea to tarnish his prestige. He was convinced that Asia could be won by the land force which he had been permitted to disembark on its shores, and probably anticipated the transfer of naval supremacy which almost immediately followed on the victory of Issus. The complete defeat of the great army of Codomannus, and its retirement on the Euphrates, left the entire seaboard of Syria and Phoenicia open to him. He resolved at once to take advantage of the opportunity, and to detach from Persia the three countries of Phoenicia, Egypt, and Cyprus. If he could transfer to himself the navies of these powers, his maritime supremacy would be incontestable. He would render his communications with Macedonia absolutely secure. He would have nothing to fear from revolt or disturbance at home, however deeply he might plunge into the Asiatic continent. If the worst happened to him in Asia, he would have assured himself a safe return.

Accordingly, no sooner was the retreat of Darius upon the line of the Euphrates, and his abandonment of Syria, ascertained, than Alexander, after despatching a detachment of his army to Damascus, marched in person into Phoenicia. The Phoenicians were placed between two dangers. On the one hand, Alexander might ravage their territory, capture and pillage their cities, massacre or sell for slaves the greater portion of their citizens, and destroy their very existence as a people; on the other hand, Darius held as hostages for their fidelity the crews and captains of their triremes, which formed a portion of his fleet, and had on board a large number of their chief men, and even some of their kings. It was impossible, however, to temporise; a choice had necessarily to be made; and when Alexander entered Phoenicia, the cities, in almost every case, decided on submitting to him. First Strato, the son of Ger-astartus, king of Aradus, who was serving on board the Phoenician contingent to the Persian fleet, went out to meet Alexander, and surrendered into his hands the four cities of Aradus, Marathus, Sigon, and Mariamme. Then Byblus, whose king was also absent with the fleet, opened its gates to the Macedonians. Next Sidon, mindful of her recent wrongs, sent envoys to invite Alexander's approach, and joyfully embraced his cause. Even Tyre nominally made submission, and declared itself ready to obey Alexander's commands; and the transfer of Phoenicia to the side of Alexander might have been made without bloodshed, had the Macedonian monarch been content to leave their island city, which was their true capital, and their pride and glory, unmolested. But Alexander could not brook anything that in any degree savoured of opposition to his will. When therefore, on his expressing a wish to sacrifice to Melkarth in their island town, the Tyrians declined to receive him within the walls, and suggested that his pious design might be sufficiently accomplished by his making his intended offering in Palae-Tyrus, where there was a temple of the same god, which was older (they said) and more venerable than their own, Alexander's pride was touched, and he became violently enraged. Dismissing the envoys with angry threats, he at once began preparations for an attack upon the town.

The Tyrians have been accused of extreme rashness and folly in not making an unqualified submission to the demands preferred by Alexander, but the reproach scarcely appears to be deserved. They had on previous occasions resisted for years the entire power of Assyria, and of Babylon; they naturally deemed themselves only assailable by sea; their fortifications were of immense strength; and they possessed a navy much superior to any of which Alexander could boast at the time when he threatened them. Their own vessels were eighty in number; those of their kinsmen upon the continent were likewise eighty; Cyprus, which for centuries had been closely allied with them, and which was more than half Phoenician in blood, could furnish a hundred and twenty; Carthage, if she chose, could send to their aid, without any difficulty, as many as two hundred.

Alexander had never been able to collect from the Greek states which owned his sway a fleet of more than one hundred and sixty sail; and, having disbanded this fleet, he could not readily have mustered from the cities and countries accessible to him, exclusive of Cyprus and Phoenicia, so many as a hundred. The Tyrians, when they took their resolution to oppose Alexander, had a right to expect that their kindred would either assist them, or at any rate not serve against them, and that thus they would be sure to maintain their supremacy at sea. As for Alexander's design to join the island Tyre to the continent by means of a mole, they cannot have had the slightest suspicion of it, since no work of the kind had ever previously been accomplished, or even attempted; for the demonstration of Xerxes against Salamis was not seriously intended. They naturally counted on the struggle being entirely by sea, and may well have thought that on their own element they would not be worsted. Even if the continental towns forsook them and went over to the enemy, why might they not do as they had done in Shalmaneser's time, defeat their unnatural countrymen, and retain their naval supremacy? Moreover, if they made a gallant fight, might not Persia be expected to second their efforts? Would she not attack Alexander from the flanks of Lebanon, intercept his supplies, cut off his foragers, and make his position untenable; the Tyrians could scarcely anticipate that Persia would sit with folded hands, a calm spectator of a seven months' siege, and do absolutely nothing.

Having determined on resistance to the demands of Alexander, the Tyrians lost no time in placing their city in a position to resist attack. They summoned their king, Azemilcus, from the Persian fleet, and required him to hasten home with the entire squadron which he commanded. They collected triremes and lighter vessels from various quarters. They distributed along the walls of the city upon every side a number of engines of war, constructed to hurl darts and stones, and amply provided them with missiles. The skilled workmen and engineers resident in the town were called upon not merely to furnish additional engines of the old type, but to exercise their ingenuity in devising new and unheard of structures. They armed all the young and vigorous among the people, and appointed them their several stations at the walls. Finally, to diminish the number of mouths to be fed, and to save themselves from distracting cares, they sent away to Carthage a number of their aged men, their women, and their children, who were readily received and supported by the rich and friendly colonists.

Meantime Alexander had taken his resolution. Either recollecting what Xerxes had threatened to do at Salamis, or prompted merely by his own inventive genius, he determined on the construction of a great mole, or embankment, which should be carried out from the Asiatic mainland across the half-mile of channel to the very walls of the recalcitrant city, and should thus join the island to the Syrian shore. The width of the embankment he fixed at two plethra, or nearly seventy yards. Material for the construction was abundant. The great city of Palae-Tyrus was close at hand, partly in ruins, and with many of the houses deserted by their inhabitants. Its walls would furnish abundance of stone, mortar, and rubble. Behind Palae-Tyrus lay the flanks of Lebanon, cultivated in orchards, while beyond were its dense and inexhaustible forests of fir, pine, and cedar. Human labour could be obtained to almost any extent, for the neighbourhood was populous, and Alexander's authority acknowledged by all.

Accordingly the work, once commenced, for a while made fair progress. Piles were cut in the mountain, which were driven with much ease into the soft mud of the channel, which was shallow near the shore, and completely under the control of the Macedonians, since the Tyrian vessels could not approach it for fear of sticking in the ooze. Between the piles, towards the edge of the mole, were sunk stones, trunks of trees, and material of the more solid character, while the central part was filled up with rubble and rubbish of every sort and kind. Still, the operation was toilsome and tedious, even from the first, while the further that the mole was advanced into the sea, the more difficult and dangerous became its construction. The channel deepened gradually from a few feet towards the shore to eighteen or twenty, as it approached the island. The Tyrians in their vessels were soon able to act. In small boats at first, and afterwards in their triremes, they attacked and annoyed the workmen, perpetually hindered their work, and occasionally destroyed portions of it. Damage was also inflicted by the wind and waves; and the rate of progress became, in consequence, exceedingly slow. A strong current set through the channel, and this was continually working its way among the interstices of the mole, washing holes in its sides and face, and loosening the interior of the structure. When a storm arose, the surf broke over the top of the work, and did even greater damage, carrying portions of the outer casing into the sea.

To meet the assaults of the Tyrian ships upon the work, the Macedonians constructed two movable towers, well protected against torches and weapons by curtains made of raw hides, and advancing these upon the surface of the mole to the points most threatened, discharged from the engines which the towers contained darts and stones of a large size against the Tyrian sailors. Thus protected, the workmen were able to make sensible progress, and the Tyrians began to fear that, unless they could destroy the towers, the mole would ere long be completed. For the accomplishment of their purpose, they resolved to employ a fire-ship. Selecting one of the largest of their horse-transports, they stowed the hold with dry brushwood and other combustible materials; and erecting on the prow two masters, each with a projecting arm, attached to either a cauldron, filled with bitumen and sulphur, and with every sort of material apt to kindle and nourish flame. By loading the stern of the transport with stones of a large size, they succeeded in depressing it and correspondingly elevating the prow, which was thus prepared to glide over the smooth surface of the mole and bring itself into contact with the towers.

In the fore part of the ship were deposited a quantity of torches, resin, and other combustibles. Watching an opportunity when the wind blew strongly from the seaward straight upon the mole, they towed the vessel at their best speed in the direction of the towers, set it on fire, and then, loosing their hawsers, allowed it to dash itself upon the work. The prow slid over the top a certain distance and then stopped. The arms projecting from the masts broke off at the sudden check, and scattered the contents of the cauldrons around. The towers caught fire and were at once in a blaze. The Macedonians found it impossible to extinguish the flames, since the Tyrian triremes, drawing close to the mole, prevented approach by flights of arrows and other missiles. "At the same time, the full naval force of the city, both ships and little boats, was sent forth to land men at once on all parts of the mole. So successful was this attack, that all the Macedonian engines were burnt—the outer woodwork which kept the mole together was torn up in many places—and a large part of the structure came to pieces." A heavy sea, moreover, accompanied the gale of wind which had favoured the conflagration, and penetrating the loosened work, carried the whole into deep waters.

Alexander had now seriously to consider what course he should take. Hitherto his attempt had proved an entire failure. Should he relinquish it? To do so would be to acknowledge himself baffled and defeated, to tarnish the prestige which he held so dear, and to cripple the plans that he had formed against Persia. It was simply impossible that Alexander, being the man he was, should so act. No—he must persevere—he must confront and overcome his difficulties—he must repair the damages that he had suffered, restore his lost works, and carry them out on a larger scale, and with more skill than before. He gave orders therefore for an enlargement and alteration of the mole, which he no longer carried across the strait in a direct line, but inclined to the south-west, so that it might meet the force of the prevalent wind, instead of exposing its flank to the violent gusts. He also commanded the construction of fresh towers and fresh engines, stronger and more in number than the former ones. But this alone would not, he felt, be enough. His designs had been frustrated hitherto solely from the fact that the Tyrians were masters of the sea; and it was plain to him that, so long as this state of things remained unaltered, it was next to impossible that he should succeed.

The great desideratum—the one condition of success—was the possession of a powerful fleet. Such a fleet must be either built or collected. Leaving therefore the restoration of the mole and the engines to his generals, Alexander went in person to Sidon, and there set himself to gather together as large a fleet as he could. Most opportunely it happened that, either shortly before Alexander's arrival or immediately afterwards, the ships of Sidon, Aradus, and Byblus, which had been serving with the Persian naval force in the Aegean, had been required by their respective commanders to proceed homewards, and, to the number of eighty, had sailed into the harbour of Sidon. The kings had, in fact, deserted the Persian cause on hearing that their cities had submitted to Alexander, and readily placed their respective squadrons at his disposal. Further contingents were received from other quarters—from Rhodes ten triremes, from the seaports of Lycia the same number, from Soli and Mallus three, from Macedonia a single penteconter. The number of the vessels was thus brought up to one hundred and four; but even with such a fleet it would have been rash to engage the Tyrian navy; and Alexander would probably have had to build an additional squadron had he not received, suddenly and unexpectedly, the adhesion of the princes of Cyprus. Cyprus, being an island, was as yet in no danger, and might have been expected at least to remain neutral until the fate of Tyre was decided; but, for reasons that history has not recorded, the petty kings of the island about this time—some months after the battle of Issus—resolved to desert Persia, to detach themselves wholly from Tyre, and to place their navy at the disposal of the Macedonians. The number of their triremes amounted to 120; and Alexander, having now under his command a fleet of 224 sail, could no longer feel any doubt of being able to wrest the supremacy at sea from the unfortunate Tyrians.

Accordingly, after allowing his ships a period of eleven days for nautical practice, and placing on board a number of his bravest soldiers, Alexander sailed out from Sidon at the head of his entire fleet, and made straight for Tyre in order of battle. He himself in person commanded the right wing, the post of danger, since it held the open sea, and had under him the bulk of the Cyprian ships, with their commanders. Pnytagoras of Salamis and Craterus led the left wing, which was composed mainly of the vessels furnished by the Phoenician towns upon the mainland, and held its course at no great distance from the shore. The Tyrians, who had received no intelligence from without, saw with astonishment the great fleet, nearly three times as large as their own, bearing down upon them in orderly array, and challenging them to the combat. They had not now the spirit of ancient times, when no disparity of force dismayed them. Surprised and alarmed, they resolved to decline a battle, to remain within their ports, and to use their ships for blocking the entrances. Alexander, advancing from the north, when he saw the mouth of the Sidonian harbour, which faced northwards, strongly guarded, did not attempt to force it, but anchored his vessels outside, and established a blockade, the maintenance of which he entrusted to the Cyprian squadron. The next day he ordered the Phoenician ships to proceed southwards, and similarly block and watch the southern or Egyptian harbour. For himself, he landed upon the mole, and pitching his tent near the south-western corner, there established himself.

The mole had not advanced very much during his absence. Vast efforts had been made to re-establish it, but they had not been attended with any great success. Whole trees, torn up by the roots, and with their branches still adhering to them, had been dragged to the water's edge, and then precipitated into the strait; a layer of stones and mud had been placed upon them, to solidify them into a mass; on the top of this other trees had been placed, and the former process repeated. But the Tyrians had met the new tactics with new methods. They had employed divers to attach hooks to the boughs where they projected into the sea, and by sheer force had dragged the trees out from the superincumbent mass, bringing down in this way large portions of the structure. But with Alexander's coming, and the retirement of the Tyrian fleet, all this was altered. Alexander's workmen were no longer impeded, except from the town, and in a short time the mole was completed across the channel and carried up to the very foot of the defences. The new towers, which had replaced the burnt ones, were brought up close to the walls, and plied the new machines which Cyprian and Phoenician engineers had constructed for their new master. The battering of the wall began. Engines moreover of a large size were placed on horse-transports furnished by Sidon, and on the heavier and clumsier of the triremes, and with these attacks were made upon the town in various places, all round the circuit of the walls, which, if they did nothing else, served to distract the attention of the defenders.

To meet such assailants the Tyrians had let down huge blocks of stone into the sea, which prevented the approach of the ships, and hindered those on board from using the battering ram. These blocks the Macedonians endeavoured to weigh up and remove by means of cranes; but their vessels were too unsteady for the purpose, whereupon they proceeded to anchor them. The Tyrians went out in boats well protected, and passing under the stems and sterns of the vessels, cut the cables, whereupon the Macedonians kept an armed watch upon the cables in boats of their own, which the Tyrians did not venture to attack. They were not, however, without resource even yet, since they contrived still to cut the cables by means of divers. At last the Macedonians bethought themselves of using chains for cables instead of ropes; these could not be cut, and the result was that at length they succeeded in dragging the stones away and obtaining access to the foot of the walls wherever they pleased.

Under these circumstances, threatened on every side, and feeling almost at the last gasp, the Tyrians resolved on a final desperate effort. They would make a bold attempt to recover the command of the sea. As the Macedonian fleet was divided, part watching the Sidonian and part the Egyptian harbour, they could freely select to contend with which portion they preferred. Their choice fell upon the Cyprian contingent, which was stationed to the north of the mole, keeping guard on the "Portus Sidonius." This they determined to attack, and to take, if possible, by surprise. Long previously they had spread sails along the mouth of the harbour, to prevent their proceedings inside it from being overlooked. They now prepared a select squadron of thirteen ships—three of them quinqueremes, three quadriremes, and seven triremes—and silently placing on board their best sailors and the best and bravest of their men-at-arms, waited till the hour of noon, when the Cyprian crews would be taking their mid-day meal, and Alexander might be expected, according to his general habit, to have retired to his tent on the opposite side of the mole.

When noon came, still in deep silence, they issued from the harbour in single file, each crew rowing gently without noise or splash, or a word spoken, either by the boatswains or by anyone else. In this way they came almost close to the Cyprians without being perceived: then suddenly the boatswains gave out their cry, and the men cheered, and all pulled as hard as they could, and with splash and dash they drove their ships against the enemy's, which were inert, lying at anchor, some empty, others hurriedly taking their crews on board. The ships of three Cyprian kings—Pnytagoras, king of Salamis, Androcles, king of Amathus, and Pasicrates, king of Curium —were at once run down and sunk. Many others were disabled; the rest fled, pursued by the Tyrians, and sought to reach the shore.

All would probably have been lost, had not Alexander returned from his tent earlier than usual, and witnessed the Tyrian attack. With his usual promptitude, he at once formed his plan. As only a portion of the Cyprian fleet had maintained the blockade, while the remainder of their ships were lying off the north shore of the mole with their crews disembarked, he set to work to man these, and sent them off, as each was got ready, to station themselves at the mouth of the harbour, and prevent any more of the Tyrian vessels from sallying forth. He then hurried to the southern side of the mole, where the Greco-Phoenician squadron kept guard, and manning a certain number of the vessels, sailed with them round the western shore of the island into the northern bay, where the Tyrians and the remnant of the Cyprian fleet were still contending. Those in the city perceived the movement, and made every effort to signal it to their sailors, but in vain. The noise and uproar of the battle prevented them from hearing until it was too late. It was not till Alexander had entered the northern bay that they understood, and turned and fled, pursued by his ships, which captured or disabled the greater number. The crews, however, and the men-at-arms, escaped, since they threw themselves overboard, and easily swam into the harbour.

This was the last attempt of the Tyrians by sea. They were now invested on every side, and hopelessly shut up within their defences. Still, however, they made a desperate resistance. On the side of the mole the Macedonians, having brought up their towers and battering-ram close to the wall, attacked it with much vigour, hurling against it great masses of stone, and by constant flights of darts and arrows driving the defenders from the battlements. At the same time the battering-rams were actively plied, and every effort made to effect a breach. But the Tyrians deadened the blows of the rams and the force of the stones by letting down from the walls leathern bags filled with sea-weed at the points assailed; while, by wheels which were set in rapid motion, they intercepted the darts and javelins wherewith they were attacked, and broke them or diverted them from their intended courses. When boarding-bridges were thrown from the towers to the top of the walls, and an attempt was made to pass troops into the town across them, they flung grappling hooks among the soldiers on the bridges, which caught in their bodies and lacerated them, or dragged their shields from their hands, or sometimes hauled them bodily into the air, and then dashed them against the wall or against the ground. Further, they made ready masses of red-hot metal, and hurled them against the towers and the scaling-parties. They also heated sand over fires and poured it from the battlements on all who approached the foot of the wall; this, penetrating between the armour and the skin, inflicted such intolerable pain that the sufferers were forced to tear off their coats of mail, whereupon they were easily transfixed by arrows or long lances. With scythes they cut the ropes and thongs by means of which the rams were worked; and at last, armed with hatchets, they sprang from the battlements upon the Macedonian boarding-bridges, and in a hand-to-hand combat defeated and drove back their assailants. Finally, when, despite of all their efforts, the outer wall began to give way, they constructed an inner wall to take its place, broader and stronger than the other.

Alexander, after a time, became convinced that his endeavours to take the city from the mole were hopeless, and turned his attention to the sea defences, north and south of the mole, which were far less strong than those which he had hitherto been attacking. He placed his best engines and his boarding-bridges upon ships, and proceeded to batter the sea walls in various places. On the south side, near the Egyptian harbour, he found a weak place, and concentrating his efforts upon it, he succeeded in effecting a large breach. He then gave orders for a general assault. The two fleets were commanded to force simultaneously the entrances to the two harbours; other vessels to make demonstrations against the walls at all approachable points; the army collected on the mole to renew its assaults; while he himself, with his trustiest soldiers, delivered the main attack at the southern breach.

Two vessels were selected for the purpose. On one, which was that of Coenus, he embarked a portion of the phalanx; on the other, which was commanded by Admetus, he placed his bodyguard, himself accompanying it. The struggle was short when once the boarding-bridges were thrown across and rested on the battered wall. Fighting under the eye of their king, the Macedonians carried all before them, though not without important losses. Admetus himself, who was the first to step on to the wall, received a spear thrust, and was slain. But the soldiers who were following close behind him maintained their footing, and in a little time got possession of several towers, with the spaces between them. Alexander was among the foremost of those who mounted the breach, and was for a while hotly engaged in a hand-to-hand fight with the enemy. When those who resisted him were slain or driven off, he directed his troops to seize the royal palace, which abutted on the southern wall, and through it make their entrance into the town.

Meanwhile, the Greco-Phoenician fleet on the south side of the mole had burst the boom and other obstacles by which the Egyptian harbour was closed, and, attacking the ships within, had disabled some, and driven the rest ashore, thus gaining possession of the southern port and a ready access to the adjacent portion of the city. The Cyprians, moreover, on the north, had forced their way into the Sidonian harbour, which had no boom, and obtained an entrance into the town on that quarter. The defences were broken through in three places, and it might have been expected that resistance would have ceased. But the gallant defenders still would not yield. A large body assembled at the Agenorium, or temple of Agenor, and there made a determined stand, which continued till Alexander himself attacked them with his bodyguard, and slew almost the entire number. Others, mounting upon the roofs of the houses, flung down stones and missiles of all kinds upon the Macedonians in the street. A portion shut themselves up in their homes and perished by their own hands. In the streets and squares there was a terrible carnage. The Macedonians were infuriated by the length of the siege, the stubbornness of the resistance, and the fact that the Tyrians had in the course of the siege publicly executed, probably by way of sacrifice, a number of their prisoners upon the walls. Those who died with arms in their hands are reckoned at eight thousand; two thousand more, who had been made prisoners, were barbarously crucified by command of Alexander round the walls of the city. None of the adult free males were spared, except the few who had taken refuge with Azemilcus the king in the temple of Melkarth, which Alexander professed greatly to revere, and a certain number whom the Sidonians, touched at last with pity, concealed on board their triremes. The women, the children, and the slaves, to the number of thirty thousand, were sold to the highest bidder.

Having worked his will, and struck terror, as he hoped, into the hearts of all who might be thinking of resisting him, Alexander concluded the Tyrian episode of his career by a religious ceremony. Entering the city from the mole in a grand procession, accompanied by his entire force of soldiers, fully armed and arrayed, while his fleet also played its part in the scene, he proceeded to the temple of Melkarth in the middle of the town, and offered his much desired sacrifice to Hercules. A gymnastic contest and a torch race formed a portion of the display. To commemorate his victory, he dedicated and left in the temple the battering-ram which had made the first impression on the southern wall, together with a Tyrian vessel, used in the service of the god, which he had captured when he bore down upon the city from Sidon with his fleet. Over the charred and half-ruined remnants of the city, into which he had introduced a certain number of colonists, chiefly Carians, he placed as ruler a member of a decayed branch of the royal family, a certain Abd-elonim, whom the Greeks called Ballonymos.