|The Story of Greece|
|by Mary Macgregor|
| Stories from the history of ancient Greece beginning with mythical and legendary stories of gods and heroes and ending with the conquests of Alexander the Great. Gives short accounts of battles and sieges, and of the men who made Greece a great nation. Ages 10-14 |
TYRE IS STORMED BY ALEXANDER
 ALEXANDER did not cross the Euphrates in search of Darius. He
knew that the great king could do him no harm, even
should he again assemble a large army. So for a time
he left Darius to do as he pleased, while he himself
went on with his own plan.
Nearly all the towns in Syracuse were ready to open
their gates to Alexander. Some that had found Darius a
hard master, hailed him as a deliverer.
Tyre alone, while saying that she was ready to do as
the king willed, refused to receive either a Persian or
a Macedonian into the city.
Alexander wished to offer sacrifice to the deity of
Tyre, whose temple was within the city, and when the
people refused to open their gates, he was so angry
that he at once laid siege to the town.
Tyre stood on an island, about half a mile from the
mainland. Near the coast the water was shallow, while
close to the walls of the city it was deep.
The Tyrians believed that they could hold their city
against Alexander, for the walls were built high, on
the top of a steep and dangerous cliff.
As the king had no fleet, he could not attack the city
until he had built a causeway from the mainland to the
island, so he ordered his men to begin the work without
But when the causeway stretched almost to the island,
the Tyrians did all that they could to hinder the
 They sent among them showers of arrows, and hurled down
upon them great pieces of rock, so that they found it
impossible to complete the causeway.
But the king was not easily beaten. He ordered the men
to build towers along the causeway, and to tie leather
screens from one tower to another, so that they might
be protected from the arrows and missiles of the enemy.
Then the Tyrians dragged a ship, loaded with dry wood,
as near to the causeway as they dared to venture, and
set it on fire. The towers were soon in flames, and
while the Macedonians tried in vain to extinguish them,
the enemy never ceased to send showers of arrows among
the unfortunate men, so that many of them lost their
Although the Tyrians had destroyed the work of months,
Alexander still refused to give in. He now sent to the
cities round about, and bade them send ships to guard
his soldiers until the causeway was finished. In seven
months from the time it was begun, the causeway reached
to the foot of the rock on which the city stood.
In July 332 B.C. a breach was made in the wall, and,
led by Alexander himself, the Macedonians rushed in
triumph into the city that had so long defied them.
The Tyrians fought fiercely, for they knew they need
not look for mercy if the city was taken. But they
were soon overpowered, and the town was given up to
plunder. The soldiers were eager for spoil, but spoil
alone could not satisfy them. As they thought of the
weary months which they had spent in trying to reach
the island, they wreaked their rage on the miserable
citizens, massacring all on whom they could lay their
After Tyre had fallen, Alexander was master of Syria, and
could control the eastern Mediterranean.
From Tyre, the king marched southward until he reached
Egypt. Here, after making himself lord of the country,
he founded the city, which is still called after him,
During the siege of Tyre, Darius had again sent to
Alexander, offering to him a large ransom for his
family, as well as the hand of the daughter and all the
provinces west of Euphrates.
While Alexander and his generals were talking over the
offer of Darius, Parmenio exclaimed, "If I were you I
should accept these terms."
"And I," answered the king, "would accept them if I
To Darius, Alexander's reply was haughtier than ever.
"If thou comest," so ran his words, "and yield thyself
up into my power, I will treat thee with all possible
kindness; if not, I will come myself to seek thee."
Soon after this the wife of Darius died. Alexander had
always treated her well, and now he buried her with
One of her servants fled to Darius to tell him the sad
tidings. He told him, too, of the kindness Alexander
had ever shown to his royal captive.
"O king," said the servant, "neither your queen when
alive, nor your mother, nor children wanted anything of
their former happy condition, unless it were the light
of your countenance. And after her decease, Statira,
the queen, had not only all due funeral ornaments, but
was honoured also with the tears of your very enemies;
for Alexander is as gentle after victory as he is
terrible in the field."
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