| Stories of the Ancient Greeks|
|by Charles D. Shaw|
|Delightful collection of both mythological and historical stories of the ancient Greeks, in language simple enough for younger listeners, yet appealing to all ages. Provides an excellent introduction to ancient Greece, beginning with 32 of the best-known myths, and then continuing with 32 short stories of the historical era, arranged in chronological order. An extensive pronunciation guide is included. Ages 8-11 |
THE END OF GLORY
T the battle of the Granicus a man named Clitus had saved Alexander's life.
For this he was now to be made governor of a province. The night before he
was to start for his new home, the king gave a feast, at which a dispute
arose. Clitus said, "Yes; soldiers win the victories, and generals reap the
glory." Alexander rushed angrily toward him but Clitus was pushed out of the
room. Alexander seized a spear and tried to follow him. Clitus, full of
rage, came back and Alexander struck him dead. The once noble young king had
become fierce and cruel.
Alexander decided to make his home in the East, and to please the people he
married Roxana, a princess of the country.
Babylon and Susa, large, rich and beautiful cities, now belonged to
Alexander. But he could not stay long anywhere. He marched to Persepolis,
the capital of Persia, and made that his own. There he gave a magnificent
feast to his friends and to the nobles of the place. He had brought from
Thebes a famous singer named Timotheus, who played on the flute and the lyre
and who led a large company of singers. Alexander sat on a splendid throne
to show that he was master of the world.
Timo-  theus with his music excited the people so that they called out, "Alexander is
more than man! He is a god!" The foolish man pretended to believe them and
allowed them to worship him.
Then Timotheus sang about the Greeks who had been killed in battle; and
Alexander drunk with wine and rage ordered his men to set fire to the palace
in which they were then feasting. He wished to burn the city in revenge for
the loss of so many friends who had fallen in the wars.
He stayed four years in Persia conquering every leader who dared oppose him,
and giving orders for the government of all the countries of which he was
master. He had many faults but some virtues remained with him, and he tried
to improve the condition of people. He built cities, one of them named after
his horse Bucephalus, which died of wounds received in battle, and for which
Alexander sincerely grieved. He established libraries and schools and had
the people taught the Greek language. He opened the way into the far East
and made it possible for men to travel by land and sea into strange
After the four years he led his army into India to conquer that vast
country. There he had a fierce battle with King Porus, who used trained
elephants in his army but who was defeated and taken prisoner. Still
marching eastward, Alexander reached the river Hyphasis, the most eastern
branch of the river Indus. There his soldiers rebelled. They had been many
years from home and were always being led farther away
 from Greece. They said, "Our fathers and mothers, our wives and children and
friends, are in that land. Shall we ever see it again? We are here in a
strange world and the word is always 'Forward!' We will not go forward; we
will not cross this river."
Alexander could not persuade them to change their minds. He built a fleet of
vessels and sent them, filled with soldiers, down the river, while with
eight thousand men he marched along the banks fighting and conquering all
the way. In one of these fights he was wounded and when they again reached
Persia he went to Susa to rest.
Here he induced eighty of his officers and ten thousand of his troops to
marry Asiatic women. To all such he gave handsome wedding presents. He also
took many Asiatic men into his army and taught them how to march and to
fight like the Greeks.
In the spring of 324 B.C. he went to Babylon intending to make that the
capital city of the world. The magicians, or wise men, had told him that to
go to that place would be fatal to him but he paid no attention to their
His thoughts were gloomy and he was in very low spirits. He had caught
malarial fever in the marshes of the Tigris and he injured himself by the
use of strong drink. After a short illness all could see that he must soon
His friends said to him, "O mighty king, who shall take the kingdom after
you are gone?"
He answered, "The strongest." His signet ring he
 gave to Perdiccas, who was afterwards made commander of the army. Alexander
was not thirty-three years old when he died and he had reigned less than
thirteen years. His life had been full of battle and victory but he could
not escape death.
He was buried in Babylon but his body was afterwards removed to Alexandria
where it was interred in a coffin of gold.
His Macedonian officers divided his vast empire among them but none of them
was great enough to be a true leader, and they quarreled and killed one
another. Perdiccas was one of those who were put to death.
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