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Alexander’s Leap into the Citidel

by Gormack on March 4th, 2016

History’s favorite megolomanic demagogue, Alexander of Macedon, had his moment when judgement failed.

The great general was legendary for personal bravery; at all times single minded and aggressive in pursuit of his aims.

So it was in 325 BC when campaigns led him to ancient Ariana, a region that has seen the death of aspirations for many great empires: England; Russia; America; others.

The Mallians stood in the way of his efforts to subdue the Punjab and soon the Macedonians laid seige to the citidel at Multan where they held out.

The fortifications were substantial, but his troops breached the outer wall and began to undermine the the inner citadel, but Alexander became frustrated at the pace. He took a ladder and scaled the wall himself.

A few of his soldiers followed, but the rest begged him to come down, but he would not; instead he lept into the inner city by himself! And though he killed the leader of the Malli he was gravely wounded by an arrow that pierced his lung.

His troops with a desperate, frantic effort joined him there. His men thought him dead but he was alive; barely alive. In antiquity no one survived such a wound, but Alexander did.

But many say his constitution was ruined and two years later he succumbed to illness in Babylon and died. Did his unwise leap change the course of history? Maybe. Perhaps his empire would have lasted centuries, doing great things like the Persians he displaced; but maybe there was another Multan moment just around the corner.

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