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The last Persian Great King of the Achaemenid dynasty - Darius III Codomannus - is remembered in history as the premier enemy who was beaten by Alexander. Darius had to abandon his commanding battlefield position twice, both at Issus and Gaugamela, under the pressure of the attacks by Alexander and his Macedonian Companion cavalry. With Darius the Achaemenid empire ceased to exist.

Darius had inherited a Persian empire that had been going through a period of revitalisation. Under king Artaxerxes III Ochus - one of the most able but also most violent Achaemenid monarchs - the empire had tightened its grip on the peoples living under its sway. Egypt was reconquered and Persian rule had been firmly re-established throughout West and Central Asia. However, Artaxerxes' harsh methods had made him lots of enemies in the court circles and he was poisoned in 338 BC. The next king, his son Arses, proved to be a weak non-entity who was quickly disposed of in another court intrigue. It is no surprise that Alexander's father Philip II launched his first advance campaign against Persia during the wobbly reign of Arses. Egypt too had managed to brake away from Persia once more.

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The last Persian Great King of the Achaemenid dynasty - Darius III Codomannus - is remembered in history as the premier enemy who was beaten by Alexander. Darius had to abandon his commanding battlefield position twice, both at Issus and Gaugamela, under the pressure of the attacks by Alexander and his Macedonian Companion cavalry. With Darius the Achaemenid empire ceased to exist.

Darius had inherited a Persian empire that had been going through a period of revitalisation. Under king Artaxerxes III Ochus - one of the most able but also most violent Achaemenid monarchs - the empire had tightened its grip on the peoples living under its sway. Egypt was reconquered and Persian rule had been firmly re-established throughout West and Central Asia. However, Artaxerxes' harsh methods had made him lots of enemies in the court circles and he was poisoned in 338 BC. The next king, his son Arses, proved to be a weak non-entity who was quickly disposed of in another court intrigue. It is no surprise that Alexander's father Philip II launched his first advance campaign against Persia during the wobbly reign of Arses. Egypt too had managed to brake away from Persia once more. More...

 
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