Image: Alexander at the Battle of Gaugamela; by Marshall Monroe Kirkman, 1842-1921 - History of Alexander the Great
, published in 1913. Public domain.
In 331 BC Alexander's army of the Hellenic League
met the Persian army of Darius III
near Gaugamela, close to the modern city of Duhok
in Iraqi Kurdistan
. Though heavily outnumbered, Alexander emerged victorious due to his army's superior tactics and his deft employment of light infantry. It was a decisive victory for the Hellenic League and led to the fall of the Achaemenid Empire.
Note that there still exists there a large mound, a sort of small hillock, where Alexander obliged his soldiers to carry large baskets of earth and empty them in order to strengthen them for the following day’s battle. It remains untouched till today on the road from Duhok to Erbil. [reported as seen by JBS editor]
"The Darwinian human spiral has not changed human thinking all that much."
Makers of Ancient Strategy: From the Persian Wars to the Fall of Rome,
Kindle Edition, by Victor Davis Hanson
In this prequel to the now-classic Makers of Modern Strategy, Victor Davis Hanson, a leading scholar of ancient military history, gathers prominent thinkers to explore key facets of warfare, strategy, and foreign policy in the Greco-Roman world. From the Persian Wars to the final defense of the Roman Empire, Makers of Ancient Strategy demonstrates that the military thinking and policies of the ancient Greeks and Romans remain surprisingly relevant for understanding conflict in the modern world.
The book reveals that much of the organized violence witnessed today--such as counterterrorism, urban fighting, insurgencies, preemptive war, and ethnic cleansing--has ample precedent in the classical era. The book examines the preemption and unilateralism used to instill democracy during Epaminondas's great invasion of the Peloponnesus in 369 BC, as well as the counterinsurgency and terrorism that characterized Rome's battles with insurgents such as Spartacus, Mithridates, and the Cilician pirates. The collection looks at the urban warfare that became increasingly common as more battles were fought within city walls, and follows the careful tactical strategies of statesmen as diverse as Pericles, Demosthenes, Alexander, Pyrrhus, Caesar, and Augustus. Makers of Ancient Strategy shows how Greco-Roman history sheds light on wars of every age. In addition to the editor, the contributors are David L. Berkey, Adrian Goldsworthy, Peter J. Heather, Tom Holland, Donald Kagan, John W. I. Lee, Susan Mattern, Barry Strauss, and Ian Worthington.