Alexandria's founded by Alexander

Alexandria's founded by Alexander the Great (by year BC): 334 Alexandria in Troia (Turkey) - 333 Alexandria at Issus/Alexandrette (Iskenderun, Turkey) - 332 Alexandria of Caria/by the Latmos (Alinda, Turkey) - 331 Alexandria Mygdoniae - 331 Alexandria (Egypt) - 330 Alexandria in Areia (Herat, Afghanistan) - 330 Alexandria of the Prophthasia/in Drangiana/Phrada (Farah, Afghanistan) - 330 Alexandria in Arachosia (Kandahar, Afghanistan) - 330 Alexandria in Caucasus (Begram, Afghanistan) - 329 Alexandria of the Paropanisades (Ghazni, Afghanistan) - 329 Alexandria Eschate or Ultima (Khodjend, Tajikistan) - 329 Alexandria on the Oxus (Ai-Khanoum OR Termez, Afghanistan) - 328 Alexandria in Margiana (Merv, Turkmenistan) - 326 Alexandria Nicaea (on the Hydaspes, India) - 326 Alexandria Bucephala (on the Hydaspes, India) - 325 Alexandria Sogdia - 325 Alexandria Rambacia (Bela, Pakistan) - 325 Alexandria Oreitide - 325 Alexandria in Opiene (confluence of Indus & Acesines, India) - 325 Alexandria on the Indus - 325 Alexandria Xylinepolis (Patala, India) - 325 Alexandria in Carminia (Gulashkird, Iran) - 324 Alexandria-on-the-Tigris/Antiochia-in-Susiana/Charax (Spasinou Charax on the Tigris, Iraq) - ?Alexandria of Carmahle? (Kahnu)

Monday, November 17, 2014

Issus lived on after Alexander defeated King Darius

It is very rewarding to hear that excavations at the site of Issus are still ongoing since I last was there in 2007. Issus is situated near the Pinarus River (modern Payas River) where Alexander the Great faced King Darius III for the first time, although this was his second battle against the Persians (that occurred at the Granicus). This significant battle took place in 333 BC and we know how Alexander came out of it victorious.

Today’s appearance of Issus is non-impressive, a mere hill in the middle of an oil refinery guarded by an overseers with a gun. Excavations have been carried out over the past eight years and so far we know that the city lived off trade and was already important in 545 BC.

Beside a Roman road lined with shops, archaeologists have unearthed a Roman amphitheater and the seats have already been cleared. Work is now concentrating on exposing the stage. Another important feature is the Odeon that seems to have served as a music room. It has been suggested that people suffering from certain ailments were brought into this room to enjoy the relaxation of music. Why not?

Issus is only slowly revealing its secrets as a multicultural city occupied alternately by the Romans, Byzantines, late Hittites, Persians, Greeks and Ottomans. For me, it will always be connected with Alexander and his famous battle, and maybe one day some signs of his passing through will be exposed.

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