Gaugamela, Battle of


Gaugamela, Battle of
(331 BC) Clash between the forces of Alexander the Great and Darius III of Persia that brought the fall of the Persian empire.

Attempting to stop Alexander's incursions, Darius prepared a battleground on the Plain of Gaugamela in present-day Iraq and, with his much larger army, waited for Alexander. His plans were undone by Alexander's brilliant tactics; when Darius saw defeat was imminent, he fled and his army was cut down. Alexander's victory gave him control of South Asia.

* * *

▪ 331 BC
also called  Battle of Arbela 

      (Oct. 1, 331 BC) clash between the forces of Alexander the Great of Macedonia and Darius III of Persia that decided the fate of the Persian empire. Attempting to stop Alexander's incursion into the Persian empire, Darius prepared a battleground on the Plain of Gaugamela, near Arbela (present-day Irbīl in northern Iraq), and posted his troops to await Alexander's advance. Darius had the terrain of the prospective battlefield smoothed level so that his many chariots could operate with maximum effectiveness against the Macedonians. His total forces greatly outnumbered those of Alexander, whose forces amounted to about 40,000 infantry and 7,000 cavalry.

      Alexander's well-trained army faced Darius' massive battle line and organized for attack, charging the left of the Persians' line with archers, javelin throwers, and cavalry, while defending against Darius' outflanking cavalry with reserve flank guards. A charge by Persian scythed chariots aimed at the centre of Alexander's forces was defeated by Macedonian lightly armed soldiers. During the combat, so much of Darius' cavalry on his left flank were drawn into the battle that they left the Persian infantry in the centre of the battle line exposed. Alexander and his personal cavalry immediately wheeled half left and penetrated this gap and then wheeled again to attack the Persians' flank and rear. At this Darius took flight, and panic spread through his entire army, which began a headlong retreat while being cut down by the pursuing Greeks. The Macedonian victory spelled the end of the Persian empire founded by Cyrus II the Great and left Alexander the master of southwest Asia.

* * *


Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • battle — battle1 battler, n. /bat l/, n., v., battled, battling. n. 1. a hostile encounter or engagement between opposing military forces: the battle of Waterloo. 2. participation in such hostile encounters or engagements: wounds received in battle. 3. a… …   Universalium

  • Battle of Issus (disambiguation) — Battle of Issus may refer to: *Battle of Issus (or The Battle at Issus ) (333 BC), a battle in which Alexander the Great of Macedonia defeated Darius III of Persia. *Battle of Issus (194), the third major battle fought between Roman Emperor… …   Wikipedia

  • Battle of Gaugamela — Infobox Military Conflict caption= The charge of the Persian scythed chariots at the Battle of Gaugamela by Andre Castaigne (1898 1899) conflict=Battle of Gaugamela partof=the Wars of Alexander the Great date=October 1, 331 BC place=Probably Tel… …   Wikipedia

  • Battle of the Persian Gate — Infobox Military Conflict conflict=Battle of the Persian Gate partof=the Wars of Alexander the Great date=January 20, 330 BC place=Persian Gate, near Persepolis result=Macedonian victory. territory=Alexander maintains control of half of Persia.… …   Wikipedia

  • Battle of Issus — Infobox Military Conflict caption=Alexander battling Darius at the Battle of Issus conflict=Battle of Issus partof=the Wars of Alexander the Great date=November 5, 333 BC place=Issus, Turkey territory=Alexander controls southern Asia Minor.… …   Wikipedia

  • Battle of the Hydaspes — Infobox Military Conflict caption=A painting by Andre Castaigne depicting the phalanx attacking the centre during the Battle of the Hydaspes conflict=Battle of the Hydaspes|partof=the Wars of Alexander the Great date=326 BC place=Near the… …   Wikipedia

  • Battle of Gaugamela — (331 b.c.)    A huge battle fought between the forces of the twenty five year old Macedonian king Alexander III, later called the Great, and Persia s King Darius III. Alexander had already defeated Darius at Issus in northern Syria in 333 b.c.… …   Ancient Mesopotamia dictioary

  • battle — Synonyms and related words: Actium, Adrianople, Aegates Isles, Aegospotami, Agincourt, Antietam, Anzio, Arbela Gaugamela, Ardennes, Austerlitz, Ayacucho, Balaclava, Bannockburn, Bataan Corregidor, Bismarck Sea, Blenheim, Bosworth Field, Bouvines …   Moby Thesaurus

  • Gaugamela — /gaw geuh mee leuh/, n. an ancient village in Assyria, E of Nineveh: Alexander the Great defeated Darius III here in 331 B.C. The battle is often mistakenly called battle of Arbela. * * * …   Universalium

  • Gaugamela — /gaw geuh mee leuh/, n. an ancient village in Assyria, E of Nineveh: Alexander the Great defeated Darius III here in 331 B.C. The battle is often mistakenly called battle of Arbela …   Useful english dictionary


Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.