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Alexander the Great (356—323 bc) king of Macedon 336–323




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River of the Punjab, where Alexander (2) the Great defeated Porus in 326 bc. After continually stretching the enemy by marching and countermarching along the river, Alexander crossed it before dawn under cover of a thunderstorm, probably with only 6,000 foot and 5,000 horse. Porus sent forward an advance force of Indian cavalry and chariots, which was routed by Alexander's cavalry screen, and interspersed his infantry with elephants, placing cavalry and chariots on the wings. But under attack by Alexander's cavalry, the Indian horse took refuge amongst the infantry, causing confusion, and uncovering its flanks and rear. In the centre the Macedonian infantry were able to open gaps in their line to accommodate elephants where necessary, and to use their pikes to drive others back on their own infantry, after dislodging their mahouts. Virtually surrounded, the Indian army was all but annihilated, and Porus himself captured.

Subjects: Classical studies

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