Darius III (Codomannus) readied his troops in Anatolia, Syria, and Phoenicia when he heard that the young Alexander of Macedon and his troops crossed already crossed Asia from Europe. Darius had the Phoenician fleet on standby and five thousand Macedonian mercenaries led by Memnon of Rhodes on land to defend his territories. Phoenicia made a brave stand and resisted invasion as best they could, but were overcome and became a Greco-Macedonian Monarch during 332 BC according to the Bible Timeline Chart with World History. The Macedonian troops led by Alexander and the Persian troops led by Memnon along with the satraps of Asia Minor met on the banks of the Granicus River. The Persian troops lost the Battle of Granicus and Alexander would later defeat the Persian army led by Darius in the Battle of Issus.
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The Macedonian troops led by Alexander and the Persian troops led by Memnon along with the satraps of Asia Minor met at the banks of the Granicus River. The Persian troops lost the Battle of Granicus and Alexander would later defeat the Persian army led by Darius in the Battle of Issus.
The breakdown of the Persian rule now left the coast of Phoenicia open to Alexander and the Macedonian army. Left without a choice, the Phoenicians surrendered to Alexander immediately and the cities of Marathus, Mariamme, Sigon, and Aradus were the first ones to open the city gates. The cities of Byblos and Sidon also welcomed Alexander without bloodshed. Their kings were away in the service of the Persian-Phoenician fleet, but the city of Tyre held out against the Macedonian and Greek forces.
The Siege of Tyre started in 332 BC after Alexander requested the envoys of the city to allow him to make a sacrifice to Heracles in a temple of Melkarth in New Tyre. The Tyrians refused and asked him to make the sacrifice in a temple in Old Tyre instead—a refusal which Alexander took as a sign of rebellion against his authority. The people of the city of Tyre tried to defend themselves against Alexander and his army. They sent the women, children, and other vulnerable people to Carthage for safety. The Tyrians also fanned Alexander’s anger after they killed his negotiators.
Following an initial victory on the side of the Tyrians, Alexander called on his allies (including those from Phoenician cities of Sidon, Byblos, and Aradus) to send him additional fleets. The outnumbered Tyrians were taken by surprise. However, they defended the city until Alexander’s combined Greek and Macedonian troops entered and killed many people. Several were also sold into slavery, but the king and his family were spared. It took Alexander and his army seven months until they successfully conquered Tyre. He then removed the Tyrian king from his throne and replaced him with a man named Ballonymos.
Alexander ruled Tyre after the war and the Phoenicians’ trade with other Mediterranean ports resumed. Phoenician soldiers and sailors served in Alexander’s army and navy, while Phoenician shipbuilders provided Alexander with the ships, he needed for various campaigns. Before his death, Alexander planned to conquer the Persian Gulf with the help of the Phoenician navy. The plan was discontinued when Alexander died in Babylon in 323 BC.
Picture By Berthold Werner, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=32224321
Diodorus, and C. H. Oldfather. The Library of History. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2004
Rawlinson, George. History of Phoenicia. London: Longmans, Green, 1889
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