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Battle of Issus and Battle of Gaugamela summary

Image like the Battle of Issus and the Battle of Gaugamela

The Battle of Issus and the Battle of Gaugamela are both battles between the Kingdom of Macedonia and Achaemenid Empire.

And in both battles, the Persian army lost.

Because of this common history,

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I don't understand the specific difference between these two battles!

I guess there are a lot of people who think so.

What is the difference between these two battles?

Here is a detailed explanation of each battle!

Battle of Issus and Battle of Gaugamela

The battle that occurred first is the Battle of Issus.

This battle is the second largest battle that occurred during Alexander the Great's eastern expedition.

To learn more about Alexander the Great's Eastern Expedition,

What is the "Eastern Expedition"?

Please read this article.

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Who is Alexander the Great?

If you wonder so,

What kind of person was Alexander the Great

Please also read this article.

The Battle of Issus was fought in the land of Issus.

The Battle of Gaugamela, on the other hand, occurred later and took place in the land of Gaugamela.

Alexander the Great of Macedonia vs. Darius III of Achaemenid Empire

Both are complicated because they are battles by the same people.

But if I had to name the difference between the two battles, it would be the time period and the land.

From here, I would like to explain each battle in more detail.

The Dawn of the Battle of Issos

The allied forces of the Kingdom of Macedonia and the League of Corinth, led by Alexander, embarked on an expedition to Asia, and continued their march to conquer the entire Asia Minor.

The League of Corinth was an alliance formed after the Macedonian King Philip II's victory over the Athenian-Theban allies at the Battle of Chaeronea.

All Greek polis except Sparta joined.

To learn more about the Battle of Chaeronea, which led to the formation of this alliance,

Why did the Battle of Chaeronea happen?

Please read this article as well.

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Darius III of Achaemenid Persia is preparing a large army!

Hearing this information, Alexander tried to occupy the Gulf of Issus first.

There was a reason for this.

If Darius III reached the Gulf of Issus, he would have the support of the Persian fleet.

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I hope not...!

And Alexander headed south.

On the other hand, the Persian army went north in the opposite direction and aimed at Issus.

As a result, the Persian army occupied Issus without resistance and waited for the Macedonian army.

The Battle of Issus and Afterwards

The total forces of each army can be summarized as follows:

  • Persian army: 600,000 men
  • Macedonian army: less than 40,000 including Greek allied forces

The difference in military strength was desperate.

However, despite the disadvantageous situation, Alexander's skillful tactics defeated the Persian army.

Moreover, the Macedonian army massacred even the fleeing Persian army.

This was the first defeat of a Persian army led by the king himself.

And this is where the decline of the Persian Empire began.

In this battle, the Macedonian army captured women including the wife of Darius III.

Alexander treated the captured women with respect and later married one of them.

After this battle, Darius III made a peace offer.

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No, it is impossible!

Alexander the Great rejected the offer like this.

The Dawn of the Battle of Gaugamela

After the Battle of Issus, Alexander conquered the Mediterranean region and Egypt.

Then, he gradually approached Achaemenid Empire where Darius III was located.

In response to this action, Darius III gathered an army from all over the empire and organized a large force.

He prepared a force of some 200,000 to 250,000 men (according to various theories) in an attempt to defeat Alexander in numbers.

Furthermore, he chose the plains as his battlefield, where he could utilize his chariots and large number of soldiers, which were the strong points of the Persian army, to his advantage.

This overwhelming preparation power shows the enthusiasm of the Persian army.

Thus, although the Persian army boasted an overwhelming number of troops, it was inferior to the Macedonian army in terms of quality.

For example, against the Macedonian army armed with 6-meter long spears, most of the Persian infantrymen were poorly trained and poorly armed.

Alexander's strategic genius also contributed to the victory of the battle.

He was very good at creating a breach between the enemy forces and attacking directly to the center from there.

He also developed other strategies to defend against chariots, which was a strong point of the Persian army.

The Battle of Gaugamela and Beyond

As a result, Alexander misled Darius' cavalry, which rushed toward the chasm that had been created in the center.

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Fearing this attack, the Persian army, including Darius III, run away.

For Alexander, who tried to chase after him like that,

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Please help me, Alexander...!

He received a messenger of help from his trusted general Parmenion.

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Should I risk the collapse of the Macedonian army to continue the pursuit, or should he go to rescue Parmenion?

Alexander was faced with the choices.

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Okay, let's go save Parmenion and then go after Darius!

This is what happened in the end.

Alexander and his men then beat up the Persian army.

After the battle, Alexander rushed after Darius III, but he finally got away.

After this, Alexander became known as the "Great King".

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Reorganize the army! This time, I'm going to hurt you badly...!

Darius III thought so, but he was betrayed and killed by one of his men.

This was the end of Achaemenid Empire.

Mesopotamian civilization has many more histories.

To learn more about the history of Mesopotamian civilization,

What is the Mesopotamian civilization?

Please also read this article.