The Battle of Granicus was a major military engagement of Ancient Times. It was fought between the Macedonian Army, under Alexander the Great, and the Persian forces, commanded by Arsames, in 334 BC, during the war against Persia. It took place on the Granicus River, in Asia Minor, Persia Empire (modern Turkey). It was Alexander’s first victory against the satraps of Persia.

Having defeated the Thracian tribes on the Danube, Alexander had returned to Macedonia in 335 BC to organize an army for the conquest of Asia. Then, in 334, he crossed the Helespont (Dardanelles Straight) with 35,000 men, of which 30,000 were infantry and 5,000 cavalry; half of the Macedonian Army was composed of Greek hoplites from Tebas and Sparta. As he reached the Granicus River, he ran into the Persian Army, which consisted of 40,000 soldiers, the third of whom were Greek mercenaries. During the savage fighting that ensued, Alexander almost got killed by a Persian soldier, but he was saved by his friend Cleitus who cut the Persian down with his sword. The Persian Army was thoroughly defeated.

Weapons used

Macedonian long spear; short spear; short, broad-bladed sword (wielded by the Macedonians); long, narrow-bladed sword (used by the Persians); bow and arrow; shield, bronze helmet, breast-plate, etc.

The use of the long spear by the Macedonian Infantry

battleofgranicus-longspear

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