The prose life of Alexander

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The return; second campaign against Persia

say sothe, Alexander has few knights, but they are strange, that has slain my knights that were so many, so that [vnnethe] might I escape out of their hands. Alexander, if all he had the victories of his enemies, he bore him never the higher therefore, and emprided him not thereof. But both Persians and Macedonians that were slain, he [gert] bring to burial. And then he come with his Oste into [Cecitl], where many cities submit them unto him, and of that room, "there went with him [xvij. M.] fighting men. And from [thethyn] he come to Ysaury, the [whilke], without any again standing, was [zolden] unto him. And Alexander went upon the Mount Taurus, and found there a city men called Persepolis, and there betook with him a certain of men of arms, and went so through Asye, and won many Cities. And so he come into Phrygia, and went into the temple of the sun, and there he made sacrifice to the sun. From [tbetbyn], he come to a river, that is called Stamandra, and there he said to his men. 'Blessed must be,' quoth he, 'that has gotten the commendations and the praisings of the good doctor Homer,' and one of his men answered & said, "My lord king,' quoth he, 'Methinks I may [sauely] write my praisings & longings of thee, than Homer did of them that destroyed the city of Tyrene. For thou has done in thy time most worshipful things, than ever did they.' And Alexander answered & said, '[Me ware leuer,'] quoth he, 'be a wise man's disciple than for to have the longings of Achilles.' After tbis he removed with his Oste into Macedonia, & found his mother Olympias well cured of her sickness and sojourned there with her a while. And then he ordained him for to [wende] again into Persia, And cast him for to lodge at a City, that men called Abandryan. The men of the City, when they heard tell of his coming, they [sperede] the gates of the City, and watched the city one each aside. And when Alexander saw that, be went & assailed the City. And the burgess of the City, when they saw that the city was not strange enough of the selfe, for to withstand the assault of their enemies, they cried to Alexander & said, 'King Alexander,' quoth they, 'we [spered]

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Alexander denounces the oracle of Apollo.

not the gates of [the] city to that entent for to withstand the dread of Darius, king of Persia, the which as it was told to us, is proposed for to send his men hither, for to destroy us & our city.' And then Alexander said unto them again. "If thee will, 'quoth he, 'that we destroy thou not, open your gates, and when I have made an end with Darius, then shall I come again, & speak with thou.' And then the Citizens opened the gates. From [thethyn] then went to Comnoliche. And from [thethyn] to Bihoy, and so to Caldiple. Soon they come to a great river, where Alexander Oste had great [defaute] of victuals, and then his knights mourned greatly and said, 'Our horses,' quoth they, 'fails us [ay] mare & mare.' Alexander answered, & said, 'A A, my doubty knights,' quoth he, 'that [zitt heder-towards] has in wars suffered many perils and much disease, are [ze] now in despair of [zour hele] for the failing of your horses. Shall we not get horses now, and we live and have [qwert], and if we die we shall have no need of horse, [and?] they may do us no profit. Haste we us therefore in all that we may to the place where we shall get horses without number, and victuals also, both for ourselfes & for our horses.' When he had all said, they went forth and come to a place that is called Luctus, that is to say weeping, where they found victuals enough, and [mete] enough for their horse. From [thethyn] they removed & come to a place that [hatt] Trigangantes, and there they [luged] them. And Alexander went into a temple of Apollo; whereas he [aghteled] to have made Sacrifice, and have had answer of that god of certain things that he would have asked. But a woman that [hizte zacora], who was preste of that temple, told Alexander that then was not the time of answer. On the Morn, Alexander come to the temple & made his sacrifice. And Apollo said to Alexander, 'Hercules,' quoth he. And Alexander answered, & said, 'Now that thou calls me Hercules,' quoth he: 'I see well that all thine answers are false.' From [thethyn] Alexander went to a city that is called Thebea, and said unto the folk of the cite: 'Sends me forth,' quoth he, "four hundred knights, well armed, for to wend with

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Alexander destroys the Thebeans.

us in suppoellyiig of us.' And when the Thebeans heard their words, they [spered] the gates of the city, for to withstand Alexander, and went to the walls and cried loud that Alexander might hear: 'Alexander,' quoth they, 'but if thou go [hethyn] from us, we shall do thee a villainy and thy knights also,' When Alexander heard this, he smiled & said,: 'The Thebeans,' quoth he, 'that are so much praised & commended of strength, [Spere] ye your gates & say ye will fight with me; there is no doubty man of arms that couldst for to have worship and lose; that will close him whthin walls, but fights with his enemies manly in the field.' When he had said their words, he bade that four thousands archers should go aboute the city with their bows & lay upon them with arrows that stood upon the walls. And he bade two hundred men of arms go to the walls, and [myne] them down, and a hundred he bade take firebrands, & go to the gates & burn them. And he ordained other four hendred men, for to [bett] down the walls with [Sewes] of war, Engines and Guns & other manner of Instruments of war. And himself, and the remnant of the oste lay near them to succor them when they had need. And [belyfe] from they had given assault to the city, the gates were burnt, & much folk was slain within the city, Some with arrows, some with [stanes] of Engines; the Fire also began for to set in houses within the city, & raise a great [lowe]. In the Oste of Alexander was, the same time, a man the [whilke highte] Cisterus, a great enemy to the city. He, when he saw the city burn, made right merry. But a man of the city that [highte] Hismon, when he saw his country [pusgates] be destroyed, come and fell on knees before Alexander, and began for to sing a song of music & of mourning with an Instrument of Music, Supposing thereby for to draw Alexander's heart to Mercy, & stir him to have [rewthe] on the city. Alexander beheld him, & said: 'Maister,' quoth he 'whereto sings thou me this song?' 'A A lord,' quoth Hismon, 'to look [zife] I might stir thy heart to have mercy on the city.' And then Alexander was wonder wrath, and bade [dynge] the walls of the city down to the hard earth. And when they had so done they removed & went their way, and one of the worthiest men of the city, the [whilke hyghte] Clitomarus, went with them in company. But the Thebeans that were left after the burning

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Clitomarus by wrestling rebuilds his city.

of the city went to the temple of Apollo, and asked whether evermore their city should be repaired again. Apollo answered, & said, 'he that shall build this city again shall have three victories. And when he has gotten three victories, he shall anon come & repair this city, and build it again, also well, as ever it was.

Alexander from the city of Thebe, went to Corynthe, and there come to him certain lords, praying him that he would come & see a wrestling. And he granted them. And to this [ilke] wrestling there come folk without number. And when all men were gathered, Alexander said: 'Which of thou,' quoth he, 'shall go & begin this play.' Clitomarus then, of whom I spake before, kneeled before the king, & said: 'Lord,' quoth he, '& ye will vouchsafe to give me leave, I will begin.' And Alexander bade him go to. And Clitomarus went into the place, and the first man that come in his hand, at the first turn, he threw him wide open. And Alexander said unto him: 'Cast three men,' quoth he, '& thou shall be crowned.' Then there come another man to Clitomarus and [vnnethez] he come in his hands, when he was casten wide open. And in the same ways, he served the third. And then Alexander Great set on his head a precious crown, and the kings surrounds spurred him what his name was. 'My name,' quoth he, 'is without city.' When Alexander heard that he said unto him: 'Thou noble restler,' quoth he, 'why art thou called without city?' 'Worshipful emperor,' quoth he, 'before that ye were the emperors Dyademe, I had a city full of folks & of riches. But now, since ye come to this estate & this dignity, I am spoiled & proud of my city.' And when [he] heard this, he [wiste] well that he [ment] of the city of Thebe. And then he [garte] his sergeants make a cry that he had given Clitomarus leave for to repair the city of Thebes. From Corinthe, Alexander and his oste removed to a city that [highte] Platea, of the which a man that [highte] Scrassageras was prince. And Alexander went to the temple of Diane, and found there a women priest, the which was a maiden, & so was arrayed like priests of that time. And when she saw Alexander, she said unto him: 'Alexander,' quoth she, 'thou

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Alexander writes to the Athenians.

art welcome. Thou shall conquer all the world.' On the morn Scrassageras went to the same temple, and also as the priest saw him, she said unto him : ' Scrassageras quoth she, ' what thou within a short while thou shall be deprived of the lordship that thou now has?' And when he heard this he was right wrathe with her, & said, 'thou art not worthy,' quoth he, 'for to be priest here. Alexander come to the yesterday, and thou prophesied him good; And to me thou says, that I shall lose all my lordship.' And she answered; & said, "Bee not angry to me,' quoth she: 'for all this [buse] be fulfilled,' and nothing thereof left [ne overhippede.'] A little after it fell that Alexander was greatly angered at Scraggageras, and took from. him his lordship, & Scrassageras went to the city of Athenz, and [sare wepande] he complained him to the citizens of Athenz & told them how that Alexander had deprived him of his lordship. And then the Atheneans were wonder wrathe towards Alexander, and made great boast & menace, that they should rise against him, but if he restored Scrassageras again to his lordship. Alexander removed his Oste from Platea to the city of Athens, and when he heard tell that the Atheneans were wrathe to himward, and menaced him, he wrote unto them a letter that spake on this ways.

Alexander, the son of Philippe and of queen Olympias, unto the Atheneans, greeting. From the time that our father was dead, & we were set in the Throne of his dignity, we went into the west Marches, where all the folks that duells therefore the most party [zalde] them unto us without stress. From the city of Rome to the west sea ocean, all men submit them unto us that with our own free will we have taken them to our grace. And these that would not submit them to us with fareness, we have destroyed them & their cities, and [dougen] them down to the earth. And now this other day as we went from Macedonia & passed through Asye: by the city of Thebe, the Thebeans despised us, & [lete] as they set not by us. But anon we [garte] their pride fall, and de-

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