Talk:Battle of Gaugamela

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Shouldn't this be mentioned?[edit]

I thought this battle marked the end of the use of the war chariot as a major weapon of war because of alexander's tactics. I'm not a regular editor or anything,so i'm not doing it, but just thought that should be added. You're wrong chariots were used in britain during the ceaser's invasion commentaries on gallic war 4:32

Effectiveness of the Persian Army[edit]

Will someone please link me to a page containing a decisive Persian victory? It seems like the entire history of that empire is fielding huge armies and getting butchered by smaller ones (Thermopylae, Salamis, Gaugamela, Plataea, etc.) —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 03:19, 23 October 2008 (UTC)

Look up Cyrus the Great —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:14, 24 April 2011 (UTC)


The article says, "The battle is also inaccurately called the Battle of Arbela." In which sense is this incorrect? - Nat Krause(Talk!) 22:59, 8 April 2006 (UTC)

I also would like to know why the alternative name is "inaccurate." Why can't it just say "The battle is also called the Battle of Arbela"? Or, "The battle is less commonly called the Battle of Arbela"?- Mark1000 30 Sep 2006 (I'm afraid I'm new to "talk," so I don't know what that link means. I apologize for any ettiquette violations.)

This is a good site for this stuff I am the anonymous making the changes, in accordance to this source

Army Size[edit]

These numbers are inflated. There is no way the Persians had so many men. Historians cannot put numbers on battles this ancient and on battles that have so widely been exaggerated for thousands of years no matter how hard they try. I say we put both armies at unknown numbers.Khosrow II 04:49, 23 July 2006 (UTC)

Yes they could have been so large see [4]. Since the time of Niebuhr it has been accepted as a doctrine in the west that before the modern era armies could have never measured more than 100,000. This goes against a fundamental principle in science: there is no such thing as doctrine, doctrine is for religion only. The Persians had a population base of 70,000,000 at the time Alexander invaded, and managed to send 400,000+ in Greece in 480 BC (after 10 years of preparations). Ancient sources consistenly give 600 as the size of a Persian fleet unit (though this meant 138,000 rowers and marines). As for land army 60,000 as the size of a corps and 300,000 as the size of an army unit. These numbers come from various sources including the eye-witnesses Xenophon and Ctesias. Why would Ctesias, who wrote from Persian sources and was Artaxerxes Memnon's personal physician, lived in the Persian court and saw armies every day exagerate about their size? The Persians were much more capable of supplying large armies than they are being given credit. PS I am who changed the page. More some reason I got logged off. Ikokki 13:07, 3 October 2006 (UTC)
Those are very incorrect. First of all, the population of the Persian Empire at that time was around 40 million maximum. The Greeks were known for exaggerating everythign to make themselves look better. If you think about it, if an army of the size the Greeks said they faced in Persian actual existed, then there would be no way the Greeks could possibly win. No matter how good they were, they would eventually have been overrun. For example, the Greeks at thermopolae, who had everything to their advantage, were eventually over run, so how is it that Alexanders army, that fought on open terrain, could not be overrun? Its these things that dont make sense. The numbers were greatly exaggerated, and there was no way the Kings of Persia could sustain such large armies. Not even the Romans, who had twice the population of the Persian Empire, were able to raise that large of an army.Khosrow II 22:18, 3 October 2006 (UTC)
Even if you disagree with the assertion do not remove references. Better yet, put up a reference with those that support your numbers. If the Persian empire had a population of 40,000,000 at 5% draft rate (the rate for modern armies) it could draft an army of 800,000. However in antiquity the draft rate was more like 30%, that part of the Greek population was drafted for Plataea. Now the Persian had 300,000 at Plataea, not only because Herodotus said so but because,as Macan and Munro have pointed out, he gives the names of 29 Μυριαρχοι that is leaders of the baivabaram. The baivabaram had 10,000 soldiers. Now if the Persians had managed to sent (albeit with 10 years of preparation) 400,000+ soldiers to Greece, why could they not draft 250,000 (Rufus' number) in Gaugamela? I do not believe that Greek writers are exaderating in Persian numbers, I believe that their modern critics are excessively dogmatic in their approach. And no, the Roman Empire had a smaller population than the Persian Empire. At its maximum, in the second century AD it had a population no more than 70,000,000 with a lower population density, especially in the West. The Persians controlled Asia Minor, Syria and Egypt (like the Romans) but also the densely populated Mesopotamia, the Iranian Plateau and Bactria thus having a larger population. Ikokki 11:04, 4 October 2006 (UTC)
We must not forget the the hoplites were the most heavily armed soldiers in the world (or at least in the West) at that time. In Thermopylae the Greeks lost because on the third day a local man showed the Persians the Anopaia Odos and the Persians encircled the Greek force. Let us not forget what happened earlier: According to Ctesias (who mostly wrote to please his Persian sponsors and used the Persian archives) the first 10,000 Persian soldiers sent were cut down to the last with the losses of 2 or 3 Greeks only (see Persica paragraph 27). In Pampremis the Egyptians were losing the battle to the Persians until the Athenians defeated the Persians opposite them and created a breach which the Egyptians used to defeat the Persians, again, the heavy armor of the hoplite was sucsessfull. It was not a racial thing, in the Battle of Gaza in 201 BC the Egyptians also formed a very sucsesfull phalanx. In any case Glotz accepts that at least 3 Persians were necessary to defeat one hoplite. Considering that it was never certain where the loyalty of Greek hoplites working for the Persians was to be, it is reasonable for the Darius to raise an Asian army capable of defeating on its own Alexander's force.
Numerical superiority helps but is not a prequisite for victory. Especially before gunpowder quality and discipline were a major factor. The Roman never raised huge armies because they never needed them. In the West, except for the Punic Wars, the Romans were mostly facing barbarians. In the East, they always had allies. Let us remember though that at the battle of Alesia Ceasar deafeted an army 6 to 7 times his size, why shouldn't Alexander? The Persians were fully capable of defeating Alexander until Darius fled the battle, leading to his army's dissolution. In case you disagree, that is acceptable. Do not remove though what ancient sources say. Change the phrasing so that, like at Battle of Thermopylae it says both theories over. Do not POV the article.Ikokki 11:33, 4 October 2006 (UTC)
You are getting many many thigns mixed up, especially with modern times. First of all, the population of the whole word at that time was probably a bit over 100 million, and the Persian Empire certainly did not posses 70 million of the entire population of the earth. Secondly, armies more than tens of thousands could not be supported at that time unless they were nomadic armies, which the Persians were not. Thirdly, if you say had as much men as you say for just one battle, then how could the Romans not summon such great armies? The Roman Empire had more people in it than the Persian empire did for its time period. Greek historians, as well as all historians in ancient times, exaggerated things a lot. Even Iranian historians did. For example, Iranian historians claimed an army of 300,000 Turks were defeated by only 12,000 Savaran (Persia's elite units) during the time of the Sassanid Empire.
Furthur disproving you and ancient Greek historians is the fact that as time moved on and sources became more credible, we know that the Romans and Parthians, and the Byzantines and Sassanids did not fight with armies in the hundreds of thousands. We also know that the Muslims and Christians did not fight with armies of hundreds of thousands. The fact is that Greek historians exaggerated a lot, you have to accept this.Khosrow II 20:23, 4 October 2006 (UTC)
The population of the world was around 200,000,000 at that time. The Roman empire had a population of 45 million in 14 AD out of 300,000,000 total (see [5] The Byzantines did send 135,000 at the time of Leo the Thracian to conquer the Vandal Kingdom (which failed), the Avar and Persian army at the time of Heraclius was also over 100,000 and the Arab army of the second Arab siege of Constantinople was way over 100,000, this is confirmed by both Arab and Byzantine sources, only 80,000 Arab cavalry escaped. The 1st crusade numbered 135,000 crusaders when it crossed the Bosporus. The population of Antiquity was bigger than in the Middle Ages (the Justiniac plague caused a serious reduction in world population) and so where the armies, something that Leo the Wise accepts in his book Tactics. Ancient states could also be as organised or better organised than later states. For his campaign in Greece Xerxes had built five major food depots in the north coast of the Aegean in which food over several years had been gathered to feed his army and had 3,000 transport ships bringing supplies.
The Romans never really faced major armies and thus did not need to form major armies at once. The did have though some 40 standing legions and thus 400,000 soldiers. The Germans that were menacing Gaul in the 3rd century were some 7,000-strong, obviously they did not need a large army to face them, just better leadership. In the battle of Cannes they faced the biggest army they ever encountered, thus they raised the biggest army they ever had to. In the campaigns they had in Greece they never had to face more than 40,000 Greeks, plus they had Greek allies on their side.
To return to the Persian army in Xerxes' invasion according to the critical school the Persian sent 200,000 land troops of which 60,000-120,000 were combat troops (a very ridiculus proposition IMO considering the Greeks raised 38,400 hoplites and a total of 110,000 troops at Plataea, if there were so few Persians why did they not face them at the border of Macedon, where they could also enjoy the support of Macedonian and Thessalian cavalry, instead of having them conquer and raze their cities?). Why would Darius raise a smaller army than that sent by Xerxes over a century earlier, especially so near his base of ops? In any case it is recongnise by everyone the superiority of the armaments of the Greeks could only be faced by an inferiorly armed army through superiority on numbers.
Even if you disagree with ancient sources do not remove them from the text, I will keep on reverting it back. Write why you believe it was not that high but there is no reason Arrian's, Diodorus' or Curtius Rufus numbers should not be on the main text. After all according to WP:TPA a great article:
  • acknowledges and explores all aspects of the subject; i.e., it covers every encyclopedic angle of the subject.
  • is well-documented; all facts are cited from reputable sources, preferably sources that are accessible and up-to-date.
I would really love to read a summary of how you (or better yet those who you copy) come up with these low numbers. Please do not do the lazy thing and revert the page, write where these numbers derive from after having them listed. I will add references of historians that accept ancient numbers tommorow, do add historians that accept your numbers (and better yet how they come up with them).Ikokki 00:46, 5 October 2006 (UTC)

Encyclopaedia Iranic clearly states that the ancient figures are worthless [6] (by the way, for those that dont know, Encyclopaedia Iranica is a work being carried out by Cambridge University and is considered to be the highest authority regarding Iranian history). I put unknown in, this way, everyone is happy. Its a good compromise.Khosrow II 23:53, 12 October 2006 (UTC)

Unlike say chemistry where there is an absolute source book called "Standard Methods" (which gets revised every few years) which tells you the proper way say to measure say calcium in a sample, in humanities there is no absolute source. I already mention 4 sources that claim that ancient numbers are right, the history of the Greek Nation was composed by the greatest academics (albeit thirty years ago), considering it included military and Persia specialists, there is no reason it should be less reliable Encyclopaedia Iranica.
Don't remove ancient sources. It will only get you in trouble with the editors. You might not like them but, in the name on neutrality, Wikipedia inlcudes pretty strange stuff. See for example New Chronology (Fomenko) Ikokki 13:34, 14 October 2006 (UTC)
Editors should only use common sense. If Xerxes can send 250,000 men on a punitive expedition just to raze Greece, then Darius III can certainly summon 250,000 men in a last ditch effort to save his dying empire. But then again academic ignorance seems to be the problem here. You give credit to modern sources which by all means are but theories yet you do not give credence to ancient sources closer to Alexander's timeline. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:03, 26 March 2009 (UTC)
What about civilian levies? Those peaseant guys given a short spear/sword and a wooden shield and no armour? They seemed to be common in ancient warfare. My book Warfare of the Classical World, list them. I forgot how many though.ParallelPain 05:37, 30 May 2007 (UTC)

Seek out a copy of Marsden's 'Campaign of Gaugamela' (Liverpool University Press, 1970s). I think this is the most reasoned and detailed account of the composition of both armies. Persian forces (discounting the second or reserve battle line of unenthusiastic levies who - these were not Kardakes which were a better grade of infantry and which had been pretty much wiped from the order of battle after Issos) effectively (e.g. main battle line) amount to 33,000 cavalry and only 9,000 infantry. Alexander's army comprising 38,500 infantry , but only around 7,000 cavalry.

I've just added a [who?] tag to this sentence in regards to troop numbers of the Persians "Many modern scholars[who?]agree that Darius III's army was no larger than 50,000". Who are these "many" modern scholars? Unless there's a good list I suggest "Some modern scholars..." or just name those scholars so that it reads "X and Y agree that..." Master z0b (talk) 02:30, 22 October 2008 (UTC)
If only the editor will use a little more common sense. Nebuchadnezzar ordered his general Holofernes to punish eastern satrapies which did not come to his aid in a previous war. Holofernes was given 100,000 and 15,000 cavalry. That's 100,000 troops just for a punitive expedition. Xerxes mustered 250,000 troops just to invade Greece. How did Wikipedia's vast knowledge come up with an idea that Darius could not muster 250,000 troops when Darius is fighting for the very survival of his empire and he had more than 1 year to prepare. A little more common sense will go a long way. These so-called "professional sources" are nothing more than an opinion.

I would say that the Persian army numbered 250,000 to 255,000 at most, no more than that. Had the case been that Alexander's army had indeed fought a 1,040,000 strong or a million men strong army and had won as effectively as they are portrayed to have won then they would certainly have not been unwilling to fight Nanda's 220,000 strong army with it's 3000 elephants as I am certain that no matter how terrifying Nanda's army may have seemed to the Greeks a million man army would have been far more terrifying to behold and far more demoralizing to fight and contemplate as such an army would indeed look like it is as vast as the sea and in case you do not agree with me all you need to do is imagine you are a soldier in the front lines of Alexander's army and have faced the Persians at Gaugamela and now have to face the Indians of Nanda's army, respectively, would you be as frightened and demoralized of the Indian army (as much as the Greeks actually were) if you knew that you have defeated an army 5 times larger than this one? No rather you would be able to encourage yourself to fight them and would have faith in your commander and king who has seen you through tougher conditions. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:30, 8 April 2009 (UTC)

Authoritative Sources[edit]

Would be modern historians of the caliber of Fox, Green, Bosworth etc, not Lendering. Wikipedia's guidelines say this about reliable sources:

"In general, the most reliable sources are books and journals published by university presses; mainstream newspapers; and magazines and journals published by known publishing houses. As a rule of thumb, the more people engaged in checking facts, analysing legal issues, and scrutinizing the writing, the more reliable the publication. Material that is self-published, whether on paper or online, is generally not regarded as reliable"[7]

"Anyone can create a website or pay to have a book published, then claim to be an expert in a certain field. For that reason, self-published books, personal websites, and blogs are largely not acceptable as sources.

Self-published material may be acceptable when produced by a well-known, professional researcher in a relevant field or a well-known professional journalist. These may be acceptable so long as their work has been previously published by reliable third-party publications. However, exercise caution: if the information in question is really worth reporting, someone else is likely to have done so."''[8]

Look that Lendering awnsers perfectly WP:RS: she is a respected Dutch scholar, and the piece in question compares also in the biography of Alexander she pubblished. This I know by the BMCR, a scholarly journal that reviws the book and mentions exactly this passage.--Aldux 01:38, 5 November 2006 (UTC)
The review of Lendering can be found here. I haven't been following this dispute closely but I agree with Aldux: Lendering meets WP:RS. (note that Lendering is male, however.) --Akhilleus (talk) 01:49, 5 November 2006 (UTC)

Thank you for the link. I accept that Lendering's mention in the BMCR, which I was not aware of, probably does make him meet WP:RS. However I am still not comfortable with the way that his theory about Darius's breaking features more prominently in this article than the more commonly held view of him instigating the flight of the whole army, which is supported by Arrian, Plutarch. I propose that this section is reworked to reflect that Lendering's opinion is in the minority. --Trolip (talk)

I have provided a quote from Arrian to create more balance in this section and have removed the comment about Diodorus agreeing, since his account of the battle is entirely different from the one in this article and is also different from Lendering's argument. Diodorus, like Arrian, says that the flight became general after Darius fled (17.60), which is different from Lendering's claim. I hope this is a fair compromise.--Trolip 02:57, 5 November 2006 (UTC)

Night Attack[edit]

Perhaps a piece on the discussion on the night(or dusk) preceding the battle, specifically the discussion between Alexander, Parmenio et al. about whether to launch a night attack could be included. It is, in my view, an important aspect on the battle, and shows a lot about Alexander's character and his feelings about the battle ahead. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:10, 3 April 2008 (UTC) Persians were waiting all night for a Macedonian attack .So if Alexander had attacked during the night he couldn't have used his tactics without a good view of the battle then for alexander would be left with either an orderly retreat or a pyrrhic victory


the number of Persian elite immortals were always kept at 10,000 no matter what. please do not change this to 15,000 as it is totally absurd. especially when most of the immortals perished in issus.

FYI There is still a 15,000 reference in the article.

By the time of Alexander's was against Persia the Immortals no longer existed as a Corps. of 10,000. There were two 1,000 strong Guard units, one of cavalry and one of infantry.

It wasn't the Immortals who 'perished at Issos' it wsa the Persian Kardakes (who were more like a citizen militia / paramilitary police). Armed with short spear, short axe (or sword) and shield, possibly with linen armour, no helmets and certainly not an elite guard.

WPMilHist assessment[edit]

Demoted to "Start", as citations are needed in the Location section. Ejosse1 (talk) 18:29, 24 September 2008 (UTC)

An observation that must be considered[edit]

The Battles of Salamis, Thermopylae, Mycale, and Marathon claim descisive Greek victory, when two or three Greek city states fought in these battles, yet the Battles of Gaugamela, Issus, Granicus claim Macedonian victory, when the whole of the Greeks fought against the Persians yet again, implying much from the point of the reader. Why Macedonian here and not Athenian victory at the battle of Marathon? But "descisive Greek victory"? What does that imply? Are the Macedonians distinct from the rest of the Greek nation? WAS THIS NOT A UNITED GREEK EXPEDITION? Was it not a Greek victory at Gaugamela, Issus and Granicus, etc? Were the Macedonians and the rest of the Greeks not united under the pan-Hellenic league of Corinth? Was this not a combined expedition of the Greeks against their traditional enemies the Persians? Are you authors attempting to re-write history?

And I quote!

Alexander sent to Athens three hundred full suits of Persian armour as a votive offering to Athena on the Acropolis, with orders for the following inscription to accompany them:”An offering from Alexander, son of Philip, and the Greeks, apart from the Spartans, taken from the barbarians who live in Asia.” Arrian I.16.7

Alexander wanted lo reinvigorate his men, it now being wintertime, and remained there at Persepolis for four months. It is said that, when the king first seated himself on the royal throne under the golden awning, the Corinthian Demaratus – a kindly man who had been a friend of Alexander’s father – burst into tears, as old men do. Those Greeks had been deprived of a very pleasurable experience, he reportedly said, who had died before seeing Alexander seated on Darius’ throne.

Plutarch, Alexander 37.6-7

It has been reported to me that it was the rhetorician Isocrates who was responsible for the servitude that the Macedonian imposed on the Persians. For the fame of the speech Panegyricus, which Isocrates delivered to the Greeks, spread to Macedonia, And it was this that first stirred Philip’s animosity towards Asia. When Philip died, the speech provided the incentive for his son Alexander, heir to his father’s estate, to keep up Philip’s momentum.

Aelian, Varia Historia 13.11

I added the last one because Isocrates was the only Greek who went around from city state to city state across ancient Greece and Magna Grecia, trying to convince the Greeks to attack the Persians and drive the barbarians from Asia Minor, he found fertile ground in the court of Philip II of Macedon. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs) 22:06, 28 March 2011

Misuse of sources[edit]

This article has been edited by a user who is known to have misused sources to unduly promote certain views (see WP:Jagged 85 cleanup). Examination of the sources used by this editor often reveals that the sources have been selectively interpreted or blatantly misrepresented, going beyond any reasonable interpretation of the authors' intent.

Diffs for each edit made by Jagged 85 are listed at Cleanup6. It may be easier to view the full history of the article.

A script has been used to generate the following summary. Each item is a diff showing the result of several consecutive edits to the article by Jagged 85, in chronological order.

Johnuniq (talk) 11:33, 3 May 2011 (UTC)

Clarification asked[edit]

In the article I find this line:" During the battle Alexander used an unusual strategy which has been duplicated only a few times throughout history. While the infantry battled the Persian troops in the center, Alexander began to ride all the way to the edge of the right flank, accompanied by his Companion Cavalry." Can somebody clarify this, preferably with sources?

  1. "An unusual strategy only a few times used troughout history." When and by whom?
  2. "Alexander began to ride all the way to the edge of the right flank, accompanied by his Companion Cavalry." This line doesn't correspond with the images included in the article. In the images one can see that the Companion Cavalry didn't ride all the way to the edge of the right flank. It is almost in the center. Again, is there anyone who can clarify this for me, and again preferably with sources.

Wereldburger758 (talk) 13:08, 21 October 2012 (UTC)

Mistake in the second picture of the battle[edit]

In the second picture of the battle (Alexander's decisive movement and Decisive Attack) one can see that one cavalry unit of the Persians has swerved around the left flank of the Greek and attacks the Greeks from behind. Again, are there any sources that state this. Logic says that if this had really happened, Alexander's left flank would have collapsed. To my recollection, the Persians were only able to breach the Greek falanx in the middle because of a gap that appeared in the lines and the Persians who breached it were dealt with by those who were left in reserve by Alexander. Wereldburger758 (talk) 13:18, 21 October 2012 (UTC)

First picture is wrong[edit]

Pretty clearly says in the description of the photo itself that it's "Porus at the Battle of the Hydaspes (Jhelum)," so totally different battle. Maybe the giant on an elephant should have given that away. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 07:59, 20 November 2013 (UTC)

I agree, first picture is about Hydaspes Battle. The enemy king doesn´t look like Dario, he does like Poro. Besides, we can see in the picture big trees and a large mass of water (the sea or a big river). We can´t find these elements in Gaugamela.--Gonzalo5331 (talk) 13:46, 12 November 2014 (UTC)

Contemporary Location of the Battlefield is Wrong[edit]

The section pertaining to the contemporary location of the Battle is incorrect, specifically the co-ordinates given for Stein's placement of the battlefield. When the file opens (I have only tried Google Earth,) the site indicates a location approximately 5 miles due east of the Ruins of Nineveh. In Notes on Alexander's Crossing Of the Tigris River Stein describes the battlefield as running "by the plain first on a line running approximately from near Qaraqosh in the south past Keramlais to the foot of the Jabal 'Ain-as-Satrah."[1] This would place the battlefield farther to the east and west. The town names have changed. Keramlais is now Karemlesh, and Qaraqosh is referred to by some as Bakhdida.

Stein also makes note of a large mound just west of Keramlais, which is clearly visible on satellite imaging viewers.[2] The rough terrain described by Stein just south of Qaraqosh, Arrian, and Curtius is also evident in any view, or on topographical maps.Cite error: A <ref> tag is missing the closing </ref> (see the help page). To the east of Qaraqosh is the high ground mentioned by Curtius that Alexander pressed his men to reach.[3]

As such, the easternmost part of the battlefield would run on a line from roughly 36°16'09"N, 43°22'04"E (Qaraqosh) to 36°22'36"N, 43°25'14"E (the base of Jabal 'Ain-as-Satrah,) with the mid-point located at 36°19'38"N, 43°23'50"E. The center of the battle line would be oriented almost exactly toward Nineveh, which makes logical sense, given Steins argument that Alexander most likely crossed the Tigris near Abu Wajnam,[4] and then proceeded towards Nineveh, where he rested his forces for four days.[5][6].

In light of these observations, I believe that co-ordinates to the battlefield should be changed to accurately reflect Stein's assessment of where the Battle of Gaugamela occurred. My recommendation would be vicinity of 36°19'38"N, 43°23'50"E, based on his very detailed description in Alexander's Crossing of the Tigris and the Battle of Arbela.

Note: Pardon the clutter, as this is my first Wikipedia post, I am not used to the reference templates. I am used to the CMS method of annotation, and manually entered all my references, and after several attempts to get my citations done, believe I have finally figured it all out.

Tank0133 (talk) 22:35, 3 December 2014 (UTC)Tank

[7] [8] [9] [10] [11] [12] [13] [14] [15]


  1. ^ 1
  2. ^ 2
  3. ^ 6
  4. ^ 7
  5. ^ 8
  6. ^ 9
  7. ^ Stein, Aurel (Oct. 1942). "Alexander's Crossing of the Tigris and the Battle of Arbela". The Geographical Journal. The Royal Geographical Society. 100 (4): 162. doi:10.2307/1788973. JSTOR 1788973. More than one of |pages= and |page= specified (help); Check date values in: |date= (help)
  8. ^ Stein. "Alexander's Crossing": 161. Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  9. ^ Stein. "Alexander's Crossing": 162. Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  10. ^ Arrian of Nicomedia (2014). "Anabasis Alexandri". The Complete Works of Alexander. Kindle Edition: 3.6.1.
  11. ^ Rufus, Quintus Curtius (2014). Radice, Betty (ed.). "The History of Alexander". Delphi Ancient Classics. Kindle Edition: 4.15.3. Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  12. ^ Curtius. "The History of Alexander": 4.8.16. Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  13. ^ Stein. Alexander's Crossing. p. 158.
  14. ^ Stein. Alexander's Crossing. p. 161.
  15. ^ Arrian. Anabasis Alexandri. p. 3.7.1.

greek vs macedonian[edit]

I think that all this fake "history" on Wikipedia is rubbish. It is under a huge influence of modern greek propaganda.

There were NO GREEKS in ancient times. "Greek" is invented word for the invented nation that started to exist in 1830s (only few centuries before it was in preparation and definitely it was not existing in ancient times - in ancient times there were ancient people)

For the sake of ancient Macedonians, please RETURN "Macedonian army" on the places where you totaly unfair to ancient macedonians write "greek army". It is unfair because you are describing something that happened 2300 years ago when there were no greeks with terms invented latter and then rename the older name according to the new name.

And please do not play games with names. :( It is waste of time not only me and you - for generations that will read about this battle....

It will be the best for the future generations if you just translate (but literally - not with changing of names and giving narration) existing REAL books (if any! --- not fake propaganda from before few centuries).

And it will be real benefit for the future generations if you mark that this page (and similar pages) are heavily disputed by the Macedonians of 21st century. Just for the generations that will come to know that this is not black and white page (meaning >nothing< according "black" (Macedonian of 21st century side) and >everything< according "white" (Greek of 21st century side)) (talk) 10:42, 12 May 2015 (UTC)

Please read Greeks and consider that the word "Greek" is used for the ethnic group in ancient times as well. The scientific sources also use this name. As for referring to the Greek army instead of the Macedonian army, I did so because Alexander led the Greeks since the establishment of the League of Corinth. However, after reading Ancient Macedonians I agree we should consider Greeks and Macedonians to be distinct. Also, because the Macedonians led the army and because the other articles on battles of Alexander's Persian campaign refer to the Macedonian army and victories, we should indeed refer to Macedonians instead of Greeks. I will change it accordingly. --AlexanderVanLoon (talk) 11:40, 19 May 2015 (UTC)

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gaugamela, broken army,[edit]

The contested text is: "A less common view is that Darius' army was already broken when he ran; this view is supported by an astronomical diary from Babylon written within days of the battle" The source is now here:[9] and the relevant commentary is "One important point. That Darius' troops, as recorded on day twenty-four, left their king, has created embarrassment among classicists, because it contradicts what is written by the ancient Greek and Roman historians Curtius Rufus, Plutarch of Chaeronea and Arrian of Nicomedia: that Darius fled from the battle field. I have seen the lines of the Astronomical Diary translated as "the king deserted the troops"; this error may have been caused by the odd sequence of the words of the Babylonian author, "the king, his troops left him"."

How does this comment by Jona Lendering back the article text, now removed? I'd say that Lendering is a reliable source, might need attribution, but that's not the issue here. Does Lendering say "A less common view is that Darius' army was already broken when he ran; this view is supported by an astronomical diary from Babylon written within days of the battle"? Doug Weller talk 17:43, 1 June 2020 (UTC)

@Doug Weller: "Less common" refers to the fact that Lendering's view is supported by only a smaller section of academics, but you may be right about the second part of the phrase. Would it become acceptable if I reframed it as "A less common view is that Darius' army was already broken when he ran; this view is based on an astronomical diary from Babylon written within days of the battle" and then add the translation of the tablet? Lendering does base himself on this. (My sincere regrets if I'm being a bore; it's just that this section is important.) HalfdanRagnarsson (talk) 01:36, 2 June 2020 (UTC)
@Doug Weller: Doug, I need your consensus to re-insert that portion. Please do continue the discussion. HalfdanRagnarsson (talk) 15:13, 2 June 2020 (UTC)
You could quote Lendering. You've got no source for "less common view", even if true. Doug Weller talk 15:57, 2 June 2020 (UTC)
Thanks for the input. I'll delete "less common view" and replace it with "Jona Lendering's view", making it run like this:
"Jona Lendering's view is that it was Darius' army that abandoned him; this view is based on an astronomical diary from Babylon written within days of the battle." HalfdanRagnarsson (talk) 16:04, 2 June 2020 (UTC)

Infobox result[edit]

Does anyone have an issue with the word 'decisive' in the infobox? It fits pretty well here, and I see no reason to remove it. HalfdanRagnarsson (talk) 08:23, 14 June 2020 (UTC)

  • Just pin down my opinion here, as i stated before: MOS:MIL states that terms like "Pyrrhic victory" or "decisive victory" are inappropriate for outcomes. It may also be appropriate to omit the "result". Coltsfan (talk) 12:42, 14 June 2020 (UTC)
  • The word "decisive" in the {{Infobox military conflict}} results parameter runs counter to the documentation there that 'this parameter may use one of two standard terms: "X victory" or "Inconclusive"'. It is also contrary to the WP:MILHIST Manual of Style at WP:MILMOS#Primary infoboxes, which is a WP:GUIDELINE: ' The "result" parameter has often been a source of contention. Particular attention should be given to the advice therein. The infobox does not have the scope to reflect nuances, and should be restricted to "X victory" or "See aftermath" (or similar) where the result was inconclusive or does not otherwise fit with these restrictions. In particular, terms like "Pyrrhic victory" or "decisive victory" are inappropriate for outcomes. It may also be appropriate to omit the "result".' I'm pretty sure this isn't even the correct place for such a discussion per WP:LOCALCONSENSUS: "Consensus among a limited group of editors, at one place and time, cannot override community consensus on a wider scale." You should raise this at WP:MILMOS or WP:MILHIST if you really believe that the word in the infobox adds appreciatively to the reader's understanding of the article and think you can be persuasive enough to change the existing consensus. But my opinion is that if someone "reads" the article just by scanning the infobox they miss all nuance anyway – they won't find out the battle was decisive, but they won't have any understanding of the topic anyway. Mojoworker (talk) 22:56, 14 June 2020 (UTC)
  • @Mojoworker: Those pages make it quite clear that words like "Decisive" are to be avoided only in case of an ambiguity in the result. That is not the case here. The consensus isn't against using these words when there is clarity on the result; therefore, this does not fall under WP:CD. Coming to the word itself, it is useful in giving clarity, and is better in conforming to WP:MOS than a blunt field. Of course, it shouldn't be used if there is ambiguity about the result - but that isn't the case here. HalfdanRagnarsson (talk) 08:29, 15 June 2020 (UTC)
This is the entirety of the entry at {{Infobox military conflict}} for the parameter in question (I've bolded the cogent portions): resultoptional – this parameter may use one of two standard terms: "X victory" or "Inconclusive". The term used is for the "immediate" outcome of the "subject" conflict and should reflect what the sources say. In cases where the standard terms do not accurately describe the outcome, a link or note should be made to the section of the article where the result is discussed in detail (such as "See the Aftermath section"). Such a note can also be used in conjunction with the standard terms but should not be used to conceal an ambiguity in the "immediate" result. Do not introduce non-standard terms like "decisive", "marginal" or "tactical", or contradictory statements like "decisive tactical victory but strategic defeat". Omit this parameter altogether rather than engage in speculation about which side won or by how much.
This is the entry at WP:MILMOS#Primary infoboxes: Used for all conflicts and combat operations, such as battles, campaigns, and wars. The "result" parameter has often been a source of contention. Particular attention should be given to the advice therein. The infobox does not have the scope to reflect nuances, and should be restricted to "X victory" or "See aftermath" (or similar) where the result was inconclusive or does not otherwise fit with these restrictions. In particular, terms like "Pyrrhic victory" or "decisive victory" are inappropriate for outcomes. It may also be appropriate to omit the "result".
Nowhere do I see that either 'make it quite clear that words like "Decisive" are to be avoided only in case of an ambiguity in the result.' Can you quote where you are seeing that? The only guideline compliant option I see would be to replace "Macedonian victory" with "See Aftermath", but I doubt that's what you're asking for. Mojoworker (talk) 01:11, 16 June 2020 (UTC)
Note what it says just before 'Do not introduce...'. ...but should not be used to conceal an ambiguity in the immediate result. It tells us not to introduce them if there is an ambiguity in the immediate result. If, as you have done, we are to take the entry word-to-word, then any description on the result column becomes taboo. Take a look at the page on the 1948 Arab-Israeli war; a degree of description is done, and this is because it is valid. Many discussions, like this one [10], have taken place over this, and there is no consensus at WP:CD over this, which is why this matter is not present in WP:PERENNIAL. That is also why I said this is not a matter for WP:CD - the lack of consensus there, for either your view or mine, means that this matter has to be settled on a case-by-case basis.
In this case, I see nothing in the way. The battle was certainly decisive, and infoboxes are meant to present some brief details (though certainly not a summary) of the article. "Decisive" is a useful term. Citations shouldn't be a problem here - there are plenty[1][2][3]. HalfdanRagnarsson (talk) 10:11, 16 June 2020 (UTC)
That's a novel interpretation. You're ignoring half the sentence (and the one preceding). Don't quote sentence fragments and interpret them out of context. I'm starting to doubt that you're acting in good faith, but I'll WP:AGF that, from your username, English is not your native language, and you've misinterpreted the instructions. The section of the template documentation that you are quoting says: In cases where the standard terms do not accurately describe the outcome, a link or note should be made to the section of the article where the result is discussed in detail (such as "See the Aftermath section"). Such a note can also be used in conjunction with the standard terms but should not be used to conceal an ambiguity in the "immediate" result. So, if it's your contention that "Macedonian victory" does not "accurately describe the outcome", based on the documentation, "a link or note should be made to the section of the article where the result is discussed in detail". "Such a note" would be either "See Aftermath section" or "Macedonian victory – See Aftermath section" or similar. But if that's not your argument, and you want it to say "decisive Macedonian victory", then as I explained in my previous response, the documentation defines the standard terms to be used and admonishes: Do not introduce non-standard terms like "decisive".
But, more alarmingly, you've completely ignored the WP:GUIDELINE at WP:MILMOS, which, as a guideline, takes precedence and is quite clear: In particular, terms like "Pyrrhic victory" or "decisive victory" are inappropriate for outcomes. If you are trying to convince us to ignore that WP:GUIDELINE, what is your rationale? But, more importantly, you're wasting our time with this discussion here – as I said before, this isn't the correct venue for a discussion to override a guideline per WP:LOCALCONSENSUS: Consensus among a limited group of editors, at one place and time, cannot override community consensus on a wider scale. You are correct that WP:CD is not the proper venue, since this is not a wp-en wide issue. The "Guidance on results" discussion you linked to at the talk page of WP:MILMOS is where you should raise the issue. And as a result of that discussion you linked to, you can see that the guideline was changed a couple of years ago. That's where you need to have this discussion.
No one (that I've seen) is contending that it was not a decisive victory, rather that it is not an allowed value for the results parameter of the infobox. There's a reason these guidelines were established. I don't know the entire backstory, but I'd guess that it was decided it's better to disallow "decisive" in the result parameter (even where it would be a valid result, based on WP:RS) than to have a bunch of WP:Randys going around adding "decisive" to the outcome of "Battle of Foggy Woods" just because he thinks it's appropriate. Mojoworker (talk) 20:15, 16 June 2020 (UTC)
Now, there's no need to get aggressive. (I mean, I'm not breaking any rules or edit-warring, am I? This is a perfectly within-rules discussion on a talk page.) I never advocated breaking the guideline. (Also, I'm a native speaker of English, so that isn't in the way - Halfdan Ragnarsson was a Viking warlord.) What I mean is how the guideline should be understood - as I mentioned earlier, if we take it word-to-word, most WP:MILHIST articles would fly in the face of it. Per WP:5P5, we must understand what it is meant for, and how it should be applied. (Also, note that that discussion didn't really settle against terminology.) I've already made my points; now I'll let others weigh in on it. HalfdanRagnarsson (talk) 08:42, 17 June 2020 (UTC)
Sorry if that came across as aggressive, I'm just frustrated I can't convince you that you're wrong and I'm right.Face-smile.svg And, to be clear, I'm not suggesting that you are a WP:Randy. My apologies if it came across that way. But, yeah, we've both detailed our reasoning, so let's let others weigh in. Mojoworker (talk) 18:36, 17 June 2020 (UTC)


Unprotecting the page[edit]

Can the page be unlocked? It stops a lot of useful contributions. (Per discussion here) (talk) 14:46, 1 July 2020 (UTC)

Late answer, but you can ask at WP:RFPP. Gråbergs Gråa Sång (talk) 13:03, 15 July 2020 (UTC)