Give me four years to teach the children and the seed I have sown will never be uprooted. — Vladimir Lenin

Story of the Greeks - Helene Guerber

Alexander's Royal Captives

Alexander was marching southward, and Darius was hastening northward with a vast army, hoping to meet him and to prevent his advancing any farther.

By a singular chance it happened that the two armies missed each other, and passed through separate defiles in the same range of mountains. Alexander became aware of this first, and retraced his steps without delay, for he was anxious to find and defeat the enemy.

The two armies soon met at a place called Issus, where the Persians were routed. Darius was forced to flee, and his mother, wife, and family were made captives.

As soon as the battle was over, Alexander went to visit the royal ladies in their tent, to assure them that they would be treated with all respect. He was accompanied by his friend Hephæstion, who was somewhat taller and larger than he.

As they entered the tent, in their plain armor, the queen mother, Sisygambis, mistook Hephæstion for the king, and fell down upon her knees before him, begging his mercy for herself and her children. When she found out her mistake, she was greatly dismayed; but Alexander kindly reassured her by leaning upon his friend's shoulder, and saying of him, "He is my other self."

The young conqueror treated the Persian ladies with the utmost kindness, and often visited them in their own tent, to talk for a while with them. As he always found them idle, he fancied that time must hang very heavily upon their hands, and once offered to have them taught to spin and weave, as the Greek ladies were wont to do.

At this proposal, Sisygambis burst into tears, and asked if he wished to make slaves of them, for Persian ladies considered any labor a disgrace. Alexander, seeing her grief, hastened to comfort her, and tried to explain how happy the Greek ladies always seemed over their dainty work.

But when he understood that the royal family would rather remain idle, he never again proposed to furnish them with occupation of any kind. On the contrary, he was so gentle and respectful, that Sisygambis soon learned to love him, and used to treat him like her own son.


Front Matter

Early Inhabitants of Greece
The Deluge of Ogyges
Founding of Important Cities
Story of Deucalion
Daedalus and Icarus
The Adventures of Jason
Theseus Visits the Labyrinth
The Terrible Prophecy
The Sphinx's Riddle
Death of Oedipus
The Brothers' Quarrel
The Taking of Thebes
The Childhood of Paris
Muster of the Troops
Sacrifice of Iphigenia
The Wrath of Achilles
Death of Hector and Achilles
The Burning of Troy
Heroic Death of Codrus
The Blind Poet
The Rise of Sparta
The Spartan Training
The Brave Spartan Boy
Public Tables in Sparta
Laws of Lycurgus
The Messenian War
The Music of Tyrtaeus
Aristomenes' Escape
The Olympic Games
Milo of Croton
The Jealous Athlete
The Girls' Games
The Bloody Laws of Draco
The Laws of Solon
The First Plays
The Tyrant Pisistratus
The Tyrant's Insult
Death of the Conspirators
Hippias Driven out of Athens
The Great King
Hippias Visits Darius
Destruction of the Persian Host
Advance of the Second Host
The Battle of Marathon
Miltiades' Disgrace
Aristides the Just
Two Noble Spartan Youths
The Great Army
Preparations for Defense
Leonidas at Thermopylae
Death of Leonidas
The Burning of Athens
Battles of Salamis and Plataea
The Rebuilding of Athens
Death of Pausanias
Cimon Improves Athens
The Earthquake
The Age of Pericles
Teachings of Anaxagoras
Peloponnesian War Begins
Death of Pericles
The Philosopher Socrates
Socrates' Favorite Pupil
Youth of Alcibiades
Greek Colonies in Italy
Alcibiades in Disgrace
Death of Alcibiades
Overthrow of Thirty Tyrants
Accusation of Socrates
Death of Socrates
The Defeat of Cyrus
Retreat of the Ten Thousand
Agesilaus in Asia
A Strange Interview
The Peace of Antalcidas
The Theban Friends
Thebes Free Once More
The Battle of Leuctra
Death of Pelopidas
The Battle of Mantinea
The Tyrant of Syracuse
Damon and Pythias
The Sword of Damocles
Dion and Dionysius
Civil War in Syracuse
Death of Dion
Philip of Macedon
Philip Begins His Conquests
The Orator Demosthenes
Philip Masters Greece
Birth of Alexander
The Steed Bucephalus
Alexander as King
Alexander and Diogenes
Alexander's Beginning
The Gordian Knot
Alexander's Royal Captives
Alexander at Jerusalem
The African Desert
Death of Darius
Defeat of Porus
Return to Babylon
Death of Alexander
Division of the Realm
Death of Demosthenes
Last of the Athenians
The Colossus of Rhodes
The Battle of Ipsus
Demetrius and the Athenians
The Achaean League
Division in Sparta
Death of Agis
War of the Two Leagues
The Last of the Greeks
Greece a Roman Province