Issus


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Issus

(ĭs`əs), ancient town of SE Asia Minor, now in Turkey, 5 mi (8 km) NW of Dörtyol. Located near the head of a gulf (the modern Gulf of Iskenderun), Issus was on a narrow strip of land backed by high mountains. Nearby, in 333 B.C., Alexander defeated the forces of Darius III of Persia. In A.D. 194, Septimius Severus conquered Pescennius Niger. In 622 the Byzantine emperor Heraclius won at Issus the first of a series of battles in which the west regained territory formerly lost to the Persians.

Issus

 

an ancient city in Cilicia (Asia Minor), near which in the autumn of 333 B.C. the army of Alexander the Great (30,000 to 40,000 men) shattered the army of the Persian emperor Darius III (120,000 to 130,000 men). The outcome of the battle was decided by an aggressive attack of the Macedonian phalanx, which crashed through the left wing of the Persians and then surrounded and destroyed the Greek mercenaries in the center of the Persians’ combat formation.

The operations of the Macedonian infantry were combined with skilled maneuvers by the heavy cavalry. After the defeat on the left wing and at the center, the Persians, headed by Darius, fled. The victory at Issus ensured Alexander’s domination of the Aegean Sea and the western half of the Persian Empire.

Issus

an ancient town in S Asia Minor, in Cilicia north of present-day Iskenderun: scene of a battle (333 bc) in which Alexander the Great defeated the Persians
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