Upon arriving on the shores of Persian held territory, Alexander the Great hurled his spear in Homeric fashion to show ‘that he received Asia from the gods as a spear-won prize’.
This prize had been made accessible by the inheritance of his father, Philip II of Macedon, whom left behind a professional standing army, an ideological pretext and an expeditionary force already in the field.
As Captain-General of the league of Corinth, imbued with the romantic conceptions of a second Achilles, Alexander would lead the Greeks against the barbarians in a war of vengeance.
However, the reality is far less glamorous, Alexander and his companions set out to invade Persian territory for territorial expansion and profit.
For Alexander himself, the invasion had held further promise, a chance to outshine the achievements of his mythical ancestors and his greatest competitor, his father.
This article will explore these propositions in an attempt to better understand the motivations that brought Alexander and his army into Persian held territory.