Battle of Hydaspes

Battle of Hydaspes


Battle of the Hydaspes

The Battle of the Hydaspes was fought between Alexander the Great and King Porus in 326 BCE. It took place on the banks of the Jhelum River (known to the ancient Greeks as Hydaspes) in the Punjab region of the Indian subcontinent (modern-day Punjab, Pakistan). The battle resulted in a Greek victory and the surrender of Porus. [a] Large areas of Punjab were absorbed into the Alexandrian Empire, and the defeated, dethroned Porus became reinstated by Alexander as a subordinate ruler.

Alexander's decision to cross the monsoon-swollen river—despite close Indian surveillance—in order to catch Porus's army in the flank has been referred to as one of his "masterpieces". [21] Although victorious, it was also the most costly battle fought by the Macedonians. [22] The fierce resistance put up by Porus and his men won the respect of Alexander who, after the battle, asked Porus to become one of his satraps.

The battle is historically significant because it resulted in the exposure of ancient Greek political and cultural influences to the Indian subcontinent, yielding works such as Greco-Buddhist art, which continued to have an impact for many centuries.


BATTLE OF THE HYDASPES (HYDASPES BATTLEFIELD)

The Battle of Hydaspes was the definitive battle of the India campaign of Alexander the Great, and the most distant major battle ever fought by a European power until the colonial era. It was among his last major victories and essentially marked the end of the Macedonian march to the east. Although a definitive triumph for Alexander, it is also believed to have been one of his hardest fought battles. After the battle, the greatly respected enemy leader, Porus, was spared by Alexander and became the governor of the newly won province (one of the handful of his opponents to be so treated). The Battle of Hydaspes became famous in antiquity for the early use of war elephants. The site of the battle is uncertain, but is generally commemorated in the town of Mong on the banks of the Jhelum River.

History

After a decade of constant warfare which took Alexander the Great from Greece across the Middle East and Persia, the victorious army of Macedonia and their auxiliaries finally arrived on the frontiers of the Indian subcontinent. Considered by Alexander to be yet another stage in his drive to overcome Asia as far as the Pacific Ocean, the attempt to conquer India was his last major military campaign. His army, much smaller than it had been at the outset of his war against Persia, invaded India through th Khyber Pass in 326 BC.

After overcoming several smaller territories, Alexander allied himself with the King of Taxila and prepared the formal of India itself. His first opponent, and as it turns out one of his last, was Porus, king of Paurava. Pauruva was a mid-size state with a strong army which Alexander saw as a threat to his lines of communication if he continued to march eastward. At this point the army of Alexander numbered perhaps eleven thousand men, whereas Porus had three times this number including a large chariot force and war elephants.

The two forces met along the Hydaspes River (now the Jhelum River), with the Macedonians on the northwest bank and the Indians on the southeast bank. Porus’ strategy, strictly defensive, was to prevent a successful Greek crossing. However, a large portion of Alexander’s force forded the river upstream in great secrecy. By the time Porus was aware of the maneuver, it was too late to stop it. However, the Indians were able to meet the Greeks in good order.

According to most sources the Indians met with some success, wreaking havoc among the Greeks with their war elephants. However, in the end the Indians were hopelessly outmaneuvered, and a general slaughter ensued. By the time the battle ended, the Greeks had lost a thousand men, the Indians over ten thousand. Despite the victory the Greek ranks were decimated, contributing strongly to the discontent which effectively ended Alxander’s campaign shortly thereafter. Furthermore, despite their loss, the Indian king Porus was seen as so valiant by Alexander that he was spared and appointed as governor of the province. A few months after the battle, the exhausted Macedonian army secured the Indus River for their border, ending forever Alexander’s drive to the east.

Visiting

Thanks to changes in the course of the Jhelum River, as well as to thousands of years of warfare and destruction that wrecked havoc in the region, the topography of the battlefield is virtually unrecognizable today. Sources indicate that Alexander built the Punjab city of Nicaea on the site of the battle, and that this was located somewhere on the south banks of the river between the modern day cities of Jhelum and Bhera. Commemorative markers note place believed to be associated with the battle.


Main battle:

artistic impression of the battle of Hydaspes

Alexander fixed his camp near the right banks of the river while Paurava drew up on the south bank of Jhelum to repel and stop any crossing from the Macedonians .

From his Indian messanger Alexander was informed that Paurava had mobilized about 40000 infantry , 4000 cavalry ,1000 chariots and 200 war Elephants.

With 30000 men Alexander decided to search for a way to cross the river which was not only safe but also hidden from Paurava .They made rafts from the jungle to carry horses and men. Numerous faints and other sort of deception were made by the macedoninas to fool Paurava’s army.

Alexander divided his army into several groups which continuously changed their position. On one night when it was raining heavily the Macedonians decided to cross the river. About 11000 soldiers crossed the river along with alexander.

To counter this advance, Paurava sent a force of 2000 cavalry and 200 chariot under his son Paurava junior.

However this decision went horribly wrong for the Indians as in this battle Paurava junior got killed and all the chariots were lost.

After hearing the news of his son’s death, Paurava knew that the stage was set for final encounter.

Paurava adavanced from his camp with 30000 infantry,5000 Mahouts and chariots , 3600 cavalry and 80 war elephants.

Infantry of 10000 were kept reserved to guard his camp.


Battle Of The Hydaspes (326 BC)

The battle of Hydaspes took place in the mo7nth of May in 326 BC and was fought between Alexander the Great and Paurava Kingdom’s King Porus, in the location of the eastern banks of the Hydaspes river, which in current date happens to be the Jhelum River, which is a tributary of River Indus, but this one happens to be located in the Punjab province lying in the Pakistan side.

The result of this battle led to the victory of the Greeks in this domain, leading to an entire annexation of Punjab. During the battle, when the monsoons had made the Hydaspes river swollen way too much, leading to a list of risks surrounding it, a headstrong Alexander made his army cross the river nonetheless despite heavy surveillance from India, a move which till date is considered to be one of his best in other words, one of his ‘’masterpieces.’’

The battle is considered to be one the most costly battles in Indian history, and such was the resistance shown by King Porus and his army men, that it conspicuously earned the respect of Alexander the great, and despite their victory, he gave Porus an offer of becoming a Macedonian Satrap, which means a governor. Hence, although Porus was defeated in this battle, history to date claims him to be one of the strongest opponents ever faced by Alexander the Great.

It was this battle of the Hysdaspes that opened the gates of Greek influences in the country of India, which happened to last for centuries later. In the present day, it is quite tough to exactly locate the battle site of this battle, due to prominent landscape changes over the centuries.

It is said that in this same site, Alexander the Great had founded the city of Nicaea, which is a place yet to be discovered even till today.

By lots of speculations and theories, it has also been said that the most probable location of the battle site could be in the south of the city of Jhelum, where there’s a very ancient main road that crossed the Jhelum River, and according to a Buddhist source, the city of Nicaea was also mentioned there.


Hydaspes River

At the Battle of the Hydaspes River in May of 326, BC, fought in what is now the Punjab between Alexander the Great of Macedon and the Indian king Porus, Alexander successfully carried out a brilliant military deception that wrong footed his opponent and caught him off guard, and set the stage for a complete Macedonian victory.

When Alexander marched into the Punjab, king Porus set out to intercept the invaders, and beating them to the Hydaspes river, which Alexander would have to cross to penetrate into Porus&rsquo territory, the Indian king waited on the far bank with his army to prevent Alexander from crossing. When the Macedonians arrived, Porus set his camp across the river from Alexander, and shadowed the Macedonian&rsquos movements from the opposite side, as the invader marched up and down the far bank in search of a safe crossing.

So long as Porus shadowed the Macedonians from the opposite bank, a crossing of the deep and fast-moving river could prove catastrophic if made against opposition, as the Indians would be able to strike the Macedonians at their most vulnerable mid-stream, or fall upon and overwhelm a portion of Alexander&rsquos on the Indian side of the river, before the crossing was completed.

So Alexander set out to lull Porus by marching his troops up and down his side of the river each day. The Indians vigilantly shadowed those movements at first, but over time, became accustomed to them and grew complacent. Then Alexander quietly drew off the bulk of his army, leaving behind a contingent to make noisy demonstrations in order to keep the Indians fixated on them, while Alexander hurried to a crossing upriver and safely got his force across, unopposed. Once on Porus&rsquo side of the Hydaspes, Alexander advanced to attack, and caught the Indians in a pincer between the main force under his command, and the smaller contingent left behind on the opposite side of the river to keep Porus occupied, which crossed the Hydaspes and fell upon the Indians&rsquo rear and flank when they turned to face Alexander. The battle was hard fought, but the outcome was a total Macedonian victory.


Battle of Hydaspes - History


Battle of the Hydaspes &mdash 326 BC

Alexander the Great conquered his way through Asia and met his opponent Porus at the Hydaspes River.


Porus was a strong Indian ruler who reigned over what is now your Pakistan.

At the battlefield, Porus showed up with 34,000 soldiers and 200 elephants. Alexander's troops scared the elephants, the elephants turned around and charged right into the lines of the enemy.


Alexander won but let Porus continue to be ruler over his realm, which was declared part of the Macedonian Empire, of course.

Another person fighting in the battle of the Hydaspes was Alexander's top officer Seleucus I Nicator .


Alexander's beloved horse Bucephalus died shortly after this encounter from the major injuries he had received during the battle.


Battle of Hydaspes - History

Alexander’s invasion of India is regarded as a huge Western victory against the disorganised East. But the largely Macedonian army may have suffered a fate worse than Napoleon in Russia. In Part 1 we discuss the stubborn Indian resistance to the invasion Part 2 will examine whether it was Alexander or Porus who won the Battle of Hydaspes.

In 326 BCE a formidable European army invaded India. Led by Alexander of Macedon it comprised battle hardened Macedonian soldiers, Greek cavalry, Balkan fighters and Persians allies. Estimates of the number of fighting men vary – from 41,000 according to Arrian to 120,000 as per the account of Quintus Curtius. (1)

Their most memorable clash was at the Battle of Hydaspes (Jhelum) against Porus, the ruler of the Paurava kingdom of western Punjab. For more than 25 centuries it was believed that Alexander’s forces had defeated the Indians. Greek and Roman accounts say the Indians were bested by the superior courage and stature of the Macedonians.

More than a thousand years after Alexander’s death, the myth-making reached absurd and fantastic proportions with the arrival of a new genre known as the Greek Alexander Romance (2), a fictional account of Alexander’s Asian campaigns composed of a conglomeration of the rumours surrounding his rule. The destruction of the Persian Empire and the defeat of the Indian kingdoms were the highlights that drove the popularity of the Alexander Romance in Europe. A version of this story was included in the Koran in which Alexander is called Dhulkarnain.

During the colonial period, British historians latched on to the Alexander legend and described the campaign as the triumph of the organised West against the chaotic East. Although Alexander defeated only a few minor kingdoms in India’s northwest, in the view of many gleeful colonial writers the Greek conquest of India was complete.

In reality much of the country was not even known to the Greeks. So handing victory to Alexander is like describing Hitler as the conqueror of Russia because the Germans advanced up to Stalingrad.

Zhukov’s view of Alexander

In 1957, while addressing the cadets of the Indian Military Academy, Dehra Dun, the great Russian general Georgy Zhukov (3) said Alexander’s actions after the Battle of Hydaspes suggest he had suffered an outright defeat. In Zhukov’s view, Alexander had suffered a greater setback in India than Napoleon in Russia. Napoleon had invaded Russia with 600,000 troops of these only 30,000 survived, and of that number fewer than 1,000 were able to return to duty.

If Zhukov compared Alexander’s campaign in India to Napoleon’s disaster, the Macedonians and Greeks must have retreated in an equally ignominious fashion. The WW II commander would recognise a fleeing army if he saw one he had chased the Germans over 2000 km from Stalingrad to Berlin.

No easy victories

Alexander’s troubles began as soon as he crossed the Indian border. He first faced resistance in the Kunar, Swat, Buner and Peshawar valleys where the Aspasians (Iranian Aspa, Sanskrit Asva = horse) and Assakenoi (Sanskrit Asvakas or Asmakas, perhaps a branch of, or allied to, the Aspasioi), challenged his advance. Although mere specks on the map by Indian standards, they did not lack in courage and refused to submit before Alexander’s killing machine.

The Aspasians hold the distinction of being the first among the Indians to fight Alexander. The Roman historian Arrian writes in ‘The Anabasis of Alexander’ that with these people “the conflict was sharp, not only from the difficult nature of the ground, but also because the Indians were….by far the stoutest warriors in that neighbourhood”. (4)

The intensity of the fighting can be measured from the fact that during the siege Alexander and his two of leading commanders were wounded. Alexander was hit by a dart which penetrated the breastplate into his shoulder. But the wound was only a slight one, for the breastplate prevented the dart from penetrating right through his shoulder.

In the end the guile and superior numbers of Alexander’s army won the day. The Macedonians captured 40,000 men and 230,000 oxen, transporting the choicest among the latter to their country for use as draft animals.

Alexander next attacked the hill state of Nysa, which probably occupied a site on the lower spurs and balleys of the Koh-i-Mor. It was governed by a body of aristocracy consisting of 300 members, Akouphis being their chief. The Nysaens readily submitted to the Macedonian king, and placed at his disposal a contingent of 300 cavalry. According to Rama Shankar Tripathi (5), the Nysaens claimed descent from Dionysius. “This gratified the vanity of Alexander, and he therefore allowed his weary troops to take rest and indulge in Bacchanalian revels for a few days with their alleged distant kinsmen.”

Greek guile defeats Massaga

Alexander’s next nemesis was the Assakenoi who offered stubborn resistance from their mountain strongholds of Massaga, Bazira and Ora. Realising the gravity of this new threat from than West, they raised an army of 20,000 cavalry and more than 30,000 infantry, besides 30 elephants.

The fighting at Massaga was bloody and prolonged, and became a prelude to what awaited Alexander in India. On the first day after bitter fighting the Macedonians and Greeks were forced to retreat with heavy losses. Alexander himself was seriously wounded in the ankle. On the fourth day the king of Massaga was killed but the city refused to surrender. The command of the army went to his old mother, which brought the entire women of the area into the fighting.

Realising that his plans to storm India were going down at its very gates, Alexander called for a truce. Typical of Indian kingdoms right through history, the Assakenoi agreed to their eternal regret. While 7,000 Indian soldiers were leaving the city as per the agreement, Alexander’s army launched a sudden and sneaky attack. Arrian writes: “Undaunted by this unexpected danger, the Indian mercenaries fought with great tenacity and “by their audacity and feats of valour made the conflict, in which they closed, hot work for the enemy”.

When many of the Assakenoi had been killed, or were in the agony of deadly wounds, the women took up the arms of their fallen men and heroically defended the citadel along with the remaining male soldiers. After fighting desperately they were at last overpowered by superior numbers, and in the words of Diodoros “met a glorious death which they would have disdained to exchange for a life with dishonour”. (Hindu women like Rani Padmini, who preferred to jump into the fires of jauhar rather than become captives, can trace their tradition of self-sacrifice and valour to antiquity.)

After the fall of Massaga, Alexander advanced further, and in the course of a few months’ hard fighting captured the important and strategic fortresses of Ora (where a similar slaughter followed), Bazira, Aornos, Peukelaotis (Sanskrit = Pushkaravati, modern Charsadda in the Yusufzai territory), Embolima and Dyrta. (Due to the peculiar Greek orthography most of these cities are now impossible to identify or decipher.)

However, the fierce resistance put up by the Indian defenders had reduced the strength – and perhaps the confidence – of the until then all-conquering Macedonian army.

Faceoff at the river

In his entire conquering career Alexander’s hardest encounter was the Battle of Hydaspes, in which he faced king Porus of Paurava, a small but prosperous Indian kingdom on the river Jhelum. Porus is described in Greek accounts as standing seven feet tall.

In May 326 BCE, the European and Paurava armies faced each other across the banks of the Jhelum. By all accounts it was an awe-inspiring spectacle. The 34,000 Macedonian infantry and 7000 Greek cavalry were bolstered by the Indian king Ambhi, who was Porus’s rival. Ambhi was the ruler of the neighbouring kingdom of Taxila and had offered to help Alexander on condition he would be given Porus’s kingdom.

Facing this tumultuous force led by the genius of Alexander was the Paurava army of 20,000 infantry, 2000 cavalry and 200 war elephants. Being a comparatively small kingdom by Indian standards, Paurava couldn’t have maintained such a large standing army, so it’s likely many of its defenders were hastily armed civilians. Also, the Greeks habitually exaggerated enemy strength.

According to Greek sources, for several days the armies eyeballed each other across the river. The Greek-Macedonian force after having lost several thousand soldiers fighting the Indian mountain cities, were terrified at the prospect of fighting the fierce Paurava army. They had heard about the havoc Indian war elephants created among enemy ranks. The modern equivalent of battle tanks, the elephants also scared the wits out of the horses in the Greek cavalry.

Another terrible weapon in the Indians’ armoury was the two-meter bow. As tall as a man it could launch massive arrows able to transfix more than one enemy soldier.

Indians strike

The battle was savagely fought. As the volleys of heavy arrows from the long Indian bows scythed into the enemy’s formations, the first wave of war elephants waded into the Macedonian phalanx that was bristling with 17-feet long sarissas. Some of the animals got impaled in the process. Then a second wave of these mighty beasts rushed into the gap created by the first. The elephants either trampled the Macedonian soldiers or grabbed them by their trunks and presented them up for the mounted Indian soldiers to spear them to their deaths. It was a nightmarish scenario for the invaders. As the terrified Macedonians pushed back, the Indian infantry charged into the gap.

In the first charge, by the Indians, Porus’s son wounded both Alexander and his favourite horse Bucephalus, the latter fatally, forcing Alexander to dismount. (6) This was a big deal. In battles outside India the elite Macedonian bodyguards had provided an iron shield around their king, yet at Hydaspes the Indian troops not only broke into Alexander’s inner cordon, they also killed Nicaea, one of his leading commanders.

According to the Roman historian Marcus Justinus, Porus challenged Alexander, who charged him on horseback. In the ensuing duel, Alexander fell off his horse and was at the mercy of the Indian king’s spear. But Porus dithered for a second and Alexander’s bodyguards rushed in to save their king.

Plutarch, the Greek historian and biographer, says there seems to have been nothing wrong with Indian morale. Despite initial setbacks, when their vaunted chariots got stuck in the mud, Porus’s army “rallied and kept resisting the Macedonians with unsurpassable bravery”. (7)

Macedonians: Shaken, not stirred

The Greeks claim Porus’s army was eventually surrounded and defeated by Alexander’s superior battle tactics, but there are too many holes in that theory. It is acknowledged by Greek and Roman sources that the fierce and constant resistance put up by the Indian soldiers and ordinary people everywhere had shaken Alexander’s army to the core. They refused to move further east. Nothing Alexander could say or do would spur his men to continue eastward. The army was close to mutiny. These are not the signs of a victorious army, but a defeated group of soldiers would certainly behave in this manner.

Says Plutarch: “The combat with Porus took the edge off the Macedonians’ courage, and stayed their further progress into India. For having found it hard enough to defeat an enemy who brought but 20,000 foot and 2000 horse into the field, they thought they had reason to oppose Alexander’s design of leading them on to pass the Ganges, on the further side of which was covered with multitudes of enemies.”

The Greek historian says after the battle with the Pauravas, the badly bruised and rattled Macedonians panicked when they received information further from Punjab lay places “where the inhabitants were skilled in agriculture, where there were elephants in yet greater abundance and men were superior in stature and courage”.

Indeed, on the other side of the Ganges was the mighty kingdom of Magadh, ruled by the wily Nandas, who commanded one of the most powerful and largest standing armies in the world. According to Plutarch, the courage of the Macedonians evaporated when they came to know the Nandas “were awaiting them with 200,000 infantry, 80,000 cavalry, 8000 war chariots and 6000 fighting elephants”. Undoubtedly, Alexander’s army would have walked into a slaughterhouse.

Hundreds of kilometres from the Indian heartland, Alexander ordered a retreat to great jubilation among his soldiers.

Partisans counterattack

The celebrations were premature. On its way south towards the sea via Punjab, Sindh and Balochistan, Alexander’s army was constantly harried by Indian partisans, republics and kingdoms.

In a campaign at Sangala in Punjab, the Indian attack was so ferocious it completely destroyed the Greek cavalry, forcing Alexander to attack on foot.

In the next battle, against the Malavs of Multan, he was felled by an Indian warrior whose arrow pierced the Macedonian’s breastplate and ribs. Says Military History magazine: “Although there was more fighting, Alexander’s wound put an end to any more personal exploits. Lung tissue never fully recovers, and the thick scarring in its place made every breath cut like a knife.”

Alexander never recovered and died in Babylon (modern Iraq) at the age of 33.

The Battle of Hydaspes was Alexander’s last major open-field battle. Everything else was a skirmish compared with it. The Macedonians and Greeks were not the same tough guys anymore always on the retreat constantly being harried by Indian kingdoms. If ever there was a defeated army, this one certainly behaved like one.


There are no Indian accounts of the Battle of the Hydaspes River.

It is difficult to prove a negative, but since there is very little historical material from that era (326 BCE) at all, we can be reasonably certain that there are no historical accounts. Tarn (1966) discusses this when talking about the Bactrian Greeks.

Had the story of the Bactrian Greeks survived, it would be considered one of the most remarkable of a remarkable time but though it was treated by two Greek historians of the Farther East (Chap. II), nothing has come down to us directly but some fragments and scattered notices and the coins. And there is not even the help which can be got in Indian from Indian literature and inscriptions and from archaeological research.

The Bactrian Greeks weren't exactly the same area and time as the battle, but this quote points to the paucity of evidence during the era. Schmitthenner (whom I was referred to by this interesting article on Ancient Indian sources) has a strong opinion on ancient Indian historiography.

It is common knowledge that there is no corresponding equivalent on the Indian side. Ancient India has no historiography in the European sense of the word—in this respect the only 'historiographic civilizations' of the world are the Graeco-Roman and Chinese ones—and the 'Chronicles' of Ceylon, strongly imbued with religious tendencies, are no exception, in spite of Paranavitana's hypothesis regarding their scope in retrospect.

The closest Indian source we have to the period is the "Arthashastra" by Kautilya, who some identify as Chandragupta Maurya's (340 BCE – 298 BCE) minister. To be clear, the Battle of the Hydaspes River is not mentioned in this work I only point it out because it is a rare example of writing near the relevant period.

It is worthwhile to note that even the Greek accounts of the battle are secondary: Arrian wrote his account hundreds of years after the fact, albeit he used sources (now lost) that were written closer to the time of the battle. Unfortunately, it seems that Greeks are the only source of information on this battle.

William Woodthorpe Tarn. The Greeks in Bactria and India (1966).

Walter Schmitthenner. Rome and India: Aspects of Universal History during the Principate. The Journal of Roman Studies, Vol. 69 (1979), pp. 90-106.


The Best Moments in Film History: The Battle of Hydaspes in “Alexander”

Before you read any further let me be clear about something: the Oliver Stone biopic of Alexander was a less than successful attempt at storytelling, without heart, lacking in pace and creativity. Having said that, and leaving behind all of the dull intricacies that the film inexplicably chose to focus on, the sequence that showcases the famous Battle of Hydaspes is a welcomed escape from an otherwise forgettable movie.

It is perhaps Stone’s greatest achievement in the more than 2 hours of film, but also his greatest failure as it showed me all that the film could have been but was not. Such an extraordinary life deserved a film that translated all of it into an unforgettable feast for the eyes. Sadly, what we got was little more than a creepy and ineffective Angelina Jolie and a dirty blonde Colin Farrel who was terribly uninspiring as the Macedonian general.

The battle sequence comes toward the end of the movie as it was, historically, also one of the last great victories of Alexander in his advance towards the east. Though historically inaccurate, what Stone proposes is certainly a fitting ending to a military advance that changed the world and made Alexander the most powerful man in the ancient world. As shown in the film, the battle was surprisingly tough for the Macedonian forces who did not expect such an organized and determined opposition. The disgruntled Indian War Elephants were certainly striking and shocking, and the film does a great job at making some of the fear that was probably felt by the warriors jump out of the screen and into the audience.

Seeing the prospect of a defeat, Alexander needed to get his forces together and rally forward, pushing the Indian army back. In a moment of brilliance, Stone’s Alexander charges forward and the film resorts to light, a moving score and slow-motion to capture the moment in which Alexander rallies his Macedonian men as they turn in admiration toward their general who is leading the charge all on his own. Not too long after, Alexander faces a giant Elephant war horse that he wants to take down. This is certainly a moment that borders on epic cliche as both the horse and the Elephant raise their front feet as their masters struggle to make the first blow. However, the battle sequence hovered over my expectations and it relieved me from the dullness of the film, grabbing my attention back and putting me at the edge of my seat.

Stone brilliantly closes the shot with a wounded Alexander who after failing to take down his enemy, collapses injured on the ground. The hue of the film changes, now turning dark, taking a reddish pigmentation that evokes the blood of war. The image is powerful, effective and unforgettable. Stone’s Alexander had finally managed to look less than godly and, in the process, make me a fan not because he was a good likeable man, but because he was an amazing and inspiring human being. The Battle of Hydaspes sequence was the only instance in which I felt compelled to shake Alexander’s hand, just like one of the many faithful warriors that fought alongside him during the entire campaign.

The image of his soldiers fighting to protect their general while giving their life speaks about the greatness of the man in question, one that we barely got to see during the film but that manages to peek out at the Battle of Hydaspes. Stone used color brilliantly and his shots were unexpected and creative, successfully delivering a climax that should have belonged to a better film.


Watch the video: Alexander the Great: Battle of the Hydaspes 326 BC