Alexander's Empire and its Aftermath: The Hellenistic Period
It was the rise to power of Alexander the Great of Macedon which brought about the downfall of the Persian Empire. In 334 he crossed the Hellespont, defeated the Persians at the River Granicus, forced the surrender of Miletus, and won the battle of Issus against Darius III in 333. The way was open to take Phoenicia and Egypt. He again defeated Darius on the plain of Gaugamela, between Nineveh and Arbela. Alexander continued to Susa and Persepolis, which submitted, and pursued Darius to Ecbatana, Rhagae (Raga/ Rages), and on into Hyrcania where Darius was put to death by his own troops. Alexander was able to extend his sphere of control as far east as the River Indus and beyond. He established or rebuilt many cities, a number of which were named Alexandria after him, including those in north Egypt, in Syria near Issus, and several in the eastern provinces. Alexander died in Babylon in 323.