Montesquieu

Early in his enter­prise, which is to say at a time when a fai­lure could over­turn him, he left lit­tle to chance ; when for­tune pla­ced him above events, teme­rity was some­ti­mes one of his means. When before his depar­ture he mar­ches against the Triballians and the Illyrians, you see a war like the one Cæser since waged in the Gauls. When he is back in Greece, it is as if des­pite him­self that he takes and des­troys Thebes : cam­ped near their city, he waits for the Thebans to sue for peace ; they pre­ci­pi­tate their own ruin. When it comes to figh­ting the Persians’ marine, it is rather Parmenion who shows auda­city ; it is rather Alexander who shows wis­dom. It was his contri­vance to sepa­rate the Persians from the sea­shore and reduce them to aban­do­ning their own navy, in which they were super­ior. Tyre was, in prin­ci­ple, atta­ched to the Persians, who could not do without its trade and its marine : Alexander des­troyed it. He took Egypt, which Darius had left void of troops, while he was assem­bling armies without num­ber in ano­ther thea­tre.

With the cros­sing of the Granicus, Alexander became mas­ter of the Greek colo­nies ; the bat­tle of Issus gave him Tyre and Egypt ; the bat­tle of Arbela gave him the entire world.

After the bat­tle of Issus, he allows Darius to flee, and turns his atten­tion to conso­li­da­ting and mana­ging his conquests ; after the bat­tle of Arbela, he fol­lows him so clo­sely that he lea­ves him no retreat anyw­here in his empire. Darius enters his cities and pro­vin­ces only to leave them again ; Alexander’s mar­ches are so rapid that you think you are seeing uni­ver­sal domi­na­tion rather as the prize for the race, as in the Greek games, than the prize for vic­tory.

This is how he made his conquests ; let us see how he pre­ser­ved them.