The battle of the Granicus involved Alexander the Great’s Macedonian army and a Persian interdiction force. Two sources address the events at the battle of the Granicus; however, these sources do not complement each other. The two sources are the accounts provided by Diodorus, and Arrian. Multiple contradictions exist between the two sources, which is unacceptable because both accounts cannot be true. The author of Article ‘The Battle of the Granicus River’ in the Journal of Hellenic Studies attempts to identify which of the two sources is more credible.
The author begins the article by addressing the issues involved with the portrayal of the battle of the Granicus, and states, “Historians have found the battle of the Granicus River the most puzzling of Alexander's battles.” Three reasons are associated with the puzzling aspects of the battle, which are the inconsistencies with timeframes provided by the sources, inconsistencies with formation movements, and inconsistencies with the exact location of the battle. The article discuses each inconsistency in detail, and in the order they were presented by the author.
The article first addresses Diodorus’ description of the timeframe of the battle, which states Alexander’s army crossed during morning in a relatively brash manner. The author is quick to point out why Diodorus’ account of the timeframe and formation arrangements is illogical, and inconsistent with Alexander’s generalship. The author than identifies Diodorus’ description as being a mixture of fact and dramatization. Furthermore, the article identifies writers who do not recognize the inclusion of dramatization in Diodorus’ description. The identification of troubling issues which plague Diodorus’ account and its continued influence on writers is an important point, which was made early in the article.
The author criticizes the works of writers who not only portray the account of Diodorus’ as entirely accurate, but also fill gaps in the account with personal assumptions. This article informs readers of works of literature that lack credibility and supports these accusations with the identification of the grave assumptions made by the authors in question. This is important for historians because it puts an end to the pollution of history with literally works that are more assumption than fact.
The article then addresses inconsistencies with descriptions of formation movements provided by the sources. The author analyzes the translations of the Greek text in Arrian’s account of Alexander’s movement of formations. First, the author includes the actual Greek text of the sentences in the article for the reader’s immediate reference. Second, the typical translation of the Greek text is included. Finally, the author...