Arrlan’s Anabasis of Alexander and Indica

Date: 1893

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Chapter XIII Exploits of Alexander the Great

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52.

The Gordian Knot

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When Alexander arrived at Gordium, he was seized with an ardent desire to go up into the citadel, which contained the palace of Gordius and his son Midas. He was also desirous of seeing the wagon of Gordius and the cord of the yoke of this wagon. . . . The following saying was current, that whosoever could loosen the cord of the yoke of this wagon was destined to gain the rule of Asia. The cord was made of cornel bark, and neither end nor beginning to it could be seen.

It is said by some that when Alexander could find out no way to loosen the cord and yet was unwilling to allow it to remain unloosened, lest this should exercise some disturbing influence upon the multitude, he struck it with his sword. He then cut it through and said that it had been loosened. But Aristobulus says that he pulled out the pin of the wagon-pole, which was a wooden peg driven right through it, holding the cord together. Having done this, he drew out the yoke from the wagon-pole. How Alexander performed the feat in connection with this cord, I cannot affirm with confidence. At any rate both he and his troops departed from the wagon as if the oracular prediction concerning the loosening of the cord had been fulfilled. Moreover, that very night, the thunder and lightning were signs of its fulfillment; and for this reason Alexander offered sacrifice on the following day to the gods who had revealed the signs and the way to loosen the cord.

1 , translated by E. J. Chinock. London, 1893. George Bell and Sons.

1 Arrian, Anabasis of Alexander, ii, 3.

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Chicago: E. J. Chinock, trans., Arrlan’s Anabasis of Alexander and Indica in Readings in Early European History, ed. Webster, Hutton (Boston: Ginn and Company, 1926), 139–140. Original Sources, accessed June 19, 2024, http://originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=HCC83ALBJQG9NQ2.

MLA: . Arrlan’s Anabasis of Alexander and Indica, translted by E. J. Chinock, in Readings in Early European History, edited by Webster, Hutton, Boston, Ginn and Company, 1926, pp. 139–140. Original Sources. 19 Jun. 2024. http://originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=HCC83ALBJQG9NQ2.

Harvard: (trans.), Arrlan’s Anabasis of Alexander and Indica. cited in 1926, Readings in Early European History, ed. , Ginn and Company, Boston, pp.139–140. Original Sources, retrieved 19 June 2024, from http://originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=HCC83ALBJQG9NQ2.