The first battle between Alexander the Great and King Darius III of Persia occurred on May 22, 334 B.C.

by Rachel Hiser Remmes

The first battle between Alexander the Great and King Darius III of Persia occurred on May 22, 334 B.C. in what is historically referred to as the Battle of the Granicus River. Although Alexander the Great was a Macedonian prince, whose campaign took him eastward toward Mesopotamia and Egypt, his accomplishments still brought him fame in Italy centuries later. A mosaic was made in the late 2nd/early 1st century commemorating Alexander the Great’s accomplishments and defeat over the Persian Empire. There is also, curiously, a floor mosaic in the Cathedral of Otranto in Lecce that clearly identifies a figure as Alexander the Great.


Battle between Alexander the Great and King Darius, late 2nd or early 1st century BCE. Tessera mosaic. Roman, from the House of the Faun, Pompeii. Probably done after a painting by Philoxenos of Eretria of ca. 310 BCE. Museo archeologico nazionale, Naples.

Layout of battle field between Persia and Macedonians, May 334 B.C. 

Pantaleone, Mosaic Floor, Cathedral of Otranto, Alexander the Great, 1163-65. 

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