During his spectacular career of conquest Alexander the Great attacked many cities and fortresses, never failing to take them. Such operations occupied more of his time than his famous pitched battles and were at least as vital in securing his vast empire. Sieges provided some of the sternest tests for the Macedonian army, and it is perhaps telling that Alexander received most of his many wounds in the shadow of enemy walls. Yet this is the first full-length study concentrating purely on his many dramatic sieges and his mastery of siege craft.
Dr. Stephen English describes each of Alexander's sieges, analyzing the strategy, tactics, and technical aspects, such as the innovative and astoundingly ambitious siege engines used. From the shocking destruction of Thebes, through the epic siege of Tyre, which Alexander found an island and left permanently joined to the mainland, to his final (and nearly fatal) combat at the town of the Malli, where he was first to storm the enemy battlements, we see how Alexander's sieges helped make him great.
Dr. Stephen English gained a BA in Ancient History and an MA in Classics from Durham University while simultaneously studying for a BSc through the Open University. He went on to gain an MSc from Sunderland University while already working towards his PhD at Durham, under the supervision of renowned classicist PJ Rhodes. His research at Durham focused on the military career of Alexander the Great and forms the basis of this book, as it did of his first, The Army of Alexander the Great. He has also written on the subject for the magazine Ancient Warfare. Dr. English lives in Durham with his partner, Elizabeth, also a writer.
“provides an informed, clear, insightful and easy to follow discussion of Alexander’s sieges…ideally suited to both historical military enthusiasts and academics alike…provides a good understanding of fourth century siege warfare and an excellent insight into the personality of Alexander the Great.”
Ancient Warfare, August 2011