National Geographic : 1968 Jan
Alexander's mole, widened by sand drifts of two millenniums, makes Tyre part of today's mainland. Some 14,000 Lebanese live in the fishing port. Volleyed from catapults, these stone balls may have battered Tyre's defenders, believes Emir Maurice Chehab, Director of the Lebanese De partment of Antiquities, right. The author tests the weight of a projectile. PAINTINGBY TOM LOVELL;KODACHROMES BY HELENANDFRANKSCHREIDER© N.G.S . The battle was won, but if Alexander's weary troops thought the war was over, they were mistaken. As long as Darius remained free, Alex ander meant to pursue him. For the moment, however, he was content to wait. He marched to Babylon, whose people surrendered almost eagerly, and rested his troops for a month. We found it difficult to evoke the glory of Babylon from what remains of it today. Walls that Herodotus described as more than 300 feet high, and so wide that two chariots abreast could race atop them, have van ished. The glazed tiles that adorned its buildings glisten in museums across the world. The Hanging Gardens are now mud-brick platforms devoid of a single blade of grass. But in the reduced-scale, beautifully reconstructed Ishtar Gate, a semblance of past grandeur lives on. While in Babylonia, Alexander appointed a Persian as governor, the first step in his plan to unite victors and vanquished in a stable empire. Then, eager to collect the treasure that waited in the coffers of central Persia, he set out toward what is today Iran. The terrain we crossed in his pursuit could have changed little since he passed. Squat villages of sun-baked brick trembled in perspective distorting heat waves. Clumps of grass loomed large as trees. Camels, floating above pool-like mirages, walked on wavering legs (page 30).