1. Did such a man exist?

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Babylon, Persia - June 323 B.C.

Alexander, the army will divide. Satrapies will revolt. Without your orders, there'll be war.

We beg you. Tell us who.

Alexandria, Egypt 285 B.C. – 40 Years Later


Our world is gone now. I'm the last left alive.
Whether that’s a curse or blessing, who by Hades would know?
But I've paid my price …in blood. And in broken dreams.
They say we were the greatest fighting force ever known to man.
Greater even than the expedition to Troy.
But how can I say it? How can I tell you what it is like to be young and to dream big dreams?
To believe when Alexander looked you in the eye, you could do anything.
In his presence, by the light of Apollo, we were better than ourselves.
Truly, I’ve known many great men in my life… but only one colossus.
And only now when old do I understand who this force of nature really was. Or do I?
Did such a man as Alexander exist? Of course not.
We idolize him, make him better that he really was.
Men, all men, reach and fall… Reach and fall.
In the East, the vast Persian Empire ruled almost all the known world.
In the West, the once great Greek city-states, Thebes, Athens, Sparta, had fallen from pride.
For 100 years now, the Persian kings had bribed the Greeks with their gold to fight as mercenaries.
It was Philip, the one-eyed, who changed all this.
Uniting tribes of illiterate sheepherders from the high and lowlands.
With his blood and guts, he built a professional army that brought the devious Greeks to their knees.
He then turned his eyes on Persia, where it was said the Great King Darius himself on his throne in Babylon, feared Philip.
Philip was murdered much to Persia’s delight and perhaps sponsored by their gold.
And Alexander, at 20 became the new ruler of Macedonia.
Announcing revenge for the death of Philip, Alexander liberated all of the cities of western Asia, south to Egypt, where he was declared Pharaoh of Egypt and worshipped as god.
And finally, he provoked the rise to battle in the heart of the Persian Empire, near Babylon.

Anthony Hopkins Ptolemy

2. On Alexander’s terms

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Gaugamela, Persia 331 B.C – 45 years earlier

PTOLEMY (v.o):
It was mad. Forty thousand of us against hundreds of thousands of barbarian races unknown to us gathered under Darius himself.
East and west had now come together to decide the fate of the known world.
It was the day Alexander had waited for all his life.
Son of a god. It was a myth, of course. At least it was started as a myth.
I know, I was there.

In the crack of the Persian line, we’ll go for the head.

Kill Darius?

The gods had brought him to us, at last.
If I die, it’s one Macedonian. But the Persians, they cannot move without Darius’ command.
Here, right here, we cut the throat of the Persian army.

This is madness. You’ll never get within 100 paces of him. Have you seen the sheer size of his force, Alexander?

Not if you hold them on the left, my brave Parmenion. With your son, Philotas, for just one, two hours tomorrow. And you, unbreakable Antigonus, the center Phalanx. Perdicass, Leonnatus, Nearchus, Polyperchon. If you pin them on the walls of your sarissas, here in the center, their calvary will follow me out to the right.
And when bold Cassander breaks, stretching their left, a hole will open. Then I and my cavalry –our revered Cleitus, Ptolemy, and Hephaistion will strike through the gap and deal a deathblow to Darius’ head.

Since when, by the light of Apollo, has cavalry been used to break infantry line?

What wasit we did in Chaeronea, Parmenion?

Alexander, even with luck, timing, the gods, there’re at least five to our one; which means in truth we must rout the tomorrow, destroy their army completely.
Or we’ll be picked apart by bandit tribes on the long journey home.


You speak of home and retreat, but do you understand, Parmenion? Babylon is my new home.

Alexander, if we must fight, do so with stealth. Use your numbers well. We should attack tonight when they least expect us.

I didn’t cross Asia to steal this victory, Cassander.

No, you are too honourable for that. No doubt influenced from sleeping with Tales of Troy under your pillow. But your father was no lover of Homer’s.

The lands west of the Euphrates, Alexander, the hand of his daughter in marriage. Since when has a Greek been given such honors?

These are not honors, Parmenion, they’re bribes which the Greeks have accepted too long.
Do you forget that the man who murdered my father lies across the valley floor?

Come, Alexander, we’re still not sure if it was Persian gold behind the assassination. But that is no matter!  Your father taught you never to surrender your reason to your passion.
Now I urge you, with all my experience, regroup. Fall back to the coast, raise a larger force.

I would, if I were Parmenion. But I am Alexander.
And no more than Earth has two suns will Asia bears two kings. These are my terms.
And if Darius isn’t a coward who hides behind his men, then he’ll come to me tomorrow. And when he bows down to Greece, Alexander will be merciful.

Black Cleitus:
By Ares’ chains, he has got balls, men. I mean, give the man his due, Parmenion.
And, lads, feast tonight, for tomorrow we will dine in Hades.

On Alexander's term

3. A moonlit vow

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I’ve seen one before, it was still alive.

To whom do you pray?



A bad omen. More so for Darius. I’ve come to believe the fear of death drives all men, Hephaistion. And this we didn’t learn as schoolboys. It is the cause of all our misfortunes.
So, mighty Crateros.

Your Majesty.

Alexander: Are you ready for tomorrow?

It’s been too long coming, if you ask me. The men are skittish as colts and the damn bulls won’t shut their snouts.

Good. Fear makes man fight better. Post your sentries alertly, but rest them well.

Don’t worry, general. I’m known to sleep with my eyes open as a baby arse.

Young soldier:
Only because someone might steal his loot, sire. Well, someone owes Crateros for his cheapness. He buys neither gloves nor blankets to warm himself.

He’s right.

Who needs gloves when you come from grace? Who needs clothes when you can fight naked?
After tomorrow, even the thrifty among you shall be kings.

The gods are with us, Your Majesty.

We’ll stain the ground in Persian’s blood.

Crateros (to the young soldier):
You’re on the first row tomorrow, boy.

I’ve always believe, Alexander, but this seems so much bigger than us.

Did Patroclus doubt Achilles when they stood side by side at the seat of Troy?

Patroclus died first.

If you do… If you were to fall, Hephaistion, even if Macedonia were to lose a king, I will avenge you. And follow you down to the house of death. Hephaistion: I would do the same.

On the eve of battle, it’s hardest to be alone.

Then perhaps… Perhaps this is farewell, then… My Alexander.

Fear not, Hephaistion. We are at the beginning.

4. Conquer your fear

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Blood makes the world rise. Blood makes the rain fall. Blood makes the earth grow. And in blood, all men are born and die. Blood is the food of the gods below.

Come, Bucephalus. Today, we ride to our destiny.

Phalanx leader:
Company, regroup! Regroup!
Phalanx, turn right! Phalanx, attention!

Neoptolemus. I remember you the day you took siege tower at Tyre. You were a giant. And today, how will you fight?
Dexippos, by Athena. How far was it you threw your man wrestling at the last Olympic Games? Will you match it with your spear?
And Timander, son of Menander, a great soldier to my father. I still mourn your brother, Addaios, who died so bravely at Halicarnassus. What an honoured family you descent from, Timander. You fight for them today.
You’ve all honoured your country and your ancestors. And now we come to this most distant place in Asia, where across from us, Darius has at last gathered a vast army.
But ask yourselves, who is this great king who pays assassins in gold coins to murder my father, our king, in a most despicable and cowardly manner? Who is this great king, Darius, who enslaves his own men to fight? Who is this king but a king of air? These men do not fight for their homes. They fight because this king tells them they must. And when they fight, they will melt away like the air because they know no loyalty to a king of slaves.
But we are not here today as slaves. We are here today, as Macedonian freemen!
And though outnumbered, I say to you who know the price of tyranny, who’ve carried the Persian yoke (for) too long, you have a strength born of your hearts and all their arms, theirs numbers, their chariots and all their fine horses will mean nothing in the hands of slaves.
Some of you, perhaps myself, will not live to see the sun set over these mountains today. For I will be in the very thick of battle with you. But remember this: The greatest honor a man can ever achieve is to live with great courage and to die with his countrymen in battle for his home.
I say to you what every warrior has known since the beginning of time: Conquer your fear, and I promise you, you will conquer death.
And someday I vow to you, your sons and your grandsons will look into your eyes. And when they ask you why you fought so bravely at Gaugamela, you will answer with all the strength of your great, great hearts: I was here this day at Gaugamela for the freedom… and glory of Greece!
Zeus be with us!
Cassander, four colums, go!

Where does he go?

I don’t know, Your Majesty.

Envelope him, Bessus.

5. Battle of Gaugamela

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Hephaistion, go!

Macedonian center:
Phalanx leader:

He makes a mistake, Pharnakes.

Yes, Great King.

Macedonian left:
Infantry leader:
Be brave, men. Steady on the left, lads! Bend if you must, but never break. And keep watching the cavalry on the left!

Macedonian right:
Pick up the pace!

Prepare to repel chariots!



Forward, men! Soldier: Forward!

Left turn! Soldier: Infantry, clear! Out now!

Hold your positions! Hold your positions!