He had now become very intemperate, and, full of suspicion, opened the letters of his officers and soldiers to their relations in Europe. He reduced Arachosia and the Paropamisus region (modern Afghanistan), founding various cities of Greeks and Macedonians. Then he overran Bactria (329), crossed the Oxus, marched through Sogdiana, entering the principal city Maracanda, now Samarcand, and reached the river Jaxartes (Sir Daria), which he thought was the Tana'is (Don), then considered to be the boundary between Europe and Asia. On its banks he founded a city named Alexandria, as a fortress against the nomadic Scythians, in whose pursuit he reached the present khanate of Khokand. This was the utmost limit of Alexander's northern progress. During his stay at Samarcand, on his return, in a drunken orgy, he killed with his own hand his general and friend Clitus, who had saved his life at the battle of the Granicus, and now ventured to rebuke him for his overbearing pride and infatuated belief in his divine origin. After this bloody deed, the murderer, seized with remorse, passed three days without food and drink.
In Bactra (Balkh), the capital of Bactria, he celebrated in 327 an oriental marriage between himself and his captive Roxana, and in the festivities of this ceremony demanded prostration and worship from the Greeks as well as the Asiatics. Some Greek philosophers, Anaxnrchus among them, led the way in this degradation; but Callis-thencs, the friend and correspondent of Aristotle, opposing it, was falsely accused of a conspiracy, tortured, and put to death. From Bactra Alexander marched southward, recross-ing the Paropamisus, or eastern Caucasus, now known as the Hindoo Koosh, and went into Cabool, descending along the right bank of the Indus, and reducing various mountain tribes on the way. He crossed the Indus at or near Attock, a passage now much used, and entered Taxila, whose prince, Taxiles, at once submitted, becoming a tributary ally, and furnishing a contingent to the Macedonian army. On the further side of the Hydaspes (Jhylum, in the Punjaub), he met the Indian prince Porus, with a formidable force, which he defeated, taking Porus prisoner.
The latter, however, had his possessions restored and became an ally and friend of Alexander. After conquering various Indian princes and nations, Alexander passed the river Acesines (Chenaub), and advancing across the Punjaub to the river Hydraotes (Ravee), demolished the city of Sangala, putting to death 17,000 persons, and making 70,000 captives from various free Indian tribes. Thence he marched to the river Hyphasis (Sut-lej). Here the Macedonians of the army, averse to plunging further into unknown deserts, refused to cross the river, and Alexander gave the order to return. To mark the limit of his eastward progress, he erected 12 altars of extraordinary height on the W. bank of the Hyphasis. Late in the autumn of 327 he embarked with a part of his army on the Hydaspes, and sailed down to the Indus, which he descended to its mouth, disembarking perpetually to attack, subdue, and slaughter the tribes near the shore. He reached the Indian ocean in the summer of 32G. Nearchus, his admiral, took the fleet from the mouth of the Indus round the Persian gulf to the Tigris, while Alexander himself marched westward along the shores of 'the gulf, then through the desert of Gedrosia (Beloochistan) to the city of Pura (Bahnpoora). In this march the soldiers suffered much from thirst and hunger.
To compensate for this, and in imitation of the festivals of Bacchus, Alexander and his army marched seven days in drunken bacchanalian procession through Carmania (Kerman), entering Persis, and finally, in the beginning of 325, reaching Susa. Here he adopted the Persian costume and ceremonial, made a eunuch, Bagoas, his favorite, and contracted two additional Asiatic marriages. He sailed down the river Pasitigris (Karun) to the Persian gulf, and, anxious for naval glory, projected the circumnavigation and conquest of Arabia. An immense fleet was built in the Phoenician ports, taken to pieces, and conveyed to Babylon, which was transformed into a harbor for the purpose. At this time he received embassies from all the nations around the Mediterranean, including the Romans, Iberians, and Gauls. Having entered Babylon in 324, he spent several days in surveying the surrounding marshes, where he contracted the germs of a violent fever. This malady was developed and heightened by his daily revelries, and finally put an end to his life after a reign of 12 years and 8 months.
He appointed no successor, but before his death gave his ring to Per-diccas. Shortly afterward Roxana gave birth to a son, Alexander Aegus, who was put to death with his mother by Cassander in 311, while the conqueror's great empire was divided by his generals. - Alexander's reign forms one of the pivots of the world's history. By it Asia and the East were interwoven with Europe and Greece, while the free Greek communities wer6 crushed and democratic progress and liberty entombed. His generalship, his knowledge of command, his strategic combinations, his far-reaching plans, his foresight and fertility in difficulties, his rapidity of movement, are almost without a parallel in history, when we consider the time, the regions where he acted, and the resources at his disposal. "With all his courage and his sanguine temperament, nothing was ever omitted in the way of systematic military precaution. Nor is his life devoid of other traits of greatness. The acquisition of universal dominion was the master passion of his soul. He had no attachment for any special nationality, hut looked on all mankind as on a realm to he conquered and ruled.