Bust of Alexander the
from Rhodes, now in the
Musée Royal de Mariemont
of Chaeronea states that Alexander the Great
founded no less than seventy towns, which were important centers of the
Greek cultures in the East. By these foundations, the sage of Chaeronea
implies, the Macedonian
conqueror changed the nature of his oriental subjects from barbarians into
This in exaggerated. As far as we know, Alexander founded some twenty
towns: real Greek towns (poleis) -which Plutarch must have had in
mind-, permanent military garrisons (katoikiai) and temporary military
settlement (phrouria). Other towns were simply repopulated or just
founded in 340 by the crown prince. This was a complete Greek city, built
among the Maedians, a tribe on the banks of the Strymon.
Neighborhood of modern Sandanski (Bulgaria).
in Troas: a town near Troy, founded in the Spring of 334.
It may have been founded by one of Alexander's successors.
Alexandria by the Latmus: a town in Caria,
maybe founded as a garrison or military settlement in the winter of 333.
Probably, it was founded by one of the successors of Alexander, who called
it to the former king.
near Issus: Probably a permanent garrison where veterans
of the battle
of Issus could begin a new life, together with local inhabitants. Modern
Iskenderun in Turkey.
Tyre: repopulated with Greek emigrants and natives in 332/331, together
with a permanent Macedonian garrison.
Gaza: repopulated with Greek emigrants and natives in 331, together
with a permanent Macedonian garrison.
the site was chosen in January 330; the city was founded on 7 April. This
was an entirely Greek city, although there was also a native quarter and
a Jewish quarter. The Jews and natives were second-class citizens (text).
perhaps, the Arian capital Artacoana was repopulated with natives and Macedonian
veterans in September 330. It was probably meant as a permanent garrison.
Alternatively, this was a completely new town. Modern Herât in Afghanistan.
Prophthasia in Drangiana:
the Drangian capital Phrada was just renamed in October 330; 'Prophthasia'
means 'Anticipation'. Modern Farâh in Afghanistan.
the Arachosian capital Kapisa was repopulated with natives and Macedonian
veterans in the winter of 330/329. It was a permanent garrison. Modern
Kandahâr in Afghanistan, which still bear's Alexander's name (derived
from Iskandariya, the Arabic and Persian rendering of "Alexander").
in the Caucasus: the Gandarian
was repopulated with 4,000 natives and 3,000 Greek veterans in March 329.
It was a permanent garrison or a Greek city, although many settles felt
that it was a punitive colony. Modern Chârikâr in Afghanistan.
Eschatê: founded in the Summer of 329 as a permanent
garrison on the Jaxartes
(Syrdar'ya). Settled with Macedonian and Greek veterans and native serfs.
Modern Khodzent in Tajikistan.
on the Oxus:
refoundation of a Persian city, settled with Greek and Iranian veterans
and native serfs. Probably modern Ai Khanum in Afghanistan. Probably founded
in the Spring of 328. Modern Termez?
Six cities north of the Oxus. Populated with native prisoners of
war who served as serfs for the Macedonian soldiers. Meant as permanent
garrisons, together forming a kind of wall against the northern tribes,
refoundation of a Persian city in the oasis of Mary in modern Turkmenistan.
Settled with Macedonian, Greek and Iranian veterans and native serfs.
Arigaeum: the Aspasian capital was repopulated with natives and
Macedonian veterans in the Spring of 326. It was a permanent garrison.
Modern Nawagai in Pakistan. In the neighborhood were several temporary
military settlements: Bazira, Ora, Massaga.
Nicaea and Bucephala: twin foundation of permanent garrisons
on opposite banks of the Hydaspes (Jhelum), founded in May 326 on the
battle field. Settled with Greek, Macedonian and Iranian veterans
and natives. Modern Jhelum in Pakistan? The towns had large dockyards,
which suggests that they were meant as a center commerce.
Alexandria on the Hyphasis: founded in July 326 at the eastern border
of Alexander's empire. Settled with veterans of unknown origin.
on the Indus: founded in February 325 on the confluence of the
Indus and the Acesines (Chenab), probably on the site of an older, Persian
settlement. Settled with Thracian veterans and natives. Uch in Pakistan.
It had large dockyards, which suggests that it was meant as a center commerce.
Another town on the Indus: founded in the Spring of 325 among the
Indian Sogdians. Probably a temporary military station north of Rohri.
Patala ('naval base') or Xylinepolis ('wooden city'): temporary
military settlement, founded in July 325 at the place of an earlier, Indian
town. Vacated after September 325. Modern Bahmanabad, 75 kilometers north-east
Rhambacia: a town among the Oreitians that was fortified by Hephaestion
in the Autumn of 325. If it was meant as a permanent garrison, it was soon
vacated. Modern Bela in Pakistan.
Alexandria in Carmania: if this city was founded by Alexander (and
not by Seleucus),
it must have been a permanent garrison founded in January 324. Perhaps
modern Golâshkerd in Iran.
in Susiana: not far from the mouth of the Tigris.
Probably settled with Macedonian, Greek and Iranian veterans and natives.
Later known as Spasinou Charax. In the neighborhood of Al Qurnah in Iraq.
These were the towns that were founded
by Alexander. Most of them are military settlements, where Macedonian and
Greek veterans were left. They were not happy, so far from the Mediterranean,
and on at least two occasions -both after a report of Alexander's death-
the homesick veterans decided to go home (text).