Cilician Gate: road across the Taurus Mountains in southern Turkey, modern Gülek Bogazi.
The alternative is to take a higher road, which forces the invaders to make a large detour. An indication of the difficulty of forcing the Cilician Gate comes from the twentieth century: on the 28th of May 1920, five hundred French soldiers were prevented from passing through the mountain pass by forty Turks.Still, it was possible to break through the mountains. When Septimius Severus fought against Pescennius Niger, he did not attack at the Cilician Gate, but made a detour that must have led him indirectly to the river valley. Pescennius' army, expecting the attack at the Gate, were caught by surprise.
Alexander the Great was even more lucky, because the Persians tried to lure him into a trap. Their stratagem was to allow the Macedonians to cross the Taurus; when they were in Cilicia, they would discover that all granaries would have been razed to the ground, and would be forced to return. The Persians would attack the hungry enemies. At least, that was the idea and Alexander could easily cross the Taurus. The Persians, however, had underestimated the speed with which the Macedonian cavalry could reach the capital of Cilicia, Tarsus. Alexander captured the granaries before they had been destroyed, and was master of Cilicia. The next battle was not to be in Anatolia, but in Syria.