1st Elaphabolion

Some brief ceremony and singing at the Day of Hecate, and my army learns quickly that political surrender of Caria is at hand, and promise of alliance with the beautiful and cultured Queen Ada. Some whisper that I have lain with her, for my concubines sulk with disuse, and these officers gasp when they discover that I have not taken her to wife, but rather she has taken me as son. Unusual for me, I take the lyre and sing one of my own making that I wrote for the Queen, but I could not induce the concubines to dance for me. They are far too haughty of their place, and think because they can coax pleasure immeasurable from my body that they in some way own me or my expedition? What is this of women, again and yet again? It is as though their appetite must dictate the appetite of their man! They have the pleasure of one another, which they do partake, for I have seen them, and enjoyed it in the watching, and so invited them to do so before me. So why need they me so frequent? No, this cannot be. Have I not said this before?

But yet, I pause, will these women also suicide, or in some way grow strange on me, if I do not slake them with the excesses of Anthesterion, the days of my my bold experimentation? I cannot keep up that degree of excess forever, I am not on expedition to Persia to taste all of its sexual delights, though they be plenty. I must return to discipline of war: sex is too inadequate an exercise to prepare for attack. And so I take exercise with the cavalry and infantry, and spend time in the training as we wait, between study and closetings, and instructions from my adoptive mater on what I should know of the city we descend upon. She will accompany me to the place of siege, and I make plan, at her urging, to lie east of the city where the roads may be effectively blocked from the supply train she knows awaits to the south, and the garrison that awaits, intact, due north at Cos. The Rhodian will flee if he is breached, and he will go to one direction or the other, but I will not know unless I bring my army to lie east and place siege against the eastern walls by the Mylasa gate.

We resume our advance upon the valley, and from above we see the Persian fleet in the harbor, crowded with bristling triremes of both Persian and Greek standard. Each time I lay eye upon a Greek siege train, or a Greek ship, or a Greek helmet, my teeth sink more deeply into my jaw, and I gnash my teeth for frustration, and I know, with certainty, that unless I decisively crush Persia here, Greece will rise up against me again, and Makedon will be besieged in its very quarter. It is as much a matter of removing Hellas' ally as it is regaining territory for the Hellenic empire. I fear the Rhodian and his allies, and there is small but ongoing comfort that Hephaestion is near to me, and not in secret counsel with such mercenaries as may champion a cause he might pursue against Alexandrus. There are moments when my own suspicions frighten me, and these Greek mercenaries lying before me, frighten me. How do the Hellenes and Thessalians, who have served so trustworthily, feel when they see their countrymen raise arms against them in my service? Do they not gnash their teeth, or can they as easily be bought? What if my talents run dry, will they take coin of Darius and turn to slay me?

I cannot sit at pen and indulge such thoughts over and over again. Messengers come from Myndus, which lies direct to our south abutting the Mylasa gate, the eastern entrance to Halicarnassos.