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Extra info for Are Leaders Born or Are They Made?: The Case of Alexander the Great
But then Porus had a competitive advantage: horses are scared of elephants, so his multitude of pachyderms rendered the Macedonian cavalry all but useless. For about two weeks Alexander moved his troops up and down the western bank of the river Hydapes, pretending to make the crossing into Taxila. Porus followed suit, shadowing his movements until he became tired of all the false alarms and let down his guard. When Porus had finally been lulled into complacency, Alexander crossed the river during the night, taking him by surprise.
During his campaigns, Alexander loved to tackle apparently impossible challenges, be they unbeaten adversaries or seemingly De Vries/final 29/3/04 12:35 pm Page 33 A STRATEGIC GENIUS 111 2 3 4 5 6 711 8 9 10 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 211 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 30 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 911 33 War elephant: terracotta, Louvre museum impregnable rock fortresses. He would be the first to attack the Theban Sacred Band, mount an imposing city wall, or climb an impregnable rock. One famous obstacle he encountered on his journeys was the Rock of Aornus, a natural formation rising almost three thousand metres above the Indus River.
Alexander’s domain now extended along and beyond the southern shores of the Caspian Sea (including modern Afghanistan and Baluchistan) and northward into Bactria and Sogdiana (modern Western Turkistan, also known as Central Asia). It had taken Alexander only three years—from the spring of 334 BC to the spring of 331 BC—to master this vast area. De Vries/final 32 111 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 1 2 3 4 5 6 711 8 9 20 1 2 3 4 511 6 7 8 9 311 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 911 29/3/04 12:35 pm Page 32 ARE LEADERS BORN OR ARE THEY MADE?