Siege of Tyre by Langhorne's Plutarch

It appeared to Alexander a matter of great importance, before he went further, to gain the maritime powers. Upon application, the Kings of Cyprus and Phoenicea made their submission; only Tyre held out. He besieged that city seven months, during which time he erected vast mounds of earth, plied it with his engines, and invested it on the side next the sea with two hundred gallies. He had a dream in which he saw Hercules offering him his hand from the wall, and inviting him to enter; and many of the Tyrians dreamt "that Apollo declared he would go over to Alexander, because he was displeased with their behaviour in the town," Hereupon, the Tyrians, as if the God had been a deserter taken in the fact, loaded his statue with chains, and nailed the feet to the pedestal, not scrupling to call him an Alexandrist. In another dream, Alexander thought he saw a satyr playing before him at some distance, and when he advanced to take him, the savage eluded his grasp. However, at last, after much coaxing and taking many circuits round him, be prevailed with him to surrender himself. The interpreters, plausibly enough, divided the Greek name for satyr into two, Sa Tyros, which signifies Tyre is thine. They still show us a fountain near which Alexander is said to have seen that vision.

City of Tyre.

About the middle of the siege, he made an excursion against the Arabians who dwelt about Anti-Libanus. Here he ran a great risk of his life, on account of his preceptor Lysimachus, who insisted on attending him—being, as he alleged, neither older nor less valiant than Phoenix; but when they came to the hills and quitted their horses to march up on foot, the rest of the party got far before Alexander and Lysimachus. Night came on, and, as the enemy was at no great distance, the King would not leave his preceptor, borne down with fatigue and with the weight of years. Therefore, while he was encouraging and helping him forward, he was insensibly separated from the troop, and had a cold and dark night to pass in an exposed and dismal situation. In this perplexity, he observed at a distance a number of scattered fires which the enemy had lighted; and depending upon his swiftness and activity as well as being accustomed to extricate the Macedonians out of every difficulty, by taking a share in the labour and danger, he ran to the next fire. After having killed two of the barbarians who watched it, he seized a lighted brand and hastened with it to his party, who soon kindled a great fire. The sight of this so intimidated the enemy, that many of them fled, and those who ventured to attack him were repulsed with considerable slaughter. By this means he passed the night in safety, according to the account we have from Charis.

Coin of Tyre.

As for the siege, it was brought to a termination in this manner: Alexander had permitted his main body to repose themselves after the long and severe fatigues they had undergone, and ordered only some small parties to keep the Tyrians in play. In the meantime, Aristander, his principal soothsayer, offered sacrifices; and one day, upon inspecting the entrails of the victim, he boldly asserted among those around him that the city would certainly be taken that month. As it happened to be the last day of that month, his assertion was received with ridicule and scorn. The King perceiving he was disconcerted, and making it a point to bring the prophecies of his minister to completion, gave orders that the day should not be called the 30th, but the 28th of the month; at the same time he called out his forces by sound of trumpet, and made a much more vigorous assault than he at first intended. The attack was violent, and those who were left behind in the camp quitted it, to have a share in it and to support their fellow-soldiers, insomuch that the Tyrians were forced to give out, and the city was taken that very day.