Alexander was indeed a great general, and there is no doubt that the strategies he used to conquer the Persian Empire were the work of a great military mind. However, he could not have succeeded without an army, for even the greatest military strategy in the world requires troops. One of the largest questions surrounding Alexander’s conquest of the Persian Empire is the level of fusion Alexander intended between the Persians and Macedonians. Along similar lines is the level of union between Macedonian troops and Persian troops. Certainly as Alexander’s campaigns continued and grew longer and longer he required a larger and larger influx of troops. The number of Persian troops in Alexander’s army eventually grew so large that Alexander’s army, like his empire could not be considered Macedonian but had to be viewed as a coalition of Macedonian and Persian forces.
Many historians have attempted to grapple with both the issue of fusion between Macedonian and Persian culture and the composition of Alexander’s army. However, like the primary sources, there is a large variety of difference in opinion concerning what the answer to that question is. Often these secondary sources tackle a large variety of issues surrounding the composition of Alexander’s army, but the biggest issue of all of course, is what forces were in his army in general.
The composition of Alexander’s army was eventually a conglomeration of races, but before the army could achieve this status, many critical issues had to be addressed. Issues such as mutiny, composition of corps, when did Alexander start to include Persians into the army and their role in the units of Alexander’s forces all address the key question, what did the force organization of Alexander’s army look like?
In the many sources detailing the life and campaigns of Alexander’s life that have survived, the composition of Alexander’s army is depicted without clarity. The issue of the size of Alexander’s army is also often debated. That the sources do not always agree on both the size and composition of Alexander’s army makes studying this issue a complex and difficult one. Attempting to blend the primary sources together and arrive at some conclusions that can be firmly stated is crucial to detailing the make up of Alexander’s conquering force.
Similar to almost all ancient armies, Alexander’s was comprised of both infantry and cavalry corps. Cavalry forces were Alexander’s greatest asset during his early campaign in western Persia. It was these forces that greatly helped Alexander triumph in many battles. As Alexander progressed through the Persian Empire the combination of losses and moving further away from Macedonia made sustaining his numbers increasingly difficult. Alexander was hesitant to include Persians into his ranks of cavalry, and the date upon which he first included them is one not easily arrived upon. In building a picture of Alexander’s army, knowing the number of Persian cavalry soldiers and when they were introduced is important.
The earliest date mentioned that Alexander included Persian Cavalry is 328 B.C. This reference comes from Arrian but is vague.1 G.T Griffith addresses the issue of when Alexander finally introduced Persian Cavalry into the army and notes that the issue is complex. Griffith replies to P.A. Brunt’s work and addresses the claim that Brunt makes arguing that Alexander fully integrated his cavalry forces, or hipparchies, in 328 B.C.2 Griffith makes reference to the passages in Arrian where he lists the satrapies Alexander likely drew cavalry forces from. Why did Alexander start to draw more and more forces from the satraps he was conquering? Griffith offers two reasons why Arrian’s claims that Orientals were included in Alexander’s army: on the military side it makes sense to take the best your enemy has with you and turn them to your cause, though this would lead to other problems (dealt with later); and from a political standpoint it was easier to rule subjects if you incorporated them into your army and society. Another reason for the inclusion comes from a passage in Arrian, “about 400 Companions, all the javelin-men.”3 This passage illustrates Alexander’s need for a type of mounted soldier that the Macedonian cavalry were not able to fulfill his need for. Griffith notes this but also notes that the unit was kept separate from the Macedonian forces.4
Alexander had always used non-Macedonian forces, mostly Greeks, in his cavalry units. That he began to include specialist Persian forces in these ranks is not surprising. Milns, suggests that Alexander’s cavalry was almost entirely made up of Greek mercenaries, and that only his companion cavalry was greatly Macedonian.5 That Greeks accounted for substantial numbers of Alexander’s cavalry is easily seen in accounts by Arrian and Diodorus Siculus, but Miln’s account is interesting because it leads us to believe that the cavalry units were always separated by nationality.
The separation of forces by Alexander makes uncovering traces of Persian forces in the army easy to uncover in some ways. While the number of forces Alexander had with him on campaign is open for debate and often questioned, careful study of the numbers compiled throughout the primary sources and the mention of which units were sent where and when reinforcements arrived allows us to compile some thoughts about which units were Persians and which were Macedonian in origin.
This also helps in understanding, which units came from specific parts of the Persian Empire. The secondary sources are good with associating parts of Alexander’s army with specific locations but sorting them out is like all the issues surrounding the makeup of Alexander’s army, complex.
When Alexander left Macedonia in 334 B.C how far he intended to go is not known. We do know that at the very least he intended to conquer the western portions of the Persian Empire and extract revenge for the invasion of Greece and Macedon by the Persians years earlier. To do this Alexander assembled a mighty force which, depending on the source one reads was either as large as 36,000 men or as small as approximately 25,000 men. Immediately one of the largest problems in assessing the make up of Alexander’s army is clear, how to reconcile the different sources facts. Since none of the sources were written during the time of Alexander one clear source does not stand out. However, we do know that the sources would have had reason to fudge the numbers; shrink Alexander’s army to make it appear that he was an even better general than is commonly thought of him. After all, it is far more impressive to defeat an army that outnumbers you three to one (or more) than two to one. By this reasoning the largest number would seem to hold a measure of truth to it, and in fact, Alexander’s army might have even been larger than this. However, upon examining which source provides this figure, more serious thought is required.
The largest, figure, 36,000 came from Justin: “In his force were 32,000 infantry, 4,500 cavalry and 182 ships.”6 It is known that Justin tended to exaggerate and his account of Alexander differs from the other three on many an occasion. For this reason the account from Justin carries a great deal of suspicion with it.
Quintus Curtius Rufus arrives at a similar figure for the size of Alexander’s army providing some reinforcement that perhaps Justin’s figure is not so exaggerated after all. However, Curtius references Justin as a source for his information, and so the two sources no doubt had very similar figures. Nevertheless, the size of Alexander’s army from Curtius is not totally worthless because he notes the size of the forces that came from different parts of Greece and Macedonia, providing a list of nationalities that comprised Alexander’s army from the beginning.
Curtius in his description of the forces that Alexander left Macedonia with says that there were Thracians, Peloponnese and Macedonians making up the force crossing into Asia Minor.7 Diodorus also lists the different nationalities that made up Alexadner’s army, “Odyrsians, Triballians, and Illyrians…Thessalians…six hundred from the rest of Greece…and nine hundred Thracian and Paeonian…”8 Clearly Alexander’s army was not just Macedonians, but a slice of Hellenic culture.
Diodorus provides a similar number of men in Alexander’s army as well: “making up a total of thirty-two thousand foot soldiers. Of cavalry…making a total of forty five hundred cavalry. These were the men who crossed with Alexander to Asia.”9 In Diodorus’ account however is useful information that although not 100% trustworthy is worth of note. Diodorus relates that Aristobulus gave figures of 30,000-foot soldiers and 4000 cavalry, and Ptolemy gave 30,000-foot soldiers and five thousand cavalry. Both of these figures are right in line with the numbers the complete sources give us, but one further one bears note: Anaximenes said that Alexander had 43,000 foot soldiers and 5,500 cavalry.10 While this figure is certainly the largest recorded, it is also far out of line with the rest of the numbers that almost every other ancient historian provides and should not be considered an accurate number.
Plutarch is not as definitive with the numbers he places in Alexander’s army. Like a good secondary historian, Plutarch relates the range in the size of Alexander’s army, though he does make an indirect case for the smaller size:
“As for the size of his army, the lowest estimate puts its strength at 30,000 infantry and 4,000 cavalry and the highest 43,000 infantry and 4,000 cavalry. According to Aristobulus the money available for the arm’s supplies amounted to no more than seventy talents…”11
Plutarch continued to list reasons for why Alexander would not have been able to bring such a large number of soldiers with him as the highest figure stated. These reasons include, pay (as mentioned in the quote), and food. Bringing food for an army of even 30,000 was incredibly difficult, and supporting as many men as over 40,000 would have been almost impossible at this time.
Finally, the most reliable source from this time is Arrian. Although Arrian totals less soldiers in Alexander’s army than the other sources, his numbers are in the same ballpark as the other sources. Arrian related that Alexander had “not much more than 30,000 infantry, including light troops and archers, and over 5,000 cavalry.”12 It is important to note that Arrian does reference some of the other primary sources, making it clear that he was aware of some of the other authors higher figures and chooses to make Alexander’s army smaller. The figure from Arrian is also probably more realistic as it is unlikely that Alexander could have left Macedon with many more foot soldiers and still left behind the substantial force of 12,000-foot soldiers with Antipeter.
Although the sources all differ slightly from one another, arriving at a number for Alexander’s army as he set out from Macedonia is not impossible. Combing the different information the most logical number is about 35,000 total soldiers, 31,000-foot soldiers and 4,000 cavalry. Interpreting the size of Alexander’s army has been done by many secondary sources, often breaking down the evolution of either Alexander’s cavalry or foot soldiers.
Bosworth tackled the question of how large Alexander’s army was when he left Macedonia and arrives at the conclusion that there were roughly 30,000 soldiers in Alexander’s army made up of different nationalities when he set out to conquer the Persian Empire. Bosworth, notes, quite importantly, that Alexander’s army was constantly growing and that not every recruitment was noted. Bosworth brings forth the point that the sources most likely minimize the losses to Alexander’s army both in battle and through the day-to-day hazards of campaign (such as disease and accidents); so the two absences most likely balance out.13
Nevertheless, the main force in Alexander’s army was always his prized Macedonian troops, of which they’re numbered about 15,000.14 Alexander was very hesitant to let non-Macedonians into his companion cavalry and even as he began to integrate the army more and more fully, Persians were either separated entirely from the Macedonian and Greek soldiers or under their command. Persians were incorporated into his army, and Alexander’s army was in a constant state of growth.
Nicholas Hammond addressed the issue of reinforcements in Alexander’s army, saying that it would have been entirely necessary for Alexander to recruit locally to keep his army operating, “the officers of Alexander were to recruit from the local militia any suitable men who wished to join Alexander’s field army and thus become citizen soldiers.”15 Hammond has touched on an important point here, that the recruits to Alexander’s army did not simply become ordinary soldiers; they became citizen soldiers. Equal members of the army, no matter their nationality. Although in practice this was not the case in the early years of Alexander’s campaign, eventually, just like in Alexander’s empire, the army was a mirror of the fusion between two cultures.
Alexander’s army was constantly changing in size because of casualties, desertions and recruitments. Nonetheless three major dates where the size of Alexander’s army changed are known and tracing the size of Alexander’s army is crucial to following the evolution of it as an army of Macedonians to an army of Alexander’s empire.
Information on the size of Alexander’s army throughout his conquest of Asia is not as clear as it is for when Alexander left Macedonia. This was probably because the size of Alexander’s army was harder to account for as it was always changing with the long campaigns Alexander set out on. Justin, while providing an account of Alexander’s life and the most famous battles he fought in does not ever again mention the size of Alexander’s army. Perhaps this is because Alexander’s army was growing and his defeat of an army numbering in the hundreds of thousands of men was no longer as impressive; or Justin simply did not know the size of Alexander’s army. Whatever the reason Justin does relate the tails of the battles and the size of the force Alexander defeated. That Justin knows the size of the forces Alexander encountered but would not have known the size of Alexander’s army is unreasonable to assume. Therefore the most likely conclusion is that Alexander’s army had grown considerably in size by the time he reached Babylon and invaded India and Justin simply does not relate this because it makes his defeat of the enemy seem like less on an accomplishment.
Arrian, as stated earlier, is the most reliable source from this ancient period and as such bears more creditability than any other source alone. Arrian tells us that at the battle of Gaugamela “The total strength of Alexander’s army was 7,000 cavalry and 40,000 foot.”16 Although I have partially rejected Arrian’s total in the past, the total arrived at was similar. With this in mind accepting this figure makes sense because both old totals are very similar. How then did Alexander’s army grow by almost 15,000 men and cavalry in the span between his departure from Macedon and the battle of Gaugamela? We are not told that he received any reinforcements from Antipeter before the battle. Two possible reasons for the growth of men in Alexander’s army are evident. In Diodorus we are told that Alexander received reinforcements from Antipeter as he left Babylon in pursuit of Darius. It is possible that the sources differ on the time Alexander received reinforcements, Arrian placing them before the battle, Diodorus after. It is also possible that after Alexander’s conquests in Egypt he gained considerable recruits to his army that are simply not named. Consider Diodrus’ account.
When Alexander left Babylon Diodorus Siculus relates that he received reinforcements from Antipeter from Greece. We are told in the preceding chapters that Alexander’s dead only number a small portion of his army, “About five hundred of the Macedonians were killed…”17 The battle Diodorus refers to here is the battle of Gaugamela, certainly not the only battle Alexander’s army had fought, but it was the most recent. The actual number of casualties was probably larger but it is also reasonable to assume that Alexander’s army received replacements from local recruits in addition to his reinforcements from Antipeter and that this was a considerable boost to his army to balance out his losses. We are told by Diodorus Siculus that Alexander received “five hundred Macedonian Cavalry and six thousand infantry, six hundred Thracian cavalry and three thousand five hundred Trallians and from the Peloponnese four thousand infantry and little less than a thousand cavalry.”18 Adding these figures to the total arrived at before, the size of Alexander’s army as he marched out pursuing Darius from Babylon can be numbered at about 50,000 men comprising foot soldiers and cavalry; About 6000 cavalry and 44,000 foot soldiers. This number is of course very similar to the figure given by Arrian as Alexander marched into the battle of Gaugamela. Diodorus details the battle and is very clear to say that Alexander received his reinforcements following the great battle, so if the sources are talking about the same soldiers, there is a vast discrepancy.
The other explanation for the size of Alexander’s army under Arrian’s account is that he received additional soldiers in his conquest of Egypt. This is a possibility because we know that although Tyre resisted Alexander’s conquest, the rest of Egypt received Alexander and his army with open arms of friendship, “induced him to receive Alexander with a show of friendship and to offer no obstacle to his free entry into Egypt and its cities.”19 Although nowhere does it specifically state that Egyptians agreed to fight with Alexander’s army, it can be concluded that because of the dislike of Darius by the Egyptians some certainly would have.
Both reasons for the growth of Alexander’s army are plausible, and the evidence does not directly support either. I think though, that it is more realistic to believe Alexander received support and soldiers from Egypt and that the figure Arrian gives, 45,000 soldiers before the battle of Gaugamela is probably correct. This would mean that following the reinforcement of Alexander’s army by Antipeter Alexander’s army grew to a size of almost 60,000 men. This would assume few casualties at Gaugamela, and although the sources both tell small casualty figures, it cannot be assumed that only five hundred soldiers in Alexander’s army perished. Therefore Assuming that Alexander’s army probably numbered between 55,000 and 60,000 men as he pursued Darius following Gaugemela is the most logical assumption.
Diodorus is not the only source for the size of Alexander’s army as he left Babylon in pursuit of Darius. Although Curtius provides very similar numbers of reinforcements for Alexander that he is a second source confirming the size of Alexander’s army is important because it acts to counterbalance the information provided by Diodorus. Curtius’s reference to the size of Alexander’s army also shows that he wanted to show that Alexander’s army, although growing, was still vastly outnumbered by the Persian army at Gaugemela. That Alexander’s army was outnumbered is of no significance in relation to the fact that his army was a mirror in many ways for the mixing of cultures in the Empire. The size of the army does matter, and why certain authors choose to include the size of Alexander’s army in their accounts and some do not shows that there was probably a motive to or not to include lists of the size of Alexander’s army.
Alexander’s army continued to grow in the years following Darius’ death. Although there were problems inside the army, such as the mutiny at Opis and other instances of disloyalty by the soldiers, the size of the army nevertheless continued an upward trend. Following the mutiny at Opis, in 327 Arrian tells us that Alexander received an additional 30,000 soldiers, all young Persians ready to fight for the Macedonian cause.20 We are further told that by the time Alexander set out to conquer India he had over 60,000 total men under his command.21 Engels gathered his information from all the sources, adding together the notes the primary sources give us about the make up of Alexander’s army. Further, when Alexander finished conquering India he had over 100,000 soldiers in the army.22 The rapid growth of Alexander’s army so far away from Macedonia means that no longer were Greeks and Macedonians making up the bulk of his army, but people from all across the empire, especially a large contingent of Indians were now Alexander’s primary source of troops.
We can trace the growth of Asian soldiers in Alexander’s army back to his conquests in Asia Minor and Egypt. Tracing the makeup of Alexander’s army from its very roots requires compiling the information presented in all the various sources. Arrian says that before Alexander even set off into Asia he recruited men from outside Macedonia to serve in his army, and certainly Greek soldiers and mercenaries made up a large portion of Alexander’s army. This is further backed up by Diodorus, “seven thousand allies…five thousand mercenaries…Odrysians, Triballians and Illyrians accompanied him…there were eighteen hundred Macedonians…eighteen hundred Thessalians…nine hundred Thracian and Paeonian…”23 Diodorus tells us that when Alexander received reinforcements from Antipeter following Gaugemela, the reinforcements were from all over Greece and Macedonia.
We know that in 324 B.C Alexander reorganized his army. The reasons for the need to do this no doubt stem from the rapidly growing number of Asians in the army. While in India alone he recruited men from Massaga, Aornos, Taxila, Indus, Hydaspes, Oxydracae and Sudracae. The size of Alexander’s army in this campaign alone grew by almost 50,000. We are told by Diodorus that, “at this juncture there arrived from Greece allied and mercenary troops…”24 Engel’s explains that the forces recruited at Hydaspes were a mixture of Greek and Asian soldiers. G.T. Griffith also comments on this issue, saying that although Alexander received large boosts of mercenaries in his army throughout his campaign, the number of mercenaries in his army reached its peak when he left Macedonia. Following that the mercenaries replaced themselves and the added men in Alexander’s army were local recruits or Macedonians sent by Antipeter.25 Although they were deep in Asia, the men coming to Alexander’s army were not entirely Asian, but a mix of both nationalities. Despite the fact that Greek and Macedonian forces were still reinforcing Alexander’s army, most of them were left behind as Garrisons, and the forces recruited from a region brought on campaign. This had a dual effect: one, it certainly helped to prevent uprisings in conquered territories; and secondly, it removed the best troops in a conquered region from their homeland. Certainly an area was less likely to rise up if their best soldiers were on campaign with the main force.
The threat of mutiny or rebellion was constant in Alexander’s army, one of the downsides to the widespread integration of Persians into the fighting force. Bosworth says, “It was the Macedonian nucleus…which was overwhelmingly important…”26 If this was true, and we have reason to believe so, since Alexander was reluctant to include Persians into his elite units until much later, then how did the Macedonians feel about the ever growing presence of people they set out to conquer in their ranks? Certainly they were not happy about it. On numerous occasions Alexander had to speak to the men to either push them further or inspire them to greatness.
The first occasion for this was at Tyre, when the troops disheartened by warfare were unsuccessfully sieging the city. Alexander was able to push them to greater feats of fighting. The next time was after Alexander had finally conquered Darius, the troops, thinking that was the end of the campaign were ready to head home, but Alexander was able to convince them to push on and conquer more. The next moment of resistance from within the army came at Hyphasis when Alexander’s army refused to go any further. Although Alexander tried to convince them to go further, the army would not be swayed and forced Alexander to turn back. Carney says that the army’s success in refusing Alexander’s will at Hyphasis helped to inspire them at Opis. Further, Curtius and Arrian tell us that the officers of Alexander’s army sided with the troops rather than their general. This would have the dual effect of not only causing Alexander to lose faith in the officer core which had served him throughout the campaign but to also give him cause to replace the officers at a later date.
In 324 B.C one of the most defining moments in the evolution of Alexander’s army occurred. The mutiny at Opis, although unsuccessful, changed the course of Alexander’s army from then until his death. Alexander announced his intention to send home many of the veteran Macedonians with whom he had been fighting for many years. This set a wave or protest throughout the Macedonian ranks. The primary sources differ on the motivation of the Macedonians uprising against Alexander, but they all agree that his dismissal of veterans caused a great stir among their ranks. The Macedonian soldiers were upset that Alexander was replacing them, and that the Persians were becoming more and more important to Alexander. In response, Alexander ordered the leaders of the mutiny to be executed. In the end, Alexander calmed down and agreed to send any Macedonian who wished to leave on his way home, but the effect on Alexander’s army was nonetheless crucial. This was the start of Alexander’s replacement of the Macedonian presence in his army.
Elizabeth Carney, although she does not label the event at Opis a mutiny, nevertheless recognizes the importance of this event. Carney rightly notes that discipline in the Macedonian army was based on obedience because of nationality. The Macedonians had been upset with Alexander’s adoption of Persian customs and dress for some time now, and the replacement of his veteran core no doubt came as a sign that they were being replaced as the elite units in his army. Although their immediate replacement was probably a result of the incident at Hyphasis, Alexander most likely had intended this for some time. Although Carney does not see the mutiny at Opis as a sign of the great change that is going on in Alexander’s army, she does recognize that it changed the relationship between Alexander and his army forever.
In 324 B.C. following the dismissal of many of the Macedonian veterans from his army, Alexander reorganized the units in his army for a final time. Although many have theorized about Alexander’s next intention, the restructuring of his army seemed to indicate his intention to continue his campaign for conquest. There is, however, a greater point for the reorganization of his army in 324. In 330 and 328 when Alexander changed the structure of his army he simply incorporated Persians into his army to fill the ever-growing need for troops. In 330 most of the Persians inside Alexander’s army filled a specific role, either that of a solider skilled with the javelin or cavalry. Even in 328 as Persians began to swell the ranks of Alexander’s army, they were almost entirely subordinate to Macedonian officers or separated entirely. Yet, in 324, Persians are their own force inside the army. The units are mixed and Persians are now included in both normal and elite units.
When Alexander set out to conquer Darius, it is not known how far he intended to go. Although it is not known for sure, Alexander probably regarded the Persians as barbarians and simply a people to be conquered. Alexander brought with him a piece of Hellenic culture, his army. In essence, the army was a traveling piece of Macedonia. However, the more territory the army conquered, Alexander’s empire not only grew, but his army swelled in ranks too. By the time of Alexander’s death, the fusion between Persian and Macedonian inside the army was complete. The two nationalities, although they may not have been fond of each other, did fight together. Together, the two peoples helped Alexander conquer an empire, which they mirrored. The content of Alexander’s army in the end, was not just a reflection of Alexander’s need for men, but a reflection of how it was no longer the army of Macedonia, but rather, an army of Alexander’s empire.
Badian, E. “Orientals in Alexander’s Army.” Journal of Hellenic Studies, Vol 85, 1965 pp. 160-161.
Bosworth, A.B. “Alexander and the Iranians.” JHS. Vol 100, 1980, pp. 1-21.
Brunt, P. A. Alexander’s Macedonian Cavalry. The Journal of Hellenic Studies. Vol 83, 1963, pp. 27-46.
Burn, A.R. “The Generalship of Alexander.” Greece and Rome. Vol 12, 1965, pp. 140-154.
Carney, Elizabeth. “Macedonians and Mutiny: Discipline and Indiscipline in the Army of Philip and Alexander.” Classical Philology, Vol. 91, No. 1. (Jan., 1996), pp. 19-44
Engels, D. W. Alexander the Great and the Logistics of the Macedonian Army. Berkeley: Los Angeles 1978.
Fuller, J. F. C., The Generalship of Alexander the Great. Oxford:London, 1958.
Griffith, G.T. “A Note on the Hipparchies of Alexander.” JHS. Vol 83, 1963, 68-74
Griffith, G. T., The Mercenaries of the Hellenistic World (Cambridge, 1935).
Hammond, N.G.L. “Casualties and Reinforcements of Citizen Soldiers in Greece and Macedonia.” JHS. Vol. 109, 1989, pp. 56-68.
Lock R. A. “The Macedonian army assembly in the time of Alexander the Great.” CPH. LXXII, 1977 pp. 91-107.
Milns, R.D. “Alexander’s Macedonian Cavalry and Diodorus xvii 17.4.” The Journal of Hellenic Studies. Vol 86, 1966, pp. 167-68.
1 Arrian, The Campaigns of Alexander, iv 17.3
2 P.A Brunt. Alexander’s Macedonian Cavalry. The Journal of Hellenic Studies. Vol 83, 1963.
3 Arrian, iv 17.3
4 G.T Griffith. “A Note on the Hipparchies of Alexander.” JHS. Vol 83, 1963, 70.
5 R.D. Milns. “Alexander’s Macedonian Cavalry and Diodorus xvii 17.4.” The Journal of Hellenic Studies. Vol 86, 1966, 167.
6 Justin, Epitome of Phillippic History of Pmompeus Trogus, II, 7.
7 QCR V39
8 Diodorus Siculus, Library of History, XVII 17.3.
9 DS xvii 17.3. Note that Diodorus places numbers and nationalities with the cavalry and they add up to a total of 5,100 not 4,500 as he states. Most likely the final total Diodorus gives is wrong and the numbers corresponding with the troops is correct.