While his army slowly made its way along the coast and across the Hellespont, Alexander, attended by only a few followers, sailed straight for Troy, the ancient Asiatic city. He landed on the desert plain where the proud city had once stood, visited all the scenes of the mighty conflict, and offered sacrifices on the tomb of Achilles, while his friend Hephaestion did the same on that of Patroclus.
When this pious pilgrimage to the tomb of his ancestor was over, Alexander hastened to join the army, for he longed to do like the ancient Greeks, and win a glorious victory. His wishes were soon granted, for before long he met the Persian army near the Granicus River, where a terrible battle was fought. Alexander himself joined in the fighting, and would certainly have been killed had not his friend Clytus, the son of his old nurse, rushed to his rescue and saved his life.