The Greek army of ALEXANDER THE GREAT defeats Darius III of Persia in the BATTLE OF THE GRANICUS. It was the first of three major battles fought between Alexander the Great and the Persian Empire. Fought in Northwestern Asia Minor, near the site of Troy, it was here where Alexander defeated the forces of the Persian satraps of Asia Minor, including a large force of Greek mercenaries. Alexander the Great (unlike Oliver Stone’s cinematic “per-version” of history) was in actual fact very much a man who loved men. Alexander’s lifelong companion was Hephaestion, the son of a Macedonian noble. Hephaestion also held the position of second-in-command of Alexander’s forces until his death, which devastated Alexander.