The victory over the King of Persia, Darius III, at Issus in 333 BC helped strengthen Alexander the Great’s position as ruler over the eastern Mediterranean. The painting gives an impression of the extent of this vast empire. Altdorfer orientated his work on the cartographic material of his time. The panel with the Latin inscription that was later altered provides details and the casualties of this battle. The red cord attached draws the eye to the protagonists. The picture is part of a cycle of history paintings that Duke William IV commissioned for the Residence in Munich.