Darius fled northwards from Ecbatana upon his approach.
At Ecbatana new masses of treasure were seized, but when once the necessary measures which its disposal and the occupation of the Median capital entailed were taken, Alexander continued the pursuit.
At Ecbatana the death of Hephaestion for a time plunged Alexander into a passion of mourning.
He now caused them to build a great capital, Ecbatana, with a royal palace, and introduced the ceremonial of oriental courts; he surrounded himself with a guard and no longer showed' himself to the people, but gave his judgments in writing and controlled the people by officials and spies.
Herodotus describes the oil pits near Ardericca (near Babylon), and the pitch spring of Zacynthus (Zante), whilst Strabo, Dioscorides and Pliny mention the use of the oil of Agrigentum, in Sicily, for illumination, and Plutarch refers to the petroleum found near Ecbatana (Kerkuk).