Daniel 8:1-5
Daniel 8:1
In the third year of the reign of king Belshazzar a vision appeared unto me, even unto me Daniel, after that which appeared unto me at the first.
In this chapter Daniel now goes from writing in Aramaic to writing Hebrew.  Daniel now has another vision but this one comes two years after the vision we saw in chapter seven.  This vision came approximately 12 years before the fall of Babylon to the Medes and Persians.  This would have put the date at approximately 550 or 551 B.C.
Daniel 8:2
And I saw in a vision; and it came to pass, when I saw, that I was at Shushan in the palace, which is in the province of Elam; and I saw in a vision, and I was by the river of Ulai.
Physically Daniel was still in Babylon but here in his vision he sees himself by the 900 foot wide (274 km) river or canal of Ulai which was situated about 230 miles (370 km) east of the province of Babylon and about 150 miles (241 km) north of the Persian Gulf.  He saw himself in the province of Elam in the capital city of Susa.  It was also where Queen Esther and King Xerxes later lived.  Esther 1:2 (KJV) That in those days, when the king Ahasuerus sat on the throne of his kingdom, which was in Shushan the palace,  The names “Shushan” means “Lilies” because many lilies grew in that area.  Elam was also known as Persia.
Daniel 8:3
Then I lifted up mine eyes, and saw, and, behold, there stood before the river a ram which had two horns: and the two horns were high; but one was higher than the other, and the higher came up last.
Daniel then begins to reveal his visions.  As he was by the river Ulai, he saw a ram which had two horns.  If you recall the meaning of horns represents power or strength.  The ram in this vision represents the Medes and the Persians.  The two horns which were on the ram were high but one was higher than the other.  The lower horn represented the Medes and the higher horn represented Persia which had greater strength than the Medes and overshadowed them owing to the rise of Cyrus.
Daniel 8:4
I saw the ram pushing westward, and northward, and southward; so that no beasts might stand before him, neither was there any that could deliver out of his hand; but he did according to his will, and became great.
Here Daniel sees the conquering of lands by the Medes and the Persians and the swiftness of their conquests.  However, the Persians eventually overtook the Medes in strength.  The westward conquests will consist of Lydia, Thrace, Ionia, and Macedon.  The northern conquests would consist of the areas toward the Caspian Sea.  The southward advances would be the capture of Babylon, Judah, and later on Egypt.  No beast, that is, no king was able to stand in his way and thwart their advances.  This includes the fact that none of the conquered areas could be delivered by any king.  When Daniel saw that Babylon was to be conquered, he may have sighed a bit of relief but he did not know when this would take place.  Since this vision came about 550/1 B.C. it would have been another 11 or 12 years till the Medes and Persians captured Babylon in 539 B.C.
Daniel 8:5
And as I was considering, behold, an he goat came from the west on the face of the whole earth, and touched not the ground: and the goat had a notable horn between his eyes.
Now Daniel sees further into the future.  The goat that he now sees which comes from the west is the kingdom of Greece and the notable horn that is between his eyes represents Alexander the Great whose conquests were so swift that in the visions he is represented as not even touching the ground like a bird of prey.  In 334 B.C he was successful at the battle of Granicus, which was the first major battle against the Persians.  Then he had further victories in the battle of Issus in 333 B.C. in Southern Anatolia where he defeated the Persian Governors and the battle of Arbelela in 331 B.C., also known as the battle of Gaugamela which was the decisive battle against the Persian Empire.  These were amazingly quick victories until his death in Babylon in 323 B.C.  He conquered so much territory in just 13 years.