Freda Bedi Cont'd (#3)

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Re: Freda Bedi Cont'd (#3)

Postby admin » Fri Jun 18, 2021 5:59 am

Mallian campaign [Indian Campaign #4 Nov. 326 B.C.-Feb 325 B.C.]
by Wikipedia
Accessed: 6/17/21



Image
Alexander's Indian campaign
Part of the Indian campaign of Alexander the Great
Alexander's Indian conquests, with the Mallian campaign at the confluence of the Hydraotis and the Hydaspes
Date: November 326 – February 325 BC
Location: Punjab region
30°42′N 72°18′ECoordinates: 30°42′N 72°18′E
Result: Hellenic conquest of the Mallian homeland (pre-modern Pakistan)
Belligerents
Macedon: League of Corinth / Malli
Commanders and leaders
Alexander the Great; Hephaestion; Peithon / various
Image
Location within South Asia

Campaigns of Alexander the Great
Balkans

Mount Haemus (335 BC)Pelium (335 BC)Thebes (335 BC)
Persia
Granicus (334 BC)Miletus (334 BC)Halicarnassus (334 BC)Issus (333 BC)Tyre (332 BC)Gaza (332 BC)Gaugamela (331 BC)Uxian Defile (331 BC)Persian Gate (330 BC)Cyropolis (329 BC)Jaxartes (329 BC)Gabai (328 BC)Sogdian Rock (327 BC)
India
Cophen (327 BC)Aornos (326 BC)Hydaspes (326 BC)Mallian campaign (326 BC)

The Mallian campaign was conducted by Alexander the Great from November 326 to February 325 BC, against the Malli of the Punjab. Alexander was defining the eastern limit of his power by marching down-river along the Hydaspes to the Acesines (now the Jhelum and Chenab), but the Malli and the Oxydraci combined to refuse passage through their territory. Alexander sought to prevent their forces meeting, and made a swift campaign against them which successfully pacified the region between the two rivers. Alexander was seriously injured during the course of the campaign, almost losing his life.[1]

Background

The campaign against the Malli (identified with the Malavas[2][3]) occurred a year after Alexander crossed the Hindu Kush,[4] and eight years after the start of his campaigns against the Persian Empire. At this time, his conquests stretched from Greece into India; some of the Indian tribes had previously been part of the Persian Empire. The political situation in Greece was quiet.[5]

The Malavas or Malwas were an ancient Indian tribe. Modern scholars identify them with the Malloi who were settled in the Punjab region at the time of Alexander's invasion in the 4th century BCE. Later, the Malavas migrated southwards to present-day Rajasthan, and ultimately to Madhya Pradesh and Gujarat. Their power gradually declined as a result of defeats against the Western Satraps (2nd century CE), the Gupta emperor Samudragupta (4th century), and the Chalukya emperor Pulakeshin II (7th century).

The Malwa region in central India is named after them. The Malava era, which later came to be known as Vikram Samvat, was probably first used by them.

Before Common Era

The Malavas are mentioned in several ancient Indian texts, including the Mahabharata and Mahabhashya.

The Mahābhāṣya (Sanskrit: महाभाष्य, IPA: [mɐɦaːbʱaːʂjɐ], great commentary), attributed to Patañjali, is a commentary on selected rules of Sanskrit grammar from Pāṇini's treatise, the Ashtadhyayi, as well as Kātyāyana's Varttika, an elaboration of Pāṇini's grammar. It is dated to the 2nd century BCE.

Patañjali is one of the three most famous Sanskrit grammarians of ancient India, other two being Pāṇini and Kātyāyana who preceded Patañjali (dated to c. 150 BCE). Kātyāyana's work (nearly 1500 vārtikas on Pāṇini) is available only through references in Patañjali's work....

Mentions and commentaries

Satyapriya Tirtha (c. 1701 - c. 1744), a peetadhipathi of Uttaradi Matha belonging to Dvaita school of Vedanta wrote a commentary on Mahābhāṣya named Mahābhāṣya Vivarana.

James R. Ballantyne (c. 1813 – c. 1864) published the first part of the Mahābhāṣya of Patañjali in 1856, for the first time opening native Indian grammatical tradition to a wider European scholarly audience.


-- Mahābhāṣya, by Wikipedia


According to Monier Monier-Williams, the word "Patañjali" is a compound name from "patta" (Sanskrit: पत, "falling, flying") and "añj" (अञ्ज्, "honor, celebrate, beautiful") or "añjali" (अञ्जलि, "reverence, joining palms of the hand")...

The dating of Patanjali and his Mahabhasya is established by a combination of evidence, those from the Maurya Empire period, the historical events mentioned in the examples he used to explain his ideas, the chronology of ancient classical Sanskrit texts that respect his teachings, and the mention of his text or his name in ancient Indian literature...

The literary styles and contents of the Yogasūtras and the Mahābhāṣya are entirely different, and the only work on medicine attributed to Patañjali is lost. Sources of doubt include the lack of cross-references between the texts, and no mutual awareness of each other, unlike other cases of multiple works by (later) Sanskrit authors. Also, some elements in the Yoga Sutras may date from as late as the 4th century AD, but such changes may be due to divergent authorship, or due to later additions which are not atypical in the oral tradition. Most scholars refer to both works as "by Patanjali", without meaning that they are by the same author.

In addition to the Mahābhāṣya and Yoga Sūtras, the 11th-century commentary on Charaka by the Bengali scholar Chakrapani Datta, and the 16th-century text Patanjalicarita ascribes to Patañjali a medical text called the Carakapratisaṃskṛtaḥ (now lost) which is apparently a revision (pratisaṃskṛtaḥ) of the medical treatise by Caraka. While there is a short treatise on yoga in the medical work called the Carakasaṃhitā (by Caraka), towards the end of the chapter called śārīrasthāna, it is notable for not bearing much resemblance to the Yoga Sūtras, and in fact presents a form of eightfold yoga that is completely different from that laid out by Patañjali in the Yoga Sūtras and the commentary Yogasūtrabhāṣya....


He also sheds light on contemporary events, commenting on the recent Greek incursion, and also on several tribes that lived in the Northwest regions of the subcontinent.

-- Patanjali, by Wikipedia


According to the Mahabharata, the hundred sons of the Madra king Ashvapati, the father of Savitri were known as the Malavas, after the name of their mother, Malavi. Although Malavas are not specifically mentioned by Panini, his sutra V.3.117 mentions a group of tribes called ayudhajivi samghas (those who live by the profession of arms) and the Kashika includes the Malavas and the Kshudrakas in this group of tribes. The Malavas are also mentioned in the Mahabhashya (IV.1.68) of Patanjali.

The location of the original homeland of the Malavas is not certain, but modern scholars generally connect them with the "Malli" or "Malloi" mentioned in the ancient Greek accounts, which describe Alexander's war against them. At the time of Alexander's invasion in the 4th century BCE, the Malloi lived in present-day Punjab region, in the area to the north of the confluence of the Ravi and the Chenab rivers.

-- Malavas, by Wikipedia


Alexander had defeated King Porus at the Battle of the Hydaspes in May 326 BC, and then stayed in his territory for thirty days.[6] During this time, he reconciled King Porus and his other vassal, Taxiles, with each other, as they were both to be his new vassals.[6] Alexander achieved this by arbitrating their disputes and then arranging a family alliance.[7] He then marched north-east toward the Glaukanokoi, and received the submission of their thirty-seven cities.[6] Abisares of Kashimir submitted to the Macedonians as well, and gave them many gifts, including forty elephants.[6] Alexander proposed to march further east to the River Ganges and fight the powerful empires of the Nanda and the Gangaridai. According to Arrian, he expressed his thoughts thus;[8]

Now if anyone desires to hear where our warfare will find its end and limit, let him know that the distance from where we are to the river Ganges is no longer great; and this you will find is connected to the Hyrcanian sea; for the great sea surrounds the entire earth. I will also demonstrate to the Macedonians and their allies not only that the Indian gulf is confluent with the Persian, but the Hycranian gulf is confluent with the Indian.


Image
Alexander the Great beneath the Mallian walls

At the Beas River, his army mutinied. They did not share his ambition and wished to return home. It had been raining for the last seventy days.[8] At the Battle of Hydaspes they had suffered many casualties. The Nanda Empire was rumoured to be even more powerful than Porus, who was only a princeling. Coenus' spoke on behalf of the troops and pleaded with Alexander to allow them to return, to the agreement of the other officers. Alexander finally gave in.[9]

Shortly after this, Memnon brought up reinforcements of 6,000 cavalry from Thrace, and 7,000 infantry.[7] The reinforcements brought with them twenty five thousand suits of armour.[7] After uniting with Memnon's forces, Alexander decided to head south, following the river Hydaspes, after the omens ostensibly declared it unfavourable to march further east. Initially, the fleet and army just sailed down the river, occasionally marching short distances inland.[10] Only slight opposition was experienced.[10]

Alexander received news that the Mallians and the Oxydracians had decided to trade hostages with each other, and moved all their valuables into their fortified cities.[11][12] They decided to combine their forces in order to prevent him from marching through their territory. Reports suggested that they had a total of 90,000 foot, 10,000 horse and 900 chariots.[11][12] In spite of the fact that the two had traditionally been enemies, it was reported that they had laid aside their disputes to fight the Macedonians. Alexander decided to prevent them from joining their forces.

It was Alexander's habit, as with his father, to campaign in all seasons of the year.[13] In Greece, this meant the winter, but in India, it meant the rainy season or cold season. The Mallian alliance was unaware of this practice, and therefore might have expected more time to prepare for Alexander's advance. Throughout his career, Alexander made many celebrated marches in spite of difficult conditions. After the Battle of Gaugamela Alexander and his forces are alleged to have reached the Great Zab, 34 miles (55 km) from the battlefield, only one day later.[13]

Phases

First


Image
First phase

Upon receiving the news of the alliance in November, Alexander raced out to prevent the junction of the two tribes. He reached the area in five days by sailing down the Hydaspes with the fleet he had recently built.[11] The boats had been built to be taken apart and put back together, so that they could be conveyed across the Punjab. There were, as there are now, five rivers in the Punjab - it is sometimes referred to as "The Valley of the Five Rivers" - so it was necessary to drag the boats from one to the next.[14][page needed] The Hydaspes and Acesines were dangerous to sail down in this area, and the Macedonians sustained considerable damage to some of their ships, in addition to some casualties.[11] They used two sorts of vessels, warships and the transport ships known as "round vessels".[15] The transport ships were not damaged,[15] as their round hulls helped them navigate the difficult channels. By contrast, the warships had considerable difficulties, and many were destroyed.[15] Their double rows of oars meant that the bottom row of oars would get caught on the river bank.[15] At one point Alexander even took off his armour, preparing to jump in the water, for fear that his ship was going to sink.[15]

However, the Macedonians got through.[15] Arriving in the confederacies' territory, they set about the task of pacification. While their ships were undergoing repairs, the Macedonians first attacked a tribe to the west called the Sibea.[15] This tribe, alleged to have 40,000 warriors, was on the right bank, and thus the Macedonians had to cross the river in order to attack them.[15][16] The Macedonians destroyed their capital city and burned their crops, slew all the males, and enslaved the women and children.[15][16] Previously, Alexander had been scrupulous about being merciful towards the inhabitants of his newly conquered territories. This marked change in policy was intended as an example to the other tribes. It was done, allegedly, to secure the Macedonians' line of communications, which, being already over-extended, were at a serious risk of being cut. They extended all the way from Babylon to the Punjab, if they were cut anywhere the entire expedition could have been compromised. No half measures were taken in securing the lines of communications in their extended condition.

Alexander was determined not to let the Mallians escape him, and therefore he planned a sophisticated campaign that allowed him to retain the interior lines, so that he could reinforce himself at any threatened point.[17]

He added Philip's corps, Polyperchon's brigade, the horse-bowmen and the elephants which had been marching down the river, to Craterus' force.[18] He then ordered Nearchus to sail down the river with the fleet and establish a base to conduct further operations at the junction of the Acesines and the Hydraotis.[18] In addition, the base would be used to catch any escaping Mallians.[18] Three days later, Alexander ordered Craterus to follow him[clarification needed] down the river on the right bank.[18]

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First phase continued

Alexander divided his army into three parts and crossed over onto the left bank.[18] His own force was to march directly across the desert,[18] and was to take upon itself the most difficult work, as was his habit. His force consisted of hypaspists, archers, Agrianians, Peithon's brigade of the phalanx, the horse archers and half the Companion cavalry.[18] While it was a difficult march across the desert, the march was to serve two purposes; first it was to surprise the Mallians,[18] secondly it was to afford him a strategic position from which he could drive them to the south,[18] so that they would be pressed towards the rest of his forces.[18] Hephaestion's force was ordered to march opposite Craterus' force, on the left bank of the same river.[18] He was sent five days ahead of Alexander, in order to ensure that any retreating forces Alexander impelled would be easily caught if they managed to evade Craterus.[18] Ptolemy I Soter's force was ordered to follow Alexander's march three days later, in order to ensure that any Mallians that did escape to the north were still captured and slaughtered.[18]

Second

At this point, the tentative alliance between the Mallians and the Oxydracians began to break down.[17] The two tribes could not agree on who was to lead them,[17] and their forces retreated to their strongholds, each group to fend for themselves.[17]

After starting across the desert, Alexander marched continuously, with only a single half-day halt at a place where water could be obtained.[17] His detachment of the army marched 45 miles (72 km) in about 24 hours.[19][20] Arriving near the city of Kot Kamalia at daybreak,[20] Alexander rode ahead with his Companion cavalry and totally surprised the Mallians — so much so that many of them were still outside the city. As Alexander had expected, they did not think he would cross the desert.[21] A vast number of them were slain,[21][22] and Alexander chased those whom he could not massacre into the city.[22] He then created a cordon of cavalry around this relatively small town, and awaited the arrival of his infantry.[21][22]

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Second phase

When the infantry arrived, Alexander detached Perdiccas with the cavalry of Cleitus the White and his own cavalry, and ordered him to surround another Mallian city to the south-east.[21] However, he gave him specific instructions not to actually besiege the city, for fear that some of the inhabitants would flee and give news of what was going on to others in the area, giving them time to escape.[22] Alexander desired that Perdiccas should await his own arrival with the rest of the force.[23] This is another example of Alexander taking up each and every task he deemed to be important in person, this was a practice he repeated throughout all of his campaigns. It was soon after this that Alexander took the city that he was currently besieging, employing siege equipment such as the torsion catapult.[24] The torsion catapult was the most powerful of the era, and had revolutionised siege warfare; Alexander would use it to capture all the other cities in the region.[25] Alexander's army then overcame the city's garrison, two thousand strong, and killed them all.[23] When Perdiccas arrived at the town he was supposed to take, he found it empty; he chased down the survivors and put them to the sword.[22]

Alexander allowed his men to rest until the first watch of the night.[26] After this, the Macedonians continued to pursue the Mallians, the next town being the modern Brahmin town of Atari. Upon arriving, Alexander immediately sent his phalanx forward and prepared to undermine the city walls. However, the Indians, who were by now familiar with Alexander's expertise in besieging, decided they could hold out better in the citadel.[13] The Macedonians followed. Alexander led a siege of the citadel, bringing his phalanx up towards the walls.[26] The citadel was burnt, and five thousand Mallians died within its walls.[27][28]

After taking a single day's rest,[28] Alexander headed for the city of Mallians (this city has been identified as present-day Multan, although this identification is not certain).[29] However, the Mallians had crossed the river already,[clarification needed] and were awaiting his arrival on the western bank.

Final

Image
Final phase

Before continuing his campaign against the Mallians, Alexander sent Peithon and Demetrius back towards the river, the forests, and the desert.[28][30] Their orders were to kill anyone who did not submit.[28] The reason was that so many of the cities were deserted when Alexander's forces reached them.[28] Refugees from these cities had been taken prisoner in the forests in the area alongside the Hydraotis.[30][clarification needed]

The Malli offered battle to Alexander on the high ground of the western bank of the Hydraotis.[30] However, Alexander and his army had become such an object of fear in their eyes that he decided to charge them across the river. This was not a new tactic, as his father Phillip II had perfected the cavalry arm of Macedon to such an extent that the infantry, on many occasions, would only attack after the cavalry.[13][page needed] The Mallians fled without the Macedonian infantry even joining battle. Alexander pursued them with his cavalry for 5 miles (8.0 km).[31]

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Cavalry attack

The Mallians, realising how small the number of Macedonian cavalry was, chose to stop and fight them. Arrian estimated that there were fifty thousand Mallians at this point. As expert as the Companion cavalry was, Alexander had placed himself in a vulnerable situation. However, the Macedonians formed up and circled around the Mallians, attacking them in the flank and rear.[31] Eventually, the Macedonian light infantry came up, and the Mallians lost heart and fled to the city of Mallians.[32][33] Alexander followed them to the city, and then rested his columns for the rest of the day.[32][33]

Siege of the citadel

Image
The ladder breaks stranding Alexander and a few companions, within the Mallian town. André Castaigne (1898-1899).

Alexander arranged two separate forces, one to be led by himself and the other by Perdiccas. The Indians almost immediately retreated into the main citadel. The citadel was substantial, with its walls a mile around.[33] But Alexander was able to force one of the gates, and made his way into the outer parts of the citadel.[33] There the Macedonians began to undermine the next layer of walls.

Alexander quickly became impatient at the pace of the siege, so he grabbed a ladder and went up it himself.[33] He was followed by only two soldiers. The rest of the soldiers, nervous about the safety of their king, crowded the ladders to get up so that they could protect him. There were too many of them, and the ladders collapsed under the weight. The Mallians realised who Alexander was, and focused their energies on him. Many of Alexander's men held out their arms and called for him to jump down to them.[34] The King, however, would not.

Alexander leaped into the inner area of the citadel.[35] There, he killed the Mallians' leader.[36] But an arrow penetrated Alexander's lung, and he was severely wounded.[37] The Macedonians believed Alexander dead. After gaining entrance to the city, they planned to kill everyone in revenge.

Result

Image
Alexander at the wall of Multan in the Punjab.

When the Macedonians reached Alexander, some of them placed him on a shield and quickly ran back with him to a tent.[38] An incision had to be made in order to get the arrow out, however everyone was afraid to make the incision themselves. Perdiccas came forward and volunteered to make the incision. An incision was made and the arrow head was withdrawn from the wound. The soldiers were very anxious about his health, since they believed he was the only one who could lead them back home.[39][page needed] For some days he hovered between life and death.

The main body of the army, four days away from Alexander's location, heard that he was dead.[38] Rumours spread like wildfire, and when reports came in that he was alive and was recovering, they would not believe it.[40] He was eventually placed upon a boat where he could see the troops, and the troops could see him.[39][page needed] However, his health was in such a delicate state that during his course down the river they would not even row the boat, for fear that the oars slapping the water would disturb him.[41][clarification needed]

Four days afterwards, the Macedonians reached a fertile country which the natives had completely deserted.[12] Alexander was confronted by some of his close companions. They told him that he should not expose himself so recklessly in battle.[41] Alexander received the final submission of the Malli, who had submitted after the capture of their capital city. He sent their ambassadors away, and they returned later with 300 four horse chariots. In addition to this, Alexander also received 1,000 Indian shields, a number of lions and 100 talents.[42]

References

1. Theodore Dodge 1890, p. 605.
2. Ian Worthington 2014, p. 219.
3. Peter Green 2013, p. 418.
4. Benjamin Wheeler 1900.
5. Benjamin Wheeler 1900, p. 447.
6. Benjamin Wheeler 1900, p. 448.
7. Quntus Curtius Rufus 1809, p. 321.
8. Benjamin Wheeler 1900, p. 451.
9. Benjamin Wheeler 1900, p. 454.
10. Benjamin Wheeler 1900, p. 456.
11. Theodore Dodge 1890, p. 592.
12. Quntus Curtius Rufus 1809, p. 327.
13. Hans Delbruck 1990.
14. Quntus Curtius Rufus 1809.
15. Theodore Dodge 1890, p. 593.
16. Quntus Curtius Rufus 1809, p. 326.
17. Theodore Dodge 1890, p. 595.
18. Theodore Dodge 1890, p. 594.
19. Theodore Dodge 1890, p. 596.
20. Arrian 1893, p. 301.
21. Theodore Dodge 1890, p. 597.
22. Arrian 1893, p. 302.
23. Theodore Dodge 1890, p. 598.
24. Ian Worthington 2008, p. 27.
25. Ian Worthington 2008, p. 28.
26. Arrian 1893, p. 303.
27. Theodore Dodge 1890, p. 600.
28. Arrian 1893, p. 304.
29. Theodore Dodge 1890, p. 606.
30. Theodore Dodge 1890, p. 601.
31. Theodore Dodge 1890, p. 602.
32. Arrian 1893, p. 305.
33. Theodore Dodge 1890, p. 603.
34. Benjamin Wheeler 1900, p. 458.
35. Dave, Wood. "In the footsteps of Alexander the Great". The City of Multan. BBC. Retrieved July 14, 2011.
36. Arrian 1893, p. 604.
37. Theodore Dodge 1890, p. 604.
38. Benjamin Wheeler 1900, p. 459.
39. Arrian 1893.
40. Benjamin Wheeler 1900, p. 460.
41. Benjamin Wheeler 1900, p. 461.
42. Quntus Curtius Rufus 1809, p. 350.

Bibliography

• Arrian (1893). Anabasis of Alexander. George Bell and Sons. OCLC 486120.
Benjamin Wheeler (1900). Alexander the Great. New York: G.B. Putnam & Sons. OCLC 458978001.
• Hans Delbruck (1990). The History of the Art of War. One. Lincoln: University of Nebraska. ISBN 0-8032-6584-0.
• Ian Worthington (2014). Alexander the Great: Man and God. Routledge. ISBN 978-1-317-86645-9.
• Ian Worthington (2008). Phillip II of Macedonia. New Haven: University of Yale. pp. 22–37. ISBN 978-0-300-12079-0.
• Peter Green (2013). Alexander of Macedon, 356–323 B.C.: A Historical Biography. University of California Press. ISBN 978-0-520-95469-4.
• Quintus Curtius Rufus (1809). The History of the Life and Reign of Alexander the Great. London: S. Bagster. OCLC 457392990.
• Siculus Diodorus (1963). The Library of History (Volume VIII of the Loeb Classical Library ed.). Retrieved 18 July 2011.
• Theodore Dodge (1890). Alexander. New York: Da Capo Press. pp. 592–608.

External links

• Benjamin Wheeler (1900) Alexander the Great at the Internet Archive
• Livius
• Plutarch
• The Invasion of India by Alexander the Great as described by Arrian, Q. Curtius, Diodoros, Plutarch and Justin (1896), at Internet Archive
• The Early History of India from 600 B.C. to the Muhammadan conquest, including the invasion of Alexander the Great (1914), by Vincent Arthur Smith, at Internet Archive
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Re: Freda Bedi Cont'd (#3)

Postby admin » Fri Jun 18, 2021 6:07 am

Cophen campaign [Indian Campaign #1 May 327 B.C.-Mar. 326 B.C.]
by Wikipedia
Accessed: 6/17/21



Image
Alexander's Indian campaign
Part of Indian campaign of Alexander the Great
The Valley of the Cophen
Date: May 327 BC – March 326 BC
Location: modern Kabul valley, Afghanistan and Pakistan
35.2°N 72.483333°ECoordinates: 35.2°N 72.483333°E
Result: Macedonia conquers the Cophen (Kabul) country, modern Kunar, Panjkora, and Swat valleys
Belligerents
Macedon; Hellenic League / Aspasioi; Guraeans; Assakenoi
Commanders and leaders
Alexander the Great; Craterus; Perdiccas; Ptolemy I Soter; Leonnatus / various
Image
Location of the Cophen Valley

The Cophen campaign was conducted by Alexander the Great in the Kabul (Sanskrit: "Kubha") Valley between May 327 BC[1] and March 326 BC.[2] It was conducted against the Aspasioi, the Guraeans, and the Assakenoi tribes in the Kunar valley of Afghanistan, and Panjkora (Dir) and Swat valleys in what is now Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan. Alexander's goal was to secure his line of communications so that he could conduct a campaign in India proper. To achieve this, he needed to capture a number of fortresses controlled by the local tribes.

Background

It had been Alexander's purpose to conquer the whole of the Persian Empire which extended as far as Gandara.[3] A previous king of the Persian Achaemenid Empire, Darius the Great, had sent one of his generals, Skylax, to sail down the Indus.[4] Following this expedition, Darius was able to conquer the surrounding Indian territory and receive tribute of 350 Euboic talents per annum.[5] Relatively little is known about the Punjab in Alexander's day.[5] There were a variety of princelings and republics, which the Indians called, "kingless"[6] peoples. All were vying for power over the region.

The King of Taxila, Omphis, whom the Macedonians called Taxila,[7] had invited Alexander to come to his aid in his struggle against the neighbouring potentate Porus.[3] Porus was considered to be the most powerful prince in the region. Another Indian king, Sisicotus, had served in the Persian Army at Gaugumela[3] and had later been Alexander's vassal.[8] Alexander gained useful intelligence concerning the region from these individuals.[8]

Alexander had begun planning the expedition two years before, in 329 BC,[9] but had been delayed in carrying out the expedition by a series of revolts that had taken place in Aria, Sogdiana and Bactria. He was held up in putting down these revolts as he had been marching through the Hindu Kush mid-winter and decided to camp in the mountains.[10] It was during this time that he founded the city of Alexandria ad Caucasum.[10] This city was some twenty five miles north-west of modern Kabul, in Afghanistan.

Returning to Alexandria ad Caucasum in May 327 BC[1] he found a surfeit of victual and supplies ready for the army for its expedition into India.[11] However, there were administrative matters that required his attention. Both the satrap of the Paropamisadae, Proëxes, and the commander of the garrison, Neiloxinus, were replaced due to their unsatisfactory conduct. When Alexander set out for Nicaea, it is said that he had 150,000 soldiers.[8] Historians have expressed doubts about the veracity of these numbers. Alexander had in his army soldiers from Greece, Thrace and Agriania as well as soldiers from various territories within his new empire.[8][12] Leaving Alexandria ad Caucasum, Alexander marched to Nicaea, where he sacrificed to Athena (which was his habit at the beginning of every campaign) and exclaiming that he was following in the footsteps of his ancestor Heracles, began his advance towards the Indus along the Cophen River.[13]

First phase—Aspasians

While on the march Alexander sent ambassadors ahead to the various tribes that were ahead of him ordering them to submit and provide him with hostages.[7] Taxila and a number of other princes came to him bringing him gifts as proof of their vassalage and paying tribute with gifts for the Macedonians.[7] Amongst the gifts that the Macedonians had never seen before, the Indian potentates furnished Alexander with 25 elephants[11][14]

As Alexander had now effectively replaced Darius III as King of Persia, Alexander was now effectively the new overlord of the Empire including this easternmost region.[15] Therefore, Alexander was able to treat anyone who resisted him as in revolt against him. While descending into the Cophen valley, Alexander informed his new vassals of his intentions. He planned to spend the rest of the summer and autumn reducing the region ahead of him up to the Indus river.[7] From there, he was going to proceed beyond the Indus and punish the Indian states and tribes which had not recognised him as their overlord and had not sent him ambassadors with tribute.[7]

However, he found that the campaign was far more difficult than he had anticipated. At Nicaea, he took the time to split his army into two separate forces with the object of retaining the interior lines so that he could reinforce his army at any point should any particular section of his army become threatened during the course of his campaign in the valley of the Cophen. In addition to this, these two forces were to keep the Indian rulers in the region from combining their forces and coordinating their efforts against the Macedonians.[16]

The army that was to march along the river Cophen was to be commanded by Perdiccas and Hephaestion.[14] They were accompanied by the king of Taxila to take advantage of his knowledge of the region.[14][17] They were to proceed along the southern bank of the Cophen. They had at their disposal three brigades led by Gorgias, Clitus and Meleager, half the Companion (mostly Macedonian noblemen who were equipped with a spear,[18] a shield and were disciplined to such an extent that they have been called "the first real cavalry")[18] and all the Greek mercenary cavalry.[14][17] Their instructions were to follow the river to the Indus bringing all the cities and fortifications to submission on the way through either systematic reduction or by terms.[14][16] Then they were to build a bridge upon their arrival at the Indus[14] so that when the King arrived and after the winter when Alexander had wintered his army in the region, they could proceed to cross the river and punish the tribes across the Indus.[16]

Meanwhile, Alexander had at his disposal the bulk of the forces in his army.[16] These forces comprised the shield bearing guards (known as the "silver shields"), four regiments of Companion cavalry, the Phalanx (other than those who marched with the first column), the foot agema, the archers, the other half of the horse archers, the Agrianians and the horse lancers.[19][16]

Alexander's plan was to march along all the valleys that were in between Nicaea and the river Indus with the aim of subduing those tribes that had not paid tribute.[19][20]

Alexander received information that the Aspasians, the first tribe whose lands he had entered had retreated to their capital. Eager to defeat them, the Macedonians crossed a river with all the cavalry and eight hundred Macedonian infantry mounted on horses.[21][22] They arrived quickly enough to kill a number of the Aspasians and drive them within their walls.[22] The rest of the army came up the next day and took the city. However, a number of the Aspasians decided to flee before the city was taken, seeing their cause as lost. The Macedonians followed them and killed a great many of them.[22][23] Alexander's men, enraged to see that their king had been injured during the course of the siege, razed the city to the ground. The Macedonians marched off to the next town, Andaca, which capitulated.[22]

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The King's campaign through the Aspasian territory.

Alexander then left Craterus, whom he had probably kept in hand in case of just such an occasion, in command of a force responsible for gaining and keeping control of the tribes living in the surrounding valleys.[22]

Alexander's next destination was Euspla,[22] where the King of the Aspasians was based. At this point, deeming their cause lost, the Aspasians burned this city and fled.[22] The Macedonians pursued them. During the ensuing combat, one of the Aspasians thrust his spear right through Ptolemy's breast plate,[19] but the spear did not make contact with him due to the armour stopping the severity of the blow.[19][24] It was at this point that Ptolemy killed the King of the Aspasians.[19][24]

Second phase—Guraeans

After defeating the Aspasians and thus securing his lines of communication, the Macedonians marched towards the Guraean fortified city of Arigaeum. On hearing news of Alexander's capacity as a general and besieger, the populace razed the fortress.[25] It was at this particular point that Craterus returned to Alexander after gaining control over the Aspasian valleys, including Andaca.[25] Alexander ordered Craterus to set up a number of new colonies in the region, including Arigaeum. Control of Arigaeum and Andaca were important in controlling the Choaspes river, and occupying the fortresses with healthy garrisons would prove advantageous to Alexander in the case of revolts.[25]

The Guraeans had retreated after burning their fortified city, joined up with their fellow tribesmen and prepared themselves to face Alexander.

Combat at Arigaeum

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The King's force takes up the center of the Macedonian line while Ptolemy and Leonnatus' forces take a circuit to catch the barbarians by surprise.

Ptolemy, who had been sent ahead on a foraging expedition,[25] came back to the main contingent of the army under Alexander and reported that there was a very large force assembled and preparing to face the Macedonians.[25]

When the Macedonians arrived where the assembled force had gathered, Alexander divided his army into three parts with Ptolemy taking up the left (he commanded a third of the hypaspists, the brigades of Philip and Philotas, two squadrons of horse archers, the Agrianians and half the remaining cavalry).[25] Leonnatus was ordered to take up the right flank, with Attalus' and Balacrus' brigades.[26] Alexander took up the centre opposed to the Guraean centre.[26] Alexander sent Ptolemy and Leonnatus to their respective flanks by routes that the Guraeans could not observe,[26] thus hiding these two particular flanks of his army (lined roughly obliquely with his centre line[26]) from the Guraeans. Alexander's contingent was comparatively small, and his plan was to lure them out and to fight them while Leonnatus and Ptolemy took their flanks.[26]

As expected, the Guraeans attacked Alexander's small contingent and after Ptolemy faced rough fighting,[26] he was able to achieve victory on his flank. Leonnatus' victory was comparatively easier, after which time the enemy surrendered.[27] It is said that 40,000 Guraeans were captured.[27]

Third phase—Assacenians

Following his victory over the Guraeans, Alexander marched down the Garaeus river subduing the tribes of this region to tribute paying status. From there he proceeded into the valley of the Suastos where there was a force of two thousand cavalry, thirty thousand infantry and thirty elephants.[28] Alexander raced forward with the van, trying to do all he could to upset their preparations, while Craterus followed up at a more methodical pace with the main force.[27] It is specifically mentioned that he had the siege engines with him.[27] It must have been a great relief for the Macedonians to proceed into the relatively flat lands of this region of the Indus compared to the mountainous regions they had been in.[27] The speed with which the Macedonian van proceeded was such that Alexander was able to prevent facing a full complement of enemy forces. In response to Alexander's tactics, it was written that each of the enemy tribes retreated to their respective territories.[29]

Siege of Massaga

Alexander then marched towards Massaga, the largest Assacenian fortified city and their capital.[29] The Assacenians had acquired the services of 7,000 mercenaries from beyond the Indus.[28] These mercenaries were soldiers of considerable capability, and as a result of their presence, the Assacenians as well as the mercenaries themselves were confident of victory against the Macedonians.[28][29]

Upon arriving at Massaga, Alexander ordered that the camp be set up outside of the capital. However, so the Assacenians were so confident thanks to support of their mercenaries that they decided to immediately attack.[28][29] Seeing an opportunity, Alexander ordered his men to retreat to a hill about a mile distant from the town.[28][30] In pursuing the Macedonians, the Assacenians lost their discipline and became disordered due to their excitement at the prospect of having caught the Macedonians so off guard. However, when they finally came within range of the Macedonian bows, Alexander ordered his bowmen to fire on the Assacenians.[28][30] The mounted javelin men, Agrianians and archers at once dashed forward to attack.[28] These were swiftly followed by the phalanx, which Alexander led in person.[28] Alexander was injured during the course of this action and is alleged to have stated, "They may call me son of Zeus, but I suffer none the less like a mortal. This is blood, not ichor!"[30]

A subsequent assault on Massaga proved to be unsuccessful[31] with the professional mercenaries showing that they were worth the gold they were getting paid. The next day, Alexander ordered the siege equipment to be brought up and ordered a section of the wall to be battered down.[30] However, the mercenaries were successful in preventing this action from succeeding.[30] As a result, Alexander ordered that a tower and terrace be built; this took nine days.[30] Alexander then ordered that the tower be advanced toward the wall.[30] Archers and slingers, most likely from Cyprus, were stationed on the tower as it was moved forward in order to keep the defenders at a distance.[30]

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Alexander ordered that a tower and terrace be built—it took nine days—after which time he ordered that archers and slingers be stationed on top of the tower and force the defenders from the ramparts.

The mercenaries fought fiercely and would not let the Macedonians through.[28] The next day, Alexander ordered that from the tower they extend a bridge and would have the same men who stormed Tyre from the bridges built on the mole to storm the Assacenians. Meanwhile, the archers and slingers would continue to fire as before. However, again the mercenaries put up fierce resistance. While this was going on, Alexander ordered that a unit of hypaspists charge across the bridge at the mercenaries. However, too many of them rushed upon it too quickly and the hastily built bridge[31] collapsed under their weight.[28] Seeing the opportunity, the Assacenians fired volleys of arrows, stones and even fireballs into the ditch on top of the men.[31] The pit the hypaspists had fallen into was to be their tomb, and a great many of them were slain. However, Alexander saved those he could by attacking this sortie with a counter-attack of his own.[32]

The next day, the Macedonians built another bridge and attacked in a similar manner.[31] However, during the course of the attack the Macedonians managed to kill the leader of the mercenaries.[33] Consequentially, the Assacenians decided to negotiate their surrender.

Alexander's conditions for their surrender were that the Assacenians agree to serve under him and they surrender to him the Massagan king's family as hostages.[33] However, the Assacenians were unwilling to agree to this as this would mean fighting their fellow tribes and clans.[33] They decided to retreat from the encampment they had made near the city after they had surrendered to Alexander.[33] On hearing of this, Alexander had his troops surround the hill where the Assacenians were camped. As the Assacenians attempted to make their escape, all hell broke loose and the Macedonians killed a great many of them.[33] After this, the Macedonians proceeded back to Massaga and took it with ease, and killed all the soldiers in the garrison of the city. During the course of the siege, the Macedonians had lost no more than 25 men, however a number of them were wounded.[32]

Events Preceding Aornus

During the course of the siege of the fortress of Massaga, Alexander was of the view that the taking of Massaga would strike the tribes in the surrounding territory with fear as to his power and ability.[32] When it became clear that the stronghold would surrender,[32] Alexander decided to dispatch a number of his lieutenants to the surrounding fortress towns to follow up on this victory. He ordered Coenus to proceed to Bazira[32] with the expectation that this town would capitulate as a result of Massaga.[32] Simultaneously, he sent Alcetas, Attalus and Demetrius to Ora with the very specific orders to blockade Ora until he could arrive himself and take it.[32]

Upon arriving at Ora, Alcetas was attacked by Ora's inhabitants.[34] However, Alcetas was easily able to drive this sortie back into the town.[34] Bazira, which stood on the precipice of a mountain was fortified by "nature and art" and showed no signs of capitulating.[34] After receiving the submission of Massaga and massacring its inhabitants,[32] Alexander set out in the direction of Bazira.[34] However, while proceeding to Bazira he received the news that Abisares, the ruler of Hazara, was going to cross the Indus[35] with his soldiers to interrupt the siege and assist Ora.[34] Alexander changed his plans and set out for Ora with all the forces under his immediate command.[34] In addition to this, he ordered Coenus to establish a camp and fortify it as an eventual base of operations against the town of Bazira.[34] Coenus was then to leave a suitable garrison at that base to observe Bazira and while he joined Alexander and his forces at Ora.[34]

However, when Coenus left Bazira, the town's inhabitants sallied out and attacked the encampment he had set up.[34] These tribesmen lost 500 of their fellow tribesmen during the course of this attack, and were easily driven back.[34] A few days later, the Macedonians were able to take Ora, after which point the inhabitants of Bazira saw their cause as lost, abandoned Bazira to the Macedonians and headed off to Aornus.[34]

It was as a result of these conquests that Alexander did to conquer the inhabitants of the Peshawar valley.[34] The Peshawar valley ran perpendicularly to the Swat river, which was flowed on a north–south axis.[34][35] This valley was effectively an opening through which Abisares could pass through.[34] It was therefore critical for Alexander to take the whole of the valley so that no reinforcements could be brought up into the valley and file through either the north or south exit of the valley and attack Alexander while he was besieging Aornus.[34] A historian of Alexander's, who took up the issue and examined the topography of the region, had this to say about the strategic situation that Alexander had developed for himself as a result of this campaign

to understand the sound strategic reasons which caused Alexander, before attacking Aornus, first to turn south to the Peshawar valley. Once he had consolidated his hold there and made his arrangements for crossing the Indus quite secure, he could safely move up to the right bank and attack the mountain retreat of the Swat fugitives from the south. He thus avoided the entanglement of the mountainous region that would have attended and hampered direct pursuit from the Swat side. The fugitive host could be cut off from retreat to the east of the Indus and from such assistance as Abisares, the ruler on that side, might offer. Finally, when attacking Aornus from the south, Alexander could command all the advantages that the Indus valley and the fertile plains of the Peshawar valley would offer in respect of supplies and other resources[36][37]


Siege of Aornus

Main article: Siege of Aornos

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The Aornos is located to the north of Taxila.

Aornos (modern Swat, Pakistan) was the site of Alexander the Great's last siege, "the climax to Alexander's career as the greatest besieger in history" according to Alexander's biographer Robin Lane Fox.[38] The siege took place in the winter of 327–326 BC. (The site has been identified as being near the Pir-Sar mountain in Swat by Aurel Stein in 1926, and has been confirmed by archaeologists.) It offered the last threat to Alexander's supply line, which stretched in a dangerously vulnerable manner, over the Hindu Kush back to Balkh. The site lies north of Attock in Punjab, on a strongly reinforced mountain spur above the narrow gorges in a bend of the upper Indus River. It had a flat summit well supplied with natural springs and wide enough to grow crops. Therefore, it could not be starved to submission. Neighbouring tribesmen who surrendered to Alexander offered to lead him to the best point of access.

Ptolemy and Alexander's secretary Eumenes, whose account provided material for all later records of the event, reconnoitred and reinforced a neighbouring spur to the west with a stockade and ditch. Their signal fire to Alexander also alerted the defenders of Pir-Sar, and it took two days of skirmishing in the narrow ravines for Alexander to regroup. At the vulnerable north side leading to the fort, Alexander and his catapults were stopped by a deep ravine. To bring the siege engines within reach, an earthwork mound was constructed to bridge the ravine with carpentry, brush and earth. The first day's work brought the siege mound 50 metres (60 yards) closer, but as the sides of the ravine fell away steeply below, progress rapidly slowed. Nevertheless, at the end of the third day, a low hill connected to the nearest tip of Pir-Sar was within reach and was taken, after Alexander in the vanguard and his first force were repelled by boulders rolled down from above. Three days of drumbeats marked the defenders' celebration of the initial repulse, followed by a surprise retreat. Alexander hauled himself up the last rock face on a rope. Alexander cleared the summit, slaying some fugitives (inflated by Arrian to a massacre), and erected altars to Athena Nike, Athena of Victory, traces of which were identified by Stein.[39]

City of Nysa

When Alexander arrived at the city of Nysa, which was between the rivers Cophen and Indus, the city's citizens sent out to him their president, whose name was Acuphis (Ἄκουφις), and thirty of their most distinguished men as envoys. When they entered the Alexander's tent and saw him, they made a Proskynesis. When Alexander told them to rise, the Acuphis started his speech. In his speech he said that the god Dionysus founded the city and named it Nysa and the land Nysaea (Νυσαία) after his nurse and also he named the mountain near the city, Meron (Μηρὸν) (i.e. thigh), because he grew in the thigh of Zeus and Alexander should leave their city independent for the sake of the god. Alexander believed them and left the city self governed but asked from the Acuphis to sent his own son, his daughter's son and some horsemen to accompany him.[40][41][42]

Then, together with his Companion cavalry went to the mountain and they made ivy garlands and crowned themselves with them, as they were, singing hymns in honor of Dionysus. Alexander also offered sacrifices to Dionysus, and feasted in company with his companions.[41] On the other hand, according to Philostratus although Alexander wanted to go up the mountain he decided not to do it because he was afraid that when his men will see the vines which were on the mountain they would feel home sick or they will recover their taste for wine after they had become accustomed to water only, so he decided to make his vow and sacrifice to Dionysus at the foot of the mountain.[43]

Notes

1. Dodge 1890, p. 509
2. Dodge 1890, p. 540
3. Dodge 1890, p. 510
4. Smith, Vincent (1914). The Early History of India. England: University of Oxford.
5. Smith 1914, p. 37
6. Dodge 1890, p. 539
7. Dodge 1890, p. 513
8. Dodge 1890, p. 511
9. Smith 1914, p. 513
10. Dodge 1890, p. 452
11. Dodge 1890, p. 512
12. Smith 1914, p. 48
13. Dodge 1890, p. 225
14. Arrian, XXII
15. Fuller 1959, p. 126
16. Dodge 1890, p. 515
17. Dodge 1890, p. 514
18. Delbrück 1990, p. 177
19. Arrian, XXIV
20. Delbrück 1990, p. 231
21. Arrian, XXIII
22. Dodge 1890, p. 517
23. Delbrück 1990, p. 232
24. Dodge 1890, p. 518
25. Dodge 1890, p. 519
26. Dodge 1890, p. 520
27. Dodge 1890, p. 521
28. Fuller 1959, p. 245
29. Dodge 1890, p. 522
30. Dodge 1890, p. 523
31. Dodge 1890, p. 524
32. Fuller 1959, p. 246
33. Dodge 1890, p. 525
34. Fuller 1959, p. 247
35. Fuller 1959, p. 125
36. Fuller 1959, p. 247–248
37. Stein 2004, p.123–4
38. Lane Fox, p. 343ff.
39. Lane Fox (1973); Arrian.
40. Arrian, Anabasis of Alexander, 5.1
41. Arrian, Anabasis of Alexander, 5.2
42. Pliny the Elder, Natural History, 6.23.5
43. Philostratus, Life of Apollonius of Tyana, 2.10

References

• Delbrück, Hans (1990). Warfare in Antiquity: History of the Art of War. Nebraska: University of Nebraska Press. p. 604. ISBN 978-0-8032-9199-7.
• Fuller, J. F. C. (1958). The Generalship of Alexander The Great. London: Eyre & Spottiswoode, Ltd.
• Dodge, Theodore (1890). Alexander. Pennsylvania: Stackpole Books. p. 681. ISBN 978-1-85367-179-1.
• Smith, Vincent (1914). The Early History of India. England: University of Oxford.
• Arrian. "Annabasis Alexandri". Retrieved 20 November 2011.
• Lane Fox, Robin. Alexander the Great. Penguin, 1973, ISBN 978-0-14-008878-6, 1973.
• Arrian, Anabasis IV chapters 28.1–30.4 (in French)
• Stein, Sir Aurel (1929). On Alexander's Track to the Indus. Bhavan Books & Prints.
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Re: Freda Bedi Cont'd (#3)

Postby admin » Fri Jun 18, 2021 6:16 am

Aornos [Indian Campaign #2 Apr. 326 B.C.]
by Wikipedia
Accessed: 6/17/21



Image
A 19th century picture of the Siege of the Aornos.

Image
The Aornos is located to the north of Taxila

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The Rock of Aornos, Shangla District, Khyber Pakhtun Khwa (KPK), Pakistan

Aornos (Ancient Greek: Ἄορνος) was the Ancient Greek name for the site of Alexander the Great's last siege, which took place on April 326 BC,[1] at a mountain site located in modern Pakistan. Aornos offered the last threat to Alexander's supply line, which stretched, dangerously vulnerable, over the Hindu Kush back to Balkh, though Arrian (although disbelieving himself of this story) credits Alexander's desire to outdo his kinsman Heracles, who allegedly had proved unable to take a fort that the Macedonians called Ἄορνος Aornos (according to Arrian and Diodorus; Aornis according to Curtius; elsewhere Aornus): meaning "birdless" in Greek. According to one theory, the name is a corruption of an Indo-Iranian word, such as *awarana "fortified place". According to Arrian, the rock had a flat summit well-supplied with natural springs and wide enough to grow crops: it could not be starved into submission. Neighboring tribesmen who surrendered to Alexander offered to lead him to the best point of access.

The geographer Aurel Stein suggested that Aornos was located on Pir Sar – a mountain spur above narrow gorges in a bend of the upper Indus River, just to the west of Thakot in the Pakistani Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province. However, the Indologist Giuseppe Tucci has instead proposed a site at the summit of Elum Ghar (Mount Ilam), a site significant in Hinduism, in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

Ptolemy and Alexander's secretary Myllinas (rather than the famous Eumenes), reconnoitered and reinforced a neighboring spur to the west with a stockade and ditch. His signal fire to Alexander also alerted the defenders of Pir-Sar, and it took two days of skirmishing in the narrow ravines for Alexander to regroup. At the vulnerable north side leading to the fort, Alexander and his catapults were stopped by a deep ravine. To bring the siege engines within reach, an earthwork mound was constructed to bridge the ravine with carpentry, brush, and earth. The first day's work brought the siege mound 50 metres (55 yd) closer, but as the sides of the ravine fell away steeply below, progress rapidly slowed; nevertheless, at the end of the third day, a low hill connected to the nearest tip of Pir-Sar was within reach and was taken. Afterwards, Alexander in the vanguard and his first force were repelled by boulders rolled down from above. Three days of drumbeats marked the defenders' celebration of the initial repulse, followed by a surprise retreat. Alexander hauled himself up the last rockface on a rope. Alexander cleared the summit, slaying some fugitives (Lane Fox), inflated by Arrian to a massacre, and erected altars to Athena Nike, Athena of Victory, traces of which were identified by Stein.[2]

Alexander was now free to pursue his journey into Punjab. The devastating Battle of the Hydaspes River lay in the future.

Notes

1. Sastri 1988, p. 54.
2. Lane Fox (1973); Arrian.

References

• Lane Fox, Robin. Alexander the Great. Penguin, 1973, ISBN 0-14-008878-4
• Sastri, K. A. Nilakanta, ed. (1988) [1967], Age of the Nandas and Mauryas (Second ed.), Delhi: Motilal Banarsidass, ISBN 81-208-0465-1
• Arrian, Anabasis IV chapters 28.1–30.4 (in French)
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Re: Freda Bedi Cont'd (#3)

Postby admin » Fri Jun 18, 2021 6:29 am

Battle of the Hydaspes [Indian Campaign #3 May 326 B.C.]
by Wikipedia
Accessed: 6/17/21

For other uses, see Battle of Jhelum (disambiguation).



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Battle of the Hydaspes
Part of the Wars of Alexander the Great
Alexander and Porus during the Battle of the Hydaspes by Francesco Fontabasso
Date: May 326 BCE
Location: Hydaspes River (modern-day Punjab, Pakistan)
32°49′40″N 73°38′20″ECoordinates: 32°49′40″N 73°38′20″E
Result: Macedonian victory; Annexation of Punjab; Porus appointed plenipotentiary Satrap of the new provinces.[1][2][3][4]
Territorial changes: Macedonian Empire annexes large areas of the Punjab region from the Hydaspes to the Hyphasis.[2][5]
Belligerents
Macedon; Hellenic League; Persian allies; Indian allies / Porus
Commanders and leaders
Alexander the Great; Craterus; Coenus; Hephaestion; Ptolemy; Perdiccas; Seleucus; Lysimachus; Demonicus; Peucestas; Taxiles / Porus; Spitakes; Sons of Porus
Strength
40,000 infantry, 5,000[6] to 7,000[7] cavalry, Asiatic contingents[8] / 20,000,[9] 30,000[10] or 50,000[11] infantry, 2,000[9] to 4,000[10] cavalry, 200,[10] 130[11] ("likeliest" according to Green),[12] or 85[13] war elephants, 1,000 chariots.[14]
Casualties and losses
80[15] –700[16][17] infantry, 230[15]–280[16] cavalry killed. Modern estimates ≈1000 killed.[18] / 12,000 killed and 9,000 captured,[19] or 20,000 infantry and 3,000 cavalry killed.[15]
Image
Location within South Asia

The Battle of the Hydaspes was fought between Alexander the Great and King Porus in 326 BCE. It took place on the banks of the Jhelum River (known to the ancient Greeks as Hydaspes) in the Punjab region of the Indian subcontinent (modern-day Punjab, Pakistan). The battle resulted in a Greek victory and the surrender of Porus.[a] Large areas of Punjab were absorbed into the Alexandrian Empire, and the defeated, dethroned Porus became reinstated by Alexander as a subordinate ruler.

Alexander's decision to cross the monsoon-swollen river—despite close Indian surveillance—in order to catch Porus's army in the flank has been referred to as one of his "masterpieces".[21] Although victorious, it was also the most costly battle fought by the Macedonians.[22] The fierce resistance put up by Porus and his men won the respect of Alexander who, after the battle, asked Porus to become one of his satraps.

The battle is historically significant because it resulted in the exposure of ancient Greek political and cultural influences to the Indian subcontinent, yielding works such as Greco-Buddhist art, which continued to have an impact for many centuries.

Location

The battle took place on the east bank of the Hydaspes River (now called the Jhelum River, a tributary of the Indus River) in what is now the Punjab Province of Pakistan. Alexander later founded the city of Nicaea on the site; this city has yet to be discovered.[23] Any attempt to find the ancient battle site is complicated by considerable changes to the landscape over time.[23] For the moment, the most plausible location is just south of the city of Jhelum, where the ancient main road crossed the river and where a Buddhist source mentions a city that may be Nicaea.[23] The identification of the battle site near modern Jalalpur/Haranpur is certainly erroneous, as the river (in ancient times) meandered far from these cities.[23]

Background

After Alexander defeated the last of the Achaemenid Empire's forces under Bessus and Spitamenes in 328 BC, he began a new campaign to further extend his empire towards India in 327 BC. After fortifying Bactria with 10,000 men, Alexander commenced his invasion of India through the Khyber Pass.[24] Whilst possessing a much larger army, at the battle, an estimated 40,000 infantry and 5,000 cavalry crossed the river in time to engage the enemy.[6] During this battle, Alexander suffered heavy losses compared to his earlier victories.

The primary Greek column entered the Khyber Pass, but a smaller force under the personal command of Alexander went through the northern route, taking the fortress of Aornos (modern-day Pir-Sar) along the way—a place of mythological significance to the Greeks as, according to legend, Herakles had failed to occupy it when he campaigned in India. Here, the Hindu clans of Hindu Kush gave Alexander's army the toughest opposition they had faced, but Alexander still emerged victorious, despite being outnumbered, depending on the source, somewhere between 3:1 and 5:1.[25]

In early spring of the next year, Alexander formed an alliance with Taxiles (also known as Ambhi Kumar), the King of Taxila. They combined their forces against Taxiles's neighbour, the King of Hydaspes, King Porus, who had chosen to spurn Alexander's command for him to surrender and was preparing for war.[26]

Motives

Alexander had to subdue King Porus in order to keep marching east. To leave such a strong opponent at his flanks would have endangered any further exploits. Alexander could not afford to show any weakness if he wanted to keep the loyalty of the already subdued Indian princes. Porus had to defend his kingdom and chose the perfect spot to check Alexander's advance. Although he lost the battle, he became the most successful recorded opponent of Alexander. According to historian Peter Green, Porus's performance in the battle out-classed both Memnon of Rhodes and Spitamenes.[25]

Pre-battle manoeuvres

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Alexander's crossing of the Hydaspes River.

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Porus awaits the attack of Alexander July 326 BC.

Alexander fixed his camp in the vicinity of the town of Jhelum on the right banks of the river.[27] In the spring of 326 BC, Porus drew up on the south bank of the Jhelum River to repel any crossing.[27] The Jhelum River was deep and fast enough that any attempt at a crossing would probably doom the attacking force. Alexander knew that a direct approach had little chance of success and tried to find alternative fords. He moved his mounted troops up and down the river bank each night while Porus shadowed him.

Eventually, Alexander found and used a suitable crossing, about 27 km (17 mi) upstream of his camp. This was where an uninhabited, wood-covered island divided the river.[28] While leading his troops across, he landed on the island, while his troops waded across.[29] His plan was a classic pincer manoeuvre. He would eventually attack Indian cavalry flanking both sides of Porus's main force from the right.[29] He left his general, Craterus, behind with most of the army, to make sure Porus would not find out about his crossing, while he crossed the river upstream with a strong contingent, consisting, according to the 2nd century AD Greek historian Arrian, of 6,000 on foot and 5,000 on horseback, though it was probably larger. Craterus was ordered to either ford the river and attack if Porus faced Alexander with all his troops or to hold his position if Porus faced Alexander with only part of his army. The other forces commanded by Meleager, Attalus, and Gorgias were ordered to cross the river in various places during the manoeuvre.[28]

Alexander's crossing of the Hydaspes in the face of Indian forces on the opposite bank was a notable achievement. The complex preparations for the crossing were accomplished with the use of numerous feints and other forms of deception. Porus was kept continuously on the move until he decided it was a bluff and relaxed. On every visit to the site of the crossing, Alexander made a detour inland to maintain the secrecy of the plan. It was also reported that there was an Alexander look-alike who held sway in a mock royal tent near the base.

Alexander quietly moved his part of the army upstream and then traversed the river in utmost secrecy, using ‘skin floats filled with hay’ as well as ‘smaller vessels cut in half, the thirty oared galleys into three’.[30] Furthermore, Craterus engaged in frequent feints suggesting that he may cross the river. As a result, Porus, 'no longer expecting a sudden attempt under cover of darkness, was lulled into a sense of security.'[30] Alexander mistakenly landed on an island, but soon crossed to the other side. Porus perceived his opponent's manoeuvre and sent a small cavalry and chariot force under his son, also named Porus, to fight them off, hoping that he would be able to prevent his crossing. By chance a storm occurred that night which drowned out the sounds of the crossing.

Having crossed the river, Alexander advanced towards the location of Porus's camp with all his horsemen and foot archers, leaving his phalanx to follow up behind.[31] Upon meeting with young Porus's force, his horse archers showered the latter with arrows, while his heavy cavalry immediately charged without forming into line of battle.[32] Young Porus also faced an unexpected disadvantage: his chariots were immobilized by the mud near the shore of the river.[18] His small force was completely routed by Alexander's outnumbering cavalry, with he himself among the dead.[33] As news reached the elder Porus, he understood that Alexander had crossed to his side of the river and hastened to face him with the best part of his army, leaving behind a small detachment to disrupt the landing of Craterus's force should he attempt to cross the river.[32]

Battle

Image
Combined attack of cavalry and infantry.

Image
An imagined Indian war elephant against Alexander's army, by Johannes van den Avele

Eventually the two forces met and arrayed themselves for the battle. The Indians were poised with cavalry on both flanks, fronted by their chariots, while their center comprising infantry with war elephants stationed every fifty feet in front of them, to deter the Macedonian cavalry. The Indian war elephants were heavily armoured and had castle-like howdahs on their back carrying a trio of archers and javelin men. Porus's soldiers were dressed in flamboyantly hued outfits with steel helmets, bright scarves and baldrics, and wielded axes, lances and maces. Porus, eschewing the usual tradition of Indian kings fighting from a chariot, was mounted atop his tallest war elephant. This animal in particular was not equipped with a howdah, as the king was clad in chain mail armour and hence had no need of the additional protection of a tower.[34]

Alexander, noticing that Porus's disposition was strongest in the center, decided to attack with his cavalry first on the flanks, having his phalanx hold back until the Indian cavalry had been neutralized.[35] The Macedonian heavy infantry phalanx were outnumbered 1:5 against the Indian infantry. However the latter were at significant disadvantage in close combat due to their lack of armour and the long reach of their opponent's sarissas. Even their heavy armour-piercing bows were inaccurate because of the slippery ground,[18] though the muddy ground was also an advantage to the lighter-armored Indians.[34]

Alexander commenced the battle by sending his Dahae horse archers to harass the Indian right-wing cavalry.[18] His armoured Companion Cavalry was sent to attack their outnumbered Indian counterparts on the left wing, with Alexander himself leading the charge as was his habit.[33] The rest of the Indian cavalry galloped to the aid of their hard-pressed kinsmen from the right wing, but Coenus's squadrons promptly followed their movement and attacked them from the rear. The Indian horsemen tried to form a double phalanx to face both attacks, but the necessary complicated manoeuvres brought even more confusion into their ranks, making it easier for the Macedonian cavalry to defeat them. The Indian cavalry were thus routed, and fled to the safety of their elephants.[36]

The war elephants now advanced against the Macedonian cavalry, only to be confronted by the Macedonian phalanx. The powerful beasts caused heavy losses among the Macedonian foot, impaling many men with their steel-clad tusks and heaving some of them into the air before pulverizing them, and trampling and disorganizing their dense lines. Nevertheless, the Macedonian infantry resisted the attack bravely, with light infantry who tossed javelins at the elephants' mahouts and eyes while the heavy infantry attempted to hamstring the elephants with the two-sided axes and kopis.[34] Meanwhile, the Indian horsemen attempted another sally, only to be repulsed once again by Alexander's cavalry squadrons, who had all massed together. The elephants were eventually repulsed and fled back to their own lines. Many of their mahouts had been struck down by Macedonian missiles before they could kill their panicked mounts with poisoned rods, and hence the maddened animals wrought enormous havoc, trampling many of their own infantry and cavalry to death.[18] Finally, the Macedonian pezhetairoi locked their shields and advanced upon the confused enemy mass, while the Macedonian cavalry charged from the rear in a classic "hammer and anvil" manoeuvre, putting the entire Indian army to rout.[36] Meanwhile, Craterus and his force in the base camp had succeeded in crossing the river, and arriving just at the right moment proceed to conduct a thorough pursuit on the fleeing Indians.[37]

Throughout the battle, Alexander is said to have observed with growing admiration the valour of Porus, and understood that Porus intended to die in combat rather than be captured. Hoping to save the life of such a competent leader and warrior, Alexander commanded Taxiles to summon Porus for surrender. However, Porus became enraged on the very sight of his nemesis and tossed a spear at him in fury without bothering to listen to his proposal. Porus's aggressive response forced Taxiles to take flight on his steed. In a similar manner, many other messengers dispatched by the determined Alexander were spurned until at last Meroes, a personal friend of Porus, convinced him to listen to Alexander's message. Overpowered by thirst, the weary Porus finally dismounted his war elephant and demanded water. After being refreshed, he allowed himself to be taken to Alexander. On hearing that the Indian King was approaching, Alexander himself rode out to meet him and the famous surrender meeting took place.[38][39][40]

According to Arrian, Macedonian losses amounted to 80 foot soldiers, ten horse archers, twenty of the Companions and 200 other horsemen.[41] However the military historian J.F.C. Fuller saw Diodorus's casualty figures of 1,000 men killed as more realistic.[16][42] This was certainly a high figure for the victorious army, and more than the Macedonian losses at Gaugamela, yet not improbable considering the partial success of the Indian war elephants.[43] Indian losses amounted to 23,000 according to Arrian, 12,000 dead and over 9,000 men captured according to Diodorus.[19][44][45] The last two numbers are remarkably close, so it might be assumed that Arrian added any prisoners to the total Indian casualties. Among the Indian leadership, two sons of Porus and his relative and ally Spitakes were killed during the battle, as well as most of his chieftains.[41] Around 80 elephants were captured alive.[46][42] Alexander also acquired an additional 70 war elephants due to the late arrival of reinforcements called for by King Porus after the battle was already over, who readily surrendered and offered these beasts as a tribute.[34]

Aftermath and legacy

Image
A painting by Charles Le Brun depicting Alexander and Porus during the Battle of the Hydaspes.

When asked by Alexander how he wished to be treated, Porus replied "Treat me as a king would treat another king".[47] Impressed, Alexander indeed treated him like a king, allowing him to retain his lands. Following the battle, Alexander founded two cities in this region, one at the spot of the battle called Nicaea (Greek for Victory) in commemoration of his success and one on the other side of the Hydaspes called Alexandria Bucephalus, to honour his faithful steed, which died soon after this battle.

In 326 BC, the army of Alexander approached the boundaries of the Nanda Empire. His army, exhausted from the continuous campaigning and concerned at the prospect of facing yet another gigantic Indian army, demanded that they should return to the west. This happened at the Hyphasis (modern Beas). Historians do not consider that this action by Alexander's troops represented a mutiny but called it an increase in military unrest amongst the troops, which forced Alexander to finally give in.[24] Instead of immediately turning back, however, he ordered the army to march south, along the Indus, securing the banks of the river as the borders of his empire.

Image
Defeat of Porus by the Macedonians.

The main reasons for Porus's defeat were Alexander's use of tactics, and the Macedonians' superior discipline and technology.[48] The Indians used chariots which were inferior to the Greek's cavalry and phalanx. They did not have a well supported military infrastructure or a standing army. The Indian infantry and cavalry were poorly armoured, lacking in metal armour, and their short swords were no match against the long spears of the Macedonians. Porus himself failed to take the initiative, mainly trying to counter his opponent's moves. Greek historians agree that Porus fought bravely until the end.[48]

During the later rule of the Maurya Empire, tactician Kautilya took the Battle of the Hydaspes as a lesson and highlighted the need for military training before battle. The first Mauryan emperor, Chandragupta, maintained a standing army. The chariot corps played a marginal role in Mauryan military infrastructure.[49]

Notes

1. After more fierce combat Alexander's victory was complete and Porus surrendered.[20]

References

Citations


1. Bosworth, A. B. (26 March 1993). Conquest and Empire: The Reign of Alexander the Great. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 9780521406796 – via Google Books.
2. Green 1991, p. 402.
3. Fuller 1960, p. 198. "While the battle raged, Craterus forced his way over the Haranpur ford. When he saw that Alexander was winning a brilliant victory he pressed on and, as his men were fresh, took over the pursuit."
4. Fuller 1960, p. 181. "Among the many battles fought by invaders who entered the plains of India from the north-west, the first recorded in history is the battle of the Hydaspes, and in Hogarth's opinion, when coupled with the crossing of the river, together they 'rank among the most brilliant operations in warfare'."
5. "Accordingly, Alexander not only permitted him to govern his former kingdom, giving him the title of satrap, but also added to it the territory of the independent peoples whom he subdued, in which there are said to have been fifteen nations, five thousand cities of considerable size, and a great multitude of villages." Plutarch's Life of Alexander 60.10
6. According to Arrian, 5.14 6,000 foot and 5,000 horse were under Alexander's command in the battle.
7. Fuller estimates a further 2,000 cavalry under Craterus's command.
8. Harbottle, Thomas Benfield (1906). Dictionary of Battles. New York.
9. Plutarch 62.1:

"But this last combat with Porus took off the edge of the Macedonians' courage, and stayed their further progress into India. For having found it hard enough to defeat an enemy who brought but twenty thousand foot and two thousand horse into the field, they thought they had reason to oppose Alexander's design of leading them on to pass the Ganges, too, which they were told was thirty-two furlongs broad and a fathom deep, and the banks on the further side covered with multitudes of enemies."


10. Arrian, 5.15
11. Diodorus, 17.87.2
12. Green 1991, p. 553.
13. Curtius 8.13.6; Metz Epitome 54 (following Curtius)
14. Plutarch 60.5
15. Arrian, 5.18
16. Diodorus 17.89.3
17. According to Fuller 1960, p. 199, "Diodorus' figures appear more realistic."
18. Roy 2004, pp. 19–23.
19. Diodorus 17.89.1
20. Brice 2012, p. 81.
21. Burn 1965, p. 150
22. Peter Connolly. Greece and Rome At War. Macdonald Phoebus Ltd, 1981, p. 66
23. P.H.L. Eggermont, Alexander's campaign in Southern Punjab (1993).
24. Brice 2012, p. 11.
25. Green 1991.
26. Sastri 1988, p. 56.
27. Sastri 1988, p. 57.
28. Farr, Edward (1850). History of the Macedonians. New York: Robert Carter & Brothers. p. 172.
29. Wasson, Donald L. (26 February 2014). "Battle of Hydaspes". World History Encyclopedia. Retrieved 14 October 2019.
30. Arrian.
31. Arrian, Book V, Chapter XIV.
32. Arrian, Book V, Chapter XV.
33. Bose, Partha (2004-04-01). Alexander the Great's Art of Strategy: The Timeless Leadership Lessons of History's Greatest Empire Builder. Penguin. p. 228. ISBN 9781592400539.
34. Kistler 2006.
35. Arrian, Book V, Chapter XVI.
36. Arrian, Book V, Chapter XVII.
37. Montagu, John Drogo (2006). Greek & Roman Warfare: Battles, Tactics, and Trickery. London: Greenhill Books. p. 154.
38. Green 1991, p. 400.
39. Sastri 1988.
40. Savill, Agnes (1993). Alexander the Great and His Time. Barnes & Noble Publishing. ISBN 0-88029-591-0 – via Google Books.
41. Arrian, Book V, Chapter XVIII.
42. Fuller 1960, p. 199.
43. Roy, Kaushik (2015). Warfare in Pre-British India – 1500 BCE to 1740 CE. Routledge. ISBN 978-1-315-74270-0 – via Google Books.
44. "Diodorus Siculus, Library, Book XVII, Chapter 89, section 2". http://www.perseus.tufts.edu.
45. "Diodorus Siculus, Library, Book XVII, Chapter 89, section 3". http://www.perseus.tufts.edu.
46. Diodorus, 17.89.2
47. Rogers, p.200
48. Roy 2004, pp. 23–28.
49. Roy 2004, pp. 28–31.

Sources

Modern


• Brice, Lee L., ed. (2012). Greek Warfare: From the Battle of Marathon to the Conquests of Alexander the Great. ABC-CLIO.
• Green, Peter (1974). Alexander of Macedon: A Historical Biography. ISBN 978-0-520-07166-7
• Green, Peter (1991). Alexander of Macedon, 356–323 B.C.: A Historical Biography. University of California Press.
• Kistler, John M. (2006). War Elephants. Greenwood Publishing Group. ISBN 9780275987619 – via Google Books.
• Rogers, Guy (2004). Alexander: The Ambiguity of Greatness. New York: Random House.
• Sastri, K. A. Nilakanta, ed. (1988) [1967], Age of the Nandas and Mauryas (Second ed.), Delhi: Motilal Banarsidass, ISBN 81-208-0465-1
• Fuller, John (1960). The Generalship of Alexander the Great. New Jersey: De Capo Press. ISBN 978-0-306-80371-0.
• Roy, Kaushik (2004-01-01). India's Historic Battles: From Alexander the Great to Kargil. Orient Blackswan. ISBN 9788178241098.

Ancient

• Diodorus Siculus (90-30 BC). Bibliotheca Historica.
• Quintus Curtius Rufus (60-70 AD). Historiae Alexandri Magni.
• Plutarch (75 AD). The Life of Alexander the Great, Parallel Lives.
• Arrian (early 2nd century AD), The Anabasis of Alexander.
• Metz Epitome.

External links

• Hydaspes (Jhelum)
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Re: Freda Bedi Cont'd (#3)

Postby admin » Fri Jun 18, 2021 7:46 am

Patanjali
by Wikipedia
Accessed: 6/18/21

Highlights:

Patañjali (Sanskrit: पतञ्जलि) was a sage in ancient India, thought to be the author of a number of Sanskrit works… There is doubt as to whether the sage Patañjali is the author of all the works attributed to him as there are a number of known historical authors of the same name. A great deal of scholarship has been devoted over the last century to the issue of the historicity or identity of this author or these authors….

Patanjali has been the authority as the last grammarian of classical Sanskrit for 2,000 years, with Pāṇini and Kātyāyana preceding him…

According to Monier Monier-Williams, the word "Patañjali" is a compound name from "patta" (Sanskrit: पत, "falling, flying") and "añj" (अञ्ज्, "honor, celebrate, beautiful") or "añjali" (अञ्जलि, "reverence, joining palms of the hand")….

Some in the Indian tradition have held that one Patañjali wrote treatises on grammar, medicine and yoga. This has been memorialised in a verse by Bhoja at the start of his commentary on the Yogasutras called Rājamārttanda (11th century), and the following verse found in Shivarama's 18th-century text: “I bow with my hands together to the eminent sage Patañjali, who removed the impurities of the mind through yoga, of speech through grammar, and of the body through medicine.”…

This tradition is discussed by Meulenbeld who traces this "relatively late" idea back to Bhoja (11th century), who was perhaps influenced by a verse by Bhartṛhari (ca. 5th century) that speaks of an expert in yoga, medicine and grammar who, however, is not named. No known Sanskrit text prior to the 10th century states that the one and the same Patanjali was behind all the three treatises…

The dating of Patanjali and his Mahabhasya is established by a combination of evidence, those from the Maurya Empire period, the historical events mentioned in the examples he used to explain his ideas, the chronology of ancient classical Sanskrit texts that respect his teachings, and the mention of his text or his name in ancient Indian literature….

The literary styles and contents of the Yogasūtras and the Mahābhāṣya are entirely different, and the only work on medicine attributed to Patañjali is lost. Sources of doubt include the lack of cross-references between the texts, and no mutual awareness of each other, unlike other cases of multiple works by (later) Sanskrit authors. Also, some elements in the Yoga Sutras may date from as late as the 4th century AD, but such changes may be due to divergent authorship, or due to later additions which are not atypical in the oral tradition. Most scholars refer to both works as "by Patanjali", without meaning that they are by the same author.

In addition to the Mahābhāṣya and Yoga Sūtras, the 11th-century commentary on Charaka by the Bengali scholar Chakrapani Datta, and the 16th-century text Patanjalicarita ascribes to Patañjali a medical text called the Carakapratisaṃskṛtaḥ (now lost) which is apparently a revision (pratisaṃskṛtaḥ) of the medical treatise by Caraka. While there is a short treatise on yoga in the medical work called the Carakasaṃhitā (by Caraka), towards the end of the chapter called śārīrasthāna, it is notable for not bearing much resemblance to the Yoga Sūtras, and in fact presents a form of eightfold yoga that is completely different from that laid out by Patañjali in the Yoga Sūtras and the commentary Yogasūtrabhāṣya…

The Yoga Sūtras of Patañjali are 196 Indian sutras (aphorisms) on Yoga. It was the most translated ancient Indian text in the medieval era… The text fell into obscurity for nearly 700 years from the 12th to 19th century, and made a comeback in late 19th century due to the efforts of Swami Vivekananda and others. It gained prominence again as a comeback classic in the 20th century.

Preface:

Over the past forty years or so, a theory has been forged in university departments of history and cultural studies that much of what is thought to be ancient in India was actually invented -- or at best reinvented or recovered from oblivion -- during the time of the British Raj. This of course runs counter to the view most Indians, Indophiles, and renaissance hipsters share that India's ancient traditions are ageless verities unchanged since their emergence from the ancient mists of time. When I began this project, I was of the opinion that "classical yoga" -- that is, the Yoga philosophy of the Yoga Sutra (also known as the Yoga Sutras) -- was in fact a tradition extending back through an unbroken line of gurus and disciples, commentators and copyists, to Pantanjali himself, the author of the work who lived in the first centuries of the Common Era. However, the data I have sifted through over the past three years have forced me to conclude that this was not the case.

The present volume is part of a series on the great books, the classics of religious literature, works that in some way have resonated with their readers and hearers across time as well as cultural and language boundaries, far beyond the original conditions of their production. Some classics, like the works of Shakespeare for theater, are regarded as having defined not only their period but also their genre, their worldview, their credo. As the sole work of Indian philosophy to have been translated into over forty languages, the Yoga Sutra would appear to fulfill the requirements of a classic. But if this is the case, then the Yoga Sutra is a very special kind of classic, a sort of "comeback classic." I say this because after a five-hundred-year period of great notoriety, during which it was translated into two foreign languages (Arabic and Old Javanese) and noted by authors from across the Indian philosophical spectrum, Patanjali's work began to fall into oblivion. After it had been virtually forgotten for the better part of seven hundred years (700), Swami Vivekananda miraculously rehabilitated it in the final decade of the nineteenth century. Since that time, and especially over the past thirty years, Big Yoga -- the corporate yoga subculture -- has elevated the Yoga Sutra to a status it never knew, even during its seventh- to twelfth-century heyday. This reinvention of the Yoga Sutra as the foundational scripture of "classical yoga" runs counter to the pre-twentieth-century history of India's yoga traditions, during which other works (the Bhagavad Gita, Yoga Vasistha, and variouis texts attributed to figures named Yajnavalkya and Hiranyagarbha) and other forms of yoga (Pashupata Yoga, Tantric Yoga, and Hatha Yoga) dominated the Indian yoga scene. This book is an account of the rise and fall, and latter day rise, of the Yoga Sutra as a classic of religious literature and cultural icon.

-- The Yoga Sutra of Patanjali, by David Gordon White


Before the 20th century, history indicates the Indian yoga scene was dominated by other Yoga texts such as the Bhagavad Gita, Yoga Vasistha and Yoga Yajnavalkya…

Unlike Pāṇini's objectives in the Ashtyadhyayi, which is to distinguish correct forms and meanings from incorrect ones (shabdaunushasana), Patanjali's objectives are more metaphysical. These include the correct recitations of the scriptures (Agama), maintaining the purity of texts (raksha), clarifying ambiguity (asamdeha), and also the pedagogic goal of providing an easier learning mechanism (laghu). This stronger metaphysical bent has also been indicated by some as one of the unifying themes between the Yoga Sutras and the Mahābhāṣya, although a close examination of actual Sanskrit usage by Woods showed no similarities in language or terminology…

He also sheds light on contemporary events, commenting on the recent Greek incursion, and also on several tribes that lived in the Northwest regions of the subcontinent…

The yoga scholar David Gordon White writes that yoga teacher training often includes "mandatory instruction" in the Yoga Sutra. White calls this "curious to say the least", since the text is in his view essentially irrelevant to "yoga as it is taught and practiced today", commenting that the Yoga Sutra is "nearly devoid of discussion of postures, stretching, and breathing".

-- Patanjali, by Wikipedia


Image
Image of Patanjali as avatar of Adi Sesha

Patañjali (Sanskrit: पतञ्जलि) was a sage in ancient India, thought to be the author of a number of Sanskrit works. The greatest of these are the Yoga Sutras, a classical yoga text. There is doubt as to whether the sage Patañjali is the author of all the works attributed to him as there are a number of known historical authors of the same name. A great deal of scholarship has been devoted over the last century to the issue of the historicity or identity of this author or these authors.[1]

Amongst the more important authors called Patañjali are:[2][3][4]

• The author of the Mahābhāṣya, an ancient treatise on Sanskrit grammar and linguistics, based on the Aṣṭādhyāyī of Pāṇini. This Patañjali's life is dated to mid 2nd century BCE by both Western and Indian scholars.[5][6][7] This text was titled as a bhasya or "commentary" on Kātyāyana-Pāṇini's work by Patanjali, but is so revered in the Indian traditions that it is widely known simply as Mahā-bhasya or "Great commentary". As per Ganesh Sripad Huparikar, actually, Patanjali (2nd century B.C.), the forerunner among ancient grammatical commentators, “adopted an etymological and dialectical method of explaining in the whole of his 'Mahābhāshya' (Great Commentary), and this has assumed, in the later commentary literature the definite form of 'Khanda-anvaya'.” So vigorous, well reasoned and vast is his text, that this Patanjali has been the authority as the last grammarian of classical Sanskrit for 2,000 years, with Pāṇini and Kātyāyana preceding him. Their ideas on structure, grammar and philosophy of language have also influenced scholars of other Indian religions such as Buddhism and Jainism.[8][9]
• The compiler of the Yoga sūtras, a text on Yoga theory and practice,[10] and a notable scholar of Samkhya school of Hindu philosophy.[11][12] He is variously estimated to have lived between 2nd century B.C. to 4th century A.D, with more scholars accepting dates between 2nd and 4th century CE.[13][10][14] The Yogasutras is one of the most important texts in the Indian tradition and the foundation of classical Yoga.[15] It is the Indian Yoga text that was most translated in its medieval era into forty Indian languages.[16]
The author of a medical text called Patanjalatantra. He is cited and this text is quoted in many medieval health sciences-related texts, and Patanjali is called a medical authority in a number of Sanskrit texts such as Yogaratnakara, Yogaratnasamuccaya and Padarthavijnana.[17] There is a fourth Hindu scholar also named Patanjali, who likely lived in 8th-century CE and wrote a commentary on Charaka Samhita and this text is called Carakavarttika.[18] According to some modern era Indian scholars such as P.V. Sharma, the two medical scholars named Patanjali may be the same person, but completely different person from the Patanjali who wrote the Sanskrit grammar classic Mahābhasya.[18]
• Patanjali is one of the 18 siddhars in the Tamil siddha (Shaiva) tradition.[19]

Patanjali continues to be honoured with invocations and shrines in some forms of modern postural yoga, such as Iyengar Yoga[20] and Ashtānga Vinyāsa Yoga.[21]

Name

According to Monier Monier-Williams, the word "Patañjali" is a compound[22] name from "patta" (Sanskrit: पत, "falling, flying")[23] and "añj" (अञ्ज्, "honor, celebrate, beautiful") or "añjali" (अञ्जलि, "reverence, joining palms of the hand").[24][25]

It is believed that the name "Veda Vyasa" (lit "compiler of the Vedas") is a title rather than an actual name. Dvaipayana was given the title as he mastered the one combined Vedic scripture and divided it into four parts — Rigveda, Samaveda, Yajurveda and Atharvaveda...

In every third world age (Dvapara), Vishnu, in the person of Vyasa, in order to promote the good of mankind, divides the Veda, which is properly but one, into many portions. Observing the limited perseverance, energy and application of mortals, he makes the Veda fourfold, to adapt it to their capacities; and the bodily form which he assumes, in order to effect that classification, is known by the name of Veda-Vyasa. Of the different Vyasas in the present Manvantara and the branches which they have taught, you shall have an account. Twenty-eight times have the Vedas been arranged by the great Rishis in the Vaivasvata Manvantara... and consequently, eight and twenty Vyasa's have passed away; by whom, in the respective periods, the Veda has been divided into four. The first... distribution was made by Svayambhu (Brahma) himself; in the second, the arranger of the Veda (Vyasa) was Prajapati... (and so on up to twenty-eight)...[15]


There may have been more than one Vyasa, or the name Vyasa may have been used at times to give credibility to a number of ancient texts.

-- Vyasa, by Wikipedia


Vishnudharmottara Purana says that Valmiki was born in the Treta Yuga as a form of Brahma who composed Ramayana and that people desirious of earning knowledge should worship Valmiki. He was later reincarnated as Tulsidas, who composed the Ramcharitamanas, which was the Awadhi-Hindi version of the Ramayana.

-- Valmiki, by Wikipedia


Upon the birth of Valmıki
the word ‘‘poet’’ was coined.
With Vyasa it was first used in the dual.
And ‘‘poets,’’ in the plural, first appeared
along with Dandin.


-- A Question of Priority: Revisiting the Bhamaha-Dandin Debate, by Yigal Bronner


Every date in ancient Indian history, except that of the invasion of Alexander (326 B.C.), is controversial, and Sankara’s date is no exception. Max Muller and other orientalists have somehow fixed it as 788 to 820 A.D., and Das Gupta and Radhakrishnan, the well-known writers on the history of Indian Philosophy, have accepted and repeated it in their books. To do so is not in itself wrong, but to do it in such a way as to make the layman believe it to be conclusive is, to say the least, an injustice to him. It is held by the critics of this date that the Sankara of 788-820 A.D. is not the Adi-Sankara (the original Sankara), but Abhinava Sankara (modern Sankara), another famous Sannyasin of later times (788-839), who was born at Chidambaram and was the head of the Sankara Math at Kanchipuram between 801 and 839. He was reputed for his holiness and learning and is said to have gone on tours of controversy (Dig-vijaya) like the original Sankara.

It is found that not only modern scholars, but even the authors of several Sankara-vijayas have superimposed these two personalities mutually and mixed up several details of their lives. The author of the concept of adhyasa himself seems to have become a victim of it! The cause of much of this confusion has been the custom of all the incumbents of the headship of Sankara Maths being called Sankaracharyas. To distinguish the real Sankara, he is therefore referred to as ‘Adi-Sankara' an expression that is quite meaningless. For, Sankaracharya was the name of an individual and not a title, and if the heads of the Maths of that illustrious personage were known only by their individual names like the heads of religious institutions founded by other teachers, probably much of this confusion could have been avoided.

-- Sankara-Dig-vijaya: The Traditional Life of Sri Sankaracharya, by Madhava-Vidyaranya, Translated by Swami Tapasyananda


Life

Many scholars including Louis Renou have suggested that the Patañjali who wrote on Yoga was a different person than the Patanjali who wrote a commentary on Panini's grammar.[26][27] In 1914, James Wood proposed that they were the same person.[28] In 1922, Surendranath Dasgupta presented a series of arguments to tentatively propose that the famed Grammar text and the Yoga text author may be identical.[29]

The view that these were likely two different authors is generally accepted,
[30][31] but some Western scholars consider them as a single entity.[32][33]

Some in the Indian tradition have held that one Patañjali wrote treatises on grammar, medicine and yoga. This has been memorialised in a verse by Bhoja at the start of his commentary on the Yogasutras called Rājamārttanda (11th century), and the following verse found in Shivarama's 18th-century text:[34]

योगेन चित्तस्य पदेन वाचां मलं शरीरस्य च वैद्यकेन। योऽपाकरोत्तं प्रवरं मुनीनां पतञ्जलिं प्राञ्जलिरानतोऽस्मि॥

Yōgēna cittasya padēna vācāṁ malaṁ śarīrasya ca vaidyakēna. Yōpākarōttaṁ pravaraṁ munīnāṁ patañjaliṁ prāñjalirānatōsmi

English translation: I bow with my hands together to the eminent sage Patañjali, who removed the impurities of the mind through yoga, of speech through grammar, and of the body through medicine.


Because of his patronage to scholars, Bhoja became one of the most celebrated kings in the Indian history. After his death, he came to be featured in several legends as a righteous scholar-king. The body of legends clustered around him is comparable to that of the fabled Vikramaditya [a legendary emperor of ancient India. Often characterized as an ideal king, he is known for his generosity, courage, and patronage of scholars.]...

Legends

In terms of the number of legends centered around him, Bhoja is comparable to the fabled Vikramaditya. Sheldon Pollock describes Bhoja as "the most celebrated poet-king and philosopher-king of his time, and perhaps of any Indian time". Bhoja came to be featured in several legends as a righteous scholar-king, who was the ultimate judge of literary qualities and generously rewarded good poets and writers. Most of these legends were written three to five centuries after his death.

Apart from epigraphic records, much of the information about Bhoja comes from these legendary accounts, including Merutunga's Prabandha-Chintamani (14th century), Rajavallabha's Bhoja-Charitra (15th century), and Ballala's Bhoja-Prabandha (17th century). However, many of the popular legends about Bhoja do not have any historical basis. For example, the Bhoja-Prabandha anachronistically describes the ancient poet Kalidasa as a contemporary of Bhoja.

In order to enhance their imperial claims, the Paramaras promoted several legends associating Bhoja with the ancient legendary kings. For example, in Simhasana Dvatrimsika (popularly known as Singhasan Battisi), Bhoja finds a throne of Vikramaditya, and each of the 32 divine figurines attached to the throne tell him a story about Vikramaditya. A Bhavishya Purana legend describes Bhoja as a descendant of Vikramaditya and Shalivahana. According to this legend, the mleccha (foreign) influence had corrupted Indian culture by the time of Bhoja's ascension. Bhoja marched up to the banks of the Indus river, and defeated several mleccha kings. The poet Kalidasa, who accompanied him, magically turned into ashes a mleccha named Mahamada, whose followers came to be known as Muslim (The character Mahamada is based on Muhammad possibly combined with Mahmud of Ghazni). After returning to his capital, Bhoja established Sanskrit language among the top three varnas and Prakrit language among the Shudras. During his 50-year reign, Aryavarta (the land between the Himalayas and the Vindhyas) became a blessed land where the varna system was established. On the other hand, caste mixture took place beyond the Vindhyas (that is, in South India). Again, this is an imaginary account not supported by any historical evidence.

-- Bhoja, by Wikipedia


This tradition is discussed by Meulenbeld[17] who traces this "relatively late" idea back to Bhoja (11th century), who was perhaps influenced by a verse by Bhartṛhari (ca. 5th century) that speaks of an expert in yoga, medicine and grammar who, however, is not named. No known Sanskrit text prior to the 10th century states that the one and the same Patanjali was behind all the three treatises.[35]

The sage Patañjali is said to have attained Samadhi through yogic meditation
at the Brahmapureeswarar Temple located at Tirupattur, Tamil Nadu, India. Jeeva Samadhi of sage Patanjali, which is now an enclosed meditation hall, can be seen near the Brahma's shrine within Brahmapureeswarar Temple complex.

Grammatical tradition

In the grammatical tradition, Patañjali is believed to have lived in the second century BCE.[36] He wrote a Mahabhasya on Panini's sutras, in a form that quoted the commentary of Kātyāyana's vārttikas. This is a major influential work on Sanskrit grammar and linguistics.[5] The dating of Patanjali and his Mahabhasya is established by a combination of evidence, those from the Maurya Empire period, the historical events mentioned in the examples he used to explain his ideas, the chronology of ancient classical Sanskrit texts that respect his teachings, and the mention of his text or his name in ancient Indian literature.[37][38] Of the three ancient grammarians, the chronological dating of Patanjali to mid 2nd century B.C. is considered as "reasonably accurate" by mainstream scholarship.[39]

The text influenced Buddhist grammatical literature,[40] as well as memoirs of travellers to India. For example, the Chinese pilgrim I-tsing mentions that the Mahabhasya is studied in India and advanced scholars learn it in three years.[41]

Yoga tradition

Self study
Practice self study,
to commune with
your chosen divinity.

— Patanjali, Yogasutras II.44[42][43]


In the Yoga tradition, Patañjali is a revered name. This Patañjali's oeuvre comprises the sutras about Yoga (Yogasūtra) and the commentary integral to the sutras, called the Bhāṣya. Some consider the sutras and the Bhaṣya to have had different authors, the commentary being ascribed to "an editor" (Skt. "vyāsa"). According to Phillipp Maas, the same person named Patanjali composed the sutras and the Bhāṣya commentary.[44]

Radhakrishnan and Moore attribute the text to the grammarian Patañjali, dating it as 2nd century BCE, during the Maurya Empire (322–185 BCE).[45] Maas estimates Patañjali's Yogasutra's date to be about 400 CE, based on tracing the commentaries on it published in the first millennium CE.[10] Edwin Bryant, on the other hand, surveys the major commentators in his translation of the Yoga Sūtras.[46] He states that "most scholars date the text shortly after the turn of the Common Era (circa first to second century), but that it has been placed as early as several centuries before that."[47] Bryant concludes that "A number of scholars have dated the Yoga Sūtras as late as the fourth or fifth century C.E., but these arguments have all been challenged", and late chronology for this Patanjali and his text are problematic.[48]

Tamil Saivite legend

Image
A garlanded Patanjali statue

Regarding his early years, a Tamil Saiva Siddhanta tradition from around 10th century AD holds that Patañjali learned Yoga along with seven other disciples from the great Yogic Guru Nandhi Deva, as stated in Tirumular's Tirumandiram (Tantra 1).

Nandhi arulPetra Nadharai Naadinom
Nandhigal Nalvar Siva Yoga MaaMuni
Mandru thozhuda Patañjali Vyakramar
Endrivar Ennodu (Thirumoolar) Enmarumaame


Translation[49]

We sought the feet of the God who graced Nandikesvara
The Four Nandhis,
Sivayoga Muni, Patañjali, Vyaghrapada and I (Thirumoolar)
We were these eight.


Works

Image
Patañjali – Modern art rendering in Patanjali Yogpeeth, Haridwar

Whether the two works, the Yoga Sutras and the Mahābhāṣya, are by the same author has been the subject of considerable debate. The authorship of the two is first attributed to the same person in Bhojadeva's Rajamartanda, a relatively late (10th century) commentary on the Yoga Sutras,[50] as well as several subsequent texts. As for the texts themselves, the Yoga Sutra iii.44 cites a sutra as that from Patanjali by name, but this line itself is not from the Mahābhāṣya. This 10th-century legend of single-authorship is doubtful. The literary styles and contents of the Yogasūtras and the Mahābhāṣya are entirely different, and the only work on medicine attributed to Patañjali is lost. Sources of doubt include the lack of cross-references between the texts, and no mutual awareness of each other, unlike other cases of multiple works by (later) Sanskrit authors. Also, some elements in the Yoga Sutras may date from as late as the 4th century AD,[4] but such changes may be due to divergent authorship, or due to later additions which are not atypical in the oral tradition. Most scholars refer to both works as "by Patanjali", without meaning that they are by the same author.

In addition to the Mahābhāṣya and Yoga Sūtras, the 11th-century commentary on Charaka by the Bengali scholar Chakrapani Datta, and the 16th-century text Patanjalicarita ascribes to Patañjali a medical text called the Carakapratisaṃskṛtaḥ (now lost) which is apparently a revision (pratisaṃskṛtaḥ) of the medical treatise by Caraka. While there is a short treatise on yoga in the medical work called the Carakasaṃhitā (by Caraka), towards the end of the chapter called śārīrasthāna, it is notable for not bearing much resemblance to the Yoga Sūtras, and in fact presents a form of eightfold yoga that is completely different from that laid out by Patañjali in the Yoga Sūtras and the commentary Yogasūtrabhāṣya.


Yoga Sūtra

Main article: Yoga Sutras of Patanjali

The Yoga Sūtras of Patañjali are 196 Indian sutras (aphorisms) on Yoga. It was the most translated ancient Indian text in the medieval era, having been translated into about forty Indian languages and two non-Indian languages: Old Javanese and Arabic.[16] The text fell into obscurity for nearly 700 years from the 12th to 19th century, and made a comeback in late 19th century due to the efforts of Swami Vivekananda and others. It gained prominence again as a comeback classic in the 20th century.[51]

Before the 20th century, history indicates the Indian yoga scene was dominated by other Yoga texts such as the Bhagavad Gita, Yoga Vasistha and Yoga Yajnavalkya.
[52] Scholars consider the Yoga Sūtras of Patañjali formulations as one of the foundations of classical Yoga philosophy of Hinduism.[53][54]

Mahābhāṣya

The Mahābhāṣya ("great commentary") of Patañjali on the Aṣṭādhyāyī of Pāṇini is a major early exposition on Pāṇini, along with the somewhat earlier Varttika by Katyayana. Patanjali relates to how words and meanings are associated – Patanjali claims shabdapramâNaH – that the evidentiary value of words is inherent in them, and not derived externally[55] – the word-meaning association is natural. These issues in the word-meaning relation (symbol) would be elaborated in the Sanskrit linguistic tradition, in debates between the Mimamsa, Nyaya and Buddhist schools over the next fifteen centuries.

Sphota

Patanjali also defines an early notion of sphota, which would be elaborated considerably by later Sanskrit linguists like Bhartrihari. In Patanjali, a sphoTa (from sphuT, spurt/burst) is the invariant quality of speech. The noisy element (dhvani, audible part) can be long or short, but the sphoTa remains unaffected by individual speaker differences. Thus, a single letter or 'sound' (varNa) such as k, p or a is an abstraction, distinct from variants produced in actual enunciation.[55] This concept has been linked to the modern notion of phoneme, the minimum distinction that defines semantically distinct sounds. Thus a phoneme is an abstraction for a range of sounds. However, in later writings, especially in Bhartrihari (6th century CE), the notion of sphoTa changes to become more of a mental state, preceding the actual utterance, akin to the lemma.

Patañjali's writings also elaborate some principles of morphology (prakriyā). In the context of elaborating on Pāṇini's aphorisms, he also discusses Kātyāyana's commentary, which are also aphoristic and sūtra-like; in the later tradition, these were transmitted as embedded in Patañjali's discussion. In general, he defends many positions of Pāṇini which were interpreted somewhat differently in Katyayana.

Metaphysics as grammatical motivation

Unlike Pāṇini's objectives in the Ashtyadhyayi, which is to distinguish correct forms and meanings from incorrect ones (shabdaunushasana), Patanjali's objectives are more metaphysical. These include the correct recitations of the scriptures (Agama), maintaining the purity of texts (raksha), clarifying ambiguity (asamdeha), and also the pedagogic goal of providing an easier learning mechanism (laghu).[55] This stronger metaphysical bent has also been indicated by some as one of the unifying themes between the Yoga Sutras and the Mahābhāṣya, although a close examination of actual Sanskrit usage by Woods showed no similarities in language or terminology.

The text of the Mahābhāṣya was first critically edited by the 19th-century orientalist Franz Kielhorn, who also developed philological criteria for distinguishing Kātyāyana's "voice" from Patañjali's. Subsequently, a number of other editions have come out, the 1968 text and translation by S.D. Joshi and J.H.F. Roodbergen often being considered definitive. Regrettably, the latter work is incomplete.

Patanjali also writes with a light touch. For example, his comment on the conflicts between the orthodox Brahminic (Astika) groups, versus the heterodox, nAstika groups (Buddhism, Jainism, and atheists) seems relevant for religious conflict even today: the hostility between these groups was like that between a mongoose and a snake.[56] He also sheds light on contemporary events, commenting on the recent Greek incursion, and also on several tribes that lived in the Northwest regions of the subcontinent. [??? -- NO CITATION!]

The Malavas or Malwas were an ancient Indian tribe. Modern scholars identify them with the Malloi who were settled in the Punjab region at the time of Alexander's invasion in the 4th century BCE. Later, the Malavas migrated southwards to present-day Rajasthan, and ultimately to Madhya Pradesh and Gujarat. Their power gradually declined as a result of defeats against the Western Satraps (2nd century CE), the Gupta emperor Samudragupta (4th century), and the Chalukya emperor Pulakeshin II (7th century).

The Malwa region in central India is named after them. The Malava era, which later came to be known as Vikram Samvat, was probably first used by them.

The Malavas are mentioned in several ancient Indian texts, including the Mahabharata and Mahabhashya.

According to the Mahabharata, the hundred sons of the Madra king Ashvapati, the father of Savitri were known as the Malavas, after the name of their mother, Malavi. Although Malavas are not specifically mentioned by Panini, his sutra V.3.117 mentions a group of tribes called ayudhajivi samghas (those who live by the profession of arms) and the Kashika includes the Malavas and the Kshudrakas in this group of tribes. The Malavas are also mentioned in the Mahabhashya (IV.1.68) of Patanjali.

The location of the original homeland of the Malavas is not certain, but modern scholars generally connect them with the "Malli" or "Malloi" mentioned in the ancient Greek accounts, which describe Alexander's war against them. At the time of Alexander's invasion in the 4th century BCE, the Malloi lived in present-day Punjab region, in the area to the north of the confluence of the Ravi and the Chenab rivers.


-- Malavas, by Wikipedia


Patanjalatantra

Patanjali is also the reputed author of a medical text called Patanjalah, also called Patanjala or Patanjalatantra.[17][57] This text is quoted in many yoga and health-related Indian texts. Patanjali is called a medical authority in a number of Sanskrit texts such as Yogaratnakara, Yogaratnasamuccaya, Padarthavijnana, Cakradatta bhasya.[17] Some of these quotes are unique to Patanjala, but others are also found in major Hindu medical treatises such as Charaka Samhita and Sushruta Samhita.[17]

There is a fourth scholar also named Patanjali, who likely lived in 8th-century and wrote a commentary on Charaka Samhita and this text is called Carakavarttika.[18] The two medical scholars named Patanjali may be the same person, but generally accepted to be completely different person than the Patanjali who wrote the Sanskrit grammar classic Mahabhasya.[18]

Legacy

Patanjali is honoured with invocations and shrines in some modern schools of yoga, including Iyengar Yoga[20] and Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga.[21] The yoga scholar David Gordon White writes that yoga teacher training often includes "mandatory instruction"[58] in the Yoga Sutra. White calls this "curious to say the least",[58] since the text is in his view essentially irrelevant to "yoga as it is taught and practiced today",[58] commenting that the Yoga Sutra is "nearly devoid of discussion of postures, stretching, and breathing".[59]

See also

• Hinduism portal
• India portal
• Bhartrihari
• Yoga Sutras of Patanjali
• Yoga Vashista
• Yoga Yajnavalkya
• Vedanga

References

1. Raghavan, V.; et al. (1968). New Catalogus Catalogorum. 11. Madras: University of Madras. pp. 89–90. lists ten separate authors by the name of "Patañjali."
2. Ganeri, Jonardon. Artha: Meaning, Oxford University Press 2006, 1.2, p. 12
3. Radhakrishnan, S.; Moore, C.A., (1957). A Source Book in Indian Philosophy. Princeton, New Jersey: Princeton University, ch. XIII, Yoga, p. 453
4. Flood 1996
5. Sures Chandra Banerji (1989). A Companion to Sanskrit Literature: Spanning a Period of Over Three Thousand Years, Containing Brief Accounts of Authors, Works, Characters, Technical Terms, Geographical Names, Myths, Legends and Several Appendices. Motilal Banarsidass. p. 233. ISBN 978-81-208-0063-2.
6. Scharf, Peter M. (1996). The Denotation of Generic Terms in Ancient Indian Philosophy: Grammar, Nyāya, and Mīmāṃsā. American Philosophical Society. pp. 1–2. ISBN 978-0-87169-863-6.
7. Cardona, George (1997). Pāṇini: A Survey of Research. Motilal Banarsidass. pp. 267–268. ISBN 978-81-208-1494-3.
8. Scharfe, Hartmut (1977). Grammatical Literature. Otto Harrassowitz Verlag. pp. 152–154. ISBN 978-3-447-01706-0.
9. Harold G. Coward; K. Kunjunni Raja (2015). The Encyclopedia of Indian Philosophies, Volume 5: The Philosophy of the Grammarians. Princeton University Press. pp. 3–11. ISBN 978-1-4008-7270-1.
10. Maas, Philipp A. (2006). Samādhipāda: das erste Kapitel des Pātañjalayogaśāstra zum ersten Mal kritisch ediert (in German). Aachen: Shaker. ISBN 978-3832249878.
11. Dasgupta, Surendranath (1992). A History of Indian Philosophy, Volume 1, p.229 Motilal Banarsidass Publications. ISBN 8120804120
12. Phillips, Stephen H.,(2013). Yoga, Karma, and Rebirth: A Brief History and Philosophy, Columbia University Press. ISBN 0231519478
13. Bryant 2009, pp. xxxiv, 510 with notes 43-44. sfn error: multiple targets (2×): CITEREFBryant2009 (help)
14. Michele Desmarais (2008), Changing Minds: Mind, Consciousness and Identity in Patanjali's Yoga Sutra, Motilal Banarsidass, ISBN 978-8120833364, pages 16-17 with footnotes
15. Desmarais, Michele Marie (2008). Changing Minds : Mind, Consciousness And Identity In Patanjali'S Yoga-Sutra And Cognitive Neuroscience. Motilal Banarsidass. pp. 15–16. ISBN 978-81-208-3336-4., Quote: "The YS is widely acknowledged to be one of the most important texts in the Hindu tradition and is recognized as the essential text for understanding classical Yoga".
16. White 2014, p. xvi.
17. Meulenbeld, G. Jan (1999). History of Indian Medical Literature, vol. I part 1. Groningen: E. Forsten. pp. 141–44. ISBN 978-9069801247.
18. Meulenbeld, G. Jan (1999). History of Indian Medical Literature, vol. I part 1. Groningen: E. Forsten. pp. 143–144, 196. ISBN 978-9069801247.
19. Feuerstein, Georg. "Yoga of the 18 Siddhas by Ganapathy". Traditional Yoga Studies. Retrieved 17 March 2019.
20. "Invocation to Patanjali". Iyengar Yoga (UK). Retrieved 31 August 2019.
21. "Sharath Jois". Kpjayi.org. Retrieved 31 August 2019.
22. Monier Monier Williams, Patañjali, Sanskrit English Dictionary with Etymology, Oxford University Press, page 582
23. Monier Monier Williams, pata, Sanskrit English Dictionary with Etymology, Oxford University Press, pages 580-581
24. Monier Monier Williams, añjali, Sanskrit English Dictionary with Etymology, Oxford University Press, page 11
25. B.K.S. Iyengar (2009). Yoga: Wisdom & Practice. Penguin. p. 71. ISBN 978-0-7566-5953-0.
26. Louis Renou (1940). "On the Identity of the Two Patañjalis". In Narendra Nath Law (ed.). Louis de La Vallée Poussin Memorial Volume. Calcutta. pp. 368–73.
27. Sharma, P. V. (1970). चरक-चिन्तन (चरकसंहिता का ऐतिहासिक अध्ययन) (Carak-cintan. Carakasaṃhitā kā aitihāsik adhyayan). Vārāṇasī: Caukhamba Saṃskṛt Saṃsthān. pp. 23–43.; Sharma, P. V. (1992). History of Medicine in India. New Delhi: Indian National Science Academy. pp. 181–82.; Tripāṭhī, Yogendra Kumār (1987). न्यायसूत्र एवं चरक-संहिता. Vārāṇasī: Trividhā Prakāśan. pp. 26–27.; Woods, James Haughton (1914). The Yoga-system of Patañjali: or, the ancient Hindu doctrine of Concentration of Mind Embracing the Mnemonic Rules, called Yoga-sūtras, of Patañjali and the Comment, called Yoga-bhāshya, attributed to Veda-Vyāsa and the Explanation, called Tattvaiçāradī, of Vāchaspati-miçra. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press. pp. xv–xvii..
28. Woods, James Haughton (1914). he Yoga-system of Patañjali: or, the ancient Hindu doctrine of Concentration of Mind Embracing the Mnemonic Rules, called Yoga-sūtras, of Patañjali and the Comment, called Yoga-bhāshya, attributed to Veda-Vyāsa and the Explanation, called Tattvaiçāradī, of Vāchaspati-miçra. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press. pp. introduction.
29. Surendranath Dasgupta (1992). A History of Indian Philosophy. Reprint: Motilal Banarsidass (Original: Cambridge University Press, 1922). pp. 230–238. ISBN 978-81-208-0412-8.
30. James G. Lochtefeld (2002). The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Hinduism: N-Z. The Rosen Publishing Group. pp. 506–507. ISBN 978-0-8239-3180-4.
31. David Gordon White (2014). The "Yoga Sutra of Patanjali": A Biography. Princeton University Press. pp. 34–38. ISBN 978-1-4008-5005-1.
32. Diane Collinson; Kathryn Plant; Robert Wilkinson (2013). Fifty Eastern Thinkers. Routledge. pp. 81–86. ISBN 978-1-134-63151-3.
33. Michael Edwards (2013). The Oxford Handbook of Civil Society. Oxford University Press. pp. 273–274. ISBN 978-0-19-933014-0.
34. Patañjali; James Haughton Woods (transl.) (1914). The Yoga Sutras of Patañjali. Published for Harvard University by Ginn & Co. pp. xiv–xv.
35. Chandramouli S. Naikar (2002). Patanjali of Yogasutras. Sahitya Akademi. pp. 13–14. ISBN 978-81-260-1285-5.
36. Mishra, Giridhar (1981). "प्रस्तावना" [Introduction]. अध्यात्मरामायणेऽपाणिनीयप्रयोगाणां विमर्शः [Deliberation on non-Paninian usages in the Adhyatma Ramayana] (PhD) (in Sanskrit). Varanasi, India: Sampurnanand Sanskrit University. Retrieved 21 May2013.
37. Bart Dessein; Weijin Teng (2016). Text, History, and Philosophy: Abhidharma across Buddhist Scholastic Traditions. Brill Academic. pp. 32–34. ISBN 978-90-04-31882-3.
38. George Cardona (1997). Pāṇini: A Survey of Research. Motilal Banarsidass. pp. 262–268. ISBN 978-81-208-1494-3.
39. Peter M. Scharf (1996). The Denotation of Generic Terms in Ancient Indian Philosophy: Grammar, Nyāya, and Mīmāṃsā. American Philosophical Society. pp. 1 with footnote 2. ISBN 978-0-87169-863-6.
40. Hartmut Scharfe (1977). Grammatical Literature. Otto Harrassowitz Verlag. pp. 163–166, 174–176 with footnotes. ISBN 978-3-447-01706-0.
41. Hartmut Scharfe (1977). Grammatical Literature. Otto Harrassowitz Verlag. pp. 153–154. ISBN 978-3-447-01706-0.
42. David Carpenter; Ian Whicher (2003). Yoga: The Indian Tradition. Routledge. p. 34. ISBN 978-1-135-79606-8.
43. Stephen Phillips (2009), Yoga, Karma, and Rebirth: A Brief History and Philosophy, Columbia University Press, ISBN 978-0231144858, pages 151, 209, 215, 263
44. Maas, Philipp. A. (2006). Samādhipāda: das erste Kapitel des Pātañjalayogaśāstra zum ersten Mal kritisch ediert. Aachen: Shaker. ISBN 978-3832249878.
45. Radhakrishnan & Moore 1957, p. 453.
46. Bryant, Edwin F. (2009). The Yoga Sūtras of Patañjali: A New Edition, Translation and Commentary. New York: North Poinnt Press. ISBN 978-0865477360.
47. Bryant 2009, p. xxxiv. sfn error: multiple targets (2×): CITEREFBryant2009 (help)
48. Bryant 2009, p. 510, notes 43-44. sfn error: multiple targets (2×): CITEREFBryant2009 (help)
49. Natarajan, Balasubrahmanya (trans.) (1979). Tirumantiram = Holy hymns : with introduction, synopsis, and notes. Madras: ITES Publications. OCLC 557998668.
50. The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, ed. James Haughton Woods, 1914, p. xv
51. White 2014, p. xvi-xvii.
52. White 2014, p. xvi-xvii, 20-23.
53. Ian Whicher (1998), The Integrity of the Yoga Darsana: A Reconsideration of Classical Yoga, State University of New York Press, ISBN 978-0791438152, page 49
54. Stuart Sarbacker (2011), Yoga Powers (Editor: Knut A. Jacobsen), Brill, ISBN 978-9004212145, page 195
55. The word and the world: India's contribution to the study of language (1990). Bimal Krishna Matilal. Oxford. ISBN 978-0-19-562515-8.
56. Romila Thapar, Interpreting Early India. Oxford University Press, 1992, p.63
57. Surendranath Dasgupta (1992). A History of Indian Philosophy. Reprint: Motilal Banarsidass (Original: Cambridge University Press). p. 231. ISBN 978-81-208-0412-8.
58. White 2014, p. 1.
59. White 2014, p. 4.

Bibliography

• Bryant, Edwin F. (2009), The Yoga Sūtras of Patañjali: A New Edition, Translation and Commentary, New York: North Point Press, ISBN 978-0865477360
• Flood, Gavin (1996). An Introduction to Hinduism. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 978-0-521-43878-0.
• Larson, Gerald James (1998). Classical Sāṃkhya: An Interpretation of Its History and Meaning. London: Motilal Banarasidass. ISBN 978-81-208-0503-3.
• Larson, Gerald James (2008). The Encyclopedia of Indian Philosophies: Yoga: India's philosophy of meditation. Motilal Banarsidass. ISBN 978-81-208-3349-4.
• Radhakrishnan, S.; Moore, C. A. (1957). A Source Book in Indian Philosophy. Princeton, New Jersey: Princeton University Press. ISBN 978-0-691-01958-1. Princeton paperback 12th printing, 1989.
• White, David Gordon (2011). Yoga, Brief History of an Idea (Chapter 1 of "Yoga in practice") (PDF). Princeton University Press.
• White, David Gordon (2014), The Yoga Sutra of Patanjali: A Biography, Princeton University Press, ISBN 978-0691143774

External links

• Works by Patanjali at Project Gutenberg
• Works by or about Patanjali at Internet Archive
• Works by Patanjali at LibriVox (public domain audiobooks)
• "The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali". Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
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Indian campaign of Alexander the Great
by Wikipedia
Accessed: 6/21/21



Image
Alexander's Indian campaign
Part of the Wars of Alexander the Great
Campaigns and landmarks of Alexander's invasion of northwest Indian subcontinent
Date: 327–325 BC
Location: Indus Valley
Result: Macedonia conquers much of the Indus Valley, yet has to stop the advance into the Ganges Plain.
Belligerents
Macedonia / various
Alexander's Indian campaign: Cophen (327 BC)Aornos (326 BC)Hydaspes (326 BC)Mallian Campaign (326 BC)

The Indian campaign of Alexander the Great began in 327 BC. After conquering the Achaemenid Empire of Persia, the Macedonian king Alexander, launched a campaign into the Indian subcontinent in present-day Afghanistan and Pakistan, part of which formed the easternmost territories of the Achaemenid Empire following the Achaemenid conquest of the Indus Valley (late 6th century BC).

After gaining control of the former Achaemenid satrapy of Gandhara, including the city of Taxila, Alexander advanced into Punjab, where he engaged in battle against the regional king Porus, whom Alexander defeated in the Battle of the Hydaspes in 326 BC,[1][2] but he was so impressed by the demeanor with which the king carried himself that he allowed Porus to continue governing his own kingdom as a satrap.[3] Although victorious, the Battle of the Hydaspes was possibly also the most costly battle fought by the Macedonians.[4]

Alexander's march east put him in confrontation with the Nanda Empire of Magadha. According to the Greek sources, the Nanda army was supposedly five times larger than the Macedonian army.[5] His army, exhausted, homesick, and anxious by the prospects of having to further face large Indian armies throughout the Indo-Gangetic Plain, mutinied at the Hyphasis (modern Beas River) and refused to march further east. Alexander, after a meeting with his officer, Coenus, and after hearing about the lament of his soldiers,[6] eventually relented,[7] being convinced that it was better to return. This caused Alexander to turn south, advancing through southern Punjab and Sindh, along the way conquering more tribes along the lower Indus River, before finally turning westward.[8]

Alexander died in Babylon on 10 or 11 June 323 BC. In c. 322 BC, one year after Alexander's death, Chandragupta Maurya of Magadha founded the Maurya Empire in India.

Background

Sources


There are no ancient sources at all giving an Indian account of the campaign, or even mentioning it at all.[9] Though there are many Indian literary sources from earlier and around the same period (a few using Greek).

Of those who accompanied Alexander to India, Aristobulus, Onesicritus, and Nearchus wrote about the Indian campaign.[10] The only surviving contemporary account of Alexander's Indian campaign is a report of the voyage of the naval commander Nearchus,[11] who was tasked with exploring the coast between the Indus River and the Persian Gulf.[10] This report is preserved in Arrian's Anabasis (c. AD 150). Arrian provides a detailed account of Alexander's campaigns, based on the writings of Alexander's companions and courtiers.[11]

Arrian's account is supplemented by the writings of other authors, whose works are also based on the accounts of Alexander's companions: these authors include Diodorus (c. 21 BC), Strabo (c. AD 23), and Plutarch (c. AD 119).[12]

Socio-political conditions in India

Alexander's incursion into India was limited to the Indus River basin area, which was divided among several small states. These states appear to have been based on dominance of particular tribes, as the Greek writers mention tribes such as the Malloi as well as kings whose name seem to be tribal designations (such as Porus of the Puru tribe). The Achaemenid Empire of Persia had held suzerainty over the Indus valley in the previous decades, but there was no trace of Achaemenid rule beyond the Indus river when Alexander's army arrived in the region.[13] Strabo, sourcing his information from the earlier writer Eratosthenes, states that the Achaemenid king controlled the area to the west of the Indus.[14] This area (including the Kapisa-Gandhara region) was probably the territory of the Indians, who according to the Greek accounts, fought alongside their overlord Darius III at the Battle of Gaugamela.[15]

Greek writings as well archaeological excavations indicate the existence of an urban economy dependent on agriculture and trade in the Indus basin. The Greeks mention the existence of cities and fortified towns such as Taxila. Arrian mentions that after defeating Porus, Alexander marched eastwards towards the Chenab River, and captured 37 towns: the smallest of these towns had 5,000 or more inhabitants.[16] In the Swat valley, Alexander is said to have seized 230,000 oxen (possibly Zebu), intending to send them to Macedonia for ploughing land.[11] Aristobulus saw rice being grown in paddy fields, Onesicritus reported the existence of a crop called bosmoran (possibly the pearl millet), and Nearchus wrote of "honey-yielding reeds" (presumably the sugarcane).[12] Nearchus also mentions that Indians wore clothes made of cotton. Rock salt was extracted from the Salt Range, and supplied to other parts of India.[16] Some primitive communities existed in the forest, desert, and coastal regions of the subcontinent. For example, Nearchus mentions that people around the Tomeros river (Hingol) subsisted on fishing, and used stone tools instead of iron ones.[16]

The Greek writers mention the priestly class of Brahmanas (as "Brachmanes"), who are described as teachers of Indian philosophy.[17] They do not refer to the existence of any religious temples or idols in India , although such references commonly occur in their descriptions of Alexander's campaigns in Egypt, Mesopotamia and Iran. Greek accounts mention naked ascetics called gymnosophists. A philosopher named Calanus (probably a Greek transcription of the Indian name "Kalyana") accompanied Alexander to Persepolis, where he committed suicide on a public funeral pyre: he was probably a Jain or an Ajivika monk. Curiously, there is no reference to Buddhism in the Greek accounts.[18]

Other than their mention of the Brahmanas, the Greek narratives about Alexander's invasion do not directly mention the caste system. Some Brahmanas acted as advisors to local princes: Alexander had groups of Brahmanas hanged in present-day Sindh for instigating the rulers Musicanus and Sambus to revolt against him. The Greek writings attest the existence of slavery in at least two places: Onesicritus describes slavery in the territory ruled by Musicanus, and Aristobulus mentions poor people selling their daughters publicly in Taxila. Aristobulus also observed Sati, the practice of widows immolating themselves on their husbands' pyre, at Taxila. The practice of exposing dead bodies to vultures, similar to the Magian practice of Tower of Silence, was also prevalent in Taxila.[17]

The priest also advises on the mode of burial, of which there are four in vogue; the four modes being distinguishable from each other by the agencies to be brought into service, namely: water, flame, earth, and birds of the air. This last corresponds to the “air-burial” of Buhism.

Of the four kinds of burial, or more properly modes of disposing of corpses, the one generally regarded as the best is to leave the corpse to the vultures, known under the name of Cha-goppo in Tibet; then comes cremation; then water-burial, and last land-burial. This last method of interment is never adopted except when a person dies from small-pox. In this particular case alone the Tibetans observe some sanitary principles, though probably by mere accident and not from any conviction, for they think that this dreadful epidemic is likely to spread if the corpse of a person stricken down by small-pox is left for birds or consigned to a river. Though cremation is considered as a superior way of disposing of dead bodies, the process is by no means easy in a country where faggots are scarce, for the dried dung of the yak is hardly thought proper for the purpose. Hence cremation is confined to the wealthier class only. Water-burial generally takes place near a large stream; but, in consigning a dead body to the water, it is first thoroughly dismembered, and thrown into the water piece by piece. This troublesome course is adopted from the idea that a dead body thrown in whole will not speedily disappear from sight.

These four processes of disposing of corpses originate from Hindu philosophy, according to which human bodies are believed to consist of four elements, earth, water, fire and air, and it is thought that on death they should return to these original elements. Land-burial corresponds to the returning to earth, cremation to fire, water-burial to water, and the bird-devouring[390] to the air, of which birds are the denizens. The bodies of Lamas are mostly disposed of by this last process, while those of a few privileged persons only, such as the Dalai Lama, sub-Dalai Lama and other venerable Lamas, believed to be incarnations of Bodhisattvas, are given a special mode of burial.

‘Air-burial’ was chosen for the friend whose funeral I attended, and I shall briefly describe how this ‘burial’ was performed. Leaving the college at Sera, the cortège proceeded eastward till it reached the bank of a river near which, in a small valley formed between two contiguous hills, stood a big boulder about twelve yards high. The top of this stone was level and measured about fifteen feet square. This was the ‘burial-ground’ for this particular kind of interment. On the summits of the surrounding hills, and even on the inaccessible parts of the rock itself, were perched a large number of vultures, with their eyes glistening with greed. They are always waiting there for ‘burials’. When the bier was placed upon this rock, the white sheet was taken off, and the priest who had come, with the rest of the mourners and sympathisers, began to chant their texts to the accompaniment of drums and cymbals. At the same time one man approached the corpse with a broadsword, with which to ‘dress’ it. In ‘dressing’ the abdomen was first cut open and the entrails removed. Next all the various members of the body were severed, after which some other men, including a few priests, undertook the finishing work of final ‘dressing’, which consisted in separating the flesh and bones, just as butchers do with slaughtered cattle. By this time the vultures had gathered in a flock round the place, and big pieces, such as the flesh of the thighs, were thrown to them and most voraciously[392] did they devour them. Then the bones had to be disposed of, and this was done by first throwing them into one of the ten cavities on the rock, and pounding the heap with big stones. When the bones had been fairly well pulverised a quantity of baked flour was added to the mass, and this dainty mixture was also given to the birds. The only thing that remained of the dead body was the hair.

The Tibetans may practically be considered as a kind of cannibals. I was struck with this notion while witnessing the burial ceremony. All the cloths used in the burial go as a matter of course to the grave-diggers, though they hardly deserve this name, as their duty consists not in digging the grave but in chopping the flesh of the corpse and pounding the bones. Even priests give them help, for the pounding business is necessarily tedious and tiresome. Meanwhile the pounders have to take refreshment, and tea is drunk almost incessantly, for Tibetans are great tea-drinkers. The grave-diggers, or priests, prepare tea, or help themselves to baked flour, with their hands splashed over with a mash of human flesh and bones, for they never wash their hands before they prepare tea or take food, the most they do being to clap their hands, so as to get rid of the coarser fragments. And thus they take a good deal of minced human flesh, bones or brain, mixed with their tea or flour. They do so with perfect nonchalance; in fact, they have no idea whatever how really abominable and horrible their practice is, for they are accustomed to it. When I suggested that they might wash their hands before taking refreshment, they looked at me with an air of surprise. They scoffed at my suggestion, and even observed that eating with unwashed hands really added relish to food; besides, the spirit of the dead man would be satisfied when he saw them take fragments of his mortal remains with their food without aversion. It has been stated that the Tibetans[393] are descendants of the Rākshasa tribe—a tribe of fiendish cannibals who used to feed on human flesh; and what I witnessed at the burial convinced me that, even at the present day, they retained the horrible habit of their ancestors.

-- Three Years in Tibet, by Shramana Ekai Kawaguchi


Nearchus mentions that Indians wrote letters on closely woven cloth; it is possible that this is a reference to a precursor of the Kharoshthi script, which may have developed from the Aramaic alphabet during the Achaemenid rule.[17] While describing a tribe on the coast of present-day Balochistan, Nearchus mentions that they were different from Indians in "their language and customs", which implies that he associated a particular language with the Indians.[19] This does not mean that the Indians spoke a single language: the language that Nearchus associated with India might have been a lingua franca used for official and commercial purposes. This lingua franca was most probably the Gandhari Prakrit, as the Greek names (e.g. "Taxila" and "Sandrokottus") for Indian people and places seem to be derived from this language (e.g. "Takhasila" and "Chandagutta") rather than Sanskrit (e.g. "Takshashila" and "Chandragupta").[18]

Nearchus attests the existence of medical science in India: he mentions that when the Greek physicians failed to provide remedies for snake-bites to Alexander, the king gathered Indian healers who were also able to cure other diseases and painful conditions. The Greek accounts do not mention any other sciences of contemporary India.[18]

Alexander's preparation

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Ancient Indian warriors (from left to right: Sattagydian, Gandharan, Hindush) circa 480 BC. Naqsh-e Rostam reliefs of Xerxes I.

After the death of Spitamenes and his marriage to Roxana (Raoxshna in Old Iranian) in 326 BC to cement his relations with his new Central Asian satrapies, Alexander was finally free to turn his attention to India. For Alexander, the invasion of India was a natural consequence of his subjugation of the Achaemenid Empire, as the areas of the Indus valley had long been under Achaemenid control, since the Achaemenid conquest of the Indus Valley circa 515 BC.[20] Alexander was only taking possession of territories which he had obtained from the Achaemenids, and now considered rightfully his own.[20]

Alexander invited all the chieftains of the former satrapy of Gandhara, to come to him and submit to his authority. Ambhi (Greek: Omphis), ruler of Taxila, whose kingdom extended from the Indus to the Jhelum (Greek: Hydaspes), complied. At the end of the spring of 327 BC, Alexander started on his Indian expedition leaving Amyntas behind with 3,500 horse and 10,000 foot soldiers to hold the land of the Bactrians.[21]

Cophen Campaign

Main article: Cophen campaign

Alexander personally took command of the shield-bearing guards, foot-companions, archers, Agrianians, and horse-javelin-men and led them against the clans -– the Aspasioi of Kunar valleys, the Guraeans of the Guraeus (Panjkora) valley, and the Assakenoi of the Swat and Buner valleys.

Alexander faced resistance from Hastin (or Astes), chief of the Ilastinayana (called the Astakenoi or Astanenoi) tribe, whose capital was Pushkalavati or Peukelaotis.[22] He later defeated Asvayanas and Asvakayanas and captured their 40,000 men and 230,000 oxen. Asvakayanas of Massaga fought him under the command of their queen, Cleophis, with an army of 30,000 cavalry, 38,000 infantry, 30 elephants, and 7,000 mercenaries. Other regions that fought Alexander were Abhisara, Aornos, Bazira, and Ora or Dyrta.[23][24][25]

A fierce contest ensued with the Aspasioi, in the course of which Alexander himself was wounded in the shoulder by a dart, but eventually the Aspasioi lost the fight; 40,000 of them were enslaved. The Assakenoi faced Alexander with an army of 30,000 cavalry, 38,000 infantry, and 30 elephants.[26] They had fought bravely and offered stubborn resistance to the invader in many of their strongholds such as the cities of Ora, Bazira, and Massaga. The fort of Massaga could only be reduced after several days of bloody fighting in which Alexander himself was wounded seriously in the ankle. When the Chieftain of Massaga fell in the battle, the supreme command of the army went to his old mother, Cleophis, who also stood determined to defend her motherland to the last extremity. The example of Cleophis assuming the supreme command of the military also brought the entire population of women of the locality into the fighting.[27][28] Alexander was only able to reduce Massaga by resorting to political strategem and actions of betrayal. According to Curtius: "Not only did Alexander slaughter the entire population of Massaga, but also did he reduce its buildings to rubbles".[29] A similar slaughter then followed at Ora, another stronghold of the Assakenoi.

Siege of Aornos

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The Aornos is located to the north of Taxila, Pakistan.

In the aftermath of general slaughter and arson committed by Alexander at Massaga and Ora, numerous Assakenians fled to a high fortress called Aornos (not definitely identified but somewhere between Shangla, in Swat, and the Kohistan region, both in northern Pakistan). Alexander followed close behind their heels and besieged the strategic hill-fort. The Siege of Aornos was Alexander's last siege, "the climax to Alexander's career as the greatest besieger in history", according to Robin Lane Fox.[30] The siege took place in April 326 BC.[31] It presented the last threat to Alexander's supply line, which stretched, dangerously vulnerable, over the Hindu Kush back to Balkh, though Arrian credits Alexander's heroic desire to outdo his kinsman Heracles, who allegedly had proved unable to take the place Pir-Sar, which the Greeks called Aornis. The site lies north of Attock in what is now the Punjab, Pakistan, on a strongly reinforced mountain spur above the narrow gorges in a bend of the upper Indus. Neighboring tribesmen who surrendered to Alexander offered to lead him to the best point of access.

At the vulnerable north side leading to the fort, Alexander and his catapults were stopped by a deep ravine. To bring the siege engines within reach, an earthwork mound was constructed to bridge the ravine. A low hill connected to the nearest tip of Pir-Sar was soon within reach and taken. Alexander's troops were at first repelled by boulders rolled down from above. Three days of drumbeats marked the defenders' celebration of the initial repulse, followed by a surprise retreat. Hauling himself up the last rockface on a rope, Alexander cleared the summit, slaying some fugitives –- inflated by Arrian to a massacre[32] -– and erected altars to Athena Nike, Athena of Victory, traces of which were identified by Stein. Sisikottos, or Saśigupta, who had helped Alexander in this campaign, was made the governor of Aornos.

Punjab

After reducing Aornos, Alexander crossed the Indus to begin campaigning in the Punjab region.

Battle of the Hydaspes River

Main article: Battle of the Hydaspes

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A painting by Charles Le Brun depicting Alexander and Porus (Puru) during the Battle of the Hydaspes.

The Battle of the Hydaspes River was fought by Alexander in July 326 BC against king Porus (possibly, Paurava) on the Hydaspes River (Jhelum River) in the Punjab, near Bhera. The Hydaspes was the last major battle fought by Alexander.[33] The main train went into what is now modern-day Pakistan through the Khyber Pass, but a smaller force under the personal command of Alexander went via the northern route, resulting in the Siege of Aornos along the way. In early spring of the next year, he combined his forces and allied with Taxiles (also Ambhi), the King of Taxila, against his neighbor, the King of Hydaspes.

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Porus awaits the attack of Alexander, July, 326 BC.

Porus was a regional King in India. Arrian writes about Porus, in his own words:

One of the Indian Kings called Porus, a man remarkable alike for his personal strength and noble courage, on hearing the report about Alexander, began to prepare for the inevitable. Accordingly, when hostilities broke out, he ordered his army to attack Macedonians from whom he demanded their king, as if he was his private enemy. Alexander lost no time in joining battle, but his horse being wounded in the first charge, he fell headlong to the ground, and was saved by his attendants who hastened up to his assistance.


Porus drew up on the south bank of the Jhelum River, and was set to repel any crossings. The Jhelum River was deep and fast enough that any opposed crossing would probably doom the entire attacking force. Alexander knew that a direct crossing would fail, so he found a suitable crossing, about 27 km (17 mi) upstream of his camp. The name of the place is "Kadee". Alexander left his general Craterus behind with most of the army while he crossed the river upstream with a strong contingent. Porus sent a small cavalry and chariot force under his son to the crossing.

According to sources, Alexander had already encountered Porus's son, so the two men were not strangers. Porus's son killed Alexander's horse with one blow, and Alexander fell to the ground. Also writing about this encounter, Arrian adds,

Other writers state that there was a fight at the actual landing between Alexander's cavalry and a force of Indians commanded by Porus's son, who was there ready to oppose them with superior numbers, and that in the course of fighting he (Porus's son) wounded Alexander with his own hand and struck the blow which killed his (Alexander's) beloved horse Buccaphalus.


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"Victory coin" of Alexander the Great, minted in Babylon c. 322 BC, following his campaigns in the Indian subcontinent. Obverse: Alexander being crowned by Nike. Reverse: Alexander attacking king Porus on his elephant. Silver. British Museum.

The force was easily routed, and according to Arrian, Porus' son was killed. Porus now saw that the crossing force was larger than he had expected, and decided to face it with the bulk of his army. Porus's army were poised with cavalry on both flanks, the war elephants in front, and infantry behind the elephants. These war elephants presented an especially difficult situation for Alexander, as they scared the Macedonian horses.

Alexander started the battle by sending horse archers to shower the Porus's left cavalry wing, and then used his cavalry to destroy Porus's cavalry. Meanwhile, the Macedonian phalanxes had crossed the river to engage the charge of the war elephants. The Macedonians eventually surrounded Porus's force.

Diodorus wrote about the battle tactics of war elephants:

Upon this the elephants, applying to good use their prodigious size and strength, killed some of the enemy by trampling under their feet, and crushing their armour and their bones, while upon other they inflicted a terrible death, for they first lifted them aloft with their trunks, which they twisted round their bodies and then dashed them down with great violence to the ground. Many others they deprived in a moment of life by goring them through and through with their tusks.


The fighting style of Porus' soldiers was described in detail by Arrian:

The foot soldiers carry a bow made of equal length with the man who bears it. This they rest upon the ground, and pressing against it with their left foot thus discharges the arrow, having drawn the string far backwards for the shaft they use is little short for three yards long, and there is nothing can resist an Indian archer's shot, neither shield nor breast plate, nor any stronger defence if such there be.[32]


According to Curtius Quintus, Alexander towards the end of the day sent a few ambassadors to Porus:

Alexander, anxious to save the life of this great and gallant soldier, sent Texile the Indian to him (to Porus). Texile rode up as near as he dared and requested him to stop his elephant and hear what message Alexander sent him, escape was no longer possible. But Texiles was an old enemy of the Indian King, and Porus turned his elephant and drove at him, to kill him with his lance; and he might indeed have killed him, if he had not spurred his horse out of the way in the nick of the time. Alexander, however, far from resenting this treatment of his messenger, sent a number of others, last of whom was Indian named Meroes, a man he had been told had long been Porus' friend.[32]


According to Plutarch this was one of Alexander's hardest battles:

The combat then was of a more mixed kind; but maintained with such obstinacy, that it was not decided till the eighth hour of the day.


Plutarch also wrote that the bitter fighting of the Hydaspes made Alexander's men hesitant to continue on with the conquest of India, considering that they would potentially face far larger armies than those of Porus if they were to cross the Ganges River.[34]

Porus was one of many local kings who impressed Alexander. Wounded in his shoulder, standing over 2 m (6 ft 7 in) tall, but still on his feet, he was asked by Alexander how he wished to be treated. "Treat me, Alexander, the way a King treats another King", Porus responded. Other historians question the accuracy of this entire event, noting that Porus would never have said those words.[35] Philostratus the Elder in the Life of Apollonius of Tyana writes that in the army of Porus there was an elephant who had fought bravely against Alexander's army and Alexander dedicated it to Helios (Sun) and named it Ajax, because he thought that a so great animal deserved a great name. The elephant had gold rings around its tusks and an inscription was on them written in Greek: "Alexander the son of Zeus dedicates Ajax to Helios" (ΑΛΕΞΑΝΔΡΟΣ Ο ΔΙΟΣ ΤΟΝ ΑΙΑΝΤΑ ΤΩΙ ΗΛΙΩΙ).[36]

Alexander did not continue, thus leaving all the headwaters of the Indus River unconquered. He later founded Alexandria Nikaia (Victory), located at the battle site, to commemorate his triumph. He also founded Alexandria Bucephalus on the opposite bank of the river in memory of his much-cherished horse, Bucephalus, who carried Alexander through the Indian subcontinent and died heroically during the Battle of Hydaspes.[32]

Musicanus

Musicanus (Ancient Greek: Μουσικανὸς,[37] Indian: Mûshika) was an Indian king at the head of the Indus, who raised a rebellion against Alexander the Great around 323 BC. Peithon, one of Alexander's generals, managed to put down the revolt:

"Meantime he was informed that Musicanus had revolted. He dispatched the viceroy, Peithon, son of Agenor, with a sufficient army against him, while he himself marched against the cities which had been put under the rule of Musicanus. Some of these he razed to the ground, reducing the inhabitants to slavery; and into others he introduced garrisons and fortified the citadels. After accomplishing this, he returned to the camp and fleet. By this time Musicanus had been captured by Peithon, who was bringing him to Alexander." - Arrian Anabasis[38]


Patala

The King of Patala came to Alexander and surrendered. Alexander let him keep possession of his own dominions, with instructions to provide whatever was needed for the reception of the army.[37]

Revolt of the army

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Asia in 323 BCE, the Nanda Empire and neighboring Gangaridai of Ancient India in relation to Alexander's Empire and neighbors.

East of Porus's kingdom, near the Ganges River (the Hellenic version of the Indian name Ganga), was the powerful Nanda Empire of Magadha and the Gangaridai Empire of Bengal. Fearing the prospects of facing other powerful Indian armies and exhausted by years of campaigning, his army mutinied at the Hyphasis River (the modern Beas River), refusing to march further east.[39]

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Alexander's troops beg to return home from India in plate 3 of 11 by Antonio Tempesta of Florence, 1608.

As for the Macedonians, however, their struggle with Porus blunted their courage and stayed their further advance into India. For having had all they could do to repulse an enemy who mustered only twenty thousand infantry and two thousand horse, they violently opposed Alexander when he insisted on crossing the river Ganges also, the width of which, as they learned, was thirty-two furlongs, its depth a hundred fathoms, while its banks on the further side were covered with multitudes of men-at-arms and horsemen and elephants. For they were told that the kings of the Ganderites and Praesii were awaiting them with eighty thousand horsemen, two hundred thousand footmen, eight thousand chariots, and six thousand fighting elephants.

— Plutarch's Lives
[40]


Image
Chandraketugarh in West Bengal, India is believed to be the capital of Gangaridai. The Gangaridai army, with its 4,000 elephant force, may have led to Alexander's retreat from India.[41]

Gangaridai, a nation which possesses a vast force of the largest-sized elephants. Owing to this, their country has never been conquered by any foreign king: for all other nations dread the overwhelming number and strength of these animals. Thus Alexander the Macedonian, after conquering all Asia, did not make war upon the Gangaridai, as he did on all others; for when he had arrived with all his troops at the river Ganges, he abandoned as hopeless an invasion of the Gangaridai when he learned that they possessed four thousand elephants well trained and equipped for war.

— Megasthenes, Indika
[42]


Alexander, using the incorrect maps of the Greeks, thought that the world ended a mere 1,000 kilometres (620 mi) away, at the edge of India. He therefore spoke to his army and tried to persuade them to march further into India, but Coenus pleaded with him to change his mind and return, saying the men "longed to again see their parents, their wives and children, their homeland". Alexander, seeing the unwillingness of his men, agreed and turned back.

Campaign against the Malli

Main article: Mallian Campaign

Along the way, his army conquered the Malli clans (in modern-day Multan). During a siege, Alexander jumped into the fortified city with only two of his bodyguards and was wounded seriously by a Mallian arrow.[34] His forces, believing their king dead, took the citadel and unleashed their fury on the Malli who had taken refuge within it, perpetrating a massacre, sparing no man, woman or child.[43] However, due to the efforts of his surgeon, Kritodemos of Kos, Alexander survived the injury.[44] Following this, the surviving Malli surrendered to Alexander's forces, and his beleaguered army moved on, conquering more Indian tribes along the way.

Aftermath

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Ptolemy coin with Alexander wearing an elephant scalp, symbol of his conquests in southern Asia.

Image
The army crosses the Gedrosian Desert, by Andre Castaigne (1898-1899).

Alexander sent much of his army to Carmania (modern southern Iran) with his general Craterus, and commissioned a fleet to explore the Persian Gulf shore under his admiral Nearchus while he led the rest of his forces back to Persia by the southern route through the Gedrosian Desert (now part of southern Iran) and Makran (now part of Pakistan). In crossing the desert, Alexander's army took enormous casualties from hunger and thirst, but fought no human enemy. They encountered the "Fish Eaters", or Ichthyophagi, primitive people who lived on the Makran coast of the Arabian Sea, who had matted hair, no fire, no metal, no clothes, lived in huts made of whale bones, and ate raw seafood obtained by beachcombing.[45] During the crossing, Alexander refused as much water as possible, to share the sufferings of his men and to boost the morale of the army.[46]

In the territory of the Indus, Alexander nominated his officer Peithon as a satrap, a position he would hold for the next ten years until 316 BC, and in the Punjab he left Eudemus in charge of the army, at the side of the satrap Porus and Taxiles. Eudemus became ruler of a part of the Punjab after their death. Both rulers returned to the West in 316 BC with their armies. In c. 322 BC, Chandragupta Maurya of Magadha, founded the Maurya Empire in India and conquered the Macedonian satrapies during the Seleucid–Mauryan war (305–303 BC).

The Seleucid–Mauryan War was fought between 305 and 303 BCE. It started when Seleucus I Nicator, of the Seleucid Empire, sought to retake the Indian satrapies of the Macedonian Empire which had been occupied by Emperor Chandragupta Maurya, of the Maurya Empire.

Seleucus I Nicator (/səˈljuːkəs naɪˈkeɪtər/; c. 358 BC – September 281 BC; Ancient Greek: Σέλευκος Νικάτωρ, romanized: Séleukos Nikátōr, lit. 'Seleucus the Victor') was a Greek general and one of the Diadochi, the rival generals, relatives, and friends of Alexander the Great who fought for control over his empire after his death. Having previously served as an infantry general under Alexander the Great, he eventually assumed the title of basileus (king) and established the Seleucid Empire, one of the major powers of the Hellenistic world, which controlled most of Asia Minor, Syria, Mesopotamia, and the Iranian Plateau until overcome by the Roman Republic and Parthian Empire in the late second and early first centuries BC.

After the death of Alexander in June 323 BC, Seleucus initially supported Perdiccas, the regent of Alexander's empire, and was appointed Commander of the Companions and chiliarch at the Partition of Babylon in 323 BC. However, after the outbreak of the Wars of the Diadochi in 322, Perdiccas' military failures against Ptolemy in Egypt led to the mutiny of his troops in Pelusium. Perdiccas was betrayed and assassinated in a conspiracy by Seleucus, Peithon and Antigenes in Pelusium sometime in either 321 or 320 BC. At the Partition of Triparadisus in 321 BC, Seleucus was appointed Satrap of Babylon under the new regent Antipater. But almost immediately, the wars between the Diadochi resumed and one of the most powerful of the Diadochi, Antigonus, forced Seleucus to flee Babylon. Seleucus was only able to return to Babylon in 312 BC with the support of Ptolemy. From 312 BC, Seleucus ruthlessly expanded his dominions and eventually conquered the Persian and Median lands. Seleucus ruled not only Babylonia, but the entire enormous eastern part of Alexander's empire.

Seleucus further made claim to the former satraps in Gandhara and in eastern India. However these ambitions were contested by Chandragupta Maurya, resulting in the Seleucid–Mauryan War (305–303 BC). The conflict was ultimately resolved by a treaty resulting in the Maurya Empire annexing the eastern satraps. Additionally, a marriage alliance between the two empires was formalized with Chandragupta marrying Seleucus' daughter. Furthermore, the Seleucid Empire received a considerable military force of 500 war elephants with mahouts, which would play a decisive role against Antigonus at the Battle of Ipsus in 301 BC. In 281 BC, he also defeated Lysimachus at the Battle of Corupedium, adding Asia Minor to his empire.

Seleucus' victories against Antigonus and Lysimachus left the Seleucid dynasty virtually unopposed amongst the Diadochi. However, Seleucus also hoped to take control of Lysimachus' European territories, primarily Thrace and Macedon itself. But upon arriving in Thrace in 281 BC, Seleucus was assassinated by Ptolemy Ceraunus,[2] who had taken refuge at the Seleucid court with his sister Lysandra. The assassination of Seleucus destroyed Seleucid prospects in Thrace and Macedon, and paved the way for Ptolemy Ceraunus to absorb much of Lysimachus' former power in Macedon. Seleucus was succeeded by his son Antiochus I as ruler of the Seleucid Empire.

Seleucus founded a number of new cities during his reign, including Antioch (300 BC) and Seleucia on the Tigris (c. 305 BC), a foundation that eventually depopulated Babylon.

-- Seleucus I Nicator, by Wikipedia


The war ended in a settlement resulting in the annexation of the Indus Valley region and parts of Afghanistan and Iran to the Mauryan Empire, with Chandragupta securing control over the areas that he had sought, and a marriage alliance between the two powers. After the war, the Mauryan Empire emerged as the dominant power of the Indian Subcontinent, and the Seleucid Empire turned its attention toward defeating its rivals in the west.

-- Seleucid–Mauryan war, by Wikipedia


See also

• Zephyrus (soldier)

References

Citations


1. Fuller, pg 198

"While the battle raged, Craterus forced his way over the Haranpur ford. When he saw that Alexander was winning a brilliant victory he pressed on and, as his men were fresh, took over the pursuit."


2. The Anabasis of Alexander/Book V/Chapter XVIII
3. The Anabasis of Alexander/Book V/Chapter XIX
4. Peter Connolly. Greece and Rome At War. Macdonald Phoebus Ltd, 1981, p. 66
5. Bongard-Levin, G. (1979). A History of India. Moscow: Progress Publishers. p. 264.
6. The Anabasis of Alexander by Arrian, Book VI, Chapter XXVII - The Answer of Coenus

But, rather, if it seem good to thee, return to thy own land, see thy mother, regulate the affairs of the Greeks, and carry to the home of thy fathers these victories so many and great. Then start afresh on another expedition, if thou wishest, against these very tribes of Indians situated towards the east; or, if thou wishest, into the Euxine Sea; or else against Carchedon and the parts of Libya beyond the Carchedonians. It is now thy business to manage these matters; and the other Macedonians and Greeks will follow thee, young men in place of old, fresh men in place of exhausted ones, and men to whom warfare has no terrors, because up to the present time they have had no experience of it; and they will be eager to set out, from hope of future reward.


7. The Anabasis of Alexander by Arrian, Book VI, Chapter XXVIII - Alexander Resolves to Return

Alexander then broke up the conference, being annoyed at the freedom of speech in which Coenus indulged, and the hesitation displayed by the other officers. But the next day he called the same men together again in wrath, and told them that he intended to advance farther, but would not force any Macedonian to accompany him against his will; that he would have those only who followed their king of their own accord; and that those who wished to return home were at liberty to return and carry back word to their relations that they were come back, having deserted their king in the midst of his enemies.

But on the contrary, when there was a profound silence throughout the camp, and the soldiers were evidently annoyed at his wrath, without being at all changed by it, Ptolemy, son of Lagus, says that he none the less offered sacrifice there for the passage of the river, but the victims were unfavourable to him when he sacrificed. Then indeed he collected the oldest of the Companions and especially those who were friendly to him, and as all things indicated the advisability of returning, he made known to the army that he had resolved to march back again.


8. The Anabasis of Alexander/Book V/Chapter XXVIII
9. Keay, John, India, a History, pp. 70-71, 2000, HarperCollins, ISBN 0002557177
10. R. K. Mookerji 1966, p. 3.
11. Irfan Habib & Vivekanand Jha 2004, p. 1.
12. Irfan Habib & Vivekanand Jha 2004, pp. 1-2.
13. Irfan Habib & Vivekanand Jha 2004, pp. 2-3.
14. H. C. Raychaudhuri 1988, p. 32-33.
15. H. C. Raychaudhuri 1988, p. 33.
16. Irfan Habib & Vivekanand Jha 2004, p. 2.
17. Irfan Habib & Vivekanand Jha 2004, p. 3.
18. Irfan Habib & Vivekanand Jha 2004, p. 4.
19. Irfan Habib & Vivekanand Jha 2004, pp. 3-4.
20. The Achaemenid Empire in South Asia and Recent Excavations in Akra in Northwest Pakistan Peter Magee, Cameron Petrie, Robert Knox, Farid Khan, Ken Thomas p.714
21. H. C. Raychaudhuri 1988, p. 46.
22. R. K. Mookerji 1966, p. 24.
23. R. K. Mookerji 1966, p. 25.
24. Ian Worthington 2003, p. 162.
25. Narain, A. K. (1965). Alexander the Great: Greece and Rome – 12. pp. 155–165.
26. "Quintus Curtius Rufus: Life of Alexander the Great". University of Chicago. Retrieved 30 May 2008.
27. Majumdar, R. C. (1971). Ancient India. p. 99.
28. Mukerjee, R. K. History and Culture of Indian People, The Age of Imperial Unity, Foreign Invasion. p. 46.
29. Curtius in McCrindle, p. 192, J. W. McCrindle; History of Punjab, Vol I, 1997, p 229, Punjabi University, Patiala (editors): Fauja Singh, L. M. Joshi; Kambojas Through the Ages, 2005, p. 134, Kirpal Singh.
30. Robin Lane Fox 1973, p. 343.
31. H. C. Raychaudhuri 1988, p. 54.
32. Arrian (2004). Tania Gergel (ed.). The Brief Life and Towering Exploits of History's Greatest Conqueror as Told By His Original Biographers. Penguin Books. p. 120. ISBN 0-14-200140-6.
33. P.H.L. Eggermont, Alexander's campaign in Southern Punjab(1993).
34. Plutarch, Alexander. "Plutarch, Plutarch, Alexander (English).: Alexander (ed. Bernadotte Perrin)". Tufts University. Retrieved 30 May 2008. See also: "Alexander is wounded". Main Lesson. Retrieved 30 May 2008.
35. Rogers, p.200
36. Philostratus the Elder, Life of Apollonius of Tyana, § 2.12
37. Arrian, Anabasis of Alexander, 6.17
38. Arrian Anabasis Book 6b
39. Paul J. Kosmin 2014, p. 34.
40. Plutarch, Alexander, 62
41. A. B. Bosworth 1996, p. 189.
42. Megasthenes. Quoted from the Epitome of Megasthenes, Indika. (Diodorus II, 35–42), Ancient India as Described by Megasthenes and Arrian. Translated and edited by J. W. McCrindle.
43. Tripathi, Rama Shankar. History of Ancient India.
44. "Ancient Surgery:Alexander the Great". Archived from the original on 6 May 2008. Retrieved 15 July 2008.
45. Arrian, Indica, 29
46. Arrian, The The Anabasis of Alexander, 6.26: "Collecting this water with difficulty, they came with all speed to Alexander, as if they were bringing him some great boon. As soon as they approached the king, they poured the water into a helmet and carried it to him. He took it, and commending the men who brought it, immediately poured it upon the ground in the sight of all. As a result of this action, the entire army was re-invigorated to so great a degree that any one would have imagined that the water poured away by Alexander had furnished a draught to every man. This deed beyond all others I commend as evidence of Alexander’s power of endurance and self-control, as well as of his skill in managing an army."

Sources

• H. C. Raychaudhuri (1988) [1967]. "India in the Age of the Nandas". In K. A. Nilakanta Sastri (ed.). Age of the Nandas and Mauryas (Second ed.). Delhi: Motilal Banarsidass. ISBN 978-81-208-0466-1.
• Irfan Habib; Vivekanand Jha (2004). Mauryan India. A People's History of India. Aligarh Historians Society / Tulika Books. ISBN 978-81-85229-92-8.
• Arrian (1976) [140s AD]. The Campaigns of Alexander. trans. Aubrey de Sélincourt. Penguin Books. ISBN 0-14-044253-7.
• Ian Worthington (2004). Alexander the Great: Man And God. Pearson. ISBN 978-1-4058-0162-1.
• Ian Worthington (2003). Alexander the Great. Routledge. ISBN 0-415-29187-9.
• Mary Renault (1979). The Nature of Alexander. Pantheon Books. ISBN 0-394-73825-X.
• Paul J. Kosmin (2014). The Land of the Elephant Kings: Space, Territory, and Ideology in Seleucid Empire. Harvard University Press. ISBN 978-0-674-72882-0.
• Peter Green (1992). Alexander of Macedon: 356–323 B.C. A Historical Biography. University of California Press. ISBN 0-520-07166-2.
• Plutarch (2004). Life of Alexander. Modern Library. ISBN 0-8129-7133-7.
• R. K. Mookerji (1966). Chandragupta Maurya and his times (4th ed.). Motilal Banarsidass. ISBN 81-208-0433-3.
• Robin Lane Fox (1973). Alexander the Great. Allen Lane. ISBN 0-86007-707-1.
• Robin Lane Fox (1980). The Search for Alexander. Little Brown & Co. Boston. ISBN 0-316-29108-0.
• Ulrich Wilcken (1997) [1932]. Alexander the Great. W. W. Norton & Company. ISBN 0-393-00381-7.

Further reading

• Wickramasinghe, Chandima S. M. (2021). "The Indian Invasion of Alexander and the Emergence of Hybrid Cultures". Indian Historical Review. doi:10.1177/03769836211009651.
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Chapter XVIII: The Conquest of the Far East, Excerpt from "History of Greece for Beginners"
by J. B. Bury, M.A., Hon. Litt. D. Oxon. and Durham; Hon. LL.D. Edinburgh and Glasgow; Corresponding Member of the Imperial Academy of Sciences, St. Petersburg; Fellow of Trinity College, Dublin, and of King's College, Cambridge; Regius Professor of Modern History in the University of Cambridge
1907



CHAPTER XVIII: THE CONQUEST OF THE FAR EAST

SECT. I. Hyrcania, Areia, Bactria, Sogdiana.


The murderers of Darius fled -- Bessus to Bactria, Nabarzanes to Hyrcania. Alexander could not pursue Bessus while Nabarzanes was behind him in the Caspian region, and therefore his first movement was to cross the Elburz chain of mountains which separate the south Caspian shores from Parthia, and subdue the lands of the Tapuri and Mardi. The Persian officers who had retreated into these regions submitted, and were received with favour; the life of Nabarzanes was spared. The Greek mercenaries who had found refuge in the Tapurian mountains capitulated. All who had entered the Persian service, before the Synedrion of Corinth had pledged Greece to the cause of Macedon, were released; the rest were compelled to serve in the Macedonian army. Alexander sent orders to Parmenio to go forth from Ecbatana and take possession of the Cadusian territory on the south-western side of the Caspian. He himself, having rested a fortnight at Zadracarta and held athletic games, marched eastward to Susia, a town in the north of Areia, and was met there by Satibarzanes, governor of Areia, who was confirmed in his satrapy. Here the news arrived that Bessus had assumed the style of Great King with the name of Artaxerxes, and was wearing his turban "erect." Alexander started at once on the road to Bactria. But he had not gone far when he was overtaken by the news that Satibarzanes had revolted behind him. Hurrying back in forced marches with a part of his army, Alexander appeared before Artocoana, the capital of Areia, in two days. There was little resistance, and the conqueror marched southwards to Drangiana. His road can hardly be doubtful -- the road which leads by Herat into Seistan. And it is probable that Herat is the site of the city which Alexander founded to be the capital and stronghold of the new province, Alexandria of the Areians. The submission of Drangiana was made without a blow.

At Prophthasia, the capital of the Drangian land, it came to Alexander's ears that Philotas, the son of Parmenio, was conspiring against his life. The king called an assembly of the Macedonians and stated the charges against the general. Philotas admitted that he had known of a plot to murder Alexander and said nothing about it; but this was only one of the charges against him. The Macedonians found Philotas guilty, and he was pierced by their javelins. The son dead, it seemed dangerous to let the father live, whether he was involved or not in the treasonable designs of Philotas. A messenger was dispatched with all speed to Media, bearing commands to some of the captains of Parmenio's army to put the old general to death.
It was an arbitrary act of precaution against merely suspected disloyalty; there seem to have been no proofs against Parmenio, and there was certainly no trial.

329 B.C.

In the meantime Alexander, instead of retracing his steps and following the route to Bactria, resolved to fetch a circle. Marching through Afghanistan, subduing it as he went, he would cross the Hindu-Kush mountains and descend on the plain of the Oxus from the east. First he advanced southwards to secure Seistan and the northwestern regions of Baluchistan, then known as Gedrosia, wintering among the Ariaspae, a peaceful and friendly people whom the Greeks called "Benefactors." A Gedrosian satrapy was constituted with its capital at Pura. When spring came, Alexander pushed north-eastward up the valley of the Halmand. The chief city which he founded in Arachosia was probably on the site of Candahar, which seems to be a corruption of its name, Alexandria. The way led on over the mountains, past Ghazni, into the valley of the upper waters of the Cabul River, and Alexander came to the foot of the high range of the Hindu-Kush. The whole massive complex of mountains which diverge from the roof of the world, dividing southern from central, eastern from western Asia the Pamirs, the Hindu-Kush, and the Himalayas were grouped by the Greeks under the general name of Caucasus. But the Hindu-Kush was distinguished by the special name of Paropanisus, while the Himalayas were called the Imaus. At the foot of the Hindu-Kush he spent the winter, and founded another Alexandria to secure this region, somewhere to the north of Cabul; it was distinguished as Alexandria of the Caucasus. The crossing of the Caucasus, undertaken in the early spring, was an achievement which seems to have fallen little short of Hannibal's passage of the Alps. The soldiers had to content themselves with raw meat and the herb of silphion as a substitute for bread. At length they reached Drapsaca, high up on the northern slope -- the frontier fortress of Bactria. Having rested his way-worn army, Alexander went down by the stronghold of Aornus into the plain and marched to Bactra, now Balkh.

The pretender, Bessus Artaxerxes, had stripped and wasted eastern Bactria up to the foot of the mountains, for the purpose of checking the progress of the invading army; but he fled across the Oxus when Alexander drew near. Another province was added without a blow to the Macedonian empire. Alexander lost no time in pursuing the fugitive into Sogdiana.
This is the country which lies between the streams of the Oxus and the Jaxartes. It was called Sogdiana from the river Sogd, which loses itself in the sands of the desert before it approaches the waters of the Oxus. Bessus had burned his boats, and when Alexander, after a weary march of two or three days through the hot desert, arrived at the banks of the Oxus, he was forced to transport his army by the primitive vehicle of skins, which the natives of Central Asia still use. Alexander's soldiers, however, instead of inflating the sheep-skins with air, stuffed them with rushes. They crossed the river at Kilif and advanced to Maracanda, easily recognised as Samarcand.

The Sogdian allies of Bessus, thinking to save their country, sent a message offering to surrender the usurper. The king sent Ptolemy, son of Lagus, with 6000 men to secure Bessus. By Alexander's orders he was placed, naked and fettered, on the right side of the road by which the army was marching. He was then scourged and sent to Bactra to await his doom.

328 B.C.

Image
Bactria and Sogdiana

But Alexander did not arrest his march; he had made up his mind to annex Sogdiana. Not the Oxus but the Jaxartes was to be the northern limit of his empire. Having seized and garrisoned Samarcand, the army pushed on north-eastward by the unalterable road which nature has marked out. The road reaches the Jaxartes where that river issues from the chilly vale of Fergana and deflects its course to flow through the steppes. It was a point of the highest importance; for Fergana forms the vestibule of the great gate of communication between south-western Asia and China the pass over the Tian-shan mountains, which descends on the other side into the land of Kashgar. Here Alexander, with strategic insight, resolved to fix the limit of his empire, and on the banks of the river he founded a new city which, was known as Alexandria Eschate (the Ultimate), which is now Khodjend.

The conqueror, judging from the ease with which he had come and conquered Arachosia, and Bactria, seems not to have conceived that it might be otherwise beyond the Oxus. But as he was designing his new city, Alexander received the news that the Sogdians were up in arms behind him, and the garrison of Samarcand was besieged in the citadel. A message had gone forth into the western wastes, and the Massagetae and other Scythian tribes were flocking to drive out the intruder. It was a dangerous moment for Alexander. He first turned to recover the Sogdian fortresses, and in two days he had taken and burned five of them; the others capitulated, and the indwellers of all these places were led in chains to take part in peopling the new Alexandria.

The next task should have been the relief of Samarcand, but Alexander found himself confronted by a new danger. The Scythians were pouring down to the banks of the Jaxartes, ready to cross the stream and harass the Macedonians in the rear. It was impossible to move until they had been repelled and the passage of the river secured. The walls of Alexandria Eschate were hastily constructed of unburnt clay and the place made fit for habitation in the short space of twenty days. Meanwhile the northern bank was lined by the noisy and jeering hordes of the barbarians, and Alexander determined to cross the river. Bringing up his missile-engines to the shore, he dismayed the shepherds, who, when stones and darts began to fall among them from such a distance and unhorsed one of their champions, retreated some distance from the bank. The army seized the moment to cross; the Scythians were routed, and Alexander, at the head of his cavalry, pursued them far into the steppes. Then, relieving Samarcand by a forced desert march, the king swept on to Sogdiana, ravaging the land; then marching south-westward to the Oxus, he crossed into western Bactria and spent the winter at Zariaspa.

327 B.C.

At Zariaspa, Bessus was formally tried for the murder of Darius, and was condemned to have his nose and ears cut off and he taken to Ecbatana to die on the cross. The Greeks, like ourselves, regarded mutilation as a barbarous punishment, but Alexander saw that he must meet the orientals on their own ground; he must become their king in their own way. The surest means of planting Hellenism in their midst was to begin by taking account sympathetically of their prejudices. Alexander therefore assumed the state of Great King, surrounded himself with Eastern forms and pomp, exacted self-abasement in his presence from oriental subjects, and adopted the maxim that the king's person was divine. He was the successor of Darius, and it was therefore an act of deliberate policy that he punished the king-slayer in Eastern fashion.

The misfortune was that Alexander's assumption of oriental state and the favour which he showed to the Persians were highly unpopular with the Macedonians. Though they were attached to their king, and proud of the conquests which they had helped him to achieve, they felt that he was no longer the same to them as when he had led them to victory at the Granicus. His exaltation over obeisant orientals had changed him, and the execution of his trusted general Parmenio was felt to be significant of the change.

327 B.C.

These feelings of discontent accidentally found a mouth-piece about this time. Rebellious movements in Sogdiana brought Alexander over the Oxus again before the winter was over, and he spent some time at Samarcand. One of the most unfortunate consequences of the long-protracted sojourn in the regions of the Oxus was the increase of drunkenness in the army. The excessively dry atmosphere in summer produces an intolerable and frequent thirst; and it was inevitable that the Macedonians should slake it by wine, if they would not sicken themselves by the bad water of the country. Alexander's potations became deep and habitual from this time forth. One night in the fortress of Samarcand the carouse lasted far into the night. Greek men of letters, who accompanied the army, sang the praises of Alexander, exalting him above the Dioscuri, whose feast he was celebrating on this day. Clitus, his foster-brother, flushed with wine, suddenly sprang up to denounce the blasphemy, and, once he had begun, the current of his feelings swept him on. It was to the Macedonians, he said -- to men like Parmenio and Philotas -- that Alexander owed his victories; he himself had saved Alexander's life at the Granicus. Alexander started to his feet and called in Macedonian for his hypaspists; none obeyed his drunken orders; Ptolemy and other banqueters forced Clitus out of the hall, while others tried to restrain the king. But presently Clitus made his way back and shouted from the doorway some insulting verses of Euripides, signifying that the army does the work and the general reaps the glory. The king leapt up, snatched a spear from the hand of a guardsman, and transfixed his foster-brother. An agony of remorse followed. For three days the murderer lay in his tent, without sleep or food, cursing himself as the assassin of his friends.

There were more hostilities in western Bactria and western Sogdiana, until at last, overawed by Alexander's success, the Scythians, in order to win his favour, slew Spitamenes, their chief leader. It only remained to reduce the rugged south-eastern regions of Sogdiana. The Sogdian Rock, which commands the pass into these regions, was occupied by Oxyartes, and a band of Macedonian soldiers captured it by an arduous night-climb. Among the captives was Roxane, the daughter of Oxyartes; and the love of Alexander was attracted by the beauty and manners of the Sogdian maiden. Notwithstanding the adverse comment which such a condescension would excite among the proud Macedonians, he resolved to make her his wife, and, on his return to Bactra, he celebrated the nuptials -- a union of Asia and Europe.

About this time an attempt seems to have been made to render uniform the court ceremonial, and enforce upon the Macedonians the obeisances demanded from Persian nobles. Callisthenes, nephew of Aristotle, who was composing a history of Alexander's campaigns, was prominent in opposing the change, and fell into disfavour. One of his duties was to educate the pages, the noble Macedonian youths who attended on the king's person; and over some of these Callisthenes had great influence. One day at a boar-hunt a page named Hermolaus committed the indiscretion of forestalling the king in slaying the beast; and for this breach of etiquette he was flogged and deprived of his horse. Smarting under the dishonour, Hermolaus plotted with some of his comrades to slay Alexander in his sleep. But the plot was betrayed. The conspirators were arrested, and put to death by the sentence of the whole army. Callisthenes was hanged on the charge of being an accomplice.

Before the end of summer, Alexander bade farewell to Bactria and set forth to the conquest of India. In three years since the death of Darius, the western conqueror had subdued Afghanistan, and cast his yoke over the herdsmen of the north as far as the river Jaxartes. He was the first European invader and conqueror of the regions beyond the Oxus, anticipating by more than two thousand years Russia's recent conquests. His next enterprise forestalled our own conquest of north-western India.

SECT. 2. The Conquest of India.

In returning to Afghanistan, Alexander seems to have followed the main road from Balkh to Cabul, which, if he had not refounded, he had at all events renamed, Nicaea. Here he stayed till the middle of November, preparing for further advance. He had left a large detachment of his army in Bactria, but he had enrolled a still larger force 30,000 of the Asiatics of those regions. The host with which he was now to descend upon India must have been at least twice as numerous as the army with which he had crossed the Hellespont seven years before.

During these years Alexander's camp was his court and capital, the political centre of his empire, a vast city rolling along over mountain and river through Central Asia. Men of all trades and callings were there: craftsmen of every kind, engineers, physicians, and seers; cheapmen and money-changers; literary men, poets, musicians, athletes, jesters; secretaries, clerks, court attendants; a host of women and slaves. A Court Diary was regularly kept in imitation of the court journal of Persia by Eumenes of Cardia, who conducted the king's political correspondence.

Alexander had no idea of the shape or extent of the Indian peninsula, and his notion of the Indian conquest was probably confined to the basins of the Cophen (R. Cabul) and the Indus. The stories that were told about the wonders of India excited the curiosity of the Greek invaders. It was a land of righteous folks, of strange beasts and plants, of surpassing wealth in gold and gems. It was supposed to be the ultimate country on the eastern side of the world, bounded by Ocean's stream.

327 B.C.

Image
Fig. 91: North-Western India

At this time north-western India was occupied by a number of small principalities. The northern districts of the land between the Indus and the Hydaspes (R. Jhelum) were ruled by Omphis, whose capital was at Taxila near the Indus. His brother Abisares was the ruler of Hazara and the adjacent parts of Cashmir. Beyond the Hydaspes was the powerful kingdom of Porus, who held sway as far as the Acesines, which we know as the Chenab, the next of the "Five Rivers." East of the Chenab, in the lands of the Ravee and the Beas, were other small principalities, and also free "kingless" peoples, who owned no master. These states had no tendency to unity or combination. An invader, therefore, had no common resistance to fear; and he could be assured that many would welcome him out of hatred for their neighbours. The prince of Taxila paid homage to Alexander at Nicaea, and promised his aid in subduing India.

Alexander's direct road from the high plain of Cabul into the Punjab lay along the right bank of the Cophen or Cabul River, through the great gate of the Khyber Pass. But it was impossible to advance to the Indus without securing his communications, and for this purpose it was needful to subjugate the river-valleys to the left of the Cabul, among the huge Western spurs of the Himalaya mountains.

For the purposes of this campaign Alexander divided his army. Hephaestion advanced by the Khyber Pass, with orders to construct a bridge across the Indus. The king, with the rest of the army, including the light troops, plunged into the difficult country north of the river; and the winter was spent in warfare with the hardy hill-folks in the district of the Kunar, in remote Chitral, and in the Panjkar and Swat valleys. After this severe winter campaign the army rested on the west bank of the Indus until spring had begun, and then, with the solemnity of games and sacrifices, crossed the river to Taxila, whose prince and other lesser princes met Alexander with obsequious pomp. A new satrapy, embracing the lands west of the Indus, was now established and entrusted to Philip, son of Machatas; Macedonian garrisons were placed in Taxila and some other places east of the Indus, and Philip was charged with the general command of these troops. This shows the drift of Alexander's policy. The Indus was to be the eastern boundary of his direct sway; beyond the Indus, he purposed to create no new provinces, but only to form a system of protected states.

326 B.C.

Alexander then marched to the Hydaspes. Prince Porus having gathered an army from thirty to forty thousand strong, was encamped on the left bank of the river, to contest the crossing. After a march, which was made slow and toilsome by the heavy tropical rain, the invaders encamped on the right bank of the river, and saw the lines of Porus on the opposite shore, protected by a multitude of elephants. It was useless to think of crossing in the face of this host; for the horses, who could not endure the smell and noise of the elephants, would certainly have been drowned; and the men would have found it almost impossible to land, amid showers of darts, on the slimy, treacherous edge of the stream. All the fords in the neighbourhood were watched. Alexander adopted measures to deceive and puzzle the enemy. Each night the Macedonian camp was in motion as if for crossing; each night the Indians stood long hours in the wind and rain. Alexander meanwhile was maturing a plan which he was able to carry out when he had put Porus off his guard.

About sixteen miles upwards from the camp the Hydaspes makes a bend westward, and opposite the jutting angle a thickly-wooded island rose amid the stream, while a dense wood covered the right shore. Here Alexander determined to cross. He caused the boats to be conveyed thither in pieces and remade in the shelter of the wood; he had prepared skins stuffed with straw. When the time came he led a portion of his troops to the wooded promontory, marching at a considerable distance from the river in order to avoid the observation of the enemy. A sufficient force was left to guard the camp under the command of Craterus. The king arrived at the appointed spot later in the evening, and throughout the wet stormy night he directed the preparations for passing the swollen stream. Before dawn the passage began. Alexander led the way in a barque of thirty oars, and the island was safely passed; but land was hardly reached before they were descried by Indian scouts. At last the whole force was safely landed on the bank, and Alexander ordered his men for the coming battle the third of the three great battles of his life. It was to be won without any heavy infantry; he had with him only 6000 hypaspists, about 4000 light foot, 5000 cavalry, including 1000 Scythian archers. Taking all the cavalry with him he rode rapidly forward towards the camp of Porus.

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Fig. 92: Battle of the Hydaspes

But Porus was advancing with his main army, having left a small force to guard the river bank against Craterus. When he reached sandy ground, suitable for the movements of his cavalry and war-chariots, he drew up his line of battle. In front of all he arranged two hundred elephants at intervals of 100 feet, and at some distance behind them his infantry, who numbered 20,000 if not more. On the wings he placed his cavalry -- perhaps 4000. Alexander waited for the hypaspists to come up, and drew them up opposite to the elephants. It was impossible to attack in front, for neither horse nor foot could venture in between these beasts which stood like towers of defence, the true strength of the Indian army. The only method was to begin by a cavalry attack on the flank; and Seleucus and the other captains of the infantry were bidden not to advance until they saw that both the horse and the foot of the foe were tumbled into confusion by the flank assault. Alexander determined to concentrate his attack on the left wing; perhaps because it was on the river side, and he would be within easier reach of his troops on the other bank. Accordingly he kept all his cavalry on his right wing. One body was entrusted to Coenus, who bore well to the right, and was ready to strike in the rear, and to deal with the body of horse stationed upon the enemy's right wing, in case they should come round to assist their comrades on the left. The mounted Scythian archers rode straight against the front of the enemy's cavalry -- which was still in column formation, not having had time to open out -- and harassed it with showers of arrows; while Alexander himself, with the rest of the heavy cavalry, led the charge upon the flank. Porus who had committed the fatal mistake of allowing the enemy to take the offensive -- brought up his remaining squadrons from the right wing as fast as he could. Then Coenus, who had ridden round close to the river-bank, fell upon them in the rear. The Indians had now to form a double front against the double foe. Alexander seized the moment to press hard upon the adverse squadrons; they swayed backwards and sought shelter behind the elephants. Then those elephant riders who were on this side of the army drove the beasts against the Macedonian horses; and at the same time the Macedonian footmen rushed forward and attacked the animals which were now turned sidewards towards them. But the other elephants of the line were driven into the ranks of the hypaspists, and dealt destruction, trampling down and striking furiously. Heartened by the success of the elephants, the Indian cavalry rallied and charged, but beaten back by the Macedonian horse, who were now formed in a serried mass, they again sought shelter behind the elephantine wall. But many of the beasts were now-furious with wounds and beyond control; some had lost their riders; and in the mellay they trampled on friends and foes alike. The Indians suffered most, for they were surrounded and confined to the space in which the animals raged; while the Macedonians could attack the animals on side or rear, and then retreat into the open when they turned to charge. At length, when the elephants grew weary and their charges were feebler, Alexander closed in. He gave the order for the hypaspists to advance in close array shield to shield, while he, reforming his squadrons, dashed in from the side. The enemy's cavalry, already weakened and dislocated, could not withstand the double shock and was cut to pieces. The hypaspists rolled in upon the enemy's infantry, who soon broke and fled. Meanwhile the generals on the other side of the river, Craterus and the rest, discovering that fortune was declaring for Alexander, crossed the river without resistance. Porus, who had shown himself a mediocre general but a most valiant soldier, when he saw most of his forces scattered, his elephants lying dead or straying riderless, did not flee -- as Darius had twice fled -- but remained fighting, seated on an elephant of commanding height, until he was wounded in the right shoulder, the only part of his body unprotected by mail. Then he turned round and rode away. Alexander, struck with admiration at his prowess, sent messengers who overtook him and induced him to return. The victor, riding out to meet the old prince, was impressed by his stature and beauty, and asked him how he would fain be treated. "Treat me like a king," said Porus. "For my own sake," said Alexander, "I will do that; ask a boon for thy sake." "That," replied Porus, "containeth all."

And Alexander treated his captive royally. He not only gave him back his kingdom, but largely increased its borders. This royal treatment was inspired by deep policy. He could rest the security of his rule beyond the Indus on no better base than the mutual jealousy of two moderately powerful princes. He had made the lord of Taxila as powerful as was safe; the reinstatement of his rival Porus would be the best guarantee for his loyalty. But on either side of the Hydaspes, close to the scene of the battle, two cities were founded, which would serve as garrisons in the subject land. On the right hand, the city of Bucephala, named after Alexander's steed, which died here -- probably shortly before the battle -- of old age and weariness; on the left, Nicaea, the city of victory.

Leaving Craterus to build the cities, Alexander crossed the Acesines, more than a mile and a half broad, into the territory of a namesake and nephew of Porus, who fled eastward. Alexander left Hephaestion to march southward and subdue the land of the younger Porus, as well as the free communities between the two rivers. The news that the Cathaeans, a free and warlike people, were determined to give him battle, diverted Alexander from the pursuit. He stormed their chief town Sangala, and all their land was likewise placed under the lordship of Porus.
Thus of the four river-bounded tracts which compose the Punjab, the largest, between Indus and Jehlum, belonged to Omphis of Taxila, while the three others, between Jehlum and Beas, were assigned to Porus.

Alexander now advanced to the Hyphasis, or Beas, and reached it higher up than the point where it joins the Sutlej. It was destined to be the landmark of his utmost march. He wished to go farther and explore the lands of the Ganges, but an unlooked-for obstacle occurred. The Macedonians were worn out with years of hard campaigning, and weary of this endless rolling on into the unknown. Their numbers had dwindled; the remnant of them were battered and grown old before their time. All yearned back to their homeland in the west. On the banks of the Hyphasis the crisis came; the men resolved to go no farther. At a meeting of the officers which Alexander summoned, Coenus was the spokesman of the general feeling. The king retired to his tent, and for two days refused to see any of his Companions, hoping that their hearts would be softened. But the Macedonians did not relent or go back from their purpose. On the third day, Alexander offered sacrifices preliminary to crossing the river, declaring that he would advance himself; but the victims gave unfavourable signs. Then the king yielded. When his will was made known, the way-worn veterans burst into wild joy; the more part of them shed tears. They crowded round the royal tent, blessing the unconquered king, that he had permitted himself to be conquered for once, by his Macedonians. On the banks of the Hyphasis Alexander erected twelve towering altars to the twelve great gods of Olympus, as a thankoffering for having led him safely within reach of the world's end. For in Alexander's conception the Ganges discharged its waters into the ocean which bounded the earth on the east, as the Atlantic bounded it on the west of the world.

Alexander is often represented as a madman, impelled by an insatiable lust of conquest for conquest's sake. But if the form and feature of the earth were what he pictured it to be, twenty years would have sufficed to make his empire conterminous with its limits. He might have ruled from the eastern to the western ocean, from the ultimate bounds of Scythia to the shores of Libya; he might have brought to pass in the three continents an universal peace, and dotted the habitable globe with his Greek cities. The advance to the Indus was no mere wanton aggression, but was necessary to establish secure routes for trade with India, which was at the mercy of the wild hill-tribes; and the subjugation of the Punjab was a necessity for securing the Indus frontier. The solid interests of commerce underlay the ambitions of the Macedonian conqueror.

Alexander retraced his steps to the Hydaspes, on his way picking up Hephaestion, who had founded a new city on the banks of the Acesines. On the Hydaspes, Craterus had not only built the two cities at the scene of the great battle, but had also prepared a large fleet of transports, which was to carry part of the army down the river to reach the Indus and the ocean. The fleet was placed under the command of Nearchus; the rest of the army, divided into two parts, marched along either bank, under Hephaestion and Craterus.

As they advanced, the only formidable resistance that they encountered was from the free and warlike tribe of the Malli. Having routed a large host of these Indians, Alexander pursued them to their chief city, which is possibly to be sought near the site of the modern Multan. Here he met with a grave adventure. The city had been easily taken, and the Indians had retreated into the citadel. Two ladders were brought to scale the earthen wall, but it was found hard to place them beneath the shower of missiles from above. Impatient at the delay, Alexander seized a ladder and climbed up under the cover of a shield. Peucestas, who bore the sacred buckler from the temple of Ilion, and Leonnatus followed, and Abreas ascended the other ladder. When the king reached the battlement, he hurled down or slew the Indians who were posted at that spot. The hypaspists, when they saw their king standing upon the wall, a mark for the whole garrison of the fortress, made a rush for the ladders, and both ladders broke under the weight of the crowd. Only those three -- Peucestas, Leonnatus, and Abreas -- reached the wall before the ladders broke. His friends implored Alexander to leap down; he answered their cries by leaping down among the enemy. He alighted on his feet. With his back to the wall he stood alone against the throng of foes, who recognised the Great King. With his sword he cut down their leader and some others who ventured to rush at him; he felled two more with stones; and the rest, not daring to approach, pelted him with missiles. Meanwhile his three companions had cleared the wall of its defenders and leapt down to help their king. Abreas fell slain by a dart. Then Alexander himself received a wound in the breast. For a space he stood and fought, but at last sank on his shield fainting through loss of blood. Peucestas stood over him with the holy shield of Troy, Leonnatus guarded him on the other side, until rescue came. Having no ladders, the Macedonians had driven pegs into the wall, and a few had clambered up as best they could and flung themselves down into the fray. Some of these succeeded in opening one of the gates, and then the fort was taken. No man, woman, or child in the place was spared by the infuriated soldiers, who thought that their king was dead. But, though the wound was grave, Alexander recovered. The rumour of his death reached the camp where the main army was waiting at the junction of the Ravee with the Chenab, and it produced deep consternation and despair. Reassuring letters were not believed; so Alexander caused himself to be carried to the banks of the Ravee and conveyed by water down to the camp. When he drew near, the canopy which sheltered his bed in the stern of the vessel was removed. The soldiers, still doubting, thought it was his corpse they saw, until the barque drew close to the bank and he waved his hand. Then the host shouted for joy. When he was carried ashore, he was lifted for a moment on horseback, that he might be the better seen of all; and then he walked a few steps for their greater reassurance.

This adventure is an extreme case of Alexander's besetting weakness, which has been illustrated in many other of his actions. In the excitement of battle, amid the ring of arms, he was apt to forget his duties as a leader. To have endangered his own safety was a crime against the whole army.

The Malli made a complete submission; and when Alexander had recovered from his wound, the fleet sailed downward, and the Indian tribes submitted, presenting to the conqueror the characteristic products of India -- gems, fine draperies, tame lions and tigers. At the place where the united stream of the four lesser rivers joins the mighty flow of the Indus, the foundations were laid of a new Alexandria. The next stage of the southward advance was the capital town of the Sogdi, which lay upon the river. Alexander refounded it as a Greek colony, and built wharfs; it was known as the Sogdian Alexandria, and was destined to be the residence of a southern satrapy which was to extend to the sea-coast. It is impossible to identify the sites of these cities, because the face of the Punjab has completely changed, through the alteration of the courses of its rivers, since the days of Alexander.

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Fig. 93: Coin of Alexander. Obverse: head of Heracles, in lion's skin. Reverse: eagle-bearing Zeus, and prow of galley in field [legend: [x]].

The principalities of the rich and populous land of Sind were distinguished from the states of the north by the great political power enjoyed by the Brahmans. Under the influence of this caste, the princes either defied Alexander or, if they submitted at first, speedily rebelled. Thus it was nearly midsummer when the king reached Patala, near the Indian Ocean. On the tidings of an insurrection in Arachosia, he had dispatched Craterus with a considerable portion of the army to march through the Bolan Pass into southern Afghanistan and put down the revolt. Alexander himself designed to march through Baluchistan, and Craterus was ordered to meet him in Kirman, near the entrance of the Persian Gulf. Another division of the host was to go by sea to the mouth of the Tigris. The king fixed upon Patala to be for the Indian empire what the most famous of his Alexandrias was for Egypt. He charged Hephaestion with the task of fortifying the citadel and building an ample harbour.

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Regio Patalis is Latin for “the region of Patala”, that is the region around the ancient city of Patala at the mouth of the Indus River in Sindh, Pakistan. The historians of Alexander the Great state that the Indus parted into two branches at the city of Patala before reaching the sea, and the island thus formed was called Patalene, the district of Patala. Alexander constructed a harbour at Patala.

While the Patala was well known to mariners and traders of the Ancient Mediterranean, by the European Middle Ages, mapmakers no longer knew its location. Regio Patalis appeared on late 15th and early 16th century maps and globes in a variety of increasingly erroneous locations, further and further east and south of India. It even appeared on some maps as a promontory of Terra Australis...

Ahmad Hasan Dani, director of the Taxila Institute of Asian Civilisations, Islamabad, concluded: “There has been a vain attempt to identify the city of Patala. If ‘Patala’ is not taken as a proper name but only refers to a city, it can be corrected to ‘Pattana’, that is, [Sanskrit for] a city or port city par excellence, a term applied in a later period to Thatta [onetime capital of Sindh], which is ideally situated in the way the Greek historians describe”.

-- Regio Patalis, by Wikipedia


Then he sailed southward himself to visit the southern ocean. He sacrificed to Poseidon; he poured drink-offerings from a golden cup to the Nereids and Dioscuri, and to Thetis the mother of his ancestor Achilles, and then hurled the cup into the waves. This ceremony inaugurated his plan of opening a seaway for commerce between the West and the Far East. The enterprise of discovering this seaway was entrusted to Nearchus. Alexander started on his land-march in the early autumn, but Nearchus and the fleet were to wait till October, in order to be helped forward by the eastern monsoons.

SECT. 3. Alexander's Return to Babylon.

No enterprise of Alexander was so useless, and none so fatal, as the journey through the desert of Gedrosia, the land which is now known as the Mekran. His guiding motive in choosing this route was to make provisions for the safety of the fleet, to dig wells and store food at certain places along the coast. The march through the Mekran and the voyage of Nearchus were interdependent parts of the same adventure; and so timid were the mariners of those days that the voyage into unknown waters seemed far more formidable than the journey through the waste.

Aug.- Oct., 325 B.C.

With perhaps thirty thousand men, Alexander passed the mountain wall which protects the Indus delta, and reduced the Oritae to subjection before he descended into the waste of Gedrosia. The army moved painfully through the desert, where it was often almost impossible to step through the deep sinking sand. Alexander himself is said to have trudged on foot and shared all the hardships of the way. At length the waste was crossed; the losses of that terrible Gedrosian journey exceeded the losses of all Alexander's campaigns.

Having rested at Pura, the king proceeded to Kirman, where he was joined by Craterus, who had suppressed the revolt in Arachosia. Presently news arrived that the fleet had reached the Kirman coast, and soon Nearchus arrived at the camp and relieved Alexander's anxiety. They had been weather-bound and had lost three ships; but the king was overjoyed that they had arrived at all. Nearchus was dismissed to complete the voyage by sailing up the Persian Gulf and the Pasitigris River to Susa; Hephaestion was sent to make his way thither along the coast; while Alexander himself marched through the hills by Persepolis and Pasargadae.

It was high time for Alexander to return. There was hardly a satrap, Persian or Macedonian, in any land, who had not oppressed his province by violence and rapacity. Many satraps were deposed or put to death; and one guilty minister fled at Alexander's approach. This was the treasurer Harpalus, who had squandered his master's money in riotous living at Babylon, and deemed it prudent to move westward. Taking a large sum of money, he went to Cilicia, and hiring a bodyguard of 6000 mercenaries, he lived in royal state at Tarsus. On Alexander's return he fled to Greece, where we shall meet him presently.

Having punished with a stern hand the misrule of his satraps, Macedonian and Persian alike, Alexander began to carry out schemes which he had formed.
He had unbarred and unveiled the Orient to the knowledge and commerce of the Mediterranean peoples, but his aim was to do much more than this; it was no less than to fuse Asia and Europe into a homogeneous unity. He devised various means for compassing this object. He proposed to transplant Greeks and Macedonians into Asia, and Asiatics into Europe, as permanent settlers. This plan had indeed been partly realised by the foundation of his numerous mixed cities in the Far East. The second means was the promotion of intermarriages between Persians and Macedonians, and this policy was inaugurated in magnificent fashion at Susa. The king himself espoused Statira, the daughter of Darius; his friend Hephaestion took her sister; and a large number of Macedonian officers wedded the daughters of Persian grandees. Of the general mass of the Macedonians 10,000 are said to have followed the example of their officers and taken Asiatic wives; all those were liberally rewarded by Alexander. It is to be noticed that Alexander, already wedded to the princess of Sogdiana, adopted the polygamous custom of Persia; and he even married another royal lady, Parysatis, daughter of Ochus. These marriages were purely dictated by policy; for Alexander never came under the influence of women.  

But the most effective means for bringing the two races together was the institution of military service on a perfect equality. With this purpose in view, Alexander, not long after the death of Darius, had arranged that in all the eastern provinces the native youth should be drilled and disciplined in Macedonian fashion and taught to use the Macedonian weapons. In fact, Hellenic military schools were established in every province, and at the end of five years an army of 30,000 Hellenized barbarians was at the Great King's disposition. At his summons this army gathered at Susa, and its arrival created a natural, though unreasonable, feeling of discontent among the Macedonians, who divined that Alexander aimed at making himself independent of their services. His schemes of transforming the character of his army were also indicated by the enlistment of Persians and other Orientals in the Macedonian cavalry regiments.

324 B.C.

Alexander left Susa for Ecbatana in spring. He sailed down the river Pasitigris to the Persian Gulf, surveyed part of the coast, and sailed up the Tigris, removing the weirs which the Persians had constructed to hinder navigation. The army joined him on the way, and he halted at Opis. Here he held an assembly of the Macedonians, and formally discharged all those -- about 10,000 in number -- whom old age or wounds had rendered unfit for warfare, promising to make them comfortable for life. The smouldering discontent found a voice now. The cry was raised, "Discharge us all." Alexander leapt down from the platform into the shouting throng; he pointed out thirteen of the most forward rioters, and bade his hypaspists seize them and put them to death. The rest were cowed. Amid a deep silence the king remounted the platform, and in a bitter speech he discharged the whole army. Then he retired into his palace, and on the third day summoned the Persian and Median nobles and appointed them to posts of honour and trust which had hitherto been filled by Macedonians. The names of the Macedonian regiments were transferred to the new barbarian army. When they heard this, the Macedonians, who still lingered in their quarters, miserable and uncertain whether to go or stay, appeared before the gates of the palace. They laid down their arms submissively and implored admission to the king's presence. Alexander came out, and there was a tearful reconciliation, which was sealed by sacrifices and feasts.

The summer and early winter were spent at the Median capital. Here a sorrow, the greatest that could befall him, befell Alexander. Hephaestion fell ill, languished for seven days, and died. Alexander fasted three days, and the whole empire went into mourning.

Alexander set out for Babylon towards the end of the year, and on his way ambassadors from far lands came to his camp. The Bruttians, Lucanians, and Etruscans, the Carthaginians and the Phoenician colonies of Spain, Celts, Scythians of the Black Sea, Libyans, and Ethiopians had all sent envoys to court the friendship of the monarch who seemed already to be lord of half the earth.

SECT. 4. Preparations for an Arabian Expedition. Alexander's Death.

Ever since the successful voyage of Nearchus, Alexander was bent on the circumnavigation and conquest of Arabia. His eastern empire was not complete so long as this peninsula lay outside it. The possession of this country of sand, however, was only an incident in the grand range of his plans. His visit to India and the voyage of Nearchus had given him new ideas; he had risen to the conception of making the southern ocean another great commercial sea like the Mediterranean. He hoped to establish a regular trade-route from the Indus to the Tigris and Euphrates, and thence to the canals which connected the Nile with the Red Sea. Alexander destined Babylon to be the capital of his empire, and doubtless it was a wise choice. But its character was now to be transformed. It was to become a naval station and a centre of maritime commerce. Alexander set about the digging of a great harbour, with room for a thousand keels.

323 B.C.

All was in readiness at length for the expedition to the south. On a day in early June a royal banquet was given in honour of Nearchus and his seamen, shortly about to start on their oceanic voyage. Two nights of carousal ended in a fever which held him for six days, while the expedition's departure was postponed for another and yet another day. Then his condition grew worse, and he was carried back to the palace, where he won a little sleep, but the fever did not abate. When his officers came to him they found him speechless; the disease became more violent, and a rumour spread among the Macedonian soldiers that Alexander was dead. They rushed clamouring to the door of the palace, and the bodyguards were forced to admit them. One by one they filed past the bed of their young king, but he could not speak to them; he could only greet each by slightly raising his head and signing with his eyes. Peucestas and some others of the Companions passed the night in the temple of Serapis and asked the god whether they should convey the sick man into the temple, if haply he might be cured there by divine help. A voice warned them not to bring him, but to let him remain where he lay. He died on a June evening, before the thirty-third year of his age was fully told.

His sudden death was no freak of fate or fortune; it was a natural consequence of his character and his deeds. Into thirteen years he had compressed the energies of many lifetimes. Sparing of himself neither in battle nor at the symposion, he was doomed to die young.

SECT. 5. Greece under Macedonia.

331 B.C.

The tide of the world's history swept us away from the shores of Greece; we could not pause to see what was happening in the little states which were looking with mixed emotions at the spectacle of their own civilisation making its way over the earth. Alexander's victory at the gates of Issus and his ensuing supremacy by sea had taught many of the Greeks the lesson of caution; the Confederacy of the Isthmus had sent congratulations and a golden crown to the conqueror; and when, a twelvemonth later, the Spartan king Agis renewed the war against Macedonia, he got no help or countenance outside the Peloponnesus. Agis induced the Arcadians, except Megalopolis, the Achaeans, and the Eleians, to join him; and the chief object of the allies was to capture Megalopolis. Antipater, as soon as the situation in Thrace set him free, marched 531 B.C. southward to the relief of Megalopolis, and easily crushed the allies in a battle fought hard by Agis fell fighting, and there was no further resistance.

So long as Darius lived, many of the Greeks cherished secret hopes that fortune might yet turn. But on the news of his death such hopes expired, and it was not till Alexander's return from India that anything happened to trouble the peace.

330 B.C.

For Athens the twelve years between the fall of Thebes and the death of Alexander were an interval of singular well-being. The conduct of public affairs was in the hands of the two most honourable statesmen of the day, Phocion and Lycurgus; and Demosthenes was sufficiently clear-sighted not to embarrass, but, when needful, to support, the policy of peace. Phocion probably did not grudge him the signal triumph which he won over his old rival, Aeschines; for this triumph had only a personal, and not a political, significance. Ctesiphon had proposed to honour Demosthenes, both for his general services to the state and especially for his liberality in contributing from his private purse towards the repair of the city-walls, by crowning him publicly in the theatre with a crown of gold. The Council passed a resolution to this effect; but Aeschines lodged an accusation against the proposer, on the ground that the motion violated the Graphe Paranomon. In a speech of the highest ability Aeschines reviewed the public career of Demosthenes, to prove that he was a traitor and responsible for all the disasters of Athens. The reply of Demosthenes, a masterpiece of splendid oratory, captivated the judges; and Aeschines, not winning one-fifth part of their votes, left Athens and disappeared from politics.

The Macedonian empire had not yet lasted long enough to turn the traffic of the Mediterranean into new channels, and Athens still enjoyed great commercial prosperity. Although peace was her professed policy, she did not neglect to make provision, in case opportunity should come round, for regaining her sovereignty on sea. Money was spent on the navy, which is said to have been increased to well-nigh 400 galleys, and on new ship-sheds. The man who was mainly responsible for this naval expenditure was Lycurgus. In recent years considerable changes had been made in the constitution of the financial offices. Eubulus had administered as the president of the Theoric Fund. But now we find the control of the expenditure in the hands of a Minister of the Public Revenue, who was elected by the people and held office for four years, from one Panathenaic festival to another. Lycurgus held this post. The post practically included the functions of a minister of public works, and the ministry of Lycurgus was distinguished by building enterprises. He constructed the Panathenaic stadion on the southern bank of the Ilisus. He rebuilt the Lycean gymnasium, where in these years the philosopher Aristotle used to take his morning and evening "walks," teaching his "peripatetic" disciples. But the most memorable work of Lycurgus was the reconstruction of the theatre of Dionysus. It was he who built the rows of marble benches, climbing up the steep side of the Acropolis, as we see them to-day.

Thus Athens discreetly attended to her material well-being, and courted the favour of the gods, and the only distress which befell her was a dearth of corn. But on the return of Alexander to Susa, two things happened which imperilled the tranquillity of Greece. Alexander promised the Greek exiles -- there were more than 20,000 -- of them to procure their return to their native cities.

324 B.C.

He sent Nicanor to the great congregation of Hellas at the Olympian festival, to order the states to receive back their banished citizens. Only two states objected -- Athens and Aetolia; and they objected because, if the edict were enforced, they would be robbed of ill-gotten gains. The Aetolians had possessed themselves of Oeniadae and driven out its Acarnanian owners. The position of Athens in Samos was similar; the Samians would now be restored to their own lands, and the Athenian settlers would have to go. Both Athens and Aetolia were prepared to resist.

SECT. 6. The Episode of Harpalus and the Greek Revolt.

Meanwhile an incident had happened which might induce some of the patriots to hope that Alexander's empire rested on slippery foundations. Harpalus had arrived off the coast of Attica with 5000 talents, a body of mercenaries, and thirty ships. He had come to excite a revolt against his master. Refused admission with his force, he came alone to Athens with a sum of about 700 talents. After a while messages arrived both from Macedonia and from Philoxenus, Alexander's financial minister in western Asia, demanding his surrender. The Athenians, on the proposal of Demosthenes, adopted a clever device. They arrested Harpalus, seizing his treasure, and said that they would surrender him to officers expressly sent by Alexander, but declined to give him up to Philoxenus or Antipater. Harpalus escaped, and was shortly afterwards murdered by one of his fellow- adventurers.

The stolen money was deposited in the Acropolis, under the charge of specially-appointed commissioners, of whom Demosthenes was one. Suddenly it was discovered that only 35 talents were actually in the Acropolis. Charges immediately circulated against the influential politicians, that the other 350 talents had been received in bribes by them before the money was deposited in the citadel. The court of Areopagus satisfied themselves that a number of leading statesmen had received considerable sums. Demosthenes appeared in their report as the recipient of twenty talents. He confessed the misdemeanor himself, and sought to excuse it by the subterfuge that he had taken it to repay himself for twenty talents which he had advanced to the Theoric Fund. But why should he repay himself, without any authorisation, out of Alexander's money, for a debt owed him by the Athenian state? The charges against Demosthenes were twofold: he had taken money, and he had culpably omitted to report the amount of the deposit and the neglect of those who were set to guard it. He was condemned to pay a fine of fifty talents. Unable to pay it, he was imprisoned, but presently effected his escape.

323 B.C.-322 B.C.

If Alexander had lived, the Athenians might have persuaded him to let them remain in occupation of Samos; for he was always disposed to be lenient to Athens. When the tidings of his death came, men almost refused to credit it; the orator Demades forcibly said, "If he were indeed dead, the whole world would have smelt of his corpse.'' It did not seem rash to strike for freedom in the unsettled condition of things after his death. Athens revolted from Macedonia; she was joined by Aetolia and many states in northern Greece, and she secured the services of a band of 8000 discharged mercenaries who had just returned from Alexander's army. One of their captains, the Athenian, Leosthenes, occupied Thermopylae, and near that pass the united Greeks gained a slight advantage over Antipater, who had marched southward as soon as he could gather his troops together. No state in north Greece except Boeotia remained true to Macedonia. The regent shut himself in the strong hill-city of Lamia, which stands over against the pass of Thermopylae under a spur of Othrys; and here he was besieged during the winter by Leosthenes. These successes had gained some adherents to the cause in the Peloponnesus; and, if the Greeks had been stronger at sea, that cause might have triumphed, at least for a while. In spring the arrival of Leonnatus, governor of Hellespontine Phrygia, at the head of an army, raised the siege of Lamia. The Greeks marched into Thessaly to meet the new army before it united with Antipater; a battle was fought, in which Leonnatus was wounded to death. Antipater arrived the next day, and, joining forces with the defeated army, withdrew into Macedonia, to await Craterus, who was approaching from the east. When Craterus arrived, they entered Thessaly together, and in an engagement at Crannon, in which the losses on both sides were light, the Macedonians had a slight advantage. This battle apparently decided the war, but the true cause which hindered the Greeks from continuing the struggle was not the insignificant defeat at Crannon, but the want of unity among themselves, the want of a leader whom they entirely trusted. They were forced to make terms singly, each state on its own behoof.

Athens submitted when Antipater advanced into Boeotia and prepared to invade Attica. She paid dearly for her attempt to win back her power. Antipater like Alexander had no soft place in his heart for the memories and traditions of Athens. He saw only that, unless strong and stern measures were taken, Macedonia would not be safe against a repetition of the rising which he had suppressed. He therefore imposed three conditions, which Phocion and Demades were obliged to accept: that the democratic constitution should be modified by a property qualification; that a Macedonian garrison should be lodged in Munychia; and that the agitators, Demosthenes, Hypereides, and their friends, should be surrendered.


Oct. 322 B.C.

Demosthenes had exerted eloquence in gaining support for the cause of the allies in the Peloponnesus, and his efforts had been rewarded by his recall to Athens. As soon as the city had submitted, he and the other orators fled. Hypereides with two companions sought refuge in the temple of Aeacus at Aegina, whence they were taken to Antipater and put to death. Demosthenes fled to the temple of Poseidon in the island of Calaurea. When the messengers of Antipater appeared and summoned him forth, he swallowed poison, which he had concealed, according to one story, in a pen, and was thus delivered from falling into the hands of the executioner.  
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Part 1 of 2

Chapter II: Alexander's Campaigns in India, Excerpt from "Age of the Nandas and Mauryas"
by K.A. Nilakanta Sastri
1952

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Highlights:

We have the name of only one tribal chief, Astes, in the Peucelaotis region (the Yusufzai country) who ventured to offer resistance, and paid for it with his life. His city was captured after thirty days, and in his place was installed Sangaios (Sanjaya ?) who had quarrelled with him some time before and gone over to Taxiles...

The route taken by Alexander along the Khoes is not easy to follow in its details, but doubtless his operations led him for a considerable distance up the large and populous valley of the Kunar, where he fought many hard battles. In an encounter before the first important city taken by the invaders, Alexander was slightly wounded in the shoulder. The city was razed to the ground and all its inhabitants, excepting those who managed to escape to the hills, were put to the sword. Craterus and some other infantry officers were left behind to complete the subjugation of the district, while Alexander advanced to attack the Aspasians, who abandoned their capital on hearing of his approach, and were pursued with great slaughter to their mountain refuges.

Alexander then crossed the mountains to the east and entered the Bajaur valley. Here Craterus rejoined him after carrying out his orders, and was asked to find fresh inhabitants for the city of Arigaion which occupied an advantageous site, but had been burnt down and deserted by its original residents. Meanwhile Ptolemy, the son of Lagos, spotted the main Indian camp ... the Indians descended from the high ground they held to meet the invader on the plain below and sustained a defeat; the number of prisoners taken by the conqueror is said to have been no less than 40,000; then were captured also 230,000 oxen, from which Alexander chose the best to be sent over to Macedonia for use in agriculture...

Alexander appeared before Massaga, ‘the largest city in those parts'. Thus began the war in the upper Swat region against the Assakenoi....the Greek engines of war battered down the defences and inflicted great losses on the besieged, and their chief fell on the fourth day ‘struck by a missile from an engine'. Among the besieged were 7,000 mercenary troop who had no inclination to continue the arduous defence, especially after the death of the ruler of the city, and they started negotiations with Alexander; they were allowed to hill, leave the city, arms in hand, and encamp on a neighbouring on condition that they changed sides and accepted service under Alexander. But they had no wish to aid the foreigner against their countrymen and planned an escape by night to their homes; Alexander heard of this, surrounded their camp and cut them to pieces. Diodorus and Plutarch state that Alexander’s conduct on this occasion was a ‘foul blot on his martial fame’; he had made separate peace with the mercenaries to escape the serious losses they inflicted on his forces, and then fell upon them treacherously. Massaga itself, deprived of its best defenders, was taken by storm, and according to Arrian, the mother and daughter of its ruler became prisoners of war. Curtius records a story that the queen of the city, who had an infant son whom she placed on Alexander’s knees was treated indulgently by the conqueror, rather owing ‘to the charms of her person than to pity for her misfortunes'. He adds that afterwards she gave birth to a child who received the name of Alexander. Justin mentions that the Indians called the queen ‘the royal harlot'....

Bazira, which stood on a lofty eminence and was strongly fortified, offered resistance to Koinos... Alexander directed his march to that city first, and ordered Koinos to join him there after fortifying a position before Bazira and leaving there a garrison strong enough 'to keep the inhabitants from undisturbed access to their lands’. A sortie by the defenders of Bazira after the departure of Koinos was unsuccessful and they were confined more rigorously than before within the walls their city. Ora was captured at the first assault with little loss to the invader, who took over all the elephants he found there. The news of the fall of Ora led the inhabitants of Bazira to abandon their city at dead of night and seek refuge in the more inaccessible heights of the neighbouring mountains....

Alexander then spent some days reducing minor strongholds, some on the way to the Indus, and some on its right bank, accompanied by two local chieftains Kophaios and Assagetes (Asvajit ?)....

Before crossing the Indus, Alexander had still to deal with the last stronghold of the Assakenoi at Aornos to which they had all flocked for refuge...

Seeing the extraordinary skill with which these daring operations were carried out and the success which attended them, the Indians began to feel that further resistance was hopeless and sent a messenger to Alexander offering to surrender the rock if he granted them terms of capitulation. While the negotiations were dragging on, the besieged formed plans of dispersing to their several homes under cover of night; Alexander saw this, allowed them to begin their retreat without any obstruction, and then with a picked body of seven hundred troops scaled the rock at the point abandoned by the defenders. The surprise was complete; many of the Indians were slaughtered, and many others fell over the precipices and were dashed to death; ‘Alexander thus became master of the rock which had baffled Herakles himself....

From Aornos, records Arrian, Alexander went in pursuit of the fleeing defenders of Aornos, who were led by a brother of the Assakenian chief killed in Massaga. The fugitives had taken refuge in the mountains with an army and some elephants. When Alexander reached Dyrta he found the city and its environs deserted, and thereupon he detached certain troops to reconnoitre the surrounding country and secure information about the enemy, particularly his elephants....From captives Alexander learned that the Indian prince had crossed the Indus and taken refuge with Abhisares, leaving his elephants at pasture near the Indus. These he succeeded in capturing with a loss of only two animals killed in the chase by their falling down a precipice....

Only Porus (Paurava), bearer of a great name coming down from the age of the Rigveda, sent a defiant reply to Alexander’s message and said he would meet the invader at the frontier of his territory, but in arms....

When he saw the prince advancing, Alexander thought that Porus was approaching with his whole army and sent the horse-archers to reconnoitre. When he discovered the real strength of the advancing force he charged with all his cavalry and overwhelmed it; 400 Indians fell, Porus’ son among them. The chariots were no help on ground loosened by the rain and fell into the hands of the enemy, horses and all...

The engagement now became crowded into a narrow space, and the elephants being pressed from all sides became uncontrollable; many of them lost their drivers, and maddened by wounds, they turned their fury against friend and foe quite indiscriminately. The Macedonians who retained a wide and open field on the whole suffered less from the elephants as they eluded their attack by giving way when they charged, and followed them and plied them with darts when they retreated. At length many of the elephants were killed and the rest spent with wounds and toil, ceased to be formidable. Then Alexander ordered a general charge of horse and foot and the battle ended in a decisive victory for him. By this time the Macedonian divisions on the right bank had crossed over, and being fresh, were employed in the pursuit of the retreating Indians on whom they inflicted great slaughter...

When Alexander took the field again with a select division of horse and foot, he invaded the land of the Glausai or Glauganikai (Glauchukayanas) as they were called, a free tribe on the western bank of the Akesines (Chenab) living in thirty-seven cities of between five and ten thousand inhabitants each and a multitude of villages. These people were now placed under the rule of the Paurava against whom they had maintained their independence for so long...

Alexander crossed the Ravi and entered the land of the Kathaians (Kathas), who were among the best fighters in the Punjab and had gathered their allies for the defence of their fortified capital, Sangala (not yet identified). These warlike Kshatriya tribes had proved their mettle a short time before against Porus and Abhisares when they marched against them; would they prevail against the new-comer from farther west? Within two days of his crossing the Ravi, Alexander had received the submission of Pimprama (unidentified), the city of the Adraistai (Adhrshtas or, according to Jayaswal, Arishtas), But the Kathaians of Sangala camped under shelter of a low hill outside the city and offered a determined resistance from behind a triple barricade of wagons. Finding his cavalry of no avail against the enemy, Alexander led the infantry on foot and after much hard fighting, compelled the Indians to seek refuge behind the city walls. Alexander now closely invested the city, and Porus joined him with a force, of 5,000 Indians and several elephants; the besieged made a plan of escape by night across a shallow lake on one side of the city, but it was betrayed to Alexander, who fell upon the fugitives and forced them back into the city, after inflicting losses on them. Military engines then began to batter the walls, but before a breach was effected, the Macedonians carried the walls by escalade. The city was taken, many of the Kathaians were killed, and more taken prisoner. The desperate nature of the fighting is clear; the Greek accounts admit an unusually large number of slain and wounded in Alexander’s army; and Alexander razed the city to the ground. The inhabitants of two neighbouring cities, the allies of the Kathaians, escaped a similar fate by abandoning their cities in good time.

The Malloi (Malavas) and the Oxydrakoi (Kshudrakas) were getting ready to give a hostile reception to the invader, and Alexander wanted to press on quickly and attack them before they completed their dispositions...

Alexander himself landed with a body of picked troops and made an inroad against the Siboi (Sibis) and the Agalassoi (Agrasrenis) to prevent their joining the powerful confederacy of the Malloi lower down the river. The Sibis, a wild people clad in skins and armed with clubs, who claimed descent from the soldiers of Hercules, made their submission when Alexander encamped near their capital. Their neighbours, the Agalassoi, were not so amenable; they had mustered an army of 40,000 foot and 3,000 horse and offered battle. They fought in the field and in the streets of their city, and many Macedonian soldiers fell; this roused the fury of Alexander, who set fire to the city and massacred large numbers of the inhabitants, condemning many others to slavery; a bare 3,000 sued for mercy and were spared....

Alexander planned a great drive against the tribal confederations of the Malavas, and their allies, the Kshudrakas who lived farther to the East along the Beas. While he himself with his favourite troops would deliver the main attack, Hephaestion, who had gone in advance, and Ptolemy, who was to follow behind, would prevent the enemy's attempts to escape in either direction....

Alexander struck across fifty miles of waterless desert and completely surprised the first city of the Malavas he came against; the men, who were abroad in the fields unarmed, offered no resistance and were simply butchered; the rest were shut up in the city, guarded by a cordon of cavalry round the walls till the infantry came up. Then Perdiccas was sent forward to the next city, which he was to invest without attempting to storm the place till Alexander came up. The first city was now carried by assault, the citadel in the centre of it holding out somewhat longer; practically all the garrison were killed. Meanwhile Perdiccas reached the city against which he had been sent, and found it deserted; he rode in hot pursuit of the fugitives and overtook and killed some, but the bulk of them managed to escape him to the marshes of the river and beyond.

Soon Alexander came up and joined the pursuit; many of the Malavas were overtaken and slain while crossing the Ravi, but others, made good their escape to a position of great natural strength which was also strongly fortified; here they were attacked by Peithon, who carried the fortress by assault and made slaves of all who had fled to it for refuge. The next place to be attacked was a city of the Brahmins to which the Malavas had flocked; here the resistance was desperate and most of the five thousand defenders sold their lives dear, only a few being taken prisoners. After a day’s rest for the army, Alexander resumed the pursuit and, when he found the cities empty, he had the jungles scoured for fugitives, and his soldiers had instructions to kill everyone that was caught, unless he surrendered voluntarily....The Malavas now withdrew into the nearest stronghold, being hotly pursued by the enemy. In the assaults that followed the next day, the main walls of the city were yielded with little resistance; the citadel held out, and in the assault on it Alexander exposed himself in a way that nearly cost him his life; scaling ladders were few, and Alexander got up one of them, being the first to appear on the wall, a conspicuous target because of his shining arms; to escape the danger, he jumped within the citadel and only a few of his companions could join him there at once; they maintained an unequal contest for some time, but the arrows of the Malavas killed some of them, and Alexander himself was deeply wounded in the chest, and fainted with loss of blood when the arrowhead was pulled out by Perdiccas. Possibly Alexander adopted the desperate expedient to keep up the morale of his troops in this difficult war. The danger to their king maddened the Greek troops and when they managed to gain the citadel by scrambling up the earthen walls and breaking In the gates, they did not spare man, woman or child....

What was left of the Malava people after the decimation of the war sent in their submission now, and the Kshudrakas, who had been holding aloof so long as the swiftness of Alexander’s movements left them no chance of going to aid the Malavas, also sent their representatives with full authority to conclude a treaty with the invader....But the campaign against the Malavas was no unalloyed success. As a record of mere slaughter it stands out unique even in the blood-stained annals of Alexander’s Indian campaigns...

The progress of the flotilla down the Chenab and the Indus cannot be traced...More ships were built, and more tribes submitted along the course, the Abastanoi, (Ambashthas), Xathaoi (Kshaitiyas) and Ossadioi (Vasatis)....

The country below the last confluence differed from the Punjab in its political and social conditions, which have been noted with surprise by the Greek writers. There were no free tribes here, but principalities ruled by kings whose Brahmin counsellors had great influence with them and the people....

The greatest king of this region was known to the Greeks by the name Musicanus (Muchukarna ?). He did not offer his submission or even send presents, but when surprised by the sudden arrival of Alexander in his country, he adopted the course of prudence, tendered his submission and was confirmed in his territory though a garrison was installed in the citadel of his capital (Alor?), which Craterus was to fortify adequately. Alexander then took a number of cities with much booty, all from a chieftain named Oxycanus who was made prisoner. Sambus had abandoned his capital Sindimana when he heard that Alexander had made friends with his arch-enemy Musicanus; his relatives explained the situation to Alexander and offered presents, which were accepted. But the most irreconcilable enemies of the foreigners in this region were the Brahmins (Brahmanako nama Janapadah-Patanjali) and one of their cities was carried by storm and all its inhabitants put to death. Meanwhile Musicanus, acting probably on the advice of his ministers, threw off his allegiance; Peithon who was sent against him suppressed the revolt with a strong hand. He destroyed some cities and placed garrisons in others; he took Musicanus captive and produced him before Alexander, who ordered that he should be executed along with his instigators.

Then came the ruler of Patala and the delta country and offered his submission...With the rest of the army Alexander continued his course downstream and reached Patala in the middle of July 325 B. C.; when he found the city deserted, he sent his emissaries to overtake the fugitives and persuade them to return in safety to their lands and cultivate them as formerly, and so most of the people did return to their homes....

Alexander set out with some ships to explore the western arm of the river; the task was rendered difficult by lack of knowledgeable pilots, the whole country having been deserted by its inhabitants....

When he reached the Arabios (Hab) he found the country deserted, as the Arabitai tribesmen had fled in terror. Crossing the river, he entered Las Bela, the land of the Oreitai, who offered a slight and ineffectual opposition to his progress. One of their villages, Rambakia, pleased Alexander by its situation and Hephaestion was instructed to colonise it with Arachosians (Curtius). When he passed on to the country of the Gedrosi, he appointed Apollophanes satrap over the Oreitai and leit Lenonnatus to reduce the country and help in the scheme of colonisation. Leonnatus fought a pitched battle with the tribesmen, inflicting great losses on them, and the satrap designate, Apollophanes, was among those who fell on his side.

-- Chapter II: Alexander's Campaigns in India, Excerpt from "Age of the Nandas and Mauryas", by K.A. Nilakanta Sastri


CHAPTER II: ALEXANDER'S CAMPAIGNS IN INDIA

After Alexander’s conquest of Bactria and Sogdiana, the Indian satrapy was the only province of the Persian empire into which he had not carried his arms. Of this province he must have gained some valuable knowledge from Sisikottos (Sasigupta), the Indian mercenary leader who transferred his services from Bactria to her conqueror. Alexander also received an embassy in Sogdiana from Omphis (Ambhi) of Takshasila (Taxila) which offered him the alliance of the Indian prince and sought the foreigner’s aid against his powerful neighbour Porus, the first recorded instance of an Indian seeking foreign aid against fellow Indians.

At the end of the spring of 327 B.C., Alexander started on his Indian expedition leaving Amyntas behind with 3,500 horse and 10,000 foot to hold the land of the Bactrians. He crossed the Central Hindu Kush in ten days following the main road from Balkh to Kabul, and reached the rich and beautiful valley of Koh-i-Daman, where he had already founded an Alexandria, which he now strengthened with fresh recruits from the neighbourhood and from among his war-worn soldiers. He placed Nicanor in charge of the city, and appointed Tyriespes satrap of the area, dispositions intended, as was, usual with Alexander, to secure his rear before advancing further.

Alexander then proceeded to Nikaia (Greek for ‘city of victory’), a place that lay most likely on his route to the river Kabul. Here he offered a sacrifice to the goddess Athena, and met an Indian embassy headed by the king of Takshasila which ‘brought him such presents as are most esteemed by the Indians’ and gave him also all the elephants they had with them, twenty-five in number.

After leaving Nikaia and at some distance from the city on the way to the Kabul river, Alexander divided his army, and sent one part of it under Hephaestion and Perdiccas to the Indus, along the course of the Kabul river, with instructions to take Peucclaotis (Pushkalavatl, near Gharsadda, N.E. of Peshawar) and other places on the way by force if they would not submit of their own accord. When they reached the Indus they were to make necessary preparations for the transport of the army across that river. We have the name of only one tribal chief, Astes, in the Peucelaotis region (the Yusufzai country) who ventured to offer resistance, and paid for it with his life. His city was captured after thirty days, and in his place was installed Sangaios (Sanjaya ?) who had quarrelled with him some time before and gone over to Taxiles. The boats built by the Greeks on reaching the Indus were such as could be taken to pieces and reassembled on reaching another river (Curtius).  

Subjugation of the Swat Valley

With the rest of the army Alexander set forth on a hard campaign in the mountains in order to secure the flank of his main line of communication. The people of these mountain tracts are called Aspasians, Gauraians and Assakenians by Arrian. The first and last of these terms are variants of the same tribal name, Asmaka, a name known to Varahamihira’s list of tribes in North-Western India; the other rendering of the name into Asvaka is supported by the fact that the Greeks translated it into Hippasioi (Hypasioi in Strabo). It is noteworthy that the Pushto name for the Yuzufzai still continues to be Asip or Isap. The Gauraians were doubtless closely connected with them and took their name from the river Gauri (Panjkora), the Gouraios of the Greek texts. They were all obviously Indian tribes and are so described by the Greek writers.

The route taken by Alexander along the Khoes is not easy to follow in its details, but doubtless his operations led him for a considerable distance up the large and populous valley of the Kunar, where he fought many hard battles. In an encounter before the first important city taken by the invaders, Alexander was slightly wounded in the shoulder. The city was razed to the ground and all its inhabitants, excepting those who managed to escape to the hills, were put to the sword. Craterus and some other infantry officers were left behind to complete the subjugation of the district, while Alexander advanced to attack the Aspasians, who abandoned their capital on hearing of his approach, and were pursued with great slaughter to their mountain refuges.

Alexander then crossed the mountains to the east and entered the Bajaur valley. Here Craterus rejoined him after carrying out his orders, and was asked to find fresh inhabitants for the city of Arigaion which occupied an advantageous site, but had been burnt down and deserted by its original residents. Meanwhile Ptolemy, the son of Lagos, spotted the main Indian camp and brought news of its whereabouts to Alexander, who planned an attack against it in three divisions, one of which he led ‘in person against the position occupied by the main body’ of the Indian forces. Confident in the strength of their numbers, the Indians descended from the high ground they held to meet the invader on the plain below and sustained a defeat; the number of prisoners taken by the conqueror is said to have been no less than 40,000; then were captured also 230,000 oxen, from which Alexander chose the best to be sent over to Macedonia for use in agriculture. After the subjugation of the Aspasians, Alexander moved, according to Curtius, to the city of Nysa; Arrian records the visit in detail, but gives no indication of the position of Nysa, and is openly sceptical not only of the legendary details, but of the existence of the city itself. The inhabitants of Nysa offered no resistance, but sent an embassy with presents and claimed kinship with the Greeks on the score that their city had been founded by Dionysus and named after his nurse, Nysa, and that the Nysans were the descendants of his followers; the mountain near the city also bore the name Meros (thigh) because Dionysus grew, before his birth, in the thigh of Zeus. Nysa had remained a free city with its own laws ever since, and Alexander should permit them to continue as they were. ‘It gratified Alexander to hear all this' from Akuphis, the leader of the Nysan deputation, and he was not inclined to be too critical of legends that were pleasing to the ears of his soldiers, and promised him the glory of excelling the achievements of Dionysus. So he offered a sacrifice to his divine predecessor and confirmed his colony in the enjoyment of its ancient laws and liberty as an aristocratic republic. When Alexander asked for three hundred horsemen from Nysa and one hundred of their best men to accompany him, Akuphis smiled and agreed readily to give the horsemen, but offered two hundred of the worst men of Nysa instead of the hundred best demanded by Alexander. The reply by no means displeased Alexander who took the cavalry and waived the other demand. He made a pilgrimage to Mount Meros (Koh-i-Mor ?) where his followers rejoiced at the sight of the ivy and laurel and wove chaplets of them for their heads while they joyfully chanted hymns to the divine forerunner of Alexander.

Marching across the land of the Gauraians and crossing the river Gauri (Panjkora), a difficult task owing to the depth and swiftness of the stream, Alexander appeared before Massaga, ‘the largest city in those parts'. Thus began the war in the upper Swat region against the Assakenoi. This powerful confederation commanded extensive territory including the whole of Swat, Buner and the valleys to the north of Buner, and extending right up to the Indus. It had an army of 20,000 cavalry'1 [Lassen and Stein give 2,000.], and more than 30,000 infantry besides 30 elephants. Yet, it seems to have relied for defence against the invader not on fighting in open battle, but on the fortifications of its walled towns. The Greek accounts of the war contain details of several places besieged and taken by Alexander, but their position can seldom be fixed with confidence on modern maps. Stein, who knew the country very well, suggests that they ‘were probably situated in the main Swat valley; for this at all times must, as now, have been the most fertile and populous portion of the territory'.

The siege of Massaga (Masakavati ?) the capital of the Assakenoi, lasted for four days; at the outset Alexander was wounded in the leg, 'though not severely', by an arrow from the besieged; but the Greek engines of war battered down the defences and inflicted great losses on the besieged, and their chief fell on the fourth day ‘struck by a missile from an engine'. Among the besieged were 7,000 mercenary troop who had no inclination to continue the arduous defence, especially after the death of the ruler of the city, and they started negotiations with Alexander; they were allowed to hill, leave the city, arms in hand, and encamp on a neighbouring on condition that they changed sides and accepted service under Alexander. But they had no wish to aid the foreigner against their countrymen and planned an escape by night to their homes; Alexander heard of this, surrounded their camp and cut them to pieces. Diodorus and Plutarch state that Alexander’s conduct on this occasion was a ‘foul blot on his martial fame’; he had made separate peace with the mercenaries to escape the serious losses they inflicted on his forces, and then fell upon them treacherously. Massaga itself, deprived of its best defenders, was taken by storm, and according to Arrian, the mother and daughter of its ruler became prisoners of war. Curtius records a story that the queen of the city, who had an infant son whom she placed on Alexander’s knees was treated indulgently by the conqueror, rather owing ‘to the charms of her person than to pity for her misfortunes'. He adds that afterwards she gave birth to a child who received the name of Alexander. Justin mentions that the Indians called the queen ‘the royal harlot'.

The final stages of the campaign in the Swat valley centred round Bazira (Bir-kot) and Ora (Udegram). Koinos was sent to Bazira, which was expected to surrender, and three other generals against Ora, with instructions to invest the place until the arrival of Alexander. Bazira, which stood on a lofty eminence and was strongly fortified, offered resistance to Koinos, and on hearing this, Alexander started to conduct the operations there himself. But then he learned of attempts to reinforce Ora, set on foot by Abhisares, the king of Abhisara, territory east of the Indus. Alexander directed his march to that city first, and ordered Koinos to join him there after fortifying a position before Bazira and leaving there a garrison strong enough 'to keep the inhabitants from undisturbed access to their lands’. A sortie by the defenders of Bazira after the departure of Koinos was unsuccessful and they were confined more rigorously than before within the walls their city. Ora was captured at the first assault with little loss to the invader, who took over all the elephants he found there. The news of the fall of Ora led the inhabitants of Bazira to abandon their city at dead of night and seek refuge in the more inaccessible heights of the neighbouring mountains. This was the end of the campaign in the Swat valley; Alexander turned Ora and Massaga into strongholds for guarding the country round about, and improved the defences of Bazira, before marching south towards the Peshawar valley to follow the line taken by Hephaestion and Perdiccas down the Kabul river.

These generals had fortified a town called Orobatis (not identified) on their way to the Indus Alexander now appointed Nicanor satrap of the country west of the Indus, and received the submission of Peucelaotis (Pushkalavati), the ancient capital of Gandhara, stationing a garrison of Macedonian soldiers in the city under the command of Philip. Alexander then spent some days reducing minor strongholds, some on the way to the Indus, and some on its right bank, accompanied by two local chieftains Kophaios and Assagetes (Asvajit ?).

Aornos

Before crossing the Indus, Alexander had still to deal with the last stronghold of the Assakenoi at Aornos to which they had all flocked for refuge. This place has been most satisfactorily located by Stein in the mountain ranges of Pir-sar and Una-sar, which answer to all the topographical details contained in the Greek accounts of Alexander’s operations against Aornos, accounts derived ultimately from Ptolemy, the son of Lagos, who took a prominent part in those operations.

A word may be said at this stage about political conditions in the North-West frontier of India at the time of Alexander’s invasion; the Assakenoi and their neighbouring and allied tribes were supported by Abhisares, and probably also by Porus, in their resistance to the invader; Abhisara proper is the name of the hill country between the upper Jhelum and the Chenab; but the ruler of this territory at this time seems to have extended his sway in the west into Hazara (Ursa) up to the Indus, and on the east his territory might well have included parts of Kashmir. The ruler of Takshailla whose territory lay between the kingdoms of Abhisares and Porus, was on no friendly terms with them, and, as we have already seen, he welcomed the invader, hoping to have his support against his local enemies. It is not surprising then that the Assakenoi prepared themselves to defend their independence in a region impregnable because of its physical features and in close proximity to the territory of Abhisares, and that Alexander did not feel free to accept the welcome of Taxila until he had overthrown this last and most redoubtable stronghold of the tribes whose subjugation was the chief aim of the arduous campaigns he had fought in the Swat valley.

To get at this stronghold on the eastern frontier of the Assakenian country, Alexander had to move some way up the right bank of the Indus to Embolima (Amb), a city within two marches of Aornos. Here he left Craterus with a part of the army to gather into the city as much corn as possible and all other requisites for a prolonged stay, in order that the Macedonians, having that place as a base, might by protracted investment wear out those holding the rock, in case it should not be taken at the first assault. Alexander himself then advanced to the rock, taking with him the archers, the Agrianians, the brigade of Koines, the lightest and best armed of the phalanx, two hundred of the companion cavalry and one hundred horse-archers. He fixed his camp on the second day very near the rock.

Aornos is described by Arrian as a mighty mass of rock, 6,600 ft. in height with a circuit of about 22 miles; Diodorus halves the circuit, puts the height at 9,600 ft., and says that it was washed by the Indus on its southern side. 'It was ascended', says Arrian, ‘by a single path cut by the hand of man, yet difficult. On the summit of the rock there was, it is also said, plenty of pure water which gushed out from a copious spring. There was timber besides, and as much good arable land as required for its cultivation the labour of a thousand men'. A report was current that this stronghold was once assaulted in vain by Hercules who had to abandon the attempt on the occurrence of a ‘violent earthquake and signs from heaven', and this is said to have made Alexander the more eager for the capture of the stronghold. But it should be noted that Arrian discredits the story and says ‘my own conviction is that Herakles was mentioned to make the story of its capture all the more wonderful'.

At first Alexander was at a loss how to proceed to the attack, when some people from the neighbourhood came to him, offered their submission and undertook to guide him to the most accessible portion of the rock, from which the assault on the main eminence would not be difficult. Alexander accepted their guidance and sent with them Ptolemy with a select body of light-armed troops, telling him that on securing the position he was to signal to him and to hold it with a strong force. Traversing a rough and difficult route which led most probably up the valley to the west of the Danda-Nurdai spur, Ptolemy succeeded in occupying the indicated position on the height known as Little Una, unobserved by the defending forces on the heights of Pir-Sar. He fortified his position with a palisade and a trench, and signified his success to Alexander by means of a beacon raised on a height from which it would be seen by Alexander. Alexander did see it, and he moved forward the next day with his army along the route that Ptolemy had taken; but the defenders soon saw what had happened and sent their men to the heights of Danda-Nurdai to obstruct the ascent of Alexander, which they did successfully, and then turned round and attacked the position held by Ptolemy higher up; after severe fighting in the latter part of the day, the Indians failed to carry Ptolemy’s fortifications and retired at nightfall.

During the night, Alexander secured the aid of an Indian deserter and sent a letter to Ptolemy asking him not to be content on the following day with just holding his position but to attack the Indians in the rear when they sought to obstruct the passage of the main army up the hill. At daybreak he started again, and succeeded, after a hard fight in forcing a passage and effecting a junction with Ptolemy’s men.
But the assault on the main rock (Pir-Sar) could not be undertaken without much toil in filling up a ravine that lay between his position and the height held, by the defenders. This task was begun the next day and Alexander himself supervised the operations of cutting stakes and piling up a mound towards the main rock. The mound was advanced to a length of 200 yards as a result of the first day’s work, but progress became necessarily slower in the depths of the ravine. The Indians attempted to obstruct the progress of the work and, though by their sallies they inflicted some losses on the enemy, their main object was foiled by the missiles of the Greeks shot from engines which were being advanced along the mound as each section of it was completed. The work of piling up the mound went on for three days without intermission, and on the fourth a few Macedonians succeeded in forcing their way up a small hill and occupying its crest on a level with the rock. The work on the extension of the mound was continued until it was joined three days later to the small hill near the rock that had passed into Greek occupation. Seeing the extraordinary skill with which these daring operations were carried out and the success which attended them, the Indians began to feel that further resistance was hopeless and sent a messenger to Alexander offering to surrender the rock if he granted them terms of capitulation. While the negotiations were dragging on, the besieged formed plans of dispersing to their several homes under cover of night; Alexander saw this, allowed them to begin their retreat without any obstruction, and then with a picked body of seven hundred troops scaled the rock at the point abandoned by the defenders. The surprise was complete; many of the Indians were slaughtered, and many others fell over the precipices and were dashed to death; ‘Alexander thus became master of the rock which had baffled Herakles himself. He celebrated his success by offering sacrifice and worship to the gods and erected altars dedicated to Minerva and Victory. He also built a fort and gave command of it to Sisikottos before setting out to complete the conquest of the Assakenoi and rejoin his main forces on the banks of the Indus. The siege and capture of Aornos may be placed round about the month of April 326 B. C.

From Aornos, records Arrian, Alexander went in pursuit of the fleeing defenders of Aornos, who were led by a brother of the Assakenian chief killed in Massaga. The fugitives had taken refuge in the mountains with an army and some elephants. When Alexander reached Dyrta he found the city and its environs deserted, and thereupon he detached certain troops to reconnoitre the surrounding country and secure information about the enemy, particularly his elephants. Dyrta has not been identified, but the fact that a new road had to be made, without which the march across the country to the Indus would have been impracticable, seems to point to the central parts of Buner as the scene of the operations. From captives Alexander learned that the Indian prince had crossed the Indus and taken refuge with Abhisares, leaving his elephants at pasture near the Indus. These he succeeded in capturing with a loss of only two animals killed in the chase by their falling down a precipice. He also discovered a lot of serviceable timber, which he caused to be floated down the Indus to the bridge constructed long before this by the other section of the army.

When Alexander reached the bridge at Ohind, at the end of sixteen marches, he gave his army a rest of thirty days, entertaining them with games and contests. Here he was met by an embassy from Ambhi of Takshasila who had recently succeeded to his father’s throne, but was awaiting the arrival of Alexander to assume sovereignty. The embassy brought presents consisting of 200 talents of silver, 3,000 fat oxen, 10,000 sheep or more and 30 elephants; a force of 700 horsemen also came to the assistance of Alexander from the same prince and brought word that Ambhi surrendered into Alexander’s hands his capital Takshasila, ‘the greatest of all the cities between the river Indus and Kydaspes’. Alexander then offered sacrifice to the gods on a magnificent scale and found the signs favourable for his crossing into India proper the first European to set his foot on Indian soil.

Taxila

As the invader approached Takshasila a strange incident occurred. When he was at a distance of some four miles from the city, he was met by a whole army drawn in battle order and elephants ranged in a line; Alexander suspected treachery and instructed his troops to prepare for a battle; but Ambhi seeing the mistake made by the Macedonians, left his army with a few friends and contrived to explain to Alexander, with the aid of an interpreter, that he meant not to fight, but to honour his foreign ally whose protection he had been soliciting for so long and with so much persistence. He surrendered himself, his army and kingdom into the hands of Alexander, and got them back as his favoured protege.

Alexander was entertained in Takshasila for three days with lavish hospitality, and on the fourth day he and his friends received presents of golden crowns and eighty talents of coined silver (Curtius). In his turn Alexander showed his gratification by sending to Ambhi a thousand talents from his spoils of war ‘along with many banqueting vessels of gold and silver, a vast quantity of Persian drapery, and thirty chargers from his own stalls, caparisoned as when ridden by himself'. Thus did a fraction of the loot from the store-houses of the old Persian kings find its lodgement in the palace of Takshasila. But Alexander’s liberality on the occasion displeased some of the Macedonian generals, though it secured for him an additional force of five thousand men and the unfailing loyalty of a most useful ally. Embassies from Indian princes met Alexander here with presents and declared their submission to him; even Abhisares of the hill country sent his brother. Only Porus (Paurava), bearer of a great name coming down from the age of the Rigveda, sent a defiant reply to Alexander’s message and said he would meet the invader at the frontier of his territory, but in arms. Porus was the ruler of a considerable kingdom, and its expansion was doubtless causing some stir among the neighbouring kings and tribes, and bringing about the political alliances and groupings among them at the time.

Preparing to leave Takshasila for the encounter with Porus, Alexander offered the customary sacrifices and celebrated a gymnastic and equestrian contest. He sent Koinos back to the Indus to dismantle the bridge of boats and bring it over to the Jhelum river, the ancient (Vitasta, the Hydaspes of the Greeks). He posted Philip, the son of Machatus, at the head of a garrison, as satrap of Takshasila and its neighbourhood, and began his march to the Jhelum with his own army and the Taxilan contingent of 5,000 men commanded by their king in person. The route lay in a south-easterly direction over difficult country and was about a hundred miles in length. On his march Alexander found a defile on his road occupied by Spitaces, a nephew of Porus, with a body of troops; these he soon dispersed, and then completed his march without encountering any further opposition; Spitaces fought later on the side of his uncle and fell in the battle of the Jhelum.

Battle of the Jhelum

Alexander fixed his camp in the vicinity of the town of Jhelum on the right bank of the river; it was the spring of 326 B.C. Porus had ranged his entire forces on the opposite side, and stationed posts at various points up and down the river to watch the enemy’s movements and give the alarm when he attempted to cross the river. The Paurava’s army drawn from the populous villages of his principality was an imposing force. Arrian records that in the final encounter with Alexander, he employed all his cavalry, 4,000 strong, all his chariots, 300 in number, 200 of his elephants, and 30,000 efficient infantry. We should add to these numbers the 2,000 men and 120 chariots he detached earlier in the day under his son's charge to meet the enemy as he was crossing the river, as also the considerable section of the army he left behind in his original camp to oppose the crossing of the troops that Alexander left behind in his camp on the opposite bank. Alexander's army on the other side was made up of many elements; the heavy-armed Macedonian infantry carrying the long spear in phalanxes; and the highly disciplined cavalry, the ‘Companions’ of the king who were drawn from the aristocracy of Macedon and formed the core of the force. The original 2,000 Companions were much reduced in numbers and the four hipparchies into which they were now reorganised contained only one Macedonian squadron each. There were also mercenary soldiers in thousands from the Greek cities and half-civilized hill-men from the Balkan lands serving as light troops. But mingled with the Europeans were men of many nations. Here were troops of horsemen, representing the chivalry of Iran, which had followed Alexander from Bactria and beyond, Pashtus of the Hindu Kush with their highland-bred horses, Central Asiatics who could ride and shoot at the same time; and among the camp followers one could find groups representing the older civilizations of the world, Phoenicians inheriting an immemorial tradition of ship-craft and trade, bronzed Egyptians able to confront the Indians with an antiquity still longer than their own’ (Bevan). The battle of Jhelum was indeed a battle of the nations. Alexander’s army had already become ‘a school for the fusion of races’. Of the numbers in Alexander’s force we have no certain knowledge. Tradition counts 120,000 in his camp, and this number included camp followers, traders and scientific experts, besides the Asiatic wives of the Macedonian soldiers and their children. Tarn estimates the number of fighting men at some 35,000 and adds that the known formations of Alexander render any much greater number impossible. All our authorities agree that his cavalry decidedly outnumbered that of Porus.

Alexander soon saw that it was impracticable to cross the river in the face of so powerful and vigilant a foe, for the very sight of Porus' elephants would have thrown his cavalry into confusion. He had therefore to resort to a ruse and to steal a passage, as Arrian puts it. He sought at first to divert the attention of Porus by dividing his army into several columns with which he made frequent excursions in different directions, as if searching out a spot for easy passage across the river. At the same time he sent out foraging parties into the country and gathered provisions in large quantities, so as to lead the enemy to think that he intended to await a more favourable time when the melting of the snow on the mountains would stop, the river would be low and the crossing easier. The numerous feints of Alexander kept Porus at first perpetually on the move in the nights, and finally he became indifferent to the threats of crossing that never materialised. ‘When Alexander had thus quieted the suspicions of Porus about his nocturnal attempts’, he completed his plans for crossing the river at a point some sixteen miles above his camp. The spot chosen was completely screened from the view of Porus' camp by a remarkable bend in the river, a thickly wooded island in its middle and a bluff on the opposite bank. And Porus' men had become so used to the noises on Alexander's side of the river that the actual preparations for the crossing were carried out with hardly any concealment and without the sentries of Porus suspecting anything unusual; a thunderstorm and a heavy downpour of rain also helped to drown the sound of arms and the shouting of orders.

The actual day chosen for the crossing was advanced by the news that Abhisares of the hill country was, notwithstanding his recent embassy to Takshasila, hastening with his army to the assistance of the Paurava, and it was important to force the encounter before the allies joined their forces.

Alexander laid his plans with care and precision. A strong division under Craterus and the troops of Takshasila were left behind in the main camp with orders to remain there as long as they saw the elephants on the opposite bank, but to attempt the passage of the river ‘with all possible speed' whenever they should see the elephants withdrawn. Half way between the main camp and the island were posted the mercenary cavalry and infantry under three commanders, Meleager, Attalus and Gorgias, with instructions to cross to the other side in detachments as soon as they saw the Indians fairly engaged in battle. Alexander took the bulk of the army including the Companions under his own command and marched to the selected spot keeping at a considerable distance from the river bank to avoid detection by the enemy. Towards daybreak the storm subsided and the rain ceased. The army crossed over to the island in boats and skin rafts specially prepared for the cavalry, without being noticed by enemy sentries. Alexander himself crossed over in a thirty-oared galley accompanied by Ptolemy, afterwards king of Egypt, Perdiccas, the future regent, Lysimachus, later king of Thrace, and Seleucus who was to inherit Alexander’s Asiatic empire; there also were the body-guards and one half of the hypaspists. The movements of the troops were concealed by the woody island, until, having passed it, they came within a short distance of the left bank. Then they were perceived by the Indian sentinels who rode off to convey the news to their camp. Meanwhile Alexander, who was the first to disembark, formed the cavalry into line as they came up and moved forward at their head; but he soon discovered that he had not yet reached the mainland, but was still on another island separated from it by a channel, usually shallow, but swollen into a formidable stream on account of the rain. A ford, barely passable, was at length found and the infantry crossed over breast-deep in water and the horses swam across with only their heads above the stream. On this occasion Alexander is said to have exclaimed: ‘O Athenians! Can you believe what dangers I undergo to earn your applause?' Then crossing over, Alexander drew up his forces in order of battle. He posted the body-guards and cavalry on the right wing, and the horse-archers in front of them; next to these were placed the infantry with the archers and javelin-men at each extremity of the phalanx.  

Having made these dispositions, Alexander led his 5,000 cavalry forward at a rapid pace; he asked the archers to hasten at the back to give support to the cavalry, while the infantry were to follow at ordinary marching pace in regular order. He decided to avail himself of his superior strength in cavalry, and was confident of defeating the entire army of Porus or keeping it engaged till the infantry came up; if, on the other hand, at the news of his marvellous crossing the enemy took to flight, he would be able to overtake and destroy the fugitives quickly. But the Paurava was no craven. When he received intelligence of the crossing, his first thought was to come up with the enemy, if possible, before he completed the landing; and he immediately sent one of his sons with 2,000 cavalry and 120 chariots to go and contest the passage. But Alexander had made even the final passage before he came up. When he saw the prince advancing, Alexander thought that Porus was approaching with his whole army and sent the horse-archers to reconnoitre. When he discovered the real strength of the advancing force he charged with all his cavalry and overwhelmed it; 400 Indians fell, Porus’ son among them. The chariots were no help on ground loosened by the rain and fell into the hands of the enemy, horses and all. When the survivors went and reported to Porus that Alexander had himself crossed the river with the strongest division of his army, he was perplexed for a while by the necessity of meeting Alexander’s attack and defending the passage of the river against Craterus at the same time. He took a quick decision, and leaving a part of his elephants to check Craterus, he advanced to the decisive conflict with Alexander with the bulk of his troops. Beyond the swampy ground near the river, Porus found a tract of sandy soil on the Karri plain, suited to the movements of his forces, and there he drew up his army for the battle. He relied chiefly on his elephants and he placed them in the front of his line at intervals of a hundred feet; between and behind the elephants were ranged the infantry with huge bows capable of shooting long arrows with great force, though the looseness of the ground due to rain handicapped them badly on this occasion. One half of the cavalry was posted on each flank and the chariots in front of them.
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Re: Freda Bedi Cont'd (#3)

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Alexander, when he perceived the Indian troops drawn up in battle order, made his cavalry halt, to allow time for the infantry to come up and rest a while after their march, while he himself rode round the ranks considering the plan of attack to be followed. His aim was to make full use of the cavalry arm, in which he was superior, and to deprive Porus of the advantage he expected from the elephants and from his numerous infantry. He posted himself with the main body of cavalry on the right, and stationed Koinos with two squadrons on the left. He would begin the battle with an attack on the enemy’s left wing, which he anticipated would draw out the enemy cavalry from the right for its protection, and in this case Koinos was to fall on their rear. His own phalanx commanded by Seleucus and others was not to take part in the action until they saw the Indian cavalry and infantry thrown into disorder by his cavalry charge. The course of the battle answered Alexander’s expectations at every point. The 1,000 horse-archers were first ordered to deliver the attack and the shower of their arrows and the charges of their horses threw Porus’ left wing into some confusion; Alexander then charged with the rest of his cavalry; the Indian cavalry of the right wing was summoned to the relief of the left and was taken in the rear by Koinos. Thus the Indian cavalry had to fight on two fronts, and the movements involved threw their ranks into confusion, and Alexander pressed his attack home before they could recover and complete their formation, whereupon they 'broke from their ranks and fled for shelter to the elephants as to a friendly wall’. The elephants were then urged against the Macedonian cavalry, but were soon met by the phalanx which advanced to take advantage of the confusion; but the shock of the charging elephants was too much even for the close formation of the phalanx and for some time wrought havoc among the Greek forces and afforded a chance to the Indian cavalry to rally and renew the attack. But another charge from Alexander’s cavalry once more broke their ranks and drove them back upon the elephants. The engagement now became crowded into a narrow space, and the elephants being pressed from all sides became uncontrollable; many of them lost their drivers, and maddened by wounds, they turned their fury against friend and foe quite indiscriminately. The Macedonians who retained a wide and open field on the whole suffered less from the elephants as they eluded their attack by giving way when they charged, and followed them and plied them with darts when they retreated. At length many of the elephants were killed and the rest spent with wounds and toil, ceased to be formidable. Then Alexander ordered a general charge of horse and foot and the battle ended in a decisive victory for him. By this time the Macedonian divisions on the right bank had crossed over, and being fresh, were employed in the pursuit of the retreating Indians on whom they inflicted great slaughter.

The losses on the Indian side were indeed terrible; but the Greek accounts seem to exaggerate them while they are at great pains to conceal the losses on their own side. ‘The loss of the Indians in killed', affirms Arrian, ‘fell little short of 20,000 infantry and 3,000 cavalry, and all their chariots were broken to pieces. Two sons of Porus fell in the battle, and also Spitaces, the chief of the Indians of that district.... The elephants, moreover, that escaped destruction in the field were all captured. On Alexander’s side there fell about 80 of the 6,000 infantry which had taken part in the first attack, 10 of the horse-archers who first began the action, 20 of the Companion cavalry, and 200 of the other cavalry’. Propaganda is not so modern an art as we may imagine! But the most decisive proof of the desperate nature of the struggle with the elephants and the impression it produced on the minds of Alexander's generals is found in the course of subsequent events. The generals soon developed a stout opposition to further advance into India, and Seleucus, who had seen something of the Indian elephants in the battle of the Jhelum, when he became king, was ready to cede whole provinces in order to secure an adequate number of these noble animals for his army.


Porus himself, mounted on a tall elephant, not only directed the movements of his forces but fought on to the very end of the contest; he then received a wound on his right shoulder, the only unprotected part of his body, all the rest of his person being rendered shot-proof by a coat of mail remarkable for its strength and closeness of fit; he now turned his elephant and began to retire. Alexander who had observed and admired his valour in the field was anxious to save his life and sent Taxiles after him on horseback to summon him to surrender; but the sight of this old enemy and traitor roused the indignation of the Paurava, who gave him no hearing and would have killed him, had not Taxiles instantly put his horse to the gallop and got beyond the reach of Porus’. Even this Alexander did not resent; he sent other messengers till at last Meroes (Maurya ?), an old friend of Porus, persuaded him to hear the message of Alexander. The Indian king, overpowered by thirst and fatigue, dismounted and took a draught of water; when he felt revived he allowed himself to be led to Alexander’s presence. When the conqueror heard of his approach he rode forward with a few of the Companions to meet him and admired his handsome person and majestic stature. He saw too with wonder that Porus did not seem to be broken or abased in spirit, but advanced to meet him as one brave king would meet another after contending with him in the defence of his kingdom. Alexander, who was the first to speak, requested Porus to say how he wished to be treated. ‘Treat me, O Alexander! as befits a king’ was the answer of Porus. Pleased with it, Alexander replied; ‘For mine own sake, O Porus! thou shalt be so treated, but do thou, in thine own behalf, ask for whatever boon thou pleasest' to which Porus said that everything was included in what he had asked. Alexander not only reinstated Porus in his kingdom, but added to it territory of still greater extent. Thus the Paurava took his place in the world-empire of Alexander for a time by the side of his old enemy, the king of Takshasila. Possibly Alexander meant that they should be a check on each other.

The actual date of this important battle is not free from doubt; the Greek texts are conflicting and modern commentators are also divided; the middle of May 326 B. C., rather than July, seems to have the best support.


Alexander honoured with splendid obsequies those who had fallen in battle, and made the customary offerings to the gods in acknowledgement of the victory and held the usual games and contests. He founded two cities, Nikaia, the city of victory, on the battlefield, and Boucephala on the opposite bank of the river, whence he had put out to cross the river at dawn and where Alexander’s stalwart old horse Boucephalus had met his end. It was his fixed policy to knit the various provinces of his far-flung empire by means of these cities of European men. Craterus was left behind with a part of the army to build and fortify the new cities. Later, Alexander seems to have struck a coin to commemorate the battle, showing him on a galloping horse in pursuit of Porus’ elephant; two specimens of the coin are known so far.1 [See the Note on Early Foreign Coins in India (below).]

After Jhelum

When Alexander took the field again with a select division of horse and foot, he invaded the land of the Glausai or Glauganikai (Glauchukayanas) as they were called, a free tribe on the western bank of the Akesines (Chenab) living in thirty-seven cities of between five and ten thousand inhabitants each and a multitude of villages. These people were now placed under the rule of the Paurava against whom they had maintained their independence for so long. From here Taxiles, now reconciled to Porus, was sent back to his capital. The Raja of Abhisara, who could not join the Paurava before the battle of the Jhelum, now sent his brother with forty elephants and a money present to renew the protestations of his friendship to Alexander and offer the surrender of himself and his kingdom into his hands; Alexander demanded the presence of Abhisares in person, adding that if he failed to come Alexander might go himself with his army to look for him. Envoys came also from another Porus across the Chenab, perhaps  a relative, but no friend, of the great Paurava. Here too Phrataphernes, the satrap of Parthia, joined Alexander with the Thracian troops that had been left with him. At the same time urgent messages reached him from Sasigupta at Aornos stating that the Assakenoi had risen in rebellion against their governor Nicanor and slain him; Tyriespes, the Iranian satrap of the neighbouring province on the west, and Philip, perhaps the same as was satrap of Takshasila, were asked to go and quell the insurrection and restore order. Here was a warning that the empire was becoming too unwieldy for effective control.

Keeping close to the hills to avoid wide crossings of the streams, Alexander still found the Akesines (Chenab) difficult to cross; it was July and the rains were in full swing; the strong current of the river over a rocky bed, somewhat less than two miles in width, caused some losses to Alexander in the crossing; it is said that the other Indian name of the river, Chandrabhaga, sounded ominously in Greek ears.1 [Alexandrophagus, devourer of Alexander.] And he had to leave Koinos behind to manage the rest of the transport across, and to send the Paurava home to recruit fresh troops and elephants and rejoin him with these. Alexander now pressed on to the next river, Hydraotes (Ravi), ‘not less in breadth than the Akesines, but not so rapid', leaving garrisons at suitable places along his route to secure his communications. From the banks of that river he despatched Hephaestion with enough troops into the territory of the younger Porus, who had abandoned his country with a handful of followers when he learned of the esteem of Alexander for the other Paurava. Hephaestion was to reduce the territory of the fugitive Porus and of all the independent tribes on the banks of the Ravi, and add it to the kingdom of the great Paurava; he was also to build the walls of a city on the Chenab where Alexander was to settle some of his war-worn veterans on the return.

Alexander crossed the Ravi and entered the land of the Kathaians (Kathas), who were among the best fighters in the Punjab and had gathered their allies for the defence of their fortified capital, Sangala (not yet identified). These warlike Kshatriya tribes had proved their mettle a short time before against Porus and Abhisares when they marched against them; would they prevail against the new-comer from farther west? Within two days of his crossing the Ravi, Alexander had received the submission of Pimprama (unidentified), the city of the Adraistai (Adhrshtas or, according to Jayaswal, Arishtas), But the Kathaians of Sangala camped under shelter of a low hill outside the city and offered a determined resistance from behind a triple barricade of wagons. Finding his cavalry of no avail against the enemy, Alexander led the infantry on foot and after much hard fighting, compelled the Indians to seek refuge behind the city walls. Alexander now closely invested the city, and Porus joined him with a force, of 5,000 Indians and several elephants; the besieged made a plan of escape by night across a shallow lake on one side of the city, but it was betrayed to Alexander, who fell upon the fugitives and forced them back into the city, after inflicting losses on them. Military engines then began to batter the walls, but before a breach was effected, the Macedonians carried the walls by escalade. The city was taken, many of the Kathaians were killed, and more taken prisoner. The desperate nature of the fighting is clear; the Greek accounts admit an unusually large number of slain and wounded in Alexander’s army; and Alexander razed the city to the ground. The inhabitants of two neighbouring cities, the allies of the Kathaians, escaped a similar fate by abandoning their cities in good time.

On the Beas

Alexander asked Porus to garrison the country and himself pushed on to the Hyphasis (Beas), beyond which, it was reported, lay an exceedingly fertile country inhabited by brave agriculturists enjoying an excellent system of government under an aristocracy which exercised its power with justice and moderation; besides, the land was well stocked with elephants of superior size and courage. While he was encamped on the Beas, Alexander was told by a chieftain named Bhagala (Panini knew the name) about the extent and power of the Nanda empire, and Porus confirmed his statements. Such information whetted Alexander’s eagerness to advance further; but his troops, especially the Macedonians, had begun to lose heart at the thought of the distance they had travelled from their homes and the hardships and dangers they had been called upon to face after their entry into India. And at the Beas the army mutinied and refused to march further. Alexander convoked an assembly of the officers and sought to rouse their enthusiasm by recounting the glory of their past achievements, by demonstrating how very near they had come to dominion over the whole world, what rich rewards awaited them at the completion of their task, and what dangers might imperil their young empire if they left some nations unconquered; he cajoled and flattered them,—all in vain. After a long and painful silence, Koinos summoned up courage to speak for the whole army. ‘You see yourself’, he said, ‘how many Macedonians and Greeks started with you, and how few of us are left. From our ranks you sent away home from Baktra the Thessalians as soon as you saw they had no stomach for further toils, and in this you acted wisely. Of the other Greeks, some have been settled in the cities founded by you, where all of them are not willing residents; others still share our toils and dangers. They and the Macedonian army have lost some of their numbers in the fields of battle; others have been disabled by wounds; others have been left behind in different parts of Asia, but the majority have perished by disease. A few only out of many survive, and these few possessed no longer of the same bodily strength as before, while their spirits are still more depressed. All those, whose parents are still living, have a yearning to see them—a yearning to see their wives and children—a yearning to see were it but their native land itself, a desire pardonable in men who would return home in great splendour derived from your munificence and raised from humble to high rank, and from indigence to wealth. Seek not, therefore, to lead them against their inclinations, for you will not find them the same men in the face of dangers, if they enter without heart into their contests with the enemy.’ He exhorted Alexander to return home first, and then form a fresh expedition if he wished it. He also uttered an ominous warning against the visitations of the deity which no man can foresee and guard against. The army applauded the speech, Alexander resented it, and in his wrath announced that he was going forward himself with those who would follow him willingly while the rest might go home and tell their friends that they had left their king in the midst of his enemies. He withdrew into his tent and shut himself in for three days. The mood of the soldiers did not change, and Alexander recognised that after Jhelum and Sangala his army had no desire to meet another Aratta people across the Beas, who had more and better elephants than Porus. It was a severe blow to Alexander, who saved his face by offering a sacrifice preliminary to crossing the river and finding the omens unfavourable to the enterprise. He then proclaimed his decision to return, and the army received it with tears of joy and grateful shouts.

The Return

Alexander built twelve colossal altars to the gods who had led him thus far as a conqueror, and then, after a solemn sacrifice and games, he began to retrace his steps to the Ravi and the Chenab. Plutarch records, it is not clear on what authority, that even in his day the kings of Magadha continued to hold these altars in veneration. All traces of them have disappeared long since.

The country west of the Beas was committed to the charge of Porus—‘Seven nations in all, containing more than 2,000 cities’. While he was making preparations on the Chenab for his voyage to the sea, he received another embassy from Abhisares accompanied by Arsakes, ruler of the neighbouring country of Urasa; Abhisares himself was ill and could not come, as the ambassadors Alexander had sent to him attested. Abhisares was now made satrap of his own dominions and Arsakes placed under him. Here too Alexander received welcome reinforcements, comprising 5,000 Thracian cavalry, 7,000 infantry sent by Harpalus, the king’s cousin and satrap of Babylon, and 25,000 suits of armour inlaid with silver and gold which were at once distributed to the troops who badly needed them. After another sacrifice he recrossed the Chenab and reached the Jhelum where he repaired the damage caused by the rains to his two new cities and attended to other affairs of the country.

Somewhere near the land of the Kathaians lay the country of Saubhuti, the king who issued the well-known series of silver drachms bearing his name in Greek as Sophytes; the name of his country Subhuta is mentioned by Panini. Its exact location is uncertain; Arrian puts it on the Hydaspes, while others place it farther East. Curtius records a dramatic interview between the tall and handsome Saubhuti and Alexander in which Saubhuti offered his submission to the conqueror, whom he entertained with splendour afterwards. The famous hunting dogs of his country were exhibited to the foreigners who were greatly impressed by them.

On the Jhelum Alexander completed his fleet, by impressing all available country craft and constructing a large number of galleys, with the excellent timber that was ready, and the necessary transports for horses. In the end there were 800 ships in all. As these preparations were being made, Koinos fell ill and died, a loss both to Alexander and the army. Alexander took with him on the ships all the hypaspists, the archers, the Agrianians and the corps of the horse-guards. The rest marched in three divisions, Craterus on the right bank, Hephaestion with the elephants on the left, and Philip, satrap of the territory west of the Jhelum, following at an interval of three days; the Nysian cavalry were now sent back to Nysa. The naval squadron was commanded by Nearchus, Alexander’s own ship being piloted by Onesicritus. The start was made early in November 326 with due solemnity and in proper order as Alexander poured libations out of a golden bowl to the Hydaspes, the Akesines and the Indus, and to Heracles and Ammon. The vast procession moved towards the sea as the wooded banks of the river echoed the shouts of the rowers and the beats of the oars. The people who had thronged the banks to see the strange spectacle followed the fleet to a considerable distance, for they had never before seen horses on board ship; and the extraordinary mixture of races and garbs among the crews must have furnished a picturesque sight.

On the third day Alexander halted at a place where Craterus and Hephaestion had pitched their camps each on his side of the river. All of them waited there for two days till Philip joined them and then he was sent off to the Akesines in advance, the other generals being instructed to follow him. The Malloi (Malavas) and the Oxydrakoi (Kshudrakas) were getting ready to give a hostile reception to the invader, and Alexander wanted to press on quickly and attack them before they completed their dispositions. On the fifth day after starting again from that place, Alexander came to the confluence of the Hydaspes and the Akesines. The courses of rivers in the Punjab and Sindh have changed so completely that it is altogether impossible to follow the descriptions of the ancient historians with the aid of modern maps. The confluence of the two rivers which most probably occurred much, earlier in their course in Alexander’s time than at present, was a thundering rapid on a narrow bed full of dangerous eddies and whirlpools; the very noise of the waters unnerved the sailors and the best exhortations of the pilots were of no avail; many ships were damaged, and two of them sank with the greater part of their crew. But soon the river began to widen out and the fleet was moored in safety in a roadstead on the right bank, away from the current. The damaged crafts were repaired and Nearchus was ordered to sail downward till he reached the confines of the land of the Malloi where all the troops were to gather together and await orders.

Republican Tribes

Alexander himself landed with a body of picked troops and made an inroad against the Siboi (Sibis) and the Agalassoi (Agrasrenis) to prevent their joining the powerful confederacy of the Malloi lower down the river. The Sibis, a wild people clad in skins and armed with clubs, who claimed descent from the soldiers of Hercules, made their submission when Alexander encamped near their capital. Their neighbours, the Agalassoi, were not so amenable; they had mustered an army of 40,000 foot and 3,000 horse and offered battle. They fought in the field and in the streets of their city, and many Macedonian soldiers fell; this roused the fury of Alexander, who set fire to the city and massacred large numbers of the inhabitants, condemning many others to slavery; a bare 3,000 sued for mercy and were spared.1 [Diodorus xvii, 96.] Alexander then rejoined the fleet.

From his camp below the confluence of the Jhelum and the Chenab, Alexander planned a great drive against the tribal confederations of the Malavas, and their allies, the Kshudrakas who lived farther to the East along the Beas. While he himself with his favourite troops would deliver the main attack, Hephaestion, who had gone in advance, and Ptolemy, who was to follow behind, would prevent the enemy's attempts to escape in either direction. Nearchus was to take the fleet to the next confluence of the Chenab with the Ravi, where all forces were to assemble again at the end of the campaign.

Alexander struck across fifty miles of waterless desert and completely surprised the first city of the Malavas he came against; the men, who were abroad in the fields unarmed, offered no resistance and were simply butchered; the rest were shut up in the city, guarded by a cordon of cavalry round the walls till the infantry came up. Then Perdiccas was sent forward to the next city, which he was to invest without attempting to storm the place till Alexander came up. The first city was now carried by assault, the citadel in the centre of it holding out somewhat longer; practically all the garrison were killed. Meanwhile Perdiccas reached the city against which he had been sent, and found it deserted; he rode in hot pursuit of the fugitives and overtook and killed some, but the bulk of them managed to escape him to the marshes of the river and beyond.

Soon Alexander came up and joined the pursuit; many of the Malavas were overtaken and slain while crossing the Ravi, but others, made good their escape to a position of great natural strength which was also strongly fortified; here they were attacked by Peithon, who carried the fortress by assault and made slaves of all who had fled to it for refuge. The next place to be attacked was a city of the Brahmins to which the Malavas had flocked; here the resistance was desperate and most of the five thousand defenders sold their lives dear, only a few being taken prisoners. After a day’s rest for the army, Alexander resumed the pursuit and, when he found the cities empty, he had the jungles scoured for fugitives, and his soldiers had instructions to kill everyone that was caught, unless he surrendered voluntarily.
He himself marched against the chief city of the Malavas; learning that they had recrossed the Ravi and were ready to obstruct, his passage, Alexander hastened to where they had dawn up in battle array, some 50,000 in numbers according to Arrian, on the right bank of the Ravi; he plunged into the stream with his horse, and the Malavas, not aware of the weakness of the force which Alexander took with him, withdrew from the bank without opposing the passage; when they saw the true position they returned to the fight. But Alexander kept them engaged with light charges till his infantry came up. The Malavas now withdrew into the nearest stronghold, being hotly pursued by the enemy. In the assaults that followed the next day, the main walls of the city were yielded with little resistance; the citadel held out, and in the assault on it Alexander exposed himself in a way that nearly cost him his life; scaling ladders were few, and Alexander got up one of them, being the first to appear on the wall, a conspicuous target because of his shining arms; to escape the danger, he jumped within the citadel and only a few of his companions could join him there at once; they maintained an unequal contest for some time, but the arrows of the Malavas killed some of them, and Alexander himself was deeply wounded in the chest, and fainted with loss of blood when the arrowhead was pulled out by Perdiccas. Possibly Alexander adopted the desperate expedient to keep up the morale of his troops in this difficult war. The danger to their king maddened the Greek troops and when they managed to gain the citadel by scrambling up the earthen walls and breaking In the gates, they did not spare man, woman or child.

When Alexander was still here, recovering from the wound, the rumour spread to the main camp that he had died of it. Even when he had himself conveyed to their midst in a few days, they still doubted if he was really alive; to carry conviction to his soldiers, he rode a horse when he should have been conveyed in a litter and walked some distance to his tent, and there was universal joy and relief in the camp. Curtius gives a long account (IX 6) of the generals' friendly impeachment of Alexander’s rashness, and his defence; 'I measure myself not by the span of age, but by that of glory'.

What was left of the Malava people after the decimation of the war sent in their submission now, and the Kshudrakas, who had been holding aloof so long as the swiftness of Alexander’s movements left them no chance of going to aid the Malavas, also sent their representatives with full authority to conclude a treaty with the invader. These ambassadors, a hundred in number, says Curtius, all rode in chariots and were men of uncommon stature and of a very dignified bearing. Their robes were of linen and embroidered with inwrought gold and purple. Alexander accepted their excuses and entertained them on a sumptuous scale before he sent them back; they returned in a few days ‘with presents for Alexander which consisted of 300 horsemen, 1,030 chariots, each drawn by four horses, 1,000 Indian bucklers, a great quantity of linen cloth, 100 talents of steel, some tame lions and tigers of extraordinary size, the skins also of very large lizards, and a quantity of tortoise shells’. Alexander, demanded, according to Arrian, a thousand of their best men as hostages, and when they came, he did not like to keep them but sent them back. The two nations which had thus formally submitted were attached to the satrapy of Philip. But the campaign against the Malavas was no unalloyed success. As a record of mere slaughter it stands out unique even in the blood-stained annals of Alexander’s Indian campaigns. The deep wound in his chest, the result of a desperate expedient, left him weakened and indirectly hastened his end. The stout opposition encountered among the Brahmins of the Punjab and the cities of the Malavas was indeed the beginning of the reaction that was soon to wipe out all traces of Alexander from India and to establish the empire of the Mauryas.

Voyage along the lower Indus

The progress of the flotilla down the Chenab and the Indus cannot be traced; nor can the confluences of the rivers mentioned by the Greek writers be identified. Arrian mentions the junctions of the Ravi with the Chenab, and of the combined stream with the Indus. More ships were built, and more tribes submitted along the course, the Abastanoi, (Ambashthas), Xathaoi (Kshaitiyas) and Ossadioi (Vasatis). The confluence of the Indus and the Chenab was fixed as the southern boundary of the satrapy of Philip; a city was founded there and dockyards constructed. Complaints reached about this time against Tyriespes, the satrap of Paropamisadai, and he was replaced by Oxyartes, the father of Roxana, Alexander's favourite wife.

The country below the last confluence differed from the Punjab in its political and social conditions, which have been noted with surprise by the Greek writers. There were no free tribes here, but principalities ruled by kings whose Brahmin counsellors had great influence with them and the people. Alexander first sailed down the river to the ‘royal seat’ of the Sogdoi, where he founded another city with dockyards for the future trade of the city. He appointed Peithon, the son of Agenor, satrap of the lower Indus valley and the sea-board.

The greatest king of this region was known to the Greeks by the name Musicanus (Muchukarna ?). He did not offer his submission or even send presents, but when surprised by the sudden arrival of Alexander in his country, he adopted the course of prudence, tendered his submission and was confirmed in his territory though a garrison was installed in the citadel of his capital (Alor?), which Craterus was to fortify adequately. Alexander then took a number of cities with much booty, all from a chieftain named Oxycanus who was made prisoner. Sambus had abandoned his capital Sindimana when he heard that Alexander had made friends with his arch-enemy Musicanus; his relatives explained the situation to Alexander and offered presents, which were accepted. But the most irreconcilable enemies of the foreigners in this region were the Brahmins (Brahmanako nama Janapadah-Patanjali) and one of their cities was carried by storm and all its inhabitants put to death. Meanwhile Musicanus, acting probably on the advice of his ministers, threw off his allegiance; Peithon who was sent against him suppressed the revolt with a strong hand. He destroyed some cities and placed garrisons in others; he took Musicanus captive and produced him before Alexander, who ordered that he should be executed along with his instigators.

Then came the ruler of Patala and the delta country and offered his submission.
He was sent back to his capital with orders to prepare for the reception of the expedition. Diodorus states that in this region there were two hereditary kings and a council of elders; if that was so, one of them set out to meet Alexander and gain time, while the other was preparing for a flight; for Alexander found Patala totally deserted when he came to the city. From here, Craterus was sent away with a large section of the army with all the elephants by the route leading through the Mula pass, Arachosia (Kandahar) and Drangiana (Seistan). With the rest of the army Alexander continued his course downstream and reached Patala in the middle of July 325 B. C.; when he found the city deserted, he sent his emissaries to overtake the fugitives and persuade them to return in safety to their lands and cultivate them as formerly, and so most of the people did return to their homes.

At Patala the Indus divided into two large rivers. Alexander foresaw a big future for the city and Hephaestion was directed to build a citadel and a harbour there. Alexander set out with some ships to explore the western arm of the river; the task was rendered difficult by lack of knowledgeable pilots, the whole country having been deserted by its inhabitants, and by the damages to his fleet due to a storm and the bore, the tidal wave that rushes with great violence up the mouths of some Indian rivers. Some native pilots were at last discovered and the vessels were steered to the open sea. Alexander offered sacrifices in two islands in the river to some gods as prescribed by the Egyptian oracle of Ammon, and in the open sea he sacrificed bulls to the sea god Poseidon and after pouring a libation he flung the golden goblet into the sea, praying for the safety of Nearchus and his fleet in the ensuing voyage. When he returned to Patala, he found that Peithon, who had been left behind to settle colonists in the newly fortified cities and suppress the last embers of rebellion, had arrived after completing the task.

Exploration and return to Babylon

Alexander now explored the eastern branch of the river, found that it gave easier access to the sea, and came by a large sized lake, on the shore of which he caused a harbour to be built, as a starting point for Nearchus; he ordered wells to be dug along the coast and provisions to be collected. The exact location of this lake is not easy to decide; it may have been the Rann of Cutch or the Samarah lake to the west of Umarkot. Alexander returned to Patala and completed his plans for leaving India. The Cretan Nearchus, who had successfully navigated the rivers during a long voyage of little less than a year, was to bring the fleet from the mouth of the Indus along the coast into the Persian Gulf and rejoin him at the mouth of the Euphrates, while he himself would march with the army by land across Gedrosia keeping as close to the fleet as practicable; he is said to have chosen this difficult route because no one had traversed it except the legendary Semiramis and Cyrus, who escaped with just a few followers and he wanted to surpass them.

Nearchus was timed to start with the N.E. monsoon (late October); but the local tribes became threatening after Alexander’s departure and he sailed down the eastern arm of the Indus late in September and had to cut his way across a sand bar at the western mouth; contrary winds detained him for twenty-four days at ‘Alexander’s harbour’, somewhere near Karachi. When the monsoon arrived he sailed again, moving continuously along an unknown hostile coast where he had to land often for water and provisions. After traversing about a hundred miles, he came to a good harbour at the mouth of the Hab river; beyond it he coasted along the country of the Oreitai, and at a place called Kokala he came by a store of provisions deposited for the fleet by Alexander, and established contact with Leonnatus, who was fresh from an important victory against the Oreitai. There was an exchange of men between them, and the fleet was repaired and victualled before Nearchus sailed again.

Alexander started in September for his famous march through Southern Gedrosia (Mekran). His plan was to support the fleet, which needed support, by digging wells and forming depots of provisions at convenient points. When he reached the Arabios (Hab) he found the country deserted, as the Arabitai tribesmen had fled in terror. Crossing the river, he entered Las Bela, the land of the Oreitai, who offered a slight and ineffectual opposition to his progress. One of their villages, Rambakia, pleased Alexander by its situation and Hephaestion was instructed to colonise it with Arachosians (Curtius). When he passed on to the country of the Gedrosi, he appointed Apollophanes satrap over the Oreitai and leit Lenonnatus to reduce the country and help in the scheme of colonisation. Leonnatus fought a pitched battle with the tribesmen, inflicting great losses on them, and the satrap designate, Apollophanes, was among those who fell on his side. Alexander with the rest of the army crossed into Gedrosia, and kept as close to the coast as possible to be able to serve his fleet. The route lay across a burning arid desert, and the obstacle of the mountain range ending in Cape Malan seems to have forced him into a more appalling region inland, up the valley of the Hingol. 'The blazing heat and the want of water’, says Arrian, ‘destroyed a great part of the army, and especially the beasts of burden, which perished from the great depth of the sand, and the heat which scorched like fire, while a great many died of thirst’. The guides lost the way, and marching was possible only by night on account of the day's heat; ‘they ate the baggage-animals and burnt the carts for firewood.' At last they worked their way to the coast near the harbour of Pasni, where they found good drinking water. They reached Pura, the capital of the Gedrosians, sixty days after they had left the country of Oreitai, and then the army had some rest.

Alexander was advancing into Karmania, when tidings reached him that Philip, the satrap of the Indian country, had been murdered by his rebellious mercenaries; he heard also that the Macedonian body-guards of Philip had put his murderers to death. He could then do no more than send a message to Taxiles and Eudemus, a Thracian commander, asking them to assume charge of the province until he could send a satrap to govern it. About this time Craterus joined him with his division of the army and the elephants. Here also Alexander’s anxiety about the fleet was allayed by Nearchus coming over to meet him and tell him of his strange encounters with whales and savages and of the safety of all the fleet except four vessels lost in the voyage. At the reunion all the past hardships were forgotten and some days were given to a round of feasting and sports. Then the army and the fleet proceeded to Susa, which they reached in the spring of 324 B.C. The death of Alexander in Babylon in the following year put an end to his project of world empire.

Results

The consequences of Alexander’s invasion of India have been exaggerated out of all proportion by some writers and altogether denied by others. That Alexander meant to rule his Indian conquests as integral parts of his empire is clear from his division of the country into satrapies on the Persian model and from the great care he bestowed on the settlement of colonies of his followers at strategic points and on the location of dockyards and harbours along the Indus to foster the growing trade of the future. Arrian’s account, as we have seen, enables us to distinguish five separate divisions of the conquered country; first there was the Paropamisadae with an Alexandria, under the Caucasus for its capital, ruled at first by Tyriespes and later by Oxyartes; the second was under Philip, the son of Machatus, at first satrap of Takshasila, in charge net only of the principality of Ambhi but also of what had been the satrapy of Nicanor in the lower Kabul valley; to his charge was also given all the territory up to the Jhelum on the east and the confluence of the Indus and the Chenab in the south; the third province was the extended dominion of the Paurava where he was both king and satrap; the fourth was the satrapy of Peithon, the son of Agenor, which covered the Indus valley below the confluence and extended to the Hab on the west; lastly, there was the territory, of Abhisara in Kashmir in a somewhat less intimate relation to the empire. We can hardly doubt that, if Alexander had lived to a normal age, the connection of the satrapies with the rest of the empire would have been maintained and developed. As it is, we do not know if Alexander even appointed a permanent successor to Philip as he intended. His generals recognised, soon after his death, that they were not equal to the task of maintaining their hold on all the territories that Alexander had brought under his sway; perhaps even Alexander felt the need for readjustments in the face of growing troubles in India after his return. In withdrawing from the Indian provinces and transferring Peithon to the west of the Indus in the second partition of the empire (321 B.C.) his successors evidently carried out what they knew to have been his own wish in the matter. The garrisons of European soldiers and the colonists in the different cities found their surroundings becoming more and more uncongenial and they rapidly faded from most of the stations. Only Eudemus at the head of the Thracian band of soldiers continued for some time as leader of the Hellenes in India; but even he quitted the scene by 317 B.C., taking with him the war elephants of Porus whom he had slain treacherously. Taxiles also disappeared from view soon after, we do not know how. And some years afterwards Seleucus surrendered his distant provinces to the Indian emperor in exchange for war-elephants.

But the invasion itself, though it lasted less than two years, was too great an occurrence to leave things just as they were. It showed clearly that an emotional love of independence was no match to the disciplined strength of a determined conqueror, though we should not fail to note that in this instance the states of North-Western India had to contend against one of the greatest generals of the world. It left the warrior tribes of the Indus river system weakened and broken, and thus paved the way for the easy extension of Mauryan rule. It demonstrated the need for a wiser political policy on the part of the Indian rulers. Who can doubt that the lessons of the invasion and the example of Alexander go far to account for the career of Chandragupta and the establishment of his empire? At any rate the role of Taxiles does not recur in Indian history for the next fifteen centuries. Lastly, though India was not Hellenized at any time in the sense in which Western Asia was, there was much active contact between India and the Hellenistic kingdoms, and in the realms of art, currency and astronomy India became a debtor; the fine silver coins of Sophytes with their Greek legends and their Attic weight standard are among the earliest witnesses to this development.  On the European side, the expedition of Alexander brought a vast increase in the knowledge of India of which was for the most part carefully recorded by contemporaries, and availed of by later writers now accessible to us. ‘Not a few of Alexander’s officers and companions were men of high attainments in literature and science, and some of their number composed memoirs of his wars, in the course of which they recorded their impressions of India and the races by which they found it inhabited’ (M’Crindle). Some wild tales indeed gained currency, but when all subtraction is made, the extent of new knowledge acquired was considerable. But even here exaggeration is easy; it has been said that the age of Alexander must take rank with that of Columbus as a time when a new world was discovered to Europe. (But Alexander did not discover an unknown world; Greece and India had known each other for many generations, and trade contacts and other relations had long been established through the medium of the Persian empire.) And Craterus in his journey from the Indus valley to Karmania evidently followed an already established route, though the navigation of the Indus, and the rounding of the coast of the Makran and the Persian Gulf by Nearchus, were a distinct gain to geography and trade, and the march of Alexander across Gedrosia a marvellous achievement of daring and leadership. The actual gain in the knowledge about India was much greater under Alexander’s successors than in his own day; but he founded the empire which, even when it broke up, long retained in its parts, the impetus his genius had given it.
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Seleucus I Nicator
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Seleucus I Nicator
A Roman copy of a Greek statue of Seleucus I found in Herculaneum. Now located at the Naples National Archaeological Museum.
Basileus of the Seleucid Empire
Reign: 305[1] – September 281 BC
Successor: Antiochus I Soter
Co-king: Antiochus I Soter (~292-281 BC)
Born: c. 358 BC, Europos, Macedon
Died: September 281 BC (aged c. 77), Thrace
Spouse: Apama of Sogdiana; Stratonice of Syria
Issue: Apama; Antiochus I Soter; Achaeus; Phila; Helena
Dynasty: Seleucid dynasty
Father: Antiochus
Mother: Laodice
Religion: Greek polytheism

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Seleucus I portrait on Antiochus I tetradrachm

Seleucus I Nicator (/səˈljuːkəs naɪˈkeɪtər/; c. 358 BC – September 281 BC; Ancient Greek: Σέλευκος Νικάτωρ, romanized: Séleukos Nikátōr, lit. 'Seleucus the Victor') was a Greek general and one of the Diadochi, the rival generals, relatives, and friends of Alexander the Great who fought for control over his empire after his death.[A] Having previously served as an infantry general under Alexander the Great, he eventually assumed the title of basileus (king) and established the Seleucid Empire, one of the major powers of the Hellenistic world, which controlled most of Asia Minor, Syria, Mesopotamia, and the Iranian Plateau until overcome by the Roman Republic and Parthian Empire in the late second and early first centuries BC.

After the death of Alexander in June 323 BC, Seleucus initially supported Perdiccas, the regent of Alexander's empire, and was appointed Commander of the Companions and chiliarch at the Partition of Babylon in 323 BC. However, after the outbreak of the Wars of the Diadochi in 322, Perdiccas' military failures against Ptolemy in Egypt led to the mutiny of his troops in Pelusium. Perdiccas was betrayed and assassinated in a conspiracy by Seleucus, Peithon and Antigenes in Pelusium sometime in either 321 or 320 BC. At the Partition of Triparadisus in 321 BC, Seleucus was appointed Satrap of Babylon under the new regent Antipater. But almost immediately, the wars between the Diadochi resumed and one of the most powerful of the Diadochi, Antigonus, forced Seleucus to flee Babylon. Seleucus was only able to return to Babylon in 312 BC with the support of Ptolemy. From 312 BC, Seleucus ruthlessly expanded his dominions and eventually conquered the Persian and Median lands. Seleucus ruled not only Babylonia, but the entire enormous eastern part of Alexander's empire.

Seleucus further made claim to the former satraps in Gandhara and in eastern India. However these ambitions were contested by Chandragupta Maurya[??], resulting in the Seleucid–Mauryan War (305–303 BC). The conflict was ultimately resolved by a treaty[??] resulting in the Maurya Empire annexing the eastern satraps. Additionally, a marriage alliance between the two empires was formalized with Chandragupta[??] marrying Seleucus' daughter. Furthermore, the Seleucid Empire received a considerable military force of 500 war elephants with mahouts, which would play a decisive role against Antigonus at the Battle of Ipsus in 301 BC. In 281 BC, he also defeated Lysimachus at the Battle of Corupedium, adding Asia Minor to his empire.

Seleucus' victories against Antigonus and Lysimachus left the Seleucid dynasty virtually unopposed amongst the Diadochi. However, Seleucus also hoped to take control of Lysimachus' European territories, primarily Thrace and Macedon itself. But upon arriving in Thrace in 281 BC, Seleucus was assassinated by Ptolemy Ceraunus,[2] who had taken refuge at the Seleucid court with his sister Lysandra. The assassination of Seleucus destroyed Seleucid prospects in Thrace and Macedon, and paved the way for Ptolemy Ceraunus to absorb much of Lysimachus' former power in Macedon. Seleucus was succeeded by his son Antiochus I as ruler of the Seleucid Empire.

Seleucus founded a number of new cities during his reign, including Antioch (300 BC) and Seleucia on the Tigris (c. 305 BC), a foundation that eventually depopulated Babylon.

Youth and family

Seleucus was the son of Antiochus. Historian Junianus Justinus claims that Antiochus was one of Philip II of Macedon's generals, but no such general is mentioned in any other sources, and nothing is known of his supposed career under Philip. It is possible that Antiochus was a member of an upper Macedonian noble family. Seleucus' mother was supposedly called Laodice, but nothing else is known of her. Later, Seleucus named a number of cities after his parents.[3] Seleucus was born in Europos, located in the northern part of Macedonia. Just a year before his birth (if the year 358 BC is accepted as the most likely date), the Paeonians invaded the region. Philip defeated the invaders and only a few years later utterly subdued them under Macedonian rule.[4] Seleucus' year of birth is unclear. Justin claims he was 77 years old during the battle of Corupedium, which would place his year of birth at 358 BC. Appianus tells us Seleucus was 73 years old during the battle, which means 354 BC would be the year of birth. Eusebius of Caesarea, however, mentions the age of 75, and thus the year 356 BC, making Seleucus the same age as Alexander the Great. This is most likely propaganda on Seleucus' part to make him seem comparable to Alexander.[5]

As a teenager, Seleucus was chosen to serve as the king's page (paides). It was customary for all male offspring of noble families to first serve in this position and later as officers in the king's army.[3]

A number of legends, similar to those told of Alexander the Great, were told of Seleucus. It was said Antiochus told his son before he left to battle the Persians with Alexander that his real father was actually the god Apollo. The god had left a ring with a picture of an anchor as a gift to Laodice. Seleucus had a birthmark shaped like an anchor. It was told that Seleucus' sons and grandsons also had similar birthmarks. The story is similar to the one told about Alexander. Most likely the story is merely propaganda by Seleucus, who presumably invented the story to present himself as the natural successor of Alexander.[3]

John Malalas tells us Seleucus had a sister called Didymeia, who had sons called Nicanor and Nicomedes. It is most likely the sons are fictitious. Didymeia might refer to the oracle of Apollo in Didyma near Miletus. It has also been suggested that Ptolemy (son of Seleucus) was actually the uncle of Seleucus.[6]

Early career under Alexander the Great

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Seleucus led the Royal Hypaspistai during Alexander's Persian campaign.

In spring 334 BC, as a young man of about twenty-three, Seleucus accompanied Alexander into Asia.[2] By the time of the Indian campaigns beginning in late in 327 BC, he had risen to the command of the élite infantry corps in the Macedonian army, the "Shield-bearers" (Hypaspistai, later known as the "Silvershields"). It is said by Arrian that when Alexander crossed the Hydaspes river on a boat, he was accompanied by Perdiccas, Ptolemy I Soter, Lysimachus and also Seleucus.[7] During the subsequent Battle of the Hydaspes (326 BC), Seleucus led his troops against the elephants of King Porus. It is unknown the extent in which Seleucus participated in the actual planning of the battle, as he is not mentioned as holding any major independent position during the battle. This contrasts Craterus, Hephaistion, Peithon and Leonnatus – each of whom had sizable detachments under his control.[8] Seleucus' Royal Hypaspistai were constantly under Alexander's eye and at his disposal. They later participated in the Indus Valley campaign, in the battles fought against the Malli and in the crossing of the Gedrosian desert.

At the great marriage ceremony at Susa in the spring of 324 BC, Seleucus married Apama (daughter of Spitamenes), and she bore him his eldest son and successor Antiochus I Soter, at least two legitimate daughters (Laodice and Apama) and possibly another son (Achaeus). At the same event, Alexander married the daughter of the late Persian King Darius III while several other Macedonians married Persian women. After Alexander's death (323 BC), when the other senior Macedonian officers unloaded their "Susa wives" en masse, Seleucus was one of the very few who kept his wife, and Apama remained his consort (later Queen) for the rest of her life.[9]

Ancient sources mention Seleucus three times before the death of Alexander. He participated in a sailing trip near Babylon, took part in the dinner party of Medeios the Thessalian with Alexander and visited the temple of the god Serapis.[citation needed] In the first of these episodes, Alexander's diadem was blown off his head and landed on some reeds near the tombs of Assyrian kings. Seleucus swam to fetch the diadem back, placing it on his own head while returning to the boat to keep it dry. The validity of the story is dubious. The story of the dinner party of Medeios may be true, but the plot to poison the King is unlikely.[clarification needed insufficient details and context] In the final story, Seleucus reportedly slept in the temple of Serapis in the hope that Alexander's health might improve. The validity of this story is also questionable, as the Graeco-Egyptian Serapis had not been invented at the time.[10]

Senior officer under Perdiccas (323–321 BC)

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Ptolemy I Soter, an officer under Alexander the Great, was nominated as the satrap of Egypt. Ptolemy made Ptolemaic Egypt independent and proclaimed himself Basileus and Pharaoh in 305 BC.

Main article: Diadochi

Alexander the Great died without a successor in Babylon on June 10, 323 BC. His general Perdiccas became the regent of all of Alexander's empire, while Alexander's physically and mentally disabled half-brother Arrhidaeus was chosen as the next king under the name Philip III of Macedon. Alexander's unborn child (Alexander IV) was also named his father's successor. In the "Partition of Babylon" however, Perdiccas effectively divided the enormous Macedonian dominion among Alexander's generals. Seleucus was chosen to command the Companion cavalry (hetairoi) and appointed first or court chiliarch, which made him the senior officer in the Royal Army after the regent and commander-in-chief Perdiccas. Several other powerful men supported Perdiccas, including Ptolemy, Lysimachus, Peithon and Eumenes. Perdiccas' power depended on his ability to hold Alexander's enormous empire together, and on whether he could force the satraps to obey him.[10]

War soon broke out between Perdiccas and the other Diadochi. To cement his position, Perdiccas tried to marry Alexander's sister Cleopatra. The First War of the Diadochi began when Perdiccas sent Alexander's corpse to Macedonia for burial. Ptolemy however captured the body and took it to Alexandria. Perdiccas and his troops followed him to Egypt, whereupon Ptolemy conspired with the satrap of Media, Peithon, and the commander of the Argyraspides, Antigenes, both serving as officers under Perdiccas, and assassinated him. Cornelius Nepos mentions that Seleucus also took part in this conspiracy, but this is not certain.[11]

Satrap of Babylonia (321–316 BC)

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Damaged Roman copy of a bust of Seleucus I, Louvre

The most powerful man in the empire after the death of Perdiccas was Antipater. Perdiccas' opponents gathered in Triparadisos, where the empire of Alexander was partitioned again (the Treaty of Triparadisus 321 BC).[12]

At Triparadisos the soldiers had become mutinous and were planning to murder their master Antipater. Seleucus and Antigonus, however, prevented this.[13] For betraying Perdiccas, Seleucus was awarded the rich province of Babylon. This decision may have been Antigonus' idea. Seleucus' Babylon was surrounded by Peucestas, the satrap of Persis; Antigenes, the new satrap of Susiana and Peithon of Media. Babylon was one of the wealthiest provinces of the empire, but its military power was insignificant. It is possible that Antipater divided the eastern provinces so that no single satrap could rise above the others in power.[12]

After the death of Alexander, Archon of Pella was chosen satrap of Babylon. Perdiccas, however, had plans to supersede Archon and nominate Docimus as his successor. During his invasion of Egypt, Perdiccas sent Docimus along with his detachments to Babylon. Archon waged war against him, but fell in battle. Thus, Docimus was not intending to give Babylon to Seleucus without a fight. It is not certain how Seleucus took Babylon from Docimus, but according to one Babylonian chronicle an important building was destroyed in the city during the summer or winter of 320 BC. Other Babylonian sources state that Seleucus arrived in Babylon in October or November 320 BC. Despite the presumed battle, Docimus was able to escape.

Meanwhile, the empire was once again in turmoil. Peithon, the satrap of Media, assassinated Philip, the satrap of Parthia, and replaced him with his brother Eudemus as the new satrap. In the west Antigonus and Eumenes waged war against each other. Just like Peithon and Seleucus, Eumenes was one of the former supporters of Perdiccas. Seleucus' biggest problem was, however, Babylon itself. The locals had rebelled against Archon and supported Docimus. The Babylonian priesthood had great influence over the region. Babylon also had a sizeable population of Macedonian and Greek veterans of Alexander's army. Seleucus won over the priests with monetary gifts and bribes.[14]

Second War of the Diadochi

Main article: Second War of the Diadochi

After the death of Antipater in 319 BC, the satrap of Media began to expand his power. Peithon assembled a large army of perhaps over 20,000 soldiers. Under the leadership of Peucestas the other satraps of the region brought together an opposing army of their own. Peithon was finally defeated in a battle waged in Parthia. He escaped to Media, but his opponents did not follow him and rather returned to Susiana. Meanwhile, Eumenes and his army had arrived at Cilicia, but had to retreat when Antigonus reached the city. The situation was difficult for Seleucus. Eumenes and his army were north of Babylon; Antigonus was following him with an even larger army; Peithon was in Media and his opponents in Susiana. Antigenes, satrap of Susiana and commander of the Argyraspides, was allied with Eumenes. Antigenes was in Cilicia when the war between him and Peithon began.[15]

Peithon arrived at Babylon in the autumn or winter of 317 BC. Peithon had lost a large number of troops, but Seleucus had even fewer soldiers. Eumenes decided to march to Susa in the spring of 316 BC. The satraps in Susa had apparently accepted Eumenes' claims of his fighting on behalf of the lawful ruling family against the usurper Antigonus. Eumenes marched his army 300 stadions away from Babylon and tried to cross the Tigris. Seleucus had to act. He sent two triremes and some smaller ships to stop the crossing. He also tried to get the former hypasiti of the Argyraspides to join him, but this did not happen. Seleucus also sent messages to Antigonus. Because of his lack of troops, Seleucus apparently had no plans to actually stop Eumenes. He opened the flood barriers of the river, but the resulting flood did not stop Eumenes.[16]

In the spring of 316 BC, Seleucus and Peithon joined Antigonus, who was following Eumenes to Susa. From Susa Antigonus went to Media, from where he could threaten the eastern provinces. He left Seleucus with a small number of troops to prevent Eumenes from reaching the Mediterranean. Sibyrtius, satrap of Arachosia, saw the situation as hopeless and returned to his own province. The armies of Eumenes and his allies were at breaking point. Antigonus and Eumenes had two encounters during 316 BC, in the battles of Paraitacene and Gabiene. Eumenes was defeated and executed. The events of the Second War of the Diadochi revealed Seleucus' ability to wait for the right moment. Blazing into battle was not his style.[17]

Escape to Egypt

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Tetradrachm of Seleucos I. Obv Idealized portrait of Seleucos with a helmet covered with a leopard skin and decorated with a bull's ear and horns. Seleucus wears around his throat another leopard skin, knotted in front. Rev Winged figure of Nike (Victory). Nike holds a wreath over a trophy of arms including a helmet, a cuirass (breast-and-backplate) with leather straps and skirt, and a star-adorned shield, hung on a tree trunk. This a possible symbol of the Battle of Ipsus (301 BC). Legend "Seleucus" and "Basileus" (king).[18]

Antigonus spent the winter of 316 BC in Media, whose ruler was once again Peithon. Peithon's lust for power had grown, and he tried to get a portion of Antigonus' troops to revolt to his side. Antigonus, however, discovered the plot and executed Peithon. He then superseded Peucestas as satrap of Persia.[19] In the summer of 315 BC Antigonus arrived in Babylon and was warmly welcomed by Seleucus. The relationship between the two soon turned cold, however. Seleucus punished one of Antigonus' officers without asking permission from Antigonus. Antigonus became angry and demanded that Seleucus give him the income from the province, which Seleucus refused to do.[20] He was, however, afraid of Antigonus and fled to Egypt with 50 horsemen. It is told that Chaldean astrologers prophesied to Antigonus that Seleucus would become master of Asia and would kill Antigonus. After hearing this, Antigonus sent soldiers after Seleucus, who had however first escaped to Mesopotamia and then to Syria. Antigonus executed Blitor, the new satrap of Mesopotamia, for helping Seleucus. Modern scholars are skeptical of the prophecy story. It seems certain, however, that the Babylonian priesthood was against Seleucus.[21]

During Seleucus' escape to Egypt, Macedonia was undergoing great turmoil. Alexander the Great's mother Olympias had been invited back to Macedon by Polyperchon in order to drive Cassander out. She held great respect among the Macedonian army but lost some of this when she had Philip III and his wife Eurydice killed as well as many nobles whom she took revenge upon for supporting Antipater during his long reign. Cassander reclaimed Macedon the following year at Pydna and then had her killed. Alexander IV, still a young child, and his mother Roxane were held guarded at Amphipolis and died under mysterious circumstances in 310 BC, probably murdered at the instigation of Cassander to allow the diadochs to assume the title of king.

Admiral under Ptolemy (316–311 BC)

Main article: Third War of the Diadochi

After arriving in Egypt, Seleucus sent his friends to Greece to inform his fellow Diadochi Cassander (ruler of Macedon and overlord of Greece) and Lysimachus (ruler of Thracia) about Antigonus. Antigonus was now the most powerful of the Diadochi, and the others would soon have to face him. Ptolemy, Lysimachus and Cassander formed a coalition against Antigonus. The allies sent a proposition to Antigonus in which they demanded shares of his accumulated treasure and of his territory, with Phoenica and Syria going to Ptolemy, Cappadocia and Lycia to Cassander, Hellespontine Phrygia to Lysimachus, and Babylonia to Seleucus.[22] Antigonus refused, and in the spring of 314 BC, he marched against Ptolemy in Syria.[23] Seleucus acted as an admiral to Ptolemy during the first phase of the war. Antigonus was besieging Tyre,[24] when Seleucus sailed past him and went on to threaten the coast of Syria and Asia Minor. Antigonus allied with the island of Rhodes, which had a strategic location and a navy capable of preventing the allies from combining their forces. Because of the threat of Rhodes, Ptolemy gave Seleucus a hundred ships and sent him to the Aegean Sea. The fleet was too small to defeat Rhodes, but it was big enough to force Asander, the satrap of Caria, to ally with Ptolemy. To demonstrate his power, Seleucus also invaded the city of Erythrai. Polemaios, a nephew of Antigonus, attacked Asander. Seleucus returned to Cyprus, where Ptolemy I had sent his brother Menelaos along with 10,000 mercenaries and 100 ships. Seleucus and Menelaos began to besiege Kition. Antigonus sent most of his fleet to the Aegean Sea and his army to Asia Minor. Ptolemy now had an opportunity to invade Syria, where he defeated Demetrius, the son of Antigonus, in the battle of Gaza in 312 BC. It is probable that Seleucus took part in the battle. Peithon, son of Agenor, whom Antigonus had nominated as the new satrap of Babylon, fell in the battle. The death of Peithon gave Seleucus an opportunity to return to Babylon.[25]

Seleucus had prepared his return to Babylon well. After the battle of Gaza Demetrius retreated to Tripoli while Ptolemy advanced all the way to Sidon. Ptolemy gave Seleucus 800 infantry and 200 cavalry. He also had his friends accompanying him, perhaps the same 50 who escaped with him from Babylon. On the way to Babylon Seleucus recruited more soldiers from the colonies along the route. He finally had about 3,000 soldiers. In Babylon, Peithon's commander, Diphilus, barricaded himself in the city's fortress. Seleucus conquered Babylon with great speed and the fortress was also quickly captured. Seleucus' friends who had stayed in Babylon were released from captivity.[26] His return to Babylon was afterwards officially regarded as the beginning of the Seleucid Empire[2] and that year as the first of the Seleucid era.

Satrap of Babylonia (311– 306 BC)

Conquest of the eastern provinces

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The kingdoms of Antigonus, Seleucus I, Ptolemy I, Cassander and Lysimachus

Soon after Seleucus' return, the supporters of Antigonus tried to get Babylon back. Nicanor was the new satrap of Media and the strategos of the eastern provinces. His army had about 17,000 soldiers. Evagoras, the satrap of Aria, was allied with him. It was obvious that Seleucus' small force could not defeat the two in battle. Seleucus hid his armies in the marshes that surrounded the area where Nicanor was planning to cross the Tigris and made a surprise attack during the night. Evagoras fell in the beginning of the battle and Nicanor was cut off from his forces. The news about the death of Evagoras spread among the soldiers, who started to surrender en masse. Almost all of them agreed to fight under Seleucus. Nicanor escaped with only a few men.[27]

Even though Seleucus now had about 20,000 soldiers, they were not enough to withstand the forces of Antigonus. He also did not know when Antigonus would begin his counterattack. On the other hand, he knew that at least two eastern provinces did not have a satrap. A great majority of his own troops were from these provinces. Some of Evagoras' troops were Persian. Perhaps a portion of the troops were Eumenes' soldiers, who had a reason to hate Antigonus. Seleucus decided to take advantage of this situation.[27]

Seleucus spread different stories among the provinces and the soldiers. According to one of them, he had in a dream seen Alexander standing beside him. Eumenes had tried to use a similar propaganda trick. Antigonus, who had been in Asia Minor while Seleucus had been in the east with Alexander, could not use Alexander in his own propaganda. Seleucus, being Macedonian, had the ability to gain the trust of the Macedonians among his troops, which was not the case with Eumenes.[28]

After becoming once again satrap of Babylon, Seleucus became much more aggressive in his politics. In a short time he conquered Media and Susiana. Diodorus Siculus reports that Seleucus also conquered other nearby areas, which might refer to Persis, Aria or Parthia. Seleucus did not reach Bactria and Sogdiana. The satrap of the former was Stasanor, who had remained neutral during the conflicts. After the defeat of Nikanor's army, there was no force in the east that could have opposed Seleucus. It is uncertain how Seleucus arranged the administration of the provinces he had conquered. Most satraps had died. In theory, Polyperchon was still the lawful successor of Antipater and the official regent of the Macedonian kingdom. It was his duty to select the satraps. However, Polyperchon was still allied with Antigonus and thus an enemy of Seleucus.[29]

Response

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Seleucus I coin depicting Alexander the Great's horse Bucephalus

Antigonus sent his son Demetrius along with 15,000 infantry and 4,000 cavalry to reconquer Babylon. Apparently, he gave Demetrius a time limit, after which he had to return to Syria. Antigonus believed Seleucus was still ruling only Babylon. Perhaps Nicanor had not told him that Seleucus now had at least 20,000 soldiers. It seems that the scale of Nicanor's defeat was not clear to all parties. Antigonus did not know Seleucus had conquered the majority of the eastern provinces and perhaps cared little about the eastern parts of the empire.[30]

When Demetrius arrived in Babylon, Seleucus was somewhere in the east. He had left Patrocles to defend the city. Babylon was defended in an unusual way. It had two strong fortresses, in which Seleucus had left his garrisons. The inhabitants of the city were transferred out and settled in the neighbouring areas, some as far as Susa. The surroundings of Babylon were excellent for defence, with cities, swamps, canals and rivers. Demetrius' troops started to besiege the fortresses of Babylon and conquered one of them. The second fortress proved more difficult for Demetrius. He left his friend Archelaus to continue the siege, and himself returned west leaving 5,000 infantry and 1,000 cavalry in Babylon. Ancient sources do not mention what happened to these troops. Perhaps Seleucus had to reconquer Babylon from Archelaus.[31]

Babylonian War

Main article: Babylonian War

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Coin of Lysimachus with an image of a horned Alexander the Great

Over the course of nine years (311–302 BC), while Antigonus was occupied in the west, Seleucus brought the whole eastern part of Alexander's empire as far as the Jaxartes and Indus Rivers under his authority.[2]

In 311 BC Antigonus made peace with Cassander, Lysimachus and Ptolemy, which gave him an opportunity to deal with Seleucus.[32] Antigonus' army had at least 80,000 soldiers. Even if he left half of his troops in the west, he would still have a numerical advantage over Seleucus. Seleucus may have received help from Cossaians, whose ancestors were the ancient Kassites. Antigonus had devastated their lands while fighting Eumenes. Seleucus perhaps recruited a portion of Archelaus' troops. When Antigonus finally invaded Babylon, Seleucus' army was much bigger than before. Many of his soldiers certainly hated Antigonus. The population of Babylon was also hostile. Seleucus, thus, did not need to garrison the area to keep the locals from revolting.[33]

Little information is available about the conflict between Antigonus and Seleucus; only a very rudimentary Babylonian chronicle detailing the events of the war remains. The description of the year 310 BC has completely disappeared. It seems that Antigonus conquered Babylon. His plans were disturbed, however, by Ptolemy, who made a surprise attack in Cilicia.[33]

We do know that Seleucus defeated Antigonus in at least one decisive battle. This battle is only mentioned in Stratagems in War by Polyaenus. Polyaenus reports that the troops of Seleucus and Antigonus fought for a whole day, but when night came the battle was still undecided. The two forces agreed to rest for the night and continue in the morning. Antigonus' troops slept without their equipment. Seleucus ordered his forces to sleep and eat breakfast in battle formation. Shortly before dawn, Seleucus' troops attacked the forces of Antigonus, who were still without their weapons and in disarray and thus easily defeated. The historical accuracy of the story is questionable.[34][35]

The Babylonian war finally ended in Seleucus' victory. Antigonus was forced to retreat west. Both sides fortified their borders. Antigonus built a series of fortresses along the Balikh River while Seleucus built a few cities, including Dura-Europos and Nisibis.

Seleucia

The next event connected to Seleucus was the founding of the city of Seleucia. The city was built on the shore of the Tigris probably in 307 or 305 BC. Seleucus made Seleucia his new capital, thus imitating Lysimachus, Cassander and Antigonus, all of whom had named cities after themselves. Seleucus also transferred the mint of Babylon to his new city. Babylon was soon left in the shadow of Seleucia, and the story goes that Antiochus, the son of Seleucus, moved the whole population of Babylon to his father's namesake capital in 275 BC. The city flourished until AD 165, when the Romans destroyed it.[34][36]

A story of the founding of the city goes as follows: Seleucus asked the Babylonian priests which day would be best to found the city. The priest calculated the day, but, wanting the founding to fail, told Seleucus a different date. The plot failed however, because when the correct day came, Seleucus' soldiers spontaneously started building the city. When questioned, the priests admitted their deed.[37]

King of the Seleucid empire (306–281 BC)

The struggle among the Diadochi reached its climax when Antigonus, after the extinction of the old royal line of Macedonia, proclaimed himself king[2] in 306 BC. Ptolemy, Lysimachus, Cassander and Seleucus soon followed. Also, Agathocles of Sicily declared himself king around the same time.[34][38] Seleucus, like the other four principal Macedonian chiefs, assumed the title and style of basileus (king).[2]

Chandragupta[??] and the Eastern Provinces

Main article: Seleucid–Mauryan war

Seleucus soon turned his attention once again eastward. The Persian provinces in what is now modern Afghanistan, together with the wealthy kingdom of Gandhara and the states of the Indus Valley, had all submitted to Alexander the Great and become part of his empire. When Alexander died, the Wars of the Diadochi ("Successors") split his empire apart; as his generals fought for control of Alexander's empire. In the eastern territories, Seleucus I Nicator took control of Alexander's conquests. According to the Roman historian Appian:

[Seleucus was] always lying in wait for the neighboring nations, strong in arms and persuasive in council, he acquired Mesopotamia, Armenia, 'Seleucid' Cappadocia, Persis, Parthia, Bactria, Arabia, Tapouria, Sogdia, Arachosia, Hyrcania, and other adjacent peoples that had been subdued by Alexander, as far as the river Indus, so that the boundaries of his empire were the most extensive in Asia after that of Alexander. The whole region from Phrygia to the Indus was subject to Seleucus.

— Appian, History of Rome, The Syrian Wars 55


The Mauryans then annexed the areas around the Indus governed by the four Greek satraps: Nicanor, Phillip, Eudemus and Peithon. This established Mauryan control to the banks of the Indus. Chandragupta's[??] victories convinced Seleucus that he needed to secure his eastern flank. Seeking to hold the Macedonian territories there, Seleucus thus came into conflict with the emerging and expanding Mauryan Empire over the Indus Valley.[39]

In the year 305 BC, Seleucus I Nicator went to India and apparently occupied territory as far as the Indus, and eventually waged war with the Maurya Emperor Chandragupta Maurya.[??][citation needed]

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Seleukos I Nikator. 312–281 BC. AR Stater (22 mm, 16.88 g, 12 h). Susa mint. Struck circa 288/7 BC. Head of Zeus right, wearing laurel wreath / Elephant advancing right; above, spearhead right; K below

Only a few sources mention his activities in India. Chandragupta[??] (known in Greek sources as Sandrokottos), founder of the Mauryan empire, had conquered the Indus valley and several other parts of the easternmost regions of Alexander's empire. Seleucus began a campaign against Chandragupta[??] and crossed the Indus.[39] Most western historians note that it appears to have fared poorly as he did not achieve his goals[citation needed], even though what exactly happened is unknown. The two leaders ultimately reached an agreement,[40] [Kosmin, Paul J. (2014). The Land of the Elephant Kings: Space, Territory, and Ideology in Seleucid Empire. P. 98.]
The course of Seleucus’ campaign against this Indian emperor is not known in detail – an obscurity that has tempted modern historians to political allegory and forgery. Certainly, Seleucus crossed his forces over the river Indus, so invading India proper, but whether Seleucid and Mauryan armies fought a pitched battle is still debated. Whatever happened, at some point, in a momentous and foundational act of the new world order, Seleucus and Chandragupta[??] decided to make peace. The ancient historians Justin, Appian, and Strabo preserve the three main terms of what I will call the Treaty of the Indus...

-- Chapter 1: India – Diplomacy and Ethnography at the Mauryan Empire, Excerpt from "The Land of the Elephant Kings: Space, Territory, and Ideology in the Seleucid Empire", by Paul J. Kosmin

... and through a treaty[??] sealed in 305 BC,[41] [John Keay (2001). India: A History. Grove Press. pp. 85–86.] Seleucus abandoned the territories he could never securely hold in exchange for stabilizing the East and obtaining elephants, with which he could turn his attention against his great western rival, Antigonus Monophthalmus.[40] The 500 war elephants Seleucus obtained from Chandragupta[??] were to play a key role in the forthcoming battles, particularly at Ipsus [42] against Antigonus and Demetrius. The Maurya king might have married the daughter of Seleucus.[43] [Majumdar, Ramesh Chandra (2003) [1952]. Ancient India. P. 105.]
The otherwise inexplicable silence of the classical writers, as well as the net result of the expedition, however, clearly indicate that Seleucus met with a miserable failure. For he had not only to finally abandon the idea of reconquering the Panjab, but had to buy peace by ceding Paropanisartai, Arachosia, and Aria, three rich provinces with the cities now known as Kabul, Kandahar and Herat respectively as their capitals, and also Gedrosia (Baluchistan), or at least a part of it. The victorious Maurya king probably married the daughter of his Greek rival, and made a present of five hundred elephants to his royal father-in-law. Some Greek writers have represented this gift as the price of the rich provinces ceded by Seleucus, which is of course absurd. It is difficult to believe that Seleucus would have readily agreed to part with his rich provinces for such paltry gifts unless he were forced to do so. It is therefore legitimate to hold that Seleucus was worsted in his fight with Chandragupta.[??]

-- Ancient India, by Ramesh Chandra Majumdar

According to Strabo, the ceded territories bordered the Indus:

The geographical position of the tribes is as follows: along the Indus are the Paropamisadae, above whom lies the Paropamisus mountain: then, towards the south, the Arachoti: then next, towards the south, the Gedroseni, with the other tribes that occupy the seaboard; and the Indus lies, latitudinally, alongside all these places; and of these places, in part, some that lie along the Indus are held by Indians, although they formerly belonged to the Persians. Alexander [III 'the Great' of Macedon] took these away from the Arians and established settlements of his own, but Seleucus Nicator gave them to Sandrocottus [Chandragupta[??]], upon terms of intermarriage and of receiving in exchange five hundred elephants. — Strabo 15.2.9[44]


From this, it seems that Seleucus surrendered the easternmost provinces of Arachosia, Gedrosia, Paropamisadae and perhaps also Aria. On the other hand, he was accepted by other satraps of the eastern provinces. His Iranian wife, Apama, may have helped him implement his rule in Bactria and Sogdiana.[45][46] This would tend to be corroborated archaeologically, as concrete indications of Mauryan influence, such as the inscriptions of the Edicts of Ashoka which are known to be located in, for example, Kandhahar in today's southern Afghanistan.
The Kandahar Edict clearly shows Asoka as the master of Arachosia, whereas the coins indicate that Diodotus was the sovereign of this region. The problem can be resolved only by assuming that Asoka was the same as Diodotus-I. Asoka died exactly when Diodotus died; Asoka's Edicts stopped appearing in 245 BC[xxxix] the year of Diodotus' death. According to Wheeler, the first Edicts were inscribed 'in and after 257BC'. A.K. Narain and others maintain that Diodotus proclaimed himself as king by about 256 BC. The great Indologist F. W. Thomas noted that in his Edicts Asoka did not mention Diodotus Theos who should have been his neighbour[xl]. It is difficult to imagine that the man whose religious overtures won the heart of nearly the entire civilized world failed to impress upon his god-like neighbour. Asoka does not mention Iran also in his Edicts; the nearest foreign king that he mentions being Antiochus. This may indicate that the Syrian King stationed at Seleucia near Babylon was indeed his neighbour. Asoka does not refer to Devadatta because he was Devadatta himself.

-- An Altar of Alexander Now Standing at Delhi [REDUCED VERSION], by Ranajit Pal

Some authors say that the argument relating to Seleucus handing over more of what is now southern Afghanistan is an exaggeration originating in a statement by Pliny the Elder referring not specifically to the lands received by Chandragupta[??], but rather to the various opinions of geographers regarding the definition of the word "India":[47]

Most geographers, in fact, do not look upon India as bounded by the river Indus, but add to it the four satrapies of the Gedrose, the Arachotë, the Aria, and the Paropamisadë, the River Cophes thus forming the extreme boundary of India. According to other writers, however, all these territories, are reckoned as belonging to the country of the Aria. — Pliny, Natural History VI, 23[48]


Nevertheless, it is usually considered today that Arachosia and the other three regions did become dominions of the Mauryan Empire.[citation needed]

Now the countries which lie to the east of the Indus I take to be India Proper, and the people who inhabit them to be Indians. [In limiting India to the eastern side of the Indus, Arrian expresses the view generally held in antiquity, which would appear to be also that of the Hindus themselves, since they are forbidden by one of their old traditions to cross that river. [Kala pani taboo] Much, however, may he said for the theory which would extend India to the foot of the great mountain ranges of Hindu Kush and Parapamisos.]...

On the west the boundaries of India are marked by the river Indus all the way to the great ocean into which it pours its waters... The Indus in like manner makes an Indian delta, which is not inferior in area to the Egyptian, and is called in the Indian tongue Pattala....[Ritter] says: — "Patala is the designation bestowed by the Brahmans on all the provinces in the west towards sunset, in antithesis to Prasiaka (the eastern realm) in Ganges-land: for Patala is the mythological name in Sanskrit of the under-world, and consequently of the land of the west."

-- Ancient India as Described by Megasthenes and Arrian; Being a Translation of the Fragments of the Indika of Megasthenes Collected by Dr. Schwanbeck, and of the First Part of the Indika of Arrian, by J.W. McCrindle, M.A.


The alliance between Chandragupta[??] and Seleucus was affirmed with a marriage (Epigamia). Chandragupta[??] or his son may have married a daughter of Seleucus, [size=120]or perhaps there was diplomatic recognition of intermarriage between Indians and Greeks.

Having punished with a stern hand the misrule of his satraps, Macedonian and Persian alike, Alexander began to carry out schemes which he had formed. He had unbarred and unveiled the Orient to the knowledge and commerce of the Mediterranean peoples, but his aim was to do much more than this; it was no less than to fuse Asia and Europe into a homogeneous unity. He devised various means for compassing this object. He proposed to transplant Greeks and Macedonians into Asia, and Asiatics into Europe, as permanent settlers. This plan had indeed been partly realised by the foundation of his numerous mixed cities in the Far East. The second means was the promotion of intermarriages between Persians and Macedonians, and this policy was inaugurated in magnificent fashion at Susa. The king himself espoused Statira, the daughter of Darius; his friend Hephaestion took her sister; and a large number of Macedonian officers wedded the daughters of Persian grandees. Of the general mass of the Macedonians 10,000 are said to have followed the example of their officers and taken Asiatic wives.

-- Chapter XVIII: The Conquest of the Far East, Excerpt from "History of Greece for Beginners", by J. B. Bury, M.A.

The Mahavamsa states Chandragupta married a daughter of Seleucus.
The Dipavamsa, on the other hand, names Bindusara as the son of the king Shushunaga.The prose version of Ashokavadana states that Bindusara was the son of Nanda and a 10th-generation descendant of Bimbisara. Like Dipavamsa, it omits Chandragupta's name altogether.

-- Bindusara, by Wikipedia

As well, an Indian Puranic source, the Pratisarga Parva of the Bhavishya Purana, also described the marriage of Chandragupta with a Greek ("Yavana") princess, daughter of Seleucus (Suluva[49] in Indian sources).[50]
The title Bhavishya means "future" and implies it is a work that contains prophecies regarding the future, however, the "prophecy" parts of the extant manuscripts are a modern era addition and hence not an integral part of the Bhavishya Purana. Those sections of the surviving manuscripts that are dated to be older, are partly borrowed from other Indian texts such as Brihat Samhita and Shamba Purana. The veracity and authenticity of much of the Bhavishya Purana has been questioned by modern scholars and historians, and the text is considered an example of "constant revisions and living nature" of Puranic genre of Hindu literature.

-- Bhavishya Purana, by Wikipedia

In addition to this matrimonial recognition or alliance, Seleucus dispatched an ambassador, Megasthenes, to the Mauryan court at Pataliputra (Modern Patna in Bihar state).[51] Only short extracts remain of Megasthenes' description of the journey.[41]

The two rulers seem to have been on very good terms, as classical sources have recorded that following their treaty[??], Chandragupta[??] sent various presents such as aphrodisiacs to Seleucus.[52][53]

Seleucus obtained knowledge of most of northern India, as explained by Pliny the Elder through his numerous embassies to the Mauryan Empire:

Image
The Hellenistic world view after Seleucus: ancient world map of Eratosthenes (276–194 BC), incorporating information from the campaigns of Alexander and his successors[54]

The other parts of the country [beyond the Hydaspes, the farthest extent of Alexander's conquests] were discovered and surveyed by Seleucus Nicator: namely

• from thence (the Hydaspes) to the Hesudrus 168 miles
• to the river Ioames (Yamuna) as much: and some copies add 5 miles more therto
• from thence to Ganges 112 miles
• to Rhodapha 119, and some say, that between them two it is no less than 325 miles.
• From it to Calinipaxa, a great town 167 miles-and-a-half, others say 265.
• And to the confluent of the rivers Iomanes and Ganges, where both meet together, 225 miles, and many put thereto 13 miles more
• from thence to the town Palibotta 425 miles
• and so to the mouth of the Ganges where he falleth into the sea 638 miles. — Pliny the Elder, Natural history, Book 6, Chap 21[55]

Seleucus apparently minted coins during his stay in India, as several coins in his name are in the Indian standard and have been excavated in India. These coins describe him as "Basileus" ("King"), which implies a date later than 306 BC. Some of them also mention Seleucus in association with his son Antiochus as king, which would also imply a date as late as 293 BC. No Seleucid coins were struck in India thereafter and confirm the reversal of territory west of the Indus to Chandragupta[??].[56]
Chandragupta had defeated the remaining Macedonian satrapies in the northwest of the Indian subcontinent by 317 BCE.

-- Chandragupta Maurya, by Wikipedia

Seleucus may have founded a navy in the Persian Gulf and in the Indian Ocean.[34]

Battle of Ipsus

Main article: Diadochi § Fourth War of the Diadochi, 308-301 BC

Image
Tetradrachm of Seleucus from Seleucia. Obverse: the head of Zeus, Reverse: Athena with elephants

The war elephants Seleucus received from Chandragupta[??] proved to be useful when the Diadochi finally decided to deal with Antigonus. Cassander, Seleucus and Lysimachus defeated Antigonus and Demetrius in the battle of Ipsus. Antigonus fell in battle, but Demetrius escaped. After the battle, Syria was placed under Seleucus' rule. He understood Syria to encompass the region from the Taurus mountains to Sinai, but Ptolemy had already conquered Palestine and Phoenicia. In 299 BC, Seleucus allied with Demetrius and married his daughter Stratonice. Stratonice was also the daughter of Antipater's daughter Phila. Seleucus had a daughter by Stratonice, who was also called Phila.[57]

The fleet of Demetrius destroyed Ptolemy's fleet and thus Seleucus did not need to fight him.[58]

Seleucus, however, did not manage to enlarge his kingdom to the west. The main reason was that he did not have enough Greek and Macedonian troops. During the battle of Ipsus, he had less infantry than Lysimachus. His strength was in his war elephants and in traditional Persian cavalry. In order to enlarge his army, Seleucus tried to attract colonists from mainland Greece by founding four new cities—Seleucia Pieria and Laodicea in Syria on the coast and Antioch on the Orontes and Apameia in the Orontes River valley. Antioch became his chief seat of government. The new Seleucia was supposed to become his new naval base and a gateway to the Mediterranean. Seleucus also founded six smaller cities.[58]

It is said of Seleucus that "few princes have ever lived with so great a passion for the building of cities. He is reputed to have built in all nine Seleucias, sixteen Antiochs, and six Laodiceas".[59]

Defeat of Demetrius and Lysimachus

Image
Coin of Demetrius, with the text ΒΑΣΙΛΕΩΣ ΔΗΜΗΤΡΙΟΥ (King Demetrius)

Seleucus nominated his son Antiochus I as his co-ruler and viceroy of the eastern provinces in 292 BC, the vast extent of the empire seeming to require a double government.[2] In 294 BC Stratonice married her stepson Antiochus. Seleucus reportedly instigated the marriage after discovering that his son was in danger of dying of love sickness.[60] Seleucus was thus able to get Stratonice out of the way, as her father Demetrius had now become king of Macedonia.

The alliance between Seleucus and Demetrius ended in 294 BC when Seleucus conquered Cilicia. Demetrius invaded and easily conquered Cilicia in 286 BC, which meant that Demetrius was now threatening the most important regions of Seleucus' empire in Syria. Demetrius' troops, however, were tired and had not received their payment. Seleucus, on the other hand, was known as a cunning and rich leader who had earned the adoration of his soldiers. Seleucus blocked the roads leading south from Cilicia and urged Demetrius' troops to join his side. Simultaneously he tried to evade battle with Demetrius. Finally, Seleucus addressed Demetrius personally. He showed himself in front of the soldiers and removed his helmet, revealing his identity. Demetrius' troops now started to abandon their leader en masse. Demetrius was finally imprisoned in Apameia and died a few years later in captivity.[58]

Lysimachus and Ptolemy had supported Seleucus against Demetrius, but after the latter's defeat the alliance started to break apart. Lysimachus ruled Macedonia, Thracia and Asia Minor. He also had problems with his family. Lysimachus executed his son Agathocles, whose wife Lysandra escaped to Babylon to Seleucus.[58]

The unpopularity of Lysimachus after the murder of Agathocles gave Seleucus an opportunity to remove his last rival. His intervention in the west was solicited by Ptolemy Keraunos, who, on the accession to the Egyptian throne of his brother Ptolemy II (285 BC), had at first taken refuge with Lysimachus and then with Seleucus.[2] Seleucus then invaded Asia Minor and defeated his rival in the Battle of Corupedium in Lydia, 281 BC. Lysimachus fell in battle. In addition, Ptolemy had died a few years earlier. Seleucus was thus now the only living contemporary of Alexander.[58]

Administration of Asia Minor

Image
Silver coin of Seleucus. Greek inscription reads ΒΑΣΙΛΕΩΣ ΣΕΛΕΥΚΟΥ (King Seleucus).

Before his death, Seleucus tried to deal with the administration of Asia Minor. The region was ethnically diverse, consisting of Greek cities, a Persian aristocracy and indigenous peoples. Seleucus perhaps tried to defeat Cappadocia, but failed. Lysimachus' old officer Philetairos ruled Pergamon independently. On the other hand, based on their names, Seleucus apparently founded a number of new cities in Asia Minor.[58]

Few of the letters Seleucus sent to different cities and temples still exist. All cities in Asia Minor sent embassies to their new ruler. It is reported that Seleucus complained about the number of letters he received and was forced to read. He was apparently a popular ruler. In Lemnos he was celebrated as a liberator and a temple was built to honour him. According to a local custom, Seleucus was always offered an extra cup of wine during dinner time. His title during this period was Seleucus Soter ("saviour"). When Seleucus left for Europe, the organizational rearrangement of Asia Minor had not been completed.[58]

Death and legacy

Image
A tetradrachm of Seleucus I Nicator, minted 295–280 BC

Seleucus now held the whole of Alexander's conquests except Egypt and moved to take possession of Macedonia and Thrace. He intended to leave Asia to Antiochus and content himself for the remainder of his days with the Macedonian kingdom in its old limits. He had, however, hardly crossed into the Thracian Chersonese when he was assassinated by Ptolemy Keraunos near Lysimachia in September (281 BC).[2][61]

It seems certain that after taking Macedonia and Thracia, Seleucus would have tried to conquer Greece. He had already prepared this campaign using the numerous gifts presented to him. He was also nominated an honorary citizen of Athens.[62]

Antiochus founded the cult of his father. A cult of personality formed around the later members of the Seleucid dynasty and Seleucus was later worshipped as a son of Zeus Nikator. One inscription found in Ilion (i.e., Troy) advises priests to sacrifice to Apollo, the ancestor of Antiochus' family. Several anecdotes of Seleucus' life became popular in the classical world.[63]

See also

• Chronology of European exploration of Asia

Endnotes

1. The word Diadochi is the Latin form of the Greek word Διάδοχοι (diadochoi), meaning "successors".

Citations

1. Boiy "The Reigns of the Seleucid Kings According the Babylonian King List." Journal of Near Eastern Studies 70(1) (2011): 1–12.
2. One or more of the preceding sentences incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Bevan, Edwyn Robert (1911). "Seleucid Dynasty". In Chisholm, Hugh (ed.). Encyclopædia Britannica. 24 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. pp. 603–604.
3. Grainger 1990, p. 2
4. Grainger 1990, pp. 4–5
5. Grainger 1990, p. 1
6. Grainger 1990, p. 3
7. Arrian Anabasis 5.13.1
8. Grainger 1990, pp. 9–10
9. Grainger 1990, p. 12
10. Heckel p. 256
11. Grainger 1990, pp. 20–24
12. Grainger 1990, pp. 21–29
13. Bosworth p. 211
14. Grainger 1990, pp. 30–32
15. Grainger 1990, pp. 33–37
16. Grainger 1990, pp. 39–42
17. Grainger 1990, p. 43
18. Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Tetradrachm of Seleucus I". http://www.metmuseum.org.
19. Grainger 1990, p. 44–45
20. Boyi p. 121
21. Grainger 1990, pp. 49–51, Boiy p. 122
22. Diodorus Siculus, Bibliotheca Historica XIX 57,1.
23. Grainger 1990, pp. 53–55
24. Jona Lendering. "Alexander's successors: The Third Diadoch War". Livius.org. Retrieved 7 November 2012.
25. Grainger 1990, pp. 56–72
26. Grainger 1990, pp. 74–75
27. Grainger 1990, p. 79; Boyi p. 126
28. Grainger 1990, p. 80
29. Grainger 1990, p. 81
30. Grainger 1990, pp. 82–83
31. Grainger 1990, p. 83; Boiy p. 127
32. Grainger 1990, p. 86
33. Grainger 1990, pp. 89– 91
34. Grainger 1997, p. 54
35. Polyaenus. "The Babylonian war". Livius.org. Retrieved 7 November 2012.
36. Boiy p. 45
37. Grainger 1990, s.101
38. Bosworth p. 246
39. Kosmin 2014, p. 34.
40. Paul J. Kosmin 2013, p. 98.
41. John Keay (2001). India: A History. Grove Press. pp. 85–86. ISBN 978-0-8021-3797-5.
42. Kosmin 2014, p. 37.
43. Majumdar 2003, p. 105.
44. Strabo, Geography, xv.2.9
45. Vincent A. Smith (1998). Ashoka. Asian Educational Services. ISBN 81-206-1303-1.
46. Walter Eugene Clark (1919). "The Importance of Hellenism from the Point of View of Indic-Philology", Classical Philology 14 (4), pp. 297–313.
47. Debated by Tarn, The Greeks in Bactria and India, p. 100
48. Pliny, Natural History VI, 23
49. Hindu Nationalism, A Reader, Christopher Jeffrelot, Princeton University Press, 2007 p.90
50. Foreign Influence on Ancient India, Krishna Chandra Sagar, Northern Book Centre, 1992, p. 83. The paragraph of the Pratisarga Parva mentioning this marriage is: "Chandragupta[??] married with a daughter of Suluva, the Yavana king of Pausasa. Thus, he mixed the Buddhists and the Yavanas. He ruled for 60 years. From him, Vindusara was born and ruled for the same number of years as his father. His son was Ashoka."Pratisarga Parva p.18. Original Sanskrit of the first two verses: "Chandragupta[??] Sutah Paursadhipateh Sutam. Suluvasya Tathodwahya Yavani Baudhtatapar".
51. Mookerji 1988, p. 38.
52. Kosmin 2014, p. 35.
53. "And Theophrastus says that some contrivances are of wondrous efficacy in such matters [as to make people more amorous]. And Phylarchus confirms him, by reference to some of the presents which Sandrakottus, the king of the Indians, sent to Seleucus; which were to act like charms in producing a wonderful degree of affection, while some, on the contrary, were to banish love" Athenaeus of Naucratis, The Deipnosophists, i.32
54. Source
55. Pliny, Natural History, Book 6, Chap 17 also Pliny the Elder, Natural history, Book 6, Chap 21 Archived 28 July 2013 at the Wayback Machine
56. Coinage of Seleucus and Antiochus in India
57. John Malalas, viii.198
58. Grainger 1997, p. 55–56
59. This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Easton, Matthew George (1897). Easton's Bible Dictionary (New and revised ed.). T. Nelson and Sons. Missing or empty |title= (help)
60. http://virtualreligion.net/iho/antiochus_1.html Antiochus I Soter entry in historical sourcebook by Mahlon H. Smith
61. "Seleucus I Nicator". Livius.
62. Grainger 1997, p. 57
63. Graham Shipley (1999). The Hellenistic World. Routledge. pp. 301–302. ISBN 978-0-415-04618-3.

References and further reading

• Kosmin, Paul J. (2014). The Land of the Elephant Kings: Space, Territory, and Ideology in Seleucid Empire. Harvard University Press. ISBN 978-0-674-72882-0.
• Mookerji, Radha Kumud (1988) [first published in 1966]. Chandragupta Maurya[??] and his times (4th ed.). Motilal Banarsidass. ISBN 978-81-208-0433-3.
• Waterfield, Robin (2011). Dividing the Spoils - The War for Alexander the Great's Empire (hardback). New York: Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-957392-9.
• A. B. Bosworth (2005). The Legacy of Alexander. Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-928515-0.
• Grainger, John D. (1997). A Seleukid Prosopography and Gazetteer. Brill. ISBN 978-90-04-10799-1.
• Grainger, John D. (1993). An Empire Builder—Seleukos Nikator. History Today. 43. pp. 25–30.
• Grainger, John D. (1997). Seleukos Nikator: Constructing a Hellenistic Kingdom. Routledge. ISBN 0-415-04701-3.
• Grainger, John D. (1990). Seleukos Nikator: Constructing a Hellenistic Kingdom. Routledge. ISBN 978-0-415-04701-2.
• Majumdar, Ramesh Chandra (2003) [1952]. Ancient India. Motilal Banarsidass. ISBN 978-81-208-0436-4.
• Boiy, T. (2004). Late Achaemenid and Hellenistic Babylon. Peeters Publishers. ISBN 978-90-429-1449-0.
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