Freda Bedi Cont'd (#3)

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Re: Freda Bedi Cont'd (#3)

Postby admin » Wed Jun 16, 2021 5:05 am

Rama Rajasekhara
by Wikipedia
Accessed: 6/15/21

Indeed, a verse attributed to the theorist and poet Rajasekhara (fl. 920 CE) puts Dandin in a class by himself by speaking of yet another triad, that of his works, and comparing it, among other things, to the trinity of gods and the trilogy of Vedic scripture.

Dandin's celebrity notwithstanding, his actual corpus has been rather poorly preserved, so much so that it is not entirely clear what list of three books Rajasekhara actually had in mind. There is, of course, the Kavyadarsa itself, a work that seems to have reached our hands in a complete form.16 A second work by Dandin, which seems to have pioneered the genre of poems narrating the two great epics simultaneously, was lost in its entirety; we know about it from a discussion of this genre in Bhoja’s Srngaraprakasa, where one relic verse from Dandin's lost poem is given as an example.17 Then there is the Dasakumaracarita (What Ten Young Men Did), a prose work that has come to us in a highly incomplete form and whose ‘‘headless, tailless torso’’ is now ‘‘sandwiched between two secondary paraphrases of the missing sections of [Dandin's] original work.’’18 Finally, there is the Avantisundarı, or Avantisundarıkatha (The Story of the Beautiful Lady from Avanti), also in prose, whose transmission is even poorer. Only a couple of fragmentary manuscripts of this work have survived, both of which break off at a relatively early stage, after the author introduces himself, describes the context and inspiration for the work’s composition, and begins to lay out the frame of a highly expansive narrative. There exists, however, a later Sanskrit work that sums up the larger prose narrative of the Avantisundarı in verse. This Avantisundarıkathasara (Gist of the Story of the Beautiful Lady from Avanti) is also incomplete, as is a thirteenth-century Telugu translation, but both go well beyond the point where the fragmented katha manuscripts stop and significantly overlap with the main part of Dandin's other prose work, the Dasakumaracarita.

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

For title used by Chera rulers, see Cheraman Perumal.

Rajasekhara; Sri Raja Rajadhiraja; Parameswara Bhattaraka; "Rajashekhara" Deva; Peruman Adigal
Depiction of "Cherman Perumal" Nayanar in Brihadisvara Temple, Thanjavur
Ruler of Kodungallur Chera (Perumal) Kingdom[1]
Reign: 870/71–c. 883/84 AD
Predecessor: Sthanu Ravi Kulasekhara
Successor: Vijayaraga
Names: Rama Rajashekhara[1]
Regnal name: Rajasekhara
House: Chera Perumals of Makotai
Religion: Hinduism (Shaiva)

Rama Rajasekhara (fl. 870/71–c. 883/84 AD[2]) was a Chera Perumal ruler of medieval Kerala, south India.[3][4][5] Rajasekhara is usually identified by historians with Cheraman Perumal Nayanar, the venerated Shaiva (Nayanar) poet-musician.[5][3][1] Two temple records, from Kurumattur, Areacode and Thiruvatruvay, Vazhappally, mention king Rajasekhara.[6]

Rajasekhara probably succeeded Sthanu Ravi Kulasekhara around 870 AD.[2][7] It is also suggested that Cheraman Perumal Nayanar was on friendly terms with the Pallava dynasty.[8]

The direct authority of the Chera Perumal king was restricted to the country around capital Makotai (Mahodaya, present-day Kodungallur) in central Kerala.[9] His kingship was only ritual and remained nominal compared with the power that local chieftains (the udaiyavar) exercised politically and militarily. Nambudiri-Brahmins also possessed huge authority in religious and social subjects (the so-called ritual sovereignty combined with Brahmin oligarchy).[9][10]

Rama Rajasehara probably abdicated the throne toward the end of his reign and became a Shaiva nayanar [hounds/teachers of Siva] known as Cheraman Perumal Nayanar.[6] He was succeeded by Vijayaraga (fl. c. 883/84-c.895 AD).[2]


• Shivanandalahari, attributed to Hindu philosopher Shankara, indirectly mentions the Chera ruler as Rajasekhara.[11]

A biography of Sri Sankara on modern lines is an impossible for want of exact data from contemporary writings. We have therefore to depend on the type of Sanskrit works called Sankaravijayas, the traditional lives of the Acharya, to know whatever is now possible to gather about this saintly philosopher…As these Vijayas have a mythological bias, they have their obvious defect in respect of chronology and recording of facts and events.

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

• Rajasekhara is also tentatively identified with king "Co-qua-rangon" mentioned in the Thomas of Cana copper plates.[12][/b]

The Thomas of Cana copper plates (Malayalam: Knai Thoma Cheppedu), or Knanaya copper plates, dated variously between 345 C.E. and 811 C.E., are a lost set of copper-plate grants issued by the unidentified Chera/Perumal king of Kerala "Co-qua-rangon" to Syriac Christian merchants led by Knai Thoma (anglicized as Thomas of Cana) in the city of "Makotayar Pattinam" (present day Kodungallur), south India. The royal charters were reportedly engraved in Malayalam, Chaldean and Arabic on both sides of two copper plates (joined by a ring)...

Scholar M.G.S. Narayanan tentatively identifies king “Co-qua-rangon” with king Rama Rajasekhara (Co-qua-rangon → Ko Kotai Iraman → Rajadhiraja Rama) of the 9th century Chera Empire...

Translations of the existing Kollam [Quilon] Syrian Plates of the 9th century made by the Syrian Christian priest Ittimani [???] in 1601 as well as the French Indologist Abraham Anquetil Duperron in 1758 both note that the one of the plates mentioned a brief of the arrival of Knai Thoma. It is believed that this was a notation of the previous rights bestowed upon the Christians by Cheraman Perumal. The contemporary set however does not mention this paragraph....

The first written record of the Thomas of Cana copper plates dates to the 16th century when Portuguese officials in Kerala took notice of the plates and their later disappearance...

The final record of the plates comes from the official historian of Portuguese India Diogo do Couto in 1611. Do Couto claims to have seen the plates and makes an incomplete translation of its content.

-- Thomas of Cana copper plates, by Wikipedia

Rama Deva

Laghu Bhaskariya Vyakhya, a mathematical commentary composed in the court of king Ravi Kulasekhara in 869/70 AD, mentions a Chera Perumal royal called Rama Deva, who marched out to fight the enemies on getting information from the spies.[13] A possibility identifies Rama Deva with Rama Rajasekhara.[14] Rama Deva is described as a member of the Solar Dynasty ("ravi-kula-pati") in Chapter IIII, Laghu Bhaskariya Vyakhya.[13]

Patron of Vasubhatta

Vasubhatta, a famous Yamaka poet of medieval Kerala, names his patron king as "Rama". A later commentary on a poem by Vasubhatta says that "Kulasekhara" was the regnal title of king Rama.[15] Scholars generally consider this a result of confusion on the part of the commentators (between Sthanu Ravi Kulasekhara and Rama Rajasekhara) who were separated in time from Vasubhatta.[15] Some scholars also identify king Rama Kulasekhara as the patron of poet Vasubhatta (and thus placing Vasubhatta in 11th-12 centuries AD).[16] This view is generally found unacceptable on several counts.[17]

Epigraphic records

Date / Regnal Year / Language and Script / Location / Nature / Notes

871 AD[6] / N/A / Grantha/Southern Pallava Grantha (Sanskrit)[18] / Kurumattur Vishnu temple, Areacode. - engraved on a loose, granite slab.[18][6] / Temple inscription[19] / Date is given as a Kali Day chronogram (871 AD).[20]; Rajasekhara belonged to the illustrious Ikshvaku dynasty of god Rama.[19]; Rajasekhara ruled the country with justice and never deviated from the Laws of Manu.[19]; During Rajasekhara's righteous rule, twelve Brahmins dug a temple tank and also installed an idol of god Vishnu.[19][21]

c. 882/83 AD[6] / 13[22] / Vattezhuthu with Grantha/Southern Pallava Grantha characters (old Malayalam)[22] / Thiruvatruvay, Vazhappally.[22]; The plate is owned by Muvidathu Madham, Thiruvalla.[22]; The plate is said to belonged to and discovered from Talamana Illam or madham, near the eastern tower of Vazhappally Temple, Changanassery.[23] / Temple committee resolution[22] / Records a temple committee resolution presided over by king Rajasekhara.[7] The resolution describes Thiruvatruvay Pathinettu Nattar, Vazhappally Urar and the king deciding on land grant for muttappali (daily offering in temple).[22]; The inscription begins with the invocation "Namah Shivaya" ("Respect to Shiva") in place of the usual "Swasti Sri" ("Hail! Prosperity!").[22]; The record also mentions a coin called "dinara".[22]

Vazhappalli copper plate

Kurumattur inscription


1. Narayanan, M. G. S. Perumāḷs of Kerala. Thrissur (Kerala): CosmoBooks, 2013. 64-65.
2. 'Changes in Land Relations during the Decline of the Cera State,' In Kesavan Veluthat and Donald R. Davis Jr. (eds), Irreverent History:- Essays for M.G.S. Narayanan, Primus Books, New Delhi, 2014. 74-75.
3. Noburu Karashmia (ed.), A Concise History of South India: Issues and Interpretations. New Delhi: Oxford University Press, 2014. 143.
4. Narayanan, M. G. S. Perumāḷs of Kerala. Thrissur (Kerala): CosmoBooks, 2013. 64-66, 88-95, 107.
5. Veluthat, Kesavan. “The Temple and the State in Medieval South India.” Studies in People’s History, vol. 4, no. 1, June 2017, pp. 15–23.
6. 'Changes in Land Relations during the Decline of the Cera State,' In Kesavan Veluthat and Donald R. Davis Jr. (eds), Irreverent History:- Essays for M.G.S. Narayanan, Primus Books, New Delhi, 2014. 58 and 74-75.
7. Veluthat, Kesavan. 2004. 'Mahodayapuram-Kodungallur', in South-Indian Horizons, eds Jean-Luc Chevillard, Eva Wilden, and A. Murugaiyan, pp. 471–85. École Française D'Extrême-Orient.
8. Narayanan, M. G. S. Perumāḷs of Kerala. Thrissur (Kerala): CosmoBooks, 2013. 80-93.
9. Noburu Karashmia (ed.), A Concise History of South India: Issues and Interpretations. New Delhi: Oxford University Press, 2014. 143-44.
10. Narayanan, M. G. S. 2002. ‘The State in the Era of the Ceraman Perumals of Kerala’, in State and Society in Premodern South India, eds R. Champakalakshmi, Kesavan Veluthat, and T. R. Venugopalan, pp.111–19. Thrissur, CosmoBooks.
11. Narayanan, M. G. S. Perumāḷs of Kerala. Thrissur (Kerala): CosmoBooks, 2013. 64 and 77.
12. Narayanan, M. G. S. Perumals of Kerala: Brahmin Oligarchy and Ritual Monarchy—Political and Social Conditions of Kerala Under the Cera Perumals of Makotai (c. AD 800–AD 1124) Thrissur (Kerala): CosmoBooks, 2013. 302-303.
13. Narayanan, M. G. S. Perumāḷs of Kerala. Thrissur (Kerala): CosmoBooks, 2013. 64-66 and 78-79.
14. Narayanan, M. G. S. Perumāḷs of Kerala. Thrissur (Kerala): CosmoBooks, 2013. 79-80.
15. Veluthat, Kesavan (1982). "The Status of the Monarch". Proceedings of the Indian History Congress. 43: 147–157. ISSN 2249-1937. JSTOR 44141225.
16. Vielle, Christophe (2012). "Real and Ideal Kings in Matrilineal Kerala". Religions of South Asia. 5 (1): 365–387. doi:10.1558/rosa.v5i1/2.365.
17. Devadevan, Manu V. (2020). "The Semantic Universe of the Kudiyattam Theatre". The 'Early Medieval' Origins of India. Cambridge University Press. pp. 229–30.
18. Veluthat, Kesavan (1 June 2018). "History and historiography in constituting a region: The case of Kerala". Studies in People's History. 5 (1): 13–31. [1]
19. Indian Archaeology 2010-2011 – A Review (2016) (p. 118) [2]
20. Indian Archaeology 2010-2011 – A Review (2016) (p. 118) [3]
21. Naha, Abdul Latheef. Ancient inscription throws new light on Chera history. February 11, 2011 The Hindu [4] [5]
22. Narayanan, M. G. S. Perumāḷs of Kerala. Thrissur (Kerala): CosmoBooks, 2013. 435.
23. Rao, T. A. Gopinatha. Travancore Archaeological Series (Volume II, Part II). 8-14.

External links

• Mathew, Alex - Political identities in History (2006) Unpublished Doctoral Thesis (M. G. University)
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Re: Freda Bedi Cont'd (#3)

Postby admin » Wed Jun 16, 2021 6:10 am

by Wikipedia
Accessed: 6/15/21

Born: c.350 BCE[1]
Died: c. 290 BCE
Nationality: Greek
Occupation: Historian and diplomat
Known for Indika, a book on ancient India

Megasthenes (/mɪˈɡæsθɪniːz/ mi-GAS-thi-neez; Ancient Greek: Μεγασθένης, c. 350BCE– c. 290 BCE) was an ancient Greek historian, diplomat and Indian ethnographer and explorer in the Hellenistic period. He described India in his book Indika, which is now lost, but has been partially reconstructed from literary fragments found in later authors. Megasthenes was the first person to describe ancient India, and for that reason he has been called "the father of Indian history".[2]


While Megasthenes's account of India has survived in the later works, little is known about him as a person, except that he spent time at the court of Sibyrtius, who was a satrap of Arachosia under Antigonus I and then Seleucus I.[3] and was an ambassador for Seleucid king Seleucus I Nicator and to the court of the Mauryan King Chandragupta Maurya in Pataliputra (modern Patna). Dating for his journey to the Mauryan court is uncertain [4] [5]

As an ambassador

According to Arrian, Megasthenes lived in Arachosia and travelled to Pataliputra.[6][7][8][9]

Megasthenes was a Greek ambassador of Seleucus I Nicator in the court of Chandragupta Maurya.[10] Arrian explains that Megasthenes lived in Arachosia, with the satrap Sibyrtius, from where he visited India:[6][7][9]

Arrian of Nicomedia (/ˈæriən/; Greek: Ἀρριανός Arrianos; Latin: Lucius Flavius Arrianus; c. 86/89 – c. after 146/160 AD) was a Greek historian, public servant, military commander and philosopher of the Roman period.

The Anabasis of Alexander by Arrian is considered the best source on the campaigns of Alexander the Great. However, more recently, even though modern scholars have generally preferred Arrian to other extant primary sources, this attitude towards Arrian is beginning to change in the light of studies into Arrian's method.

-- Arrian, by Wikipedia

Megasthenes lived with Sibyrtius, satrap of Arachosia, and often speaks of his visiting Sandracottus, the king of the Indians." Arrian, Anabasis Alexandri [11]

Megasthenes visited India sometime during the reign of Chandragupta Maurya.[12] The exact dates of his visit to India, and the duration of his stay in India are not certain. The dates of Megasthenes' visit or visits to India is uncertain and disputed among scholars. A.B. Bosworth argued for an early date pre-Seleucus.[13] This is thoroughly comprehensively disputed by Stoneman and others who argue for a date following the Mauryan-Seleucid settlement of c. 303 BCE. [14] Although Arrian claims that Megasthenes met Porus: this claim seems to be an erroneous one, unless we assume that Megasthenes also accompanied Alexander the Great during the Greek invasion of India.[15]

Megasthenes visited the Mauryan capital Pataliputra,[12] but it is not certain which other parts of India he visited. He appears to have passed through the Punjab region in north-western India, as he provides a detailed account of the rivers in this area. He must have then traveled to Pataliputra along the Yamuna and the Ganga rivers.[15]

Megasthenes compiled information about India in form of Indika, which is now a lost work, but survives in form of quotations by the later writers.

Other Greek envoys to the Indian court are known after Megasthenes: Deimachus as ambassador to Bindusara, and Dionysius, as ambassador to Ashoka.[16]


Among the ancient writers, Arrian (2nd century CE) is the only one who speaks favorably of Megasthenes. Diodorus (1st century BCE) quotes Megasthenes by omitting some parts of his narratives. Other writers explicitly criticize Megasthenes:[17]

• Eratosthenes (2nd century BCE) accuses Megasthenes of engaging in falsehood, although he apparently borrowed much of his content about India from Megasthenes.[17]
• Strabo (1st century CE) calls Megasthenes a liar for writing fabulous stories about India; he also brands as liars the other earlier writers on India, including Deimachus, Onesicritus, Nearchus.[17] According to Strabo, "no faith whatever can be placed in Deimachos and Megasthenes".[18]
• Pliny the Elder (1st century CE) criticizes Megasthenes's description of the fabulous races of India, and his account of Herakles and Dionysus.[17]

Modern scholars such as E. A. Schwanbeck, B. C. J. Timmer, and Truesdell Sparhawk Brown, have characterized Megasthenes as a generally reliable source of Indian history.[12] Schwanbeck finds faults only with Megasthenes's description of the gods worshipped in India.[19] Brown is more critical of Megasthenes, but notes that Megasthenes visited only a small part of India, and must have relied on others for his observations: some of these observations seem to be erroneous, but others cannot be ignored by modern researchers.[18] Thus, although he was often misled by the erroneous information provided by others, his work remained the principal source of information about India to some of the subsequent writers.[5]

See also

• Megasthenes' Herakles
• Herodotus
• Patrocles
• Demodamas


1. "Megasthenes". Brittanica.
2. Patel., Aakar (8 August 2020). "Hercules lived here: Megasthenes's 'Indika'". The Hindu.
3. Stoneman, R. The Greek Experience of India (Princeton, 2019), p129
4. Roller, Duane W., “Megasthenes (715)”, in: Brill’s New Jacoby, General Editor: Ian Worthington (Macquarie University).First published online: 2016
5. N. S. Kalota 1978, p. 26.
6. Traver, Andrew G. (2002). From Polis to Empire, the Ancient World, C. 800 B.C.-A.D. 500: A Biographical Dictionary. Greenwood Publishing Group. p. 252. ISBN 978-0-313-30942-7.
7. Kosmin, Paul J. (2014). The Land of the Elephant Kings. Harvard University Press. ISBN 978-0-674-72882-0.
8. Shepherd, William R. (1926). The Historical Atlas, "Mediaeval Commerce (Asia)".
9. Heirman, Ann; Bumbacher, Stephan Peter (2007). The Spread of Buddhism. BRILL. p. 135. ISBN 978-90-04-15830-6.
10. Paul J. Kosmin 2014, p. 38.
11. Arrian. "Book 5". Anabasis.
12. Allan Dahlaquist 1996, p. 9.
13. A.B Bosworth, The Historical Setting of Megasthenes, Indica, CPh. 91, 1996, 113-27
14. Stoneman, R., The Greek Experience of India, 130-135
15. N. S. Kalota 1978, p. 29.
16. Thomas C. Mcevilley (2012). The Shape of Ancient Thought: Comparative Studies in Greek and Indian Philosophies. Allworth. p. 538. ISBN 978-1-58115-933-2. Three Greek ambassadors are known by name: Megasthenes, ambassador to Chandragupta; Deimachus, ambassador to Chandragupta's son Bindusara; and Dyonisius, whom Ptolemy Philadelphus sent to the court of Ashoka, Bindusara's son
17. N. S. Kalota 1978, p. 27.
18. Allan Dahlaquist 1996, p. 27.
19. Allan Dahlaquist 1996, p. 29.


• Allan Dahlaquist (1996). Megasthenes and Indian Religion: A Study in Motives and Types. Motilal Banarsidass. ISBN 978-81-208-1323-6.
• N. S. Kalota (1978). India as Described by Megasthenes. Concept.
• 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
• U. P. Arora (1982), Plagiarism and prejudices in Megasthenes's Indica, Indian History Congress
• Paul J. Kosmin (2013). "Apologetic Ethnography: Megasthenes' Indica and the Seleucid Elephant". In Eran Almagor, Joseph Skinner (ed.). Ancient Ethnography: New Approaches. Bloomsbury Publishing. ISBN 9781472537607.

Further reading

• Harry Falk (1982). Die sieben "Kasten" des Megasthenes (in German).
• Shri Ram Goyal (2001). India as Known to Kauṭilya and Megasthenes. Kusumanjali Book World.
• "How the Hoopoe Got His Crest: Reflections on Megasthenes’ Stories of India." In Ancient Historiography on War and Empire, edited by Stoneman Richard, Howe Timothy, and Müller Sabine, 188–99. Oxford; Philadelphia: Oxbow Books, 2017.

External links

• Fragments of Indika, as reconstructed from later accounts
• Ancient India as described by Arrian based on accounts by Megasthenes
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Re: Freda Bedi Cont'd (#3)

Postby admin » Thu Jun 17, 2021 5:24 am

Part 1 of 2

Errors in Arrian
by A. B. Bosworth
The Classical Quarterly, New Series, Vol. 26, No. 1 (1976), pp. 117-139
Published by Cambridge University Press on behalf of The Classical Association



Arrian is regarded as the most authoritative of the extant sources for the reign of Alexander the Great. It is his work that is usually chosen to provide the narrative core of modern histories, and very often a mere reference to 'the reliable Arrian' is considered sufficient to guarantee the veracity of the information derived from him. What gives Arrian his prestige is his reliance on contemporary sources, Ptolemy and Aristobulus. It is recognized that Arrian's narrative is based primarily upon Ptolemy, and, as long as Ptolemy is regarded as an impeccable mine of facts for Alexander's reign and Arrian's work is accepted as a faithful reproduction of Ptolemy, the Anabasis Alexandri stands out as a uniquely authoritative record of Alexander's reign. Indeed Arrian's text has been thought to retain the original wording of Ptolemy, itself supposedly copied from a hypothetical court journal kept by Eumenes of Cardia. In that case Arrian's Anabasis is only two removes from the actual archives of Alexander.1 The first of these tenets of belief, the factual reliability of Ptolemy, has recently been under attack. Not only has it been virtually disproved that Ptolemy constructed his history from archival material, but it appears that he inserted his own propaganda to exaggerate his personal achievements under Alexander and to discredit those of his rivals.2 It is the second tenet, the faithfulness of Arrian's reproduction of his sources, that I wish to examine, and I shall try to prove that Arrian was prone to the errors of misunderstanding and faulty source conflation that one would expect in a secondary historian of antiquity.

We should first examine what Arrian says about his historiographical aims, both in the Anabasis and elsewhere. In the Anabasis Arrian makes it quite plain that his work is designed as a literary showpiece. Alexander's achievements, he says, have never been adequately commemorated in prose or verse. The field is therefore open for him to do for the Macedonian king what Pindar had done for the Deinomenid tyrants and Xenophon for the march of the Ten Thousand.3 Throughout his work Arrian is proudly conscious of his stylistic mastery, and he assumes a wide public. He openly claims the first place in Greek literature and at the outset he states that his history will stand comparison with anything previously written about Alexander.4 Arrian is of course concerned with veracity, and he seems convinced that his choice of sources guarantees the truth of his account. Indeed a by-product of his work will be to stop the transmission of popular fantasies from generation to generation.5 Literary considerations, however, are paramount. Arrian claims superiority to all Alexander historians, not merely the inferior stylists of the early Hellenistic period but also writers of his own age. Arrian's fellow countryman, Dio Cocceianus of Prusa, had written an eight-volume work [x], and we can be sure that it had an encomiastic [complimentary] bias.6 Alexander's achievements had, then, been praised in prose by the leading Bithynian orator and stylist of the previous generation. Arrian intended to do better.

It is unwise to exaggerate the importance in Arrian's eyes of his work on Alexander. The subject attracted him, he says, because it was a field worthy of his talents.7 He does not imply that his preoccupation with Alexander was of long standing. When he says that for him his country, family, and public offices have always been [x], he is referring not so much to his specific work on Alexander (i.e. 'this treatise') but to the totality of his literary production (i.e. 'these writings of mine'). The parallels from Arrian's usage elsewhere suggest that when he refers to a single monograph he describes it in the singular as a [x], not in the plural.8 Arrian speaks as a writer assured of his literary mastery and reputation; he is actually doing a service for Alexander.9 Now we know indirectly that Arrian did not regard his work on Alexander as his major literary task. In the preface to the Bithyniaca he claimed that it was the history of Bithynia that occupied his attention from the outset of his historical career. The preparation had taken an excessive time because of his inexperience in the field, and in the interim he had published monographs on Dion and Timoleon and also his work on Alexander.10 The history of Alexander was in a sense preparatory, but hardly a stylistic exercise, as Schwartz thought. In the Anabasis Arrian proudly asserts that he heads the field of Greek literature, and nothing in his writing suggests stylistic immaturity. Arrian stresses in the Bithyniaca that it was the preparation ([x]) that was time-consuming. What this implied is clear from Lucian's treatise on historiography: the primary work of collecting information and shaping it in the correct proportions in a rough first draft, or [x]. The stylistic embellishment was a later, more important, task.11 The history of Bithynia involved a vast coverage from mythological times until the death of Nicomedes IV Philopator in 74 B.C. There was a mass of material, mostly compiled during the Hellenistic period,12 and the process of selection and assimilation must have been difficult. It is hardly surprising that Arrian turned to more limited periods of non-contemporary history in order to gain expertise in the creating of a unitary, seamless narrative from disparate primary sources.

We can now understand the peculiarity of the Anabasis. Stylistically it is the work of a mature and skilful writer, steeped in the models of the classical period and with all the figures of the schools at his command. At the same time Arrian is relatively inexperienced in the selection and juxtaposition of material from his primary sources, and it is here that we may expect to find misunderstandings due to over-hasty reading and doublets arising from imperfect conflation of the two narratives. Such errors are commonplace in Livy, an author who, like Arrian, wrote non-contemporary history,13 and it would be naive to suppose that Arrian was free from error at this early stage of his historical development. In what follows I shall illustrate the two most characteristic types of error, misunderstanding of a single source and imperfect reconciliation of variant traditions.
I shall then approach two important problems of Alexander's reign, one new and one old, and show how the whole aspect of the question can change once it is accepted that Arrian's technique is fallible.


In the autumn of 335 Alexander returned to Macedonia after the destruction of Thebes and the demand for the surrender of the Athenian statesmen. Once in Macedon, says Arrian, he conducted the sacrifice to Olympian Zeus which King Archelaus had instituted and held the Macedonian Olympia at Aegae ([x]).14 Arrian explicitly locates the Olympia at the old capital of Aegae, and he is clearly wrong. Every other source which refers to the Macedonian Olympia stresses that they were held at Dium, a city well to the south of Aegae, less than a mile from the foot of Mt. Olympus.15 The Olympia were held regularly at Dium, for, when Scopas and his Aetolians devastated the city in 219 B.C., among the items destroyed were the installations for the festival.16 We cannot even reckon on the possibility of an irregular celebration at Aegae in 335, for Diodorus also describes the return to Macedonia and says explicitly that at Dium Alexander carried out elaborate sacrifices and held the nine-day festival in honour of Zeus and the Muses which Archelaus had established.17 This festival for Zeus and the Muses was in fact the Macedonian Olympia; that is plainly stated by the scholia to Demosthenes. There can be no doubt that in 335, as in other years, the Olympia were held at Dium. Dio Cocceianus mentions a similar tradition that after the battle of Chaeronea Philip and Alexander sacrificed to the Muses at Dium and held the Olympian festival.18 The tradition is consistent and points to an error in Arrian.

The error did not arise from source conflation, for immediately after his reference to the Olympia held at Aegae Arrian mentions a variant tradition that Alexander held a festival in honour of the Muses.19 The festival was of course the Olympia at Dium. Arrian found references in his two sources to the Olympia and to the festival for the Muses, and he inferred erroneously that they were different ceremonies. The reference to the Olympia at Aegae must be taken from a single source, and the error is either one of misunderstanding by Arrian or a mistake on the part of his primary source. If that source was, as is generally thought, Ptolemy, the error is incomprehensible. Even if the passage derives from Aristobulus, serious difficulties remain, for Aristobulus was a resident of Cassandreia in Macedonia, and he ought to have been well informed about the Olympia. The misunderstanding is most probably Arrian's own.
Now it is striking that Archelaus' name appears in Arrian only in the context of the sacrifice to Olympian Zeus; in the Diodoran tradition he is associated rather with the establishment of the Olympia. It seems implausible that a sacrifice to Olympian Zeus was first instituted by Archelaus, who reigned as late as 413-399 B.C. As the chief god of the Macedonian pantheon and the ultimate ancestor of the Argead house one would expect Zeus to have been honoured with sacrifices from time immemorial.20 If, however, we accept the alternative tradition that it was the Olympia that Archelaus established, we can explain the possible origin of the error. The Olympia were celebrated some time after the Great Mysteries at Athens,21 that is, after the latter part of September. Very probably they inaugurated the Macedonian New Year, which fell roughly in the middle of October; and the first month of the Macedonian year was Dios, the month of Zeus.22 It might be the case that until the reign of Archelaus the New Year had begun with a ceremonial sacrifice to Zeus in the old capital, Aegae. Archelaus then transferred the sacrifice to Dium and associated it with the newly established festival for the Muses, the Olympia. Arrian's source perhaps gave a brief history of the New Year celebrations, mentioning the original sacrifice at Aegae and the establishment of the Olympia by Archelaus. If Arrian had been working hurriedly, he might easily have misunderstood the passage and supposed that Archelaus established the sacrifice and that the Olympia was held at Aegae. The passage is historically unimportant, but it is a clear example of an error of misunderstanding and raises the possibility that there may be similar mistakes in the account of more serious matters.

A more important issue is raised by Arrian's account of Alexander's administrative measures at Susa in December 331 (3. 16. 9). The satrap of Susiane who had held office under Darius was confirmed in his position under the supervision of a Macedonian general, Archelaus son of Theodorus. The citadel of Susa was placed under a separate commander, named by Arrian [x]: 'Mazarus, one of the hetairoi'.

The Companions (Greek: ἑταῖροι [heˈtairoi̯], hetairoi) were the elite cavalry of the Macedonian army from the time of king Philip II of Macedon, achieved their greatest prestige under Alexander the Great, and have been regarded as the first or among the first shock cavalry used in Europe. Chosen Companions, or Hetairoi, formed the elite guard of the king (Somatophylakes).

-- Companion cavalry [Hetairoi], by Wikipedia

Now Mazarus is a suspiciously Iranian-sounding name, reminiscent of Mazares the Mede mentioned by Herodotus,23 and the aftermath of Gaugamela is a remarkably early time to find an oriental assimilated into the Macedonian court elite.

The Battle of Gaugamela (/ˌɡɔːɡəˈmiːlə/; Greek: Γαυγάμηλα), also called the Battle of Arbela (Greek: Ἄρβηλα), was a battle that took place in 331 BC between the forces of the Army of Macedon under Alexander the Great and the Persian Army under King Darius III. It was the second and final battle between the two kings, and is considered to be the final blow to the Achaemenid Empire, resulting in Alexander's complete conquest of the empire.

The fighting took place in Gaugamela, which literally meant "The Camel's House", a village on the banks of the river Bumodus. The area today would be considered modern-day northern Iraq. Alexander's army was heavily outnumbered & modern historians say that "the odds were enough to give the most experienced veteran pause". Despite the overwhelming odds, Alexander's army emerged victorious due to the employment of superior tactics and the clever usage of light infantry forces. It was a decisive victory for the League of Corinth, and it led to the fall of Achaemenid Empire [First Persian Empire] and of Darius III.

The Battle of Gaugamela is regarded as the climax of a prolonged war between East and West; a war that had been intermittently waged for more than a century and a half. The victory also resulted in, and solidified, Alexander's position as the standing king of Asia.

-- Battle of Gaugamela, by Wikipedia

It is true that Persians who had surrendered in the early years of the campaign, men like Mithrines and Amminapes, were honoured with satrapies in the year following Gaugamela,24 but there is no suggestion that they had been made hetairoi.

Satraps (/ˈsætrəp/) were the governors of the provinces of the ancient Median [Iranian] and Achaemenid [First Persian] Empires and in several of their successors, such as in the Sasanian [Neo-Persian] Empire and the Hellenistic empires. The satrap served as viceroy to the king, though with considerable autonomy. The word came to suggest tyranny or ostentatious splendour.

-- Satrap, by Wikipedia

Berve was therefore forced to conclude that, despite his name, Mazarus was a prominent Macdonian.25 Curtius, however, gives a version of the Susa appointments which is fuller than Arrian's. Abulites' confirmation as satrap is mentioned, as is the appointment of Archelaus with an army 3,000 strong.26 Curtius adds that a certain Callicrates was put in charge of the treasuries, a piece of circumstantial information which has not been challenged. He also mentions the citadel commander and his garrison of 1,000 veterans, but he names him not Mazarus but Xenophilus. Now Xenophilus is a known figure. In 317/16 he was treasurer and garrison commander of the citadel of Susa, and in that role he supported Eumenes against Antigonus.27 According to Curtius, Xenophilus was appointed by Alexander as early as 331. Faced with the undeniable fact that Xenophilus was indeed citadel commander of Susa later on, scholars have usually assumed that Curtius' source erroneously anticipated his appointment; he was, it is argued, Mazarus' successor, appointed late in Alexander's reign.28

It is more likely that Arrian is wrong. Curtius' record of the appointments at Susa, we have seen, is far fuller than that of Arrian. In general Arrian's narrative of the period between Gaugamela and the firing of Persepolis is extremely compressed and scrappy. The so-called vulgate tradition gives much fuller detail, particularly where appointments are concerned.

The History of Alexander, also known as Perì Aléxandron historíai, is a lost work by the late-fourth century BC Hellenistic historian Cleitarchus, covering the life and death of Alexander the Great. It survives today in around thirty fragments and is commonly known as The Vulgate, with the works based on it known as The Vulgate Tradition. These works consist primarily of that of Diodorus, the Bibliotheca historica, and Quintus Curtius Rufus, with his Historiae Alexandri Magni.

-- History of Alexander [The Vulgate/The Vulgate Tradition], by Wikipedia

If we compare the accounts of Alexander's settlement at Babylon, we find much the same information in Arrian and Curtius.29 Curtius, however, is much more interested in the citadel. Agathon, he says, was appointed citadel commander with a garrison of 700 Macedonians and 300 mercenaries, while the previous Persian commander, Bagophanes, was deprived of office but retained in Alexander's entourage.30 These arrangements are unrecorded by Arrian, but there is no reason to doubt them. The palace fortress to the north of Babylon had been the headquarters of the Persian garrison and dominated the city.31 Alexander must have placed his own forces in control, and the names and numbers in the vulgate tradition seem quite unexceptionable. At Babylon a Persian citadel commander was replaced by a Macedonian, and the same must have been true at Susa. Now Curtius reports the installation of a Macedonian (or Greek) named Xenophilus, who is attested in that role thirteen years later, whereas Arrian names an otherwise unknown hetairos with the Iranian name Mazarus. It is surely best to assume another misunderstanding on Arrian's part. His source presumably mentioned both the Persian commander, who can only have been Mazarus, and his Macedonian successor, Xenophilus. Arrian's narrative is compressed and superficial at this point, and, if he was working at speed, he might well have conflated the two men, so transforming Darius' garrison commander into a hetairos of Alexander.

If it is accepted that Mazarus held the citadel of Susa under Darius, a possible solution emerges for a famous numismatic [coins] problem. Barbarian imitations of Attic owl tetradrachms are a common phenomenon in the fourth century B.C.

An Athenian tetradrachm from after 499 BC, showing the head of Athena and the owl

The tetradrachm (Greek: τετράδραχμον, romanized: tetrádrachmon) was an Ancient Greek silver coin equivalent to four drachmae. In Athens it replaced the earlier "heraldic" type of didrachms and it was in wide circulation from c. 510 to c. 38 BC.

The Athenian tetradrachm was perhaps the most widely used coin in the Greek world before the time of Alexander the Great.

-- Tetradrachm, by Wikipedia

One large group, dating from the latter part of the century, presents particular problems.32 The provenance of these coins is invariably Babylonia, and they bear the Aramaic superscription of the striking authority, a name which Newell interpreted as 'Mazakes'. Similar imitations with the same superscription and the same peculiar monogram ([x] ) have been found in Egypt, and Newell rightly concluded that they were struck by Mazaces, the last Persian satrap of Egypt, in order to pay the Greek mercenaries levied before Issus.33 Less happily, he assumed that Mazaces was rewarded by Alexander for his surrender and given an autonomous territory in Babylonia, where he struck the imitation tetradrachms. Such an enclave of independence in Alexander's empire, with rights of coining included, is virtually inconceivable, and Badian quite justly dismisses the theory as 'a numismatists' myth'.34 The interpretation of the Aramaic superscription is by no means certain. Newell himself stresses 'the uncertainty inherent in so many Aramaic letters', and in the last century Six had read the name as 'Mazdad' or 'Mazdar', assuming that the coins were struck by Mazarus, whom he believed to have been Alexander's citadel commander in Susa.35 Once more the theory involved an anomaly. It is hard to envisage a Macedonian subordinate of Alexander issuing imitations of Athenian tetradrachms in his own name. But, once we assume that Mazarus held the citadel under Darius, the difficulties disappear. The barbarian imitations in Babylonia were issued at the same time as those from Egypt and with the same object, as payment from the vast number of Greek mercenaries in Persian service before Issus and Gaugamela. Mazarus, like Xenophilus in 317/16, presumably had the treasures of Susa in his charge,36 and he was the obvious person to supervise the striking of coins for the army. Such activity is certainly more plausible in the confusion of the latter years of Darius III than in the reign of Alexander, when the mints were rigidly controlled and a standard regal coinage enforced. If the legend on the Egyptian and Babylonian imitations is similar, it is explained by the similarity of the two names; both Mazaces as satrap of Egypt and Mazarus as citadel commander at Susa struck tetradrachms for the army and inscribed a virtually identical monogram.37

It should now be clear that it is unwise to insist on the precise wording of Arrian when that wording produces contradictions and conflict with other evidence. Arrian is prone to misread and misinterpret his primary sources, and the smooth flow of his narrative can obscure treacherous quicksands of error. There is a good example at 1. 6. 11, where Arrian claims that Alexander pursued his Illyrian opponents from the city of Pellion [x]. This can only mean one thing; the pursuit continued 'as far as the mountains of the Taulantians'.38 The Taulantians lived in the hinterland of Epidamnus/Dyrrhachium, and their territory probably extended as far inland as modern Elbasan.39 Wherever one locates the site of Pellion, the mountains of the Taulantians were some 100 kilometres from the battle site. A pursuit of those dimensions is, I think, impossible. Alexander launched his surprise attack on the Illyrian camp with a force of infantry, the Agrianians, hypaspists, and two phalanx battalions. He attacked before the rest of the army had caught up, and there is no hint of any cavalry support.40 What is more, only part of the enemy took to flight. A substantial group under King Cleitus withdrew to the city and prepared to stand siege.41 It seems incredible that Alexander should have divided his army and taken his infantry on a pursuit several days long. Once more it is easiest to assume a minor misunderstanding on Arrian's part. The narrative of the battle ends somewhat abruptly, for Arrian was no doubt keen to move on to the next major episode, the fall of Thebes, and he could have abbreviated his source misleadingly. Ptolemy need have said only that the pursuit was taken across the plain to the mountains which faced Taulantian territory (as opposed to those facing Macedonia). Arrian clumsily abbreviated his expression as 'the mountains of the Taulantians' and so created a pursuit of 100 kilometres.


So far the errors dealt with have been misunderstandings of a single source. There are, however, more complex problems created by faulty manipulation of two or more sources. At the outset Arrian states categorically that his two principal sources are Ptolemy and Aristobulus. Where they agree he will record the common version as the absolute truth; in case of disagreement he will select the more plausible version, making use of all memorable material.42 Arrian does not commit himself to record all divergences. Indeed he very rarely records disagreement, and gives variant traditions only when he considers them memorable in themselves. Usually he reproduces without comment the version which seems to him the more credible. There are accordingly two main areas where error is likely. Arrian may reproduce only one version, but he has read both, and there are occasional traces of contamination, both deliberate and inadvertent. The alternative, rejected tradition creeps in to infect the version chosen for reproduction. Secondly Arrian is not always aware when his sources are retailing the same episode. An incident may be placed by Ptolemy and Aristobulus at different points in the narrative or described with very different details. In these circumstances Arrian may use both descriptions from both sources and retail them as separate incidents. Both types of error can be traced, and I shall discuss some typical instances.

In his detailed description of the Macedonian battle line at Gaugamela Arrian reviews in order the six phalanx battalions and states that the battalion of Amyntas son of Philippus was commanded in his absence by his brother, Simmias.43 Amyntas' patronymic is clearly wrong. He and his brothers are mentioned repeatedly in the history of Alexander's reign, and their father's name is elsewhere unequivocally attested as Andromenes.44 There have accordingly been repeated attempts to emend away the offending name. Readers of Abicht's Teubner edition or Robson's Loeb edition will be unaware that Arrian's manuscripts read anything other than [x].45 But it is quite impossible to explain how the textual corruption arose. Nothing in the context suggests a reason for the scribe to have substituted [x] for [x]. The mistake can only be attributed to Arrian himself, and it is easy to see how it occurred. The vulgate tradition of Gaugamela includes a description of the Macedonian line. The phalanx commanders are the same as in Arrian, with one exception: the battalion of Amyntas was commanded in his absence by Philippus, son of Balacrus.46 Now we can explain the error in Arrian. His source for the Macedonian line of battle was most probably Ptolemy, and it was his version that Arrian followed. But he must have collated the Ptolemaic version against that of Aristobulus, and, although he accepted Ptolemy's statement that Simmias commanded Amyntas' battalion, he was aware of the variant tradition placing it under Philippus, son of Balacrus, and the name of Philippus slipped in erroneously as the patronymic of Amyntas. It seems to me a clear case of source contamination.

The same appears to have happened in Arrian's review of the Macedonian line at the Granicus (1. 14. 1-3). Here Arrian rather annoyingly lists the two halves of the army from the wing to the centre, giving first the right and then the left. The battalion of Philippus, son of Amyntas (a person otherwise obscure),47 occupied a central position in the line and is therefore mentioned at the end of both lists. Craterus' battalion, however, is also mentioned twice, but in different positions. In the review of the right half of the line it is placed between the battalions of Coenus and Amyntas, and it appears again as the battalion at the extreme left of the phalanx.48 Once more there have been attempts to delete one of the references to Craterus' battalion,49 but then it becomes impossible to explain the intrusion. There is no reason whatsoever to suppose a scribal gloss.

(1) Glosses. Ancient and medieval manuscripts contained many glosses, as defined by the usage of the word in Latin and not according to the original meaning of the word in Greek. In the study of ancient Greek and Latin texts the term ‘glossa’ carries a very distinct technical sense, which is also applied to medieval texts, though with some differences:2 [Oxford English Dictionary (2nd ed.; Oxford 1989) VI, 591. The Dictionary adds: ‘hence applied to a similar explanatory rendering of a word given in a glossary or dictionary. Also, in a wider sense, a comment, explanation, interpretation.’ The Oxford Classical Dictionary (2d ed.; Oxford 1970) [= OCD] subdivides the entry ‘glossa’ into two sub-entries, focusing on the meaning of the word in respectively Greek and Latin sources. For the former OCD provides the following definition: "In Greek literary criticism [x] meant any words or expressions (not being neologisms or metaphors) [x] (Arist. Poet. 1458b32), i.e. belonging not to the spoken language familiar to the critic (1458b6), but to a dialect, literary or vernacular, of another region or period (1457b4)." The modern use of the term ‘gloss’ does not reflect the meaning of that word in Greek, but rather that of the identical word in Latin, described as following in the same Dictionary: . . . marginal or interlinear interpretations of difficult or obsolete words.] ‘A word inserted between the lines or in the margin as an explanatory equivalent of a foreign or otherwise difficult word in the text.’3 [3 At a second stage these glosses were often collected, alphabetically or not, as so-called ‘glossae collectae’ or glossaries, and some of these actually constitute the basis of primitive dictionaries of equivalents. These glossaries were numerous in antiquity, and even more so in the Middle Ages. See especially the detailed description by B. Smalley, The Study of the Bible in the Middle Ages (3d ed.; Oxford 1983) 46-66. In fact, although the glossaries had their origin in the margins of manuscripts, once collected, they became independent units and thus started a life of their own.] Of a different nature are glosses in Sumerian and Akkadian texts (see below), since these glosses, often written within the text, were meant to be an integral part of that text.

-- Glosses, Interpolations, and Other Types of Scribal Additions in the Text of the Hebrew Bible, by Emanuel Toy

The most probable solution is again source contamination by Arrian. Both Ptolemy and Aristobulus presumably gave full descriptions of the battle line and differed over the position of Craterus' battalion. One placed it in the mass of the phalanx and the other at the extreme left, the position it was to occupy at Gaugamela and Issus.50 Arrian has absorbed both versions without reconciling the contradiction.

The account of the Granicus battle line is taken principally from Aristobulus. There are striking eccentricities when we compare it with other descriptions of major battles.
The term used to refer to the Macedonian phalanx battalions is [x] not [x], the regular expression used in Arrian's narrative. This is a rare usage, not however confined to Arrian, and it seems to have been a technical term in the Hellenistic period.51 The terminology for the hypaspists is also obscure; they are called [x]. Elsewhere it is only the Macedonian cavalry who are termed Hetairoi and there is no indication that the class included infantry. Arrian may be making a mistake, misreading pezhetairoi, the generic title of the Macedonian infantry. Arrian's usage in other passages, however, suggests that pezhetairoi referred only to the six battalions of the phalanx, excluding the hypaspists.52 The terminology used for the Macedonian infantry at the Granicus is, to say the least, exceptional and indicates a source other than that regularly used in Arrian's battle descriptions, in other words, not Ptolemy but Aristobulus.

The terminology in the army list is not only unusual but varied.
The most striking instance is the oscillation between [x] and [x] to refer to the cavalry under the command of Amyntas, son of Arrhabaeus. The same contingent is referred to in both instances, for its commander is the same and it is associated with the Paeonians and the ile of Socrates.53 The change of terminology is hardly due to Arrian himself, for the references to the cavalry of Amyntas are relatively widely spaced and there is no stylistic reason for variation. Both words are genuine Macedonian military terms,54 and there is no possibility of deliberate archaizing by Arrian. The only explanation seems to me that Ptolemy and Aristobulus used different terms; [x] is Aristobulus' term and [x] Ptolemy's. This oscillation helps to detect a doublet in the description of the preliminaries to the battle.

In etymology, two or more words in the same language are called doublets or etymological twins or twinlings (or possibly triplets, and so forth) when they have different phonological [speech sounds] forms but the same etymological [word origin] root. Often, but not always, the words entered the language through different routes. Given that the kinship between words that have the same root and the same meaning is fairly obvious, the term is mostly used to characterize pairs of words that have diverged at least somewhat in meaning. For example, English pyre and fire are doublets with merely associated meanings despite both descending ultimately from the same Proto-Indo-European (PIE) word *péh₂ur.

Words with similar meanings but subtle differences contribute to the richness of modern English, and many of these are doublets. A good example consists of the doublets frail and fragile. (These are both ultimately from the Latin adjective fragilis, but frail evolved naturally through its slowly changing forms in Old French and Middle English, whereas fragile is a learned borrowing directly from Latin in the 15th century.)

Another example of nearly synonymous doublets is aperture and overture (the commonality behind the meanings is "opening"). But doublets may develop divergent meanings, such as the opposite words host and guest, which come from the same PIE word *gʰóstis and already existed as a doublet in Latin hospes and then Old French, before being borrowed into English. Doublets also vary with respect to how far their forms have diverged. For example, the connection between levy and levee is easy to guess, whereas the connection between sovereign and soprano, or grammar and glamour, is harder to guess.

-- Doublet (linguistics), by Wikipedia

In the course of the approach to the Granicus Alexander sent out a party of scouts under the command of Amyntas, son of Arrhabaeus; they comprised four ilai of [x] and the ile of Socrates (1. 12. 7). After a short passage describing the Persian council-of-war at Zeleia Arrian reverts to the Macedonian army. Alexander led his army in double column and sent scouts ahead under the command of Hegelochus, comprising the [x] and 500 light infantry (1. 13. 1). It is possible that two groups of scouts were sent out, Hegelochus commanding the remnants of the [x] not included in Amyntas' command.55 There is no suggestion from Arrian's wording that Hegelochus' men formed a second group, and it is striking that his terminology for the cavalry has changed. Arrian refers to the first group as [x] and the second as [x]. He has changed sources in the interim. He used Aristobulus' account of the Persian council-of-war (the names of the leaders given there differ slightly from those in the later casualty list),56 and continued with Aristobulus for the debate between Alexander and Parmenion and for the battle order of the Macedonian army. The narrative switches back to Ptolemy for the actual attack (1. 14. 5). The two references to the scouts are taken from different sources, and it is possible that Ptolemy and Aristobulus disagreed over the composition and leadership. Arrian has failed to reconcile the divergence and so reported the mission of the scouting party twice over.

There are even more striking examples of Arrian's maladroit use of sources in the narrative of Alexander's Indus voyage in 325.
At 6. 15. 5, just before his account of the invasion of the land of Musicanus, Arrian states that Craterus was sent out again with the army through Arachosia and Drangiana: [x]. As it stands, the text refers to Craterus' commission to escort part of the infantry and the disabled veterans down the Helmand valley to Carmania. Unfortunately Arrian describes that commission very explicitly two chapters later (6. 17. 3), and in the intervening narrative he says that Craterus was given the task of fortifying the citadel of Musicanus' capital (6. 15. 7). It is impossible that Craterus could have been sent twice on his way, and Schmieder accordingly deleted [x] as a scribal gloss. Craterus, he assumed, was ordered to accompany the fleet along the Indus bank, as he had done in the earlier stage of the journey (6. 15. 4). Schmieder's solution is attractively simple, and it has been universally accepted.57 It is, however, untenable. In the first place, when the excision is made, Arrian's text does not have the meaning required by Schmieder. His language still implies that Craterus was sent away from Alexander and did not accompany the fleet. The verb [x] is invariably used by Arrian to denote sending a person or contingent either temporarily or permanently from Alexander's court.58 The closest parallel I can find for the sense required by Schmieder is a passage at the beginning of the Indus journey (6. 4. 1-2). Here Alexander sends out ([x]) two infantry columns to meet his fleet near the confluence of the Acesines and Hydraotes (cf. 6. 5. 5). The land forces go to the same destination but by a different route. That might have been true of Craterus' commission at 6. 15. 5, but we should still expect some qualification of destination or purpose. Schmieder's deletion leaves the text puzzlingly elliptical; Craterus is sent out, we know not where.

More seriously, the gloss posited by Schmieder is extremely sophisticated.59 We have to assume that the scribe was aware of Craterus' mission to Carmania from his reading of 6. 17. 3 and inserted an erroneous note that the earlier mission of Craterus was through Drangiana and Arachosia, a note that was later absorbed into the text. It is a doubly sophisticated procedure in that the wording is changed. At 6. 17. 3 Arrian refers to the route as [x], whereas in the supposed gloss the Zarangae are called by their synonym, [x]. It is surely unlikely in the extreme that a reader copying the route of Craterus from the later passage would have substituted the correct synonym for a people so obscure.60 It is much easier to suppose that Arrian has included a doublet of Craterus' mission, placed by his two sources at different stages of the voyage down the Indus. Of these sources one referred to the [x] and the other to the [x]. We can detect the same oscillation of nomenclature in the earlier part of the narrative, which deals with the march of Alexander through Drangiana, the area around the Helmand Lakes in modern Sistan.
This was the old Persian satrapy called Zranka or 'sea land'.61 At 3. 25. 8 Alexander is said to have reached the palace of the [x], while in the resumptive note at 3. 28. 1 he refers to the people as [x].62 In the latter passage Arrian has patently changed sources, for after describing the settlement of the Ariaspae, the southern neighbours of the Drangae located on the Helmand river by the Arachosian border, Arrian gives a brief resume of the journey from Prophthasia, including the submission of the Drangae, whose territory Alexander had already traversed. The variation in nomenclature is hardly due to Arrian himself; it is much more likely to be the result of divergence in his primary sources. Perhaps Aristobulus used the form [x] which appears to be the more common Hellenistic form,63 and Ptolemy used the synonym [x], the older form found in Herodotus, which is an exact translitteration of the Akkadian.64 The same variation between 6. 15. 5 and 6. 17. 3 is confirmation that the two passages are derived from different sources.

Ptolemy and Aristobulus placed the mission of Craterus at different points in the narrative. One located the starting-point near the southern tip of the Punjab and the other towards the Indus delta, in the vicinity of Patala. Both points were salient for the Bolan Pass, the principal route through the mountains into Arachosia and certainly the route taken by Craterus. There is one consideration which tells in favour of the northern location. If Craterus had been sent back from Patala he would have needed to retrace his steps up the Indus before branching off to the pass, whereas, if he had left Alexander immediately south of the Punjab, he merely needed to diverge westwards.
For what he is worth, Justin supports the northern starting-point. The army column, he says, was sent to Babylonia between the territory of the Malli and the kingdom of Sambos;65 that corresponds roughly to the first location in Arrian. Even if wrong, Justin confirms that there was an alternative tradition about the starting-point of Craterus' march, a tradition which appears in the first part of the doublet in Arrian and also in Strabo's brief account of the return to the west.65a That a doublet exists can hardly now be doubted. Schmieder's sarcastic question, 'who would believe that Arrian after so few words forgot what he had just written?', is easily answered. The man who could place Craterus' battalion in different positions of the battle line, in consecutive paragraphs of his narrative of the Granicus, was perfectly capable of an inept doublet of Craterus' mission through Arachosia.

Immediately before the first reference to Craterus' march there is another error. This occurs in the description of the establishment of the satrapy of Southern India. As satrap of the territory between the Ocean and the confluence of the Indus and Acesines Alexander appointed Oxyartes and Peithon.66 Two satraps in a single province are a unique phenomenon under Alexander, and Kruger conjectured that Peithon was merely a general, the assistant and supervisor of a native satrap. That will not do. Peithon is elsewhere attested satrap of Southern India (6. 17. 1), and there is no hint that he had a colleague. What is more, Oxyartes is undoubtedly the father-in-law of Alexander. He is mentioned by name in the previous paragraph as the newly appointed satrap of Parapamisadae, the district around the Kabul valley. The appointment is mentioned by the vulgate as well as by Arrian.67 Again the most popular course has been to delete Oxyartes' name from the text at 6. 15. 4,68 but there is no reason for any scribe to have glossed Peithon's name with that of Alexander's father-in-law. The mistake is certainly Arrian's own, and there are two possible explanations. The first is simple misunderstanding. Both Oxyartes and Peithon retained their satrapies after the distributions at Babylon and Triparadeisus. Both appear in the satrapy lists, and the nomenclature of Peithon's satrapy is interesting; it comprised the parts of India contiguous with Parapamisadae, Oxyartes' satrapy ([x]).69 Indeed Oxyartes and Peithon are listed in sequence. Now the satraps and satrapal boundaries confirmed for the east at Babylon were those established by Alexander himself.70 Arrian's source may have specified that Alexander fixed a common boundary for Parapamisadae and Southern India, and that Oxyartes and Peithon were satraps of the respective territories. Arrian mentioned only Southern India, but he had Oxyartes' name on his mind and added it inadvertently to the narrative.

There is another possibility, that the entire paragraph (6. 15. 4) is a compressed doublet. Arrian's account of the journey from the Malli town to the kingdom of Musicanus is extremely difficult to reconcile with the common tradition of Curtius and Diodorus, explicitly derived from Cleitarchus.71 In the Cleitarchean version Alexander first travels with the fleet, Craterus leading the shore army. He receives the submission of the democratically governed Sambastae and moves to the next peoples, whom Diodorus terms the Sodrae and Massani.72 These peoples also submit, and Alexander ceremonially founds a city in their territory. He then installs Oxyartes in Parapamisadae. The next event is the invasion of Musicanus' kingdom. In Arrian's parallel account there is a brief note about the departure of the fleet from the base camp at the junction of the Hydraotes and Acesines (6. 14. 4). After a geographical excursus on the rivers of the Punjab he mentions Alexander's next halt at the confluence of the Acesines and the Indus. Here he awaits the arrival of Perdiccas' army group, which had subjugated the Abastani (6. 15. 1). This is Arrian's only reference to this mission of Perdiccas, but the Abastani are presumably the Sambastae who are the first to be mentioned in the vulgate version of the journey south.73 Perdiccas may have dealt with the tribes away from the river while Alexander received the submission of the people in the vicinity of the river.74 According to Arrian the wait at the confluence was protracted. While Alexander was there, additions arrived for the fleet and he received the submission of various autonomous tribes including the [x] who may be identical with the Massani of Diodorus.75 Still at the confluence he appointed Philippus satrap of Northern India and gave instructions for the foundation of a large city complete with dockyards. This is exactly the point at which Diodorus and Curtius attest the foundation of an Alexandria.76 Arrian, it is true, says that Alexander merely gave orders for the foundation, but he was on the site of the future city and presumably began the work of foundation as he had done at Alexandria Eschate.77 Finally, as in Cleitarchus' version, Alexander appointed his father-in-law satrap of Parapamisadae. At this point we expect the invasion of Musicanus' kingdom. Instead Arrian seems to revert to an earlier stage of the journey. Craterus and the land army march alongside the river, as they do in the vulgate account of the departure from Malli territory.78 Next comes a reference to the arrival at the palace of the Sogdi, who look like the Sodrae of Diodorus. Here too Alexander founds a city, again with dockyards, and again there is a reference to the fleet; the ships which had been damaged were refitted. Why, one asks, had that not been done at the confluence, where Alexander had deliberately lingered to concentrate his forces? Why also should a second Alexandria have been founded in such close proximity to the city at the confluence?
There is no hint elsewhere of two foundations in this area and no trace of either city in later history.79 The difficulties evaporate if we assume a doublet in Arrian. His sources will have given different accounts of the journey from the camp near the Malli town to the confluence of the Indus and Acesines, recounting the march along the bank of the river and the foundation of an Alexandria but with different details and different forms of the Indian names. Arrian accordingly gave both versions consecutively as separate episodes. We cannot assume too long a distance between the territories of the Malli and Musicanus. In a survey of the tribes of Southern India, probably derived from the contemporary Onesicritus, Strabo places the kingdom of Musicanus immediately downstream from the land of the Malli;80 unless there is a doublet in Arrian's narrative the interval between the two districts becomes uncomfortably large.

If there is a doublet in Arrian, we should expect the doublet to end with a reference to satrapal appointments, and in particular a reference to Oxyartes' installation in Parapamisadae. If such a reference occurred it would explain very nicely the confusion about the double satrapy. Arrian had already mentioned the appointment in Parapamisadae and felt no need to repeat it. He therefore mentioned only Peithon's appointment to Southern India, but the name of Oxyartes was clearly in his mind and it slipped in inadvertently. The confusion would be all the easier if his source mentioned the common boundary of the two satrapies. It is an error parallel to the substitution of Philippus for Andromenes as the patronymic of Amyntas. This section of the narrative of the Indus voyage is an outstanding example of maladroit conflation of primary sources. The errors are blatant and striking, and it is useless to attempt to restore Arrian's credit by the crude surgery of deleting the offending words.
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Re: Freda Bedi Cont'd (#3)

Postby admin » Thu Jun 17, 2021 5:26 am

Part 2 of 2


So far the errors discussed have not in the main been of outstanding historical importance. They were selected as illustrations of the type of error Arrian is prone to commit and the criterion of choice was not the importance of the historical issue. I wish now to deal with two problems where I believe that undetected errors in Arrian have had unfortunate repercussions upon the historical interpretation of Alexander's reign.

The first concerns the early stages of the epic pursuit of Darius. On his march north from Persepolis Alexander quickened his pace when the news reached him in Paraetacene that Darius had decided to risk battle once more. The great train conveying bullion from Persepolis was left behind with an escort, and the rest of the army surged ahead equipped for battle. The speed quickened at the news that Darius had given up hope of battle and resolved upon flight.81 Finally at a distance of three days' march from Ecbatana a certain Bisthanes, allegedly a son of Artaxerxes III Ochus,82 reported that Darius had been in flight for five days with the treasures of Media and a small army. According to Arrian, Alexander proceeded to Ecbatana and there dismissed his Greek forces, given them their full pay and 2,000 talents bounty. Parmenion was given instructions first to convey the Persepolis treasure to the citadel at Ecbatana and then lead a force along the south Caspian coast to Hyrcania.83 Then Alexander resumed his pursuit and led the remainder of his army on a forced march to Rhagae and the Caspian Gates.84 It is Arrian alone who states that Alexander passed through Ecbatana in his pursuit of Darius. His statement has been universally believed, and every history of Alexander includes the Median capital in the itinerary of the pursuit. It is, however, impossible that his account should stand.

In the first place, the ancient sources disagree about the dismissal of the allied forces. Plutarch refers briefly to the discharge of the Thessalians, but he dates it after the news of Darius' arrest, which was only reported to Alexander when he was beyond the Caspian Gates after leaving Rhagae.85 This may be slovenly reporting by Plutarch, but the version of the vulgate sources is more complex and cannot be reconciled with Arrian. According to Diodorus, the Macedonian troops were eager for discharge after Darius' death and were only persuaded with difficulty to continue the campaign. The allied troops were then paid off and sent back to the coast.86 Curtius has the same story but inverts the chronological sequence. At Hecatompylus, the Parthian capital, Macedonian agitation to return home reached its height, and their eagerness was exacerbated by the recent dismissal of the Hellenic troops.87 Curtius' text is distorted by a lacuna [an unfilled space or interval; a gap.], but the implication is clear that the discharge preceded the agitation. But Curtius agrees with Diodorus (and Justin also) that the demobilization of the allied troops came after Darius' death.

Arrian's narrative is highly vulnerable. It is difficult to see how Alexander found time for all the measures which Arrian says he took at Ecbatana. The pursuit of Darius was very much alive. According to Arrian himself, it was not until Alexander reached Rhagae and learned that Darius had passed inside the Caspian Gates that he gave up hope of catching him on foot.88 Previously his intention had been to overhaul Darius before he reached the Gates (the modern Sar-i-Darreh defile) and the haven of the plain of Khar.89 Both before and after Alexander's supposed arrival at Ecbatana Arrian stresses that the Macedonian army moved by forced marches.90 Yet Alexander is supposed to have broken his pursuit in order to demobilize his Greek allies and arrange their passage home. If that were not enough in itself, one need only reflect that Alexander had no money with him. The bullion train had been left far behind in Paraetacene so that Alexander could lead his army at speed in fighting order.91 Ecbatana itself was an empty shell. Darius had taken 7,000 or 8,000 talents with him,92 stripping the capital clean of bullion. Nothing remained for Alexander but the legendary gold and silver leaf which adorned the citadel.93 It follows with almost mathematical certainty that Alexander cannot have paid off the allied troops in the course of the pursuit. At best he can only have made provisional arrangements, to be implemented once the pursuit was over and more settled conditions returned.

Curtius is the only other source to cover this section of Alexander's march. His account is very brief but also very informative. He mentions three reports to Alexander. The first was the news that Darius had left Ecbatana. At the news Alexander broke off his march into Media and went in pursuit. At Tabae, a town on the border of Paraetacene, further news came that Darius was in headlong flight for Bactria. Finally Bagistanes brought the news of Darius' impending arrest.94 These three reports cohere with Arrian's narrative. The report of Darius' departure from Ecbatana corresponds to Bisthanes' message (3. 19. 5); that of the flight to Bactria is parallel to Arrian's statement that deserters came over to Alexander in the vicinity of Rhagae, bringing news of Darius' further flight (3. 20. 2). Bagistanes is mentioned by both sources. Curtius' narrative differs in that it represents Alexander turning aside from the route to Ecbatana in order to press the pursuit. This statement has been received with scholarly derision,95 but it seems to be perfectly plausible. Darius' route from Ecbatana took him east towards Rhagae (the modern town of Rey, 12 kilometres southeast of Teheran) and the Caspian Gates. Alexander was originally moving in a north-westerly direction from Persis, following the line of the Zagros massif. Once the news of Darius' flight reached him there was no point in continuing the march to Ecbatana. Every step took him further from his quarry, and by the time he reached Rhagae his line of march would have described two sides of a triangle. It was in fact perfectly possible for Alexander to have cut across from the route to Ecbatana and taken what is now the modern highway via Qom to Teheran. That would have given him a much better chance of intercepting Darius.96 Curtius' statement is inherently plausible and should be accepted. If we can believe Arrian that the news of Darius' flight came when Alexander was three days' march from Ecbatana, we may conjecture that Alexander made his diversion near the modern town of Arak (Sultanabad). There the road forks, one branch leading to Hamadan (Ecbatana) and the other diverging north by north-east to Teheran. It was presumably this second fork that Alexander took. His route passed through the northern extremity of the district of Paraetacene, which is known to have extended to the vicinity of the Caspian Gates.

If we omit the paragraph about Ecbatana (3. 19. 5-8), Arrian's narrative agrees substantially with Curtius. At the news of Darius' flight from Ecbatana Alexander moved directly to Rhagae with the nucleus of the army. Now only three words of the offending paragraph state that Alexander himself entered Ecbatana ([x]). In view of his carelessness in handling the sources it is not too much to assume that there is an error of misunderstanding here also. All that is needed is to assume that Arrian's source digressed from the account of the pursuit to discuss Alexander's administrative arrangements. Once he had diverted from the road to Ecbatana there were two tasks to be carried out in his rear. The first was the securing of the bullion left behind in Paraetacene under the supervision of Harpalus. Parmenion was sent to reinforce the bullion convoy and to see to the transfer of the treasure to the citadel at Ecbatana. That mission completed, he was to continue through the territory of Darius' Cadusian allies, presumably with the intention of intercepting any Persian retreat through the Elburz mountains. But, while Parmenion moved south to the bullion train, Ecbatana needed to be occupied and prepared for the reception of the treasure. The Median capital was no longer enemy headquarters and its capture presented no problem, but it was prudent to have it secured before the arrival of the bullion from Persepolis. That role was allotted to the allied troops. At this point came the digression. Arrian's source dealt with the later demobilization of the troops. One can easily see why. In the vulgate sources the demobilization of the Hellenic troops is associated with discontent in the Macedonian army, and according to Curtius the discharge of the allies was an important ingredient in the agitation.97 Discontent in the army is a subject scrupulously avoided wherever possible by the official sources (so we must term Ptolemy and Aristobulus).98 Arrian has no suggestion that the Macedonians demanded to return home after Darius' death, and the whole story was probably omitted by his sources. Once that episode was excised, the demobilization of the allies was best dealt with in an anticipatory digression. I am assuming that Arrian's source recorded that Alexander sent the Hellenic troops to Ecbatana, where he later dismissed them.99 Arrian may then wrongly have inferred that Alexander himself went to Ecbatana. It is a very trivial slip compared with some of the others discussed, but it has beguiled all historians of Alexander into assuming a lengthy and wholly irrelevant halt at Ecbatana, during which Darius would have been able to increase his lead substantially, if not get clean away to Bactria.

Finally we can tackle one of the most annoying cruces [crosses] of Alexander's reign, the return journey to Egypt from the Oasis of Siwah. Arrian is wholly responsible, for without him there would be no problem. He records a divergence of views in his sources; Aristobulus said that Alexander took the same route back to Egypt, Ptolemy that he took another route direct to Memphis.100 The vulgate tradition agrees with Aristobulus, placing the foundation of Alexandria on the return journey.101 If Arrian is taken at face value, there is an inescapable dilemma, fundamental conflict among the primary sources over an issue both elementary and important.102

Ptolemy stands alone in stating that Alexander took a direct route across the desert, but there is nothing inherently implausible in the statement. The route was not, as has been recently argued, a dangerous passage of trackless desert but a relatively well-beaten road. In modern times there have been two inland routes from Siwah, one branching east by north-east to the Nile Delta and the other going east through the oasis of Bahariah. Travellers apparently preferred the inland route in winter because it escaped the rains and cold of the coastal road.103 It was precisely in winter that Alexander visited the sanctuary of Ammon, and he might indeed have taken an inland route back to Egypt. There is, however, an argument from silence, which has some force, though it is far from decisive. If Alexander cut directly across to Memphis, his journey was a close parallel to the abortive invasion of Siwah by Cambyses, whose army had perished in the desert with a loss, Herodotus says, of 50,000 men.104 Whether true or false, the story would have been familiar to Alexander, and one would have expected him to have acted in conscious emulation, just as his journey across the Makran was allegedly stimulated by the legends of the failures of Cyrus and Semiramis.105 Plutarch indeed mentions Cambyses' expedition and raises the possibility of a north wind arising and burying Alexander's force.106 The parallel here is related to the outward journey alone, and it seems likely that, had Alexander made a successful crossing to Memphis, the Alexander historians would have underlined the parallel with Cambyses.

The important point is that Aristobulus and the vulgate sources say that Alexander retraced his steps to the coast, founding Alexandria on the return journey. Aristobulus was an eye-witness like Ptolemy, and Cleitarchus, the probable author of the vulgate tradition, may well have been a citizen of Alexandria.107 It is strange to find them misinformed on a point so fundamental. What is more, Alexander's route back to Siwah was surely a matter of record and there is no obvious reason for falsification. Where the factual material is so uncontroversial and the disagreement among primary sources so disturbing, the most economical hypothesis seems to be that of error in Arrian, a misunderstanding of the type discussed in part I. Aristobulus may have stated that Alexander returned to the coast and founded Alexandria, while Ptolemy stated baldly that he went straight back to Memphis, including no details of the itinerary. Arrian could easily have interpreted this as a divergence over the actual route followed and inferred wrongly that Ptolemy knew of another route followed by Alexander to Memphis. Error in Arrian is a hypothesis which has occurred to scholars, but it has not been unhesitatingly advocated.108 Now it can be seen that Arrian's narrative is frequently warped by misunderstanding, and the error I have supposed of misinterpreting Ptolemy is not outlandish but typical of Arrian's slapdash use of sources.

There seems to be a genuine conflict among the primary sources over the chronology of the foundation of Alexandria. Ptolemy apparently placed it on the outward journey to Siwah, the vulgate tradition on the return journey. There are similar divergences in chronology elsewhere in the tradition,109 and it is easy to see how the divergence might have occurred in this case. All that is necessary is to assume that Alexander was, as Arrian says, impressed by the site on his outward journey.110 On his return he laid the foundations of the new city. There is a hint in Curtius that this is what actually happened. His account follows that of Arrian, in that he stresses that Alexander's route passed by Lake Mareotis on the outward journey. On his return to the lake Alexander founded the city. Curtius begins his description in the pluperfect [denoting an action completed prior to some past point of time specified or implied, as in he had gone by then]; Alexander had decided ('statuerat') to build on the island of Paros, but on closer inspection he chose a site for the city on the mainland.111 This suggests that Alexander evolved plans for the city on the outward journey and implemented them on his return. In that case there would be a natural temptation to describe the entire foundation as one episode, placed either before or after the journey to the sanctuary. There is in fact only one piece of evidence which suggests that the work of planning was well advanced before the journey to Siwah. That is Plutarch's transitional phrase: [x] (Plut. Al. 26.11).
Plutarch, however, is moving from one episode to another and might well be changing sources. His sutures connecting pieces of anecdote are notoriously unreliable for chronology,112 and it is dangerous to rely too closely on his wording. It is Plutarch himself, not his source, who has joined together the foundation of Alexandria and the beginning of the journey to Siwah. On the other hand, Curtius' pluperfect comes in the stream of the narrative and may be taken more seriously. The foundation of Alexandria is, however, a separate problem.
Provided that Ptolemy's narrative did not originally conflict with the rest of the tradition, Alexander's journey to and from Siwah followed the same route, and it makes little difference whether the city was founded on the outward or return journey.

It is, I hope, amply shown that Arrian is prone to misunderstand and mishandle his primary sources. The errors he commits can in some cases be corrected from his own narrative, but more often they are revealed by critical comparison with the rest of the historical tradition of Alexander's reign. This is important. Only so long as Arrian's work is regarded as an uncontaminated repository of fact can it be regarded as the sole authoritative account of Alexander.113 As it is, it is clear that Arrian's primary sources were not extracts from the archives of Alexander but political histories with all the propaganda and distortion one would expect from first-generation authors with their own axes to grind. Above all, Arrian is too fallible in his handling of sources for his narrative ever to be dispensed from cross-examination. He may still be the most detailed extant source, but he requires constant assessment against the rest of the tradition.



1 The most impressive monument to this approach, and indeed its reductio ad absurdum, is E. Kornemann, Die Alexandergeschichte des Konigs Ptolemaios I von Aegypten (Leipzig 1935). For Kornemann the vast majority of Arrian's narrative was a verbatim transcript of Ptolemy, whose material was derived in its turn from the court archives. See the impressive review by H. Strasburger, Gnomon 13 (1937), 483-92, rightly protesting against the undervaluation of Arrian's own contribution. Even Strasburger, however, took for granted 'der aktenmaissige Grundstock' [Google translate: the file-based basic stock] of Arrian, which he agreed went back to Ptolemy (486). The belief in court Journals as the ultimate and official source of the tradition in Arrian goes back to Droysen (Geschichte des Hellenismus i.2 2. 383 -6), but the theory was most fully argued by U. Wilcken, [x], Philologus 53 (1894), 80-126, esp. 117: 'es sei mir erlaubt, in kurzen Zugen die Hypothese hinzustellen, dass die Ephemeriden Alexanders die Hauptquelle fur die Memoiren des Konigs Ptolemaios I gewesen sind, die wiederum den Grundstock der Anabasis Arrians bilden'. [Google translate: allow me to briefly outline the hypothesis put down that ephemeris Alexander's main source for the memoir of King Ptolemy I who again the basis of the anabasis Arrians form.] This statement by Wilcken became canonical for German scholarship (see the bibliography by J. Seibert, Alexander der Grosse, 1972, 5-6; 230- 1). In English literature the most decisive statements are to be found in the work of Sir W.W. Tarn, who for all his scepticism of German Quellenkritik wholly accepted its basic premiss, that Ptolemy used the Journal (cf. Alexander the Great ii. 1-2; 263-4; 374).

2 For recent attacks on the theory that the 'Royal Ephemerides' were Ptolemy's principal source see L. Pearson, Hlistoria 3 (1954/5), 432-9; E. Badian, Studies in Greek and Roman History (1964), 256-8; A.E. Samuel, Historia 14 (1965), 1-12; A.B. Bosworth, CQ 65 (1971), 117-23. On Ptolemy's view of his own role see C.B. Welles, 'The Reliability of Ptolemy as an Historian', Miscellanea Rostagni (Turin 1963), 101-16; and J. Seibert, Untersuchungen zur Geschichte Ptolemaios I (Munch. Beitr. 56: 1969), 1-26. For propaganda against contemporaries see R.M. Errington, CQ 63 (1969), 233-42.

Arrian's enthusiasm for Ptolemy's account of Alexander has often been echoed in modern times. With much justification it is generally agreed that Arrian's account of Alexander, through its reliance on the works of Ptolemy and Aristobulus, is our best and, on the whole, most reliable account of Alexander. Recent work, however, has illuminated Ptolemy's weaknesses, and we can no longer regard Ptolemy as utterly reliable in every important respect. His version of the Alexander story is centred on Alexander, therefore Alexander is depicted out of the close context of the Macedonian court. It is only through the information preserved in other writers—traditionally, but undiscriminatingly, considered unreliable—that, for instance, the picture of Alexander's struggle with his Macedonian nobles has begun to emerge. And in matters of this kind Ptolemy's version is so much the court ‘official’ version that it cannot be regarded as trustworthy.

-- Bias in Ptolemy's History of Alexander1, by R. M. Errington, February 2009

3 Arr. 1. 12. 2-3. Arrian has in mind Thucydides' famous strictures of histories of the pentekontaetia (Thuc. 1. 97. 2), on which the passage is patently modelled (note the verbal echo [x]).

4 Arr. praef. 3; cf. 7. 30. 3.

5 6. 11. 2:[x].

6 'Suda', s.v. [x] (=FGrH 153 F 6). No fragments have survived, but the references to Alexander in Dio's Orations are generally favourable (cf. A. Heuss, Antike und Abendland 4, 1954, 90-4). On any chronology of Arrian's literary development Dio's work must have preceded the Anabasis. Dio had been born about A.D. 40 and may not have outlived Trajan. It would be useful to know whether Arrian had any acquaintance with Plutarch's work on Alexander. The biography itself may have been published between 110 and 115 (C.P. Jones, JRS 56 (1966), 69; J.R. Hamilton, Plutarch Alexander, 1969, xxxvii), perhaps not too long before the Anabasis (for this chronology see CQ 66, 1972, 163-85). The earlier speeches, De Alexandri fortuna aut virtute, were certainly available to Arrian, but he may not have been as familiar with the lesser works of Plutarch as he was with Dio of Prusa.

7 1. 12. 4: [x].

8 e.g. Ind. 43.14: [x]. Tact. 32.3: [x]. For further discussion see A.B. Bosworth, CQ 66 (1972), 148.

9 That is the entire tenor of the historiographical cursus( 1. 12. 3-5). Alexander has never achieved even the renown of the Ten Thousand despite the multitude of his historians and the greatness of his achievements. That gap Arrian will fill. Admittedly he concedes at 1. 12. 5 that the greatness of his subject will give him supremacy in Greek letters (cf. G. Schepens, Ancient Society 2, 1971, 262 -3), but he takes for granted his ability to produce the definitive history of Alexander's reign.

The Ten Thousand (Ancient Greek: οἱ Μύριοι, oi Myrioi) were a force of mercenary units, mainly Greeks, employed by Cyrus the Younger to attempt to wrest the throne of the Persian Empire from his brother, Artaxerxes II. Their march to the Battle of Cunaxa and back to Greece (401–399 BC) was recorded by Xenophon, one of their leaders, in his work Anabasis.

-- Ten Thousand, by Wikipedia

10 Bithyniaca F. 1.3 (Roos): [x]. For discussion of text and interpretation see CQ 66 (1972), 178-80.

11 Lucian, De hist. conscr. 52: [x] see Lucian 48 with Arrian, Ep. ad I. Gellium 1-4 (Roos, Arriani scripta minora 196). Cf. Josephus, C. Ap. 1.50: [x].

12 e.g. the Bithyniaca of Asclepiades of Myrlea (FGrH 697); Alexander Polyhistor's [x] (FGrH 273 F 12-13; 125); Menecrates' history of Nicaea (FGrH 701); and the monograph on the Kings of Bithynia by Nicander of Chalcedon (FGrH 700).

13 Cf. P.G. Walsh, Livy (1961), 141 ff.; esp. 146-8. For more startling examples of what a secondary author could do with a respectable source see the discussion of Diodorus' use of Polybius by R. Drews, AJP 83 (1962), 384-5.

14 Arr. 1. 11. 1.

15 Schol. Dem. 19. 192:[x]. Cf. Steph. Byz., s.v. [x]. These and other references are quoted in full by W. Baege, De Macedonum sacris (Diss. Hal. xxii.l: 1913), 10-11. Once he had collected the references Baege saw at once that Arrian's statement about Aegae was mistake (p.8 'errore auctoris'; so F. Geyer, RE xiv. 716: 'statt "Aigai" muss "Dion" stehen'; J.N. Kalleris, Les Anciens Maceddoniens i, Athens 1954, 251, n. 2). For the site of Dium see Livy 44. 6. 15 with N.G.L. Hammond, A History of Macedonia i (Oxford 1972), 125.

16 Polybius 4. 62. 2.

17 Diod. 17. 16. 3: [x]. For the equation of the Olympia with the games in honour of the Muses see Schol. Dem. 19. 192, quoted above.

18 Dio, Orat. 2. 2: [x].

19 Arr. 1. 11. 1: [x]. The [x] does not necessarily refer to the subsidiary tradition; it merely means that the material is taken from a source different from the source of the preceding material, in this case probably Aristobulus (cf. Schwartz, RE ii. 912; H. Strasburger, Ptolemaios und Alexander, 23).

20 For full references to the cult of Zeus in Macedonia see Baege, op. cit. 1-20. The eponymous hero Macedon was said to have been a son of Zeus (Hesiod F 7 (O.C.T.)), and the Macedonian royal house was doubly descended from Zeus thanks to its Heraclid lineage (cf. Arr. 3. 3. 1-2).

21 Cf. Arr. 1. 10. 2; Plut. Camillus 19.10. The news of the destruction of Thebes reached Athens at the time of the Great Mysteries, which were held between 15 and 24 Boedromion (IG ii2. 1078. 11 ff.; S. Dow, HSCP 48, 1937, 111-20), roughly between 20 and 30 September according to the Julian calendar. Soon afterwards Alexander marched north to Macedonia.

22 For discussion of the Macedonian calendar see Beloch, GG iv2. 2. 26 ff.; A.E. Samuel, Greek and Roman Chronology (Munich 1972), 139 ff. On the importance of the name Dios see Kalleris, Les Anciens Macddoniens i.158.

23 For Mazares the Mede see Herodotus 1. 156.2; 157.3; 160-1.

24 Mithrines was made satrap of Armenia immediately after Gaugamela (Arr. 3. 16. 5; Diod. 17. 64. 6; Curt. 5. 1. 44), and Amminapes was appointed to Parapamisadae immediately after the death of Darius (Arr. 3. 22. 1; cf. Curt. 6. 4. 25).

25 Berve, Das Alexanderreich (Munich 1926), ii.246, no. 486, following F. Justi, Iraniscbes Namenbuch (1895), 201, and O. Hoffmann, Die Makedonen (1906), 181.

26 Curt. 5. 2. 16-17: 'Susa urbem Archelao et praesidium III milium tradidit, Xenophilo arcis cura mandata est mille Macedonum aetate gravibus praesidere arcis custodiae iussis, thesaurorum Callicrati tutela permissa, satrapea regionis Susianae restituta Abulitae.' [Google translate: SUSA city Archelao protection and 3 and delivered Xenophilus charge of the citadel thousands Macedonia age heavy guard citadel in prison for having ordered, the protection of the treasures of Callicrates, the satrapy region was restored Abulites.]

27 Diod. 19. 17. 3; 48. 1; 48. 6.

28 So Berve ii.282, no. 578; Lehmann-Haupt, RE iiA. 143; Chr. Habicht, RE ixA. 1565-6. A.T. Olmstead, A History of the Persian Empire (Chicago 1948), 518-20, attempted a conflation of Arrian and Curtius. Mazarus, he rightly inferred, was the Persian commander of the citadel, retained by Alexander; Zenophilus (sic) was over the citadel. Olmstead wisely does not try to explain how the functions of the two men differed.

29 Curt. 5. 1. 43-4 (supplementary material in Diod. 17. 64.5, derived from the common source); Arr. 3. 16. 4.

30 Curt. 5. 1. 44: 'Bagophanem, qui arcem tradiderat, se sequi iussit.' [Google translate: Bagophanes the castle delivered to them, and ordered them to follow him.] Bagophanes is mentioned earlier in Curtius' elaborate description of the surrender of Babylon (5. 1. 20), by far the fullest and best extant account of the proceedings.

31 For a good description see F. Schachermeyr, Alexander in Babylon (SB. Wien, Phil.- Hist. Kl. cclxviii.3: 1970), 49-63.

32 The definitive discussion is by E.T. Newell, 'Miscellanea Numismatica: Cyrene to India', Numismatic Notes and Monographs 82 (1938), 82-8. Newell's conclusions have been accepted by A.R. Bellinger, Essays in the Coinage of Alexander the Great (1963), 65-6, and G. Le Rider, Schweizer Munzblatter 85 (1972), 1-7.

33 Newell, op. cit. 72-5.

34 E. Badian, Greece and Rome 12 (1965), 173, n. 4. The evidence for independent coinages in Alexander's reign is very slender. Even in Phoenicia local issues were superseded by the royal coinage, the only concession being that the kings of Aradus and Byblus added their own monogram (Bellinger, Essays, 50-6). The nearest parallel would be the lion staters of Mazaeus, which may have been issued while Mazaeus was satrap of Babylonia under Alexander. But the very uniqueness of these issues has evoked doubts about their attribution to Alexander's reign (Badian, op. cit. 173, apparently followed by R. Lane Fox, Alexander the Great, 1973, 528). It is, however, a far cry from the satrap of Babylonia issuing his own coinage to the petty ruler of some unnamed city striking his own imitations of Attic tetradrachms.

35 J.P. Six, Num. Chron. 1884, 141-3 Newell, 88, n. 172, observes that Mazarus as a mere phrurarch could not have struck his own coins under Alexander; that is true, and a conclusive argument against his own attribution. On his hypothesis Mazakes was at best under-governor, not a satrap.

36 Compare Curtius' description of Bagophanes, the Persian citadel commander of Babylon: 'arcis et regis pecuniae custos'. [Google translate: citadel and royal funds.]

37 Even if the Aramaic legend is proved to read 'Mazdak' (which, given the difficulty of reading, is very unlikely), the issuer of the coins may still be identified as the Persian commander at Susa. Arrian's text is not infallible in these matters; at 3. 22. 1 all manuscripts read [x] for [x], and there may be a corruption at 3. 16. 9.

38 So N.G.L. Hammond, JHS 94 (1974), 85, n. 34. Hammond is committed to taking Arrian's wording in deadly earnest because of a belief that his account is taken ultimately from a day-to-day diary compiled under Alexander and transmitted in an abbreviated but substantially correct form. (pp. 77-8).

39 Thuc. 1. 24. 1; Ps.-Scylax 26; Eratosthenes ap. Steph. Byz., s.v. [x]; Strabo 7. 7. 8 (326). For the boundaries of the Taulantian kingdom see Hammond, ABSA 61 (1966), 247.

40 Arr. 1. 6. 10 [x]. Hammond, JHS 94 (1974), 85, translates [x] at 1. 6. 11 as 'Alexander's Own Cavalry', so conjuring a cavalry force out of thin air. The expression merely means 'Alexander's men' and does not imply the presence of cavalry. Compare 1. 28. 5, where [x] refers to a battle line composed exclusively of infantry.

41 1. 6. 11: Cleitus first took refuge in the city but then left to join Glaucias and the Taulantians. The siege must have been raised at the news of the revolt of Thebes (so Hammond 86). Arrian, however, says nothing of the circumstances of the Macedonian withdrawal.

42 Praef. 1: [x].

43 Arr. 3. 11. 9: [x].

44 Arr. 1.8.2; 1. 14. 2; 3. 16. 10; 3. 27. 1; Curt. 5. 1. 40; cf. Berve ii.26, no. 57.

45 The emendation appeared in two works both published in 1668, J. Palmarius Exercitationes in optimos auctores Graecos, 238, and the edition of the Anabasis by N. Blancardus. It was subsequently followed by all editors except Roos, who observed, 'Arriano error imputandus'.

46 Diod. 17. 57. 3; Curt. 4. 13. 28 (Phaligrus Balacri-the emendation Philippus is guaranteed by Diodorus).

47 Along with Meleager he led the train of booty sent back from the Danube in 335 (Arr. 1. 4. 5). He is not mentioned after the battle of the Granicus.

48 1. 14. 2: [X]. 1.14. 3: [X].

49 So R. Kopke, Jahrb. fur class. Phil. 99 (1869), 263-5; Droysen, Kleine Schhriften ii. 222-3 (accepted in Roos's text). The author of the supposed gloss must have been erudite, for the name of Craterus' father is correctly given as Alexander (Arr. 1. 25. 9; Ind. 18. 5).

50 Cf. 2. 8. 4; 3. 11. 10.

51 [x] is used at 3. 9. 6, 5. 20. 3, and 5. 21. 5 to refer to individual battalions. Polyaenus also refers to Perdiccas' battalion as [x] (4 . 3. 27; cf. Arr. 3. 18. 5). For the general usage see Isidore, Orig. 9. 3. 46: 'proprie autem Macedonum phalanx, Gallorum caterva, nostra legio dicitur.' [Google translate: properly applied in Macedonia host, with, the crowd of Gauls, our legion said.]

52 Cf. 1. 28. 3 ([x] and hypaspists listed separately); so 7. 11. 3.

53 Arr. 1. 14. 1 and 14. 6. The equation seems universally accepted; cf. Berve i.129; Tarn, Alexander ii.157; P.A. Brunt, JHS 83 (1963), 26; R.D. Milns, JHS 86 (1966), 167.

54 [x] does not occur in Greek literature before the Hellenistic period, and outside Arrian it does not denote a cavalryman (pace Tarn ii.157, n. 6, Didymus (col. xiii. 5-7) does not refer explicitly to a mounted [x]). [x] is more frequent; its use to refer to the vanguard goes back to Herodotus. Diodorus, however, uses the word to refer to Thracian cavalry (Diod. 17. 17. 4; for discussion see Milns, JHS 86, 1966, 167), and it was certainly a technical term in Alexander's army.

55 That appears to have been Berve's hypothesis (ii.164, no. 341). Hegelochus, he claims, was the commander of the [x] temporarily placed under the wider command of Amyntas. He seems, however, to conceive all the scouts as a single group. If Arrian's narrative is literally correct, there were two separate groups.

56 At 1. 16. 3 Arrian mentions Mithrobuzanes, satrap of Cappadocia, and three relatives of Darius; Mithridates, Abrupales, and Pharnaces. None appears in the list of commanders at 1. 12. 8. Again at 2. 11. 8, a passage very probably from Ptolemy (FGrH 138 F 6), Atizyes is said to have been one of the commanders at the Granicus. His name does not appear at 1. 12. 8. Even Kornemann (op. cit. 103) agreed that the beginning of the report of the council-of-war must come from Aristobulus.

57 The words are bracketed in every subsequent edition of Arrian, and modern historians who have noted the problem accepted the theory of a gloss without argument (e.g. Berve ii.224, n. 2; Kornemann, op. cit. 154, n. 132).

58 e.g. 4. 18. 3: [x]. 6. 17. 1: [x]. Cf. also 1. 17. 2; 3. 29. 5.

59 This seems typical of the glosses posited by Schmieder. For his performance at 7. 11. 3 see Bosworth, CQ 67 (1973), 246-7.

60 The change of nomenclature was immaterial to Schmieder, who had followed a suggestion of Blancardus and eliminated all forms other than [x] from his text. Once he had 'emended' 6. 17. 3 as [x], he could present the supposed gloss as an exact copy.

61 For discussion of the nomenclature and borders of the satrapy, see E. Herzfeld, The Persian Empire (Wiesbaden 1968), 331.

62 For other references to the Drangae see 3. 21. 1; 4. 18. 3; 7. 10. 6. For the Zarangae see 6. 27. 3; 7. 6. 3.

63 Used by the bematists (FGrH 119 F 2: both Strabo and Pliny), Nearchus (Strabo 15. 2. 5 (721)), and the vulgate sources (Diod. 17. 78.4; 81. 1; 105. 7; Curt. 6. 6. 36).

64 This depends on the assumption, which seems general, that 6. 17. 3 is taken from Ptolemy. If it does in fact come from Aristobulus, the argument is unaffected; we then assume that [x] was Ptolemy's term.

65 Justin 12. 10. 1-2. The convoy is said to have been led by Polyperchon, an obvious error. Polyperchon, however, may have been Craterus' lieutenant. He is not mentioned in Alexander's entourage after this time, and he is later explicitly attested as Craterus' second in command for the later convoy of veterans from Opis (Arr. 7. 12. 4; Justin 12. 12.8; cf. Berve ii.326, no. 654).

65a According to Strabo 15. 2. 5 (721) Craterus began his march at the Hydaspes ([x]). Even if the information is garbled in transition, it suits the northern point of departure rather than the area around Patala. A.E. Anspach, De Alexandri Magni Expeditione Indica (Leipzig 1903), 122, n. 389, suggested emending the text [x], so offending blatantly against the principle of the lectio difficilior [Google translate: reading difficulties].

66 Arr. 6. 15. 4: [x].

67 Arr. 6. 15. 3; cf. Curt. 9. 8. 9-10.

68 So Anspach, De Al. Magni Expeditione Indica 115, n. 365; Beloch, GG iv2.1. 30, n. 4. Oxyartes' name is bracketed in Roos's edition.

69 Arr. Succ. F 1. 36 (Roos); cf. Diod. 18. 39. 6; Dexippus FGrH 100 F 8. 5.

70 Diod. 18. 3. 2; Curt. 10. 10. 4; cf. Beloch iv2. 2. 312-13.

71 Diod. 17. 102; Curt. 9. 8. 10. At 9. 8. 5 Curtius cites Cleitarchus by name for the casualties inflicted upon the Indians of Sambos' kingdom (=FGrH 137 F 25). The figure is germane to the narrative, and almost certainly the passage is excerpted directly or indirectly from Cleitarchus.

72 Diod. 102. 4. Curtius 9. 8. 8 merely refers to them as 'aliae gentes', [Google translate: Some nations] but he places the foundation of an Alexandria in their territory.

73 Diod. 102. 1. Curtius 9. 8. 4 terms them Sabarcae. In both sources they appear as the people immediately south of the Malli, which is the position of Arrian's [x]; it is usually inferred that the same tribe is referred to by all three writers (Anspach, op. cit. 112, n. 356; Berve ii.315, n. 1).

74 For the procedure, compare Alexander's division of the army at the beginning of the Indus Journey (Arr. 6. 4. 1; 6. 5. 5-7).

75 The text at 6. 15. 1 is corrupt. There is a lacuna which contained the name of a second Indian tribe which surrendered to Alexander. Roos supplied the name [x] from the paragraph below (6. 15. 4), clearly thinking in terms of a doublet.

76 Diod. 102. 4; Curt. 9. 8. 8.

77 Arr. 4. 1. 3; compare the foundation of Alexandria in Egypt (Arr. 3. 1. 5).

78 Arr. 6. 15. 4; cf. Diod. 102. 1; Curt. 9.8. 3.

79 Despite the similarities of wording scholars have invariably believed in the foundation of two separate Alexandrias; cf. Droysen iii'. 2. 230; Berve i.294; V. Tscherikower, Die hell. Stadtegrundungen (Philologus Suppl. 19. 1: 1927) 109; Tarn ii.2 39. Tarn recognizes the scantiness of the evidence and suggests that, even if finished, both cities were swept away in Chandragupta's conquest.

80 Strabo 15. 1. 33 (701). At the head of the chapter comes the curious reference to the 5,000 Indian cities, each the size of Meropid Cos. This has been thought a topical reference by Onesicritus, whose home, Astypalaea, was an immediate neighbour of Cos (L. Pearson, The Lost Histories of Alexander, 1960, 106).

81 Arr. 3. 19. 3-4.

82 Bisthanes (Berve, no. 215) is only mentioned by Arrian, and the emergence of a son of Artaxerxes III Ochus as late as 330 is a problem. According to the detailed account of Diodorus (17. 5. 3-5) all the sons of Artaxerxes were murdered by the eunuch Bagoas with the single exception of Arses, the predecessor of Darius III. When Arses was murdered in his turn the house of Artaxerxes was extinct (Diod. 5. 5). Diodorus may be mistaken and Bagoas' purge not exhaustive (so Th. Noldeke, Aufsatze zur persischen Geschichte, 1887, 81, n. 1), but on the other hand Arrian or his source might be in error about Bisthanes' relationship to the Achaemenid house.

83 3.19. 5-8.

84 3. 20. 1.

85 Plut. Al. 42. 5. For the arrest of Darius see Arr. 3. 21. 1; Curt. 5. 13. 3. There is divergence over the precise details but agreement that reports of Darius' danger were brought by Bagistanes the Babylonian.

86 Diod. 17. 74. 3-4: placed immediately after Darius' death and three days' journey from the Parthian capital Hecatompylos (for the location see J. Hansman, Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society, 1968, 116-19). This is a patent mistake. Curtius locates the troubles with the Macedonians at Hecatompylos itself (6. 2. 15). Diodorus' reference to the city comes in the course of his narrative of the journey into Hyrcania, which runs parallel to Curtius (Diod. 75. 1-2 = Curt. 6. 4. 1-7). Curtius makes the first stage a three days' march to the Hyrcanian border. The same three days' march occurs in Diodorus, who with typical lack of care makes Hecatompylos the terminus, not the starting-point, of the march. For another Diodoran error see n. 97.

87 Curt. 6. 2. 17: 'fecerant fidem rumori temere vulgato Graeci milites redire iussi domos' [Google translate: made credit report Greek soldiers ordered to return home at random common houses]; cf. Justin 12. 1. 1.

88 Arr. 3. 20. 3: [x].

89 For the geography of the Caspian Gates see A.F. von Stahl, Geogr. Journ. 64 (1924), 318-19; H. Treidler, RE xxii. 322-33; J.F. Standish, Greece and Rome 17 (1970), 17-24.

90 Arr. 3. 19. 4: [x] 3. 20. 1: [x].

91 Arr. 3. 19. 3: [x].

92 Arr. 3. 19. 5 (7,000 talents) Diodorus 74.5 and Strabo 15. 3. 9 (731) agree on 8,000.

93. See particularly Polybius 10. 27. 10-13. As late as the reign of Antiochus III almost 4,000 talents of coin was struck from the gold and silver embellishments of the temple of Anaitis. The rest of the palace complex, Polybius says, had been denuded of its decorations during the reigns of Alexander, Antigonus, and Seleucus I. There would presumably have been enough to pay off the allied troops, but Alexander hardly had the time to strip the necessary silver from the walls and roofs of Ecbatana.

94 Curt. 5. 13. 1-3: 'Alexander audito Dareum movisse ab Ecbatanis, omisso itinere quod patebat in Mediam fugientem insequi pergit strenue. Tabas (oppidum est in Paraetacene ultima) pervenit; ibi transfugae nuntiant praecipitem fuga Bactra petere Dareum. certiora deinde cognoscit ex Bagistane Babylonio.' [Google translate: Alexander hearing that Darius had moved from Ecbatana, abandoning the journey which there was into Media, and follow after the fleeing proceeded. Tabas (a town in Paraetacene final) arrives; there refugees. They reported that the headlong flight of the Bactria to ask Dare. more to be relied. He also knows from Bagistanes, Christen.]

95 Cf. J. Marquart, Philologus Suppl. 10 (1907), 30-4, arguing that Curtius has conflated the two reports of Bisanthes and Bagistanes, conflating the events of a month into a single day and confusing the stay at Ecbatana with that at Rhagae. On the contrary, Curtius mentions both reports, although only Bagistanes is mentioned by name. His account may be brief, but it does not imply that all these reports came on a single day. It is moreover quite explicit; Alexander moved from the direct road to Ecbatana and passed through Tabae. The location of Tabae is unknown. Marquart suggested emending to Gabae, the provincial capital of Paraetacene mentioned by Diodorus (19. 26. 1; 34. 7), and he has been followed recently by R. Lane Fox, Alexander the Great, 529-30. That is unfortunate. Tabae is mentioned by Polybius as the town in Persis where Antiochus IV perished after his expedition against the shrine of Anaitis in Elymais (Polybius 31. 9. 3; cf. App. Syr. 66. 352; FGrH 260 F 56). Elymais was the Seleucid term for the mountain country between Susa and the Median border, comprising part of what had been Paraetacene. It seems clear that the town where Antiochus died is the same as that visited by Alexander; both are named Tabae (so Weissbach, RE ivA. 1840-1). The location of Tabae is still difficult. G. Radet (Melanges Glotz, Paris 1932, ii.772) mistakenly supposed that Tabae was the site of Bagistanes' message and located it at Padi, east of the Caspian Gates on the further side of the plain of Khar. It is, however, clear that it was only after leaving Tabae that Alexander received Bagistanes' 'more certain news'. From Curtius' narrative it looks as though the town should be placed somewhere on Alexander's route to Rhagae after leaving the road to Ecbatana. It is at this stage that Arrian places the influx of deserters from Darius' army with their news of the flight beyond the Caspian Gates. Alexander was still in Paraetacene; according to Strabo the district extended as far north as the Caspian Gates (16. 1. 17 (744); cf. 11. 13. 6 (524)).

96 G. Radet (Melanges Glotz ii.770) accepts Curtius in part, arguing that Alexander sent off a flying column to intercept the Persian force. None the less he regards the statement that Alexander himself diverged from the road as an indisputable error.

97 Curt. 6. 2. 17. Diodorus 74. 3 reads as though the allied troops were physically present when Alexander discharged them ([x]). That is impossible. Alexander had only a small fraction of his army with him at the end of the pursuit of Darius, and it is most unlikely that the Hellenic troops were forced to march to Hecatompylos, only to be dismissed on arrival.

98 Note particularly H. Strasburger's impressive list of hardships undergone by the Macedonian army (Hermes 80, 1952, 470-3); most are reported in full by the vulgate sources but either omitted or glossed over by Arrian.

99 According to Arrian's own narrative the Thessalian cavalry who volunteered for further service at Ecbatana only reached Alexander much later in 330 when he was at the borders of Areia (3. 25. 4). They arrived with the mercenary cavalry who had served with Parmenion in Media. Had they re-enlisted when Alexander was physically present, he would presumably have taken them in the pursuit of Darius along with the mercenary cavalry of Erigyius (cf. 3. 20. 1).

100 Arr. 3. 4. 5: [x].

101 Curt. 4. 8. 1 (explicit); Diod. 17. 51. 4-52. 1; Justin 11. 11. 13. Plut. Al. 26 places the foundation of Alexandria before the journey to Siwah.

102 Alexander historians unhesitantly accepted the Ptolemaic version until C.B. Welles (Historia 11, 1962, 278-81) argued that Ptolemy was wrong and that Alexandria was in fact founded on the return journey. In this he was followed by E.N. Borza (Historia 16, 1967, 369). P.M. Fraser (Opuscula Atheniensia 7, 1967, 30, n. 27) exposed many of the weaknesses of Welles's arguments, but did not tackle the fundamental problem of the conflict of primary sources. See also, in support of Ptolemy, F. Schachermeyr, Alexander der Grosse' (SB. Wien cclxxxv: 1973), 253, n. 287; R. Lane Fox, Alexander the Great, 522: 525.

103 I here follow the discussion of O. Bates, The Eastern Libyans (1916), 14.

104 Hdt. 3. 25. 3-7.

105 Arr. 6. 24. 2-3; Strabo 15. 1. 5 (686) = FGrH 133 F 3.

106 Plut. Al. 26. 11-12. There is a possibility that this passage, like the description of the journey itself, is taken from Callisthenes of Olynthus.

107 Philodemus Rhet. 4. 1 = FGrH 137 T 12: [x]. It is unfortunately by no means certain that the Cleitarchus here mentioned was in fact the historian of Alexander. He may be an otherwise unknown rhetorician (cf. P.M. Fraser, Ptolemaic Alexandria, Oxford 1972, ii.717-18).

108 Welles, Historia 11 (1962), 279: 'it is possible that he [Ptolemy] is wrongly quoted'; Borza, Historia 16 (1967), 369: 'whether it was Arrian's error in citing Ptolemy or an unresolved conflict in Ptolemy himself cannot be ascertained'.

109 Note the arrival of Amyntas with reinforcements from Macedonia, placed at Babylon by Curtius (5. 1. 40-2), at Susa by Arrian (3. 16. 9-11), and at an intermediate point in Sittacene by Diodorus (17. 65. 1).

110 Arr. 3. 1. 5: [x].

111 Curt. 4. 8. 1-2: 'contemplatus loci naturam primum in ipsa insula statuerat urbem condere; inde, ut adparuit magnae sedis insulam haud capacem esse, elegit urbi locum ubi nunc est Alexandrea.' [Google translate: contemplating for the first time on the island itself, had determined the nature of the the city found. From this, and in being ashamed of a great See, the island was not large enough, he chose the city Alexandria is the place where now.] For the visit to Lake Mareotis on the outward journey see Curt. 4. 7. 9; Arr. 3. 1. 5.

112 There is an exact parallel in Plutarch's description of Gaugamela. He describes Alexander's coolness before the battle and caps his account with a similar incident in the battle itself (32. 1-7). After the anecdote he reverts to the prelude of the battle and Alexander arming himself. The link, however, is very misleading and gives the impression that Alexander only put on his armour after the frenzied action described before (32. 8: [x]). This led Tarn to stigmatize the passage as the worst farrago of nonsense in the Greek language (Alexander ii. 352). All that is at fault is the misleading transitional phrase. For examples of violent chronological jumps in the Lysander see A. Andrewes, Phoenix 25 (1971), 211-12.

113 Note the sagacious remarks of J. Seibert, Alexander der Grosse (1972), 6, who stresses the danger of accepting the theory of the Ephemerides as the official basis of 'the best Alexander literature' without first refuting the criticisms evinced in recent research: 'sollte diese sich bestatigen, musste die bisherige Quellenkritik neu uberdacht werden.' [Google translate: should this confirm itself, had to the previous source criticism be reconsidered.]
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Mallian campaign [Indian Campaign #4 Nov. 326 B.C.-Feb 325 B.C.]
by Wikipedia
Accessed: 6/17/21

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)
Macedon: League of Corinth / Malli
Commanders and leaders
Alexander the Great; Hephaestion; Peithon / various
Location within South Asia

Campaigns of Alexander the Great

Mount Haemus (335 BC)Pelium (335 BC)Thebes (335 BC)
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)
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]


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.

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]



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]

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]


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]

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 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]

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

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.


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]


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.


• 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

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
Macedon; Hellenic League / Aspasioi; Guraeans; Assakenoi
Commanders and leaders
Alexander the Great; Craterus; Perdiccas; Ptolemy I Soter; Leonnatus / various
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.


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]

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

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]

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

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]


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


• 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

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

The Aornos is located to the north of Taxila

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.


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


• 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).

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]
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
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]
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.


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]


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]


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

Alexander's crossing of the Hydaspes River.

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]


Combined attack of cavalry and infantry.

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

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.

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]


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



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".
45. "Diodorus Siculus, Library, Book XVII, Chapter 89, section 3".
46. Diodorus, 17.89.2
47. Rogers, p.200
48. Roy 2004, pp. 23–28.
49. Roy 2004, pp. 28–31.



• 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.


• 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)

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Accessed: 6/18/21


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.


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 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]


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


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.]...


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

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


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


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]


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.


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


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]


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


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". 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.


• 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

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.
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.



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

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

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.


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

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.

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.

"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 (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]


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

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]

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

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

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.


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

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)



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."


• 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.
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• Robin Lane Fox (1980). The Search for Alexander. Little Brown & Co. Boston. ISBN 0-316-29108-0.
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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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