Quellenkunde zur indischen Geschichte bis 1858

11. Griechische und lateinische Quellen

2. Zum Beispiel: Megasthenes (Μεγασθενής): Indika-fragments

hrsg. von Alois Payer


Zitierweise / cite as:

Payer, Alois <1944 - >: Quellenkunde zur indischen Geschichte bis 1858. -- 11. Griechische und lateinische Quellen. -- 2. Zum Beispiel: Megasthenes (Μεγασθενής): Indika-fragments. -- Fassung vom 2008-04-27. -- http://www.payer.de/quellenkunde/quellen1102.htm             

Erstmals publiziert als:

Ancient India as described by Megasthenês and Arrian : being a translation of the fragments of the Indika of Megasthenês collected by Dr. Schwanbeck, and of the first part of the Indika of Arrian / by J. W. (John Watson) McCrindle [1825 - 1913]. With introd., notes, and map of ancient India. -- Calcutta : Thacker, 1877.  -- xi, 223 S. ; 21 cm. -- "Reprinted (with additions) from the ’Indian antiquary,’ 1876-77." -- Einheitssachtitel: Indica / Flavius Arrianus. -- S. 30 - 174. -- Online: http://lcweb2.loc.gov/service/gdc/scd0001/2004/20040416001in/20040416001in.pdf. -- Zugriff am 2008-04-21

Erstmals hier publiziert: 2008-04-27


Anlass: Lehrveranstaltung FS 2008

©opyright: Public domain.

Dieser Text ist Teil der Abteilung Sanskrit  von Tüpfli's Global Village Library

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Aus der Introduction

Regarding the manner in which Strabo, Arrianus, Diodorus, and Plinius used the Indika of Megasthenēs, Schwanbeck remarks :—

"Strabo, and—not unlike to Strabo—Arrianus, who, however, gave a much less carefully considered account of India, abridged the descriptions of Megasthenēs, yet in such a way that they wrote at once in an agreeable style and with strict regard to accuracy. But when Strabo designed not merely to instruct but also to delight his readers, he omitted whatever would be out of place in an entertaining narrative or picturesque description, and avoided above all things aught that would look like a dry list of names. Now though this may not he a fault, still it is not to be denied that those particulars which he has omitted would have very greatly helped our knowledge of Ancient India. Nay, Strabo, in his eagerness to be interesting, has gone so for that the topography of India is almost entirely a blank in his pages.

"Diodorus, however, in applying this principle of composition has exceeded all bounds. For as he did not aim at writing learnedly for the instruction of others, but in a light, amusing style, so as to be read with delight by the multitude, he selected for extract such parts as best suited this purpose. He has therefore omitted not only the most accurate narrations of fact, but also the fables which his readers might consider as incredible, and has been best pleased to describe instead that part of Indian life which to the Greeks would appear singular and diverting. . . . Nevertheless his epitome is not without its value; for although we do not learn, much that is new from its contents, still it has the advantage over all the others of being the most coherent, while at the same time it enables us to attribute with certainty an occasional passage to Megasthenēs, which without its help we could but conjecture proceeded from his pen.

"Since Strabo, Arrianus, and Diodorus have directed their attention to relate nearly the same things, it has resulted that the greatest part of the Indika has been completely lost, and that of many passages, singularly enough, three epitomes are extant, to which occasionally a fourth is added by Plinius.

"At a great distance from these writers, and especially from Diodorus, stands Plinius: whence it happens that he both differs most from that writer, and also best supplements his epitome. Where the narrative of Strabo and Arrianus is at once pleasing and instructive, and Diodorus charms us with a lively sketch, Pliny gives instead, in the baldest language, [S. 20] an ill-digested enumeration of names. With his usual wonderful diligence he has written this part, but more frequently still he writes with too little care and judgment,—a fact of which we have already seen numerous instances. In a careless way, as is usual, he commends authors, so that if you compared his accounts of Taprobane and the kingdom of the Prasii you would think that he had lived at different periods. He frequently commends Megasthenēs, but more frequently seems to transcribe him without acknowledgment."—pp. 56-58.

[a.a.O., S. 19f.]

Abb.: Karte "Ancient India"
[Bildquelle: a.a.O.]


(Diod. II. 35-42.)

(35.) 1 India , which is in shape quadrilateral, has its eastern as well as its western side bounded by the great sea, but on the northern side it is divided by Mount Hemōdos from that part of Skythia which is inhabited by those Skythians who are called the Sakai, while the fourth or western side is bounded by the river called the Indus , which is perhaps the largest of all rivers in the world after the Nile . 2 The extent of the whole country from east to west is said to be 28,000 stadia, and from north to south 32,000. 3 Being thus of such vast extent, it seems well-nigh to embrace the whole of the northern tropic zone of the earth, and in fact at the extreme point of India the gnomon of the sundial may frequently be observed to cast no shadow, while the constellation of the Bear is by night invisible, and in the remotest parts even Arcturus disappears from view. Consistently with this, it is also stated that shadows there fall to the southward.

1 With Epit. 1, conf. Fragm. ii., iii. (in Ind. Ant. vol. V. p. 86, c. 2).
Conf. Fragm. iv.
Conf. Fragm. ix.

4 India has many huge mountains which abound in fruit-trees of every kind, and many vast plains of great fertility—more or less beautiful, [S. 31] but all alike intersected by a multitude of rivers, 5 The greater part o£ the soil, moreover, is under irrigation, and consequently bears two crops in the course of the year. It teems at the same time with animals of ail sorts,—beasts of the field and fowls of the air,—of all different degrees of strength and size. 6 It is prolific, besides, in elephants, which are of monstrous bulk, as its soil supplies food in unsparing profusion, making these animals far to exceed in strength those that are bred in Libya . It results also that, since they are caught in great numbers by the Indians and trained for war, they are of great moment in turning the scale of victory.

(36.) 7 The inhabitants, in like manner, having abundant means of subsistence, exceed in consequence the ordinary stature, and are-distinguished by their proud bearing. They are also found to be well skilled in the arts, as might be expected of men who inhale a pure air and drink the very finest water. 8 And while the soil bears on its surface all kinds of fruits which are known to cultivation, it has also under ground numerous veins of all sorts of metals, for it contains much gold and silver, and copper and iron in no small quantity, and even tin and other metals, which are employed in making articles of use and ornament, as well as the implements and accoutrements of war.

5.9 Conf. Fragm. xi.

9 In addition to cereals, there grows throughout [S. 32] India much millet, which is kept well watered by the profusion of river-streams, and much pulse of different sorts, and rice also, and what is called bosporum, as well as many other plants useful for food, of which most grow spontaneously. 10 The soil yields, moreover, not a few other edible products fit for the subsistence of animals, about which it would be tedious to write. It is accordingly affirmed that famine has never visited India, and that there has never been a general scarcity in the supply of nourishing food. 11 For, since there is a double rainfall In the course of each year,—one in the winter season, when the sowing of wheat takes place as in other countries, and the second at the time of the summer solstice, which is the proper season for sowing rice and bosporum as well as sesamum and millet—the inhabitants of India almost always gather in two harvests annually; and even should one of the sowings prove more or less abortive they are always sure of the other crop. 12 The fruits, moreover, of spontaneous growth, and the esculent roots which grow in marshy places and are of varied sweetness, afford abundant sustenance for man. 13 The fact is, almost all the plains in the country have a moisture which is alike genial, whether it is derived from the rivers, or from the rains of the summer season, which are wont to fall every year at a stated period with surprising regularity ; while the great heat which prevails [S. 33] ripens the roots which grow in the marshes, and especially those of the tall reeds.

14 But, farther, there are usages observed by the Indians which contribute to prevent the occurrence of famine among them ; for whereas among other nations it is usual, in the contests of war, to ravage the soil, and thus to reduce it to an uncultivated waste, among the Indians, on the contrary, by whom husbandmen are regarded as a class that is sacred and inviolable, the tillers of the soil, even when battle is raging in their neighbourhood, are undisturbed by any sense of danger, for the combatants on either side in waging the conflict make carnage of each other, but allow those engaged in husbandry to remain quite unmolested. Besides, they neither ravage an enemy's land with fire, nor cut down its trees.

(37.) 15 India, again, possesses many rivers both large and navigable, which, having their sources in the mountains which stretch along the northern frontier, traverse the level country, and not a few of these, after uniting with each other, fall into the river called the Ganges. 16 Now this river, which at its source is 30 stadia broad, flows from north to south, and empties its waters into the ocean forming the eastern boundary of the Gangaridai, a nation which possesses a vast force of the largest-sized elephants. 17 Owing to this, their country has never been conquered by any [S. 34] foreign king : for all other nations dread the overwhelming number and strength of these animals. 18 [Thus Alexander the Makedonian, after conquering all Asia, did not make war upon the Gangaridai,a as he did on all others ; for when he had arrived with all his troops at the river Ganges, and had subdued all the other Indians, he abandoned as hopeless an invasion of the Gangaridai when he learned that they possessed four thousand elephants well trained and equipped for war.] 19 Another river, about the same size as the Ganges, called the Indus, has its sources, like its rival, in the north, and falling into the ocean forms on its way the boundary of India ; in its passage through the vast stretch of level country it receives not a few tributary streams which are navigable, the most notable of them being the Hupanis, the Hudaspēs, and the Akesinēs. Besides these rivers there are a great many others of every description, which permeate the country, and supply water for the nurture of garden vegetables and crops of all sorts. 20 Now to account for the rivers being so numerous, and the supply of water so superabundant, the native philosophers and proficients in natural science advance the following reasons :—They [S. 35] say that the countries which surround India—those of the Skythians and Baktrians, and also of the Āryans—are more elevated than India, so that their waters, agreeably to natural law, flow down together from all sides to the plains beneath, where they gradually saturate the soil with moisture, and generate a multitude of rivers.

a Conf. Lassen., Pentapot. 16.
15 - 19
Conf. Fragm. xx. in Ind. Ant vol. V. p. 87, c. iv.

21 A peculiarity is found to exist in one of the rivers of India,—that called the Sillas, which flows from a fountain bearing the same name. It differs from all other rivers In this respect,—that nothing cast into it will float, but everything, strange to say, sinks down to the bottom.

21 Conf. Fragm. xxi. in Ind. Ant. vol. V. p. 88, c. vi. 2-3.

(38.)  22 It is said that India, being of enormous size when taken as a whole, is peopled by races both numerous and diverse, of which not even one was originally of foreign descent, but all were evidently indigenous ; 23 and moreover that India neither received a colony from abroad, nor sent out a colony to any other nation. 24 The legends further inform us that in primitive times the inhabitants subsisted on such, fruits as the earth yielded spontaneously, and were clothed with the skins of the beasts found in the country, as was the case with the Greeks ; and that, in like manner as with them, the arts and other appliances which improve human life were gradually invented, Necessity herself teaching [S. 36] them to an animal at once docile and furnished not only with hands ready to second all his efforts, but also with reason and a keen intelligence. 25 The men of greatest learning among the Indians tell certain legends, of which it may be proper to give a brief summary.a They relate that in the most primitive times, when the people of the country were still living in villages, Dionusos made his appearance coming from the regions lying to the west, and at the head of a considerable army. He overran [S. 37] the whole of India, as there was no great city capable of resisting his arms. 26 The heat, however, having become excessive, and the soldiers of Dionusos being afflicted with a pestilence, the leader, who was remarkable for his sagacity, carried his troops away from the plains up to the hills. There the army, recruited by the cool breezes and the waters that flowed fresh from the fountains, recovered from sickness. 37 The place among the mountains where Dionusos restored his troops to health was called Mēros ; from which circumstance, [S. 38] no doubt, the Greeks have transmitted to posterity the legend concerning the god, that Dionusos was bred in his father's thigh.b  28 Having after this turned his attention to the artificial propagation of useful plants, he communicated the secret to the Indians, and taught them the way to make wine, as well as other arts conducive to human well-being. 29 He was, besides, the founder of large cities, which he formed by removing the villages to convenient sites, while he also showed the people how to worship the deity, and introduced laws and courts of justice. 30 Having thus achieved altogether many great and noble works, he was regarded as a deity and gained immortal honours. It is related also of him that he led about with his army a great host of women, and employed, in marshalling his troops for battle, drums and cymbals, as the trumpet had not in his days been invented ; 31 and that after reigning over the whole of India for two and fifty years he died of old age, while his sons, succeeding to the government, transmitted the sceptre in unbroken succession to their posterity. 32 At last, after many generations had come and gone, the sovereignty, it is said, was dissolved, and democratic governments were set up in the cities.

23 Conf. Fragm. xlvi.
a Fragm. I.B. Diod. III. 66

Concerning Dionusos.

Now some, as I have already said, supposing that there were three individuals of this name, who lived in different ages, assign to each appropriate achievements. They say, then, that the most ancient of them was Indos, and that as the country, with its genial temperature, produced spontaneously the vine-tree in great abundance, he was the first who crushed grapes and discovered the  use of the properties of wine. In like manner he ascertained what culture was requisite for figs and other fruit trees, and transmitted this knowledge to after-times ; and, in a word, it was he who found out how these fruits should be gathered in, whence also he was called Lēnaios. This same Dionusos, however, they call also Katapōgōn, since it is a custom among the Indians to nourish their beards with great care to the very end of their life. Dionusos then, at the head of an army, marched to every part of the world, and taught mankind the planting of the vine, and how to crush grapes in the winepress, whence he was called Lēnaios. Having in like manner imparted to all a knowledge of his other inventions, he obtained after his departure from among men immortal honour from those who had benefited by his labours. It is further said that the place is pointed out in India even to this day where the god had been, and that cities are called by his name in the vernacular dialects, and that many other important evidences still exist of his having been born in India, about which it would be tedious to write.
et seqq. Conf. Fragm . lvii.
Conf. Fragm . 1. in Ind. Ant. vol . V. p. 89, c. vii . — "He tells us further," & c . to c . viii,—"on the principle of merit ."
32 Conf Fragm. li.

(39.) 33 Such, then, are the traditions regarding Dionusos and his descendants current among the Indians who inhabit the hill-country. 36 They further assert, that Heraklēs also was born among them. 34 They assign to him, like the Greeks, the club and the lion's skin. He far surpassed other men in personal strength and prowess, and cleared sea and land of evil beasts. 33 Marrying many wives he begot many sons, but one daughter only. The sons having reached man's estate, he divided all India into equal portions for his children, whom he made kings in different parts of his dominions. He provided similarly for his only daughter, whom he reared up and made a queen. 80 He was the founder, also, of no small number of cities, the most renowned and greatest of which he called Palibothra . He built therein many sumptuous palaces, and settled within its walls a numerous population. The city he fortified with trenches of notable dimensions, which were filled with water introduced from the river. 37 Heraklēs, accordingly, after his removal from among men, obtained immortal honour; and his descendants, having reigned for many generations and signalized themselves by great achievements, neither made any expedition beyond the confines of India, nor sent out a n y colony abroad. 38 At [S. 40] last, However, after many years had gone, most of the cities adopted the democratic form of government, though some retained the kingly until the invasion of the country by Alexander . 89 Of several remarkable customs existing among the Indians, there is one prescribed by their ancient philosophers which one may regard as truly admirable : for the law ordains that no one among them shall, under any circumstances, be a slave, but that, enjoying freedom, they shall respect the equal right to it which all possess: for those, they thought, who have learned neither to domineer over nor to cringe to others will attain the life best adapted for all vicissitudes of lot : for it is but fair and reasonable to institute laws which bind all equally, but allow property to be unevenly distributed.

34.38 Conf. Fragm. 1. in Intl. Ant vol. V. pp. 89-90, c. viii., from. "But that Hercules," &o. to "of his daughter."
Conf. Fragm. xxv.

(40.) The whole population of India is divided into seven castes, of which the first is formed by the collective body of the Philosophers ,a which in point of number is inferior to the other classes, but in point of dignity preeminent over all. For the philosophers, being exempted from all public duties, are neither the masters nor the servants of others. 41 They are, however, engaged by private persons to offer the sacrifices due in lifetime, and to celebrate the obsequies of [S. 41] the dead : for they are believed to he most dear to the gods, and to be the most conversant with matters pertaining to Hades. In requital of such services they receive valuable gifts and privileges. 42 To the people of India at large they also render great benefits, when, gathered together at the beginning of the year, they forewarn the assembled multitudes about droughts and wet weather, and also about propitious winds, and diseases, and other topics capable of profiting the hearers. 43 Thus the people and the sovereign, learning beforehand what is to happen, always make adequate provision against a coming deficiency, and never fail to prepare beforehand what will help in a time of need. The philosopher who errs in his predictions Incurs no other penalty than obloquy, and he then observes silence for the rest of his life.

a φιλοσοφοι, Strabo, Diod. σοφισται, Arr.
Conf. Fragm. xxxii. in Ind. Ant. vol. V. pp. 91-92, cc. xi. and xii.

44 The second caste consists of the Husbandmen,a who appear to be far more numerous than the others. Being, moreover, exempted from fighting and other public services, they devote the whole of their time to tillage; nor would an enemy coming upon a husbandman at work on his land do him any harm, for men of this class, being regarded as public benefactors, are protected from all injury. The land, thus remaining unravaged, and producing heavy crops, supplies the inhabitants with all that is [S. 42] requisite to make life very enjoyable. 45 The husbandmen themselves, with their wives and children, live in the country, and entirely avoid going into town. 46 They pay a land-tribute to the king, because all India is the property of the crown, and no private person is permitted to own land. Besides the land-tribute, they pay into the royal treasury a fourth part of the produce of the soil.

a γεωργοι, Strab. Arr. Diod.

47 The third caste consists of the Neatherds and Shepherds,a and in general of all herdsmen who neither settle in towns nor in villages, but live In tents. By hunting and trapping they clear the country of noxious birds and wild beasts. As they apply themselves eagerly and assiduously to this pursuit, they free India from the pests with which it abounds,—all sorts of wild beasts, and birds which devour the seeds sown by the husbandmen.

a βοθκολικοι και ποιμενεσ και καθολοθ παντες οι ωομεεσ, Diod. ποιμενεσ και θηρεθται, Strab. ποιμενεσ τε και βοθκολοι, Arr.

(41.) 48 The fourth caste consists of the Artizans.a Of these some are armourers, while others make the implements which husbandmen and others find useful in their different callings. This class is not only exempted from paying [S. 43] taxes, but even receives maintenance from the royal exchequer.

a τεχνιται

49 The fifth caste is the Military.a It is well organized and equipped for war, holds the second place in point of numbers, and gives itself up to idleness and amusement in the times of peace. The entire force—men-at-arms, war-horses, war-elephants, and all—are maintained at the king's expense.

a πολεμισται, Strab. Arr.

50 The sixth caste consists of the Overseers.a It is their province to inquire into and superintend all that goes on in India, and make report to the king , or, where there is not a king, to the magistrates.

a εφοροι, Diod. Strab. επισκοποι, Arr.

51 The seventh caste consists of the Councillors and Assessors,—of those who deliberate on public affairs. It is the smallest class, looking to number, but the most respected, on account of the high character and wisdom of its members ; 52 for from their ranks the advisers of the king are taken, and the treasurers of the state, and the arbiters who settle disputes. The generals of the army also, and the chief magistrates, usually belong to this class.

53 Such, then, are about the parts into which the body politic in India is divided. No one is allowed to marry out of his own caste, or to [S. 44] exercise any calling or art except his own : for instance, a soldier cannot become a husbandman, or an artizan a philosopher.a

a "It appears strange that Megasthenēs should have divided the people of India into seven castes . . . Herodotus, however had divided the people of Egypt into seven castes, namely priests, soldiers, herdsmen, swineherds, tradesmen, interpreters, and steersmen ; and Megasthenēs may therefore have taken it for granted that there were seven castes in India. It is a curious fact that, from the time of Alexander's expedition to a comparatively recent date, geographers and others have continually drawn analogies between Egypt and India."—Wheeler's Hist, of India, vol. III. p. 192, note

(42.) 54 India possesses a vast number of huge elephants, which far surpass those found elsewhere both in strength and size. This animal does not cover the female in a peculiar way, as some affirm, but like horses and other quadrupeds. 55 The period of gestation is at shortest sixteen months, and at furthest eighteen.a Like mares, they generally bring forth but one young one at a time, and this the dam suckles for six years. 56 Most elephants live to be as old as an extremely old man, but the most aged live two hundred years.

54-56. Conf. Fragm. xxxvi.
For some remarks on this point see Blochmann's translation of the Aīn-i-Ahbarī, p. 118.

57 Among the Indians officers are appointed even for foreigners, whose duty is to see that no foreigner is wronged. Should any of them lose his health, they send physicians to attend him, and take care of him otherwise, and if he dies they bury him, and deliver over such property a she leaves to his relatives. 58 The judges [S. 45] also decide cases in which foreigners are concerned, with the greatest care, and come down sharply on those who take unfair advantage of them. [What we have now said regarding India and its antiquities will suffice for our present purpose.]



Arr. Exped. Alex, V. 6. 2-11.

Of the Boundaries of India, its General Character, and Us Rivers.a

a  Conf. Epit. ad init.

According to Eratosthenēs, and Megasthenēs who lived with Siburtios the satrap of Arachōsia, and who, as he himself tells us, often visited Sandrakottosa the king of the Indians, India forms the largest of the four parts into which Southern Asia is divided, while the smallest part is that region which is included between the Euphrates and our own sea. The two remaining parts, which are separated from the others by the Euphrates and the Indus, and lie between these rivers, are scarcely of sufficicnt size to be compared with India, even should they be taken both together. The same writers say that India is bounded on its [S. 46] eastern side, right onwards to the south, by the great ocean; that its northern frontier is formed by the Kaukasos range as far as the junction of that range with Tauros ; and that the boundary towards the west and the north-west, as far as the great ocean, is formed by the river Indus. A considerable portion of India consists of a level plain, and this, as they conjecture, has been formed from the alluvial deposits of the river,—Inferring this from the fact that in other countries plains which are far away from the sea are generally formations of their respective rivers, so that in old times a country was even called by the name of its river. As an instance, there is the so-called plain of the Hermos—a river in Asia (Minor), which, flowing from the Mount of Mother Dindymênê, falls into the sea near the Aeolian city of Smyrna. There Is also the Lydian plain of the Kaüstros, named after that Lydian river ; and another, that of the Kaïkos, in Mysia; and one also in Karia,—that of the Maiandros, which extends even to Miletos, which is an Ionian city. [As for Egypt, both the historians Herodotus and Hekataios (or at any rate the author of the work on Egypt if he was other than Hekataios) alike agree in declaring it to be the gift of the Nile, so that that country was perhaps even called after the river; for in early times Aigyptos was the name of the river which now-a-days both the Egyptians and other nations call the Nile, as the words [S. 47] of Homer clearly prove, when he says that Menelaös stationed his ships at the mouth of the river Aigyptos. If, then, there is but a single river in each plain, and these rivers, though by no means large, are capable of forming, as they flow to the sea, much new land, by carrying down silt from the uplands, where their sources are, it would be unreasonable to reject the belief in the case of India that a great part of it is a levbel plain, and that this plain is formed from the silt deposited by the rivers, seeing that the Hermos, and the Kaüstros, and the Kaïkos, and the Maiandros, and all the many rivers of Asia which fall into the Mediterranean, even if united, would not be fit to be compared in volume of water with an ordinary Indian river, and much less with the greatest of them all, the Ganges, with which neither the Egyptian Nile , nor the Danube which flows through Europe, can for a moment be compared. Nay, the whole of these if combined all into one are not equal even to the Indus , which is already a large river where it rises from its fountains, and which after receiving as tributaries fifteen rivers all greater than those of Asia, and bearing off from its rival the honour of giving name to the country, falls at last into the sea.b [S. 48]

a The name of Chandragupta is written by the Greeks Sandrokottos, Sandrakottas, Sandrakottos, Androkottos, and (best) Sandrokuptos. Cf. Schlegel, Bibl. Ind. 1.245.—Schwanboek, p. 12, n. 6.
Strabo, XV. 1. 32, p. 700.—They say that fifteen considerable rivers, in all, flow into it.


Arr. Indica, II. 1. 7.

Of the Boundaries of India.

(See translation of Arrian.)


Strabo, XV. i. 11,—p. 689.

Of the Boundaries and Extent of India.a

a Conf. Epit. 1, 2. Pliny (Hist, Nat VI. 21.2) states that India extends from north to south 28,150 thousand paces. This number, though it is not exactly equal to 22,300 stadia, but to 22,800, nevertheless approaches the number given by Megasthenēs nearer than any other. From the numbers which both Arrian (Ind. Hi. 8) and Strabo (pp. 6S-69, 690) give, Diodorus differs remarkably, for he says the breadth extends to 28,000, and the length to 32,000 stadia. It would be rash to deny that Megasthenēs may also have indicated the larger numbers of Diodorus, for Arrian (Ind. iii. 7-S) adds to the number the words "Where shortest" and "where narrowest;" and Strabo (p. 689) has added to the expression of the breadth the words "at the shortest" and, referring to Megasthenēs and Dēimachos, says distinctly "who state that in some places the distance from the southern sea is 20,000 stadia, and in others 30,000 (pp. 68-69). There can be no doubt, however, that Megasthenēs regarded the smaller, and Dēimachos the larger number as correct; for the larger seemed to Arrian unworthy of mention, and Strabo (p. 690) says decidedly, "Megasthenēs and Dēimachos incline to be more moderate in their estimate, for according to them the distance from the southern sea to Caucasus is over 20,000 stadia: Dēimachos, however, allows that the distance in some places exceeds 30,000 stadia" ! by which he quite excludes Megasthenēs from this opinion. And at p. 72, where he mentions the 30,000 stadia of Dēimachos, he does not say a word of Megasthenēs. But it must be certain that 16,000 stadia is the only measure Megasthenēs gave of the breadth of India. For not only Strabo (p. 689)and Arrian (Ind. iii. 7) have not quoted a larger number from Megasthenēs, but Hipparohos also (Strabo, p. 69),-- where he shows that Patroklês is unworthy of confidence, because he has given smaller dimension for India than Megasthenēs—only mentions the measure of 10,000 stadia; where, for what Hipparchos wanted, the greatest number was the most suitable for his proCf.—I think the numbers wore augmented because Megasthenēs regarded as Indian, Kabul and that part of Ariana which Chandragupta had taken from Seleukos; and on the north the frontier nations Uttarakuras, which be mentions elsewhere. What Megasthenēs said about the breadth of India remained fixed throughout the whole geography of the Greeks, so that not even Ptolemy, who says India extends 10,800 stadia, differs much from it. But his measure of length has either been rejected by all, for fear of opposing the ancient opinion that the torrid zone could not be inhabited, or (like Hipparchos) erroneously carried much too far to the north.-—Schwanbeck, pp. 29, 30, n. 24.

India is bounded on the north by the extremities of Tauros, and from Ariana to the [S. 49] Eastern Sea by the mountains which are variously called by the natives of these regions Parapamisos, and Hemōdos, and Himaos,b and other names, but by the Macedonians Kaukasos.c The boundary on the west is the river Indus, but the southern and eastern sides, which are both much greater than the others, run out into the Atlantic Ocean.d The shape of the country is thus rhomboïdal, since each of the greater sides exceeds its opposite side by 8000 stadia, which is the length of the promontory common to the south and the east coast, which projects equally in these two directions. [The length of the western side, measured from the Kaukasian mountains to the southern [S. 50] sea along the course of the river Indus to its mouths, is said to be 13,000 stadia, so that the eastern side opposite, with the addition of the 3000 stadia of the promontory, will be somewhere about 16,000 stadia. This is the breadth of India where it is both smallest and greatest.] The length from west to east as far as Palibothra can be stated with greater certainty, for the royal road which leads to that city has been measured by schoeni, and is in length 10,000 stadia.eThe extent of the parts beyond can only be conjectured from the time taken to make voyages from the sea to Palibothra by the Ganges, and may be about 6000 stadia. The entire length, computed at the shortest, will be 16,000 stadia. This is the estimate of Eratosthenēs, who says he derived it principally from the authoritative register of the stages on the Royal Road. Herein Megasthenēs agrees [S. 51] with him. [Patrokles, however, makes the length less by 1000 stadia.] Conf, Arr. IncL iii. 1-5.

b Schmieder suggests Ιμαοσ in Arrian.
i.e. The- Himālayas.
The world was anciently regarded as an island surrounded by the Atlantic Sea.
All the texts read
δισμθριων instead of μυριων. In all the MSS. of Strabo also, we read σχοινιοις, and in Arrian, who extracts the same passage from Megasthenēs, everywhere σχοινοις. Though there is nothing to blame in either lection, yet it is easier to change σχοινοις than σχοινιοις, for Strabo may have been surprised to find the Greek schoenus in use also in India. The schoenus, however, which with Eratosthenēs is a measure of 40 stadia, (Plin. Hist. Nat. XII. 80), coincides precisely with the Indian yojana of four krośas. I do not forget that usually double this length is assigned to the yojana, but also that it is shorter than the Hindus reckon it (As. Res. vol. V. p. 105), and also by the Chinese pilgrims (Foe-koue-ki, 87-88), and by Megasthenēs himself, in Strabo (p. 708, Fragm. xxxiv. 3), from which it seems certain that ten stadia are equal to some Indian measure which cannot be a smaller one than the krośa. -- Schw. p. 27, n. 23.


Strabo, II. i. 7,—p. 69.

Of the Size of India.

Again, Hipparchos, in the 2nd volume of his commentary, charges Eratosthenēs himself with throwing discredit on Patroklês for differing from Megasthenēs about the length of India on its northern side, Megasthenēs making it 16,000 stadia, and Patroklês 1000 less.


Strabo, XV. i. 12,—pp. 689-690,

Of the She of India.

[From this, one can readily see how the accounts of the other writers vary from one another. Thus Ktēsias says that India is not of less size than the rest of Asia; Onēsikritos regards it as the third part of the habitable world; and Nearchos says it takes one four months to traverse the plain only.] Megasthenēs and Dēimachos incline to be more moderate in their estimate, for according to them the distance from the Southern Sea to Kaukasos is over 20,000 stadia.—[Dēimachos, however, allows that the distance in some places exceeds 30,000 stadia. Of these notice has been taken in an earlier part of the work.] [S. 52]


Strabo, II. i. 4,—-pp. 68 - 69.

Of the Size of India.

Hipparchos controverts tins view, urging the futility of the proofs on which it rests. Patroklēs, he says, is unworthy of trust, opposed as he is by two competent authorities, Dēimachos and Megasthenēs, who state that in some places the distance from the southern sea is 20,000 stadia, and in others 80,000. Such, he says, is the account they give, and it agrees with the ancient charts of the country.


Arr. Indica,  III. 7-8.

Of the Size of India.

With Megasthenēs the breath of India is its extent from east to west, though this is called by others its length. His account is that the breath at shortest is 16,000 stadia, and its length—by which he means its extent from north to south—is at the narrowest 22,300 stadia.


Strabo, II. i. 19,—p. 76.

Of the setting of the Bear, and shadows falling in contrary directions.

Again, he [Eratosthenēs] wished to show the ignorance of Dēimachos, and his want of a [S. 53] practical knowledge of such subjects, evidenced as it was by his thinking that India lay between the autumnal equinox and the winter tropic, and by his contradicting the assertion of Megasthenēs that in the southern parts of India the constellation of the Bear disappeared from view, and shadows fell in opposite directions,a—phenomena which he assures us are never seen in India, thereby exhibiting the sheerest ignorance. He does not agree in this opinion, but accuses Dēimachos of ignorance for asserting that the Bears do nowhere in India disappear from sight, nor shadows fall in opposite directions, as Megasthenēs supposed.

a Conf. Diod.II. 33, Plin. Hist Nat VI. 22. 6. The writers of Alexander's time who affirmed similar things were Nearchos and Onēsikritos, and Baeto who exceeded all bounds. Conf. Lassen, Instit. Ling. Prac. Append, p. 2.—Schwanb. p. 29.


Pliny, Hist. Nat VI. 22. 6.

Of the Setting of the Bear.

Next [to the Prasii] in the interior are the Monedes and the Suari, to whom belongs Mount Maleus, on which shadows fall towards the north in winter, and in summer to the south, for six months alternately.a The Bears, Baeton [S. 54] says, in that part of the country-are only once visible in the course of the year, and not for more than fifteen days. Megasthenēs says that this takes place in many parts of India.

a "The Mandali would seem to be the same people as the Monedes of Pliny, who with the Suari, occupied the inland country to the south of the Palibothri. As this is the exact position of the country of the Mūndas and Suars, I think it quite certain that they must be the same race as the Monedes and Suari of Pliny. In another passage Pliny mentions, the Mandei and Malli as occupying the country between the Calingae and the Ganges. Amongst the Malli there was a mountain named Mallus, which would seem to be the same as the famous mount Maleus of the Monedes and Suari. I think it highly probable that both names may be intended for the celebrated mount Mandar, to the south of Bhāgulpur, which is fabled to have been used by the gods and demons at the churning of the ocean. The Mandei I would identify with the inhabitants of the Mahānadi river, which is the Manada of Ptolemy. The Malli or Malei would therefore be the same people as Ptolemy's Mandalae, who occupied the right bank of the Ganges to the south of Palibothra, or they may be the people of the Rajmahāl hills who are called Maler . . . . . . .The Suari of Pliny are the Sabarrae of Ptolemy, and both may be identified with the aboriginal Śavaras or Suars, a wild race of woodcutters who live in the jungles without any fixed habitation."—Cunningham's Anc. Geog. of India, pp. 508-9.

Conf. Solin, 52.13:

Beyond Palibothra is Mount Maleus, on which shadows fall in winter towards the north, and in summer towards the south, for six months alternately. The North Pole is visible in that part of the country once in the course of the year, and not for longer than fifteen days, as Baeton informs us, who allows that this occurs in many parts OF India.


Strabo, XV. i. 20,—p. 603.

Of the Fertility of India.

Megasthenēs indicates the fertility of India by the fact of the soil producing two crops every year both of fruits and grain. [Eratosthenēs writes to the same effect, for he speaks of a [S. 55] winter and a summer sowing, which both have rain : for a year, he says, is never found to be without rain at both those seasons, whence ensues a great abundance, since the soil is always productive. Much fruit is produced by trees; and the roots of plants, particularly of tall reeds, are sweet both by nature and by coction, since the moisture by which they are nourished is heated by the rays of the sun, whether it has fallen from the clouds or been drawn from the rivers. Eratosthenēs uses here a peculiar expression : for what is called by others the ripening of fruits and the juices of plants is called among the Indians coction, which is as effective in producing a good flavour as the coction by fire itself. To the heat of the water the same writer ascribes the wonderful flexibility of the branches of trees, from which wheels are made, as also the fact of there being trees on which wool grows.a

a Conf. Herod. II. 86. "Velleraque ut foliis depectant tenuia Seres ? --Virgil, Geor. ii. 121.—Falconer.

Conf. Eratosth. ap. Strabo. XV. i. 13,—p. G90

From the vapours arising from such vast rivers, and from the Etēsian winds, as Eratosthenēs states, India is watered by the summer rains, and the plains are overflowed. During these rains, accordingly, flaxb is sown and millet, also sesamum, rice, and bosmorum,c and in the winter time wheat, barley, pulse, and other esculent fruits unknown to us. [S. 56]

b λινον peρhaps the λινον το απο δενδρεων of Arrian.
Strabo XV. I. 18.


Strabo, XV. i. 37,—p. 703.

Of some Wild Beasts of India,

According to Megasthenēs the largest tigers are found among the Prasii , being nearly twice the size of the lion, and so strong that a tame tiger led by four men having seized a mule by the hinder leg overpowered it and dragged it to him. 2The monkeys are larger than the largest dogs ; they are white except in the face, which is black, though the contrary is observed elsewhere. Their tails are more than two cubits in length. They are very tame, and not of a malicious disposition : so that they neither attack man nor steal. 3Stones are dug up which are of the colour of frankincense, and sweeter than figs or honey. 4In some parts of the country there are serpents two cubits long which have membranous wings like bats. They fly about by night, when they let fall drops of urine or sweat, which blister the skin of persons not on their guard, with putrid sores. There are also winged scorpions of an extraordinary size. 5Ebony grows there. There are also dogs of great strength and courage, which will not let go their hold till water is poured into their nostrils: they bite so eagerly that the eyes of some become distorted, and the eyes of others fall out. Both a lion and a bull were held fast by a dog. The bull was seized by the muzzle, and died before the dog could be taken off. [S. 57]


Aelian, Hist. Anim. XVII. 39. Conf. Fragm. XII. 2.


Aelian, Hist Anim. XvI. 10.

Of Indian Apes.

Among the Prasii in India there is found, they say, a species of apes of human-like intelligence, and which are to appearance about the size of Hurkanian dogs. Nature has furnished them with forelocks, which one ignorant of the reality would take to be artificial. Their chin, like that of a satyr; turns upward, and their tail is like the potent one of the lion. Their body is white all over except the face and the tip of the tail, which are of a reddish colour. They are very intelligent, and naturally tame. They are bred in the woods, where also they live,  subsisting on the fruits which they find growing wild on the hills. They resort in great numbers to the suburbs of Latage, an Indian city, where they eat rice which has been laid down for them by the king's orders. In fact, every day a ready-prepared meal is set out for their use. It is said that when they have satisfied their appetite they retire in an orderly manner to their haunts in the woods, ithout injuring a single thing that comes in their way.

Of Indian Apes.

In the country of the Praxii,b who are an Indian people, Megasthenēs says there are apes not inferior in size to the largest dogs. They [S. 58] have tails five cubits long, hair grows on . their forehead, and they have luxuriant, beards hanging clown their breast. Their face is entirely white, and all the rest of the body black. They are tame and attached to man, and not malicious by nature like the apes of other countries.

b The Prāchyas (i.e. Easterns) are called by Strabo, Arrian, and Pliny Πρασιοι, Prasii ;by Plutarch (Alex. 62). Πρασιοι, a name often used by ΑΕlian also; by Nikolaθs Damas. (ap. Stob. Floril. 37, 38) Πραυσιοι; by Diodorus (xvii. 93) Βρησιοι; by Cθrtius (IX. 2,3) Pharrasii; by Justin (xii. S, 9) Prαesides. Megasthenēs attempted to approximate more closely to the Sanskrit Prāchya, for here he uses Πραξιακος. And it appears that Πραξιοι should be substituted for Πρασιοι in Stephan. Byzant., since it comes between the words Πραξιλος and Πρας.—Schwanheck, p. 82, not. 6.


Aelian, Hist. Anim. XVI. 41. Conf. Fragm. XII. 4.

Of Winged Scorpions and Serpents.

Megasthenēs says there are winged scorpions in India of enormous size, which sting Europeans and natives alike. There are also serpents which are likewise winged. These do not go abroad during the day, but by night, when they let fall urine, which if it lights upon any one's skin at once raises putrid sores thereon. Such is the statement of Megasthenēs.


Strabo, XV. i. 56—pp. 710-711.

Of the Beasts of India, and the Reed.

He (Megasthenēs) says there are monkeys, rollers of rocks, which climb precipices whence they roll down stones upon their pursuers. 2Most animals, he says, which are tame with us are wild in India, and he speaks of horses which are one-horned and have heads like those of deer; 3and also of reeds some of which grow straight up to the height of thirty orguiaea while [S. 59] others grow along the ground to the length of fifty. They vary in thickness from three to six cubits in diameter. 

a The orguia was four cubits, or equal to 6 feet 1 inch.


Aelian, Hist. Anim, XVI. 20.21. Conf. Fragm. XV. 2.1.

Of some Beasts of India.

(20.) In certain districts of India (I speak of those which are most inland) they say there are inaccessible mountains infested by wild beasts, and which are also the haunts of animals like those of our own country except that they are wild; for even sheep, they say, run wild there, as well as dogs and goats and oxen, which roam about at their own pleasure, being independent and free from the dominion of the herdsman. That their number is beyond calculation is stated not only by writers on India, but also by the learned men of the country, among whom the Brachmans deserve to be reckoned, whose testimony is to the same effect. It is also said that there exists in India a one-horned animal, called by the natives the Kartazōn, It is of the size of a full-grown horse, and has a crest, and yellow hair soft as wool. It is furnished with very good legs and is very fleet. Its legs are jointless and formed like those of the elephant, and it has a tail like a swine's. A horn sprouts out from between its eyebrows, and this is not straight, but curved into the most natural wreaths, and is of a black colour. It is said to be extremely sharp, this horn. The animal, as I learn, has a voice beyond all example loud-ringing and dissonant. It allows other animals to approach, it, and is good-natured [S. 60] towards them, though they say that with its congeners it is rather quarrelsome. The males are reported to have a natural propensity not only to fight among themselves, by butting with their horns, but to display a like animosity against the female, and to be so obstinate in their quarrels that they will not desist till a worsted rival is killed outright. But, again, not only is every member of the body of this animal endued with great strength, but such is the potency of its horn that nothing can withstand it. It loves to feed in secluded pastures, and wanders about alone,. but at the rutting season it seeks the society of the female, and is then gentle towards her,—nay, the two even feed in company. The season being over and the female pregnant, the Indian Kartazōn again becomes ferocious and seeks solitude. The foals, it is said, are taken when quite young to the king of the Prasii, and are set to fight each other at the great public spectacles. No full-grown specimen is remembered to have ever been caught.

(21.) The traveller who crosses the mountains which skirt that frontier of India which is most inland meets, they say, with ravines which are clothed with very dense jungle, in a district called by the Indians Korouda.a These ravines are said to be the haunts of a peculiar kind of animal shaped like a satyr, covered all over with shaggy hair, and having a tail like a horse's, depending from its rump. If these creatures are left unmolested, they keep within the coppices, living on the wild fruits; but should they hear the hunter's [S. 61] halloo and the baying of the hounds they dart up the precipices with incredible speed, for they are habituated to, climbing the mountains. They defend themselves by rolling down stones on their assailants, which often kill those they hit. The most difficult to catch are those which roll the stones. Some are said to have been brought, though with difficulty and after long intervals, to the Prasii, but these were either suffering from diseases or were females heavy with young, the former being too weak to escape, and the latter being impeded by the burden of the womb.—Conf. Plin. Hist. Nat VII. 2. 17.

a V.L. Κολουνδα.


Pliny, Hist. Nat. VIII. 14. 1.

Of the Boa-Constrictor.

According to Megasthenēs, serpents in India grow to such a size that they swallow stags and bulls whole.

Solinus, 52. 33.

So huge are the serpents that they swallow stags whole, and other animals of equal size.


Aelian, Hist. Anim. VIII. 7.

Of the Electric Eel

I learn from Megasthenēs that there is in the Indian Sea a small kind of fish which is never seen when alive, as it always swims in deep water, and only floats on the surface after it is dead. Should any one touch it he becomes faint and swoons,—nay, even dies at last. [S. 62]


Pliny, Hist. Nat VI. 24. 1.

Of Taprobane.a

Megasthenēs says that Taprobane is separated from the mainland by a river ; that the inhabitants are called Palaiogonoi,b and that their country is more productive of gold and large pearls than India.

a This island has been known by many names :—

  1. Lanka.—The only name it goes by in Sanskrit, and quite unknown to the Greeks and Romans.

  2. Simundu or Palesimundn.—Probably a Greek form of the Sanskrit Pāli-Simanta. This name had gone ont of use before the time of Ptolemy the Geographer.

  3. Taprobane.—Supposed to represent the Sanskrit Tāmraparṇi ('red-leaved' or 'copper-coloured sand'), a slightly altered form of the Pāli Taṃbapaṇṇi, which is found in the inscription of Asoka on the Gīrnār rock. Vide ante, vol. V. p. 272.

  4. Salice (perhaps properly Saline), Serendivus, Sirlediba, Serendib, Zeilan, Ceylon. These are all considered to be derivatives from Siñala , the Pāli form of Sinhala, ' the abode of lions.' The affix dib represents the Sanskrit dvīpa. 'an island.'

b Lassen has tried to account for the name Palaiogonoi thus (Dissert. de insula Taprob. p. 9):—" We must suppose that Megasthenēs was acquainted with the Indian myth that the first inhabitants of the island were said to have been Rākshasas or giants, the sons of the  progenitors of the world, whom he might not inaptly call Palaiogonoi." Against this it may be remarked that, by this unusual term and so uncommon, Megasthenēs meant to name the nation, not describe it ; and next that Megasthenēs is not in the habit of translating names, but of rendering them according to sound with some degree of paronomasia; lastly, that, shortly after, we find the name of Taprobane and of its capital Παλαισιμουνδος, quite like to Παλαιογονοι. Accordingly as Lassen explains Παλαισιμουνδος, the name of the capital, by the Sanskrit Pāli-simānta (' head of the sacred doctrine'), I would also prefer to explain the name of the Palaiogonoi from the Sanskrit Pāli-janās (i.e. 'men of the sacred doctrine').—Schwanbeck, p. 38, n. 35.

Solin. 53. 3.

Taprobane is separated from India by a [S. 63] river flowing between : for one part of it abounds with wild beasts and elephants much larger than India breeds, and man claims the other part.


Antigon. Caryst. 647.

Of Marine Trees.

Megasthenēs, the author of the Indika, mentions that trees grow in the Indian Sea.


" Arr. Ind. 4. 2-13.

Of the Indus and the Ganges.a

See translation of Arrian.

a Conf. Epit. 15-19, and Notes on Arrian, Lid. Ant vol. V. pp. 331, 332.


Pliny. Hist. Nat. VI. 21.9-22.1.

The Prinasa and the Cainas (a tributary of the Ganges) are both navigable rivers. The tribes which dwell by the Ganges are the Calingae,b nearest the sea, and higher up the Mandei, also the Malli, among whom is Mount Mallus, the boundary of all that region being the Ganges. Some have, asserted that this river, like the Nile, rises from unknown sources, and in a similar way waters the country it flows through, while others trace its source to the Skythian mountains. Nineteen rivers are said to flow into it, of which, besides [S. 64] those already mentioned, the Condochates,c Erannoboas, Cosoagus, and Sonus are navigable. According to other accounts, it bursts at once with thundering roar from its fountain, and tumbling down a steep and rocky channel lodges in a lake as soon as it reaches the level plain, whence it issues forth with a gentle current, being nowhere less than eight miles broad, while its mean breadth is a hundred stadia, and its least depth twenty fathoms.d

a V. L. Pumas.
A great and widely diffused tribe settled mainly between the Mahānadī and the Godāvarī. Their capital was Partualis (called by Ptolemy Kalligra), on the Mahānadī, higher up than the site of Katak. The name is preserved in Koringa, a great port at the mouth of the Godāvarī.
V. LL. Canucam, Vamam.
"The Bhāgīratī (which we shall here regard as the true Ganges) first comes to light near Gangotri, in the territory of Garhwāl, in lat. 30° 54', long. 79° 7", issuing from under a very low arch, at the base of a great snow-bed, estimated to be 300 feet thick, which lies between the lofty mountains termed St. Patrick, St. George, and the Pyramid, the two higher having elevations above the sea, respectively, of 22,798 and 22,654 feet, and the other, on the opposite side, having an elevation of 21,379. From the brow of this curious wall of snow, and immediately above the outlet of the stream, large and hoary icicles depend. They are formed by the freezing of the melted snow-water at the top of the bed; for in the middle of the day the sun is powerful, and the water produced by its action falls over this place in cascade, but is frozen at night . . . . At Sūkhī the river may be said to break though the 'Himālaya Proper,' and the elevation of the waterway is here 7,608 feet. At Devprāg it is joined on the left side by the Alaknanda. . . From Devprāg the united stream is now called the Ganges . . . Its descent by the Dehra Dūn is rather rapid to Haridwār . . . . sometimes called Gangādwāra, or 'the gate of the Ganges,' being situate on its western or right bank at the southern base of the Sivālik range, here intersected by a ravine or gorge by which the river, finally leaving the mountainous region, commences its course over the plains of Hindustān. The breadth of the river in the rainy season . . . is represented to be a full mile."—Thornton.

Solin. 52. 0-7.

In India the largest livers are the Ganges and the Indus,—the Ganges, as some maintain, rising from uncertain sources, and, like the Nile, [S. 65] overflowing its banks ; while others think that it rises in the Skythian mountains. In India there is also the Hupanis,a a very noble river, which formed the limit of Alexander's march, as the altars set up on its banks testify. The least breadth of the Ganges is eight miles, and the greatest twenty. Its depth where least is fully one hundred feet.

a The same as the Huphasis or Satlej.

Conf. Fragm. XXV.1.

Some say that the least breadth is thirty stadia, but others only three; while Megasthenēs says that the mean breadth is a hundred stadia, and its least depth twenty orguiae.


Arr. Ind. 6. 2-3.

Of the River Silas.'a

See translation of Arrian.

a Strab. 703, Diod. II. 37, and afterwards an anonymous writer whom Ruhnken (ad Callimach. fragm. p. 448) has praised, and whose account may be read in Boisson, Anecd. Graec. I. 419. The name is written Σιλλας in Diodorus, in Strabo Σιλιας, but best Σιλας in the epitome of Strabo and in the Anecd. Grαεc. Bahr, 369, has collected the passages from Ktsias. Lassen has also illustrated this fable (Zeitschrift. II. 63) from Indian literature: -- "The Indians think that the river Silas is in the north, that it petrifies everything plunged in it, whence everything sinks and nothing swims" (Conf. -Mahābhār. II. 1553.) Śilā means 'a stone.'—Schw, p. 37, n. 32.


Boissonade, Anecd, Grose. I. p. 419,

Of the River Silas.

There is in India a river called the Silas, named after the fountain from which it flows, on which nothing will float that is thrown into [S. 66] it, but everything sinks to the bottom, contrary to the usual law.


Strabo, XV. i. 38,—p. 703.

Of the River Silas.

(Megasthenēs says) that in the mountainous country is a river, the Silas, on the waters of which nothing will float. Dēmokritos, who had travelled over a large part of Asia, disbelieves this, and so does Aristotle.


Arr. Ind. 5.2.

Of the Number of Indian Rivers,

See translation of Arrian.



Strab. XV. i. 35. 36,—p. 702.

Of the city Pataliputra.

According to Megasthenēs the mean breadth (of the Ganges) is 100 stadia, and its least depth 20 fathoms. At the meeting of this river and another is situated Palibothra, a city eighty stadia in length and fifteen in breadth. It is of the shape of a parallelogram, and is girded with a wooden wall, pierced with loopholes for the discharge of arrows. It has a ditch in front for defence and for receiving the sewage of the city. The people in whose country this city is situated is the most distinguished in all India, and is called the Prasii. The king, in addition to his family [S. 67] name, must adopt the surname of Palibothros, as Sandrakottos, for instance, did, to whom Megasthenēs was sent on an embassy. [This custom also prevails among the Parthians, for all are called Arsakai, though each has his own peculiar name, as Orodēs, Phraatēs, or some other.]

Then follow these words

All the country beyond the Hupanis is allowed to be very fertile, but little is accurately known regarding it. Partly from ignorance and the remoteness of its situation, everything about it is exaggerated or represented as marvellous : for instance, there are the stories of the gold-digging ants, of animals and men of peculiar shapes, and possessing wonderful faculties; as the Sēres, who, they say, are so long-lived that they attain an age beyond that of two hundred years.a They mention also an aristocratical form of government consisting of five thousand councillors, each of whom furnishes the state with an elephant.

a This was not the name of any particular nation, but was vaguely used to designate the inhabitants of the region producing silk, of which Sēr is the name in Chinese and in Japanese. The general opinion places this region (Sērica) in Eastern Mongolia and the north-east of China, but it has also been sought for in Eastern Turkestan, in the Himalaya towards the sources of the Ganges, in Assam, and even in Pegu. The name is first met with in Ktēsias.

According to Megasthenēs the largest tigers are found in the country of the Prasii, &c. (Cf. Fragm. XII.)


Arr. Ind. 10.

Of Pataliputra and the Manners of the Indians.

It is further said that the Indians do not rear monuments to the dead, but consider the [S. 68] virtues which men have displayed in life, and the songs in which their praises are celebrated, sufficient to preserve their memory after death. But of their cities it is said that the number is so great that it cannot be stated with precision, but that such cities as are situated on the banks of rivers or on the sea-coast are built of wood instead of brick, being meant to last only for a time,—so destructive are the heavy rains which pour down, and the rivers also when they overflow their banks and inundate the plains,—while those cities which stand on commanding situations and lofty eminences are built of brick and mud; that the greatest city in India is that which is called Palibothra, in the dominions of the Prasians, where the streams of the Erannoboas and the Ganges unite,—the Ganges being the greatest of all rivers, and the Erannoboas being perhaps the third largest of Indian rivers, though greater than the greatest rivers elsewhere ; but it is smaller than the Ganges where it falls into it. Megasthenēs informs us that this city stretched in the inhabited quarters to an extreme length on each side of eighty stadia, and that its breadth was fifteen stadia, and that a ditch encompassed it all round, which was six hundred feet in breadth and thirty cubits in depth, and that the wall was crowned with 570 towers and had four-and-sixty gates. The same writer tells us further this remarkable fact about India, that all the [S. 69] Indians are free, and not one of them is a slave. The Lakedaemonians and the Indians are here so far in agreement. The Lakedaemonians, however, hold the Helots as slaves, and these Helots do servile labour; but the Indians do not even use aliens as slaves, and much less a countryman of their own.


Strab. XV. i. 53-56,—pp. 709-10.

Of the Manners of the Indians.

The Indians all live frugally, especially when in camp. They dislike a great undisciplined, multitude, and consequently they observe good order. Theft is of very rare occurrence. Megasthenēs says that those who were in the camp of Sandrakottos, wherein lay 400,000 men, found that the thefts reported on any one day did not exceed the value of two hundred drachmae, and this among a people who have no written laws, but are ignorant of writing, and must therefore in all the business of life trust to memory. They live, nevertheless, happily enough, being simple in their manners and frugal. They never drink wine except at sacrifices.a Their beverage is a liquor composed from rice instead of barley, and their food is principally a rice-pottage.b The simplicity of their laws and their contracts is [S. 70] proved by the fact that they seldom go to law. They have no suits about pledges or deposits, nor do they require either seals or witnesses, but make their deposits and confide in each other. Their houses and property they generally leave unguarded. These things indicate that they possess good, sober sense ; but other things they do which one cannot approve: for instance, that they eat always alone, and that they have no fixed hours when meals are to be taken by all in common, but each one eats when he feels inclined. The contrary custom would be better for the ends of social and civil life.

a This wine was probably Soma juice.
Curry and rice, no doubt.

Their favourite mode of exercising the body is by friction, applied in various ways, but especially by passing smooth ebony rollers over the skin. Their tombs are plain, and the mounds raised over the dead lowly. In contrast to the general simplicity of their style, they love finery and ornament. Their robes are worked in gold, and ornamented with precious stones, and they wear also flowered garments made of the finest muslin. Attendants walking behind hold up umbrellas over them: for they have a high regard for beauty, and avail themselves of every device to improve their looks. Truth and virtue they hold alike in esteem. Hence they accord no special privileges to the old unless they possess superior wisdom. They marry many wives, whom they buy from their parents, giving [S. 71] in exchange a yoke of oxen. Some they marry hoping to find in them willing helpmates ; and others for pleasure and to fill their houses with children. The wives prostitute themselves unless they are compelled to be chaste. No one wears a crown at a sacrifice or libation, and they do not stab the victim, hut strangle it, so that nothing mutilated, but only what is entire, may be presented to the deity.

A person convicted of bearing false witness suffers mutilation of his extremities. He who maims any one not only suffers in return the loss of the same limb, hut his hand also is cut off. If he causes an artizan to lose his hand or his eye, he is put to death. The same writer says that none of the Indians employ slaves; [but Onesikritos says that this was peculiar to that part of the country over which Musikanos ruled. ]a

a His kingdom lay in Sindhu, along the banks of the Indus, and his capital was probably near Bakkar.

The care of the king's person is entrusted to women, who also are bought from their parents.a The guards and the rest of the soldiery attend outside the gates. A woman who kills the king when drunk becomes the wife of his successor. The sons succeed the father. The king may not sleep during the daytime, and by night he is obliged to change his couch from [S. 72] time to time, with a view to defeat plots against his life.b

a This was not unknown in native court's of later times, Conf. Idrisi's account of the Balhara king.
"The present king of Ava, who evidently belongs to the Indo-Chinese type, although he claims a Kshatriya origin, leads a life of seclusion very similar to that of Sandrokottos. He changes his bedroom every night, as a safeguard against sudden treachery." (Wheeler's Hist of India, vol. III. p. 132, note.)

The king leaves his palace not only in time of war, but also for the purpose of judging causes. He then remains in court for the whole day, without allowing the business to be interrupted, even though the hour arrives when he must needs attend to his person,—that is, when he is to be rubbed with cylinders of wood. He continues hearing cases while the friction, which is performed by four attendants, is still proceeding. Another purpose for which he leaves his palace is to offer sacrifice; a third is to go to the chase, for which he departs in Bacchanalian fashion. Crowds of women surround him, and outside of this circle spearmen are ranged. The road is marked off with ropes, and it is death, for man and woman alike, to pass within the ropes. Men with drums and gongs lead the procession. The king hunts in the enclosures and shoots arrows from a platform. At his side stand two or three armed women. If he hunts in the open grounds he shoots from the back of an elephant. Of the women, some are in chariots, some on horses, and some even on elephants, and they are equipped with weapons [S. 73] of every kind, as if they were going on a campaign.a

a In the drama of Śakuntalā, Rāja Dushyanta is represented as attended in the chase by Yavana women, with bows in their hands, and wearing garlands of wild flowers.

[These customs are very strange when compared with our own, but the following are still more so; ] for Megasthenēs states that the tribes inhabiting the Kaukasos have intercourse with women in public, and eat the bodies of their relatives,a and that there are monkeys which roll down stones, &c. (Fragm. XV, follows, and then Fragm. XXIX.)

a Herodotus (bk. iii. 38, 99, 101) has noted the existence of both practices among certain Indian tribes.


Aelian. V. L. iv. 1.

The Indians neither put out money at usury, nor know how to borrow. It is contrary to established usage for an Indian either to do or suffer a wrong, and therefore they neither make contracts nor require securities. Conf. Suid. V. Ινδοι.


Nicol. Damasc. 44 ; Stob. Serm. 42.

Among the Indians one who is unable to recover a loan or a deposit has no remedy at law. All the creditor can do is to blame himself, for trusting a roque.


Nicol. Damasc. 44; Stob. Serm. 42.

He who causes an artisan to lose his eye or his hand is put to death. If one is guilty of a very heinous offence the king orders his hair to be [S. 74] cropped, this being a punishment to the last degree infamous,


Athen. iv. p. 15S.

Of the Suppers of the Indians.

Megasthenēs, in the second book of his Indika, says that when the Indians are at supper a table is placed before each person, this being like a tripod. There is placed upon it a golden bowl, into which they first put rice, boiled as one would boil barley, and then they add many dainties prepared according to Indian receipts.


Strab, XV . i. 57,—p. 711.

Of fabulous tribes.

But deviating into fables he says there are men five spans and even three spans in height, some of whom want the nose, having only two orifices above the mouth through which they breathe. 2 Against the men of three spans, war, as Homer has sung, is waged by the cranes, and also by partridges, which are as large as geese,b [S. 75] These people collect and destroy the eggs of the cranes, for it is in their country the cranes lay their eggs, and thus the eggs and the young cranes are not to be found anywhere else. Frequently a crane escapes having the brazen point of a weapon in its body, from wounds  received in that country. 3 Equally absurd is the account given of the Euōtokoitai,c [S. 76] of the wild men, and of other monsters. 4 The wild men could not be brought to Sandrakottos, for they refused to take food and died. Their heels are in front, and the instep and toes are turned backwards.d 5 Some were brought to the court who had no mouths and were tame. They dwell near the sources of the Ganges, and subsist on the savour of roasted flesh and the perfumes of fruits and flowers, having instead of months orifices through which they breathe. They are distressed with things of evil smell, and 6 hence it is with difficulty they keep their hold on life, especially in a camp. Referring to the other monstrosities, the philosophers told him of the 0kupedes, a people who in running could leave the horse behind;e 7 of the Enotokoitai, who had ears reaching down to their feet, so that they could sleep in them, and were so strong that they could pull up trees and break a bowstring. 8 Of others the Monommatoi, who have the [S. 77] ears of a clog, their one eye set in the middle of their forehead, the hair standing erect, and their breasts shaggy; f of the Amuktēres also, a people without nostrils, who devour everything, eat raw meat, and are short-lived, and die before old age supervenes.g The upper part of the mouth protrudes far over the lower lip. 9 With regard to the Hyperboreans, who live a thousand years, they give the same account as Simonidēs, Pindaros, and other mythological writers .h 10 The story told by Timagenēs, that [S. 78] showers fall of drops of copper, which are swept together, is a fable. 11 Megasthenēs states—what is more open to belief, since the same is [S. 79] the case in Iberiai—that tire rivers carry down gold dust, and that a part of this is paid by way of tribute to the king. 

a Cf. Strab. II. 9,—p. 70:—Dēimachos and Megasthenēs are especially unworthy of credit. It is they who tell those stories about the men who sleep in their ears, the men without mouths, the men without nostrils, the men with one eye, the men with long legs, and the men with their toes turned backward- They renewed Homer's fable about the battle between the Cranes and the Pygmies, asserting that the latter were three spans in height. They told of the ants that dig for gold, of Pans with wedge-shaped heads, and of serpents swallowing down oxen and stags, horns and all,—the one author meanwhile accusing the other of falsehood, as Eratosthenēs has remarked.

Ktēsias in his Indika mentions Pygmies as belonging to India. The Indians themselves considered them as belonging to the race of the Kirātae, a barbarous people who inhabited woods and mountains and lived by hunting, and who were so diminutive that their name became a synonym for dwarf. They were thought to fight with vultures and eagles. As they were of Mongolian origin, the Indians represented them with the distinctive features of that race, but with their repulsiveness exaggerated. Hence Megasthenēs spoke of the Amuktēres, men without noses, who had merely breathing-holes above the mouth. The Kirātae are no doubt identical with the Scyrites (V. L. Syrictes) of Plinius and the Kirrhadai of tbe Periplus Maris Evythraei.

c The Euōtokoitai are called in Sanskrit Karṇaprāvaramās, and are frequently referred to in the great epic poems—e.g. Mahābh. II. 1170, 1875. The opinion was universally prevalent among the Indians that barbarous tribes had large ears: thus not only are the Karṇaprāvaramās mentioned, but also Karṇikās, Lambakarṇās, Mahākarṇās (i.e. long or large eared)', Uṣrakarṇās (i.e. camel-eared), Oshṭhakarṇās (i.e. having the ears close to the lips), Pāṇikarṇās (i.e. having hands for ears). Schwanb. 66. "It is easy," says Wheeler (Hist. Ind. vol. III. p. 179), "for any one conversant with India to point out the origin of many of the so-called fables. The ants are not as big as foxes, but they are very extraordinary excavators. The stories of men pulling up trees, and using them as clubs, are common enough in the Mahābhārata, especially in the legends of the exploits of Bhīma. Men do not have ears haṇging down to their feet, but both, men and women will occasionally elongate their ears after a very extraordinary fashion by thrusting articles through the lobe. . . . . If there was one story more than another which excited the wrath of Strabo, it was that of a people whose ears hung down to their feet. Yet the story is still current in Hindustān. Bābu Johari Dās says:—-'An old woman once told me that her husband, a sepoy in the British army, had seen a people who slept on one ear, and covered themselves with the other.' (Domestic Manners and Customs of the Hindus, Banācas, 1860.)" The story may be referred to the Himālayas. Fitch, who travelled n India about 1585, says that a people in Bhutān had ears a span long."

d These wild men are mentioned both by Ktēsias and Baeto. They were called Antipodes on account of the peculiar structure of their foot, and were reckoned among Aethiopian races, though they are often referred to in the Indian epics under the name Paśchādangulajas, of which the οπιθοδακτυλοι of Megasthenēs is an exact translation. Vide Schwanb. 68.

e 'Okupedes' is a transliteration into Greek, with a slight change, of the Sanskrit Ekapadas, ('having ono foot'), the name of a tribe of the Kirātae noted for swiftness of foot, the quality indicated by the Greek term. The Monopodes are mentioned by Ktēsias, who confunded ihem with the Skiapodes, the men who covered themselves with the shadow of their foot.

f What Mogasthoues here mentions as the characteristics of a single tribe are by the Indians attributed to several. The one-eyed men they are wont to call ekākshās or ekavilochanās—the men with hair standing erect, urdhvakeśa, Indian Cyclōpes even are mentioned under the name of lalāṭākshas, i.e. having one eye in the forehead: vide Schwanb. 70.

g "That the Astomi are mentioned in the Indian books, we cannot show so well as in the case of the Amuktēres, whom Megasthēnes described as παμφαγους, ωμοφαγους, ολιγοχρονιοθς. Nevertheless the very words of the description are a proof that he followed the narratives of the Indians, for the words παμφαγους, &c. by which he has described tho Amuktēres are very rarely used in Greek, and are translations of Indian words." Schwanb. 70.

h Pindar who locates the Hyperboreans somewhere about the mouths of the Ister, thus rings of them:—

"But who with venturous course through wave or waste
To Hyperborean haunts and wilds untraced,
E'er found his wondrous Way ?
There Perseus pressed amain,
And 'midst the feast, entered their strange abode
Where hecatombs of asses slain
To soothe the radiant god
Astounded he beheld. Their rude solemnities,
Their barbarous shouts, Apollo's heart delight;
Laughing the rampant brute he sees
Insult the solemn rite.
Still their sights, their customs strange
Scare not the 'Muse,' while all around
The dancing virgins range,
And melting lyres and piercing pipes resound.
With braids of golden bays entwined
Their soft resplendent locks they bind,
And feast in bliss the genial hour:
Nor foul disease, nor wasting age,
Visit the sacred race; nor wars they wage,
Nor toil for wealth or power."

(10th Pythian ode, 11. 46 to 69, A. Moore's metrical version.)

Megasthenēs had the penetration to perceive that the Greek fable of the Hyperboreans had an Indian source in the fables regarding the Uttarakurus. This word means literally the' Kuru of the North.' "The historic origin,'' says P. V. de Saint-Martin, "of the Sanskrit appellation Uttarakuru is unknown, but its acceptation never varies. In all the documents of Upavedic literature, in the great poems, in the Purānas,—wherever, in short, the word is found,—it pertains to the domain of poetic and mythological geography. Uttarakuru is situated in the uttermost regions of the north at the foot of the mountains which surround Mount Meru, far beyond the habitable world. It is the abode of demigods and holy Rishis whose lives extend to several thousands of years. All access to it is forbidden to mortals. Like the Hyperborean region of Western mythologists, this too enjoys the happy privilege of an eternal spring, equally exempt from excess of cold and excess of heat, and there the sorrows of the soul and the pains of the body-are. alike unknown It is clear enough that this land of the blest is not of our world.

"In their intercourse with the Indians after the expedition of Alexander, the Greeks became acquainted with, these fictions of Brahmanic poetry, as well as with a good many other stories which made them look upon India, as a land of prodigies. Megasthenēs, like Ktēsias before him, had collected a great number of such stories, and either from his memoirs or from contemporary narratives, such as that of Dēimachos, the fable of the Uttarakurus had spread to the West, since, from what Pliny tells us (vi. 17, p. 316) one Amōmētus had composed a treatise regarding them analogous to that of Hecataeus regarding the Hyperboreans. It is certainly from this treatise of Amōmētus that Pliny borrows the two lines which he devotes to his Attacorae, 'that a girdle of mountains warmed with the sun sheltered them from the blasts of noxious winds, and that they enjoyed, like the Hyperboreans, an eternal spring.' 'Gens hominum Attacorum, apricis ab omni noxio afflatu seclusa collibus, eadem, qua Hyperborei degunt, temperie.' (Plin. loc. cit. Ammianus Marcellinus, xxiii. 6, 84.) Wagner transfers this description to the Sēres in general, (of whom the Attacorae of Pliny form part), and some modern critics (Mannert, vol. IV. p. 250, 1875; Forbiger Hanclb. der alten Geogr. vol.11, p. 472, 1844) have believed they could see in it a reference to the great wall of China.) We see from a host of examples besides this, that the poetic fables and popular legends of India had taken, in passing into the Greek narratives, an appearance of reality, and a sort of historical consistency." (Étude sur la Géographie Grecque et Latine de l'Inde, pp. 413-414.) The same author (p. 412) says, "Among the peoples of Sērica, Ptolemy reckons the Ottorocorrhae, a name which in Pliny is written Attacorae, and which Ammianus Marcellinus, who copies Ptolemy, distorts into Opurocarra. There is no difficulty in recognizing under this name the Uttarakuru of Sanskrit books."

Sckwanbeck (p. 70) quotes Lassen, who writes somewhat to the same effect:—"Uttarakuru is a part of Sērica, and as the first accounts of India came to the West from the Sēres, perhaps a part of the description of the peaceful happy life of the Sēres is to be explained from the Indian stories of the Uttarakuru. The story of the long life of the Sēres may be similarly explained, especially when Megasthenēs reckons the life attained by the Hyperboreans at 1000 years. The Mahābhārata (VI. 264) says that the Uttarakurus live 1000 or 10,000 years. We conclude from this that Megasthenēs also wrote of the Uttarakurus, and that he not improperly rendered their name by that of the Hyperboreans."-—Zeitschr. II. 67.

b Not Spain, but the country between the Black Sea and the Caspian, now called Georgia.


Plin, Hist. Nat, VII. ii. 14-22.

Of fabulous races.

According to Megasthenēs, on a mountain called Nulo a there live men whose feet are turned [S. 80] backward, and who have eight toes on each foot; 2 while on many of the mountains there lives a race of men having heads like those of dogs, who are clothed with the skins of wild beasts, whose speech is barking, and who, being armed with claws, live by hunting and fowling. b  [2b Ktēsias asserts on his own authority that the number of these men was upwards of 120,000, and that there is a race in India whose females bear offspring but once in the course of their life, and that their children become at once grey-haired.] 

a V. L. Nullo.
b Called by Ktēsias Κυνοκεφαλοι and in Sanskrit Śunamuchās or Śvāmuchās.

3 Megasthenēs speaks of a race of men among the Nomadic Indians who instead of nostrils have merely orifices, whose legs are contorted like snakes, and who are called Scyritae. He speaks also of a race living on the very confines of India on the east, near the source of the Ganges, the Astomi, who have no mouth; who cover their body, which is all over hairy, with the soft down found upon the leaves of trees ; and who live merely by breathing, and the perfume inhaled by the nostrils. They eat nothing, and they drink nothing. They require merely a variety of odours of roots and of flowers and of wild apples. The apples they carry with them when they go on a distant journey, that they may always have something to smell. Too strong an odour would readily kill them. [S. 81]

Beyond, the Astomi, in the remotest part of the mountains, the Trispithami and the Pygmies are said to have their abode. They are each three spans in height—that is, not more than seven-and-twenty inches. Their climate is salubrious and they enjoy a perpetual spring, under shelter of a barrier of mountains which rise on the north. They are the same whom Homer mentions as being harassed by the attacks of the cranes. 5 The story about them is—that mounted on the backs of rams and goats, and equipped with arrows, they march down in spring-time all in a body to the sea, and destroy the eggs and the young of these birds. It takes them always three months to finish this yearly campaign, and were it not undertaken they could not defend themselves against the vast flocks of subsequent years. Their huts are  made of clay and feathers and egg-shells. [Aristotle says that they live in caves, bat otherwise he gives the same account of them as others.]. - . .

[5b From Ktēsias we learn that there is a people belonging to this race, which is called Pandorē and settled in the valleys, who live two hundred years, having in youth hoary hair, which in old age turns black. On the other hand, others do not live beyond the age of forty,—nearly related to the Macrobii, whose women bear offspring but once. Agatharchidēs says the same of them, adding that they subsist on locusts, and are swift of foot.] 6 Clitarchus and [S. 82] Megasthenēs call them Mandi,a and reckon the number of their villages at three hundred. The females bear children at the age of seven, and are old women at forty.b

a Possibly we should read Pandai, unless perhaps Megasthenēs referred to the inhabitants of Mount Mandara.
Conf. Fragm. L. 1, LI.


Solin. 52. 26-80.

Hear a mountain which is called Nulo there live men whose feet are turned backwards and have eight toes on each foot. Megasthenēs writes that on different mountains in India there are tribes of men with dog-shaped heads, armed with claws, clothed with skins, who speak not in the accents of human language, but only bark, and have fierce grinning jaws. [In Ktēsias we read that in some parts the females bear offspring but once, and that the children are white-haired from their birth, &c]

Those who live near the source of the Ganges, requiring nothing in the shape of food, subsist on the odour of wild apples, and when they go on a long journey they carry these with them for safety of their life, which they can support by inhaling their perfume. Should they inhale very foul air, death is inevitable.


Plutarch, de facie in orbe lunae. (Opp. ed. Reisk, tom. ix. p. 701.)

Of the race of men without mouths.a

a Conf. Fragm. XXIX. 5, XXX. 3.

For how could one find growing there that [S.. 83] Indian root which Megasthenēs says a race of men who neither eat nor drink, and in fact have not even mouths, set on fire and burn like incense, in order to sustain their existence with its odorous fumes, unless it received moisture from the moon?



Arr. Ind. XI. 1.-XII.-9. Cf. Epit. 40-53, and Plin. Hist. Nat. VI. xxii. 2, S.

(See the translation of Arrian's Indika.)


Strab. XV. 1. 39-41, 46-49, pp. 703-4, 707.

Of the Seven Castes among the Indians.

(39) According to him (Megasthenēs) the population of India is divided into seven parts. The philosophers are first in rank, but form the smallest class in point of number. 2 Their services are employed privately by persons who wish to offer sacrifices or perform other sacred rites, and also publicly by the kings at what is called the Great Synod, wherein at the beginning of the new year all the philosophers are gathered together before the king at the gates, when any philosopher who may have committed any useful suggestion to writing, or observed any means for improving the crops and the cattle, or for promoting the public interests, declares it publicly. 3 If any one is detected giving false information thrice, the law condemns him to be silent for the rest of his life, but he who gives sound advice is exempted from paying any taxes or contributions. [S. 84]

(40) The second caste consists of the husbandmen, who form the bulk of the population, and are in disposition most mild and gentle. They are exempted from military service, and cultivate their lands undisturbed by fear. They never go to town, either to take part in its tumults, or for any other purpose. 5 It therefore not infrequently happens that at the same time, and in the same part of the country, men may be seen drawn up in array of battle, and righting at risk of their lives, while other men close at hand are ploughing and digging in perfect security, having these soldiers to protect them. The whole of the land is the property of the king, and the husbandmen till it on condition of receiving one-fourth of the produce.

(41) 6 The third caste consists of herdsmen and hunters, who alone are allowed to hunt, and to keep cattle, and to sell draught animals or let them out on hire. In return for clearing the land of wild beasts and fowls which devour the seeds sown in the fields, they receive an allowance of grain from the king. They lead a wandering life and live under tents,

Fragm. XXXVI. follows here.

[So much, then on the subject of wild animals. We shall now return to Megasthenēs, and resume from where we digressed.]

(46) 7 The forth class after herdsmen and hunters consists of those who work at trades, of those who vend wares, and of those who are employed in bodily labour. Some of these pay tribute, and render to the state certain prescribed services. But the armour-makers and shipbuilders receive wages and their victuals from the king; for whom [S. 85] alone they work. The general in command of the army supplies the soldiers with weapons, and the admiral of the fleet lets out ships on hire for the transport both of passengers and merchandize.

(47) The fifth class consists of fighting men, who, when not engaged in active service, pass their time in idleness and drinking. They are maintained at the king's expense, and hence they are always ready, when occasion calls, to take the field, for they carry nothing of their own with them but their own bodies.

(48) The sixth class consists of the overseers, to whom is assigned the duty of watching all that goes on, and making reports secretly to the king. Some are entrusted with the inspection of the city, and others with that of the army. The former employ as their coadjutors the courtezans of the city, and the latter the courtezans of the camp. The ablest and most trustworthy men are appointed to fill these offices.

The seventh class consists of the councillors and assessors of the king. To them belong the highest posts of government, the tribunals of justice, and the general administration of public affairs.a 12 No one is allowed to marry out of his [S. 86] own caste, or to exchange one profession or trade for another, or to follow more than one business. An exception is made in favour of the philosopher, who for his virtue is allowed this privilege.

a The Greek writers by confounding some distinctions occasioned by civil employment with those arising from that division have increased the number (of classes) from five (including the handicrafts-man or mixed class) to seven. This number is produced by their supposing the king's councillors and assessors to form a distinct class from the Brahmans; by splitting the class of Vaisya into two, consisting of shepherds and husbandmen; by introducing a caste of spies; and by omitting the servile class altogether. With, these exceptions the classes are in the state described by Menu, which is the groundwork of that still subsisting.—Eiphinstone's History of India, p. 236.


Strab. XV. 1. 50-52,—pp. 707-709.

Of the administration of public affairs. Of the use of Horses and Elephants,

(Fragm. XXXIII. has preceded this.)

(50) Of the great officers of state, some have charge of the market, others of the city, others of the soldiers. Some superintend the rivers, measure the land, as is done in Egypt, and inspect the sluices by which water is let out from the main canals into their branches, so that every one may have an equal supply of it. 2 The same persons have charge also of the huntsmen, and are entrusted with the power of rewarding or punishing them according to their deserts. They collect the taxes, and superintend the occupations connected with land, as those of the woodcutters, the carpenters, the blacksmiths, and the miners. 3 They construct roads, and at every ten stadia set up a pillar to show the by-roads and distances. 4 Those who have charge of the city are [S. 87] divided into six bodies of five each. The members of the first look after everything relating to the industrial arts. Those of the second attend to the entertainment of foreigners. To these they assign lodgings, and they keep watch over their modes of life by means of those persons whom they give to them for assistants. They escort them on the way when they leave the country, or, in the event of their dying, forward their property to their relatives. They take care of them when they are sick, and if they die bury them. 5 The third body consists of those who inquire when and how births and deaths occur, with the view not only of levying a tax, but also in order that births and deaths among both high and low may not escape the cognizance of Government. 6 The fourth class superintends trade and commerce. Its members have charge of weights and measures, and see that the products in their season are sold by public notice. No one is allowed to deal in more than one kind of commodity unless he pays a double tax. 7 The fifth class supervises manufactured articles, which they sell by public notice. What is new is sold separately from what is old, and there is a fine for mixing the two together. 8 The sixth and last class consists of those who collect the tenths of the prices of the articles sold. Fraud in the payment of this tax is punished with death.

9 Such are the functions which these bodies [S. 88] separately discharge. In their collective capacity they have charge both of their special departments, and also of matters affecting the general interest, as the keeping of public buildings in proper repair, the regulation of prices, the care of markets, harbours, and temples. 10Text to the city magistrates there is a third governing body, which directs military affairs. This also consists of six divisions, with five members to each. One division is appointed to cooperate with the admiral of the fleet, another with the superintendent of the bullock-trains which are used for transporting engines of war, food for the soldiers, provender for the cattle, and other military requisites. They supply servants who beat the drum, and others who carry gongs; grooms also for the horses, and mechanists and their assistants. To the sound of the gong they send out foragers to bring in grass, and by a system of rewards and punishments ensure the work being done with despatch and safety. 11 The third division has charge of the foot-soldiers, the fourth of the horses, the fifth of the war-chariots, and the sixth of the elephants. 12 There are royal stables for the horses and elephants, and also a royal magazine for the arms, because the soldier has to return his arms to the magazine, and his horse and his elephant to the stables. 13 They use the elephants without bridles. The chariots are drawn on the march [S. 89] by oxen, 14 but the horses are led along by a halter, that their legs may not be galled and inflamed, nor their spirits damped by drawing chariots. 15 In addition to the charioteer, there are two fighting men who sit up in the chariot beside him. The war-elephant carries four men—three who shoot arrows, and the driver.a

a "The fourfold division of the army (horse, foot, chariots, and elephants) was the same as that of Menu ; hut Strabo makes a sextuple division, by adding the commissariat and naval department."

(Fragm. XXVII. follows.)


Aelian, Hist. Anim. XIII. 10.

Of the use of Horses and Elephants.

Cf. Fragm. XXXlV. 13-15.

When it is said that an Indian by springing forward in front of a horse can check his speed and hold him back, this is not true of all Indians, but only of such as have been trained from boyhood to manage horses; for it is a practice with them to control their horses with bit and bridle, and to make them move at a measured pace and in a straight course. They neither, however, gall their tongue by the use of spiked muzzles, nor torture the roof of their mouth. The professional trainers break them in by forcing them to gallop round and round in a ring, especially -when they see them refractory. Such as undertake this work require to have a strong hand as well as a thorough knowledge of [S. 90] horses. The greatest proficients test their skill by driving a chariot round and round in a ring ; and in truth it would be no trilling feat to control with ease a team of four high-mettled steeds when whirling round in a circle. The chariot carries two men who sit beside the charioteer. The war-elephant, either in what is called the tower, or on his bare back in sooth, carries three fighting men, of whom two shoot from the side, while one shoots from behind. There is also a fourth, man, who carries in his hand the goad wherewith he guides the animal, much in the same way as the pilot and captain of a ship direct its course with the helm.


Strab. XV. 1. 41-43,—pp. 704-705.

Of Elephants.

Conf. Epit. 54-50.

(Fragm. XXXIII.6 has preceded this.)

A private person is not allowed to keep either a horse or an elephant. These animals are held to be the special property of the king, and persons are appointed to take care of them. 2 The manner of hunting the elephant is this. Round a bare patch of ground is dug a deep trench about five or six stadia in extent, and over this is thrown a very narrow bridge which gives access to the enclosure. 3 Into this enclosure are introduced three or four of the best-trained female elephants. The men themselves lie in ambush in concealed huts. 4 The wild [S. 91] elephants do not approach this trap in the daytime, but they enter it at night, going In one by one. 5 When all have passed the entrance, the men secretly close it up ; then, introducing the strongest of the tame fighting elephants, they fight it out with the wild ones, whom at the same time they enfeeble with hunger. 6 When the latter are now overcome with fatigue, the boldest of the drivers dismount unobserved, and each man creeps under his own elephant, and from this position creeps under the belly of the wild elephant and ties his feet together. 7 When this is done they incite the tame ones to beat those whose feet are tied till they fall to the ground. They then bind the wild ones and the tame ones together neck to neck with thongs of raw ox-hide. 8 To prevent them shaking themselves in order to throw off those who attempt to mount them, they make cuts all round their neck and then put thongs of leather into the incisions, so that the pain obliges them to submit to their fetters and to remain quiet. From the number caught they reject such as are too old or too young to be serviceable, and the rest they lead away to the stables. Here they tie their feet one to another, and fasten their necks to a firmly fixed pillar, and tame them by hunger. 10 After this they restore their strength with green reeds and grass. They next teach them to be obedient, which they effect by soothing them, some by [S. 92] coaxing words, and others by songs and the music of the drum. 11 Few of them are found difficult to tame, for they are naturally so mild and gentle in their disposition that they approximate to rational creatures. Some of them take up their drivers when fallen in battle, and carry them off in safety from the field. Others, when their masters have sought refuge between their forelegs, have fought in their defence and saved their lives. If in a fit of anger they kill either the man who feeds or the man who trains them, they pine so much for their loss that they refuse to take food, and sometimes die of hunger.

12 They copulate like horses, and the female casts her calf chiefly in spring. It is the season for the male, when he is in heat and becomes ferocious. At this time he discharges a fatty substance through an orifice near the temples. It is also the season for the females, when the corresponding passage opens. 13 They go with young for a period which varies from sixteen to eighteen months. The dam suckles her calf for six years. 14 Most of them live as long as men who attain extreme longevity, and some live over two hundred years. They are liable to many distempers, and are not easily cured. 15 The remedy for diseases of the eye is to wash it with cows' milk. For most of their other diseases draughts of black wine are administered to them. For the cure of their wounds they are made to [S. 93] swallow butter, for this draws out iron. Their sores are fomented with swine's flesh.


Arr. Ind. ch. 13-14.

(Fragm. XXXII. comes before this.)

(See the translation of Arrian's Indika.)


Aelian, Hist Anim. XII. 44.

Of Elephants.

(Cf. Fragm. XXXVI. 9-10 and XXXVII. 940 init. c. XIV.).

In India an elephant if caught when fall-grown is difficult to tame, and longing for freedom thirsts for blood. Should it be bound in chains, this exasperates it still more and it will not submit to a master. The Indians, however, coax it with food, and seek to pacify it with various things for which it has a liking, their aim being to fill its stomach and to soothe its temper. But it is still angry with them, and takes no notice of them. To what device do they then resort ? They sing to it their native melodies, and soothe it with the music of an instrument in common use which has four strings and is called a skindapsos. The creature now pricks up its ears, yields to the soothing strain, and its anger subsides. Then, though there is an occasional outburst of its suppressed passion, it gradually turns its eye to its food. It is then freed from its bonds, but does not seek to escape, being enthralled with the music. It even takes food eagerly, and, like a luxurious guest riveted to the festive board, has no wish to go, from its love of the music.


Aelian, Hist. Anim. XIII. 7.

Of the diseases of Elephants.

(Cf. Fragm. XXXVI. 15 and XXXVII. 15.)

The Indians cure the wounds of the elephants which they catch, in the manner following :— They treat them in the way in which, as good old [S. 94] Homer tells us, Patroklos treated the wound of Eurypylos,—they foment them with lukewarm water.a If After this they rub them over with butter, and if they are deep allay the inflammation by applying and inserting pieces of pork, hot but still retaining the blood. They cure ophthalmia with cows' milk, which is first used as a fomentation for the eye, and is then injected into it. The animals open their eyelids, and finding they can see better are delighted, and are sensible of  the benefit like human beings. In proportion as their blindness diminishes their delight overflows, and this is a token that the disease has been cured. The remedy for other distempers to which they are liable is black wine; and if this potion fails to work a cure nothing else can save them.

a See Iliad, bk. XI. 845.


Strab. XV. 1.44,—p. 706.

Of Gold-digging Ants.a

a See Ind. Ant vol. IV. pp. 225 seqq. where cogent arguments are adduced to prove that the 'gold-digging ants' were originally neither, as the ancients supposed, real ants, nor, as so many eminent men of learning have supposed, larger animals mistaken for ants on account of their appearance and subterranean habits, but Tibetan miners, whose mode of life and dress was in the remotest antiquity exactly what they are at the present day.

Megasthenēs gives the following account of these ants. Among the Derdai a great tribe of Indians, who inhabit the mountains on the [S. 95] eastern borders,a there Is an elevated plateau about 3,000 stadia in circuit. Beneath the surface there are mines of gold, and here accordingly are found the ants which dig for that metal. They are not inferior in size to wild foxes. They ran with amazing speed, and live by the produce of the chase. The time when they dig is winter. b They throw up heaps of earth, as moles do, at the mouth of the mines. The gold-dust has to be subjected to a little boiling. The people of the neighbourhood, coming secretly with beasts of burden, carry this off. If they came openly the ants would attack them, and pursue thorn if they fled, and would destroy both them and their cattle. So, to effect the robbery without being observed, they lay clown in several different places pieces of the flesh of wild beasts, and when the ants are by this device dispersed they carry off the gold-dust. [S. 96] This they sell to any trader they meet withc while it is still in the state of ore, for the art of fusing metals is unknown to them.d

a These are the Dardae of Pliny, the Daradrai of Ptolemy, and the Daradas of Sanskrit literature. "The Dards are not an extinct race.  According to the accounts of modern travellers, they consist of several wild and predatory tribes dwelling among the mountains on the north-west frontier of Kāśmīr and by the banks of the Indus." Ind. Ant. loc. cit.

b "The miners of Thok-Jalung, in spite of the cold, prefer working in winter; and the number of their tents, which in summer amounts to three hundred, rises to nearly six hundred in winter. They prefer the winter, as the frozen soil then stands well, and is not likely to trouble them much by falling in."—Id.

c Το τυχοντι των εμπορων. If the different reading του τζχοντος τοις εμποροις  be adopted, the rendering is, @They dispose of it to merchants at any price."

d Cf. Herod. III. 102-105; Arrian, Anal. V. 4. 7; Aelian, Hist, Anim. III. 4; Clem. Alex. Paed. II. p. 207; Tzetz. Chil. XII. 330-340; Plin. Hist, Nat XI. 36, XXXIII. 21 ; Propert. III. 13.5 ; Pomp. Mel. VII. 2 ; Isidor. Orig. XII. 3; Albert Mag. Animal. T. VI. p. 678, ex subdititiis Alexandri epistolis; Anonym. De Monstris et Belluis, 250, ed. Berger de Xivrey; Philostratus, Vit Apollon. VI. 1; and Heliodorus, Aeth. X. 26, p. 495 ; also Gildemeister, Script. Arab. de reb. Jnd. p. 220-221, and 120; Busbequius, Legationis Turcicae Epist. IV. pp. 141, or Thaunus XXIV. 7, p. 800.—Schwanheck, p. 72.


Arr. Ind. XV.-5-7.

(See the translation of Anion's Indika.)


Dio Chrysost. Or. 35,—p. 436, Morell.

Of Ants which dig for gold.

(Cf. Fragm. XXXIV. and XL.)

They get the gold from ants. These creatures are larger than foxes, but are in other respects like the ants of our own country. They dig holes in the earth like other ants. The heap which they throw up consists of gold the purest and brightest in all the world. The mounds are piled up close to each other in regular order like hillocks of gold dust, whereby all the plain is made effulgent. It is difficult, therefore, to look towards the sun, and many who have attempted to do this have thereby destroyed their eyesight. The people who are next neighbours to the ants, with a view to plunder these heaps, cross the intervening desert, which is of no great extent, mounted on wagons to which they have yoked their swiftest horses. They arrive at noon, a time when the ants have gone underground, and at [S. 97] once seizing the booty make off at full speed. The ants, on learning what has been done, pursue the fugitives, and overtaking them fight with them till they conquer or die, for of all animals they are the most courageous. It hence appears that they understand the worth of gold, and that they will sacrifice their lives rather than part with it,


Strab. XV. 1. 58-60,—pp. 711-714.

Of the Indian Philosophers.

(Fragm. XXIX. has preceded this.)

(58) Speaking of the philosophers, he (Megasthenēs) says that such of them as live on the mountains are worshippers of Dionysos, showing as proofs that he had come among them the wild vine, which grows in their country only, and the ivy, and the laurel, and the myrtle, and the box-tree, and other evergreens, none of which are found beyond the Euphrates, except a few in parks, which it requires great care to preserve. They observe also certain customs which are Bacchanalian. Thus they dress in muslin, wear the turban, use perfumes, array themselves in garments dyed of bright colours ; and their kings, when they appear in public, are preceded by the music of drums and gongs. But the philosophers who live on the plains worship Hērakles. [These accounts are fabulous, and are impugned by many writers, especially what is said about the vine and wine. For the greater part of Armenia, and the whole of Mesopotamia and Media, onwards to Persia and Karmanla, lie beyond the Euphrates, [S. 98] and throughout a great part of each of these countries good vines grow, and good wine is produced.]

(59) Megasthenēs makes a different division of the philosophers, saying that they are of two kinds—one of which he calls the Brachmanes,  and the other the Sarmanes.a The Brachmanes are best esteemed, for they are more consistent in their opinions. From the time of their conception in the womb they are under the guardian care of learned men, who go to the mother and, under the pretence of using some incantations for the welfare of herself and her unborn babe, in reality give her prudent hints and counsels. The women who listen most willingly are thought to he the most fortunate in their children. After their birth the children are under the care of one person after another, and as [S. 99] they advance in age each succeeding master is more accomplished than his predecessor. The philosophers have their abode in a grove in front of the city within a moderate-sized enclosure. They live in a simple style, and lie on beds of rushes or (deer) skins. They abstain from animal food and sexual pleasures, and spend their time in listening to serious discourse, and in imparting their knowledge to such as will listen to them. The hearer is not allowed to speak, or even to cough, and much less to spit, and if he offends in any of these ways he is cast out from their society that very day, as being a man who is wanting in self-restraint. After living in this manner for seven-and-thirty years, each individual retires to his own property, where he lives for the rest of his days in ease and serenity.b They then array themselves in fine muslin, and wear a few trinkets of gold on their fingers and in their ears. They eat flesh, but not that of animals employed in labour. They abstain from hot and highly seasoned food. They marry as many wives as they please, with a view to have [S. 100] numerous children, for by having many wives greater advantages are enjoyed, and, since they have no slaves, they have more need to have children around them to attend to their wants.

a "Since the word Σαρμανας (thε form used by Clemens of Alexandria) corresponds to the letter with the Sanskrit word śramaṇa (i.e. an ascetic), it is evident that the forms Γαρμανας and Γερμανας, which are found in all the MSS. of Strabo, are incorrect. The mistake need not surprise us, since the ΣΑ when closely written together differ little in form from the syllable ΓΑ. In the same way Clement's Αλλοβιοι must be changed into Strabo's Υλοβιοι, corresponding with the Sanskrit Vanaprastha—the man of the first three castes who, after the term of his householdership has expired, has entered the third āśrama or order, and has proceeded (prastha) to a life in the woods (Vāna).'Schwanbeck, p. 46; H. H. Wilson, Gloss. " It is a capital question," he adds, "who the Sarmanae were, some considering them to be  Buddhists, and others denying them to be such. Weighty arguments are adduced on both sides, but the opinion of those seems to approach nearer the truth who contend that they were Buddhists."

b A mistake (of the Greek writers) originates in their ignorance of the fourfold division of a Brahman's life. Thus they speak of men who had been for many years sophists marrying and returning to common life (alluding probably to a student who, having completed the austerities of the first period, becomes a householder):" Elphinstone's History of India, p. 2S6, where it is also remarked that the writers erroneously prolong the period during which student listen to their instructors in silence and respect, making it extend in all cases to thirty-seven, which is the greatest age to which Manu (chap. III. sec. 1) permits it in any case to be protracted.

The Brachmanes do not communicate a knowledge of philosophy to their wives, lest they should divulge any of the forbidden mysteries to the profane if they became depraved, or lest they should desert them if they became good philosophers : for no one who despises pleasure and pain, as well as life and death, wishes to be in subjection to another, but this is characteristic both of a good man and of a good woman.

Death is with them a very frequent subject of discourse. They regard this life as, so to speak, the time when the child within the womb becomes mature, and death as a birth into a real and happy life for the votaries of philosophy. On this account they undergo much discipline as a preparation for death. They consider nothing that befalls men to be either good or bad, to suppose otherwise being a dream-like illusion, else how could some be affected with sorrow, and others with pleasure, by the very same things, and how could the same things affect the same individuals at different times with these opposite emotions ?

Their ideas about physical phenomena, the same author tells us, are very crude, for they are better in their actions than in their reasonings, inasmuch as their belief is in great measure [S. 101] based upon fables ; yet on many points their opinions coincide with those of the Greeks, for like them they say that the world had a beginning, and is liable to destruction, and is in shape spherical, and that the Deity who made it, and who governs it, is diffused through all its parts. They hold that various first principles operate in the universe, and that water was the principle employed in the making of the world. In addition to the four elements there is a fifth agency, from which the heaven and the stars were produced.a The earth is placed in the centre of the universe. Concerning generation, and the nature of the soul, and many other subjects, they express views like those maintained by the Greeks. They, wrap up their doctrines about immortality and future judgment, and kindred topics, in allegories, after the manner of Plato. Such are his statements regarding the Brachmanes.

a Ākāśa, 'the ether or sky.'

(60) Of the Sarmanesa he tells us that [S. 102] those who are held in most honour are called the Hylobioi. They live in the woods, where they subsist on leaves of trees and wild fruits, and wear garments made from the bark of trees. They abstain from sexual intercourse and from wine. They communicate with the kings, who consult them by messengers regarding the causes of things, and who through them worship and supplicate the deity. Next in honour to the Hylobioi are the physicians, since they are engaged in the study of the nature of man. They are simple in their habits, but do not live in the fields. Their food consists of rice and barley-meal, which they can always get for the mere asking, or receive from those who entertain them as guests in their houses. By their knowledge of pharmacy they can make marriages fruitful, and determine the sex of the offspring. They effect cures rather by regulating diet than by the use of medicines. The remedies most esteemed are ointments and plasters. All others they consider to be in a great measure pernicious in their nature.b This class and the other class practise fortitude, both by undergoing active toil, and by the endurance of pain, so that they remain for a whole day motionless in one fixed attitude.c [S. 103]

a Schwanbeck argues from the distinct separation here made between the Brachmanes and the Sarmanes, as well as from the name Śramaṇa being especially applied to Bauddha teachers, that the latter are here meant. They are called Σαμαναιοι by Bardesanes (ap. Porphyr. Aβstin. IV. 17) and Alex. Polyhistor. (ap. Ψyrill. contra Julim. IV. p. 133 B, ed. Paris, 1638). Conf. aλso Hieronym. ad Jovinian. II. (ed. Paris, 1706, T. II. pt. n. p. 206). And this is just the Pali name Sammana, the equivalent of the Sanskrit śrammaṇa. Bohlen in De Buddhaismi origine et aetate definiendis sustains this view, but Lassen (Rhein. Mus. für Phil. I. 171 ff.) contends that the description agrees better with the Brākman ascetics. See Schwanbeck, p. 45ff. and Lassen, Ind. Alterth. (2nd ed). II. 705, or (1st ed.) II. 700.

b "The habits of the physicians," Elphinstone remarks, "seem to correspond with those of Brahmans of the fourth stage."

c "It is indeed," says the same authority, "a remarkable circumstance that the religion of Buddha should never have been expressly noticed by the Greek authors, though it had existed for two centuries before Alexander. The only explanation is that the appearance and manners of its followers were not so peculiar as to enable a foreigner to distinguish them from the mass of the people,"

Besides these there are diviners and sorcerers, and adepts in the rites and customs relating to the dead, who go about begging both in villages and towns.

Even such of them as are of superior culture and refinement inculcate such superstitions regarding Hades as they consider favourable to piety and holiness of life. Women pursue philosophy with some of them, but abstain from sexual intercourse.


Clem. Alex. Strom. I. p. 305 D (ed. Colon. 103S).

That the Jewish race is by far the oldest of all these, and that their philosophy, which has been committed to writing, preceded the philosophy of the Greeks, Philo the Pythagorean shows by many arguments, as does also Aristoboulos the Peripatetic, and many others whose names I need not waste time in enumerating. Megasthenēs, the author of a work on India, who lived with Seleukos Nikator, writes most clearly on this point, and his words are these :—"All that has been said regarding nature by the ancients is asserted also by philosophers out of Greece, on the one part in India by the Brachmanes, and on the other in Syria by the people called the Jews". [S. 104]


Euseb. Praep. Ev. IX. 6,—pp. 410 0, D (ed. Colon. 1688). Ex Clem. Alex.

Again, in addition to this, further on he writes thus :—

" Megasthenēs, the writer who lived with Seleukos Nikator, writes most clearly on this point and to this effect:—'All that has been said,' " &c.


Cyrill. Contra Julian. IV. (Opp. ed. Paris, 163S, T. VI. p. 134 Al. Ex Clem. Alex.a

Aristoboulos the Peripatetic somewhere writes to this effect:—" All that has been said," &c.

a In this passage, though Cyrill follows Clemens, he wrongly attributes the narrative of Megasthenēs to Aristoboulos the Peripatetic, whom Clemens only praises"-- Schwanbeck, p. 50.


Clem. Alex. Strom. I. p. 305, A, B (ed. Colon. 16S8).

Of the Philosophers of India.

[Philosophy, then, with all its blessed advantages to man, nourished long ages ago among the barbarians, diffusing its light among the Gentiles, and eventually penetrated into Greece. Its hierophants were the prophets among the Egyptians, the Chaldaeans among the Assyrians, the Druids among the Gauls, the Sarmanaeans who were the philosophers of the Baktrians and the Kelts, the Magi among the Persians, who, as you know, announced beforehand the birth of the Saviour, being led by a star till they arrived in the land of Judaea, and among the Indians the Gymnosophista, and other philosophers of barbarous nations.]

There are two sects of these Indian philosophers—one called the Sarmānai and the other the Brachmānai. Connected with the Sarmānai are the philosophers called the Hylobioi,a who [S. 105] neither live in cities nor even in houses. They clothe themselves with the bark of trees, and subsist upon acorns, and drink water by lifting it to their mouth with their hands. They neither marry nor beget children [like those ascetics of our own day called the Enkratētai. Among the Indians are those philosophers also who follow the precepts of Boutta,b whom they honour as a god on account of his extraordinary sanctity.] [S. 106]

a The reading of the MSS is Allobioi.

b V. l. Βουτα.—The passage admits of a different rendering : "They (the Hylobioi) are those among the Indians who follow the precepts of Boutta." Colebrooke in his Observations on the Sect of the Jains, has quoted this passage from Clemens to controvert the opinion that the religion and institutions of the orthodox Hindus are more modern than the doctrines of Jina and of Buddha. "Here," he says, "to my apprehension, the followers of Buddha are clearly distinguished from the Brachmanes and Sarmanes. The latter, called Germanes by Strabo, and Samanaeans by Porphyrius, are the ascetics of a different religion, and may have belonged to the sect of Jina, or to another. The Brachmanes are apparently those who are described by Philostratus and Hierocles as worshipping the sun; and by Strabo and by Arrian as performing sacrifices for the common benefit of the nation, as well as for individuals ... They are expressly discriminated from the sect of Buddha by one ancient author, and from the Sarmanes (a) or Samanaeans (ascetics of various tribes) by others. They are described by more than one authority as worshipping the sun, as performing sacrifices, and as denying the eternity of the world, and maintaining other tenets incompatible with the supposition that the sects of Buddha or Jina could be meant. Their manners and doctrine, as described by these authors, are quite conformable with the notions and practice of the orthodox Hindus. It may therefore be confidently inferred that the followers of the Vedas flourished in India when it was visited by the Greeks under Alexander, and continued to flourish from the time of Megasthenēs, who described them in the fourth century before Christ, to that of Porphyrius, who speaks of them, on later authority, in the third century after Christ."
(a) Samana
is the Pāli form of the older


Strab. XV. 1. 68,—p. 718.

Of Kalanos and Mandanis.

Megasthenēs, however, says that self-destruction is not a dogma of the philosophers, but that such as commit the act are regarded as foolhardy, those naturally of a severe temper stabbing themselves or casting themselves down a precipice, those averse to pain drowning themselves, those capable of enduring pain strangling themselves, and those of ardent temperaments throwing themselves into the fire. Kalanos was a man of this stamp. He was ruled by his passions, and became a slave to the table of Alexander.a He is on this account condemned by his countrymen, but Mandanis is applauded because when messengers from Alexander invited him to go to the son of Zeus, with the promise of gifts if he complied, and threats of punishment if he refused, he did not go. Alexander, he said, was not the son of Zeus, for he was not so much as master of the larger half of the world. As for himself, [S. 107] he wanted none of the gifts of a man whose desires nothing could satiate ; and as for his threats  he feared them not : for if he lived, India would supply him with food enough, and if he died, he would be delivered from the body of flesh now afflicted with age, and would be translated to a better and a purer life. Alexander expressed admiration of the man, and let him have his own way.

a " Kalanos followed the Makedonian army from Taxila, and when afterwards taken ill burnt himself on a funeral pyre in the presence of the whole Makedonian army, without evincing any symptom of pain. His real name, according to Plutarch, was Sphines, and he received the name Kalanos among tbe Greeks because in saluting persons he used the form καλε instead of the Greek χαιρε. What Plutarch here calls καλε is probably the Sanskrit form kalyāṇa, which is commonly used in addressing a person, and signifies 'good, just,'or distinguished,' "--Smith's Classical Dictionary.


Arr. VII. ii. 3-0.

(See the translation of Arrian's Indika.)



Strab. XV. I. G-S,—pp. 636-033.

That the Indians had never been attacked by others, nor had themselves attacked others.

(Cf. Epit. 23.)

6. But what just reliance can we place on the accounts of India from such expeditions as those of Kyros and Semiramis?a Megasthenēs  concurs in this view, and recommends his readers to put no [S. 108] faith in the ancient history of India. Its people, he says, never, sent an expedition abroad, nor was their country ever invaded and conquered except by Hērakles and Dionysos in old times, and by the Makedonians in our own. Yet Sesōstris the Egyptianb and Tearkōn the Ethiopian advanced [S. 109] as far as Europe. And Nabukodrosorc who is more renowned among the Chaldaeans than even Hērakles among the Greeks, carried his arms to the Pillars,d which Tearkōn also reached, while Sesōstris penetrated from Iberia even into Thrace and Pontos. Besides these there was Idanthyrsos the Skythian, who overran Asia as far as Egypt.e But not one of these great conquerors approached India, and Semiramis, who meditated its conquest, died before the necessary preparations were undertaken. The Persians indeed summoned the Hydrakaif from India to serve as mercenaries, but they did not lead an army into the country, and only approached its borders when Kyros marched against the Massagetai.

a "The expedition of Semiramis as described by Diodorus Siculus (II. 16-19), who followed the Assyriaka of Ktēsias, has almost the character of a legend abounding with puerilities, and is entirely destitute of those geographical details which stamp events with reality. If this expedition is real, as on other grounds we may believe it to be, some traces will assuredly be found of it in the cuneiform inscriptions of Nineveh, which are destined to throw so much unexpected light on the ancient history of Asia. It has already been believed possible to draw from these inscriptions the foundations of a positive chronology which will fully confirm the indications given by Herodotus as the real historical character of the expeditions of Semiramis and Kyros, it is certain that their conquests on the Indus were only temporary acquisitions, since at the epoch when Dareios Hystaspēs mounted the throne the eastern frontier of the empire did not go beyond Arakhosia (the Haraqaiti of the Zend texts, the Haraouvatis of the cuneiform inscriptions, the Arrokhadj of Musalman geography, the provinces of Kandahār and of Ghazni of existing geography)—that is to say, the parts of Afghanistan which lie east of the Sulimān chain of mountains. This fact is established by the great trilingual inscription of Bisoutoun, which indicates the last eastern countries to which Dareios had carried his arms at the epoch when the monument was erected. This was before he had achieved his well-known conquest of the valley of the Indus."—St. Martin, Étude sur la Géographie Grecque et Latine de l'Inde, pp. 14 seqq.

b Sesostris. (called Sesoōsis by Diodorus) has generally been identified with Ramses the third king of the 19th dynasty, of Manetho, the son of Seti, and the father of Menephthab the Pharaoh of the Exodus. Lepsius, however, from a study of the Tablet of Rameses II. found at Abydos in Egypt, and now in the British Museum, has been led to identify him with the Sesortasen or Osirtasen of the great 12th dynasty .—See Report of the Proceedings of the Second International Congress of Orientalists, p. 44.

c V.l. Ναβοκοδροσορον.

d Called by Ptolemy the "Pillars of Alexander," above Albania and Iberia at the commencement of the Asiatic Sarmatia.

e Herodotus mentions an invasion of Skythians which was led by Madyas. As Idanthyrsos may have been a common appellative of the Skythian kings, Strabo may here be referring to that invasion.

f The Hydrakai are called also Oxydrakai. The name, according to Lassen, represents the Sanskrit Kshudraka. It is variously, written Sydrakai, Syrakusai, Sabagrae, and Sygambri.

Of Dionysos and Hērakles.

7. The accounts about Hērakles and [S. 110] Dionysos, Megasthenēs and some few authors with him consider entitled to credit, [but the majority, among whom is Eratosthenēs, consider them incredible and fabulous, like the stories current among the Greeks ]

8. On such grounds they called a particular race of people Nyssaians, and their city Nyssa,a which Dionysos had founded, and the mountain which rose above the city Meron, assigning as their reason for bestowing these names that ivy grows there, and also the vine, although its fruit does not come to perfection, as the clusters, on account of the heaviness of the rains, fall off the trees before ripening. They further called the Oxydrakai descendants of Dionysos, because the vine grew in their country, and their processions were conducted with great pomp, and their kings on going forth to war and on other occasions marched in Bacchic fashion, with drums beating, while they were dressed in gay-coloured robes, which is also a custom among other Indians. Again, when Alexander had captured at the first assault the rock called Aornos, the base of which is washed by the Indus near its source, his followers, magnifying the affair, affirmed that Hērakles had thrice assaulted the same rock and had been thrice repulsed.b They [S. 111] said also that the Sibae were descended from those who accompanied Hērakles on his expedition, and that they preserved badges of their descent, for they wore skins like Hērakles, and carried clubs, and branded the mark of a cudgel on their oxen and mules,c In support of this story they turn to account the legends regarding Kaukasos and Promētheus by transferring them hither from Pontos, which they did on the slight pretext that they had seen a sacred cave among the Paropamisadae. This they declared was the prison of Promētheus, whither Hērakles had come to effect his deliverance, and that this was the Kaukasos, to which the Greeks represent Promētheus as having been bound. d [S. 112]

a V. ll. 'Νυσαιουσ, Νυσαν.

b This celebrated rock has been identified by General Cunningham with the ruined fortress of Rāṇīgat, situated immediately above the small village of Nogrām, which lies about sixteen miles north by west from Ohind, which he takes to he the Embolima of the ancients. "Rāṇīgat," he says, "or the Queen's rock, is a large upright block on the north edge of the fort, on which Rāja Vara's rāṇī is said to have seated herself daily. The fort itself is attributed to Rāja Vara, and some ruins at the foot of the hill are called Rāja Vara's stables . . . I think, therefore, that the hill-fort of Aornos most probably derived its name from Rāja Vara, and that the ruined fortress of Rāṇīgat has a better claim to be identified with the Aornos of Alexander than either the Mahāban hill of General Abbott, or the castle of Rāja Hodi proposed by General Court and Mr. Loewenthal." See Grote's History of India, vol. VIII. pp. 437-8, footnote.

c According to Curtius, the Sibae, whom he calls Sobii, occupied the country between the Hydaspēs and the Akesinēs. They may have derived their name from the god Śiva.

d "No writer before Alexander's time mentions the Indian gods. The Makedonians, when they came into India, in accordance with the invariable practice of the Greeks, considered the gods of the country to be the same as their own. Śiva they were led to identify with Bacchus on their observing the unbridled license and somewhat Bacchic fashion of his worship, and because they traced some slight resemblance between the attributes of the two deities, and between the names belonging to the mythic conception of each. Nor was anything easier, after Euripides had originated the fiction that Dionysos had roamed over the East, than to suppose that the god of luxuriant fecundity had made his way to India, a country so remarkable for its fertility. To confirm this opinion they made use of a slight and accidental agreement in names. Thus Mount Meru seemed an indication of the god who sprang from the thigh of Zeus (εκ διος μηρου). Thus they thought the Kydrakae (Oxydrukai) the offspring of Dionysos because the vine grew in their country, and they saw that their kings displayed great pomp in their processions. On equally slight grounds they identified Kṛishṇa, another god whom they saw worshipped, with Hērakles; and whenever, as among the Sibae, they saw the skins of wild beasts, or clubs, or the like, they assumed that Hērakles had at some time or other dwelt there."—Schwanb. p. 43.


Arr. Ind. V. 4-12.

(See the translation of Arrian's Indika.)


Josephus Contra Apion. I. 20 (T. II. p. 451, Haverc.).

Of Nabuchodrosor.

(Cf. Fragm. XLVI. 2.)

Megasthenēs also expresses the same opinion in the 4th hook of his Indika, where he endeavours to show that the aforesaid king of the Babylonians (Nabouchodonosor) surpassed Hērakles in courage and the greatness of his achievements, by telling us that he conquered even Ibēria.


Joseph. Ant. Jud. X. ii. 1 (T. I. p. 53S, Haverc.).

[In this place (Nabouchodonosor) erected also of stone elevated places for walking about on, [S. 113] which had to the eye the appearance of mountains, and were so contrived, that they were planted with all sorts of trees, because his wife, who had been bred up in the land of Media, wished her surroundings to be like those of her early home.] Megasthenēs also, in the 4th book of his Inclika, makes mention of these things, and thereby endeavours to show that this king surpassed Hērakles in courage and the greatness of his achievements, for he says that he conquered Libya and a great part of Ibēria.


Zonar. ed. Basil. 1557, T. I. p. 87.

Among the many old historians who mention Nabonchodonosor, Jōsephos enumerates Bērōsos, Megasthenēs, and Diokles.


G. Syncell. T. I. p. 419, ed. Benn. (p. 221 ed. Paris, p. 17? ed. Venet.).

Megasthenēs, in his fourth booj of the Indika, represents Nabouchodonosor as mightier than Hērakles, because with great courage and enterprise he conquered the greater part of Libya and Ibēria.


Abyden. ap. Euseb. Praep. Ev. I. 41 (ed. Colon. 1688, p. 456 D).

Of Nabouchodrosor,

Megasthenēs says that Nabouchrodosor, who was mightier than Hērakles, undertook an expedition [S. 114] against Libya and Ibēria, and that having conquered them he planted a colony of these people in the parts lying to the right of Pontos.


Arr. Ind. 7-9.

(See the translation of Arrian's Indika.)


Plin. Hist Nat. IX. 55.

Of Pearls.

Some writers allege that in swarms of oysters, as among bees, individuals distinguished for size and beauty act as leaders. These are of wonderful cunning in preventing themselves being caught, and are eagerly sought for by the divers. Should they be caught, the others are easily enclosed in the nets as they go wandering about. They are then put into earthen pots, where they are buried deep in salt. By this process the flesh is all eaten away, and the hard concretions, which are the pearls, drop down to the bottom.


Phlegon. Mirab. 33.

Of the Pandaian Land.

(Cf. Fragm. XXX. 6.)

Megasthenēs says that the women of the Pandaian realm bear children when they are six years of age. [S. 115]


Plin. Hist. Nat. VI, xxi. 4-5.

Of the Ancient History of the Indians.

For the Indians stand almost alone among the nations in never having migrated from their own country. From the days of Father Bacchus to Alexander the Great their kings are reckoned at 154, whose reigns extend over 6451 years and 3 months.

Solin. 52. 5.

Father Bacchus was the first who invaded India, and was the first of all who triumphed over the vanquished Indians. From him to Alexander the Great 6451 years are reckoned with 3 months additional, the calculation being made by counting the kings who reigned in the intermediate period, to the number of 153.


Arr. VII. ii. 3-9.a

a This fragment is an extract from Arrian's Expedition of Alexander, and not his Indika as stated (by an oversight) at p. 107. The translation is accordingly now inserted.

Of Kalanos and Mandanis.

This shows that Alexander, notwithstanding the terrible ascendancy which the passion for glory had acquired over him, was not altogether without a perception of the things that are better ; for when he arrived at Taxila and saw the Indian [S. 116] gymnosophists, a desire seized him to have one of these men brought into his presence, because he admired their endurance. The eldest of these sophists, with whom the others lived as disciples with a master, Dandamis by name, not only refused to go himself, but prevented the others going. He is said to have returned this for answer, that he also was the son of Zeus as much as Alexander himself was, and that he wanted nothing that was Alexander's (for he was well off in his present circumstances), whereas he saw those who were with him wandering over so much sea and land for no good got by it, and without any end coming to their many wanderings. He coveted, therefore, nothing Alexander had it in his power to give, nor, on the other hand, feared aught he could do to coerce him : for if he lived, India would suffice for him, yielding him her fruits in due season, and if he died, he would be delivered from his ill-assorted companion the body. Alexander accordingly did not put forth his hand to violence, knowing the man to be of an independent spirit. He is said, however, to have won over Kalanos, one of the sophists of that place, whom Megasthenēs represents as a man utterly wanting in self-control, while the sophists themselves spoke opprobriously of Kalanos, because that, having left the happiness enjoyed among them, he went to serve another master than God. [S. 114]



Aelian, Hist. Anim. XII. 8.

Of Elephants.

(Conf. Fragm. xxxvi. 10, xxxvii. 10.)

The elephant when feeding at large ordinarily drinks water, but when undergoing the fatigues of war is allowed wine,—not that sort, however, which comes from the grape, but another which is prepared from rice.a The attendants even go in advance of their elephants and gather them flowers; for they are very fond of sweet perfumes, and they are accordingly taken out to the meadows, there to be trained under the influence of the sweetest fragrance. The animal selects the flowers according to their smell, and throws them as they are gathered into a basket which is held out by the trainer. This being filled, and harvest-work, so to speak, completed, he then bathes, and enjoys his bath with all the zest of a consummate voluptuary. On returning from bathing he is impatient to have his flowers, and if there is delay in bringing them he begins roaring, and will not taste a morsel of food till all the flowers he gathered are placed before him. Thisdone, he takes the flowers out of the basket with his trunk and scatters them over the edge of his [S. 118] manger, and makes by this device their fine scent be, as it were, a relish to his food. He strews also a good quantity of them as litter over his stall, for he loves to have his sleep made sweet and pleasant.

a Called arak, (which, however, is also applied to tāḍi) ; rum is now-a-days the beverage given it.

The Indian elephants were nine cubits in height and five in breadth. The largest elephants in all the land were those called the Praisian, and next to these the Taxilan.a

a This fragment is ascribed to Megasthenēs both on account of the matter of it, and because it was undoubtedly from Megasthenēs that Aelian borrowed the narrative preceding it (Fragm. xxxviii.) and that following it (Fragm. xxxv.).—Schwanheck.


Aelian, Hist Anim. III. 46.

Of a White Elephant.

(Cf. Fragm. xxxvi. 11, xxxvii. 11.)

An Indian elephant-trainer fell in with a white elephant-calf, which he brought when still quite young to his home, where lie reared it, and gradually made it quite tame and rode upon it. He became much attached to the creature, which loved him in return, and by its affection requited him for its maintenance. Now the king of the Indians, having heard of this elephant, wanted to take it ; but the owner, jealous of the love it had for him, and grieving much, no doubt, to think that another should become its master, refused to give it away, and made off at once to the [S. 119]  desert mounted on his favourite. The king was enraged at this, and sent men in pursuit, with orders to seize the elephant, and at the same time to bring back the Indian for punishment. Overtaking the fugitive they attempted to execute their purpose, but he resisted and attacked his assailants from the back of the elephant, which in the affray fought on the side of its injured master. Such was the state of matters at the first, but afterwards, when the Indian on being wounded slipped down to the ground, the elephant, true to his salt, bestrides him as soldiers in battle bestride a fallen comrade, whom they cover with their shields, kills many of the assailants, and puts the rest to flight. Then twining his trunk around his rearer he lifted him on to his back, and carried him home to thestall, and remained with him like a faithful friend with his friend, and showed him every kind attention.a [O men! how base are ye! ever dancing merrily when ye hear the music of the frying-pan, ever revelling in the banquet, but traitors in the hour of danger, and vainly and for nought sullying the sacred name of friendship.] [S. 120]

a Compare the account given in Plutarch's Life of Alexander, of the elephant of Pōros:—"This elephant during the whole battle gave extraordinary proofs of his sagacity and care of the king's person. As long as that prince was able to fight, he defended him with great courage, and repulsed all assailants; and when he perceived him ready to sink under the multitude of darts, and the wounds with hich he was covered, to prevent his falling off he kneeled down in the softest manner, and with his proboscis gently drew every dart out of his body."


Pseudo-Origen, Philosoph. 24, ed. Delarue, Paris, 1733, vol. I. p. 904.

Of the Brāhmaṇs and their Philosophy.

(Cf. Fragm. xli., xliv., xlv.)

Of the Brachhmans in India.

There is among the Brachhmans in India a sect of philosophers who adopt an independent life, and abstain from animal food and all victuals cooked by fire, being content to subsist upon fruits, which they do not so much as gather from the trees, hut pick up when they have dropped to the ground, and their drink is the water of the river Tagabena.a Throughout life they go about naked, saying that the body has been given by the Deity as a covering for the soul.b They hold that God is light,c but not such light as we see [S. 121]  with the eye, nor such as the sun or fire, but God is with them the Word,—by which term they do not mean articulate speech, but the discourse of reason, whereby the hidden mysteries of knowledge are discerned by the wise. This light, however, which they call the Word, and think to be God, is, they say, known only by the Brachhmans them selves, because they alone have discarded vanity,d which is the outermost covering of the soul. The members of this sect regard death with contemptuous indifference, and, as we have seen already, they always pronounce the name of the Deity with a tone of peculiar reverence, and adore him with hymns. They neither have wives nor beget children. Persons who desire to lead a life like theirs cross over from the other side of the river, and remain with them for good, never returning to their own country. These also are called Brachhmans, although they do not follow the same mode of life, for there are women in the country, from whom the native inhabitants are sprung, and of these women they beget offspring. With regard to the Word, which they call God, they hold that it is corporeal, and that it wears the body as its external covering, just as [S. 122] one wears the woollen surcoat, and that when it divests itself of the body with which it is enwrapped it becomes manifest to the eye. There is war, the Brachhmans hold, in the body wherewith they are clothed, and they regard the body as being the fruitful source of wars, and, as we have already shown, right against it like soldiers in battle contending against the enemy. They maintain, moreover, that all men are held in bondage, like prisoners of war,e to their own innate enemies, the sensual appetites, gluttony, anger, joy, grief, longing desire, and such like, while it is only the man who has triumphed over these enemies who goes to God. Dandamis accordingly, to whom Alexander the Makedonian paid a visit, is spoken of by the Brachhmans as a god because he conquered in the warfare against the body, and on the other hand they condemn Kalanos as one who had impiously apostatized from their philosophy. The Brachhmans, therefore, when they have shuffled off the body, see the pure sunlight as fish see it when they spring up out of the water into the air. [S. 123]

a Probably the Sanskrit Tungaveṇā, now the Tungabhadra, a large affluent of the Kṛishṇā.

b Vide Ind. Ant.. V. p. 12S, note. A doctrine of the Vedānta school of philosophy, according to which the soul is incased as in a sheath, or rather a succession of sheaths. The first or inner case is the intellectual one, composed of the sheer and simple elements uncombined, and consisting of the intellect joined with the five senses. The second is the mental sheath, in which mind is joined with the preceding, or, as some hold, with the organs of action. The third comprises these organs and the vital faculties, and is called the organic or vital case. These three sheaths (kośa) constitute the subtle frame which attends the soul in its transmigrations. The exterior case is composed of the coarse elements combined in certain proportions, and is called the gross body. See Colebrooke's Essay on the Philosophy of the Hindus, Cowell's ed. pp. 895-6.

c The affinity between God and light is the burden of the Gāyatrī or holiest verse of the Veda.

d κενοδοξια, which probably translates ahankāra, literally 'egotism,' and hence 'self-consciousness,' the peculiar and appropriate function of which is selfish conviction, that is, a belief that in perception and meditation 'I' am concerned; that the objects of sense concern Me—in short, that I AM. The knowledge, however, which comes from comprehending that Being which has self-existence completely destroys the ignorance which says 'I am.'

e Compare Plato, Phaedo, cap. 32, where Sokratēs speaks of the soul as at present confined in the body as in a species of prison. This was a doctrine of the Pythagoreans, whose philosophy, even in its most striking peculiarities, hears such a close resemblance to the Indian as greatly to favour the supposition that it was directly borrowed from it. There was even a tradition that Pythagoras had visited India.


Pallad, de Bragmanibus, pp,8, 20 et seq. ed. Londin. 1668.

(Camerar. libell. gnomolog. pp. 116, i24 et seq.) "

Of Kalanos and Mandanis.

(Cf. Fragm. xli. 19, xliv., xlv.)

They (the Bragmanes) subsist upon such fruits as they can find, and on wild herbs, which the earth spontaneously produces, and drink only water. They wander about in the woods, and sleep at night on pallets of the leaves of trees. . . .

"Kalanos , then, your false friend, held this opinion, but he is despised and trodden upon by us. By you, however, accomplice as he was in causing many evils to you all, he is honoured and worshipped, while from our society he has been contemptuously cast out as unprofitable. And why not ? when everything which we trample under foot is an object of admiration to the lucre-loving Kalanos, your  worthless friend, but no friend of ours,—a miserable creature, and more to be pitied than the unhappiest wretch, for by setting his heart on lucre he wrought the perdition of his soul ! Hence he seemed neither worthy of us, nor worthy of the friendship of God, and hence he neither was content to revel away life in the woods beyond all reach of care, nor was he cheered with the hope of a blessed hereafter: for by his love of money he slew the very life of his miserable soul.

"We have, however, amongst us a sage called Dandamis, whose home is the woods, where he [S. 124] lies on a pallet of leaves, and where he has nigh at hand the fountain of peace, whereof he drinks, sucking, as if were, the pure breast of a mother."

King Alexander, accordingly, when he heard of all this, was desirous of learning the doctrines of the sect, and so he sent for this Dandamis, as being their teacher and president ....

Onesikratēs was therefore despatched to fetch him, and when he found the great sage he said, "Hail to thee, thou teacher of the Bragmanes. The son of the mighty god Zeus, king Alexander, who is the sovereign lord of all men, asks you to go to him, and if you comply, he will reward you with great and splendid gifts, but if you refuse will cut off your head."

Dandamis, with a complacent smile, heard him to the end, but did not so much as lift up his head from his couch of leaves, and while still retaininghis recumbent attitude returned this scornful answer:—"God, the supreme king, is never the author of insolent wrong, but is the creator of light, of peace, of life, of water, of the body of man, and of souls, and these he receives when death sets them free, being in no way subject to evil desire. He alone is the god of my homage, who abhors slaughter and instigates no wars. But Alexander is not God, since he must taste of death ; and how can such as he be the world's master, who has not yet reached the further shore of the river Tiberoboas, and has not yet seated himself on a throne of universal dominion ? Moreover, Alexander has [S. 125] neither as yet entered living into Hades,a nor does he know the course of the sun through the central regions of the earth, while the nations on its boundaries have not so much as heard his name.b If his present dominions are not capacious enough for his desire, let him cross the Ganges river, and he will find a region able to sustain men if the country on our side be too narrow to hold him. Know this, however, that what Alexander offers me, and the gifts he promises, are all things to me utterly useless; but the things which I prize, and find of real use and worth, are these leaves which are my house, these blooming plants which supply me with dainty food, and the water which is my drink, while all other possessions and things, which are amassed with anxious care, are wont to prove ruinous to those who amass them, and cause only sorrow and vexation, with which every poor mortal is fully fraught. But as for me, I lie upon the forest leaves, and, having nothing which requires guarding, close my eyes in tranquil slumber; whereas had I gold to guard, that would banish sleep. The earth supplies me with everything, even as a mother her child with milk. I go wherever I please, and there are no [S. 126] cares with which I am forced to cumber myself against my will. Should. Alexander cut off my head, he cannot also destroy my soul. My head alone, now silent, will remain, but the soul will go away to its Master, leaving the body like a torn garment upon the earth, whence also it was taken. I then, becoming spirit, shall ascend to my God, who enclosed us in flesh, and left us upon the earth to prove whether when here below we shall live obedient to Ids ordinances, and who also will require of us, when we depart hence to his presence, an account of our life, since he is judge of all proud wrong-doing ; for the groans of the oppressed become the punishments of the oppressors.

"Let Alexander, then, terrify with these threats those who wish for gold and for wealth, and who dread death, for against us these weapons are both alike powerless, since the Bragmanes neither love gold nor fear death. Go, then, and tell Alexander this: 'Dandamis has no need of aught that is yours, and therefore will not go to you, but if you want anything from Dandamis come you to him.' "c

a ζων εν αδοθ οθδεπω παρηλθεν. The Latin version has non zonam Gadem transiit, "has not crossed the zone of Cadiz'

b The text here is so corrupt as to be almost untranslatable. I have therefore rendered from the Latin, though not quite closely.

c "Others say, Dandamis entered into no discourse with the messengers, but only asked 'why Alexander had taken so long a journey ?'" Plutarch's  Alexander.

Alexander, on receiving from Onesikratēs a report of the interview, felt a stronger desire than ever to see Dandamis , who, though old and naked, was the only antagonist in whom he, the conqueror of many nations, had found more than his match, &c. [S. 127]


Ambrosius, De Moribus Brahmanorum, pp. 62, 68 et seq. ed. Pallad. Londin. 1668.

Of Calanus and Mandanis.

They (the Brachmans) eat what they find on the ground, such as leaves of trees and wild herbs, like cattle ...

"Calanus is your friend, but he is despised and trodden upon by us. He, then, who was the author of many evils among you, is honoured-and worshipped by you; but since he is of no importance he is rejected by us, and those things we certainly do not seek, please Calanus because of his greediness for money. But he was not ours, a man such as has miserably injured and lost his soul, on which account he is plainly unworthy to be a friend either of God or of ours, nor has he deserved security among the woods in this world, nor can he hope for the glory which is promised in the future."

When the emperor Alexander came to the forests, he was not able to see Dandamis as he passed through. . . .

When, therefore, the above-mentioned messenger came to Dandamis, he addressed him thus:—" The emperor Alexander, the son of the great Jupiter, who is lord of the human race, has ordered that you should hasten to him, for if you come, he will give you many gifts, but if you refuse he will behead you as a punishment for your contempt." When these words came to the ears of Dandamis, he rose not from his leaves whereon he lay, but reclining and smiling he replied in this way:—"The greatest God," he said, "can do injury to no one, but [S. 128] restores again the light of life to those who have departed. Accordingly he, alone is my lord who forbids murder and excites no wars. But Alexander is no God, for he himself will have to die. How, then, can he be the lord of all, who has not yet crossed the river Tyberoboas, nor has made the whole world his abode, nor crossed the zone of Gades, nor has beheld the course of the sun in the centre of the world ? Therefore many nations do not yet even know his name. If, however, the country he possesses cannot contain him, let him cross our river and he will find a soil which is able to support men. All those things Alexander promises would be useless to me if he gave them: I have leaves for a house, live on the herbs at hand and water to drink; other things collected with labour, and which perish and yield nothing but sorrow to those seeking them or possessing them,—these I despise. I therefore now rest secure, and with closed eyes I care for nothing. If I wish to keep gold, I destroy my sleep ; Earth supplies me with everything, as a mother does to her child. Wherever I wish to go, I proceed, and wherever I do not wish to be, no necessity of care can force me to go. And if he wish to cut off my head, he cannot take my soul; he will only take the fallen head, but the departing soul will leave the head like a portion of some garment, and will restore it to whence it received it, namely, to the earth. But when I shall have become a spirit I shall ascend to God, who has enclosed it within this flesh. When he did this he wished to try us, how, after leaving him, we would live in this world. And afterwards, when [S. 129] we shall have returned to him, he will demand from us an account of this life. Standing by him I shall see my injury, and shall contemplate his judgment on those who injured me: for the sighs and groans of the injured become the punishments of the oppressors.

"Let Alexander threaten with this them that desire riches or fear death, both of which I despise. For Brachmans neither love gold nor dread death. Go, therefore, and tell Alexander this: -- "Dandamis seeks nothing of yours, but if you think you need something of his, disdain not to go to him.'"

When Alexander heard these words through the interpreter, he wished the more to see such a man, since he, who had subdued many nations, was overcome by an old naked man, &c.


Plin. Hist. Nat. YI. 21. S-23. 11.

List of the Indian Races.a

a This list Pliny has borrowed, for the most part from Megasthenēs. Cf. Schwanbeck, pp. 16 seq., 57 seq.

The other journeys made thence (from the Hyphasis) for Seleukos Nikator are as follows:—168 miles to the Hesidrus, and to the river Jomanes as many (some copies add 5 miles) ; from thence to the Ganges 112 miles. 119 miles to Rhodopha (others give 325 miles for this distance). To the town Kalinipaxa 167-—500. Others give 265 miles. Thence to the confluence of the Jomanes and Ganges 625 miles (many add 13 [S. 130] miles), and to the town Palimbothra 425. To the mouth of the Ganges 738 miles.a [S. 131]

a According to the MSS. 688 or 637 miles. The places mentioned in this famous itinerary all lay on the Royal Road, which ran from the Indus to Palibothra. They have been thus identified. The Hesidrus is now the Satlej, and the point of departure lay immediately below its junction with the Hyphasis (now the Biās).  The direct route thence (via Ludhiānā, Sirhind, and Ambālā) conducted the traveller to the ferry of the Jomanes, now the Jamnā, in the neighbourhood of the present Bureah, whence the road led to the Ganges at a point which, to judge from the distance given (113 miles), must have been near the site of the far-famed Hastinapura. The next stage to be reached was Rhodopha, the position of which, both its name and its distance from the Ganges (119 miles) combine to fix at Dabhai, a small town about 12 miles to the south of Anupshahr. Kalinipaxa, the nest stage, Mannert and Lassen would identify with Kanauj (the Kanyākubja of Sanskrit); but M. de St.-Martin, objecting to this that Pliny was not likely to have designated so important and so celebrated a city by so obscure an appellation, finds a site for it in the neighbourhood on the banks of the Ikshumati, a river of Panchāla mentioned in the great Indian poems. This river, he remarks, must also have been called the Kalinadī, as the names of it still in current use, Kalinī and Kalindri, prove. Now, as 'paxa' transliterates the Sanskrit 'paksha,' a side, Kalinipaxa, to judge from its name, must designate a town lying near the Kalinadī

The figures which represent the distances have given rise to much dispute, some of them being inconsistent either with others, or with the real distances. The text, accordingly, has generally been supposed to be corrupt, so far at least as the figures are concerned. M. de St.-Martin, however, accepting the figures nearly as they stand, shows them to be fairly correct. The first difficulty presents itself in the words, "Others give 325 miles for this distance" By 'this distance' cannot be meant the distance between the Ganges and Rhodopha, but between the Hesidrus and Rhodopha, which the addition of the figures shows to be 399 miles. The shorter estimate of others (325 miles) measures the length of a more direct route by way of Paṭiālā, Thaneśvara, Panipat, and Dehli. The next difficulty has probably been occasioned by a corruption of the text. It lies in the words "Ad Calinipaxa oppidum CLXVTI. D. Alii CCLXV. mill." The numeral D has generally been taken to mean 500 paces, or half a Roman mile, making the translation run thus:—"To Kalinipaxa

167½  miles.' Others give 365 miles." But M. de St..Martin prefers to think that the D has, by some mangling of the text, been detached from the beginning of the second number, with which it formed the number DLXV., and been appended to the first, being led to this conclusion on finding that the number 565 sums up almost to a nicety the distance from the Hesidrus to Kalinipaxa, as thus :—

From the Hesidrus to the Jomanes 168 miles.
From the Jomanes to the Ganges......... 112 „
From the Ganges to Rhodopha 119 „.
From Rhodopha. to Kalinipaxa 167 ... „.

Total... 566 miles.

Pliny's carelessness in confounding total with partial distances has created the next difficulty, which lies in his stating that the distance from Kalinipaxa to the confluence of the Jomanes and the Ganges is 625 miles, while in reality it is only about 227. The figures may be corrupt, but it is much more probable that they represent the distance of some stage on the route remoter from the confluence of the rivers than Kalinipaxa. This must have been the passage of the Jomanes, for the distance—

From the Jomanes to the Ganges is ... 112 miles.
Thence to Rhodopha 119 „
Thence to Kalinipaxa 167 „
Thence to the confluence of the rivers. 227 „

Total... 625 miles.

This is exactly equal to 5000 stadia, the length of the Indian Mesopotamia or Doāb, the Panchāla of Sanskrit geography, and the Antarveda of lexicographers.

Pliny assigns 425 miles as the distance from the confluence of the rivers to Palibothra, but, as it is in reality only 248, the figures have probably been altered. He gives, lastly, 688 miles as the distance from Palibothra to the mouth of the Ganges, which agrees closely with the estimate of Megasthenēs, who makes it 5000 stadia.—if that indeed was his estimate, and not 8000 stadia as Strabo in one passage alleges it was. The distance by land from Paṭnā to Tamluk (Tamralipta, the old port of the Ganges mouth) is 445 English or 480 Roman miles. The distance by the river, which is sinuous, is of course much greater. See Étude sur le Géographie Grecque et Latine de l'Inde, par P. V. de Saint-Martin, pp. 271-278.

The races which we may enumerate without being tedious, from the chain of Emodus, of which [S. 132] a spur is called Imauss (meaning in the native language snowy),a are the Isari, Cosyri, Izgi, and on the hills the Chisiotosagi,b and [S. 133] the Brachmansae, a name comprising many tribes, among which are the Maccocalingae.c [S. 134] The river Prinasd and the Cainas (which flows into the Ganges) are both navigable.e The tribes called Calingae are nearest the sea, and higher up are the Mandei, and the Malli in whose [S. 135] country is Mount Mallus, the boundary of all that district being the Ganges.

a By Emodus was generally designated that part of the Himalayan range which extended along Nepal and Bhutan and onward toward the ocean. Other forms of the name are Emoda, Emodon, Hemodes. Lassen derives the word front the Sanskrit haimavata, in Prak|it haimota, 'snowy'. If this be so, Hemodus is the more correct form. Another derivation refers the word to 'Hemādri' (hema, 'gold,' and adri, 'mountain'), the 'golden mountains,'—so called either because they were thought to contain gold mines, or because of the aspect they presented when their snowy peaks reflected the golden effulgence of sunset. Imaus represents the Sanskrit himavata, 'snowy.' The name was applied at first by the Greeks to the Hindut Kush and the Himalayas, but was in course of time transferred to the Bolor range. This chain, which runs north and south, was regarded by the ancients as dividing Northern Asia into 'Skythia intra Imaum' and ' Skythia extra Iniaum,' and it has formed for ages the boundary between China and Turkestan.

b These four tribes were located somewhere in Kaśmīr or its immediate neighbourhood. The Isari are unknown, but are probably the same as the Brysari previously mentioned by Pliny. The Cosyri are easily to be identified with the Khasīra mentioned in the Mahābhārata as neighbours of the Daradas and Kaśmīras. Their name, it has been conjectured, survives in Khāchar, one of the three great divisions of the Kāṭhīs of Gujarāt, who appear to have come originally from the Panjāb. The Izgi are mentioned in Ptolemy, under-the name of the Sizyges, as a people of Sērikē. This is, however, a mistake, as they inhabited the alpine region which extends above Kaśmīr towards the north and north-west. The Chisiotosagi or Chirotosagi are perhaps identical with the Chiconae (whom Pliny elsewhere mentions), in spite of the addition to their name of 'sagi,' which may have merely indicated them to be a branch of the Śākas,—that is, the Skythians,—by whom India was overrun before the time of its conquest by the Aryans. They are mentioned in Manu X. 44 together with the Pauṇḍrakas, Odras, Drāviḍas, Kāmbojas, Yavanas, Paradas, Pahlavas, Chīnas, Kīratas, Daradas, and Khaśas. If Chirotosagi be the right reading of their name, there can be little doubt of their identity with the Kīratas.—See P. V. de St.-Martin's work already quoted, pp. 195-197. But for the Khāchars, see Ind. Ant. vol. IV. p. 323.

c v. l. Bracmanae. Pliny at once transports his readers from the mountains of Kaśmīr to the lower part of the valley of the Ganges. Here he places the Brachmanae, whom he takes to be, not what they actually were, the leading caste of the population, but a powerful race composed of many tribes—the Maccocalingae being of the number. This tribe, as well as the Gangaridae-Kalingae, and the Modogalingae afterwards mentioned, are subdivisions of the Kalingae, a widely diffused race, which spread at one time from the delta of the Ganges all along the eastern coast of the peninsula, though afterwards they did not extend southward beyond Orissa. In the Mahābhārata they are mentioned as occupying, along with the Vangas (from whom Bengal is named) and three other leading tribes, the region which lies between Magadha and the sea. The Maccocalingae, then, are the Magha of the Kalingae. "Magha," says M. de St.-Martin, "is the name of one-of the non-Aryan tribes of greatest importance and widest diffusion in the lower Gangetic region, where it is broken up into several special groups extending from Arakan and Western Asam, where it is found under the name of Mogh (Anglice Mugs), as far as to the Māghars of the central valleys of Nepāl, to the Maghayas, Magahis, or Maghyas of Southern Bahār (the ancient Magadha), to the ancient Magra of Bengal, and to the Magora of Orissa. These last, by their position, may properly be taken to represent our Maccocalingae." "The Modogalingae," continues the same author, "find equally their representatives in the ancient Mada, a colony which the Book of Manu  mentions in his enumeration of the impure tribes of Āryāvarta, and which he names by the side of the Āndhra, another people of the lower Ganges. The Monghyr inscription, which belongs to the earlier part of the 8th century of our era, also names the Meda as a low tribe of this region (As. Res. vol. I. p. 126, Calcutta, 1788), and, what is remarkable, their name is found joined to that of the Andhra (Andharaka), precisely as in the text of Manu. Pliny assigns for their habitation a large island of the Ganges; and the word Galinga (for Kalinga), to which their name is attached, necessarily places this island towards the sea-board—perhaps in the Delta,."

The Gangaridae or Gangarides occupied the region corresponding roughly with that now called Lower Bengal, and consisted of various indigenous tribes, which in the course of time became more or less Aryanized. As no word is found in Sanskrit to which their name corresponds, it has been supposed of Greek invention (Lassen, Ind. Alt. vol. II. p. 201), but erroneously, for it must have been current at the period of the Makedonian invasion : since Alexander, in reply to inquiries regarding the south country, was informed that the region of the Ganges was inhabited by two principal nations, the Prasii and the Gangarīdae. M. de St.-Martin thinks that their name has been preserved almost identically in that of the Gonghrīs of South Bahār, whose traditions refer their origin to Tirhūt; and he would identify their royal city Parthalis (or Portalis) with Varddhana (contraction of Yarddhamāna), now Bardwān. Others, however, place it, as has been elsewhere stated, on the Mahānadī. In Ptolemy their capital is Gangē, which must have been situated near where Calcutta now stands. The Gangarides are mentioned by Virgil, Georg. III. 27:—

In foribus pugnam ex auro solidoque elephanto
Gangaridum faciam, victorisque arma Quirini.

" High o'er the gate in elephant and gold
The crowd shall Caesar's Indian war behold."

(Dryden's translation.)

d v. 1. Pumas. The Prinas is probably the Tāmasā or Tonsa, which in the Purāṇas is called the Parṇāśā. The Cainas, notwithstanding the objections of Schwanbeck, must be identified with the Cane, which is a tributary of the Jamnā.

e For the identification of these, and other affluents of the Ganges see Notes on Arrian, a. iv., Ind. Ant vol V. p. 331.

(22.) This river, according to some, rises from uncertain sources, like the Nile,a and inundates similarly the countries tying along its course; others say that it rises on the Skythian mountains, and has nineteen tributaries, of which, besides those already mentioned, the Condochates, Erannoboas,b Cosoagus, and Sonus are navigable. Others again assert that it issues forth at once with loud roar from its fountain, and after tumbling down a steep and rocky channel is received immediately on reaching the level plains into a lake, whence it flows out with a gentle current, being at the narrowest eight miles, and on the average a hundred stadia, in breadth, and never of less depth than twenty paces (one hundred feet) in the final part of its course, which is through the country of the Gangarides. The royalc city of the Calingae is called Parthalis. Over their king 60,000 foot-soldiers, [S. 136] 1000d horsemen, 700 elephants keep watch and ward in "procinct of war."

a For an account of the different theories regarding the source of the Ganges sec Smith's Dict. of Class. Geog.

b Condochatem, Erannoboam.—v. l. Canucham (Vamam), Erranoboan.

c regia.—v. l. regio. The common reading, however—"Gangaridum Calingarum. Regia," &c, makes the Gangarides a branch of the Kalingae. This is probably the correct reading, for, as General Cunningham states (Anc. Geog. of Ind. pp. 518-519), certain inscriptions speak of 'Tri- Kalinga.,' or 'the Three Kalingas.' "The name of Tri-Kalinga," he adds, "is probably old, as Pliny mentions the Macco-Calingae and the Gangarides-Calingae as separate peoples from the Calingae, while the Mahābhārata names the Kalingas three separate times, and each time in conjunction with different peoples." (H. H. Wilson in Vishṇu Purāṇa, 1st ed. pp.185, 187 note, and 188.) As Tri-Kalinga thus corresponds with the great province of Telingāna, it seems probable that the name of Telingāna may be only a slightly contracted form of Tri-Kalingāna, or ' the Three Kalingas.'

d LX. mill.—v. l. LXX. mill.

For among the more civilized Indian communities life is spent in a great variety of separate occupations. Some till the soil, some are soldiers, some traders ; the noblest and richest take part in the direction of state affairs, administer justice, and sit in council with the kings. A fifth class devotes itself to the philosophy prevalent in the country, which almost assumes the form of a religion, and the members always put an end to their life by a voluntary death on a burning funeral pile.a In addition to these classes there is one half-wild, which is constantly engaged in a task of immense labour, beyond the power of words to describe—that of hunting and [S. 137] taming elephants. They employ these animals in ploughing and for riding on, and regard them as forming the main part of their stock in battle. They employ them in war and in fighting for their country. In choosing them for war, regard is had to their age, strength, and size.

a Lucian, in his satirical piece on the death of Peregrīnos (cap. 25), refers to this practice:—" But what is the motive which prompts this man (Peregrīnos) to fling himself into the flames ? God knows it is simply that he may show off how he can endure pain as do the Brachmans, to whom it pleased Theagenēs to liken him, just as if India had not her own crop of fools and vain-glorious persons. But let him by all means imitate the Brachmans, for, as Onesikritos informs us, who was the pilot of Alexander's fleet and saw Kalanos burned, they do not immolate themselves by leaping into the flames, but when the pyre is made they stand close beside it perfectly motionless, and suffer themselves to be gently broiled; then decorously ascending the pile they are burned to death, and never swerve, even ever so little, from their recumbent position."

There is a very large island in the Ganges which is inhabited by a single tribe called Modogalingae.a Beyond are situated the Modubae, Molindae, the Uberae with a handsome town of the same name, the Galmodroësi , Preti, Calissae,b Sasuri , Passalae , Colubae, Orxulae, Abali, Taluctae.c The king of [S. 138] these keeps under arms 50,000 foot-soldiers,4000d cavalry, and 400 elephants. Next come the Andarae,e still more powerful race, which possesses numerous villages, and thirty towns defended by walls and towers, and which supplies its king with an army of 100,000 infantry, 2000 cavalry, and 1000 elephants. Gold is very abundant among the Dardae, and silver among the Setae.f [S. 139]

a vv. ll. modo Galingam, Modogalicam.

b Calissae.-v.l.. Aclissae.

c These tribes were chiefly located in the regions between the left bank of the Ganges and the Himālayas. Of the Galmodroësi, Preti, Calissae, Sasuri, and Orxulae nothing is known, nor can their names be identified with any to be found in Sanskrit literature. The Modubae represent beyond doubt the Moutiba, a people mentioned in the Aitareya- Brāhmaṇa along with other non-Aryan tribes which occupied the country north of the Ganges at the time when the Brahmans established their first settlements in the country. The Molindae are mentioned as the Malada in the Purāṇic lists, but no further trace of them is met with. The Uberae must be referred to the Bhars, a numerous race spread over the central districts of the region spoken of, and extending as far as to Assam. The name is pronounced differently in different districts, and variously written, as Bors or Bhors, Bhowris, Barriias and Bhārhīyas, Bareyas, Baoris, Bharais, &c. The race, though formerly powerful, is now one of the lowest classes of the population. The Passalae are identified as the inhabitants of Panchāla, which, as already stated, was the old name of the Doāb. The Colubae respond to the Kāulūta or Kolūta—mentioned in the 4th book of the Rāmāyaṇa, in the enumeration of the races of the west, also in the Varāha Saṃhitā in the list of the people of the northwest, and in the Indian drama called the Mudra Rākshasa, of which the hero is the well-known Chandragupta. They were settled not far from the Upper Janmā. About the middle of the 7th century they were visited by the famous Chinese traveller Hiwen-Thsāng, who -writes their name as Kiu-lu-to. Yule, however, places the Passalae in the south-west of Tirhut, and the Kolubae on the Kondochates (Gandakī) in the north-east of Gorakhpur and north-west of Sāran. The Abali answer perhaps to the Gvallas or Halvaïs of South Bahār and of the hills which covered the southern parts of the ancient Magadha. The Taluctae are the people of the kingdom of Tāmralipta mentioned in the Mahābhārata. In the writings of the Buddhists of Ceylon the name appears as Tanialitti, corresponding to the Tamluk of the present day. Between these two forms of the name that given by Pliny is evidently the connecting link. Tamluk lies to the south-west of Calcutta, from which it is distant in a direct line about 35 miles. It was in old times the main emporium of the trade carried on between Gangetic India and Ceylon.

d IV. m.—v. l. III. M.

e The Andarae are readily identified with the Andhra of Sanskrit—a great and powerful nation settled originally in the Dekhan between the middle part of the courses of the Godāvarī and the Kṛishṇā rivers, but which, before the time of Megasthenēs, had spread their sway towards the north as far as the upper course of the Narmadā (Nerbudda), and, as has been already indicated, the lower districts of the Gangetic basin. Vide Ind. Ant. vol. V. p. 170. For a notice of Andhra (the modern Telingāna) see General Cunningham's Anc. Geog. of Ind. pp. 527-530.

f Pliny here reverts to where he started from in his enumeration of the tribes. The Setae arc the Sāta or Sātaka of Sanskrit geography, which locates them in the neighbourhood of the Daradas.

But the Prasii surpass in power and glory every other people, not only in this quarter, but one may say in all India, their capital being Palibothra, a very large and wealthy city, after which some call the people itself the Palibothri,—nay, even the whole tract along the Ganges. Their king has in his pay a standing army of 600,000 foot-soldiers, 30,000 cavalry, and 9000 elephants : whence may be formed some conjecture as to the vastness of his resources.

After these, but more inland, are the Monedes and Suari,a in whose country is Mount Maleus, on which shadows fall towards the north in winter, and towards the south in summer, for six months alternately.b Baeton asserts that the north pole in these parts is seen but once in the year, and only for fifteen days; while Megasthenēs says that the same thing happens in many parts of India. The south pole is called by the Indians Dramasa . The river Jomanes flows through the Palibothri into the Ganges between the towns Methora and Carisobora.c In the [S. 140] parts which lie southward from the Ganges the inhabitants, already swarthy, are deeply coloured by the sun, though not scorched black like the Ethiopians. The nearer they approach the Indus the more plainly does their complexion betray the influence of the sun.

a The Monedes or Mandei are placed by Yule about Gangpur, on the upper waters of the Brāhmaṇī, S.W. of Chhutia Nāgpur. Lassen places them S. of the Mahānadī about Sonpur, where Yule has the Suari or Sabarae, the Śavara of Sanskrit authors, which Lassen places between Sonpur and Singhbhūm. See Ind. Ant. vol. VI. note §,p. 127.

b This, of course, can only occur at the equator, from which the southern extremity of India is about 500 miles distant.

c Palibothri must denote here the subjects of the realm of which Palibothra was the capital, and not merely the inhabitants of that city, as Rennel and others supposed, and so fixed its site at the confluence of the Ganges and Jamunā. Methora is easily identified with Mathurā. Carisobora is read otherwise as Chrysobon, Cyrisoborca, Cleisoboras. "This city" says General Cunningham, "has not yet been identified, but I feel satisfied that it must be Vrindāvana, 16 miles to the north of Mathurā. Vridāvana means 'the grove of the basil-trees,' which is famed all over India as the scene of Kṛishṇa's sports with the milkmaids. But the earlier name of the place was Kālikavārtta, or ' Kalika's whirlpool.' . . . Now the Latin name of Clisobora is also written Carisobora and Cyrisoborka in different MSS., from which I infer that the original spelling was Kalisoborka, or, by a slight change of two letters, Kalikoborta or Kālikābarta." Anc. Geog. of Ind. p. 875.

The Indus skirts the frontiers of the Prasii, whose mountain tracts are said to be inhabited by the Pygmies.a Artemidorusb sets down the distance between the two rivers at 121 miles.

a Vide Ind. Ant vol. V I . p. 133, note f.—ED. Ind. Ant,

b A Greek geographer of Ephesus, whose date is about 100 B.C. His valuable work on geography, called a Periplūs, was much quoted by the ancient writers, but with the exception of some fragments is now lost.

(23.) The Indus, called by the inhabitants Sindus, rising on that spur of Mount Caucasus which is called Paropamisus, from sources [S. 141] fronting the sunrise,a receives also itself nineteen rivers, of which the most famous are the Hydaspes, which has four tributaries; the Cantabra,b which has three ; the Acesines and the Hypasis, which are both navigable; but nevertheless, having no very great supply of water, it is nowhere broader than fifty stadia, or deeper than fifteen paces,c It forms an extremely large island, which is called Prasiane, and a smaller one, called Patale.d Its stream, which is navigable, by the lowest estimates, for 1240 miles, turns westward as if following more or less closely the course of the sun, and then falls into the ocean. The measure of the coast line from the mouth of the Ganges to this river I shall set down as it is generally given, though none of the computations agree with each other. From the mouth of the Ganges to Cape Calingon and the town of Dandagulae 625 miles ;f [S. 142] to Tropina 1225 ;g to the cape of Perimula,h where there is the greatest emporium of trade in India, 750 miles to the town in the island of Patala mentioned above, 620 miles.

a The real sources of the Indus were unknown to the Greeks. The principal stream rises to the north of the Kailāsa mountain (which figures in Hindu mythology as the mansion of the gods and Śiva's paradise) in lat. 32°, long. 81° 30', at an elevation of about 20,000 feet.

b The Chandrabhaga or Akesinēs, now the Chenāb.

c For remarks on the tributaries of the Indus see Notes on Arrian, chap, iv,—Ind. Ant. vol. V. pp. 331-333.

d See Ind. Ant. vol. V. p. 330. Yule identifies the former of these with the area enclosed by the Nara from above Rohri to Haidarābād, and the delta of the Indus.—ED. Ind. Ant.

e v.l. Dandaguda. Cape Kalingon is identified by Yule as Point Godāvarī.—ED. Ind. Ant.

f " Both the distance and the name point to the great port town of coringa, as the promontory of Coringon, which is situated on a projecting point of land at the mouth of the Godāvarī river. The town of Dandaguda or Da.ndagula I take to be the Dantapura of the Buddhist chronicles, which as the capital of Kalinga may with much probability be identified with Rāja Mahendri, which is only 30 miles to the north-east of Coringa. From the great similarity of the Greek Γ and Π, I think it not improbable that the Greek name may have been Dandapula, which is almost the same as Dantapura. But in this case the Danta or 'tooth-relic' of Buddha must have been enshrined in Kalinga as early as the time of Pliny, which is confirmed by the statement of the Buddhist chronicles that the 'left canine tooth' of Buddha was brought to Kalinga immediately after his death, where it was enshrined by the reigning sovereign, Brahmadatta."—Cunningham, Geog.-p. 518.

g [Tropina answers to Tripontari or Tirupanatara, opposite Kochin.—ED. Ind. Ant.] The distance given is measured from the mouth of the Ganges, and not from Cape Calingon.

h This cape is a projecting point of the island of Perimula or Perimuda, now called the island of Salsette, near Bombay.

The hill-tribes between the Indus and the Iomanes are the Cesi; the Cetriboni, who live in the woods; then the Megallae, whose king is master of five hundred elephants and an army of horse and foot of unknown strength; the Chrysei, the Parasangae, and the Asangae,a where tigers abound, noted for their ferocity. The force under arms consists of 30,000 foot, 300 elephants, and 800 horse. These are shut in by the Indus, and are surrounded by a circle of mountains and deserts [S. 143] over a space of 625 miles.b Below the deserts are the Dari, the Surae, then deserts again for 187 miles,c these deserts encircling the fertile tracts just as the sea encircles islands.d Below these deserts we find the Maltecorae, Singhae, Marohae, Rarungae, Moruni.e These inhabit the hills which in an unbroken [S. 144] chain run parallel to the shores of the ocean. They are free and have no kings, and occupy the mountain heights, whereon they have built many cities.f Next follow the Nareae, enclosed by the loftiest of Indian mountains, Capitalia.g [S. 145] The inhabitants on the other side of this mountain work extensive mines of gold and silver. Next are the Oraturae, whose king has only ten elephants, though he has a very strong force of infantry.h [S. 146] Next again are the Varetatae,i subject to a king, who keep no elephants, but trust entirely to their horse and foot. Then the Odomboerae; the Salabastrae;j the Horatae,k who have a fine city, defended by marshes which serve as a ditch, wherein crocodiles are kept, which, having a great avidity for human flesh, prevent all access to the city except by a bridge. And another city [S. 147] of theirs is much admired—Automela,l which, being seated on the coast at the confluence of five rivers, is a noble emporium of traders The king is master of 1600 elephants, 150,000 foot, and 5000 cavalry. The poorer king of the Charmae has but sixty elephants, and his force otherwise is insignificant. Next come the Pandae, the only race in India ruled by women.m They say that Hercules having but one daughter, who was on that account all the more beloved, endowed her with a noble kingdom. Her descendants rule over 300 cities, and command an army of 150,000 foot and 500 elephants. Next, with 300 cities, the Syrieni, Derangae, Posingae, Buzae, Gogiarei, Umbrae, Nereae, Brancosi, Nobundae , Cocondae, Nesei, Pedatrirae, Solobriasae , Olostrae,n who adjoin the island Patale, from the [S. 148] furthest shore of which to the Caspian gates the distance is said to he 1925 miles.o  

a v. l. Asmagi. The Asangae, as placed doubtfully by Lassen about Jodhpur.—ED. Ind. Ant,

b DCXXV.—v. l. DCXXXV. Pliny, haying given a general account of the basins of the Indus and the Ganges, proceeds to enumerate here the tribes which peopled the north of India. The names are obscure, but Lassen has identified one or two of them, and de Saint-Martin a considerable number more. The tribes first mentioned in the list occupied the country extending from the Jamunā to the western coast about the mouth of the Narmadā. The Cesi probably answer to the Khośas or Khasyas, a great tribe which from time immemorial has led a wandering life between Gujarāt, the lower Indus, and the Jamunā. The name of the Cetriboni would seem to be a transcript of Ketrivani (for Kshatrivaneya). They may therefore have been a branch of the Kshatri (Khātri), one of the impure tribes of the list of Manu (l. x. 12). The MegallAe must be identified with the Māvelas of Sanskrit books, a great tribe described as settled to the west of the Jamunā. The Chrysei probably correspond to the Karoncha of the Purāṇic lists (Vishṇu Pur. pp. 177, 186, note 13, and 351, &c). The locality occupied by these and the two tribes mentioned after them must have lain to the north of the Raṇ, between the lower Indus and the chain of the Arāvali mountains.


d The Dhārs inhabit still the banks of the lower Ghara and the parts contiguous to the valley of the Indus. Hiwen Thsāng mentions, however, a land of Dara at the lower end of the gulf of Kachh, in a position which quite accords with that which Pliny assigns to them. The Surae, Sansk. Śūra, have their name preserved in "Saur," which designates a tribe settled along the Lower Indus—the modern representatives of the Saurabhīra of the Harivaṃśa. They are placed with doubt by Lassen on the Lonī about Sindri, but Yule places the Bolingae—Sanskrit, Bhaulingas—there.—ED. Ind. Ant.

e Moruni, &c.—v. l. Moruntes, Masuae Pagungae, Lalii.

f These tribes must have been located in Kachh, a mountainous tongue of land between the gulf of that name and the Raṇ, where, and where only, in this region of India, a range of mountains is to be found running along the coast. The name of the Maltecorae has attracted particular attention because of its resemblance to the name of the Martikhora (i. e. man-eater), a fabulous animal mentioned by Ktēsias (Ctesiae Tndica, VII.) as found in India and subsisting upon human flesh. The Maltecorae were consequently supposed to have been a race of cannibals. The identification is, however, rejected by M. de St.-Martin. The Singhae are represented at the present day by the Sānghis of Omarkot (called the Song by Mac-Murdo), descendants of an ancient Rājput tribe called the Singhārs. The Marohae are probably the Maruhas of the list of the Varāha Saṃhitā, which was later than Pliny's time by four and a half centuries. In the interval they were displaced, but the displacement of tribes was nothing unusual in those days. So the Rarungae may perhaps be the ancestors of the Ronghi or Rhanga now found on the anks of the Satlej and in the neighbourhood of Dihli.

g Capitalia is beyond doubt the sacred Arbuda, or Mount Abu, which, attaining an elevation of 6500 feet, rises far above any other summit of the Arāvali range. The name of the Nareae recalls that of the Naïr, which the Rājput chroniclers apply to the northern belt of the desert (Tod, Rajasthān, II. 211); so St.-Martin ; but; according to General Cunningham they must be the people of Sarui, or 'the country of reeds, as nar and sar are synonymous terms for 'a reed,' and the country of Sarui is still famous for its reed-arrows. The same author uses the statement that extensive gold and silver mines were worked on the other side of Mount Capitalia in support of his theory that this part of India was the Ophir of Scripture, from which the Tyrian navy in the days of Solomon carried away gold, a great plenty of almug-trees (red sandalwood), and precious stones (1 Kings xii.). His argument runs thus:—"The last name in Pliny's list is Varetatae, which I would change to Vataretae by the transposition of two letters. This spelling is countenanced by the termination of the various reading of Svarataratae, which is found in some editions. It is quite possible, however, that the Svarataratae may be intended for the Surāshṭras. The famous Varāha Mihira mentions the Surāshṭras and Bādaras together, amongst the people of the south-west of India (Dr. Kern's Bṛihat Saṃhitā, XIV. 19.) These Bādaras must therefore be the people of Badari, or Vaḍari. I understand the name of Vaḍari to denote a district abounding in the Badari, or Ber-tree (Jujube), which is very common in Southern Rājputāna. For the same reason I should look to this neighbourhood for the ancient Sauvīra, which I take to be the true form of the famous Sopbir, or Ophir, as Sauvīra is only another name of the Vadari or Ber-tree, as well as of its juicy fruit. Now, Sofir is the Coptic name of India at the present day; but the name must have belonged originally to that part of the Indian coast which was frequented by the merchants of the West. There can be little doubt, I think, that this was in the Gulf of Khambay, which from time immemorial has been the chief seat of Indian trade with the West. During the whole period of Greek history this trade was almost monopolized by the famous city of Barygaza, or Bhāroch, at the mouth of the Narmadā river. About the fourth century some portion of it was diverted to the new capital of Balabhi, in the peninsula of Gujarāt ; in the Middle Ages it was shared with Khambay at the head of the gulf, and in modern times with Surat, at the mouth of the Tapti. If the name of Sauvīra was derived, as I suppose, from the prevalence of the Ber-tree, it is probable that it was only another appellation for the province of Badari, or Edar, at the head of the Gulf of Kharabay. This, indeed, is the very position in which we should expect to find it, according to the ancient inscription of Rudra Dāma, which mentions Sindhu-Sauvīra immediately after Surāshṭra and Bhārukachha, and just before Kukura Aparanta,' and Nishada (Jour. Bo. Br. R. As. Soc. VII. 120). According to this arrangement Sauvīra must have been to the north of Surāshṭra and Bhāroch, and to the south of Nishada, or just where I have placed it, in the neighbourhood of Mount Ābū. Much the same locality is assigned to Sauvīra in to Vishṇu Purdāṇa."—Anc. Geog. of Ind. pp. 496-497 see also pp. 560-562 of the same work, where the subject is further discussed,

h v. l. Oratae. The Oraturae find their representatives in the Rāṭhors, who played a great part in the history of India before the Musulman conquest, and who, though settled in the Gangetic provinces, regard Ajmir, at the eastern point of the Arāwalī, as their ancestral seat.

i v. l. Suaratarataa. The Varetatae cannot with certainty be identified.

j The Odomboerae, with hardly a change in the form of their name, are mentioned in Sanskrit-literature, for Pānini (IV-1, 173, quoted by Lassen, Ind. Alt. 1st ed. I. p. 614) speaks of the territory of Udumbari as that which was occupied by a tribe famous in the old legend, the Salva, who perhaps correspond to the Salabastrae of Pliny, the addition which he has made to their name being explained by the Sanskrit word vastya, which means an abode or habitation. The word udumbara means the glomerous fig-tree. The district so named lay in Kachh. [The Salabastrae are located by Lassen between the mouth of the Sarasvatī and Jodhpur, and the Horatae at the head of the gulf of Khambhāt; Automela he places at Khambhāt. See Ind. Alterth. 2nd ed. 1.760. Yule has the Sandrabatis about Chandravātī, in northern Gujarāt, but these are placed by Lassen on the Banās about Tonk.—ED. Ind. Ant.]

k Horatae is an incorrect transcription of Soraṭh, the vulgar form of the Sanskrit Saurāshṭra. The Horatae were therefore the inhabitants of the region called in the Periplūs, and in Ptolemy, Surastrēnē—that is, Gujarāt. Orrhoth (Ορροθα) is used by Kosmas as the name of a city in the west of India, which has been conjectured to be Surat, but Yule thinks it rather some place on the Purbandar coast. The capital, Automela, cannot be identified, but de St.-Martin conjectures it may have been the once famous Valabh, which was situated in the peninsular part of Gujart at about 24 miles' distance from the Gulf of Khambay.

l v. l. Automula. See preceding note.

m The Chamae have been identified with the inhabitants of Charmamandala, a district of the west mentioned in the Mahābhārata and also in the Vishṇu Purāṇa under the form Charmakhanda. They are now represented by the Charmārs or Chamārs of Bundelkhand and the parts adjacent to the basin of the Ganges. The Pandae, who were their next neighbours, must have occupied a considerable portion of the basin of the river Chambal, called in Sanskrit geography the Charmanvatī. They were a branch of the famous race of Pāṇḍu, which made for itself kingdoms in several different parts of India.

n The names in this list lead us to the desert lying between the Indus and the Arāvalī range. Most of the tribes enumerated are mentioned in the lists of the clans given in the Rājput chronicles, and have been identified by M. de St.-Martin as follows :—The Syrieni are the Suriyanis, who under that name have at all times occupied the country near the Indus in the neighbourhood of Bakkar. Darangae is the Latin transcription of the name of the great race of the Jhāḍejās, a branch of the Rājputs which at the present day possesses Kachh. The Buzae represent the Buddas, an ancient branch of the same Jhāḍejs (Tod, Annals and Antiq, of the Rāj. vol. I. p. 86). The Gogiarei (other readings Gogarasi, Gogarse) are the Kokaris, who are now settled on the banks of the Ghara or Lower Satlej. The Umbrae are represented by the Umranīs, and the Nerei perhaps by the Nharonis, who, though belonging to Baluchistan, had their ancestral seats in the regions to the east of the Indus. The Nubēteh, who figure in the old local traditions of Sindh, perhaps correspond to the Nobundae, while the Cocondae certainly are the Kokonadas mentioned in the Mahābhārata among the people of the north-west. (See Lassen, Zeitschrift für die Kunde des Morgenl. II. 1839, p. 45.) Buchanan mentions a tribe called Kakand as belonging to Gorakhpur.

o There were two defiles, which went by the name of 'the Kaspian Gates.' One was in Albania, and was formed by the jutting out of a spur of the Kaukasos into the Kaspian Sea. The other, to which Pliny here refers, was a narrow pass leading from North-Western Asia into the north-east provinces of Persia. According to Arrian (Anab. III. 20) the Kaspian Gates lay a few days' journey distant from the Median town of Rhagai, now represented by the ruins called Rha, found a mile or two to the south of Teherān. This pass was one of the most important places in ancient geography, and from it many of the meridians were measured. Strabo, who frequently mentions it, states that its distance from the extreme promontories of India (Cape Comorin, &c.) was 14,000 stadia.

Then next to these towards the Indus come, in an order which is easy to follow, the Amatae, Bolingae, Gallitalutae , Dimuri, Megari, Ordab ae,a Mesae ; after these the Uri and Sileni.b Immediately beyond come [S. 149] deserts extending for 250 miles. These being passed, we come to the Organagae, Abaortae, Sibarae, Suertae, and after these to deserts as extensive as the former. Then come the Sarophages, Sorgae, Baraomatae, and the Umbrittae,c who consist of twelve tribes, each possessing two cities, and the Aseni, who possess three cities.d Their capital is Bucephala, built where Alexander's famous horse [S. 150] of that name was buried.e Hillmen follow next, inhabiting the base of Caucasus, the Soleadae, and the Sondrae; and if we cross to the other side of the Indus and follow its course downward we meet the Samarabriae, Sambruceni, Bisambritae;f Osii, Antixeni, and the Taxillaeg with a famous city. Then succeeds [S. 151] a level tract of country known by the general name of Amanda,h whereof the tribes are four in number—the Peucolaitae,i Arsagalitae, Geretae, Asoi.

a v. l. Ardabae.

b In the grammatical apophthegms of Pāṇini, Bhaulingi is mentioned as a territory occupied by a branch of the great tribe of the Śālvas (Lassen, Ind. Alt. I. p. 613, note, or 2nd ed. p. 760 n.), and from this indication M. de St.-Martin has been led to place the Bolingae at the western declivity of the Arāvalī mountains, where Ptolemy also places his Bolingae. The Madrabhujingha of the Panjāb (see Vishṇu Pur. p. 187) were probably a branch of this tribe. The Gallitalutae are identified by the same author with the Gahalata or Gehlots ; the Dimuri with the Dumras, who, though belonging to the Gangetie valley, originally came from that of the Indus ; the Megari with the Mokars of the Rājput chronicles, whose name is perhaps preserved in that of the Mehars of the lower part of Sindh, and also in that of the Megharis of Eastern Baluchistan; the Mesae with the Mazaris, a considerable tribe between Shikārpūr and Mitankot on the western bank of the Indus ; and the Uri with the Hauras of the same locality —the Hurairas who figure in the Rājput lists of thirty-six royal tribes. The Sulalas of the same tribes perhaps represent the Sileni, whom Pliny mentions along with the Uri.

c vv. ll. Paragomatae, Umbitrae.—Baraomatae Gumbritaeque.

d The tribes here enumerated must have occupied a tract of country lying above the confluence of the Indus with the stream of the combined rivers of the Panjab. They are obscure, and their names cannot with any certainty be identified if we except that of the Sibarae, who are undoubtedly the Sauvīras of the Mahābhārata, and who, as their name is almost invariably combined with that of the Indus, must have dwelt not far from its banks. The Afghan tribe of the Afridīs may perhaps represent the Abaortae, and the Sarabhān or Sarvanīs, of the same stock, the Sarophages. The Umbrittae and the Aseni take us to the east of the river. The former are perhaps identical with the Ambastae of the historians of Alexander, and the Ambasthas of Sanskrit writings, who dwelt in the neighbourhood of the lower Akesinēs.

e Alexander, after the great battle on the banks of the Hydaspes in which he defeated Pōros, founded two cities—Bukephala or Bukepkalia, so named in honour of his celebrated charger, and Nikaia, so named in honour of his victory. Nikaia, it is known for certain, was built on the field of battle, and its position was therefore on the left side of the Hydaspes—probably about where Mong now stands. The site of Bukephala it is not so easy to determine. According to Plutarch and Pliny it was near the Hydaspes, in the place where Bukephalos was buried, and if that be so it must have been on the same side of the river as the sister city; whereas Strabo and all the other ancient authorities place it on the opposite side. Strabo again places it at the point where Alexander crossed the river, whereas Arrian states t that it was built on the site of his camp. General Cunningham fixes this at Jalālpur rather than at Jhelam, 30 miles higher up the river, the site which is favoured by Burnes and General Court and General Abbott. Jalālpur is about ten miles distant from Dilāwar, where, according to Cunningham, the crossing of the river was most probably effected.

f v. l. Bisabritae.

g The Soleadae and the Sondraa cannot be identified, and of the tribes which were seated to the east of the Indus only the Taxillae are known. Their capital was the famous Taxila, which was visited by Alexander the Great. "The position of this city," says Cunningham, " has hitherto remained unknown, partly owing to the erroneous distance recorded by Pliny, and partly to the want of information regarding the vast ruins which still exist in the vicinity of Shāh-dheri. All the copies of Pliny agree in stating that Taxila was only 60 Roman, or 55 English, miles from Peucolaïtis or Hashṭnagar, which would fix its site somewhere on the Haro river to the west of Hasan Abdāl, or just two days' march from the Indus. But the itineraries of the Chinese pilgrims agree in placing it at three days' journey to the east of the Indus, or in the immediate neighbourhood of Kāla-ka-Sarāi. He therefore fixes its site near Shāh-dheri (which is a mile to the north-cist of that Sarāi), in the extensive ruins of a fortified city abounding with stūpas, monasteries, and temples. From this place to Hashṭnagar the distance is 74 miles English, or 10 in excess of Pliny's estimate. Taxila represents the Sanskrit Takshaśilā, of which the Pali form is Takhasila, whence the Greek form was taken. The word means either 'cut rock' or ' severed head.'—Anc. Geog. of Ind. pp. 104-121.

h As the name Amanda is entirely unknown, M. de St.-Martin proposes without hesitation the correction Gandhāra, on the ground that the territory assigned to the Amanda corresponds exactly to Gandhāra, of which the territory occupied by the Peucolitae (Poukolaōtis), as we know from other writers, formed a part. The Geretae are beyond doubt no others than the Gouraei of Arrian ; and the Asoi may perhaps be identical with the Aspasii, or, as Strabo gives the name, Hippasii or Pasii. The Arsagalitae are only mentioned by Pliny. Two tribes settled in the same locality are perhaps indicated by the name—the Arsa, mentioned by Ptolemy, answering to the Sanskrit Uraśa; and the Ghilit or Ghilghit, the Gahalata of Sanskrit, formerly mentioned.

i v. 1. Peucolitae.

Many writers, however, do not give the river Indus as the western boundary of India, but include within it four satrapies,—the Gedrosi, Arachotae , Arii, Paropamisadae,a [S. 152] making the river Cophes its furthest limit; though others prefer to consider all these as belonging to the Arii.

a Gedrōsia comprehended probably nearly the same district which is now known by the name of Mekrān. Alexander marched through it on returning from his Indian expedition. Arachōsia extended from the chain of mountains now called the Suleimān as far southward as Gedrōsia. Its capital, Araehotos, was situated somewhere in the direction of Kandahār, the name of which, it has been thought, preserves that of Gandhāra. According to Colonel Rawlinson the name of Arachōsia is derived from Harakhwati (Sanskrit Sarasvati), and is preserved in the Arabic Rakhaj. It is, as has already been noticed, the Harauvatas of the Bisutun inscription. Aria denoted the country lying between Meshed and Herāt ; Āriāna, of which it formed a part, and of which it is sometimes used as the equivalent, was a wider district, which comprehended nearly the whole of ancient Persia. In the Persian part of the Bisutun inscription Āria appears as Hariva, in the Babylonian part as Arevan. Regarding Paropamisos and the Cophes see Ind. Ant. vol. V. pp. 329 and 830.

Many writers further include in India even the city Nysa and Mount Merus, sacred to Father Bacchus, whence the origin of the fable that he sprang from the thigh of Jupiter. They include also the Astacani,a in whose country the vine [S. 153] grows abundantly, and the laurel,  and boxwood, and every kind of fruit-tree found in Greece. The remarkable and almost fabulous accounts which are current regarding the fertility of its soil, and the nature of its fruits and trees, its beasts and birds and other animals, will be set down each in its own place in other parts of this work. A little further on I shall speak of the satrapies, but the island of Taprobaneb requires my immediate attention.

a Other readings of the name are Aspagani and Aspagonae. M. de St.-Martin, whose work has so often been referred to, says:—"We have seen already that in an extract from old Hekataios preserved in Stephen of Byzantium the city of Kaspapyros is called a Gandaric city, and that in Herodotos the same place is attributed to the Paktyi, and we have added that in our opinion there is only an apparent contradiction, because the district of Paktyikē and Gandara may very well be but one and the same country. It is not difficult, in fact, to recognize in the designation mentioned by Herodotos the indigenous name of the Afghān people, Pakhtu (in the plural Pakhtūn), the name which the greater part of the tribes use among themselves, and the only one they apply to their national dialect. We have here, then, as Lassen has noticed, historical proof of the presence of the Afghāns in their actual fatherland five centuries at least before the Christian era. Now, as the seat of the Afghān or Pakht nationality is chiefly in the basin of the Kophēs, to the west of the Indus, which forms its eastern boundary, this further confirms what we have already seen, that it is to the west of the great river we must seek for the site of the city of Kaspapyros or Kaśyapapura, and consequently of the Gandariē of Hekataios. The employment of two different names to designate the very same country is easily explained by this double fact, that one of the names was the Indian designation of the land, whilst the other was the indigenous name applied to it by its inhabitants. There was yet another name, of Sanskrit origin, used as a territorial appellation, of Gandhara—-that of Aśvaka, This word,

derived from aśva, a horse, signified merely the cavaliers ; it was less an ethnic, in the rigorous acceptation of the word, than a general appellation applied by the Indians of the Panjāb to the tribes of the region of the Kophēs, renowned from antiquity for the excellence of its horses. In tbe popular dialects the Sanskrit word took the usual form Assaka, which reappears scarcely modified in Assakani (Ασσακανοι) or Assakēni (Ασσακηνοι) in the Greek historians of the expedition of Alexander and subsequent writers. It is impossible not to recognize here the name of Avghān or Afghāns. . . which is very evidently nothing else than a contracted form of Assakān. . . Neither the Gandariē of Hekataios nor the Paktyi of Herodotos are known to them [Arrian and other Greek and Latin writers of the history of Alexander], but as it is the same territory [as that of the Assakani], and as in actual usage the names Afghāns and Pakthūn are still synonymous, their identity is not a matter of doubt."—Éude sur le Géographie Grecque et Latine de l'Inde, pp. 376-8. The name of tbe Gandhāra, it may here be added, remounts to the highest antiquity; it is mentioned in one of the hymns of the Ṛig-Veda, as old perhaps as the 15 th century B.C.—Id. p. 364.

bVide ante, p. 62, n. 

But before we come to this island there are others, one being Patale, which, as we have indicated, lies at the mouth of the Indus, triangular in shape, and 220a miles in breadth. Beyond the mouth of the Indus are Chryse and Argyre,b [S. 154] rich, as I believe, in metals. For I cannot readily believe, what is asserted by some writers, that their soil is impregnated with gold and silver. At a distance of twenty miles from these lies Crocala,c from which, at a distance of twelve miles, is Bibaa, which abounds with oysters and other shell-fish.d Next comes Toralliba,e nine miles distant from the last-named island, beside many others unworthy of note.

a CCXX.—v.l. CXXX

b Burma and Arakan respectively, according to Yule.—ED. Ind. Ant.

c In the bay of Karāchi, identical with the Kolaka of Ptolemy. The district in which Karāchi is situated is called Karkalla to this day.

d This is called Bibakta by Arrian, Indika, cap. xxi.

e v. l. Coralliba.


Solin. 52. 6-17.

Catalogue of Indian Races.

The greatest rivers of India are the Ganges and Indus, and of these some assert that the Ganges rises from uncertain sources and inundates the country in the manner of the Nile, while others incline to think that it rises in the Scythian mountains. [The Hypanis is also there, a very noble river, which formed the limit of Alexander's march, as the altars erected on its hanks prove.a] [S. 155] The least breadth of the Ganges is eight miles, and its greatest twenty. Its depth where it is shallowest is fully a hundred foot. The people who live in the furthest-off part are the Gangarides, whose king possesses 1000 horse, 700 elephants, and 60,000 foot in apparatus of war.

a See Arrian's Anab. V. 29, where we read that Alexander having arranged his troops in separate divisions ordered them to build on the banks of the Hyphasis twelve altars to be of equal height with the loftiest towers, while exceeding them in breadth. From Curtius we learn that they were formed of square blocks of stone. There has been much controversy regarding their site, but it must have been near the capital of Sopithēs, whose name Lassen has identified with the Sanskrit Aśvapati, ' lord of horses.' These Aśvapati were a line of princes whose territory, according to the 12th book of the Rāmāyaṇa, lay on the right or north bank of the Vipāśa (Hyphasis or Biās), in the mountainous part of the Doāb comprised between that river and the Upper Irāvati. Their capital is called in the poem of Vālmiki Rājagṛiha, which still exists under the name of Rājagiri. At some distance from this there is a chain of heights called Sekandar-giri, or 'Alexander's mountain.'—-See ST-Martin's Étude, &c. pp. 108-111.

Of the Indians some cultivate the soil, very many follow war, and others trade. The noblest and richest manage public affairs, administer justice, and sit in council with the kings. There exists also a fifth class, consisting of those most eminent for their wisdom, who, when sated with life, seek death by mounting a burning funeral pile. Those, however, who have become the devotees of a sterner sect, and pass their life in the woods, hunt elephants, which, when made quite tame and docile, they use for ploughing and for riding on.

In the Ganges there is an island extremely populous, occupied by a very powerful nation whose king keeps under arms 50,000 foot and 4000 horse. In fact no one invested with kingly power ever keeps on foot a military force without a very great number of elephants and foot and cavalry.

The Prasian nation, which is extremely powerful, inhabits a city called Palibotra, whence some call the nation itself the Palibotri. Their [S. 156] king keeps in his pay at all times 60,000 foot 30,000 horse, and 8000 elephants.

Beyond Palibotra is Mount Maleus,a on which shadows in winter fall towards the north, in summer towards the south, for six months alternately. In that region the Bears are seen but once a year, and not for more than fifteen days, as Beton informs us, who allows that this happens in many parts of India. Those living near the river Indus in the regions that turn southward are scorched more than others by the heat, and at last the complexion of the people is visibly affected by the great power of the sun. The mountains are inhabited by the Pygmies.

a Possibly, as suggested by Yule, Mount Pārśvanātha, near the Damudā, and not far from the Tropic; vide Ind. Ant vol. VI. p. 127, note §, and conf. vol. I. p. 46ff. The Malli (see above), in whose country it was, are not to be confounded with another tribe of the same name in the Panjāb, mentioned by Arrian ; see vol. V. pp. 87, 96, 333,—Ed. Ind. Ant.

But those who live near the sea have no kings.

The Pandaean nation is governed by females, and their first queen is said to have been the daughter of Hercules. The city Nysa is assigned to this region, as is also the mountain sacred to Jupiter, Mēros by name, in a cave on which the ancient Indians affirm Father Bacchus was nourished; while the name has given rise to the well-known fantastic story that Bacchus was born from the thigh of his father. Beyond the mouth of the Indus are two islands, Chryse and Argyre , which yield such an abundant supply of metals that many writers lege their soils consist of gold and of silver. [S. 157]


Polyaen. Strateg. 1. 1 . 1-3.

of Dionysos.

(Cf. Epit. 25 et seg.)

Dionysos, in his expedition against the Indians, in order that the cities might receive him willingly, disguised the arms with which he had equipped his troops, and made them wear soft raiment and fawn-skins. The spears were wrapped round with ivy, and the thyrsus had a sharp point. He gave the signal for battle by cymbals and drums instead of the trumpet, and by regaling the enemy with wine diverted their thoughts from war to dancing. These and all other Bacchic orgies were employed in the system of warfare by which he subjugated the Indians and all the rest of Asia.

Dionysos, in the course of his Indian campaign, seeing that his army could not endure the fiery heat of the air, took forcible possession of the three-peaked mountain of India. Of these peaks one is called Korasibiē , another Kondaskē, but to the third he himself gave the name of Mēros, in remembrance of his birth. Thereon were many fountains of water sweet to drink, game in great plenty, tree-fruits in unsparing profusion, and snows which gave new vigour to the frame. The troops quartered there made a sudden descent upon the barbarians of the plain, whom they easily routed, since they attacked them with missiles from a commanding position on the heights above. [S. 155]

[Dionysos, after conquering the Indians, invaded Baktria, taking with him as auxiliaries the Indians and Amazons. That country has for its boundary the river Sarangēs.a  The Baktrians seized the mountains overhanging that river with a view to attack Dionysos, in crossing it, from a post of advantage. He, however, having encamped along the river, ordered the Amazons and the Bakkhai to cross it, in order that the Baktrians, in their contempt for women, might be induced to come down from the heights. The women then assayed to cross the stream, and the enemy came downhill, and advancing to the river endeavoured to beat them back. The women then retreated, and the Baktrians pursued them as far as the bank ; then Dionysos, coming to the rescue with his men, slew the Baktrians, who were impeded from fighting by the current, and he crossed the river in safety.

a See Ind. Ant. Notes to Arrian in vol. V. p. 332.


Polyaen. Strateg. I. 3. 4.

Of Hercules and Pandaea.

(Cf. Fragm. L. 15.)

Heraklēs begat a daughter in India whom he called Pandaia. To her he assigned that portion of India which lies to southward and extends to the sea, while he distributed the people subject to her rule into 365 villages, giving orders that one village should each day bring to the [S. 159] treasury the royal tribute, so that the queen might always have the assistance of those men whose turn it was to pay the tribute in coercing those who for the time being were defaulters in their payments.


Of the Beasts of India.

Aelian, Hist. Anim. XVI. 2-22.a

a "In this extract not a few passages occur which appear to have been borrowed from Megasthenēs. This conjecture, though it cannot by any means be placed beyond doubt by conclusive proofs, seems nevertheless, for various reasons, to attain a certain degree of probability. For in the first place the author knows with unusual accuracy the interior parts of India. Then again he makes very frequent mention of the Prasii and the Brāhmans. And lastly one can hardly doubt that some chapters occurring in the middle of this part have been extracted from Megasthenēs. I have, therefore, in this uncertainty taken care that the whole of this part should be printed at the end of the fragments of Megasthenēs."—Schwanbeck.

(2) In India I learn that there are to be found the birds called parrots; and though I have, no doubt, already mentioned them, yet what I omitted to state previously regarding them may now with great propriety be here set down. There are, I am informed, three species of them, and all these, if taught to speak, as children are taught, become as talkative as children, and speak with a human voice; but in the woods they utter a bird-like scream, and neither send out any distinct and musical notes, nor being wild and untaught are able to talk. There are also peacocks in India, the largest anywhere met with, [S. 160] and pale-green ringdoves. One who is not well-versed in bird-lore, seeing these for the firt time, would take them to be parrots, and not pigeons. In the colour of the bill and legs they resemble Greek partridges. There are also cocks, which are of extraordinary size, and have their crests not red as elsewhere, or at least in our country, but have the flower-like coronals of which the crest is formed variously coloured. Their rump feathers, again, are neither curved nor wreathed, but are of great breadth, and they trail them in the way peacocks trail their tails, when they neither straighten nor erect them : the feathers of these Indian cocks are in colour golden, and also dark-blue like the smaragdus.

(3) There is found in India also another remarkable bird. This is of the size of a starling and is parti-coloured, and is trained to utter the sounds of human speech. It is even more talkative than the parrot, and of greater natural cleverness. So far is it from submitting with pleasure to be fed by man, that it rather has such a pining for freedom, and such a longing to warble at will in the society of its mates, that it prefers starvation to slavery with sumptuous fare. It is called by the Makedonians who settled among the Indians in the city of Boukephala and its neighbourhood, and in the city called Kuropolis, and others which Alexander the son of Philip built, the Kerkiōn This name had, I believe, it's origin [S. 161]  in the fact that the bird wags its tail in the same way as the water-ousels (οι κικλοι).

(4) I learn further that in India there is a bird called the Kēlas, which is thrice the size of the bustard, and has a bill of prodigious size and long legs. It is furnished also with an immense crop resembling a leather pouch. The cry which it utters is peculiarly discordant. The plumage is ash-coloured, except that the feathers at their tips are tinted with a pale yellow.

(5) I hear also that the Indian hoopoe (εποπα) is double the size of ours, and more beautiful in appearance, and Homer says that while the bridle and trappings of a horse are the delight of a Hellenic king, this hoopoe is the favourite plaything of the king of the Indians, who carries it on his hand, and toys with it, and never tires gazing in ecstasy on its splendour, and the beauty with which Nature has adorned it. The Brachmanes, therefore, even make this particular bird the subject of a mythic story, and the tale told of it runs thus :—To the king of the Indians there was born a son. The child had elder brothers, who when they came to man's estate turned out to be very unjust and the greatest of reprobates. They despised their brother because he was the youngest; and they scoffed also at their father and their mother, whom they despised because they were very old and grey-haired. The boy, accordingly, and his aged parents could at last no longer live with these wicked men, and away they fled from home, all [S. 162] three together. In the course of the protracted journey which they had then to undergo, the old people succumbed to fatigue and died, and the boy showed them no light regard, but buried them in himself, having cut off his head with a sword. Then, as the Brachmanes tell us, the all-seeing sun, in admiration of this surpassing act of piety, transformed the boy into a bird which is most beautiful to behold, and which lives to a very advanced age. So on his head there grew up a crest which was, as it were, a memorial of what he had done at the time of his flight. The Athenians have also related, in a fable, marvels somewhat similar of the crested lark ; and this fable Aristophanes, the comic poet, appears to me to have followed when he says in the Birds, "For thou wert ignorant, and not always bustling, nor always thumbing Aesop, who spake of the crested lark, calling it the first of all birds, born before ever the earth was ; and telling how afterwards her father became sick and died, and how that, as the earth did not then exist, he lay unburied till the fifth day, when his daughter, unable to find a grave elsewhere, dug one for him in her own head."a [S. 163]

a Lines 470-75:—

"You're such a dull incurious lot, unread in Aesop's lore,
Whose story says the lark was born first of the feathered quire,
Before the earth ; then came a cold and carried off his sire:
Earth was not: five days lay the old bird untombed : at last the son
Buried the father in his head, since other grave was none."

Dr. Kennedy's translation.

It seems, accordingly, probable that the fable, though with a different bird for its subject, emanated from the Indians, and spread onward even to the Greeks. For the Brachmanes say that a prodigious time has elapsed since the Indian hoopoe, then in human form and young in years, performed that act of piety to its parents.

(6.) In India there is an animal closely resembling in appearance the land crocodile, and somewhere about the size of a little Maltese dog. It is covered all over with a scaly skin so rough altogether and compact that when flayed off it is used by the Indians as a file. It cuts through brass and eats iron. They call it the phattages (pangolin or scaly ant-eater) . . . . . . .

(8.) The Indian sea breeds sea-snakes which have broad tails, and the lakes breed hydras of immense size, but these sea-snakes appear to inflict a bite more sharp than poisonous.

(9.) In India there are herds of wild horses, and also of wild asses. They say that the mares submit to be covered by the asses, and enjoy such coition, and breed mules, which are of a reddish colour and very fleet, but impatient of the yoke and otherwise skittish. They say that they catch these mules with foot-traps, and then take them to the king of the Prasians, and that if they are caught when two years old they do not refuse to be broken in, but if caught when beyond that age they differ in no respect from sharp-toothed and carnivorous animals. [S. 164]

(Fragm. XII. E follows here.)

(11.) There is found in India a graminivorous animal which is double the size of a horse, and which has a very bushy tail purely black in colour. The hair of this tail is finer than human hair, and its possession is a point on which Indian women set great store, for therewith they make a charming coiffure, by binding and braiding it with the locks of their own natural hair. The length of a hair is two cubits, and from a single root there sprout out, in the form of a fringe, somewhere about thirty hairs. The animal itself is the most timid that is known, for should it perceive that any one is looking at it, it starts off at its utmost speed, and runs right forward,—but its eagerness to escape is greater than the rapidity of its pace. It is hunted with horses and hounds good to run. When it sees that it is on the point of being caught, it hides its tail in some near thicket, while it stands at bay facing its pursuers, whom it watches narrowly. It even plucks up courage in away, and thinks that since its tail is hid from view the hunters will not care to capture it, for it knows that its tail is the great object of attraction. But it finds this to be, of course, a vain delusion, for some one hits it with a poisoned dart, who then flays off the entire skin (for this is of value) and throws away the carcase, as the Indians make no use of any part of its flesh.

(12.) But further: whales are to be found [S. 165] in the Indian Sea, and these five times larger than the largest elephant. A rib of this monstrous fish measures as much as twenty cubits, and its lip fifteen cubits. The fins near the gills are each of them so much as seven cubits in breadth. The shell-fish called Kērukes are also met with, and the purple-fish of a size that would admit it easily into a gallon measure, while on the other hand the shell of the sea-urchin is large enough to cover completely a measure of that size. But fish in India attain enormous dimensions, especially the sea-wolves, the thunnies, and the golden-eyebrows. I hear also that at the season when the rivers are swollen, and with their full and boisterous flood deluge all the land, the fish are carried into the fields, where they swim and wander to and fro, even in shallow water, and that when the rains which flood the rivers cease, and the waters retiring from the land resume their natural channels, then in the low-lying tracts and in flat and marshy grounds, where we may be sure the so-called Nine are wont to have some watery recesses (κολποθσ), fish even of eight cubits' length are found, which the husbandmen themselves catch as they swim about languidly on the surface of the water, which is no longer of a depth they can freely move in, but in fact so very shallow that it is with the utmost difficulty they can live in it at all.

(13.) The following fish are also indigenous [S. 166] to India: —prickly roaches, which are never in any respect smaller than the asps of Argolis ; and shrimps, which in India are even larger than crabs. These, I must mention, finding their way from the sea up the Ganges, have claws which are very large, and which feel rough to the touch. I have ascertained that those shrimps which pass from the Persian Gulf into the river Indus have their prickles smooth, and the feelers with which they are furnished elongated and curling, but this species has no claws.

(14.) The tortoise is found in India, where it lives in the rivers. It is of immense size, and it has a shell not smaller than a full-sized skiff (σκαφη), and which is capable of holding ten medimni (120 gallons) of pulse. There are, however, also land-tortoises which may be about as big as the largest clods turned up in a rich soil where the glebe is very yielding, and the plough sinks deep, and, cleaving the furrows with ease, piles the clods up high. These are said to cast their shell. Husbandmen, and all the hands engaged in field labour, turn them up with their mattocks, and take them out just in the way one extracts wood-worms from the plants they have eaten into. They are fat things and their flesh is sweet, having nothing of the sharp flavour of the sea-tortoise.

(15.) Intelligent animals are to be met with among ourselves, but they are few, and not at all so common as they are in India. For there we find [S. 167] the elephant, which answers to this character, and the parrot, and apes of the sphinx kind, and the creatures called satyrs. Nor must we forget the Indian ant, which is so noted for its wisdom. The ants of our own country do, no doubt, dig for themselves subterranean holes and burrows, and by boring provide themselves with lurking-places, and wear out all their strength in what may be called mining operations, which are indescribably toilsome and conducted with secrecy ; but the Indian ants construct for themselves a cluster of tiny dwelling-houses, seated not on sloping or level grounds where they could easily be inundated, but on steep and lofty eminences. And in these, by boring out with untold skill certain circuitous passages which remind one of the Egyptian burial-vaults or Cretan labyrinths, they so contrive the structure of their houses that none of the lines run straight, and it is difficult for anything to enter them or flow into them, the windings and perforations being so tortuous. On the outside they leave only a single aperture to admit themselves and the grain which they collect and carry to their store-chambers. Their object in selecting lofty sites for their mansions is, of course, to escape the high floods and inundations of the rivers ; and they derive this advantage from their foresight, that they live as it were in so many watch-towers or islands when the parts around the heights become all a lake. Moreover, [S. 168] the mounds they live in, though placed in contiguity, so far from being loosened and torn asunder by the deluge, are rather strengthened, especially by the morning dew: for they put on, so to speak, a coat of ice formed from this dew—thin, no doubt, but still of strength ; while at the same time they are made more compact at their base by weeds and bark of trees adhering, which the silt of the river has carried down. Let so much about Indian ants be said by me now, as it was said by Iobas long ago.

(16) In the country of the Indian Areianoi there is a subterranean chasm down in which there are mysterious vaults, concealed ways, and thoroughfares invisible to men. These are deep withal, and stretch to a very great distance. How they came to exist, and how they were excavated, the Indians do not say, nor do I concern myself to inquire. Hither the Indians bring more than thrice ten thousand head of cattle of different kinds, sheep and goats, and oxen and horses; and every person who has been terrified by an ominous dream, or a warning sound or prophetic voice, or who has seen a bird of evil augury, as a substitute for his life casts into the chasm such a victim as his private means can afford, giving the animal as a ransom to save his soul alive. The victims conducted thither are not led in chains nor otherwise coerced, but they go along this road willingly, as if urged forward by some mysterious spell ; and as soon as they find themselves on the verge  [S. 169] of the chasm they voluntarily leap in, and disappear for ever from human sight so soon as they fall into this mysterious and viewless cavern of the earth. But above there are heard the bellowings of oxen, the bleating of sheep, the neighing of horses, and the plaintive cries of goats, and if any one goes near enough to the edge and closely applies his ear he will hear afar off the sounds just mentioned. This commingled sound is one that never ceases, for every day that passes men bring new victims to be their substitutes. Whether the cries of the animals last brought only are heard, or the cries also of those brought before, I know not,—all I know is that the cries are heard.

(17) In the sea which has been mentioned they say there is a very large island, of which, as I hear, the name is Taprobanē. From what I can learn, it appears to be a very long and mountainous island, having a length of 7000 stadia and a breadth of 5000.a It has not, however, any cities, but only villages, of which the number amounts to 750. The houses in which the inhabitants lodge themselves are made of wood, and sometimes also of reeds.

a In the classical writers the size of this island is always greatly exaggerated. Its actual length from north to south is 271½ miles, and its breadth from east to west and its circuit about 650 miles.

(18.) In the sea which surrounds the islands, tortoises are bred of so vast a size that their shells are employed to make roofs for the houses : for a shell, being fifteen cubits in length, can hold a [S. 170] good many people under it, screening them from the scorching heat of the sun, besides affording them a welcome shade. But, more than this, it is a protection against the violence of storms of rain far more effective than tiles, for it at once shakes off the rain that dashes against it, while those under its shelter hear the rain rattling as on the roof of a house. At all events they do not require to shift their abode, like those whose tiling is shattered, for the shell is hard and like a hollowed rock and the vaulted roof of a natural cavern.

The island, then, in the great sea, which they call Taprobane, has palm-groves, where the trees are planted with wonderful regularity all in a row, in the way we see the keepers of pleasure-parks plant out shady trees in the choicest spots. It has also herds of elephants, which are there very numerous and of the largest size. These island elephants are more powerful than those of the mainland, and in appearance larger, and maybe pronounced to be in every possible way more intelligent. The islanders export them to the mainland opposite in boats, which they construct expressly for this traffic from wood supplied by the thickets of the island, and they dispose of their cargoes to the king of the Kalingai. On account of the great size of the island, the inhabitants of the interior have never seen the sea, but pass their lives as if resident on a continent, though no doubt they learn from others [S. 171] that they are all around enclosed by the sea, The inhabitants, again, of the coast have no practical acquaintance with elephant-catching, and know of it only by report. All their energy is devoted to catching fish and the monsters of the deep; for the sea encircling the island is reported to breed an incredible number of fish, both of the smaller fry and of the monstrous sort, among the latter being some which have the heads of lions and of panthers and of other wild beasts, and also of rams ; and, what is still a greater marvel, there are monsters which in all points of their shape resemble satyrs. Others are in appearance like women, but, instead of having locks of hair, are furnished with prickles. It is even solemnly alleged that this sea contains certain strangely formed creatures, to represent which in a picture would baffle all the skill of the artists of the country, even though, with a view to make a profound sensation, they are wont to paint monsters which consist of different parts of different animals pieced together. These have their tails and the parts which are wreathed of great length, and have for feet either claws or fins. I learn further that they are amphibious, and by night graze on the pasture-fields, for they eat grass like cattle and birds that pick up seeds. They have also a great liking for the date when ripe enough to drop from the palms, and accordingly they twist their coils, which are supple, and large enough fur the purpose, around [S. 172] these trees, and shake them so violently that the dates come tumbling down, and afford them a welcome repast. Thereafter when the night begins gradually to wane, but before there is yet clear daylight, they disappear by plunging into the sea just as the first flush of morning faintly illumines its surface. They say whales also frequent this sea, though it is not true that they come near the shore lying in wait for thunnies. The dolphins are reported to be of two sorts—one fierce and armed with sharp-pointed teeth, which gives endless trouble to the fisherman, and is of a remorselessly cruel disposition, while the other kind is naturally mild and tame, swims about in the friskiest way, and is quite like a fawning dog. It does not run away when any one tries to stroke it, and it takes with pleasure any food it is offered.

(19.) The sea-hare, by which I now mean the kind found in the great sea (for of the kind found in the other sea I have already spoken), resembles in every particular the land hare except only the fur, which in the case of the land animal is soft and lies smoothly down, and does not resist the touch, whereas its brother of the sea has bristling hair which is prickly, and inflicts a wound on any one who touches it. It is said to swim atop of the sea-ripple without ever diving below, and to be very rapid in its movements. To catch it alive is no easy matter, as it never falls into the net, nor goes near the line and [S. 173] bait of the fishing-rod. When it suffers, however, from disease, and, being in consequence hardly able to swim, is cast out on shore, then if any one touches it with his hand death ensues if he is not attended to,—nay, should one, were it only with a staff, touch this dead hare, he is affected in the same way as those who have touched a basilisk. But a root, it is said, grows along the coast of the island, well known to every one, which is a remedy for the swooning which ensues. It is brought close to the nostrils of the person who has fainted, who thereupon recovers consciousness. But should the remedy not be applied the injury proves fatal to life, so noxious is the vigour which this hare has at its command.

Frag.XV. B. follows here.a

a This is the fragment in which Aelian describes the one-horned animal which he calls the Kartazōn. Rosenmller, who has treated at large of the unicorn, which he identifies with the Indian rhinoceros, thinks that Aelian probably borrowed his account of it from Ktēsias, who when in Persia may have heard exaggerated accounts of it, or may have seen it represented in sculpture with variations from its actual appearance. Tychsen derives its name from Kerd, an old name, he says, of the rhinoceros itself, and tazan, i.e., currens velox, irruens. Three animals were spoken of by the ancients as having a single horn—the African Oryx, the Indian Ass, and what is specially called the Unicorn. Vide ante, p. 59.

(22.) There is also a race called the Skiratai,a whose country is beyond India. They are [S. 174] snub-nosed, either because in the tender years of infancy their nostrils are pressed down, and continue to be so throughout their after-life, or because such is the natural shape of the organ. Serpents of enormous size are bred in their country, of which some kinds seize the cattle when at pasture and devour them, while other kinds only suck the blood, as do the Aigithelai in Greece, of which I have already spoken in the proper place.

a Vide ante, Fragm. xxx. 3, p. 80, and p. 74, note, where they are identified with the Kirātas. In the Rāmāyaṇa there is a passage quoted by Lassen (Zeitschr. f. Kunde d. Morqenl. II. 40) where are mentioned "the Kirātas, some of whom dwell in Mount Mandara, others use their ears as a covering; they are horrible, black-faced, with but one foot but very fleet, who cannot be exterminated, are brave men, and cannibals." (Schwanbeck,. p. 66.) [Lassen places one branch of them on the south bank of the Kauśī in Nipāl, and another in Tiperā.—ED. Ind. Ant.]

Zu: Lucius Flavius Arrianus: Indica -- Αρριανός: Ινδικα