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As he continued his march, word came to Alexander that King Porus (a cousin of the Porus who had been defeated) had left his kingdom and fled to the people of Gandara. [2] This annoyed Alexander, and he sent Hephaestion with an army into his country and ordered that the kingdom should be transferred to the friendly Porus.1

He campaigned against the people known as the Adrestians, and got possession of their cities, partly by force and partly by agreement.2 Then he came into the country of the Cathaeans, [3] among whom it was the custom for wives to be cremated together with their husbands. This law had been put into effect there because of a woman who had killed her husband with poison.3 [4] Here he captured their greatest and strongest city after much fighting and burned it. He was in process of besieging another notable city when the Indians came to him with suppliant branches and he spared them further attack.4

Next he undertook a campaign against the cities under the rule of Sopeithes. These are exceedingly well-governed. All the functions of this state are directed toward the acquiring of good repute, and beauty is valued there more than anything. [5] From birth, their children are subjected to a process of selection. Those who are well formed and designed by nature to have a fine appearance and bodily strength are reared, while those who are bodily deficient are destroyed as not worth bringing up. [6] So they plan their marriages without regard to dower or any other financial consideration, but consider only beauty and physical excellence. [7] In consequence, most of the inhabitants of these cities enjoy a higher reputation than those elsewhere.5

Their king Sopeithes was strikingly handsome and tall beyond the rest, being over four cubits in height.6 He came out of his capital city and gave over himself and his kingdom to Alexander, but received it back through the kindness of the conqueror. [8] Sopeithes with great goodwill feasted the whole army bountifully for several days.

1 Arrian. 5.20.6; 21.2-6.

2 Arrian. 5.22.3.

3 Strabo 15.1.30 credits this story to Onesicritus (Jacoby, op. cit. no. 134, F 21).

4 Curtius 9.1.23 is as vague as Diodorus. The city was Sangala (Arrian 5.22-24.5.

5 Curtius 9.1.24-26; Strabo 15.1.30 (where the story is credited to Onesicritus: Jacoby, op. cit. no. 134, F 21).

6 Curtius 9.1.28-30. Tarn supposes that he and Porus would have been about the same height, but that the cubit used in measuring them was different (88.4, note).

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  • Cross-references to this page (3):
  • Cross-references in notes from this page (7):
    • Strabo, Geography, 15.1.30
    • Arrian, Anabasis, 5.20.6
    • Arrian, Anabasis, 5.22
    • Arrian, Anabasis, 5.22.3
    • Curtius, Historiarum Alexandri Magni, 9.1.23
    • Curtius, Historiarum Alexandri Magni, 9.1.24
    • Curtius, Historiarum Alexandri Magni, 9.1.28
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