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He himself embarked with his Friends, and sailed down the river toward the southern Ocean.1 The bulk of his army marched along the bank of the river, under the command of Craterus and Hephaestion.2

When they came to the junction of the Acesines and the Hydaspes,3 he disembarked his soldiers and led them against the people called Sibians. [2] They say that these are the descendants of the soldiers who came with Heracles to the rock of Aornus and were unsuccessful in its siege,4 and then were settled in this spot by him. Alexander encamped beside a very fine city, and the leading notables of the citizens came out to see him. They were brought before the king, renewed their ties of kinship, and undertook to help him enthusiastically in every way, as being his relatives. They also brought him magnificent gifts. [3] Alexander accepted their goodwill, declared their cities to be free, and marched on against the next tribes.

He found that the Agalasseis, as they were called, were drawn up in battle formation.5 Their strength was forty thousand infantry and three thousand cavalry. He engaged them and, conquering, cut down most of them. Those who escaped into the neighbouring cities he besieged, captured, and sold as slaves. [4] Other groups of natives had collected also. He took by storm a large city in which twenty thousand persons had taken refuge. The Indians barricaded the streets and fought stoutly from the houses, and he lost not a few Macedonians in pressing his victory home. [5] This made him angry. He set fire to the city and burned up most of the inhabitants with it.6 The remaining natives to the number of three thousand had fled to the citadel, whence they appealed for mercy with suppliant branches. Alexander pardoned them.

1 It was now the autumn of 326 B.C. (Strabo 15.1.17: "a few days before the setting of the Pleiades").

2 Craterus was on the right bank, Hephaestion on the left (Arrian. 6.2.2).

3 Cp. 95.3, note, for the river names.

4 Cp. chap. 85 above. For the story, which is lacking in Arrian, cp. Curtius 9.4.1-3; Justin 12.9.2.

5 Curtius 9.4.5 (who calls them simply "another nation" but mentions their 40,000 troops); Justin 12.9.2 ("Agensones").

6 Curtius 9.4.6-7, stating that the Indians burned themselves up to avoid subjection.

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