BOOK XV.SUMMARY. The Fifteenth Book contains India and Persia.
CHAPTER I.THE parts of Asia which remain to be described are those without the Taurus, except Cilicia, Pamphylia, and Lycia; extending from India to the Nile, and situated between the Taurus and the exterior Southern Sea.1 Next to Asia is Africa, which I shall describe hereafter. At present I shall begin from India, the first and the largest country situated towards the east.  The reader must receive the account of this country with indulgence, for it lies at a very great distance, and few persons of our nation have seen it; those also who have visited it have seen only some portions of it; the greater part of what they relate is from report, and even what they saw, they became acquainted with during their passage through the country with an army, and in great haste. For this reason they do not agree in their accounts of the same things, although they write about them as if they had examined them with the greatest care and attention. Some of these writers were fellow-soldiers and fellow-travellers, as those who belonged to the army which, under the command of Alexander, conquered Asia; yet they frequently contradict each other. If, then, they differ so much respecting things which they had seen, what must we think of what they relate from report?  Nor do the writers who, many ages since Alexander's time, have given an account of these countries, nor even those who at present make voyages thither, afford any precise information. Apollodorus, for instance, author of the Parthian History, when he mentions the Greeks who occasioned the revolt of Bactriana from the Syrian kings, who were the successors of Seleucus Nicator, says, that when they became powerful they invaded India. He adds no discoveries to what was previously known, and even asserts, in contradiction to others, that the Bactrians had subjected to their dominion a larger portion of India than the Macedonians; for Eucratidas (one of these kings) had a thousand cities subject to his authority. But other writers affirm that the Macedonians conquered nine nations situated between the Hydaspes2 and the Hypanis,3 and obtained possession of five hundred cities, not one of which was less than Cos Meropis,4 and that Alexander, after having conquered all this country, delivered it up to Porus.  Very few of the merchants who now sail from Egypt by the Nile and the Arabian Gulf to India have proceeded as far as the Ganges; and, being ignorant persons, were not qualified to give an account of places they have visited. From one place in India, and from one king, namely, Pandion, or, according to others,5 Porus, presents and embassies were sent to Augustus Caesar. With the ambassadors came the Indian Gymno-Sophist, who committed himself to the flames at Athens,6 like Calanus, who exhibited the same spectacle in the presence of Alexander.  If, then, we set aside these stories, and direct our attention to accounts of the country prior to the expedition of Alexander, we shall find them still more obscure. It is probable that Alexander, elated by his extraordinary good fortune, believed these accounts. According to Nearchus, Alexander was ambitious of conducting his army through Gedrosia,7 when he heard that Semiramis and Cyrus had undertaken expeditions against India (through this country), although both had abandoned the enterprise, the former escaping with twenty, and Cyrus with seven men only. For he considered that it would be a glorious achievement for him to lead a conquering army safe through the same nations and countries where Semiramis and Cyrus had suffered such disasters. Alexander, therefore, believed these stories.  But how can we place any just confidence in the accounts of India derived from such expeditions as those of Cyrus and Semiramis? Megasthenes concurs in this opinion; he advises persons not to credit the ancient histories of India, for, except the expeditions of Hercules, of Bacchus, and the later invasion of Alexander, no army was ever sent out of their country by the Indians, nor did any foreign enemy ever invade or conquer it. Sesostris the Egyptian (he says), and Tearco the Ethiopian, advanced as far as Europe; and Nabocodrosor, who was more celebrated among the Chaldæans than Hercules among the Greeks, penetrated even as far as the Pillars,8 which Tearco also reached; Sesostris conducted an army from Iberia to Thrace and Pontus; Idanthyrsus the Scythian overran Asia as far as Egypt; but not one of these persons proceeded as far as India, and Semiramis died before her intended enterprise was undertaken. The Persians had sent for the Hydraces9 from India, a body of mercenary troops; but they did not lead an army into that country, and only approached it when Cyrus was marching against the Massagetæ.  Megasthenes, and a few others, think the stories respecting Hercules and Bacchus to be credible, but the majority of writers, among whom is Eratosthenes, regard them as incredible and fabulous, like the Grecian stories. Dionysus, in the Bacchæ of Euripides, makes this boasting speech: “But now from Lydia's field,
With gold abounding, from the Phrygian realm
And that of Persia scorch'd by torrid suns,
Pressing through Bactrian gates, the frozen land
Of Media, and through Araby the Blest,
With Asia's wide extended continent—
” In Sophocles, also, a person is introduced speaking the praises of Nysa,10 as being a mountain sacred to Bacchus: “'whence I beheld the famed Nysa, the resort of the Bacchanalian bands, which the horned Iacchus makes his most pleasant and beloved retreat, where no bird's clang is heard,"” and so on. [He is called also Merotraphes.]11 Homer also mentions Lycurgus the Edonian in these words, “‘who formerly pursued the nurses of the infuriate Bacchus along the sacred mountain Nysa.’12” So much respecting Bacchus. But with regard to Hercules, some persons say, that he penetrated to the opposite extremities on the west only, while others maintain that he also advanced to those of the east.  From such stories as those related above, they gave the name of Nysæans to some imaginary nation, and called their city Nysa, founded by Bacchus; a mountain above the city they called Meron, alleging as a reason for imposing these names that the ivy and vine grow there, although the latter does not perfect its fruit; for the bunches of grapes, in consequence of excessive rains, drop off before they arrive at maturity. They say, also, that the Sydracæ (Oxydracæ) are descendants of Bacchus, because the vine grows in their country, and because their kings display great pomp in setting out on their warlike expeditions, after the Bacchie manner; whenever they appear in public, it is with beating of drums, and are dressed in flowered robes, which is the common custom among the other Indians. 13 When Alexander took, on the first assault, Aornos,14 a fortress on a rock, the foot of which is washed by the Indus near its source, his flatterers exaggerated this act, and said that Hercules thrice assailed this rock and was thrice repulsed. They pretended that the Sibæ15 were descended from the people who accompanied Hercules in his expedition, and that they retained badges of their descent; that they wore skins like Hercules, and carried clubs, and branded with the mark of a club their oxen and mules. They confirm this fable with stories about Caucasus16 and Prometheus, for they transferred hither from Pontus these tales, on the slight pretence that they had seen a sacred cave among the Paropamisadæ.17 This they alleged was the prison of Prometheus, that Hercules came hither to release Prometheus, and that this mountain was the Caucasus, to which the Greeks represent Prometheus as having been bound.  That these are the inventions of the flatterers of Alexander is evident, first, because the writers do not agree with one another, some of whom speak of these things; others make no mention of them whatever. For it is not probable, that actions so illustrious, and calculated to foster pride and vanity, should be unknown, or if known, that they should not be thought worthy of record, especially by writers of the greatest credit. Besides, the intervening people, through whose country the armies of Bacchus and Hercules must have marched in their way to India, do not exhibit any proofs of their passage through the country. The kind of dress, too, of Hercules is much more recent than the memorials of Troy, an invention of those who composed the Heracleia (or exploits of Hercules,) whether it were Peisander or some one else who composed it. But the ancient wooden statues do not represent Hercules in that attire.  Under such circumstances, therefore, we must receive everything that approaches nearest to probability. I have already discussed this subject to the extent of my ability at the beginning of this work;18 I shall now assume those opinions as clearly proved, and shall add whatever may seem to be required for the sake of perspicuity. It appeared from the former discussion, that in the summary given by Eratosthenes, in the third book of his Geography, is contained the most credible account of the country considered as India at the time of its invasion by Alexander. At that period the Indus was the boundary of' India and of Ariana,19 situated towards the west, and in the possession of the Persians, for afterwards the Indians occupied a larger portion of Ariana, which they had received from the Macedonians. The account of Eratosthenes is as follows:—  The boundaries of India, on the north, from Ariana to the Eastern Sea,20 are the extremities of Taurus, to the several parts of which the natives give, besides others, the names of Paropamisus, Emodus, and Imaus,21 but the Macedonians call them Caucasus; on the west, the river Indus; the southern and eastern sides, which are much larger than the others, project towards the Atlantic Sea, and the figure of the country becomes rhomboïdal,22 each of the greater sides exceeding the opposite by 3000 stadia; and this is the extent of the extremity, common to the eastern and southern coast, and which projects beyond the rest of that coast equally on the east and south. The western side, from the Caucasian mountains to the Southern Sea, is estimated at 13,000 stadia, along the river Indus to its mouth; wherefore the eastern side opposite, with the addition of the 3000 stadia of the promontory, will be 16,000 stadia in extent. This is both the smallest and greatest breadth of India.23 The length is reckoned from west to east. The part of this extending (from the Indus) as far as Palibothra24 we may describe more confidently; for it has been measured by Schœni,25 and is a royal road of 10,000 stadia. The extent of the parts beyond depends upon conjecture derived from the ascent of vessels from the sea by the Ganges to Palibothra. This may be estimated at 6000 stadia. The whole, on the shortest computation, will amount to 16,000 stadia, according to Eratosthenes, who says that he took it from the register of the Stathmi (or the several stages from place to place),26 which was received as authentic, and Megasthenes agrees with him. But Patrocles says, that the sum of the whole is less by 1000 stadia. If again we add to this distance the extent of the extremity which advances far towards the east, the greatest length of India will be 3000 stadia; this length is reckoned from the mouths of the river Indus along the coast, in a line with the mouths to the abovementioned extremity and its eastern limits. Here the people called Coniaci27 live.  From what has been said, we may perceive how the opinions of the other writers differ from one another. Ctesias says that India is not less than the rest of Asia; Onesicritus regards it as the third part of the habitable world; Nearchus says that it is a march of four months through the plain only. The computations of Megasthenes and Deïmachus are more moderate, for they estimate the distance from the Southern Sea to Caucasus28 at above 20,000 stadia. Deïmachus says that in some places it exceeds 30,000 stadia. We have replied to these writers in the early part of this work.29 At present it is sufficient to say that these opinions are in favour of the writers who, in describing India, solicit indulgence if they do not advance anything with confidence.  The whole of India is watered by rivers, some of which empty themselves into the two largest, the Indus and the Ganges; others discharge themselves into the sea by their own mouths. But all of them have their sources in the Caucasus. At their commencement their course is towards the south; some of them continue to flow in the same direction, particularly those which unite with the Indus; others turn to the east, as the Ganges. This, the largest of the Indian rivers, descends from the mountainous country, and when it reaches the plains, turns to the east, then flowing past Palibothra, a very large city, proceeds onwards to the sea in that quarter, and discharges its waters by a single mouth. The Indus falls into the Southern Sea, and empties itself by two mouths, encompassing the country called Patalene, which resembles the Delta of Egypt. By the exhalation of vapours from such vast rivers, and by the Etesian winds, India, as Eratosthenes affirms, is watered by summer rains, and the plains are overflowed. During the rainy season flax,30 millet, sesamum, rice, and bosmorum31 are sowed; and in the winter season, wheat, barley, pulse, and other esculent fruits of the earth with which we are not acquainted. Nearly the same animals are bred in India as in Ethiopia and Egypt, and the rivers of India produce all the animals of those countries, except the hippopotamus, although Onesicritus asserts that even this animal is found in them. The inhabitants of the south resemble the Ethiopians in colour, but their countenances and hair are like those of other people. Their hair does not curl, on account of the humidity of the atmosphere. The inhabitants of the north resemble the Egyptians.  Taprobane32 is said to be an island, lying out at sea, distant from the most southerly parts of India, which are opposite the Coniaci, seven days'33 sail towards the south. Its length is about 8000 stadia in the direction of Ethiopia.34 It produces elephants. This is the account of Eratosthenes. The accounts of other writers, in addition to this, whenever they convey exact information, will contribute to form the description35 (of India).  Onesicritus, for example, says of Taprobane, that its magnitude is 5000 stadia, without distinction of length or breadth, and that it is distant twenty days' sail from the continent, but that it was a voyage performed with difficulty and danger by vessels with sails ill constructed, and built with prows at each end, but without holds and keels;36 that there are other islands between this and India, but that Taprobane lies farthest to the south; that there are found in the sea, about the island, animals of the cetaceous kind, in form like oxen, horses, and other land-animals.  Nearchus, speaking of the accretion of earth form- ed by the rivers, adduces these instances. The plains of Hermes, Caÿster, Mæander, and Caïcus have these names, because they have been formed by the soil which has been carried over the plains by the rivers; or rather they were produced by the fine and soft soil brought down from the mountains; whence the plains are, as it were, the offspring of the rivers, and it is rightly said, that the plains belong to the rivers. What is said by Herodotus37 of the Nile, and of the land about it, may be applied to this country, namely, that it is the gift of the Nile. Hence Nearchus thinks that the Nile had properly the synonym of Egypt.  Aristobulus, however, says, that rain and snow fall only on the mountains and the country immediately below them, and that the plains experience neither one nor the other, but are overflowed only by the rise of the waters of the rivers; that the mountains are covered with snow in the winter; that the rains set in at the commencement of spring, and continue to increase; that at the time of the blowing of the Etesian winds they pour down impetuously, without intermission, night and day till the rising of Arcturus,38 and that the rivers, filled by the melting of the snow and by the rains, irrigate the flat grounds. These things, he says, were observed by himself and by others on their journey into India from the Paropamisadæ. This was after the setting of the Pleiades,39 and during their stay in the mountainous country in the territory of the Hypasii, and in that of Assacanus during the winter. At the beginning of spring they descended into the plains to a large city called Taxila,40 thence they proceeded to the Hydaspes and the country of Porus. During the winter they saw no rain, but only snow. The first rain which fell was at Taxila. After their descent to the Hydaspes and the conquest of Porus, their progress was eastwards to the Hypanis, and thence again to the Hydaspes. At this time it rained continually, and particularly during the blowing of the Etesian winds, but at the rising of Arcturus the rains ceased. They remained at the Hydaspes while the ships were constructing, and began their voyage not many days before the setting of the Pleiades, and were occupied during the whole autumn, winter, and the ensuing spring and summer, in sailing down the river, and arrived at Patalene41 about the rising of the Dog-Star;42 during the passage down the river, which lasted ten months, they did not experience rain at any place, not even when the Etesian winds were at their height, when the rivers were full and the plains overflowed; the sea could not be navigated on account of the blowing of contrary winds, but no land breezes succeeded.  Nearchus gives the same account, but does not agree with Aristobulus respecting the rains in summer, but says that the plains are watered by rain in the summer, and that they are without rain in winter. Both writers, however, speak of the rise of the rivers. Nearchus says, that the men encamped upon the Acesines43 were obliged to change their situation for another more elevated, and that this was at the time of the rise of the river, and of the summer solstice. Aristobulus gives even the measure of the height to which the river rises, namely, forty cubits, of which twenty would fill the channel beyond its previous depth up to the margin, and the other twenty are the measure of the water when it overflows the plains. They agree also in saying that the cities placed upon mounds become islands, as in Egypt and Ethiopia, and that the inundation ceases after the rising of Arcturus, when the waters recede. They add, that the ground when half dried is sowed, after having been prepared by the commonest labourer, yet the plant comes to perfection, and the produce is good. The rice, according to Aristobulus, stands in water in an enclosure. It is sowed in beds. The plant is four cubits in height, with many ears, and yields a large produce. The harvest is about the time of the setting of the Pleiades, and the grain is beaten out like barley. It grows in Bactriana, Babylonia, Susis, and in the Lower Syria. Megillus says that it is sowed before the rains, but does not require irrigation or transplantation, being supplied with water from tanks. The bosmorum, according to Onesicritus, is a kind of corn smaller than wheat, and grows in places situated be- tween rivers. After it is threshed out, it is roasted; the threshers being previously bound by an oath not to carry it away unroasted from the threshing floor; a precaution to prevent the exportation of the seed.  Aristobulus, when comparing the circumstances in which this country resembles, and those in which it differs from, Egypt and Ethiopia, and observing that the swelling of the Nile is occasioned by rains in the south, and of the Indian rivers by rains from the north, inquires why the intermediate places have no rain; for it does not rain in the Thebais as far as Syene, nor at the places near Meroe, nor in the parts of India from Patalene to the Hydaspes. But the country situated above these parts,44 in which both rain and snow occur, is cultivated by the husbandman in the same manner as the country without India; for the rain and the snow supply the ground with moisture. It is probable from what he relates that the country is subject to shocks of earthquakes, that the ground is loose and hollow by excess of moisture, and easily splits into fissures, whence even the course of rivers is altered. He says that when he was despatched upon some business into the country, he saw a tract of land deserted, which contained more than a thousand cities with their dependent villages; the Indus, having left its proper channel, was diverted into another, on the left hand, much deeper, and precipitated itself into it like a cataract, so that it no longer watered the country by the (usual) inundation on the right hand, from which it had receded, and this was elevated above the level, not only of the new channel of the river, but above that of the (new) inundation.  The account of Onesicritus confirms the facts of the rising of the rivers and of the absence of land breezes. He says that the sea-shore is swampy, particularly near the mouths of rivers, on account of the mud, tides, and the force of the winds blowing from the sea. Megasthenes also indicates the fertility of India by the circumstance of the soil producing fruits and grain twice a year. Eratosthenes relates the same facts, for he speaks of a winter and a summer sowing, and of the rain at the same seasons. For there is no year, according to him, which is without rain at both those periods, whence ensues great abundance, the ground never failing to bear crops. An abundance of fruit is produced by trees; and the roots of plants, particularly of large reeds, possess a sweetness, which they have by nature and by coction; for the water, both from rains and rivers, is warmed by the sun's rays. The meaning of Eratosthenes seems to be this, that what among other nations is called the ripening of fruits and juices, is called among these coction, and which contributes as much to produce an agreeable flavour as the coction by fire. To this is attributed the flexibility of the branches of trees, from which wheels of carriages are made, and to the same cause is imputed the growth upon some trees of wool.45 Nearchus says that their fine clothes were made of this wool, and that the Macedonians used it for mattresses and the stuffing of saddles. The Serica46 also are of a similar kind, and are made of dry byssus, which is obtained from some sort of bark of plants. He says that reeds47 yield honey, although there are no bees, and that there is a tree from the fruit of which honey is procured, but that the fruit eaten fresh causes intoxication.  India produces many singular trees. There is one whose branches incline downwards, and whose leaves are not less in size than a shield. Onesicritus, describing minutely the country of Musicanus, which he says is the most southerly part48 of India, relates, that there are some large trees the branches of which extend to the length even of twelve cubits. They then grow downwards, as though bent (by force), till they touch the earth, where they penetrate and take root like layers. They next shoot upwards and form a trunk. They again grow as we have described, bending downwards, and implanting one layer after another, and in the above order, so that one tree forms a long shady roof, like a tent, supported by many pillars. In speaking of the size of the trees, he says their trunks could scarcely be clasped by five men.49 Aristobulus also, where he mentions the Acesines, and its confluence with the Hyarotis, speaks of trees with their boughs bent downwards and of a size that fifty, but, accord- ing to Onesicritus, four hundred horsemen might take shelter at mid-day beneath the shade of a single tree. Aristobulus mentions another tree, not large, bearing great pods, like the bean, ten fingers in length, full of honey,50 and says that those who eat it do not easily escape with life. But the accounts of all these writers about the size of the trees have been exceeded by those who assert that there has been seen, beyond the Hyarotis,51 a tree which casts a shade at noon of five stadia. Aristobulus says of the wool-bearing trees, that the flower pod contains a kernel, which is taken out, and the remainder is combed like wool.  In the country of Musicanus there grows, he says, spontaneously grain resembling wheat, and a vine that produces wine, whereas other authors affirm that there is no wine in India. Hence, according to Anacharsis, they had no pipes, nor any musical instruments, except cymbals, drums, and crotala, which were used by jugglers. Both Aristobulus and other writers relate that India produces many medicinal plants and roots, both of a salutary and noxious quality, and plants yielding a variety of colours. He adds, that, by a law, any person discovering a deadly substance is punished with death unless he also discover an antidote; in case he discovers an antidote, he is rewarded by the king. Southern India, like Arabia and Ethiopia, produces cinnamon, nard, and other aromatics. It resembles these countries as regards the effect of the sun's rays, but it surpasses them in having a copious supply of water, whence the atmosphere is humid, and on this account more conducive to fertility and fecundity; and this applies to the earth and to the water, hence those animals which inhabit both one and the other are of a larger size than are found in other countries. The Nile contributes to fecundity more than other rivers, and among other animals of large bulk, produces the amphibious kind. The Egyptian women also sometimes have four children at a birth, and Aristotle says that one woman had seven children at one birth.52 He calls the Nile most fecundating and nutritive, on account of the moderate coction effected by the sun's rays, which leave behind the nutritious part of substances, and evaporate that which is superfluous.  It is perhaps owing to this cause that the water of the Nile boils, as he says, with one half of the heat which other water requires. In proportion however, he says, as the water of the Nile traverses in a straight line, a long and narrow tract of country, passing through a variety of climates and of atmosphere, while the Indian rivers are poured forth into wider and more extensive plains, their course being delayed a long time in the same climate, in the same degree the waters of India are more nutritious than those of the Nile; they produce larger animals of the cetaceous kind, and in greater number (than the Nile), and the water which descends from the clouds has already undergone the process of coction.  This would not be admitted by the followers of Aristobulus, who say that the plains are not watered by rain. Onesicritus, however, thinks that rain-water is the cause of the peculiar properties of animals, and alleges in proof, that the colour of foreign herds which drink of it is changed to that of the native animals. This is a just remark; but it is not proper to attribute to the power of the water merely the cause of the black complexion and the woolly hair of the Ethiopians, and yet he censures Theodectes, who refers these peculiarities to the effects of the sun, in these words, “Near these approaching with his radiant car,
The sun their skins with dusky tint doth dye,
And sooty hue; and with unvarying forms
Of fire, crisps their tufted hair.
” There may be reason in this, for he says that the sun does not approach nearer to the Ethiopians than to other nations, but shines more perpendicularly, and that on this account the heat is greater; indeed, it cannot be correctly said that the sun approaches near to the Ethiopians, for he is at an equal distance from all nations. Nor is the heat the cause of the black complexion, particularly of children in the womb, who are out of the reach of the sun. Their opinion is to be preferred, who attribute these effects to the sun and to intense solar heat, causing a great deficiency of moisture on the sur- face of the skin. Hence we say it is that the Indians have not woolly hair, nor is their colour so intensely53 dark, because they live in a humid atmosphere. With respect to children in the womb, they resemble their parents (in colour) according to a seminal disposition and constitution, on the same principle that hereditary diseases, and other likenesses, are explained. The equal distance of the sun from all nations (according to Onesicritus) is an argument addressed to the senses, and not to reason. But it is not an argument addressed to the senses generally, but in the meaning that the earth bears the proportion of a point to the sun, for we may understand such a meaning of an argument addressed to the senses, by which we estimate heat to be more or less, as it is near or at a distance, in which cases it is not the same; and in this meaning, not in that of Onesicritus, the sun is said to be near the Ethiopians.  It is admitted by those who maintain the resemblance of India to Egypt and Ethiopia, that the plains which are not overflowed do not produce anything for want of water. Nearchus says, that the old question respecting the rise of the Nile is answered by the case of the Indian rivers, namely, that it is the effect of summer rains; when Alexander saw crocodiles in the Hydaspes, and Egyptian beans in the Acesines, he thought that he had discovered the sources of the Nile, and was about to equip a fleet with the intention of sailing by this river to Egypt; but he found out shortly after- wards that his design could not be accomplished, “‘for in midway were vast rivers, fearful waters, and first the ocean,’54” into which all the Indian rivers discharge themselves; then Ariana, the Persian and Arabian Gulfs, all Arabia and Troglodytica. The above is what has been said on the subject of winds and rains, the rising of rivers, and the inundation of plains.  We must describe these rivers in detail, with the particulars, which are useful for the purposes of geography, and which have been handed down to us by historians. Besides this, rivers, being a kind of physical boundaries of the size and figures of countries, are of the greatest use in every part of the present work. But the Nile and the rivers in India have a superiority above the rest, because the country could not be inhabited without them. By means of the rivers it is open to navigation and capable of cultivation, when otherwise it would not be accessible, nor could it be occupied by inhabitants. We shall speak of the rivers deserving notice, which flow into the Indus, and of the countries which they traverse; with regard to the rest we know some particulars, but are ignorant of more. Alexander, who discovered the greatest portion of this country, first of all resolved it to be more expedient to pursue and destroy those who had treacherously killed Darius, and were meditating the revolt of Bactriana. He approached India therefore through Ariana, which he left on the right hand, and crossed the Paropamisus to the northern parts, and to Bactriana.55 Having conquered all the country subject to the Persians, and many other places besides, he then entertained the desire of possessing India, of which he had received many, although indistinct, accounts. He therefore returned, crossing over the same mountains by other and shorter roads, having India on the left hand; he then immediately turned towards it, and towards its western boundaries and the rivers Cophes and Choaspes.56 The latter river empties itself into the Cophes,57 near Plemyrium, after passing by another city Gorys, in its course through Bandobene and Gandaritis.58 He was informed that the mountainous and northern parts were the most habitable and fertile, but that the southern part was either without water, or liable to be overflowed by rivers at one time, or entirely burnt up at another, more fit to be the haunts of wild beasts than the dwellings of men. He resolved therefore to get possession of that part of India first which had been well spoken of, considering at the same time that the rivers which it was necessary to pass, and which flowed transversely through the country which he intended to attack, would be crossed with more facility near their sources. He heard also that many of the rivers united and formed one stream, and that this more frequently occurred the farther they advanced into the country, so that from want of boats it would be more difficult to traverse. Being apprehensive of this obstruction, he crossed the Cophes, and conquered the whole of the mountainous country situated towards the east.  Next to the Cophes was the Indus, then the Hydaspes, the Acesines, the Hyarotis, and last, the Hypanis. He was prevented from proceeding farther, partly from regard to some oracles, and partly compelled by his army, which was exhausted by toil and fatigue, but whose principal distress arose from their constant exposure to rain. Hence we became acquainted with the eastern parts of India on this side the Hypanis, and whatever parts besides which have been described by those who, after Alexander, advanced beyond the Hypanis to the Ganges and Palibothra. After the river Cophes, follows the Indus. The country lying between these two rivers is occupied by Astaceni, Masiani, Nysæi, and Hypasii.59 Next is the territory of Assacanus, where is the city Masoga (Massaga?), the royal residence of the country. Near the Indus is another city, Peucolaïtis.60 At this place a bridge which was constructed afforded a passage for the army.  Between the Indus and the Hydaspes is Taxila, a large city, and governed by good laws. The neighbouring country is crowded with inhabitants and very fertile, and here unites with the plains. The people and their king Taxiles received Alexander with kindness, and obtained in return more presents than they had offered to Alexander; so that the Macedonians became jealous, and observed, that it seemed as if Alexander had found none on whom he could confer favours before he passed the Indus. Some writers say that this country is larger than Egypt. Above this country among the mountains is the territory of Abisarus,61 who, as the ambassadors that came from him reported, kept two serpents, one of 80, and the other, according to Onesicritus, of 140 cubits in length. This writer may as well be called the master fabulist as the master pilot of Alexander. For all those who accompanied Alexander preferred the marvellous to the true, but this writer seems to have surpassed all in his description of prodigies. Some things, however, he relates which are probable and worthy of record, and will not be passed over in silence even by one who does not believe their correctness. Other writers also mention the hunting of serpents in the Emodi mountains,62 and the keeping and feeding of them in caves.  Between the Hydaspes and Acesines is the country of Porus,63 an extensive and fertile district, containing nearly three hundred cities. Here also is the forest in the neighbourhood of the Emodi mountains in which Alexander cut down a large quantity of fir, pine, cedar, and a variety of other trees fit for ship-building, and brought the timber down the Hydaspes. With this he constructed a fleet on the Hydaspes, near the cities, which he built on each side of the river where he had crossed it and conquered Porus. One of these cities he called Bucephalia,64 from the horse Bucephalus, which was killed in the battle with Porus. The name Bucephalus65 was given to it from the breadth of its forehead. He was an excellent war-horse, and Alexander constantly rode him in battle. The other city he called Nicæa from the victory, νικη (Nice), which he had obtained. In the forest before mentioned it is said there is a vast number of monkeys,66 and as large as they are numerous. On one occasion the Macedonians, seeing a body of them standing in array opposite to them, on some bare eminences, (for this animal is not less intelligent than the elephant,) and presenting the appearance of an army, prepared to attack them as real enemies, but being informed by Taxiles, who was then with the king, of the real fact, they desisted. The chase of this animal is conducted in two different manners. It is an imitative creature, and takes refuge up among the trees. The hunters, when they perceive a monkey seated on a tree, place in sight a basin containing water, with which they wash their own eyes; then, instead of water, they put a basin of bird-lime, go away, and lie in wait at a distance. The animal leaps down, and besmears itself with the bird-lime, and when it winks, the eyelids are fastened together; the hunters then come upon it, and take it. The other method of capturing them is as follows: the hunters dress themselves in bags like trowsers, and go away, leaving behind them others which are downy, with the inside smeared over with bird-lime. The monkeys put them on, and are easily taken.  Some writers place Cathaia67 and the country of Sopeithes, one of the nomarchs, in the tract between the rivers (Hydaspes and Acesines); some, on the other side of the Acesines and of the Hyarotis, on the confines of the territory of the other Porus, the nephew of Porus who was taken prisoner by Alexander, and call the country subject to him Gandaris. A very singular usage is related of the high estimation in which the inhabitants of Cathaia hold the quality of beauty, which they extend to horses and dogs. According to Onesicritus, they elect the handsomest person as king. The child (selected), two months after birth, undergoes a public inspection, and is examined. They determine whether it has the amount of beauty required by law, and whether it is worthy to be permitted to live. The presiding magistrate then pronounces whether it is to be allowed to live, or whether it is to be put to death. They dye their heads with various and the most florid colours, for the purpose of improving their appearance. This custom prevails elsewhere among many of the Indians, who pay great attention to their hair and dress; and the country produces colours of great beauty. In other respects the people are frugal, but are fond of ornament. A peculiar custom is related of the Cathæi. The bride and the husband are respectively the choice of each other, and the wives burn themselves with their deceased husbands. The reason assigned for this practice is, that the women sometimes fell in love with young men, and deserted or poisoned their husbands. This law was therefore established in order to check the practice of administering poison; but neither the existence nor the origin of the law are probable facts. It is said, that in the territory of Sopeithes there is a mountain composed of fossile salt, sufficient for the whole of India. Valuable mines also both of gold and silver are situated, it is said, not far off among other mountains, according to the testimony of Gorgus, the miner (of Alexander). The Indians, unacquainted with mining and smelting, are ignorant of their own wealth, and therefore traffic with greater simplicity.  The dogs in the territory of Sopeithes are said to possess remarkable courage: Alexander received from Sopeithes a present of one hundred and fifty of them. To prove them, two were set at a lion; when these were mastered, two others were set on; when the battle became equal, Sopeithes ordered a man to seize one of the dogs by the leg, and to drag him away; or to cut off his leg, if he still held on. Alexander at first refused his consent to the dog's leg being cut off, as he wished to save the dog. But on Sopeithes saying, ‘I will give you four in the place of it,’ Alexander consented; and he saw the dog permit his leg to be cut off by a slow incision, rather than loose his hold.  The direction of the march, as far as the Hydaspes, was for the most part towards the south. After that, to the Hypanis, it was more towards the east. The whole of it, however, was much nearer to the country lying at the foot of the mountains than to the plains. Alexander therefore, when he returned from the Hypanis to the Hydaspes and the station of his vessels, prepared his fleet, and set sail on the Hydaspes. All the rivers which have been mentioned (the last of which is the Hypanis) unite in one, the Indus. It is said that there are altogether fifteen68 considerable rivers which flow into the Indus. After the Indus has been filled by all these rivers, so as to be enlarged in some places to the extent of a hundred stadia, according to writers who exaggerate, or, according to a more moderate estimate, to fifty stadia at the utmost, and at the least to seven, [and who speak of many nations and cities about this river,]69 it discharges itself by two mouths into the southern sea, and forms the island called Patalene. Alexander's intention was to relinquish the march towards the parts situated to the east, first, because he was prevented from crossing the Hypanis; next, because he learnt by experience the falsehood of the reports previously received, to the effect that the plains were burnt up with fire, and more fit for the haunts of wild beasts than for the habitation of man. He therefore set out in this direction, relinquishing the other track; so that these parts became better known than the other.  The territory lying between the Hypanis and the Hydaspes is said to contain nine nations and five thousand cities, not less in size than Cos Meropis;70 but the number seems to be exaggerated. We have already mentioned nearly all the nations deserving of notice, which inhabit the country situated between the Indus and the Hydaspes. Below, and next in order, are the people called Sibæ, whom we formerly mentioned,71 and the great nations, the Malli72 and Sydracæ (Oxydracæ). It was among the Malli that Alex- ander was in danger of losing his life, from a wound he received at the capture of a small city. The Sydracæ, we have said, are fabled to be allied to Bacchus. Near Patalene is placed the country of Musicanus, that of Sabus,73 whose capital is Sindomana, that of Porticanus, and of other princes who inhabited the country on the banks of the Indus. They were all conquered by Alexander; last of all he made himself master of Patalene, which is formed by the two branches of the Indus. Aristobulus says that these two branches are distant 1000 stadia from each other. Nearchus adds 800 stadia more to this number. Onesicritus reckons each side of the included island, which is of a triangular shape, at 2000 stadia; and the breadth of the river, where it is separated into two mouths, at about 200 stadia.74 He calls the island Delta, and says that it is as large as the Delta of Egypt; but this is a mistake. For the Egyptian Delta is said to have a base of 1300 stadia, and each of the sides to be less than the base. In Patalene is Patala, a considerable city, from which the island has its name.  Onesicritus says, that the greatest part of the coast in this quarter abounds with swamps, particularly at the mouths of the river, which is owing to the mud, the tides, and the want of land breezes; for these parts are chiefly under the influence of winds blowing from the sea. He expatiates also in praise of the country of Musicanus, and relates of the inhabitants what is common to other Indian tribes, that they are long-lived, and that life is protracted even to the age of 130 years, (the Seres,75 however, are said by some writers to be still longer lived,) that they are temperate in their habits and healthy; although the country produces everything in abundance. The following are their peculiarities : to have a kind of Lacedæmonian common meal, where they eat in public. Their food consists of what is taken in the chase. They make no use of gold nor silver, although they have mines of these metals. Instead of slaves, they employed youths in the flower of their age, as the Cretans employ the Aphamiotæ, and the Lacedæmonians the Helots. They study no science with attention but that of medicine; for they consider the excessive pursuit of some arts, as that of war, and the like, to be committing evil. There is no process at law but against murder and outrage, for it is not in a person's own power to escape either one or the other; but as contracts are in the power of each individual, he must endure the wrong, if good faith is violated by another; for a man should be cautious whom he trusts, and not disturb the city with constant disputes in courts of justice. Such are the accounts of the persons who accompanied Alexander in his expedition.  A letter of Craterus to his mother Aristopatra is circulated, which contains many other singular circumstances, and differs from every other writer, particularly in saying that Alexander advanced as far as the Ganges. Craterus says, that he himself saw the river, and the whales76 which it produces, and [his account] of its magnitude, breadth, and depth, far exceeds, rather than approximates, probability. For that the Ganges is the largest of known rivers in the three continents, it is generally agreed; next to this is the Indus; and, thirdly, the Danube; and, fourthly, the Nile. But different authors differ in their account of it, some assigning 30, others 3 stadia, as the least breadth. But Megasthenes says that its ordinary width is 100 stadia,77 and its least depth twenty orguiæ.78  At the confluence of the Ganges and of another river (the Erannoboas79) is situated (the city) Palibothra, in length 80, and in breadth 15 stadia. It is in the shape of a parallelogram, surrounded by a wooden wall pierced with openings through which arrows may be discharged. In front is a ditch, which serves the purpose of defence and of a sewer for the city. The people in whose country the city is situated are the most distinguished of all the tribes, and are called Prasii. The king, besides his family name, has the surname of Palibothrus, as the king to whom Megasthenes was sent on an embassy had the name of Sandrocottus.80 Such also is the custom among the Parthians; for all have the name Arsacæ,81 although each has his peculiar name of Orodes, Phraates, or some other appellation.  All the country on the other side of the Hypanis is allowed to be very fertile, but we have no accurate knowledge of it. Either through ignorance or from its remote situation, everything relative to it is exaggerated or partakes of the wonderful. As, for example, the stories of myrmeces (or ants),82 which dig up gold; of animals and men with peculiar shapes, and possessing extraordinary faculties; of the longevity of the Seres, whose lives exceed the age of two hundred years. They speak also of an aristocratical form of government, consisting of five hundred counsellors, each of whom furnishes the state with an elephant. According to Megasthenes, the largest tigers are found among the Prasii, almost twice the size of lions, and of such strength that a tame one led by four persons seized a mule by its hinder leg, overpowered it, and dragged it to him. The monkeys are larger than the largest dogs; they are of a white colour, except the face, which is black. The contrary is observed in other places. Their tails are more than two cubits in length. They are very tame, and not of a mischievous disposition. They neither attack people, nor steal. Stones are found there of the colour of frankincense, and sweeter than figs or honey. In some places there are serpents of two cubits in length, with membraneous wings like bats. They fly at night, and let fall drops of urine or sweat, which occasions the skin of per- sons who are not on their guard to putrefy. There are also winged scorpions of great size. Ebony grows there. There are also dogs of great courage, which do not loose their hold till water is poured into their nostrils: some of them destroy their sight, and the eyes of others even fall out, by the eagerness of their bite. Both a lion and a bull were held fast by one of these dogs. The bull was caught by the muzzle, and died before the dog could be loosened.  In the mountainous country is a river, the Silas, on the surface of which nothing will float. Democritus, who had travelled over a large part of Asia, disbelieves this, and Aristotle does not credit it, although atmospheres exist so rare, that no bird can sustain its flight in them. Vapours also, which ascend (from some substances), attract and absorb, as it were, whatever is flying over them; as amber attracts straw, and the magnet iron, and perhaps there may be in water a similar power. As these matters belong to physics and to the question of floating bodies, these must be referred to them. At present we must proceed to what follows, and to the subjects more nearly relating to geography.  It is said that the Indians are divided into seven castes. The first in rank, but the smallest in number, are the philosophers. Persons who intend to offer sacrifice, or to perform any sacred rite, have the services of these persons on their private account; but the kings employ them in a public capacity at the time of the Great Assembly, as it is called, where at the beginning of the new year all the philosophers repair to the king at the gate, and anything useful which they have committed to writing, or observed, tending to improve the productions of the earth or animals, or of advantage to the government of the state, is then publicly declared. Whoever has been detected in giving false information thrice is enjoined silence by law during the rest of his life; but he who has made correct observations is exempted from all contributions and tribute.  The second caste is that of husbandmen, who constitute- the majority of natives, and are a most mild and gentle people, as they are exempted from military service, and cultivate their land free from alarm; they do not resort to cities, either to transact private business, or take part in public tumults It therefore frequently happens that at the same time, and in the same part of the country, one body of men are in battle array, and engaged in contests with the enemy, while others are ploughing or digging in security, having these soldiers to protect them. The whole of the territory belongs to the king. They cultivate it on the terms of receiving as wages a fourth part of the produce.  The third caste consists of shepherds and hunters, who alone are permitted to hunt, to breed cattle, to sell and to let out for hire beasts of burden. In return for freeing the country from wild beasts and birds, which infest sown fields, they receive an allowance of corn from the king. They lead a wandering life, and dwell in tents. No private person is allowed to keep a horse or an elephant. The possession of either one or the other is a royal privilege, and persons are appointed to take care of them.  The manner of hunting the elephant is as follows: Round a bare spot a ditch is dug, of about four or five stadia in extent, and at the place of entrance a very narrow bridge is constructed. Into the enclosure three or four of the tamest female elephants are driven. The men themselves lie in wait under cover of concealed huts. The wild elephants do not approach the females by day, but at night they enter the enclosure one by one; when they have passed the entrance, the men secretly close it. They then introduce the strongest of the tame combatants, the drivers of which engage with the wild animals, and also wear them out by famine; when the latter are exhausted by fatigue, the boldest of the drivers gets down unobserved, and creeps under the belly of his own elephant. From this position he creeps beneath the belly of the wild elephant, and ties his legs together; when this is done, a signal is given to the tame elephants to beat those which are tied by the legs, till they fall to the ground. After they have fallen down, they fasten the wild and tame elephants together by the neck with thongs of raw cow-hide, and, in order that they may not be able to shake off those who are attempting to mount them, cuts are made round the neck, and thongs of leather are put into these incisions, so that they submit to their bonds through pain, and so remain quiet. Among the ele- phants which are taken, those are rejected which are too old or too young for service; the remainder are led away to the stables. They tie their feet one to another, and their necks to a pillar firmly fastened in the ground, and tame them by hunger. They recruit their strength afterwards with green cane and grass. They then teach them to obey; some by words; others they pacify by tunes, accompanied with the beating of a drum. Few are difficult to be tamed; for they are naturally of a mild and gentle disposition, so as to approximate to the character of a rational animal. Some have taken up their drivers, who have fallen on the ground lifeless, and carried them safe out of battle. Others have fought, and protected their drivers, who have crept between their fore-legs. If they have killed any of their feeders or masters in anger, they feel their loss so much that they refuse their food through grief, and sometimes die of hunger.  They copulate like horses, and produce young chiefly in the spring. It is the season for the male, when he is in heat and is ferocious. At this period he discharges some fatty matter through an opening in the temples. It is the season also for the females, when this same passage is open, Eighteen months is the longest, and sixteen the shortest period that they go with young. The dam suckles her young six years, Many of them live as long as men who attain to the greatest longevity, some even to the protracted age of two hundred years. They are subject to many diseases, which are difficult to be cured. A remedy for diseases of the eye is to bathe them with cow's milk. For complaints in general, they drink dark wine. In cases of wounds, they drink butter; for it draws out iron instruments, Their sores are fomented with swine's flesh. Onesicritus says, that they live three hundred years, and rarely five hundred; and that they go with young ten years. He and other writers say, that they are larger and stronger than the African elephants. They will pull down with their trunks battlements, and uproot trees, standing erect upon their bind feet. According to Nearchus, traps are laid in the hunting grounds, at certain places where roads meet; the wild elephants are forced into the 'oils by the tame elephants, which are stronger, and guided by a driver. They become so tame and docile, that they learn even to throw a stone at a mark, to use military weapons, and to be excellent swimmers. A chariot drawn by elephants is esteemed a most important possession, and they are driven without bridles.83 A woman is greatly honoured who receives from her lover a present of an elephant, but this does not agree with what he said before, that a horse and an elephant are the property of kings alone.  This writer says that he saw skins of the myrmeces (or ants), which dig up gold, as large as the skins of leopards. Megasthenes, however, speaking of the myrmeces, says, among the Derdæ a populous nation of the Indians, living towards the east, and among the mountains, there was a mountain plain of about 3000 stadia in circumference; that below this plain were mines containing gold, which the myrmeces, in size not less than foxes, dig up. They are excessively fleet, and subsist on what they catch. In winter they dig holes, and pile up the earth in heaps, like moles, at the mouths of the openings. The gold-dust which they obtain requires little preparation by fire. The neighbouring people go after it by stealth, with beasts of burden; for if it is done openly, the myrmeces fight furiously, pursuing those that run away, and if they seize them, kill them and the beasts. In order to prevent discovery, they place in various parts pieces of the flesh of wild beasts, and when the myrmeces are dispersed in various directions. they take away the gold-dust, and, not being acquainted with the mode of smelting it, dispose of it in its rude state at any price to merchants.  Having mentioned what Megasthenes and other writers relate of the hunters and the beasts of prey, we must add the following particulars. Nearchus is surprised at the multitude and the noxious nature of the tribe of reptiles. They retreat from the plains to the settlements, which are not covered with water at the period of inundations, and fill the houses. For this reason the inhabitants raise their beds at some height from the ground, and are sometimes compelled to abandon their dwellings, when they are infested by great multitudes of these animals; and, if a great proportion of these multitudes were not destroyed by the waters, the country would be a desert. Both the minuteness of some animals and the excessive magnitude of others are causes of danger; the former, because it is difficult to guard against their attacks; the latter, on account of their strength, for snakes are to be seen of sixteen cubits in length. Charmers go about the country, and are supposed to cure wounds made by serpents. This seems to comprise nearly their whole art of medicine, for disease is not frequent among them, which is owing to their frugal manner of life, and to the absence of wine; whenever diseases do occur, they are treated by the Sophistæ (or wise men). Aristobulus says, that he saw no animals of these pretended magnitudes, except a snake, which was nine cubits and a span in length. And I myself saw one in Egypt, nearly of the same size, which was brought from India. He says also, that he saw many serpents of a much inferior size, and asps and large scorpions. None of these, however, are so noxious as the slender small serpents, a span long, which are found concealed in tents, in vessels, and in hedges. Persons wounded by them bleed from every pore, suffering great pain, and die, unless they have immediate assistance; but this assistance is easily obtained, by means of the virtues of the Indian roots and drugs. Few crocodiles, he says, are found in the Indus, and these are harmless, but most of the other animals, except the hippopotamus, are the same as those found in the Nile; but Onesicritus says that this animal also is found there. According to Aristobulus, none of the sea fish ascend the Nile from the sea, except the shad,84 the grey mullet,85 and dolphin, on account of the crocodiles; but great numbers ascend the Indus. Small craw-fish86 go up as far as the mountains,87 and the larger as far as the confluence of the Indus and the Acesines. So much then on the subject of the wild animals of India. We shall return to Megasthenes, and resume our account where we digressed.  After the hunters and the shepherds, follows the fourth caste, which consists, he says, of those who work at trades, retail wares, and who are employed in bodily labour. Some of these pay taxes, and perform certain stated services. But the armour-makers and ship-builders receive wages and provisions from the king, for whom only they work. The general-in-chief furnishes the soldiers with arms, and the admiral lets out ships for hire to those who undertake voyages and traffic as merchants.  The fifth caste consists of fighting men, who pass the time not employed in the field in idleness and drinking, and are maintained at the charge of the king. They are ready whenever they are wanted to march on an expedition, for they bring nothing of their own with them, except their bodies.  The sixth caste is that of the Ephori, or inspectors. They are intrusted with the superintendence of all that is going on, and it is their duty to report privately to the king. The city inspectors employ as their coadjutors the city courtesans; and the inspectors of the camp, the women who follow it. The best and the most faithful persons are appointed to the office of inspector.  The seventh caste consists of counsellors and assessors of the king. To these persons belong the offices of state, tribunals of justice, and the whole administration of affairs. It is not permitted to contract marriage with a person of another caste, nor to change from one profession or trade to another, nor for the same person to undertake several, except he is of the caste of philosophers, when permission is given, on account of his superior qualifications.  Of the magistrates, some have the charge of the market, others of the city, others of the soldiery. Some have the care of the rivers, measure the land, as in Egypt, and inspect the closed reservoirs, from which water is distributed by canals, so that all may have an equal use of it. These persons have charge also of the hunters, and have the power of rewarding or punishing those who merit either. They collect the taxes, and superintend the occupations connected with land, as woodcutters, carpenters, workers in brass, and miners. They superintend the public roads, and place a pillar at every ten stadia, to indicate the by-ways and distances.  Those who have charge of the city are divided into six bodies of five each. The first has the inspection of everything relating to the mechanical arts; the second entertain strangers, assign lodgings, observe their mode of life, by means of attendants whom they attach to them, escort them out of the country on their departure; if they die, take charge of their property, have the care of them when sick, and when they die, bury them. The third class consists of those who inquire at what time and in what manner births and deaths take place, which is done with a view to tax (on these occasions), and in order that the deaths and births of persons both of good and bad character should not be concealed. The fourth division consists of those who are occupied in sales and exchanges; they have the charge of measures, and of the sale of the products in season, by a signal. The same person is not allowed to exchange various kinds of articles, except he pays a double tax. The fifth division presides over works of artisans, and disposes of articles by public notice. The new are sold apart from the old, and there is a fine imposed for mixing them together. The sixth and last comprises those who collect the tenth of the price of the articles sold. Death is the punishment for committing a fraud with regard to the tax. These are the peculiar duties performed by each class, but in their collective capacity they have the charge both of their own peculiar province and of civil affairs, the repairs of public works, prices88 of articles, of markets, harbours, and temples.  Next to the magistrates of the city is a third body of governors, who have the care of military affairs. This class also consists of six divisions, each composed of five persons. One division is associated with the chief naval superintendent, another with the person who has the charge of the bullock-teams, by which military engines are transported, of provisions both for the men and beasts, and other requisites for the army. They furnish attendants, who beat a drum, and carry gongs;89 and besides these, grooms, mechanists, and their assistants. They despatch by the sound of the gong the foragers for grass, and insure expedition and security by rewards and punishments. The third division has the care of the infantry; the fourth, of the horses; the fifth, of the chariots; the sixth, of the elephants. There are royal stables for the horses and elephants. There is also a royal magazine of arms; for the soldier returns his arms to the armoury, and the horse and elephant to the stables. They use the elephants without bridles. The chariots are drawn on the march by oxen. The horses are led by a halter, in order that their legs may not be chafed and inflamed, nor their spirit damped, by drawing chariots. Besides the charioteer, there are two persons who fight by his side in the chariot. With the elephant are four persons, the driver and three bowmen, who discharge arrows from his back.  All the Indians are frugal in their mode of life, and especially in camp. They do not tolerate useless and undisciplined multitudes, and consequently observe good order. Theft is very rare among them. Megasthenes, who was in the camp of Sandrocottus, which consisted of 400,000 men, did not witness on any day thefts reported, which exceeded the sum of two hundred drachmae, and this among a people who have no written laws, who are ignorant even of writing, and regulate everything by memory. They are, however, happy on account of their simple manners and frugal way of life. They never drink wine, but at sacrifices. Their beverage is made from rice instead of barley, and their food consists for the most part of rice pottage. The simplicity of their laws and contracts appears from their not having many law-suits. They have no suits respecting pledges and deposits, nor do they require witnesses or seals, but make their deposits, and confide in one another. Their houses and property are unguarded. These things denote temperance and sobriety; others no one would approve, as their eating always alone, and their not having all of them one common hour for their meals, but each taking it as he likes. The contrary custom is more agreeable to the habits of social and civil life.  As an exercise of the body they prefer friction in various ways, but particularly by making use of smooth sticks of ebony, which they pass over the surface of the body. Their sepulchres are plain, and the tumuli of earth low. In contrast to their parsimony in other things, they indulge in ornament. They wear dresses worked with gold and precious stones, and flowered (variegated) robes, and are attended by persons following them with umbrellas; for as they highly esteem beauty, everything is attended to, which can improve their looks. They respect alike truth and virtue; therefore they do not assign any privilege to the old, unless they possess superior wisdom. They marry many wives, who are purchased from their parents, and give in exchange for them a yoke of oxen. Some marry wives to possess obedient attendants, others with a view to pleasure and numerous offspring, and the wives prostitute themselves, unless chastity is enforced by compulsion. No one wears a garland when sacrificing, or burning incense, or pouring out a libation. They do not stab, but strangle the victim, that nothing mutilated, but that which is entire, may be offered to the Deity. A person convicted of bearing false testimony suffers a mutilation of his extremities. He who has maimed another not only undergoes in return the loss of the same limb, but his hand also is cut off. If he has caused a workman to lose his hand or his eye, he is put to death. Megasthenes says, that none of the Indians employ slaves. But, according to Onesicritus, this is peculiar to the people in the territory of Musicanus. He speaks of this as an excellent rule, and mentions many others to be found in that country, as the effects of a government by good laws.  The care of the king's person is committed to women, who are also purchased of their parents. The body-guard, and the rest of the military, are stationed without the gates. A woman, who puts to death a king when drunk, is rewarded by becoming the wife of his successor. The sons succeed the father. The king may not sleep during the day-time, and at night he is obliged from time to time to change his bed, from dread of treachery. The king leaves his palace in time of war; he leaves it also when he goes to sit in his court as a judge. He remains there all day thus occupied, not suffering himself to be interrupted even though the time arrives for attending to his per- son. This attention to his person consists of friction with pieces of wood, and he continues to listen to the cause, while the friction is performed by four attendants who surround him. Another occasion of leaving his palace is to offer sacrifice. The third is a sort of Bacchanalian departure to the chace. Crowds of women surround him, and on the outside (of these) are spear-men. The road is set off with ropes; a man, or even a woman, who passes within the ropes is put to death. The king is preceded by drums and gongs. He hunts in the enclosures, and discharges his arrows from a high seat. Near him stand two or three armed women. When hunting in the open ground, he shoots his arrows from an elephant; of the women some are in chariots, some on horses, and others on elephants; they are provided with all kinds of weapons, as if they were going on a military expedition.  These customs when compared with ours are very strange, but the following are still more extraordinary. According to Megasthenes, the nations who inhabit the Caucasus have commerce with women in public; and eat the bodies of their relatives; the monkeys climb precipices, and roll down large stones upon their pursuers; most of the animals which are tame in our country are wild in theirs; the horses have a single horn, with heads like those of deer; reeds which grow to the height of thirty orguiæ,90 others which grow on the ground, fifty orguiæ in length, and in thickness some are three and others six cubits in diameter.  He then deviates into fables, and says that there are men of five, and even three spans in height, some of whom are without nostrils, with only two breathing orifices above the mouth. Those of three spans in height wage war with the cranes (described by Homer) and with the partridges, which are as large as geese; these people collect and destroy the eggs of the cranes which lay their eggs there; and nowhere else are the eggs or the young cranes to be found; frequently a crane escapes from this country with a brazen point of a weapon in its body, wounded by these people. Similar to this is the account of the Enotocoitæ,91 of the wild men, and of other monsters. The wild men could not be brought to Sandrocottus, for they died by abstaining from food. Their heels are in front, the instep and toes are turned backwards. Some have been taken, which had no mouths, and were tame. They live near the sources of the Ganges, and are supported by the smell of dressed meat and the fragrance of fruits and flowers, having instead of mouths orifices through which they breathe. They are distressed by strong-smelling substances, and therefore their lives are sustained with difficulty, particularly in a camp. With respect to the other singular animals, the philosophers informed him of a people called Ocypodæ, so swift of foot that they leave horses behind them; of Enotocoitæ, or persons having ears hanging down to their feet, so that they lie and sleep upon them, and so strong as to be able to pluck up trees and to break the sinew string of a bow; of others (Monommati) who have only one eye, and the ears of a dog, the eye placed in the middle of the forehead, the hair standing erect, and the breasts shaggy; of others (Amycteres) without nostrils, devouring everything, eaters of raw meat, short-lived, and dying before they arrive at old age; the upper part of their mouths projects far beyond the lower lip. With respect to the Hyperboreans, who live to the age of a thousand years, his description is the same as that of Simonides, Pindar, and other mythological writers. The story told by Timagenes of a shower of drops of brass, which were raked together, is a fable. The account of Megasthenes is more probable, namely, that the rivers bring down gold-dust, a part of which is paid as a tax to the king; and this is the case in Iberia (of Armenia).  Speaking of the philosophers, he says, that those who inhabit the mountains are worshippers of Bacchus, and show as a proof (of the god having come among them) the wild vine, which grows in their country only; the ivy, the laurel, the myrtle, the box-tree, and other evergreens, none of which are found beyond the Euphrates, except a few in parks, which are only preserved with great care. To wear robes and turbans, to use perfumes, and to be dressed in dyed and flowered garments, for their kings to be preceded when they leave their palaces, and appear abroad, by gongs and drums, are Bacchanalian customs. But the philosophers who live in the plains worship Hercules. These are fabulous stories, contradicted by many writers, particularly what is said of the vine and wine, for a great part of Armenia, the whole of Mesopotamia and Media, as far as Persia and Carmania, is beyond the Euphrates, the greater part of which countries is said to have excellent vines, and to produce good wine.  Megasthenes divides the philosophers again into two kinds, the Brachmanes92 and the Garmanes.93 The Brachmanes are held in greater repute, for they agree more exactly in their opinions. Even from the time of their conception in the womb they are under the care and guardianship of learned men, who go to the mother, and seem to perform some incantation for the happiness and welfare of the mother and the unborn child, but in reality they suggest prudent advice, and the mothers who listen to them most willingly are thought to be the most fortunate in their offspring. After the birth of the children, there is a succession of persons who have the care of them, and as they advance in years, masters more able and accomplished succeed. The philosophers live in a grove in front of the city within a moderate-sized enclosure. Their diet is frugal, and they lie upon straw pallets and on skins. They abstain from animal food, and from sexual intercourse with women; their time is occupied in grave discourse, and they communicate with those who are inclined to listen to them; but the hearer is not permitted to speak or cough, or even to spit on the ground; otherwise, he is expelled that very day from their society, on the ground of having no control over himself. After living thirty-seven years in this manner, each individual retires to his own possessions, and lives with less restraint, wearing robes of fine linen, and rings of gold, but without profuseness, upon the hands and in the ears. They eat the flesh of animals, of those particularly which do not assist man in his labour, and abstain from hot and seasoned food. They have as many wives as they please with a view to numerous offspring, for from many wives greater advantages are derived. As they have no slaves, they require more the services, which are at hand, of their children. The Brachmanes do not communicate their philosophy to their wives, for fear they should divulge to the profane, if they became depraved, anything which ought to be concealed or lest they should abandon their husbands in case they became good (philosophers) themselves. For no one who despises alike pleasure and pain, life and death, is willing to be subject to the authority of another; and such is the character of a virtuous man and a virtuous woman. They discourse much on death, for it is their opinion that the present life is the state of one conceived in the womb, and that death to philosophers is birth to a real and a happy life. They therefore discipline themselves much to prepare for death, and maintain that nothing which happens to man is bad or good, for otherwise the same things would not be the occasion of sorrow to some and of joy to others, opinions being merely dreams, nor that the same persons could be affected with sorrow and joy by the same things, on different occasions. With regard to opinions on physical phenomena, they display, says Megasthenes, great simplicity, their actions being better than their reasoning, for their belief is chiefly founded on fables. On many subjects their sentiments are the same as those of the Greeks. According to the Brachmanes, the world was created, and is liable to corruption; it is of a spheroïdal figure; the god who made and governs it pervades the whole of it; the principles of all things are different, but the principle of the world's formation was water; in addition to the four elements there is a fifth nature, of which the heavens and the stars are composed; the earth is situated in the centre of the universe. Many other peculiar things they say of the principle of generation and of the soul. They invent fables also, after the manner of Plato, on the immortality of the soul, and on the punishments in Hades, and other things of this kind. This is the account which Megasthenes gives of the Brachmanes.  Of the Garmanes, the most honourable, he says, are the Hylobii, who live in the forests, and subsist on leaves and wild fruits: they are clothed with garments made of the bark of trees,94 and abstain from commerce with women and from wine. The kings hold communication with them by messengers, concerning the causes of things, and through them worship and supplicate the Divinity. Second in honour to the Hylobii, are the physicians, for they apply philosophy to the study of the nature of man. They are of frugal habits, but do not live in the fields, and subsist upon rice and meal, which every one gives when asked, and receive them hospitably. They are able to cause persons to have a numerous offspring, and to have either male or female children, by means of charms. They cure diseases by diet, rather than by medicinal remedies. Among the latter, the most in repute are unguents and cataplasms. All others they suppose partake greatly of a noxious nature. Both this and the other class of persons practise fortitude, as well in supporting active toil as in enduring suffering, so that they will continue a whole day in the same posture, without motion. There are enchanters and diviners, versed in the rites and customs relative to the dead, who go about villages and towns begging. There are others who are more civilized and better informed than these, who inculcate the vulgar opinions concerning Hades, which, according to their ideas, tend to piety and sanctity. Women study philosophy with some of them, but abstain from sexual intercourse.  Aristobulus says, that he saw at Taxila two sophists (wise men), both Brachmanes, the elder had his head shaved, but the younger wore his hair; both were attended by disciples. When not otherwise engaged, they spent their time in the market-place. They are honoured as public counsellors, and have the liberty of taking away, without payment, whatever article they like which is exposed for sale; when any one accosts them, he pours over them oil of jessamine, in such profusion that it runs down from their eyes. Of honey and sesamum, which is exposed for sale in large quantity, they take enough to make cakes, and are fed without expense. They came up to Alexander's table and took their meal standing, and they gave an example of their fortitude by retiring to a neighbouring spot, where the elder, falling on the ground supine, endured the sun and the rain, which had now set in, it being the commencement of spring. The other stood on one leg, with a piece of wood three cubits in length raised in both hands; when one leg was fatigued he changed the support to the other, and thus continued the whole day. The younger appeared to possess much more self-command; for, after following the king a short distance, he soon returned to his home. The king sent after him, but he bade the king to come to him, if he wanted anything of him. The other accompanied the king to the last: during his stay he changed his dress, and altered his mode of life, and when reproached for his conduct, answered, that he had completed the forty years of discipline which he had promised to observe: Alexander made presents to his children.  Aristobulus relates also some strange and unusual customs of the people of Taxila. Those, who through poverty are unable to marry their daughters, expose them for sale in the market-place, in the flower of their age, to the sound of shell trumpets and drums, with which the war-note is given. A crowd is thus assembled. First her back, as far as the shoulders, is uncovered, then the parts in front, for the examination of any man who comes for this purpose. If she pleases him, he marries her on such conditions as may be determined upon. The dead are thrown out to be devoured by vultures. To have many wives is a custom common to these and to other nations. He says, that he had heard, from some persons, of wives burning themselves voluntarily with their deceased husbands; and that those women who refused to submit to this custom were disgraced. The same things have been told by other writers.95  Onesicritus says, that he himself was sent to converse with these wise men. For Alexander heard that they went about naked, practised constancy and fortitude, and were held in the highest honour; that, when invited, they did not go to other persons, but commanded others to come to them, if they wished to participate in their exercises or their conversation. Such being their character, Alexander did not consider it to be consistent with propriety to go to them, nor to compel them to do anything contrary to their inclination or against the custom of their country; he therefore despatched Onesicritus to them. Onesicritus found, at the distance of 20 stadia from the city, fifteen men standing in different postures, sitting or lying down naked, who continued in these positions until the evening, and then returned to the city. The most difficult thing to endure was the heat of the sun, which was so powerful, that no one else could endure without pain to walk on the ground at mid-day with bare feet.  He conversed with Calanus, one of these sophists, who accompanied the king to Persia, and died after the custom of his country, being placed on a pile of [burning] wood. When Onesicritus came, he was lying upon stones. Onesicritus approached, accosted him, and told him that he had been sent by the king, who had heard the fame of his wisdom, and that he was to give an account of his interview, if there were no objection, he was ready to listen to his discourse. When Calanus saw his mantle, head-covering, and shoes, he laughed, and said, ‘Formerly, there was abundance everywhere of corn and barley, as there is now of dust; fountains then flowed with water, milk, honey, wine, and oil, but mankind by repletion and luxury became proud and insolent. Jupiter, indignant at this state of things, destroyed all, and appointed for man a life of toil. On the reappearance of temperance and other virtues, there was again an abundance of good things. But at present the condition of mankind approaches satiety and insolence, and there is danger lest the things which now exist should disappear.’ When he had finished, he proposed to Onesicritus, if he wished to hear his discourse, to strip off his clothes, to lie down naked by him on the same stones, and in that manner to listen to him; while he was hesitating what to do, Mandanis,96 who was the oldest and wisest of the sophists, reproached Calanus for his insolence, although he censured such insolence himself. Mandanis called Onesicritus to him, and said, I commend the king, because, although he governs so large an empire, he is yet desirous of acquiring wisdom, for he is the only philosopher in arms that I ever saw; it would be of the greatest advantage, if those were philosophers who have the power of persuading the willing and of compelling the unwilling to learn temperance; but I am entitled to indulgence, if, when conversing by means of three interpreters, who, except the language, know no more than the vulgar, I am not able to demonstrate the utility of philosophy. To attempt it is to expect water to flow pure through mud.  ‘The tendency of his discourse,’ he said, ‘was this, that the best philosophy was that which liberated the mind from pleasure and grief; that grief differed from labour, in that the former was inimical, the latter friendly to men; for that men exercised their bodies with labour in order to strengthen the mental powers, by which means they would be able to put an end to dissensions, and give good counsel to all, to the public and to individuals; that he certainly should at present advise Taxiles to receive Alexander as a friend; for if he entertained a person better than himself, he might be improved; but if a worse person, he might dispose him to good.’ After this Mandanis inquired, whether such doctrines were taught among the Greeks. Onesicritus answered, that Pythagoras taught a similar doctrine, and enjoined his disciples to abstain from whatever has life; that Socrates and Diogenes, whose discourses he had heard, held the same opinions. Mandanis replied, ‘that in other respects he thought them wise, but that in one thing they were mistaken, namely, in preferring custom to nature, for otherwise they would not be ashamed of going naked, like himself, and of subsisting on frugal fare; for the best house was that which required least repairs.’ He says also that they employ themselves much on natural subjects, as prognostics, rain, drought, and diseases. When they repair to the city, they disperse themselves in the market-places; if they meet any one carrying figs or bunches of grapes, they take what is offered gratuitously; if it is oil, it is poured over them, and they are anointed with it. Every wealthy house, even to the women's apartment, is open to them; when they enter it, they engage in conversation, and partake of the repast. Disease of the body they regard as most disgraceful, and he who apprehends it, after preparing a pyre, destroys himself by fire; he (previously) anoints himself, and sitting down upon it orders it to be lighted, remaining motionless while he is burning.  Nearchus gives the following account of the Sophists. The Brachmanes engage in public affairs, and attend the kings as counsellors; the rest are occupied in the study of nature. Calanus belonged to the latter class. Women study philosophy with them, and all lead an austere life. Of the customs of the other Indians, he says, that their laws, whether relating to the community or to individuals, are not committed to writing, and differ altogether from those of other people. For example, it is the practice among some tribes, to propose virgins as prizes to the conquerors in a trial of skill in boxing; wherefore they marry without portions; among other tribes the ground is cultivated by families and in common; when the produce is collected, each takes a load sufficient for his subsistence during the year; the remainder is burnt, in order to have a reason for renewing their labour, and not remaining inactive. Their weapons consist of a bow and arrows, which are three cubits in length, or a javelin, and a shield, and a sword three cubits long. Instead of bridles, they use muzzles,97 which differ little from a halter, and the lips are perforated with spikes.  Nearchus, producing proofs of their skill in works of art, says, that when they saw sponges in use among the Macedonians, they imitated them by sewing hairs, thin threads, and strings in wool; after the wool was felted, they drew out the hairs, threads, and strings, and dyed it with colours. There quickly appeared also manufactures of brushes for the body, and of vessels for oil (lecythi). They write, he says, letters upon cloth, smoothed by being well beaten, although other authors affirm that they have no knowledge of writing. They use brass, which is cast, and not wrought; he does not give the reason of this, although he mentions the strange effect, namely, if that vessels of this description fall to the ground, they break like those made of clay. This following custom also is mentioned in accounts of India, that, instead of prostrating themselves before their kings, it is usual to address them, and all persons in authority and high station, with a prayer. The country produces precious stones, as crystal, carbuncles of all kinds, and pearls.  As an instance of the disagreement among historians, we may adduce their (different) accounts of Calanus. They all agree that he accompanied Alexander, and underwent a voluntary death by fire in his presence, but they differ as to the manner and cause of his death. Some give the following account. Calanus accompanied the king, as the rehearser of his praises, beyond the boundaries of India, contrary to the common Indian custom; for the philosophers attend upon their kings, and act as instructors in the worship of the gods, in the same manner as the Magi attend the Persian kings. When he fell sick at Pasargadæ, being then attacked with disease for the first time in his life, he put himself to death at the age of seventy-three years, regardless of the entreaties of the king. A pyre was raised, and a golden couch placed upon it. He laid down upon it, and covering himself up, was burnt to death. Others say, that a chamber was constructed of wood, which was filled with the leaves of trees, and a pyre being raised upon the roof, he was shut up in it, according to his directions, after the procession, with which he had been accompanied, had arrived at the spot. He threw himself upon the pyre, and was consumed like a log of wood, together with the chamber. Megasthenes says, that self-destruction is not a dogma of the philosophers, and that those who commit this act are accounted fool-hardy; that some, who are by nature harsh, inflict wounds upon their ,bodies, or cast themselves down precipices; those who are impatient of pain drown themselves; those who can endure pain strangle themselves; and those of ardent tempers throw themselves into the fire. Of this last description was Calanus, who had no control over himself, and was a slave to the table of Alexander. Calanus is censured, while Mandanis is applauded. When Alexander's messengers invited the latter to come to the son of Jove, promising a reward if he would comply, and threatening punishment if he refused, he answered, ‘Alexander was not the son of Jove, for he did not govern even the smallest portion of the earth; nor did he himself desire a gift of one who98 was satisfied with nothing. Neither did he fear his threats, for as long as he lived India would supply him with food enough; and when he died, he should be delivered from the flesh wasted by old age, and be translated to a better and purer state of existence.’ Alexander commended and pardoned him.  Historians also relate that the Indians worship Jupiter Ombrius (or, the Rainy), the river Ganges, and the indigenous deities of the country; that when the king washes his hair,99 a great feast is celebrated, and large presents are sent, each person displaying his wealth in competition with his neighbour. They say, that some of the gold-digging myrmeces (ants) have wings; and that the rivers, like those of Iberia,100 bring down gold-dust. In processions at their festivals, many elephants are in the train, adorned with gold and silver, numerous carriages drawn by four horses and by several pairs of oxen; then follows a body of attendants in full dress, (bearing) vessels of gold, large basins and goblets, an orguia101 in breadth, tables, chairs of state, drinking-cups, and lavers of Indian copper, most of which were set with precious stones, as emeralds, beryls, and Indian carbuncles; garments embroidered and interwoven with gold; wild beasts, as buffaloes,102 panthers, tame lions, and a multitude of birds of variegated plumage and of fine song. Cleitarchus speaks of four-wheeled carriages bearing trees with large leaves, from which were suspended (in cages) different kinds of tame birds, among which the orion103 was said to possess the sweetest note, but the catreus104 was the most beautiful in appearance, and had the most variegated plumage. In shape it approached nearest to the peacock, but the rest of the description must be taken from Cleitarchus.  Opposed to the Brachmanes there are philosophers, called Pramnæ, contentious people, and fond of argument. They ridicule the Brachmanes as boasters and fools for occupying themselves with physiology and astronomy. Some of the Pramnæ are called Pramnæ of the mountains, others Gymnetæ, others again are called Townsmen and Country- men. The Pramnæ of the mountains wear deer-skins, and carry scrips filled with roots and drugs; they profess to practise medicine by means of incantations, charms, and amulets. The Gymnetæ, as their name imports, are naked and live chiefly in the open air, practising fortitude for the space of thirty-seven years; this I have before mentioned; women live in their society, but without cohabitation. The Gymnetæ are held in singular estimation.  The (Pramnæ) Townsmen are occupied in civil affairs, dwell in cities, and wear fine linen, or (as Countrymen they live) in the fields, clothed in the skins of fawns or antelopes. In short, the Indians wear white garments, white linen and muslin, contrary to the accounts of those who say that they wear garments of a bright colour; all of them wear long hair and long beards, plait their hair, and bind it with a fillet.  Artemidorus says that the Ganges descends from the Emoda mountains and proceeds towards the south; when it arrives at the city Ganges,105 it turns to the east, and keeps this direction as far as Palibothra,106 and the mouth by which it discharges itself into the sea. He calls one of the rivers which flow into it Œdanes,107 which breeds crocodiles and dolphins. Some other circumstances besides are mentioned by him, but in so confused and negligent a manner that they are not to be regarded. To these accounts may be added that of Nicolaus Damascenus.  This writer states that at Antioch, near Daphne,108 he met with ambassadors from the Indians, who were sent to Augustus Cæsar. It appeared from the letter that several persons were mentioned in it, but three only survived, whom he says he saw. The rest had died chiefly in consequence of the length of the journey. The letter was written in Greek upon a skin; the import of it was, that Porus was the writer, that although he was sovereign of six hundred kings, yet that he highly esteemed the friendship of Cæsar; that he was willing to allow him a passage through his country, in whatever part he pleased, and to assist him in any undertaking that was just. Eight naked servants, with girdles round their waists, and fragrant with perfumes, presented the gifts which were brought. The presents were a Hermes (i. e. a man) born without arms, whom I have seen, large snakes, a serpent ten cubits in length, a river tortoise of three cubits in length, and a partridge (?) larger than a vulture. They were accompanied by the person, it is said, who burnt himself to death at Athens. This is the practice with persons in distress, who seek escape from existing calamities, and with others in prosperous circumstances, as was the case with this man. For as everything hitherto had succeeded with him, he thought it necessary to depart, lest some unexpected calamity should happen to him by continuing to live; with a smile, therefore, naked, anointed, and with the girdle round his waist, he leaped upon the pyre. On his tomb was this inscription,—ZARMANOCHEGAS,109 AN INDIAN, A NATIVE OF BARGOSA,110 HAVING IMMORTALIZED HIMSELF ACCORDING TO THE CUSTOM OF HIS COUNTRY, HERE LIES.