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 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,1 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.
1 The district between Moultan and the mountains.
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