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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 whales1 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,2 and its least depth twenty orguiæ.3

1 The passage is corrupt, and for κήτη, ‘whales or cetaceous animals,’ Groskurd proposes λέγει. The whole would therefore thus be translated, ‘and speaks of what he saw on it, of its magnitude,’ &c.

2 The exaggeration of Megasthenes is nothing in comparison of Ælian, who gives to the Ganges a breadth of 400 stadia. Modern observations attribute to the Ganges a breadth of about three quarters of a geographical mile, or 30 stadia.

3 About 120 feet.

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