, Ptol. 7.1.73
; Steph. B. sub voce
a celebrated city of ancient India, situated at the junction of the Ganges and Erannaboas (Hiránjávaha
), at present known by the name of Patna.
Strabo, who states (ii. p. 70) that Megasthenes was sent to Palimbothra as an ambassador to the king Sandrocottus (Chasndragupta
), describes it as a vast town, in the form of a parallelogram 80 stadia in length and 15 in breadth, surrounded by a stockade, in which open spaces were cut to shoot through, and by a ditch.
He adds that it was in the country of the Prasii (xv. p. 702).
In another passage he places it, on the authority of Megasthenes, at 6000 stadia from the mouths of the Ganges; or on that of Patrocles, who was sent as an ambassador to Allitrochades, the son of Sandrocottus (ii. p. 70), at 5000 stadia (xv. p. 689). Pliny approaches most nearly to the computation of the latter traveller, as he makes the distance from Palimbothra to the sea to be 638 M. P., about 5100 stadia (6.17.21). Arrian calls it the greatest of the cities of India, and apparently quotes the same description from Megasthenes which Strabo must have had before him. (Indic.
100.10.) Diodorus attributes to Hercules the building of its walls (2.39). Where Pliny says “Amnis Jomanes in Gangem per Palibothros decurrit,” he is evidently speaking of the people, and not, as some have supposed, of the town (6.19).
There seems no reason to doubt that the ancient Sanscrit name of this town was Pataliputra.
(Lassen, Indisch. Alterthum.
i. p. 137; Franklin, Inquiry into the ancient Palibothra,
Lond. 1815, who, however, places it wrongly at Bhagalpúr.