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Alexander gave orders to the army to march beside the river and escort the ships, while he resumed his river voyage in the direction of the ocean and sailed down to the country of the people called Sambastae.1 [2] These, in numbers of men and in good qualities, were inferior to none of the Indian peoples. They lived in cities governed in a democratic manner, and learning of the coming of the Macedonians assembled sixty thousand infantry, six thousand cavalry, and five hundred armoured chariots. [3]

When the fleet put in to them, they were amazed at the strange and unanticipated manner of its arrival and trembled at the great reputation of the Macedonians. Besides, their own older men advised them not to risk a fight, so they sent out fifty of their leading citizens as envoys, begging Alexander to treat them kindly. [4] The king praised them and agreed to a peace, and was showered with large gifts and heroic honours by them.

Next Alexander received the submission of those who dwelt on either side of the river; they were called Sodrae and Massani.2 Here he built a city Alexandria by the river, and selected for it ten thousand inhabitants.3 [5] Next he came to the country of King Musicanus; getting him into his hands he killed him and made the country subject.4 Then he invaded the kingdom of Porticanus,5 took two cities by storm, allowed the soldiers to plunder the houses, and then set them on fire. Porticanus himself escaped to a stronghold, but Alexander captured it and slew him, still fighting. Then he proceeded to take all of the other cities of his kingdom and destroyed them, and spread the terror of his name throughout the whole region. [6]

Next he ravaged the kingdom of Sambus.6 He enslaved the population of most of the cities and, after destroying the cities, killed more than eighty thousand of the natives.7 [7] He inflicted a similar disaster upon the tribe of the Brahmins, as they are called; the survivors came supplicating him with branches in their hands, and punishing the most guilty he forgave the rest. King Sambus fled with thirty elephants into the country beyond the Indus and escaped.

1 They are called Sabarcae in the manuscripts of Curtius. For the story cp. Curtius 9.8.4-7. Arrian. 6.15.1-4 gives completely different names and events, and it is impossible to reconcile the two accounts.

2 Curtius 9.8.8 merely says "another nation." The ethnic Sodrae recalls the name of the lowest Hindu caste, the Sudras.

3 Curtius 9.8.8; Arrian. 6.15.2 (at the junction of the Acesines and the Indus).

4 Arrian. 6.15.5-7. He revolted later, Arrian. 6.17.1-2. Curtius speaks of a people called Musicani (Curtius 9.8.8-10) and mentions this revolt (Curtius 9.8.16). Onesicritus is the source of anecdotes about this kingdom (Strabo 15.1.34; Jacoby, Fragmente der griechischen Historiker, no. 134, F 24).

5 Curtius 9.8.11-12; Arrian. 6.16.1-2 (calling him "Oxycanus").

6 Curtius 9.8.13-16; Plut. Alexander 64.1 (Sabbas; Strabo 15.1.33 has Sabus); Arrian. 6.16.3-4.

7 According to Curtius 9.8.15, this was the figure given by Cleitarchus.

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  • Cross-references to this page (6):
    • A Dictionary of Greek and Roman Antiquities (1890), CRUX
    • Dictionary of Greek and Roman Geography (1854), BRACHMA´NES
    • Dictionary of Greek and Roman Geography (1854), HARMATE´LIA
    • Dictionary of Greek and Roman Geography (1854), SABRACAE
    • Dictionary of Greek and Roman Geography (1854), SINDOMANA
    • Dictionary of Greek and Roman Geography (1854), SODRAE
  • Cross-references in notes from this page (15):
    • Strabo, Geography, 15.1.33
    • Strabo, Geography, 15.1.34
    • Plutarch, Alexander, 64.1
    • Arrian, Anabasis, 6.15.1
    • Arrian, Anabasis, 6.15.2
    • Arrian, Anabasis, 6.15.5
    • Arrian, Anabasis, 6.16.1
    • Arrian, Anabasis, 6.16.3
    • Arrian, Anabasis, 6.17.1
    • Curtius, Historiarum Alexandri Magni, 9.8.11
    • Curtius, Historiarum Alexandri Magni, 9.8.13
    • Curtius, Historiarum Alexandri Magni, 9.8.15
    • Curtius, Historiarum Alexandri Magni, 9.8.16
    • Curtius, Historiarum Alexandri Magni, 9.8.4
    • Curtius, Historiarum Alexandri Magni, 9.8.8
  • Cross-references in general dictionaries to this page (1):
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