previous next

Now he resumed his voyage down the river and sailed out into the Ocean with his Friends.1 There he discovered two islands2 and on them performed rich sacrifices.3 He threw many large cups of gold into the sea following the libations which he poured from them. He erected altars to Tethys and Oceanus4 and judged that his projected campaign was at an end. Setting sail from there, he proceeded back up the river to Patala, a fine city.5 [2] It had a government organized very much like that of Sparta. Two kings descended from two houses inherited their office from their fathers. They had charge of all arrangements concerning war, while the council of elders was the principal administrative body.6 [3]

Alexander burned such of his boats as were damaged.7 The rest of the fleet he turned over to Nearchus and others of his Friends with orders to coast along through the Ocean and, having observed everything, to meet him at the mouth of the Euphrates River.8 [4] He set his army in motion and traversed much territory and defeated his opponents, while those who submitted were received kindly.9 He brought over without fighting the so-called Abritae10 and the tribesmen of Cedrosia. [5] Then he marched through a long stretch of waterless and largely desert country as far as the frontiers of Oreitis. There he divided his force into three divisions and named as commander of the first, Ptolemy, and of the second, Leonnatus. [6] He ordered Ptolemy to plunder the district by the sea and Leonnatus to lay waste the interior.11 He himself devastated the upper country and the hills. At one and the same time much country was wasted, so that every spot was filled with fire and devastation and great slaughter. [7] The soldiers soon became possessed of much booty, and the number of persons killed reached many myriads. By the destruction of these tribes, all their neighbours were terrified and submitted to the king. [8]

Alexander wanted to found a city by the sea. He found a sheltered harbour with suitable terrain near by, and established there a city called Alexandria.12

1 According to Plut. Alexander 66.1, the voyage had taken seven months. It was now the summer of 325 B.C. (Strabo 15.1.17).

2 One was in the river, one outside (Arrian. 6.19.3-4). Plut. Alexander 66.1, mentions only one island.

3 To Poseidon and to the gods whom Ammon had designated (Arrian. 6.19.4-5). No gods named (Curtius 9.9.27; Justin 12.10.4; Plut. Alexander 66.1).

4 Justin 12.10.6 mentions "aras."

5 Arrian. 6.20.1. This was about the rising of the Dog Star, or mid-July 325 (Strabo 15.1.17).

6 Only Arrian. 6.20.2-5 at this point mentions Alexander's voyage down to the Rann of Kutch.

7 Curtius 9.10.4.

8 Plut. Alexander 66.2; Arrian. 6.21.1-3. According to Curtius, Nearchus was ordered to explore the Ocean and then rejoin Alexander, either via the Indus or by way of the Euphrates (Curtius 9.10.3). Curtius states that the fleet was commanded by Nearchus and Onesicritus, Plutarch that Onesicritus was only the chief pilot, and Arrian from Nearchus; cp. Arrian. 8.20.5) that Nearchus had sole command. The fleet waited until the end of the monsoons and sailed in the autumn (on the 20th of Boedromion, according to Arrian Indica 21.1; but Arrian gives the wrong year) or about 20 September 325 B.C.

9 An anticipation of Vergil's parcere subiectis et debellare superbos (Vergil Aen. 6.853); like the Romans, Alexander did not accept neutrality.

10 They are called Arabitae in Curtius 9.10.5 and Arrian. 6.21.4.

11 Curtius 9.10.5-7, who also uses the term "Cedrosii' for the usual Gadrosia (Arrian. 6.22.1). He does, however, use the variant term "Horitae" (Curtius 9.10.6). This expedition is sketched by Strabo 15.2.1-8.

12 Curtius 9.10.7; Arrian. 6.21.5. It was built by Leonnatus (Arrian. 6.22.3).

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

load focus Greek (1989)
hide Places (automatically extracted)

View a map of the most frequently mentioned places in this document.

Visualize the most frequently mentioned Pleiades ancient places in this text.

Download Pleiades ancient places geospacial dataset for this text.

hide Dates (automatically extracted)
Sort dates alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a date to search for it in this document.
325 BC (2)
hide References (23 total)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: