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2 This story is not otherwise told in this connection, but is of a type which is located in northern Iran. Onesicritus (Jacoby, Fragmente der griechischen Historiker, no. 134, F 5; Strabo 11.11.3) told that the Bactrians and Sogdians threw out their sick and elderly to be devoured by dogs, but that Alexander stopped the practice. Plutarch twice refers to this institution. In Plut. De Fortuna aut Virtute Alexandri 1.5.328c, he says that Sogdians kill their parents, while the Scythians eat them. In Plut. Can Vice Cause Unhappiness? 3.499d, he reports that the dead were devoured by dogs among the Hyrcanians, and by birds among the Bactrians (also Cicero Disp. Tusc 1.45.108). For other instances cp. Strabo 11.11.3; 8; Strabo 15.1.56; 62.
4 Arrian's account (Arrian. 6.23.3) states that the walls were made of shells, but Diodorus seems to be thinking only of materials secured from whales. All of these anecdotes probably derive from Nearchus (cp. Strabo 15.2.2).
6 Whales, of course, do not have scales.
8 Curtius 9.10.17; Plut. Alexander 66.3. Arrian does not mention this, and all of these districts are so far from Carmania that they can hardly have sent help in time to be of any use. This tradition may be connected with the subsequent execution or removal of the satraps of Gedrosia, Susiane, and Paraetacene as evidence for Alexander's attempt to find scapegoats for his ill-planned march through the desert (E. Badian, Classical Quarterly, 52 (1958), 147-150).
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