fighting began, and practically all of the Indians' chariots were put out of action by
Alexander's cavalry. Then the elephants came into play, trained to make good use of their
height and strength. Some of the Macedonians were trodden under foot, armour and all, by the
beasts and died, their bones crushed. Others were caught up by the elephants' trunks and,
lifted on high, were dashed back down to the ground again, dying a fearful death.1
soldiers were pierced through by the tusks and died instantly, run through the whole body.
Nevertheless the Macedonians faced the frightening experience
manfully. They used their long spears to good effect against the Indians stationed beside the
elephants, and kept the battle even.2
Then, as javelins began to find their marks in the sides of
the great beasts and they felt the pain of the wounds, the Indian riders were no longer able to
control their movements. The elephants veered and, no longer manageable, turned upon their own
ranks and trampled friendly troops.3
As his formations grew more
confused, Porus observed what was happening. He was mounted on the largest of the elephants and
gathered about him forty others which were not yet out of hand, then attacked the enemy with
their combined weight and inflicted many losses. He was himself outstanding in bodily strength
beyond any of his followers, being five cubits4
in height and with a breadth of chest double that of
his mightiest soldiers.
His javelins were flung with such
force that they were little inferior to the darts of the catapults. The Macedonians who opposed
him were amazed at his fighting ability, but Alexander called up the bowmen and other light
armed troops and ordered them to concentrate their fire upon Porus.
This was done promptly. Many weapons flew toward the Indian at the same time and none
missed its mark because of his great size. He continued to fight heroically until, fainting
from loss of blood from his many wounds, he collapsed upon his elephant and fell to the
The word went about that the king was killed, and the rest of
the Indians fled.