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Thinking how best to mark the limits of his campaign at this point, he first erected altars of the twelve gods each fifty cubits high1 and then traced the circuit of a camp thrice the size of the existing one. Here he dug a ditch fifty feet wide and forty feet deep, and throwing up the earth on the inside, constructed out of it a substantial wall. [2] He directed the infantry to construct huts each containing two beds five cubits long, and the cavalry, in addition to this, to build two mangers twice the normal size. In the same way, everything else which would be left behind was exaggerated in size.2 His idea in this was to make a camp of heroic proportions and to leave to the natives evidence of men of huge stature, displaying the strength of giants. [3]

After all this had been done, Alexander marched back with all his army to the Acesines River by the same route by which he had come.3 There he found the ships built which he had ordered. He fitted these out and built others. [4] At this juncture there arrived from Greece allied and mercenary troops under their own commanders, more than thirty thousand infantry and a little less than six thousand cavalry.4 They brought with them elegant suits of armour for twenty-five thousand foot soldiers, and a hundred talents of medical supplies. These he distributed to the soldiers. [5] Now the naval flotilla was ready; he had prepared two hundred open galleys and eight hundred service ships.5 He gave names to the two cities which had been founded on either side of the river, calling one of them Nicaea in celebration of his victory in war, and the other Bucephala in honour of his horse, who had died in the battle against Porus.6

1 Curtius 9.3.19; Plut. Alexander 62.4; Arrian. 5.29.1. Fifty cubits would be seventy-five feet.

2 Curtius 9.3.19; Plut. Alexander 62.4.

3 Nicaea and Bucephala lay on what should be called the Hydaspes, but this river (the Jhelum) became the Acesines after its confluence with the Sandabal and the Hyarotis. Below, however (chap. 96.1) Diodorus mentions the confluence of the Acesines and Hydaspes, as if they were different. Or perhaps the Acesines is the Sandabal (Chenab) after all (as Arrian. 6.14.5).

4 Curtius 9.3.21 mentions 7000 foot and 5000 horse, with 25,000 sets of armour inlaid with gold and silver.

5 Arrian. 6.2.4: eighty triaconters and 2080 ships in all (from Ptolemy).

6 Above, chap. 89.6, and note. Arrian. 5.29.5 states that the cities had been partly destroyed by floods.

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hide References (10 total)
  • Cross-references to this page (1):
    • Dictionary of Greek and Roman Geography (1854), BUCEPHALA
  • Cross-references in notes from this page (7):
    • Plutarch, Alexander, 62.4
    • Arrian, Anabasis, 5.29.1
    • Arrian, Anabasis, 5.29.5
    • Arrian, Anabasis, 6.14.5
    • Arrian, Anabasis, 6.2.4
    • Curtius, Historiarum Alexandri Magni, 9.3.19
    • Curtius, Historiarum Alexandri Magni, 9.3.21
  • Cross-references in general dictionaries to this page (2):
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