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Eth. CATHAEI (Eth. Καθαῖοι), a powerful and warlike people of India intra Gangem (in the Panjab) between the rivers Hydraotes (Ravee) and Hyphasis (Gharra), whose capital city, SANGALA is supposed to have occupied the site of the modern Sikh capital, Lahore. This city was taken and destroyed by Alexander on his march into India, B.C. 326 (Arrian. Anab. 5.22, foll.; Diod. 17.91). Strabo, who is doubtful between which two rivers of the Panjab the people dwelt, relates some of their customs: how they had the highest regard for beauty in dogs and horses, and in men, so that, when a child was two months old, a solemn judgment was held, whether he was beautiful enough to. be suffered to live: how they stained their beards [p. 1.570]with the beautiful colours which their country produced in abundance: how marriage was contracted by the mutual choice of the bride and bridegroom, and how widows were burned with their deceased husbands, a custom for which he gives a merely imaginary reason. He calls their country Cathaea (Κάθαια: Strab. xv. p.699.)

Some modern writers suppose the Cathaeans to have been a branch of the Rajputs (Mannert, vol. v. pt. i. p. 43), while others, including several of the best Orientalists, trace in their name that of the Hindu warrior caste, the Kshátriyas. (Lassen, Pentapot. p. 23; Schlegel, Ind. Bibl. vol. i. p. 249; Bohlen, Alte Indien, vol. ii. p. 22; Ritter, Erdkunde, vol. v. p. 461.)


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    • Diodorus, Historical Library, 17.91
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