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OXYDRACAE (Ὀξυδράκαι), a great nation of the Panjáb, who, with the Malli, occupied the banks of the Hydaspes and Acesines, and strenuously resisted the advance of Alexander through their country. It was a common belief of the ancients, that it was in a battle with these people that Ptolemy saved the life of Alexander, and hence obtained the name of Soter. (Steph. B. sub voce Arrian, however, transfers the story to the siege of the Malli (Multán), where Alexander was in imminent danger of his life and was severely wounded (6.11). The name is written in different ways by different writers. Thus Strabo writes it Sydracae (xv. p. 701), in which Pliny concurs (12.6), who makes their country the limit of Alexander's advance eastward; in Diodorus they appear under the form of Syracusae (17.98); lastly, in Orosius as Sabagrae (3.19). The name is clearly of Indian origin; hence it has been conjectured by Pott, that the titles commencing in this manner represent the Hellenized form of the Sanscrit Csathro (king) corresponding with the Zend Csathra. (Pott, Etym. Forsch. p. lxvii.)


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