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1 So much so, indeed, that its sources were unknown to the learned world till the beginning of the present century, although the Chinese emperor Tang-Hi on one occasion sent a body of Llamas for the purpose of inquiring into the subject. It is now ascertained that the river Ganges is the result of the confluence of three separate streams, which bear the respective names of the Gannavi, the Bhagirathi, and the Alakananda. The second is of the most sacred character, and is the one to which the largest concourse of pilgrims resort. The ancients held various opinions as to the sources of the river.
2 The Cainas and the Jomanes, mentioned in the last Chapter.
3 The modern Gandaki or Gundûk is generally supposed to be represented by the Condochates.
4 Represented as flowing into the Ganges at Palimbothra, the modern Patna. There has been considerable discussion among the learned as to what river is indicated by this name. It has, however, been considered most probable that it is the same as the Sonus of Pliny, the modern Soane, though both that author, as well as Arrian, speaks of two rivers, which they call respectively Erannoboas and Sonus. The name was probably derived from the Sanscrit Hyranyavahas, the poetical name of the Sonus.
5 Supposed to be the same as the river Cosi or Coravaha.
6 The wide diffusion of the Calingæ and their close connection with the Gangaridæ, are shown by the fact that Pliny here calls them "Calingæ; Gangarides," and mentions the Modogalingæ on a large island in the Ganges, and the Maccocalingæ on the upper course of that river. See note 43, p. 42.
7 Called Parthalis in most of the editions.
8 Or castes, as we call them. These institutions prevail equally at the present day, and the divisions of the duties of the respective castes are pretty much as Pliny states them to be, except that the husbandmen and merchants form one class, called the Vaisya, the Brahmins being the ministers of religion, the Kshatriya forming the warlike class, the Sudra constituting the menial or servant class. Pliny here represents the rulers and councillors as forming a distinct class. Such, however, does not appear to be the fact; for we find that the sovereign is chosen from the Kshatriya or military class, while from the Brahmins are selected the royal councillors, judges, and magistrates of the country.
9 He alludes to the Brahmins, who seem to have been called by the Greek writers "Gymnosophists," or "naked wise men." The Brahmin Calanus is a memorable example of this kind of self-immolation.
10 It is extremely doubtful if, even in his own day, Pliny was correct in venturing upon so sweeping an assertion.
11 The Sudra or menial caste.
12 He is incorrect here; these duties devolve on the Vaisya class.
13 Inhabited, probably, by a branch of the Calingæ previously mentioned.
14 Ansart suggests that this may be the modern kingdom of Pegu. He thinks also that the preceding kingdom may be that now called Arracan.
15 These may possibly be the Daradræ of Ptolemy, but it seems impossible to guess their locality.
16 Probably the present Patna. D'Anville, however, identifies it with Allahabad, while Welford and Wahl are inclined to think it the same as Radjeurah, formerly called Balipoutra or Bengala. The Prasii are probably the race of people mentioned in the ancient Sanscrit books under the name of the "Pragi" or the Eastern Empire, while the Gangarides are mentioned in the same works under the name of "Gandaressa" or Kingdom of the Ganges.
17 Hardouin is of opinion that these nations dwelt in the localities occupied by the districts of Gwalior and Agra.
18 The Septentriones or "Seven Trions," in the original. Parisot is of opinion that under this name of Mount Maleus he alludes to the Western Ghauts, and that the name still survives in the word Malabar. He also remarks that this statement of Pliny is not greatly exaggerated.
19 Ansart says that this is the same as the modern town of Muttra or Matra upon the Jumna, and to the north of Agra.
20 Or Clisobora, according to Hardouin. It does not appear to have been identified.
21 In the Indian Peninsula, constituting more especially the presidency of Madras.
22 It is clear that he looks upon the countries of the Indus as lying to the south of the Ganges.
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