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66. His descent of the rivers to the sea consumed seven months' time. And after emerging with his fleet into the ocean, 1 he sailed out to an island to which he himself gave the name of Scillustis, others that of Psiltucis. 2 Here he landed and sacrificed to the gods, and studied the nature of the sea and of all the sea-coast that was accessible. Then, after praying that no man after him might pass beyond the bounds of his expedition, he turned to go back. [2] His fleet he ordered to go round by sea, keeping India on the right; Nearchus was appointed admiral of the fleet, Onesicritus its chief-pilot. But he himself proceeded by land through the country of the Oreites, where he was reduced to the direst straits and lost a multitude of men, so that not even the fourth part of his fighting force was brought back from India. And yet his infantry had once numbered a hundred and twenty thousand, and his cavalry fifteen thousand. [3] But grievous diseases, wretched food, parching heats, and, worst of all, famine destroyed them, since they traversed an un-tilled country of men who dragged out a miserable existence, who possessed but few sheep and those of a miserable sort, since the sea-fish which they ate made their flesh unsavoury and rank. It was with difficulty, then, that Alexander passed through this country in sixty days; but as soon as he reached Gedrosia he had all things in abundance, for the nearest satraps and princes had provided them.

1 In midsummer of 325 B.C.

2 It is Cilluta in Arrian ( Anab. vi. 19, 3).

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