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Between the Indus and the Hydaspes is Taxila, a large city, and governed by good laws. The neighbouring country is crowded with inhabitants and very fertile, and here unites with the plains. The people and their king Taxiles received Alexander with kindness, and obtained in return more presents than they had offered to Alexander; so that the Macedonians became jealous, and observed, that it seemed as if Alexander had found none on whom he could confer favours before he passed the Indus. Some writers say that this country is larger than Egypt.

Above this country among the mountains is the territory of Abisarus,1 who, as the ambassadors that came from him reported, kept two serpents, one of 80, and the other, according to Onesicritus, of 140 cubits in length. This writer may as well be called the master fabulist as the master pilot of Alexander. For all those who accompanied Alexander preferred the marvellous to the true, but this writer seems to have surpassed all in his description of prodigies. Some things, however, he relates which are probable and worthy of record, and will not be passed over in silence even by one who does not believe their correctness.

Other writers also mention the hunting of serpents in the Emodi mountains,2 and the keeping and feeding of them in caves.

1 Abisarus was king of the mountainous part of India, and, according to the conjecture of Vincent, which is not without some probability, his territory extended to Cashmir.

2 India is bordered to the north, from Ariana to the Eastern Sea, by the extremities of Taurus, to which the aboriginal inhabitants give the different names of Paropamisus, Emodon, Imaon, and others, while the Macedonians call them Caucasus. The Emodi mountains were the Western Himalaya. See Smith, art. Emodi Montes.

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