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Nearchus gives the following account of the Sophists. The Brachmanes engage in public affairs, and attend the kings as counsellors; the rest are occupied in the study of nature. Calanus belonged to the latter class. Women study philosophy with them, and all lead an austere life.

Of the customs of the other Indians, he says, that their laws, whether relating to the community or to individuals, are not committed to writing, and differ altogether from those of other people. For example, it is the practice among some tribes, to propose virgins as prizes to the conquerors in a trial of skill in boxing; wherefore they marry without portions; among other tribes the ground is cultivated by families and in common; when the produce is collected, each takes a load sufficient for his subsistence during the year; the remainder is burnt, in order to have a reason for renewing their labour, and not remaining inactive. Their weapons consist of a bow and arrows, which are three cubits in length, or a javelin, and a shield, and a sword three cubits long. Instead of bridles, they use muzzles,1 which differ little from a halter, and the lips are perforated with spikes.

1 By φιμοῖς, probably here is meant a circular segment, or band of iron, furnished with slightly raised points in the inside; it passes over the bone of the nose, and is fastened below by a cord which is continued as a bridle. Such a contrivance is still in use for mules and asses in the East.

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