This text is part of:
Table of Contents:
 This writer states that at Antioch, near Daphne,1 he met with ambassadors from the Indians, who were sent to Augustus Cæsar. It appeared from the letter that several persons were mentioned in it, but three only survived, whom he says he saw. The rest had died chiefly in consequence of the length of the journey. The letter was written in Greek upon a skin; the import of it was, that Porus was the writer, that although he was sovereign of six hundred kings, yet that he highly esteemed the friendship of Cæsar; that he was willing to allow him a passage through his country, in whatever part he pleased, and to assist him in any undertaking that was just. Eight naked servants, with girdles round their waists, and fragrant with perfumes, presented the gifts which were brought. The presents were a Hermes (i. e. a man) born without arms, whom I have seen, large snakes, a serpent ten cubits in length, a river tortoise of three cubits in length, and a partridge (?) larger than a vulture. They were accompanied by the person, it is said, who burnt himself to death at Athens. This is the practice with persons in distress, who seek escape from existing calamities, and with others in prosperous circumstances, as was the case with this man. For as everything hitherto had succeeded with him, he thought it necessary to depart, lest some unexpected calamity should happen to him by continuing to live; with a smile, therefore, naked, anointed, and with the girdle round his waist, he leaped upon the pyre. On his tomb was this inscription,—ZARMANOCHEGAS,2 AN INDIAN, A NATIVE OF BARGOSA,3 HAVING IMMORTALIZED HIMSELF ACCORDING TO THE CUSTOM OF HIS COUNTRY, HERE LIES.
1 A subordinate town in the pachalic of Aleppo, and its modern name is still Antakieh. It was anciently distinguished as Antioch by the Orontes, because it was situated on the left bank of that river, where its course turns abruptly to the west, after running northwards between the ranges of Lebanon and Antilebanon, and also Antioch by Daphne, because of the celebrated grove of Daphne which was consecrated to Apollo, in the immediate neighbourhood.
2 In Dion Cassius, liv. ix. he is called Zarmanus, a variation probably of Garmanus, see above, § 60. Chegas, or Sheik, seems to be the Tartar title Chan or Khan, which may be detected also in the names Musi-canus, Porti-canus, Oxy-canus, Assa-canus. Vincent, Voyage of Nearchus, p. 129. Groskurd writes Zarmanos Chanes.
3 Bargosa is probably a corruption of Barygaza mentioned in Arrian's Periplus of the Red Sea. It was a large mart on the north of the river Nerbudda, now Baroatsch or Barutsch. Groskurd.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.
An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.