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Strabo - India 2

Book XV. Chapter I . 29. India.

Between the Hydaspes and Acesines is the country of Porus,(1) an extensive and fertile district, containing nearly three hundred cities. Here also is the forest in the neighborhood of the Emodi mountains in which Alexander cut down a large quantity of fir, pine, cedar, and a variety of other trees fit for ship-building, and brought the timber down the Hydaspes. With this he constructed a fleet on the Hydaspes, near the cities, which he built on each side of the river where he had crossed it and conquered Porus. One of these cities he called Bucephalia,(2) from the horse Bucephalus, which was killed in the battle with Porus. The name Bucephalus(3) was given to it from the breadth of its forehead. He was an excellent war-horse, and Alexander constantly rode him in battle.

The other city he called Nicaea from the victory, NIKH (Nice), which he had obtained.

In the forest before mentioned it is said there is a vast number of monkeys,(4) and as large as they are numerous. On one occasion the Macedonians, seeing a body of them standing in array opposite to them, on some bare eminences, (for this animal is not less intelligent than the elephant,) and presenting the appearance of an army, prepared to attack them as real enemies, but being informed by Taxiles, who was then with the king, of the real fact, they desisted.

The chase of this animal is conducted in two different manners. It is an imitative creature, and takes refuge up among the trees. The hunters, when they perceive a monkey seated on a tree, place in sight a basin containing water, with which they wash their own eyes; then, instead of water, they put a basin of bird-lime, go away, and lie in wait at a distance. The animal leaps down, and besmears itself with the bird-lime, and when it winks, the eyelids are fastened together; the hunters then come upon it, and take it.

The other method of capturing them is as follows: the hunters dress themselves in bags like trousers, and go away; leaving behind them others which are downy, with the inside smeared over with bird lime. The monkeys put them on and are easily taken.

(1) The name of the modern city Lahore, anciently Lo-pore, recalls that of Porus. It is situated on the Hyarotis or Hydraotes (Ravee), which does not contradict our author; for, as Vincent observes, the modern Lahore represents the capital of the second Porus, whom Strabo will mention immediately; and the Lahore situate between the Hydaspes (the Behut or Jelum) and the Acesines (the Chenab), the exact position of which is unknown, was that of the first Porus. Probably there are two districts, in which the two cities were situated, formed a single district only, one part of which was occupied and governed by Porus the uncle, and the other by Porus the nephew. It is probable, also, that these two princes took their name from the country itself, Lahore, as the prince of Taxila was called Taxiles, and the prince of Palibothra, Palibothrus.
(2) Strabo’s Bucephalia was on the Hydaspes, between Beherat and Turkpoor, not far from Rotas. Groskurd. The exact site is not ascertained, but the probabilities seem to be in favour of Jelum, at which place is the ordinary passage of the river, or of Jellapoor, about 16 miles lower down. Smith.
(3) Ox-headed.
(4) Cercopitheces.


Book XV. Chapter I . 30. India.

Some writers place Cathaia* and the country of Sopeithes, one of the nomarchs, in the tract between the rivers (Hydaspes and Acesines); some, on the other side of the Acesines and of the Hyarotis, on the confines of the territory of the other Porus, the nephew of Porus who was taken prison by Alexander, and call the country subject to him Gandaris.

A very singular usage is related of the high estimation in which the inhabitants of Cathaia hold the quality of beauty, which they extend to horses and dogs. According to Onesicritus, they elect the handsomest person as king. The child (selected), two months after birth, undergoes a public inspection, and is examined. They determine whether it has the amount of beauty required by law, and whether it is worthy to be permitted to live. The presiding magistrate then pronounces whether it is to be allowed to live, or whether it is to be put to death.

They dye their heads with various and the most florid colours, for the purpose of improving their appearance. This custom prevails elsewhere among many of the Indians, who pay great attention to their hair and dress; and the country produces colours of great beauty. In other respects the people are frugal, but are fond of ornament.

A peculiar custom is related of the Cathaei. The bride and the husband are respectively the choice of each other, and the wives burn themselves with their deceased husbands. The reason assigned for this practice is, that the women sometimes fell in love with young men, and deserted or poisoned their husbands. This law was therefore established in order to check the practice of administering poison; but neither the existence nor the origin of the law are probable facts.

It is said, that in the territory of Sopeithes there is a mountain composed of fossile salt, sufficient for the whole of India. Valuable mines also both of gold and silver are situated, it is said, not far off among other mountains, according to the testimony of Gorgus, the miner (of Alexander). The Indians, unacquainted with mining and smelting, are ignorant of their own wealth, and therefore traffic with the greater simplicity.

*Hence the Cathay of the Chinese and Modern Europe.


Book XV. Chapter I . 31. India.

The dogs in the territory of Sopeithes are said to possess remarkable courage: Alexander received from Sopeithes a present of one hundred and fifty of them. To prove them, two were set at a lion; when these were mastered, two others were set on; when the battle became equal, Sopeithes ordered a man to seize one of the dogs by the leg, and to drag him away; or to cut off his leg, if he still held on. Alexander at first refused his consent to the dog’s leg being cut off, as he wished to save the dog. But on Sopeithes saying, “I will give you four in the place of it,” Alexander consented; and he saw the dog permit his leg to be cut off by a slow incision, rather than loose his hold.


Book XV. Chapter I . 32. India.

The direction of the march, as far as the Hydaspes, was for the most part towards the south. After that, to the Hypanis, it was more towards the east. The whole of it, however, was much nearer to the country lying at the foot of the mountains than to the plains. Alexander, therefore, when he returned from the Hypanis to the Hydaspes and the station of his vessels, prepared his fleet and set sail on the Hydaspes.

All the rivers which have been mentioned (the last of which is the Hypanis) unite in one, the Indus. It is said that there are altogether fifteen(1) considerable rivers which flow into the Indus. After the Indus has been filled by all these rivers, so as to be enlarged in some places to the extent of a hundred stadia, according to writers who exaggerate, or, according to a more moderate estimate, to fifty stadia at the utmost, and at the least to seven, (and who speak of many nations and cities about this river,)(2) it discharges itself by two mouths into the southern sea, and forms the island called Patalene.

Alexander’s intention was to relinquish the march towards the parts situated to the east, first, because he was prevented from crossing the Hypanis; next, because he learnt by experience the falsehood of the reports previously received, to the effect that the plains were burnt up with fire, and more fit for the haunts of wild beasts than for the habitation of man. He therefore set out in this direction, relinquishing the other track; so that these parts became better known than the other.

(1) So also Arrian, who takes the number from Megasthenes. Pliny says that nineteen rivers unite with the Indus.
(2) Probably an interpolation.


Book XV. Chapter I . 33. India.

The territory lying between the Hypanis and the Hydaspes is said to contain nine nations and five thousand cities, not less in size than Cos Meropis; but the number seems to be exaggerated. We have already mentioned nearly all the nations deserving of notice, which inhabit the country situated between the Indus and the Hydaspes.

Below, and next in order, are the people called Sibae, whom we formerly mentioned, and the great nations, the Malli(1) and Sydracae (Oxydracae). It was among the Malli that Alexander was in danger of losing his life, from a wound he received at the capture of a small city. The Sydracae, we have said, are fabled to be allied to Bacchus.

Near Patalene is placed the country of Musicanus, that of Sabud,(2) whose capital is Sindomana, that of Porticanus, and other princes who inhabited the country on the banks of the Indus. They were all conquered by Alexander; last of all he made himself master of Patalene, which is formed by the two branches of the Indus. Aristobulus says that these two branches are distant 1000 stadia from each other. Nearchus adds 800 stadia more to this number. Onesicritus reckons each side of the included island, which is of a triangular shape, at 2000 stadia; and the breadth of the river, where it is separated into two mouths, at about 200 stadia.(3) He calls the island Delta, and says that is as large as the Delta of Egypt; but this is a mistake. For the Egyptian Delta is said to have a base of 1300 stadia, and each of the sides to be less than the base. In Patalene is Patala, a considerable city, from which the island has its name.

(1) The Malli occupied a part of Moultan.
(2) The Sambus of Arrian. Porticanus is the Oxycanus of Arrian. Both Porticanus and Musicanus were chiefs of the cicar of Sehwan. Vincent’s Voyages of Nearchus, p. 133.
(3) This number is too large. There is probably an error in the text. Groskurd reads 20; but Kramer refers to Arrian’s expedition of Alexander, v.20, and suggests that we may here read 100 (p) instead of 200 (a).


Book XV. Chapter I . 34. India.

Onesicritus says that the greatest part of the coast in this quarter abounds with swamps, particularly at the mouths of the river, which is owing to the mud, the tides, and the want of land breezes; for these parts are chiefly under the influence of winds blowing from the sea.

He expatriates also in praise of the country of Musicanus, and relates of the inhabitants what is common to other Indian tribes, that they are long-lived, and that life is protracted even to the age of 130 years, (the Seres,* however, are said by some writers to be still longer lived,) that they are temperate to their habits and healthy; although the country produces everything in abundance.

The following are their peculiarities: to have a kind of Lacedaemonian common meal, where they eat in public. Their food consists of what is taken in the chase. They make no use of gold or silver, although they have mines of these metals. Instead of slaves, they employed youths in the flower of their age, as the Cretans employ the Aphamiotae, and the Lacedaemonians the Helots. They study no science with attention but that of medicine; for they consider the excessive pursuit of some arts, as that of war, and the like, to be committing evil. There is no process at law but against murder and outrage, for it is not in a person’s own power to escape either one or the other; but as contracts are in the power of each individual, he must endure the wrong, if good faith is violated by another; for a man should be cautious whom he trusts, and not disturb the city with constant disputes in courts of justice.

Such are the accounts of the persons who accompanied Alexander in his expedition.

*The Seres are here meant, whose country and capital still preserve the name of Serhend. It was the Serica India of the middle ages, and to this country Justinian sent to procure silkworms’ eggs, for the purpose of introducing them into Europe. Strabo was not acquainted with the Seres of Scythia, whose territory is now called Serinagar, from whence the ancients procured the wool and fine fabrics which are now obtained from Cashmir; nor was he acquainted with the Seres who inhabited the peninsular of India, and whose territory and capital have retained the name of Sera. Pliny is the only ancient author who seems to have spoken of these latte Seres. Gossellin. The package in brackets is supposed by Groskurd to be an interpolation.


Book XV. Chapter I . 35. India.

A letter of Craterus to his mother Aristopatra is circulated, which contains many other singular circumstances, and differs from every other writer, particularly in saying that Alexander advanced as far as the Ganges. Craterus says, that he himself saw the river, and the whales which it produces, and (his account) of its magnitude, breadth, and depth, far exceeds rather than approximates, probability. For that the Ganges is the largest of known rivers in the three continents, it is generally agreed; next to this is the Indus; and, thirdly, the Danube; and, fourthly, the Nile. But different authors differ to their account of it, some assigning 30, others 3 stadia, as the least breadth. But Megasthenes says that its ordinary width is 100 stadia,(1) and its least depth twenty orguiae.(2)

(1) The exaggeration of Megasthenes is nothing in comparison of Aelian, who gives to the Ganges a breadth of 400 stadia. Modern observations attribute to the Ganges a breadth of about three quarters of a geographical mile, or 30 stadia.
(2) About 120 feet.


Book XV. Chapter I . 58. India.

Speaking of philosophers, he (Timagenes) says, that those who inhabit the mountains are worshippers of Bacchus, and show as a proof (of the god having come among them) the wild vine, which grows in their country only; the ivy, the laurel, the myrtle, the box-tree, and other evergreens, none of which are found beyond the Euphrates, except a few in parks, which are only preserved with great care. To wear robes and turbans, to use perfumes, and to be dressed in dyed and flowered garments, for their kings to be preceded when they leave their palaces, and appear abroad, by gongs and drums, are Bacchanalian customs. But the philosophers who live in the plains worship Hercules.

These are fabulous stories, contradicted by many writers, particularly, what is said of the vine and wine, for a great part of Armenia, the whole of Mesopotamia and Media, as far as Persia, and Carmania, is beyond the Euphrates, the greater part of which countries is said to have excellent vines, and to produce good wine.


Book XV. Chapter I . 59. India.

Megasthenes divides the philosophers again into two kinds, the Brachmanes(1) and the Garmanes.(2) the Brachmanes are held in greater repute, for they agree more exactly in their opinions. Even from the time of their conception in the womb they are under the care and guardianship of learned men, who go to the mother, and seem to perform some incantation for the child, but in reality they suggest prudent advice, and the mothers who listen to them most willingly are thought to be the most fortunate in their offspring. After the birth of the children, there is a succession of persons who have the care of them, and as they advance in years, masters more able and accomplished succeed.

(1) The Brahmins.
(2) Sarmanes, Clem. Alex. Strom. i. 305.

The philosophers live in a grove in front of the city within a moderate-size enclosure. Their diet is frugal, and they lie upon straw pallets and on skins. They abstain from animal food, and from sexual intercourse with women; their time is occupied in grave discourse, and they communicate with those who are inclined to listen to them; but the bearer is not permitted to speak or cough, or even to spit on the ground; otherwise, he is expelled that very day from their society, on the ground of having no control over himself. After living thirty-seven years in this manner, each individual retires to his own possessions, and lives with less restraint, wearing robes of fine linen, and rings of gold, but without profuseness, upon the hands and in the ears. They eat the flesh of animals, of those particularly which do not assist man in his labour, and abstain from hot and seasoned food. They have so many wives as they please with a view to numerous offspring, for from many wives greater advantages are derived.

As they have no slaves, they require more the services, which are at hand, of their children.

The Brachmanes do not communicate their philosophy to their wives, for fear they should divulge to the profane, if they become depraved, anything which ought to be concealed; or lest they should abandon their husbands in case they became good (philosophers) themselves. For no one who despises alike pleasure and pain, life and death, is willing to be subject to the authority of another; and such is the character of a virtuous man and a virtuous woman.

They discourse much on death, for it is their opinion that the present life is the state of one conceived in the womb, and that death to philosophers is birth to a real and happy life. They therefore discipline themselves much to prepare for death, and maintain that nothing which happens to man is bad or good, for otherwise the same things would not be the occasion of sorrow to some and of joy to others, opinions being merely dreams, nor that the same persons could be affected with sorrow and joy by the same things, on different occasions.

With regard to opinions on physical phenomena, they display, says Megasthenes, great simplicity, their actions being better than their reasoning, for their belief is chiefly founded on fables. On many subjects their sentiments are the same as those of the Greeks. According to the Brachmanes, the world was created, and is liable to corruption; it is of a spherical figure; the god who made and governs it pervades the whole of it; the principles of all things are different, but the principle of the world’s formation was water; in addition to the four elements there is a fifth nature, of which the heavens and the stars are composed; the earth is situated in the centre of the universe. Many other peculiar things they say of the principle of generation and of the soul. They invent fables also, after the manner of Plato, on the immortality of the soul, and on the punishments in Hades, and other things of this kind. This is the account which Megasthenes gives of the Brachmanes.


Book XV. Chapter I . 60. India.

Of the Garmanes, the most honourable, he says, are the Hylobii, who live in the forests, and subsist on leaves and wild fruits: they are clothed with garments made of the bark of trees, and abstain from commerce with women and from wine. The kings hold communication with them by messengers, concerning the causes of things, and through them worship and supplicate the Divinity.

Second in honour to the Hylobii, are the physicians, for they apply philosophy to the study of the nature of man. They are of frugal habits, but do not live in the fields, and subsist upon rice and meal, which every one gives when asked, and receive them hospitably. They are able to cause persons to have a numerous offspring, and to have either male or female children, by means of charms. They cure diseases by diet, rather than by medicinal remedies. Among the latter, the most in repute are unguents and cataplasms. All others they suppose partake greatly of a noxious nature.

Both this and the other class of persons practise fortitude, as well in supporting active toil as in enduring suffering, so that they will continue a whole day in the same posture, without action.

There are enchanters and diviners, versed in the rites and customs relative to the dead, who go about villages and towns begging. There are others who are more civilized and better informed than these, who inculcate the vulgar opinions concerning Hades, which, according to their ideas, tend to piety and sanctity. Women study philosophy with some of them, but abstain from sexual intercourse.


Book XV. Chapter I . 61. India.

Aristobulus says, that he saw at Taxila two sophists (wise men), both Brachmanes, the elder had his head shaved, but the younger wore his hair; both were attended by disciples. When not otherwise engaged, they spent their time in the market place. They are honoured as public counsellors and have the liberty of taking away, without payment, whatever article they like which is exposed for sale; when any one accosts them, he pours over them oil of jessamine, in such profusion that it runs down into their eyes. Of honey and sesamum, which is exposed for sale in large quantity, they take enough to make cakes, and are fed without expense.

They came up to Alexander’s table and took their meal standing, and they gave an example of their fortitude by retiring to a neighbouring spot, where the elder, falling on the ground supine, endured the sun and the rain, which had now set in, it being the commencement of spring. The other stood on one leg, with a piece of wood three cubits in length raised in both hands; when one leg was fatigued he changed the support to the other, and thus continued all day. The younger appeared to possess much more self-command; for after following the king a short distance, he soon returned to his home. The king sent after him, but he bade the king to come to him, if he wanted anything of him. The other accompanied the king to the last; during his stay he changed his dress, and altered his mode of life, and when reproached for his conduct, answered, that he had completed the forty years of discipline which he had promised to observe: Alexander made presents to his children.


Book XV. Chapter I . 62. India.

Aristobulus relates also some strange and unusual customs of the people of Taxila. Those, who through poverty are unable to marry their daughters, expose them for sale to the market-place, in the flower of their age, to the sound of shell trumpets and drums, with which the war-note is given. A crowd is thus assembled. First her back, as far as the shoulders, is uncovered, then the parts in front, for the examination of any man who comes for this purpose. If she pleases him, he marries her on such conditions as may be determined upon.

The dead are thrown out to be devoured by vultures. To have many wives is a custom common to these and to other nations. He says, that he had heard, from some persons, of wives burning themselves voluntarily with their deceased husbands; and that those women who refused to submit to this custom were disgraced. The same things have been said by other writers.*

*According to Diodorus Siculus, xix. 33, an exception was made for women with child, or with a family; but otherwise, if she did not comply with this custom, she was compelled to remain a widow during the rest of her life, and to take no part in sacrifices or other rites, as being an impious person.


Book XV. Chapter I . 63. India.

Onesicritus says, that he himself was sent to converse with these wise men. For Alexander heard that they went about naked, practiced constancy and fortitude, and were held in the highest honour; that, when invited, they did not go to other persons, but commanded others to come to them, if they wished to participate in their exercises or their conversation. Such being their character, Alexander did not consider it to be consistent with propriety to go to them, nor to compel them to do anything contrary to their inclination or against the custom of their country; he therefore dispatched Onesicritus to them.

Onesicritus found, at the distance of 20 stadia from the city, fifteen men standing in different postures, sitting or lying down naked, who continued in these positions until the evening, and then returned to the city. The most difficult thing to endure was the heat of the sun, which was so powerful that no one else could endure without pain to walk on the ground at mid-day with bare feet.


Book XV. Chapter I . 64. India.

He conversed with Calanus, one of these sophists, who accompanied the king to Persia, and died after the custom of his country, being placed on a pile of (burning) wood. When Onesicritus came, he was laying upon stones. Onesicritus approached, accosted him, and told him that he had been sent by the king, who had heard the fame of his wisdom, and that he was to give an account of his interview, if there were no objection, he was ready to listen to his discourse. When Calanus saw his mantle, head-covering, and shoes, he laughed, and said, “Formerly there was abundance everywhere of corn and barely, as there is now of dust; fountains then flowed with water, milk, honey, wine, and oil, but mankind by repletion and luxury became proud and insolent. Jupiter, indignant at this state of things, destroyed all, and appointed for man a life of toil. On the reappearance of temperance and other virtues, there was again an abundance of good things. But at present the condition of mankind approaches satiety and insolence, and there is danger lest the things which now exist should disappear.”

When he had finished, he proposed to Onesicritus, if he wished to hear his discourse, to strip off his clothes, to lie down naked by him on the same stones, and in that manner to listen to him; while he was hesitating what to do, Mandanis,* who was the oldest and wisest of the sophists, reproached Calanus for his insolence, although he censured such insolence himself. Mandanis called Onesicritus to him, and said, I commend the king, because, although he governs so large an empire, he is yet desirous of acquiring wisdom, for he is the only philosopher in arms that I ever saw; it would be of the greatest advantage, if those were philosophers who have the power of persuading the willing and of compelling the unwilling to learn temperance; but I am entitled to indulgence, if, when conversing by means of three interpreters, who, except the language, know no more than the vulgar, I am not able to demonstrate the utility of philosophy. To attempt it is to expect water to flow pure through mud.

*By Arrian and Plutarch he is called Dandamis.


Book XV. Chapter I . 65. India.

“The tendency of his discourse,” he said, “was this, that the best philosophy was that which liberated the mind from pleasure and grief; that grief differed from labour, in the that the former was inimical, that latter friendly to men; for that men exercised their bodies with labour in order to strengthen the mental powers, by which means they would be abe to put an end to dissensions, and give good counsel to all, to the public, and to individuals; that he certainly should at present advise Taxiles to receive Alexander as a friend; for if he entertained a person better than himself, he might be improved; but if a worse person, he might dispose him to good.”

After this Mandanis inquired, whether such doctrines were taught among the Greeks. Onesicritus answered, that Pythagoras taught a similar doctrine, and enjoined his disciples to abstain from whatever has life; that Socrates and Diogenes whose discourses he had heard, held the same opinions. Mandanis replied, “that in other respects he thought them wise, but that in one thing they were mistaken, namely, in preferring custom to nature, for otherwise they would not be ashamed of going naked, like himself, and of subsisting on frugal fare; for the best house was that which required least repairs.” He says also that they employ themselves much on natural subjects, as prognostics, rain, drought, and diseases. When they repair to the city, they disperse themselves in the market-places; if they meet any one carrying figs or bunches of grapes, they take what is offered gratuitously; if it is oil, it is poured over them, and they are anointed with it. Every wealthy house, even to the women’s apartment, is open to them; when they enter it, they engage in conversation, and partake of the repast. Disease of the body they regard as most disgraceful, and he who apprehends it, after preparing a pyre, destroys himself by fire; he (previously) anoints himself, and sitting down upon it orders it to be lighted, remaining motionless while he is burning.


Book XV. Chapter I . 66. India.

Nearchus gives the following account of the Sophists. The Brachmanes engage in public affairs, and attend the kings as counselors; 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; 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,* which differ little from a halter, and the lips are perforated with spikes.

*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.


Book XV. Chapter I . 67. India.

Nearchus, producing proofs of their skill in works of art, says that when they saw sponges in use among the Macedonians, they imitated them by sewing hairs, thin threads, and strings in wool; after the wool was felted, they drew out the hairs, threads, and strings, and dyed it with colours. There quickly appeared also manufacturers of brushes for the body, and of vessels for oil (lecythi). They write, he says, letters upon cloth, smoothed by being well beaten, although others affirm that they have no knowledge of writing. They use brass, which is cast, and not wrought; he does not give the reason of this, although he mentions the strange effect, namely, if that vessels of this description fall to the ground, they break like those of clay.

This following custom also is mentioned in accounts of India, that, instead of prostrating themselves before their kings, it is usual to address them, and all persons in authority and high station, with a prayer.

The country produces precious stones, as crystal, carbuncles of all kinds, and pearls.


Book XV. Chapter I . 68. India.

As an instance of the disagreement among historians, we may advise their (different) accounts of Calanus. They all agree that he accompanied Alexander, and underwent a voluntary death by fire in his presence, but they differ as to the manner and cause of his death. Some give the following account. Calanus accompanied the king, as the rehearser of his praises, beyond the boundaries of India, contrary to the common Indian custom; for the philosophers attend upon their kings, and act as instructors in the worship of the gods, in the same manner as the Magi attend the Persian kings. When he fell sick at Pasargadae, being then attacked with disease for the first time in his life, he put himself to death at the age of seventy-three years, regardless of the entreaties of the king. A pyre was raised, and a golden couch placed upon it. He laid down upon it, and covering himself up, was burnt to death.

Others say, that a chamber was constructed of wood, which was filled with the leaves of trees, and a pyre being raised upon the roof, he was shut up in it, according to his directions, after the procession, with which he had been accompanied, had arrived at the spot. He threw himself upon the pyre, and was consumed like a log of wood, together with the chamber.

Megasthenes says, that self-destruction is not a dogma of the philosophers, and that those who commit this act are counted fool-hardy; that some, who are by nature harsh, inflict wounds upon their bodies, or cast themselves down precipices; those who are impatient of pain drown themselves; those who can endure pain strangle themselves; and those of ardent tempers throw themselves into the fire. Of this last description was Calanus, who had no control over himself, and was a slave to the table of Alexander. Calanus is censured, while Mandanis is applauded. When Alexander’s messengers invited the latter to come to the son of Jove, promising a reward if he would comply, and threatening punishment if he refused, he answered, “Alexander was not the son of Jove, for he did not govern even the smallest portion of the earth; nor did he himself desire a gift of one who was satisfied with nothing. Neither did he fear his threats, for as long as he lived India would supply him with food enough; and when he died, he should be delivered from the flesh wasted by old age, and be translated to a better and purer state of existence.” Alexander commended and pardoned him.

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