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The commerce and navigation of the ancients in the Indian Ocean online

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4. Asclepioddms, Timander.

5. Archon, Cliuias.

6. Demonlcus, Athen^us.

7. Archias, Anaxidotus-

8. Ophelias, Sil^nus.

9. Timanthes, Paritlades,

These were all citizens of Pella.,

10. Nearchus '*', son of Androtimus.

11. Lamp^don, Ldrichus.

12. Andr6sthenes, Calllstratus.

Citizens of Amphipolis.
IS. Cr^teras, son of Alexander.

14. Perdiccas, Orontes.

Natives of Orestes.

15. Ptolemy, son of Lagus.

16. Arist6nous, Pis^us.

Natives of Eord6a.

17. Metron, son of Epicharmus.

18. Nicdrchides, Simus.

Natives of Pydna.

19. Attains, son of Andr6menes.

Native of Stymphaea.

20. Peucestas, son of Alexander.

Native of Mieza.

'^ Nearchus was a aative of Cretei but a citizen of Amphipolii . ^

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21. Pithon, son of Cr^teas.

Native of Alcomenae.

22. Leonndtus, son of Antipater.

Native of Mgdd.

23. Pantauchus, son of Nicoldus.

Native of Aloris.

24. Mjlleas, son of Z6ilus.

Native of Ber^a.
Thus far the list consists of Macedonians*

25. M6dius, son of Oxynthemis. •
Native of Larissa, in Thessaly.

26. E^unenes, son of Hier6nymus.

Native of Cardia.

27. Critobtklus, son of Plato.

Native of Cos.

28. Thoas, son of Menod6rus.

29. M^andras, Mandr6genes.

Natives of Magnesia.

SO. Andron, son of C4belas.

Native of Teios.

31. Nicocles, son of Pasicrates.

Native of Soli, in Cyprus.

32. Nithddon ^^ son of Pny'tagoras.

Native of Salamis, in Cyprus.

"• Nitb^phon Gronar.

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33. Magdas '*", son of Phamooches.
A Persian.

Onesicritus of Astypalea, Pilot, and Master of Alexander's

own ship.

Evdgoras, son of E6cleon a Corinthian, Secretary, or Commissary

to the Fleet.

Instead of this banen list of officers, many of whom certainly
did not accompany Nearchus round the coast, and many whose
names are never mentioned except upon this occasion, it would
have been some satisfaction, if it were possible, to have pre-
served the list of those who were the real first explorers of the
Indian ocean ; but out of the whole number here enumerated,
the only names which occur afterwards in the naiTative are those
of Archias and Onesicritus.

Nearchus ^\ as we have already seen, was a native of Crete,
but was enrolled a citizen of Amphlpolis, most probably at the
time when Philip, having taken that city from the Athenians,
was collecting inhabitants in order to establish it as a fortress,
and the mart of his new conquests in Thrace. Nearchus
did not continue at Amphlpolis, but came up to the court of
Phihp, and had so ingratiated himself with Alexander, that, in
the family dissensions which arose upon the secession of Oly'm-
pias, and some secret transactions of her son in regard to a
marriage with the daughter of Pexoddrus, satrap of Cdria,

»3» Bag6a8. Gronovius. But why ? That however, that it is the same Andr68thcnes who

eunuch hardly attended the army. went down the gulph of Persia to explore the

Strabo mentions an Andr68thenes of Thasus, Arabian coast. Ar. lib. vii. p. 301.
p. 766, who sailed with Nearchus, but he '3» Sec Sainte Croix, Exam. p. 250.
does not say in what capacity ; I conclude^


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Philip banished Nearchus, with some others whom he supposed
too much attached to the interests of Alexander '**. Upon the
death of Philip, he was recalled ; and his suflferings in the
cause naturally secured the affections of liis sovereign, and suf-
ficiently account for the confidence of the fleet inspired by his

This is the officer whom we are now to accompany ; but
if the whole of his journal is preserved by Arrian, there is some
reason to complain of the commander for recording all that con-
tributed to his own glory, and to lament that he did not rescue
the fame, of his brave followers from oblivion. Heph^stion,
Leonn^tus, Lysimachus, Pt61emy, Crdterus, A'ttalus, Peu-
cestas, and probably many others, had evidently only a tem-
porary or honorary command; and the silence of Nearchus xbl
respect to the others throws a degi-ee of uncertainty over the
remainder of the catalogue. Neither does it any where clearly
appear what number of ships or men accompanied Nearchus to
the conclusion of the voyage. If we suppose the ships of war
only fit for the service, thirty gallies might possibly contain from
two to three thousand '" men ; but this estimation of both is
uncertain, and in reality too high, considering the littlie means
of support they found on the voyage, and the impossibility of
discriminating the fighting men from the mariners.

The mariners were supplied from a number of Ph^nicians,
Egyptians, Cyprians, I6nians, natives of the Hellespont and
Eg^an islands, who had accompanied the army either in a

*'' See Plutarch in vita Alexandria p. 66g. transports^ carried no more troops than eight

Edit. Fraacforty i599* thousand. The marioers I find no proper data-

■^' It is possible that I ntay estimate the to calculate. Atother times, indeed, dghtees

number too high, both here and on the voyage, hundred horse and tea thoiuand £M>t are em«

See ]kokala. For the whole fleet, including barked.


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military or mercantile character ; neither is it unreasonable to
suppose that at the oar many of the natives were employed, in-
duced by advantage, or compelled by force ; for this, as a ser-
vice which required little more than bodily strength, the Greeks
frequently assigned to slaves, or those removed but one degree
from slavery.

The fleet had been built or collected on the Indus, and part
of it had been brought over land to the Hydaspes. The num-
ber of vessels is estimated at two thousand '^* by the historians,
including all sorts, from the galley to the tender. The collect-
ing of such a fleet has been accounted for already, and the pos-
sibility, of conveying great part of it from one river to tlie otlier,
will not appear extraordinary to those who are acquainted with
a similar practice at the isthmus of Corinth, or consider that
Alexander Avas at the head of an hundred and twenty thou-
sand '^^ men, and was possessed of treasures, alliances, de-
pendents, and tributaries, sufficient to command the services of
all the native inhabitants of the country, if requisite.

The voyage down the river is described rather as a triumphal
procession than a military progress. The size of the vessels, the
conveyance of horses '^ on board, the numbers and splendour of
the equipment attracted the natives to be spectators of the
pomp. The sound of instruments, the clang of arms, the com-
mands of the officers, the measured song of the modulatoi^ ^^\

'^^ Eight hundred ships of war and trans* to direct us how far. The ressels were pro-
ports, bably taken to pieces.

'" We must suppose some extraordinary «^ It is not improbable that Alexander had

means requisite, as the space between the In- supplied his cavalry with horses from the Pen.

dus and Hydaspes is estimated at sixty-eight jc-ab. They are as good as Irakics, i.e. Per.

cose* or about one hundred and thirty miles, sian. Ayeen Akbari.
This distance, indeed, might be diminished u? KiXtvo-ro^.
by descending the Indus, but we have no dau

R 2

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the responses '^^ of the mariners, the dashing of the oars, and
these sounds frequently reverberated from overhanging shores,
are all scenery presented to our imagination by the historians,
and evidently bespeak the language of those who shared Tjith
pride in this scene of triumph and magnificence..

Arrian has given us the breadth of the Hydaspe& and several
other streams which join the Indus^ but informs us, he has the
authority of Ptolemy for that of Ihe Akesines alone ; that river
he estimates at fifteen "' stadia, the Hydaspes '^ at twenty. The
Indus, he says, was forty at a medium, and fifteen where nar-
rowest; that in its course from the confluence of the Akesines
to the Delta of Pattala it was an hundred, and lower towards
the sea two hundred. By any value of the stadium this esti*-
mate is doubtless too high, and the variety of accounts recorded
by Strabo **' gives room for much uncertainty upon the subject ;
the li^hest, he says, was an hundred stadia, the medium fifty,
and the lowest seven. It is evident, therefore, that those who
differed as much as seven from an hundred, either did not use
the same stadium, or did not measure the river at the same time
of the year r but it is remarkable, that if the lowest number is
considered as the Olympic *** stadium '^\ it corresponds nearly
with Mr. Forster's account of the Indus above Attock, where he
crossed it, and estimated it at three quarters of a mile English ^.
Mr. Forster passed in July when the rains must have com-
menced in the mountains, though they had not reached the
.lower country ; if, therefore, we allow the river to have received

•*• So Gronovius renders per). '^ Nine Olympic stadia wanted just 14 yardi

•J9 p. 322. of one mile English. Bp. H.
•^ p. 239. '*^ Eight to a mile Roman.

M» Lib. XT. p. 700. *^ RcnncU, p. 109.

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some accession to its volume, we have a very extraordinary
correspondence between an ancient and a modem account. It
would be well if we could reduce the larger numbers of Arrian
with as much facility; but even Mr. d'AnviJle's stadium of
fifty-one toises, which gives somewhat more than sixteen to a
mile English^ must here fail us ; for fifteen stadia would make
the Akesines near a mile broad ; twenty would give a mile and
quarter to the Hydaspes ; forty would supply two miles and a
half to the Indus above the confluence ; an hundred produces
six miles and a quarter for the breadth between the confluence
and Pattala; and two hundred, twelve miles and an half for its
final course. Shall we impute this enormity to the amplification
of the Macedonians, or to the overflowing of the river ? In sup-
port of the latter, we have another extravagance of Onesicritus
recorded by Strabo, who says, the Indus rises forty "^^ feet,
twenty to its banks and twenty above them ; but, unfortunately
for this assertion, the fleet left Nic^a in October, when the
swelling must have been on the decrease, and reached Pattala
in July, before the next year's swelling could be very evident in
the lower part of the river. According to Tieffenthaler and the
Ayeen Akbari, the Indus between Moultan and Tatta runs in a
stream comparatively narrow, but very deep, and Hamilton^
asserts, that the channel at Tatta is not more than a mile broad.
Arrian's account must consequently be abandoned, unless we
make a large allowance ^^ for the flood, and his language seems
to justify this at the tiine when he mentions the hundred stadia ;

'*» The Ganges onty ns^s 32 fcet. Ren, to the accumulation of obstructions. Hamil.

Ap. 3 ji* ton's account is probably just.

*^ It is very possible that the channel from "^^ Twenty feet to the bank, twenty to

Laribimdar to Tatta is less at present than spread over the country. See Eustathius ad

formerly, for the mouths of the Indus all tend 1 139. Dionysii Pcricg.

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for he adds, " this is the breadth when it spreads ^ its waters
most/' Much reason as there is to cdmmend Anian's accuracy
in general, it must be allowed that he copied in this instance
from those who delighted in exaggeration, or chose to raise
ideas of magnificence by describing not what the voyagers
saw, but what at another time of the year they might have

The most moderate breadth of the Hydaspes is found where
we should least expect it, in Q. Curtius, who says that it is four
stadia, or half a mile, and if we allow, with Mr. Forster, three
quarters of a mile to the Indus above Attock, at a season when
it was not yet much swelled, there is a reasonable proportion in
giving half a mile to the Hydaspes '^ at a season when the swell-,
ing may be supposed not entirely past*

On this river, at Nic^a, Alexander embarked, carrying on
boUrd the hypaspists, Agrians, archers, and the royal troop '*'' of
horse. Crdtcms '** marched with another body on the right, or
western side of the river, while Heph6stion commanded a third
on the eastern bank. A fourth under the direction of Philip,
satrap of the country on the west of the Indus, followed at three

*** xal Cvt^ TOj iKaiot Tvxof »»» ir!p*X*/x»etfi»

Perhaps above one hundred stadia where it
spreads the widest.

It is reasonable to conclude, that all the
varying accounts of the breadth of the river,
which, as Strabo observes, fluctuate between
seven and an hundred stadia, owe their dis-
agreement to the different views of the stream,
either in its lowest or its highest state. See
Arrian, lib. v. p. 200.' Ct^sias (if Ct^sias is
any authority) says, that the Indus where
narrowest, is forty stadia in breadth, and where
widest an hundred, but that in general, a me-

dium between these may be assigned.

'^ It is remarkable that Curtius mentions
also this river — profundo alveo — stagnantibus
aquis — occultis saxis — sine vado — in medio
amne insulx crebrse — una insula amplior cae-
teris. All accordant circumstances^ and the
last agreeing with Arrian, though omitted by
Diodorus. Q^ Curtius, vol. ii. 65^.

'** "AynfA% iTTew, used not exactly by Ar-
rian. It sometimes means all the companions,
*£Tarpoi, sometimes M /3a<7iXiXfi\ the royal

''' See the note of Gronovias in loco, upon
the division of forces, p. 333.

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days distance in the rear. The troops commanded by Heph^s-
tion were by far more numerous than the rest; and he had
hkewise the charge of two hundred elephants, with orders to
join Cr4terus and reduce the territory of Sopithes'**, which
seems to occupy the angle between the junction of the Hy'phasis:
and the Akesines. Having distributed the land forces in this
manner, Alexander fell down the river for three days to a sta-
tion, where he halted two more for the troops to join, and then
proceeding again for five '" days, he reached the confluence of
the Hydaspes and Akesines '". The fleet is described as dis-
posed into different divisions, with orders to observe a due
distance, that no confusion might arise; and the progress by
water was regulated to accommodate the motions of the army..
With this object in view, we can hardly cast an eye over the
ipap without adverting to the coincidence of these circumstances
with the local geography. The distance from the lower point of
Jamad to the confluence is from sixty to seventy miles '^S and
with three armies moving in separate divisions, encumbered
with plunder, and obhged to make roads or find them, cor-
responding with the sinuosity of the river, eight or ten miles of
a right line is fully equivalent to the road distance of each day's
march. Pliny says, the fleet passed down the river at the rate
of six hundred stadia a-day. Q. Curtius '^^ mentions expressly
in this part of the passage, that the rate was only forty.

''* Strabo and Curtius make Sopithes and '" Major RenncU eupposet only Bve dayt

the Kathei the tame. The site of the Ka- from Nic^a to the Junction,
th^i is known. They were between the Hy- *^ Arrian from Megasthenes says, at Cam-

dra6te8 and Hy'phasis to the southward of bfsthoH or Astrobae. Which of the two is

Lahore. Arrian makes them different ; but right seems hard to discorer. See p. 317.
if Sopithes was in the angle between the Hy- '" RenncU's first map, 75 ; second map, 70*

dra6tes and the Hy'phasis, Heph^tion must De la Rochctte, 57.
have passed two rivers to reach them. '^* Vol. ii. p. 691.

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Freinshem, in order to reconcile so glaring a contradiction,
supposes four hundred '*^ ; but if seventy-five '*' or fifty miles is
too much, and five is too little, some other remedy must be
sought. It is true, as Major Rennell observes of the Ganges,
that a passage of fifty "• or sixty ^^ miles a-day is easily per-
formed when the river is swoln ; but this fleet was to accommo-
date the army, and no precipitation of this sort can be allowed.
Forty stadia, or five miles^ continued for eight days, gives in-
deed only forty miles, but the deficiency is more tolerable than
the excess, and if it might be |>ermitted to invert the numerals
of Q. Curtius, and read LX. instead of XL. **", the repetition of
sixty stadia for eight days gives sixty miles, a distance not
greatly differing from RennelFs corrected map, consistent with
probability, and correspondent to the ordinary progress **** of an
army in similar circumstances.

•*^ By reading quadrin^nti for quadraginta.
See Curt, in loco.

"• As the whole of this narntive it taken
from the 6th book of the History, we ought
perhaps to estimate the stadia by the Olympic
measure^ and not by the short stadium ap«
plied to the Journal.

**' Major Rennell, from his Latin Itinerary,
supposes twenty miles a day's passage for a
boat on the Indus.

■•• Rennell supposes thirty-eight miles a*day
down the Indub, p. 290^ second Memoir.

»*' This is a conjecture not authorized by
the text of Curtius, as given either by Frein-
shem or Snakenborck, for both read quadra-
ginta at full length. Whether the manuscripts
they followed have the .numerals XL. is not
eiprcsscd ; but those who are conversant in
Greek or Latin numerals will allow some lati-
tude for correction.

'*' The march of Timour from Jamad to
the confluence in the very track that the de«

tachment under Hephxstion should have
marched, is thus described by Cheref-^ddin,
tom. iii. p. 52. Translation of Petis de la

Apres avoir achev^ heureusement I'affaire
de Chehabeddin, Ton marche dnq ou /ix jours,
aa bord du fleuvc Jamad (Hydaspes), et . . •
on alia camper sur le bord de la riviere de
Genave (Akeaines), a une fortresse, vis a vis
de laquelle se fait le confluent de la riviere de
Jamad avec celle de Genave, 1. e. the Hy-
daspes with the Akesinet.

Five or six days march of a Tartar army,
with an object in view, is fully equal to the
eight days allotted to the Macedonians, whose
army was moving in three divisions, and one
of these under Hcph^tion detached on an

Lord Comwallis, in his march from Ben-
galoor to Seringapatam, moved at the rate of
nearly nine or ten miles a-day. See Major
Dirom's map.

Digitized by



The Hydaspes and Akesines at their junction are both forced
into a channel too narrow for their united streams ; the rapid
eddies and turbulence which arise necessarily from such a cause
afford ample scope for the tumid eloquence of Q. Curtius. The
more moderate language of -Arrian will, at the same time it
verifies a fact, give greater pleasure to the reader who prefers
truth to embellishment.

Where these two rivers meet, says Arrian, one channel very
narrow receives the waters of both. The stream becomes violent
from confinement, and whirls in eddies terrible to behold. . The
roar and tumult of the water are prodigious, and heard long be-
fore you reach the spot. When Alexander approached the
confluence, neither he, nor those on board his fleet, were un-
informed of these particulars ; yet, while they were still at some
distance, upon hearing the noise and dashing of the waters, the
rowers rested on their oars, the modulators were silent with
astonishment ; but as the stream carried them nearer, the com-
manders recalled both to their duty, and directed them to exert
their utmost strength, that the vessels might not be caught in
the eddies, but pushed through by dint of force. It turned
out, however, that the transports from their built, by yielding
to the eddy, escaped with little injury, except the alarm ex-
cited in those on board ; but the gallies, which from their length
and sharpness were less adapted to encounter a danger of this
sort, suffered greatly, and some, from having two banks of oars
and tlie difticulty of managing those which were nearly on a level
with the water, were exposed to the most iriiminent danger '*\

"' Let vaguet qui te formcfit en ce lien b font paixMtre line mer agitee. Cheref^eddin,
voLiii. p* j2.

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Alexander's vessel, however, escaped to a projecting point on
the right hand shore, which covered him from the violence of
the stream ; but he saAv two of his vessels sink, and with diffi-
culty saved such of their crews as were able to swhn. Many
more of the gallies were damaged, which caused a delay here
of some days in order to refit them ; and w hile the repair of
these was going on, Hephtstion, Crdterus, and Philip, joined
with their respective forces.

Alexander now ordered thq corps of Polysperchon **% the
mounted archers, and the division of Philip with the elephants,
to be conveyed over the Hydaspes, and proceed under the
command of Crdterus, while he landed himself and ravaged the
neighbouring territory, to prevent succours being sent to the
Malli. He returned again before the fleet moved, and then
ordering Nearchus to fall down the river for three days, he once
more formed his army into three divisions ; directing Hephtstion
to be five days in advance, Ptolemy to follow thrqe days march
in his rear, and both them and Crdterus to join the fleet again
at the confluence of tlie Akesines and Hydradtes ; while with a
fourth division he entered the country of the Malli himself. It
was in this expedition, attended with a variety of circumstances
not connected with our present subject, that he was himself
wounded in storming an inconsiderable fortress of the Malli.
The territory of this tribe naturally suggests an idea that it may
l)e the same as the celebrated province, or soobah, which takes
its name from Moultan, a city well known for its situation and
commerce in Europe as well as India*

"*♦ Td\ UoXiMrwifx^mi t»{« } it wat a part of the pfaahnz*

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Longitude „ „ '

from Greenwich by Rennell, 70 40
add from Terro, - 17 40

88 20
from Ferro by Ptolemy, 127

Ptolemy corrected by


90 4


by Ptolemy,
by Rennell, -
by the Turkish! ^^ ^_

geographer, j
EtvaFs - 29 40-^

31 15

29 50

According to the Ti\ ei-s of Ptolemy, Caspira on the Rhuadis
ought to be Moultan upon the Ravee ; but if it is so, his lati-
tude is very erroneous, for he places it north of Bucephala *^,

«^ Sec Otter, torn. i. 407.

*** It is by no mcaas certain that Ptolemy
placed Caspira to the north of Bucephala. It
it true that in the catalogue of longitudes and
latitudes, p. 171, the latitude of Bucephala is
only 30° 20' ; that of Caspira, according to
the Greek text, is 3 2** »o'» according to the
Latin, 31° 15'; and thus, whether we follow
the text or the interpreter, Caspira should be
north of Bucephala.

But probably the numbers are corrupt both
in the Greek and Latin ; (or in Book viii. in
l^is description of his loth map of Asia, which
contained the delineation of India within
Ganges, enumerating the principal cities of
•that region, he says, that at Caspira the
longest day is 14^ hours, at Bccephala 14^ :
now taking Ptolemy's obliquity of the cclip-
tick, i. e» 23° 49', these lengths of the longest
day give the latitude of Caspira 31^ 23' 29%
that of Bucephala ss"" 19' 51% u e. almost two

degrees north of Caspira. It ts tme that in
this passage the nunobers in the Latin transla-
tion differ from those of the Greek text,
(which is the case perpetually,) making the
longest day at Bucephala only 14 hoars ; but
I have little doubt that the error is in the
translatKMi, not in the text. In the Greek,
14J hours is thus expressed in Ptolemy's usual
notation, wpSir *5J. The interpreter overlooked
the second ).

1 am not certain whether Ptolemy, in esti-
mating the length of the longest day at dif-
ferent places, assumed the obliquity of the
echptick as deduced from his own observations,
or adhered to the estimation of Hipparchos,
which he mentions in the Almagest as not dif-
fering materially from his own. Hipparchus'a
obliquity was 33** 51' : with this obliquity the
latitude of both places would come out a lutle

Online LibraryWilliam VincentThe commerce and navigation of the ancients in the Indian Ocean → online text (page 12 of 49)