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

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more to the south, namely, Caspira 51^ 7 1 ' 4",
Bucephala 33° 17' 22". Bi&liop HurKlcy.


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whereas it is near a degree tx> the south *^^ The foregoing esti-
mation is consequently Uable to all the objections connected
with this error.

The fortress, however, where Alexander was wounded was
not the capital, for it is as certainly on the north of the Hy-
dra6tes, as Moultan. is on the ^outh. Major Renneir** has
noticed this with his usual accuracy, and the testimony of
Arrian is direct ; for he says that Alexander, after having passed
the Hydra6tes, returned and cross6d.it again after the flying
enemy, who threw themselves finally into the fortress where this
transaction took place. It is remarkable that the boundary
given to the province of Moultan 'by the; Ayeen Akbari should
correspond with the limits assigned to the Malli by Arrian ; for
when Abu'l Fazil '^ says the Pergunnah of Shoor "^ joins tibe
boundary of Moultan on the north, he evidently shews that this
soobah extends to the north of the Ravee or Hydra6tes, and
consequently comprehends, the spot allotted for the situation of
this fort among the Malli.

While Alexander was engaged in this expedition, the fleet
had reached the confluence of the Akesines and Hydradtes ;
and hither^ as soon as his wound permitted him to be removed,
he was conveyed in a galley down the stream of the latter "'.
The transjjort of joy with which his troops received him, was^

*^ See PtoL p. 171, and Mercatpr.^ Map tines, near the juoction of that mer with the

Asia, tab. x. Chelum (Hydaspes).

'^ Second Memoirt p« 979 Major Rennell See in confirmacioni Ayeen Akbari, yoL ii.

places this nameless fort' ten miles from the p. 100.

conflux of the Hydraotes and AkesineSy below '^' Alexander did not land at the actual

Tolomba. junction of the rivers, but at the camp of He -

. *^ Vol. ii* p. 136. phfistion, on the Hydra6tes, i| small distance

*^ Shoor lies npon the Chca-ab or Ake* higher up*. See p. 25a. Ar.

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some compensatioa for the dangers he had encountered ;. and so
little did the monarch himself seefn to be ashamed of the te^
merity with which he had exposed his person, that he is said to
have taken a B^otian soldier into his favour, who, in his broad
dialect, bluntly applied to him the sentiment of a tragic poet "* r

<* He that would do great deeds must suffer greatly/'

Here he was joined by the other divisions of the army, and
while he was under cure of his wound he received the submission
of the Malli, now humbled by reiterated defeats ; and a de*
putation from the Oxy'dracae, offering to become tributaries,
and to send him a supply of men.

The Oxy'dracae correspond both in name and situation with
the district still called Outche, which is comprehended in the
soobah of Moultan, and occupies the angle formed by the
junction of the Chen-ab, or Akesines '^', with the Indus. It is
somewhat singular that Arrian should mention these people as
cantoned into departments, and their magistrates *^ as presiding
in each separate canton, while the moderns distinguish them to
this day by the appellation of the Seven '^' Towns of Outche '^.
These local circumstances continuing similar through so many
ages, afford no less pleasure to tlie inquirer than confirmation td
the veracity of the ancient historians.

This tribe must have been in a flourishing condition, for they
furnished Alexander with a thousand men and five- hundred '"

■'* And Pindar: Ivtl *'* Perhaps the orthography is, Owrj. or

pjfbfT* T» jr«j wct^tXf fMiciy. Nein.4. Sir; 2. Oudj. Sec Ayccn Akb. vol.iL p. loo.
*" Ayeen Akbari, vol. ii. p. 136. "' I should tather read fntraucorr^ fifty, than

•*♦ 'Hyijx^FK Twr wiXttn xal t$ fofieifx^' wtrroK&na five hundred ; but there it no infi—

■^ See Tie£Fenthaler| toI. i* p* itS^ and ination of an error. The number it extraTa*

de la Rochcttc's map. gant*.

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chariots, and their territory, with that of the MalH, was abided
to the satrapy of Phihp. During the continuance of the army
at this place an additional number of vessels had been built,
and seventeen hundred horse were again embarked, with ten
thousand foot, and a body of Hght infantry, and the whole
ordered to fall down to the confluence of the Akesines with the
Indus. It is here that Arrian mentions tlie junction of the
Hy'phasis vvith the Akesines, before that river falls into
the Indus. But still he does not maik with his usual
attention vvhere the actual junction takes place, neither does he
notice the arrival of the fleet at it, as at the confluences which
precede and follow. This omission gives us room to doubt of
the fact, and though de la Rochette has followed Arrian and
Tieftbnthaler in uniting the Biah and the Setledj with the Chen-
ab before that river meets the Indus, there is still great reason
to adhere to Major Rennell, who carries those two rivers with
one stream into the Indus directly, without bringing them first
into the Chen-ab. It occurs here likewise that the Akesines
preserves its name after receiving these several rivers, agreeably
to what Ticffenthaler observes of the modem Chen-ab,

The city of Moultan, anciently called Mulatran, which gives
name to this piovince, and which is situated to the southward
of the Ravee or ITydra6tcs, is considered as one of the oldest in
India ; it has a citadel and a wall of brick four miles ''* in cir-
cinnfeixjncc. 'J'hc chmate is hot in the cxtrcme, the soil a
burnins; sand, and rain is seldom known. A branch or canal
from the Ravee, called Monan, approaches within one cose of
Uie town ; the Ravee itself is only two cose distance, and the

■^ Ticffenthaler, vol. i. p. 115. His miles arc always coss ; so that wc may estimate the
city seven or eight miles in circumference.

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Indus twelve or fourteen. The junction of the Ravee and
Chen-ab is distant twenty-five "* miles, and that of the Chen-ab
and Indus eighty '^. It is not impossible that a town of the
Malli should have occupied this site in the time of Alexander,
but certainly not as a capital, or a place of importance ; for the
Macedonians were more ready to give consequence to the places
they subdued, than to detract from tkem ; but local circum-
stances by no means disallow of its being one of those for-
tresses **' attacked by Alexander upon his first crossing the Hy-
dra6tes, and before he recrossed that river, to the place Where he
was wounded.

From the junction of the Hydra6tes with the Akesines the
fleet now fell down to another station, at the point where the
Akesines with all its tributaiy waters is united with the Indus,
waiting there for the arrival of Perdiccas, w ho had been cm-
ployed in subduing the Ab^tani. The submission of another
tribe named Ossddii had been received by a part of the fleet
which had been built at Xathra and came down the Indus,
while Alexander had been descending the Akesines. Of Xathra
and these two tribes nothing occurs to direct our inquiries but
the mention of their names ; and in regard to Xathra, the ob-
scurity is of consequence ; for there is reason to conclude, that
these vessels which now came down the Indus were part of the
fleet originally built on that river, and left there Avhcn Alexander
transported the other part over land to the Hydaspes. yVrrian
mentions this division as consisting of gallies and transports
newly built, but it is hardly credible that the whole '" fleet had

''9 De la Rochcttc. '*' A similar conveyance of veuels over-

**• Sixty-five aiiles. RcnneU. land appears, lib. vii. p. 300, from Ph^nicia

•■■ Perhape Bpaxi'**^"" tmw roX»», p. 242, to Thapsacus. Three Qiiadriremes, twelve

Anian. Triremes, thirty Triacontcri, divided -int©

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been carried over-land, and highly probable that part left be-
hind had been augmented at Xathra. If we had any data to
fix the position of Xathra on the Indus, it would afford
great satisfaction to prove the length of the line of transporta-
tion, but Xathra is named only by Arrian, and does not appear
in Ptolemy, Strabo, Diodorus, or Q. Curtius.

At the conflux of the Akesines with the Indus, Alexander
fixed the establishment of a new city, of which, though we find
no traces in modem accounts, we may naturally consider the
situation as highly advantageous. A city fixed here would ne-
cessarily partake of all the commerce that passed up the Indus,
to be distributed by means of the several sources above, froni
Candahar and Cabul on the west, to Tchamoo, and perhaps to
Thibet, on the east ; and being the centre where all these streams
unite, must consequently derive equal emoluments from the
commerce that passed downwards to the coast. The judicious
choice of a site for this Alexandria (for such probably was its
name) has been as httle noticed by the historians as imitated by
the native *** powers of India ; nothing is found in the Ayeen
Akbari to prove the existence of any place of importance "^ at
this junction, and the silence of travellers and geographers on the
sui>ject leaves the whole matter in -obscurity.

parts, ard hroiiglit over-land hj a longer
transport certainly than from the Indus to the
Hydatpes or Chcluni.

i«3 Whatever local circumstances have con-
tributed to the situation of Moultan, harve
united also in preventing the grawth of a city
at this confluence.

• »■* No magnificent idea is requisite to con-
ceive the building of cities in the east. A fort
or citadel, with a mud wall to mark the cir-
curafcrcnoe of Uie Pcttab, or town, is all that

falls to the »hare of the founder. The habita-
tions for the natives are raised in a fewMays or
hours : and inhabitants are supplied either by
force, or, if the place is commodious, by incli-
nation. Timour, as well as Alexander, built
cities in two, three, or five days. The soldan
of Egypt insults Timour, by telling him that
the cities of the east are built of mud, and
ephemeral, ours in Syria, says he, and Egypt,
are of stone^ andettrnal. Cheref-eddin.

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. Alexander remained hoe some time both for the establishment
of the city, and to regulate the administration of the province
for at this junction he fixed the limits of Philip's satrapj, and
the commencement of a new one for Oxyartes the Bactrian,.
father of his wife Rox4na, which was to extend to Pattala and
the coast Python was joined in tlie commission %vith Oxyartes,
and Philip was left at this new city with all the Thracians and
other troops sufficient for the defence of the province,


As we are now to leave the confluences of the riespective
rivers, which have hitherto served to direct us in the position of
cities, tribes, and countries, a scene of difficulties opens which
nothing but a desire .of elucidating ancient geography would
tempt me to explore at greater length than those who have trod
the same ground before me. Our materials are scanty; for
Arrian and Diodorus have only two short pages, Q. Curtius
part of one chapter, and Strabo two or three lines. In all of
them there is hardly a characteristic feature to distinguish one
place firom another ; time and distances ai^e equally disregarded
by all. Added to thb, I feel some repugnance in deserting the
guidance of my constant director Major Rennell, by fixing the
Sogdi*** at Behker, and Musikdnus at Sewee; but I do this

■^ Though I desert Major Rennell, I have nent. Gcbg. Anc. vol. ii. p. 345.

the approbation of d^ AnTiUe. But d'Anville himself .is mistaken about Sin-

La viUe royale des Sogdi^ . . . • ne peut domana, ibid, and Eclaircissemcns, p. ^5 ;

mieux se rapporter qu' a Bukor, qui a servi de Antiq. de Plnde, p. 32.

r^idence a des rots de cette contree* De la Rochette follows d'Aaville in placing

Renfermee dans une isle deux villes sur les Moosicanus at Sewce.
ritres oppos^es Sukor et Louhri I'accompag-

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upon the authority of Strabo's Iwief account, who affirms that
the seat of Moos&dnHs's government wa» very near "* the

Let ns first take a view of the c«intry as it exists at present.
The Indus rolls down from the confluence of the Chen-ab or
Akesines to Tatta, four hundred '•' mil^s in one channel, with
hardly a single point to characterise one part of its course from
another, except the island Behken Behker is the termination
of the modem province of Moultan ; the general term for the
tract below is Scindy ; the title it bears in the enumeration of
the Mogol provinces is the Soobah of Tatta ; but in the time of
Akbar this Soobah was added to that of Moultan. The Soobah
of Tatta is divided into five circars. 1. Tatta^ the Pdttala of
the ancients. II. Hajykan, running parallel to the Indus,
and extending north above Behker. III. Sewistan, between
Behker and Tatta. IV. Nussecrpoor, extending east from the
head of the Delta; and, V. Chucherhaleh, (as well as I can
collect,) extending from the eastern mouths of the Indus along
the coast towards the bay of Cutch. We have therefore two
principal positions on the river, between the confluence and the
Pattal^nb ; Behker in Moultan, and Sewee in Tatta. AVc have
likewise tAvo governments named in ancient history, that of the
Sogdi and of Moosikdnus '". I shall consider *•' each more parti-
cularly liereafter ; but at present these circumstances will afford
some reason to conjecture that these circars are natural divisions
of the country, and that the reason of tliis distribution existed

••* I bclicTc not near^ but next to. *•' Oxykanus was not on the Indus.

np^ <*vT»i J* S>n Tf n«TT«Xw5 Wf Ti tS Mw*- *•• Tfarovghout the historj of Ferishta, as

jutyS Xryi^h na\ rytf SaCoutv Diy)oNtXl«y; xa\ 7ti trj given hj C. Dow, I find hardly a single town

aofnH»iS. ' to add to Tatta, Sewan, Behker and its de-

■^ Three Hondred. De la Rochette. pendencies. See toI. ii. p. 506, et scq.

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as strongly in former times as at the present day ; if io^ the
ancient tribes specified by the historians posably occupied ti»
same ground as the modem circars.

Tlie nature of the river itself will suggest other reflections,
which will tend to throw farther light on the subject For the
Indus, although it resembles the Nile '^ in forming the centre
of a valley and watering a countiy where no rain falls, diifers in
some points more essentiaL The map is crowded with the
names of ancient cities and modem villages on the banks of the
Nile, while the Indus has only two places of importance, Behker
and Sewec, in a course of four hundred miles.

The range of sand *•' hills on the east is the residence of the
Ashambety *^, while a chain of rocks on the west commences
from the sea, and runs northward nearly parallel with the river
till it joins those of Kandahar. All the ridges of Asia afford
security to tribes of plunderers ; those in the iieighbourhood of
Kandahar are the seat of the Aghwans, the conquerors of Persia
and the desolators of India ; and this range from the sea pro-
duces the Belootches, a tribe no less ferocious than the Agh-
wans- This range has likewise several branches ; one more par-
ticularly that reaches the Indus near Sewee, and another which,
I have reason to think, forms the boundary between Sewistan
and Hajikan ; and if there were any guide to direct me where to
fix the limits of Hajikan '♦•, I should make it the territory of

^ Major RenneQ, Postscript. and adopted Pcrtiao word, which signifies a

■»• Ayccn Akbari, vol. ii. p. 145. Tirf- multitude^ to hord together, to collect,

fcathaler. Mr, Jones,*

'9* Called Jams at Tatta, when Hamilton '9i Hajikan likewiK resembles Assac^nt,

wu there. The Jams are robbers from the but the site of that tribe does not ac-

east : the Belootchet, robbers from die west, cord,

I suspect they arc called so from the Arabic

T 2

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Oxycanus^ firom similarity of sound, but I can nearly demon-
strate that the lower branch in Sewistan was the territory of
Oxykdnus and Sambus.

From this account of the modern state of the river and the
country, let us now return to the ancient historians ; the order
of transactions, allowing for the variation of the narrative, is
the same in aH. I. The Sogdi of Anian are the Sdbracae of Q.
Curtius, the Sambestae and Sodrae of Dioddrus. We need not
insist on the diversity of names, for it matters little; but the
transactions which occurred, the voluntary surrender of the
place, and the estabUshment of docks and arsenals, are all
similar and accordant ; and though Dioddrus would make the
Sambestae and Sodrae '^ distinct tribes, his transactions are toi>
clear to leave a doubt. II. The Moosikdnus of Arrian is the same
both in name and order as in Q. Curtius, Dioddrus, and Strabo.
Illf. The Oxykdnus of Arrian answers to the Pr6sti of Q. Curtius,.
the Portik4nus of Dioddrus and Strabo. IV. And finally, the
Sambus of Arrian has the same appellation in Dioddrus, and is
the Sabus of Q. Curtius, the Sabiitas of Strabo. A situation is
now to be found for these four successively ; and if a reasonable
degree of probability can be assigned for placing the three first,
allowances must be made for the scantkiess of materials^ if it is
impossible to arrive at demonstration.

After viewing this question in a variety of lights, I have per-
suaded myself that the Sogdi were at Behker, MoosikAnus at
Sewee, Oxy kdnus on the west of Sewee at the foot of the moun-
tains, and Sambus on that range of mountains called Lukhy
which extends from the great westem range, and approaches
the Indus at Sewee. Tlie proofs or probabilities necessary to

•M Pow gives a Sodra on the Indu8> but without data to fix it. Vol. ii.

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produce the same convictioii ia others shall be adduced as we
pursue the course of the fleet down the river ; but I cannot
avoid noticing, that by the most cursory view of the map, a
fort and dock-yard at the confluence of the Akesines, the same
at Behker, with a garrison at Sewee, and other citadels and
docks at the head, and two lower points of the Delta, present a
line of frontier exactly correspondent to local convenience, and
the very nature of the country.

At the confluence of the Akesines, Cr&terus with the de^
phants and the greater part of the army was transported to the
eastern side of the Indus, as the country on that side appeared
more convenient for the march of an army; and Alexander
dropped down with the fleet to Sogdi. The distance and the
time employed ar^ lx)th omitted by Arrian ; but if we place the
Sogdi '•* at Behker, the distance appears from Major Renneli
4o be short of an hundred and fifty '•* miles. In the same order
follow the Sabracaj of Q. Curtius^ ami the Sambestae of Dio-
d6rus ; both describe this tribe as living under a republican "^
form of government, and defended by an army of sixty thou-
sand foot, six thousand horse, and five hundred chariots ; both
specify the submission of this people without a battle, and Dio-
d6rus adds, that the Missani"^ and Sodi-a^ were borderers on
the river, who submitted at the same time. In the construction
of a citadel and docks at this place *••, all the three liistorians
agree. Now though we may allow great scope for the amplifi-
cation of Curtius and Dioddrus, we are still to consider these

*^ In a right line by the scale. Suckor and Snokar, we find the rcprcscDtativc

«* Eigiity. Dc la Rochette. of Sogdi and Sodrae.

'97 Arrian say* expressly > to fixalXiw^. ^ Q^Curtius mentions an Alexandria foor

'^ Massani and Sodrae are perhaps the mo- days lower down ; but it must be referred to

dern Bekier and S^kic, in Sckier written tbit places as.bc najMs. no mtion or ake*

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Sdbracae as a tribe of consequence in the view of the historians,
and I ask where is a position to be found for such a tribe in the
course of this hundred and fifty miles before we arrive at
Behker. Nothing can be more barren of names than the Hne
of the Indus here in Major Rennell, or de la Rochette ; and the
discordance of those two geographers, being no less than seventy
miles, adds still to the confusion and obscurity. Another con-
sideration is, that Behker in the modem division of the pro-
vince is a circar of Moultan ; and where the Dooabeh ~ circars
end, that of Behker begins : it follows, therefore, that Behker
would necessarily be the first capital from the junction of the
Akesines, and naturally the site of the Sogdi or S^bracae, the
first tribe Alexander reached after leaving that junction.


O t tl

by Ptolemy, from Ferro, 118 -

by Rennell, from Greenwich, 70
add from Ferro, - 17400

Ptolemy corrected by Gossellin, 84 16 0.


Latitude ^
Ptolemy, - 25200
Rennell, - 27330
Oriental. Otter, 34 00
De la Rochette, 27 27

I take the Bin^gara of Ptolemy for Behker, not only on ac-
count of its central situation between Moultan and Tatta, but
its resemblance in point of orthography, for it is possibly Behli-
nagar or Behk-nagar, in which form it approaches Behker-
nagar; nagar being the usual adjunct to express a fortified

"• A tpace between two ri»er»; Doo, two j Ab, water. -

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place, and Ptolemy has in this neighbourhood, Agri-nagara,
Ka-nigara, Nagar-anigramma, &c. &c.

According to the modern division, the circar or Dooabeh of
Behker contains twelve mahls*^', or places for collecting the
revenue, which amounts to fifty-seven thousand five hundred *
and seventy -eight pounds sterling *°*, and furnishes four thousand
six hundred and ninety horse, and eleven thousand one hun-
dred foot. These circumstances are slated from the modem
account, to shew how reasonably it will bear a comparison with
the ancient, allowing for much exaggeration, and considering
that India appears more populous in eariy times than since it
has been desolated by invasions.

It would have been a fortunate circumstance if any of the
historians had mentioned an island here, or in any part of the
Indus between the junction of the Akesines and Tatta; but
their silence is unanimous. . It will appear, however, that we
have something more than conjecture to direct us, for Otter
names Bekier, Sekier, and Tekier, as three places dependant
on Mansura *^^ ; in which, though he is mistaken (for Bekier is

^' The names of the twelve mahls are the
same in TicfTenthaler and the Ayecn Akbari.
If any one wishes to sec what spelling can do
to confound, he should consult both. 'J'ieff.
vol. i. 117. Ayeen Akb. voJ.ii. 103.
»•* Reckoning the dam forty to a rupee,
'°^ Mansura is a city encircled at a distance
by a branch of the Mehran (Indus). The
city itself stands on the western side of the main
channel ; for the Mehran in its descent sepa-
rates into two streams at Calere, a day's jour-
ney from Mansura ; the main stream passes to
Mansura ; the inferior turns to the north to-
wards Sarusan, and then winds back again to

the west [read easQ, till it joins the main
channel once more, about twelve miles below
the city. Mansura is a mile both in breadth
and length. Nub. Geographer, p. 57.

This description has led Mr. d'Anville into
a great error, for the whole is represented on
his map. The error arises from his making
Behker and Mansura two different places,
which the Ayeen Akbari proves to be the
same ; but d'Anville places Behker near four
degrees higher up the stream, and this Man-
sura he places below Sibwan. Otter has &llen
into the same error. Vol. i. 406, 407.

Major Rcanell makes the ibk 'thirty-fite

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Behker the same as Mansura), he is still right in regard to iht
other two, for Sekier is the Sunker of the Aj-een Akbari, and
Tekier is the fort called in that work Alore, the Louheri of de
la Rochette. Tekier is situated either at the reAinion of the
river after its separation to form the island, or just below it ;

Online LibraryWilliam VincentThe commerce and navigation of the ancients in the Indian Ocean → online text (page 13 of 49)