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

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lowing summer> in their passage down the for Jix^i ^wo^ here, but by that perpetual error

river ; they arriTcd at Pittala about the rising which perradcs all the numerals in Gitck

of the dog-stari completing their navigatioa' atithors?

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We shall be under no necessity of attending upon this ex*
j>edition farther than it is connected with the progress of the
fleet; but as there were two opportunities of communicatiou
embraced, and a tliird attempted, we mnst accompany tlie army
into the country of the Arabita? and Orita& ; after \viiich, it will
be sufficient to sketch the general course of the route into Kar-
mania, where Nearchus joined Alexander again, and reported
the account of his success.

I place the departure of the army from Pattala in the latter
end of August, or the beginning of September, at which time
Nearchus received his final orders, which directed him to take
charge of the fleet, to prepare every thing necessary for the
voyage, and to proceed to sea as soon as the season would

Alexander proceeded into the country of the Ambitae, lying
evidently in that range of mountains before described, which
commences from the sea and extends parallel with the Iiuius up
to Kandahar. TTiese nraontains are still occupied by diflerent
tribes of the Belootches, wh©se habits to this day resemble
the manners of the people described by the Macedonians.
They dispersed at the approach of a superior force, and col*
lected again from their fastnesses as soon as the enemy was passed.

These Arabitae are mentioned by Arrian aa an independent
tribe, like the Belootches *** of the present day; as in fact all
the inhabitants of mountains^ either in Persia or Hindostar^
have generally been. Their country seems to lie on one of the


<*« £bn Haukal, p. 140^ who caUt them robbers inhabiting one part of Atta«/.^. Taurus,

Bolougesy compares them to Arabs t and Amanus* M. Casius, ^c. &c. may find a very

KcfeiV the inhabitants of the mountains, are extraordinary one in Mr. Baldwin's journal^

called Kouje ill Parsi ; hence Kouje or Cutch ? published with Major Capper's route from

»• Those who wish to sec a catalogue of the Basrm to Aleppo.

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brandies of the great chain, and extends into the plain as far
as tlie river A'rabis, which was the hmit of India in tlie age we
are treating of, and either at this river or at the mountains, the
boundary continued, till Nadir Shah, by liis treaty with the
INIogul emperor, removed it to the eastern stream of the Indus.
Major Rennell's second map defines tliis country and- the ridge
which ends at Cajxj Monze, agreeably to Arrian's account, and,
from a variety of corresponding circumstances, there is every
reason to subscribe to his opinion.

And here, as I shall have no better opportunity to mention a
variety of facts, which will contribute to the perspicuity of the
narrative, I shall introduce a general view of the co^st, and the
peculiarities connected with it. Tlie nature of the two coasts of
Malabar and Coromandel is now well known in Europe, as
consisting of a tract of low land towards the sea, below a line
of mountains which enclose the whole centre of the peninsula ;
tlie same circumstance seems to take place again on the bay of
Cutch, where the Chigoo mountains appear mnning inland,
parallel with the sea, till tiiey join the range of sand hills which
form the eastern branch of the valley in which the Indus flows ;
the centre of this valley is occupied by the stream,, and at no
great distance on the western side, anotheir barrier is raised by
the chain of black and rocky mountains so often mentioned ;
one ridge of which terminates not far from the western mouth
of the Indus at Cape Monze^ the Eirus of the Macedonians.
Out of this chain, at no great distance from the sea, a brancli
Mioots off again, running west or north-west parallel with the
coast ^j and inclosing the level country of Gadr6sia, parched

^ It is nearly evident that « tecond ridge of the Oritse.
shoots from this chain, forming the residence Q^Curtius says, that Aleacaader w^od at

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and barren in tte extreme. The modern name of this tract is
Mekran, or Cutch ^^ Mekran, and is specified in Commodore
Robinson's journal, published by Lieutenant Porter by the name
of Btoachee, and Brodia. Bloachee is a corruption of Belot-
chee, and I imagine the coast is so called as far as the influence
of the Belootches** extends, and, where that ends, Brodia.
That this branch sends oflf shoots towards the sea at particular
points seems probable ; but that its general course is parallel
with the coast, is ascertained by Commodore Robinson's '^ jour-
nal, and another of the Houghton East Indiaman, 1755, which
I owe to the communication of Mr. Dalrymple. In all this
level country no river ^"* has a longer course than from the
mountains to the sea ; in which it resembles the coast of Mala-
bar, where almost all the rivers rise westward *" of the Ghauts.
One branch of this range, I imagine, verges towards the sea,
not far eastward of Cape Jask, separating Gadr6sia from Kar-
mania; biit no sooner are we past that promontory than we

Pattala for the return of spring ; not knowing
that the change of the winds causes the differ-
ence of season a. He adds, lib. ix. p. lo.
that Alexander made nine days' march into
the country of the Arabites, and nine more
into GadrAsia; subjoining, ahnost immedi-
ately, five days* march to the river A'rabis.
I could* have made use of his eighteen days,
if he had not destroyed his own consistency.

^ Gcdje-Mckran ; Rennell.

Koiije. Sir William Ousckry. Ebn Hau-
kaU p. 143- Bayer, 29. Blootsch. Ouse-
Icy in Ebn Haukal. Bolouchc. Kouches
and Bolouches have a different language from
Kirman. Ebn Haukal, ibid.

Kouje in Ebn Haukal seems to signify
Hills, perhaps from Koo ? hence Kouje Mck-
ran is the high land extending from the Indus
towards Karmania ; and Kouje, or Cutch

simply, the Chigoo hills stretching east to-
wards Guzerat.

^°^ The boundary between Bloachee and
Brodia is fixed by Lieutenant Porter at
Guadel ; p. 5.

^ " The land, as in all other parts of the
coast [of Bloachee], is extremely low by the
sea side, and very high in the country.'*
C. Robinson. Lieutenant Porter, p. 2.

**' Mr. de la Rochctte marks the Tanka-
Banca as rising beyond the mountains ; but, as
no memoir accompanies his map, I know not
on what authority. Otter, however, counte«
uances this opiaios.

^" It is not so on the coast of Coromandel,
the Nerbudda, Kristna, Ganga^ and Caveri,
&c. all rise above the GhauUf and near the
western range.

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find the same face of the country return, a level tract along the
coast called the Kerniesir, or hot country, with a range of
mountains inland. This range, Mr. d'Anville says, is never cut
by any river, but stretches on uninterrupted till it joins the
mountains which encircle Persis and Susiana. Here the Tigiis
stops its farther progress, and sends it off with various curva-^
tures till it joins the mountains of Armenia. These general
properties attending the whole range of coast almost firom the
mouths of the. Ganges to the Tigris, present one of the boldest
features in the geography of the world, and become of more
importance, as these mountains connect with that extraordinary
chain which extends on the north of Persia across the sources
of the Indus, forms the barrier of Hindostan, and penetrates
through the extremity of Asia, till it falls into the sea of Amoor,
on the north of China.

There ii no part of Arrian's history where these general cir-
cumstances connect with the transactions of the Macedonians,
which is unworthy of the attention of geographers ; and, on the
particular coast of which we are now to treat, nothing which
the most accurate investigation of modem inquirers has not
confirmed. He has traced the line of these mountains, from
ParopAmisus to the sea, with as much precision as the Ayeen
Akbari ; and he has brought the army to that pass over them,
which continues to this day the route of intercourse between
the Indus*'* and Mekran; if intercourse there can be, where
the roads are exposed to banditti, and where there is little
power or attention in government to protect the interests of

*" Sec the Nubian Geographer, p. 57, et seq.

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Anian does not indeed, expressly state, that Alexander passed
a line '*' of mountains in this march ; but it may be collected
from what he has said above, that the range in the country of
Musik^nus, or Sambus, extended to the sea. He advanced
with a body of horse and light troops, leaving the remainder to
follow under the command of Heph^stion ; the natives fled into
the desert on his approach ; in pursuit of them he passed the
A'rabis'**, a narrow stream with little water, and advancing
through the desert all night, reached the habitable country in
the morning. This wag the residence of the Oritae. Here he
left his infantry to follow in due order; and, spreading his
cavalry over the country, slew all that resisted, and brought in
a great number of prisoners. The army then halted at a
small ^'* stream for the arrival of their hght infantry and the
junction of Heph6stion. As soon as they came up, Alexander
himself moved to Rhambacia'^S the principal village of the

3«» The ezisteace of this range is indis* ** high, and extends so to C. Monzc." Lieu-

puuble, for the Aycen Akbariteys, " there tenant P«rter, p. 2. I shall shew hereafter

'* is another range, one extremity of which is that Crotchy is the Crocala of Arrian j and

" in Kutchy (the coast west of the Indus,) C. Monze, Eirus, or Irus : and I consider

-*« and the other joins to the territory of the this evidence of Porter as full proof of the

<* Kulmaniesy where it is called Karch. It is existence of a chain previous to the river

" inhabited by four thousand Belootches.'* A'rabis.
Vol. ii. p. 143* ''* See tupra, the Hcnd of d'Anville and

It has already been shewn that the Kulma- <ie la Rochette, and the Arabitae ; perhaps the

nies are on the parallel of Scwistan, and pro- Hendians of the Ayeen Akbari.
bably occupy the territory of Sambus ; this '** Probably the stream ' we shall hear of

range, therefore, that runs from thence to again under the name of Tomftrus.
Kutch, (the coast,) can be no other than the ^'^ Ram, or Rham, has doubtless a sense

one occupied by the Arabitae or Oritse. I am in Sanskreet. There is a Ram Raja in the

persuaded with Major Rennell, that there are Mahratta country ; another Ram mentioned

two of these ranges, one belonging to each ; in Nadir's treaty ; and Ram-nagar, Ram-Gur,

and that they form the natural division of the in the Ayeen Akbari, as lying in the course

provinces inhabited by the respective tribes. of the mountains north of Gadr6sia. I see no

«' The Und at the back of Crotchy is pretty reason why this last may not be Rham-bacia ;

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Oritae ; he found the situation advantageous, and directed He-
ph^stion to fortify it as a post, while he proceeded again to the
confines of Gadrdsia. Here the Oritae who had fled, after being
joined by the Gadr6sians, had taken post in a pass that was
narrow and difficult of access (apparently on the second of
those ^'^ chains already mentioned); and this pass they deter-
mined to defend. Upon his approach however they dispersed,
and the Oritae sent offers of submission. He ordered the chiefs
to collect the fugitives, and send them to their respective habi-
tations, under a promise of safety and protection.

Apoll6phanes was appointed satrap of the province, and
Leonndtus w^as left with the Agrians, a body of archers, horse
and infantry, and the whole of the Greek cavalry in the service.
These forces were intended to support the regulation of the
province, to superintend the establishment of the oity, and to
wait the arrival of the fleet on the coast. Alexander.^'*, upon
leaving Pdttala, had designed to have proceeded along the

but I find no Ramnagar in the maps. Sec
Snakenborck Not. ad Curt. lib. ix. p. lo.

^'^ I have before appealed to [C. Robin-
son] Lieutenant Porter, for the existence of
a range which falls in at C. Monze, or Irus ;
and I think we have his authority for a becond
ridge between the Oritae and Gadr6sia, which
falls in at Cape Moran, or the rocks of Kin-
ga)ah. Moran, I have no doubt, is the Ma-
lana of Arrian, which he says is the western
limit of the Oritae ; and a bluff head-land,
mentioned here by Lieutenant Porter, is, I
apprehend, the termination of the ridge.
Moran is marked by d'Anville with the title
of Malan ; and considering how easily / passes
into r, both to the car and by pronunciation,
no doubt remains that the Malana of Arrian,
the Malan of d*Anville, and the Moran of
Porter^ arc tbc same. Sec Lieutenant Porter,

p. 3. I have met with Malan and Mahlan in
other journals. M. d'Anville, p. 44, Antiq.
Gcog. quotes Thcvenot ; and Thevenot men-
tions Malan, p. 194, Eng. ed. but with such
obscurity, (for he did not see* it,) that it is not
easy to ascertain whether he means to say it is
twenty or forty leagues from Scindi.

** Cudjerah appears a low point, but ter-
*' minates in a bluff, as by its last appearance
*« with C. Moran." Lieutenant Porter, p. 3.
** The land from Sommeany, [the mouth of
" the A'rabis, J runs extremely low next the
" sea, but the back is very cragged, and con-
«« tinues so to Cudjerah." Id. ibid. All
these testimonies indicate a ridge tending to
the sea at Malana ; and here, where Arrian
places the boundary of the Oritae, we ought
to find it.

''* See Arrian, p. 260.


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coast and attend to this service himself, by digging wells and
collecting such supplies as the country afforded ; bat he had
been diverted from this purpose by the flight of the Arabitae and
Oritae ; and as he was now at the entrance into Gadr6sia, where
he foresaw the difficulties he was to encounter, he was desirous
of proceeding with all dispatch, and left the protection of the
(country and the fleet to Leonndtus. That officer approved
himself worthy of the charge ; for scarce had Alexander left the
province before the Oritae, with the neighbouring tribes, col-
lected again into a body »'' and attacked the forces left for its
defence. A victory over such an enemy as this was perhaps no
great achievement ; but as Lconndtus slew six thousand natives,
saved the province, and relieved the fleet, his services were re-
warded with a crown of gold when he afterwards joined the
main army in Susiana ^". Neither ought we to undervalue the
merit of this service ; for this part of the coast, before we enter
Gadr6sia, appears neither deficient of inhabitants or the means
of supporting them. The natives, as possessors of a moun-
tainous country, were probably hardy, and accustomed to a
hfe of pillage, neither unacquainted with the use of arms, nor
without courage to maintain their independence. . They are de-
scribed by Arrian as not being an Indian tribe, for India ends
at the A'rabis ; but as being the last people whom Alexander
found Avith Indian manners. As soon as he entered Gadr6sia,
he was properly in Persia ; and the distress he experienced
in that province shall be no farther noticed than as it is con-
nected with the navigation of the fleet, to which we must now

«•' Eight thousand foot, fi?e hundred horse, ^" He probably joined in Karroania, but
Q^ Curt. lib. ix. p. lo. The reverse is more received the crown in Susiana.
credible, for these tribes are all mounted.

BB 2

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N E A R C H U S.



I Cocut of the Arables^ or Arabtta.'^U. Coast of the Or//<r.— HI. Coast
of the Icthu6pbagi.—TV. Dissertations.

1HAVE already fixed the departure of the fleet from the
Indus on the first of October, in the year three hundred and
twenty-six A. C* and though I might have taken advantage of
Strabo's authority to postpone this date to the tenth, I still pre-
fer the precision of Arrian to the general date of the Geographer.
The north-east nionsoon, which commences in November and
becomes settled in December, makes a later day more agree-
able ; but as we shall immediately see that Nearchus, after
having cleared the river, was obliged to lie in harbour twenty,
four days, till the season was favourable, and otht^r circum-
stances of the voyage mark the commencement and vigour of

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the monsoon, the method pursued to fix the date is not liable to

7'he reason for proceeding before the monsoon commenced, is
ascribed by Strabo to the discontent of the natives ; and we may
observe, that though IMcris, the chief of Pattala, had previously
made his submission to Alexander, he fled on the approach of
the fleet, and no mention is afterwards made of his return, or
his being brought in by the troops who were sent in pursuit of
him. His flight into the desert, we may conclude, was on the
east of the Indus ; for had it been on the west, we should have
heard of some attempt to recover him, when the army pro-
ceeded in that direction ; but as no such circumstance occurs,
we must suppose that he returned as soon as he heard of
Alexander's departure, and endeavoured to recover the province
he had lost.

This transaction throws light upon the narrative of Arrian,
and reconciles the difficulty arising from the departure of the
expedition before the season. Arrian ', however, is so far from
acknowledging it, that he mentions the performance of the
games and sacrifices usually adopted on such occasions, which
intimate neither haste or conftision at the actual moment of

' The passage in Strabo is too express to be

iTiTo^»7» \<TVtfiw a^^ota^ui t5 t?v5, jw,W4> ^aXv tZv

uxrni^f xai l^t\*vv6my x«0appy.o^4 yap «TiXdowo«

tS Pota-tXiuiy xa* IXtvOtpw6<rai, Lib. xv. p. 721,

Nearchus says, that after Alexander was

upon his march, he set sail himself on the

evening rising of the Pltias, though the wind
was not yet favourable. But the natives at-
tacked them and drove them out, having re-
sumed their courage on the departure of the
king, and wishing to recover their independ-

If these circumstances were in the journal of
Nearchus, which there is every reason to be»
licve, Arrian cannot be justified in suppressing

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embarkation. But there is one particular relating to the de-
parture, which, if' Arrian intentionally suppressed the flight of
the Macedonians, seems to indicate the reality of it ; for it ap-
pears, according to his own account, that the fleet did not take
its departure from Pattala, but from a station near the mouth
of the river, lliis station is doubtless the post Alexander had
formed, and probably at Killoota*; for there, our author says,
he had found water and good anchorage, with protection both
from the tides and the monsoon. If 1 had sufficient data for
fixing the Debil-Scindy of our modern maps near the mouth of
the Laribundar river, I should have little hesitation in asserting
its identity with Killoota, for Debil-Scindy is only a Persian or
nautical corruption of DeVj or ' Dive-il-Scindi, the island of the
Scind, or Scindi,

The Dabil of Al Edrissi is placed three stations, that is, sixty
or seventy miles, from the mouth of the river ; but Diul is de-
scribed by Purchas* as the residence of the governor, at about
ten miles distance only from the Bar. If this were on the
eastern side of th^ river, and insulated by a stream derived from
the main channel, it would correspond sufficiently with the
Killoota of Arrian, both in point of distance and position ; and

' Dive 18 common to many Indian dialects.
Selen»dive is Ceylon. Lack*dives, Mal-divcs,
Anje-dives, are all clusters of islands. Din
in Giizerat is another form of corruption.
Sec d'Anville Eclair. ; and Sden-dib, which
we meet with in Oriental orthography, gives
the change of v into S, in Dib-il-Scindy. //
is written r/, <?/, or ui. We may therefore
conclude that Debil and Diul are the same ;
and it is possible that the name may have passed
kom a place higher up the river to another

lower down, according to the change of go-
vernment, or the convenience of the gover-

♦ The account in Purchas is from Walter
Paxton» who in i6s2 bnded here with Sir
Robert Shirley, ambassador to the king of
Persia, who says, " we went on shore in one
«* of the country boats about 8 o*clock in the
" morning, our ship riding four or five miles
" from the river's mouth, from whence we had
** fifteen miles to Diul.'* Purchas, vol. i,
p. 496.

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10 316.
Oct. 2, 3, 4.

it is more than probable that this assumption may be verified by
some of our countrymen who may have been at Tatta, or may
visit it hereafter. D'Anviile's* account of Deb-il-Scindi from
Pimentel favours this conjecture.

But if Nearchus took his departure from a station * at this
island, and not from Pdttala, (as will immediately appear,)
though it does not anfount to proof that he was driven from
thence by the natives, it affords great reason to suspect it, and
to confirm the assertion of Strabo, who copied from the journal
of Nearchus as well as Arrian.

Wherever we place this station, it was only an hundred and
fifty stadia \ or little more than nine miles from the mouth of
the river ; for Arrian gives two distances, one within the bar
and another from the bar to Kr6kala, each of an hundred and
fifty stadia ; and as the latter corresponds within a mile to the
actual measure of the coast, we cannot without injustice suspect
the former of inaccuracy-

When the fleet weighed from this station, the first day's course
down the river • was only six • miles, and they anchored at a

5 Antiq. de PIndc, p. 38.

^ This 18 the place intimated by Pliny a8
the Xylcnopolis, from whence the voyage
commenced. Undeceperunt exordium. Lib.vL
c. 23. But the whole is dubious.

7 I have before examined d'AnviUe's sta-
dium of fifty-one French toises^ and shewn its
general conformity upon the whole voyage ; I
pretend not to ascertain its accuracy in parti-
culars, nor shall I trouble myself or the reader
vntYi fractions ; one thousand one hundred and
eleven of these stadia, with a fraction, make a
degree of a great circle ;. fifteen of these
stadia, with a fraction minus, are equal to a
Koman mile of seven hundred' and fifty-six

toises ; and sixteen, with a fraction plus, ^Tt
equal to a mile English of eight hundred and
twenty-six. I shall neglect all these fractions,
because accuracy is unattainable in the appli-
cation of individual distances. To state this
precisely where precision cannot be obtained, is
affectation. I use the toise, a French measure^
because Mr. d'AnviUe's is the beat calculation
on this subject.

• Arrian has no where given u€ the name
of the western channel, but Ptolemy -calls it
Sagapa, and places it in bngitudc 110° 20',
latitude ip** 50'.

^ One hundred stadia*

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creek '• or inlet called Stoora ", m here they continued two days ;

on the following day they weighed again, but came to an

anchor at Kaumana " before they had proceeded two *' miles.

In the creek here tliey found the water salt, or at least brackish,

even upon the tide of el)b. The next day's'* course was little Oct. 5.

more than one *' mile to Koredtis ; and scarce had they weighed

from hence before they were checked by the violent agitation

now visible at the bar '* ; for as they had proceeded with the

tide of ebb, the wind was consequently in a direction exactly

opposite. This brought them to an anchor again immediately ;

when, after waiting till it was low water, they observed that the

projecting sand (which probably formed the bar) was soft and

Online LibraryWilliam VincentThe commerce and navigation of the ancients in the Indian Ocean → online text (page 17 of 49)