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was by the founder intended to be, and afterwards became, the

" Harris^ vol. i. chap. ii. sect. 8. almost every extraordinary building or place.

" I doubt muck whether the tradition of Mr. Hurford Jones,
the natives ought to be considered as being even " tandahar is supposed, both by d' Anvillc

in the slightest degree conclusive. The Mo- and Rennell, to be the Alexandria of Paropa-

bammedan historians of this part of Asia are misus, and the tradition of the natives refers it

fond of carrying the origin of cities to very re- to Scander. It is still the principal city of the

mote periods ; the general ignorance of the in* country of the Abdalli, a kingdom which has

habitants, in respect to ancient history, scarcely risen out of the ruins of the Persian and Mogul

permits them to question, much less to investi- empires. But see d'Anville's Eclaircissemcns,

gate, any thing, however improbable, which p. 19. Major Rennell has since chaogcd his

hat been brought forward by an author as an opinion.

historical fact. Alexander, extraordinary as it Cogend is determined to- be the Alexandria

may seem, is ranked by them amongst the on the laxartes by its position. Sec d'Anvillc

prophets } and they are fond of ascribing to Geographic Ancienne, tom. ii. p. 305*
him, or to Deeves (the Devil), the origin of

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centre of communication between India and Europe, it will not
be foreign to our purpose to introduce some particulars con-
cerning it, as the voyage of Nearchus. was the primary cause of
its aggrandizement.

Surrounded " on three sides by the sea, or the lake Maredtis,
communicating with the Delta and Upper Egypt, by means of
tjiat lake and channels, either natural or artificial ; protected on
the north by the Pharos, between which and the main, Alex-
ander had projected '% and the Ptolemies completed, a double "*
harbour ; the situation of Alexandria presented every induce-
ment to the view of the founder, comprehending the means of
defence, and facihty of access united in a single spot. These
considerations, doubtless, determined the choice of Alexander ;
for the whole sea-coast from Peldsium ** to Can6pus is low land,
and not visible from a distance ; the navigation along this coast,
or approach to it, is always hazardous ; the mouths, or Bog^ *!
(as they are called), of the Nile are at some seasons dangerous,
even to a proverb ; but the light-house on the Pharos, and the
two harbours within it, obviated both these dangers ; and
Alexander, who knew the difficulty of approaching Egypt
either by land or sea, eagerly seized on a situation which
presented him with a post of the highest importance in a

'^ See d'Anville on the Topography of '^ Sec Diodorus, lib. i. p. 36. who laya,

Alexandria. Mem. de I'Acad, & Gcog. Anc. " on the whole 8ca-coa»t for 5000 stadia, from

torn. iii. ** Farto6nium to Joppa, there it no port but

^ This design of Alexander is not hypo- ** the Pharos ; the land is low,*' 8cc.
thetical, for Heph^stion was to have had an '^ From Bocca^ Italiani and probably intro*

Her6um in the Pharos, and his name was to dnced on the coast by iht Lingua Franca. Sec

have been inserted in all contracts between Wood's Essay on Homer, p. 1 10, et seq. Mr.

merchants. See Ar. lib. vii. p. 306* H. Jones rather deduces it from 1 Turkish or

'^ Salmasius says, ^ three ports.'' Plin. Persian source. Bogas, a pass^ dcfile» or bgr

Ex. 479* Meaning to add the Eunostus. of a riyer*

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military view, and a harbour constantly accessible '% at the
same time.

The%e were sufficient motives for the foundation of the city ;
but as the views of the founder dilated with his better informa^
tion, so the testimony of Arrian assures us, that from the time
he had formed his fleet on the Indus, he meditated a passage
by sea from that river to the Gulph of Arabia. He completed
what he had conceived in the most dangerous part, and left
httle more to the Ptolemies than to fill up the outUne he had
drawn. Had he hved one year longer, he might have seen the
barrier removed which obstructed the communication between
Europe and the eastern world, and the commerce of both con-
tinents beginning to flow in the channel he had opened. He
might have contemplated the dawn of that splendour which was
to rise on Alexandria, and the source of that wealth which was
to render her the first commercial city in the world.

The advantages derived to every country which has partici-
pated in the commerce of the East Indies, have been so fully
displayed by Dr. Robertson, that there is no pretence for en-
croaching on his province ; but that Alexander knew the value
of this commerce, foresaw the consequences of it, and gave a
direction to the course in which it flowed for eighteen centuries,
is a glory which even the more important discoveries of modern
Europe cannot obliterate.

Of his knowledge, no greater proof can be required than what
Major Rennell has produced, in that admirable Memoir which
accompanies his map of India ; where, from the journal of Mr.

'• See Josepbtts de bello Jud. lib. iv, p. 1 204. can protect tbc entrance of friendly powers at

£d. Huds. all aeasons, and it is the only port which is ac«

The port is difficult of access to an enemy cessible at all in the tempestuous season,
only, but those who are masters of Alexandria r» vpo$ ioKK^aw axZ/aivo;. Ibid.

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Forster, he shews, that Alexander in his route from the Paropd-
misus to Taxila % or the Attock, actually trod the road ^ which
continues to this day to be Hie northern line of commuAicatioa
between Persia and Hindostan. This route he extended after*
Wards across all those streams which the Akesines or Chen-ab
carries into the Indus, and terminated finally at the Hy phasis,
or Biah.


The province watered by these rivers, now denominated
the Panje-ab, or five waters, is esteemed one of the richest pro-
vinces of the Mogul empiie. When at the Hy'phasis, Alexander
was not distant three hundred and fifty miles from the modern
Dehly ; and wherever we shall please to fix Palib6thra, its
distance cannot be so great as to preclude the knowledge of its
name, its wealth, and importance, from the Macedonians.

In all ages, whenever the state of the country was suffi-
ciently peaceable to admit of commerce, there appears to have
been a great intercourse by means of the Indus, descending
from Multan, Attock, Cabul, and Cashmecr, to the coast of
Malabar. Whether the vessels navigated on the river were
capable of undertaking the voyage to that coast, or transferred
their cargoes at Pattala into larger vessels, may be questioned ;
but the communication itself is evident. The trade which came
down the river naturally took its course, rather to the rich pro-

•9 Taxila 18 usually considered by gcogra- ** audcr marchtd Irora the Indus to Taxila ;'•

nhers as occupying a site on the Attock, but an expression which implies distance.

Arrian docs not countenance this opinion. He " Some allowance must be made for devia-

says lib. v. p. tpp- " That it was the prin- tions, in consequence of the situation of the

M cipal city between ihe Indus and the Hy- tribes he subdued.
« daspcs.** And in anothci- passage, <« Akx-

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vinces of the peninsula than to the desert beaches of the Mek-
ran; it extended possibly before the invasion of the Mace-
donianst bs it certainly did in the following ages, round Cape
Comorin into the Bay of Bengal and iht mouths of the Ganges ;
thus uniting in commercial intercourse the two great streams
which inclose Hindostan.

In the Peucali6tis ", in the territory of the MalU **, in the
kingdom •• of Tdxiles **, and P6rus **, Alexander traversed a
country abounding in riches, and furnishing commodities fiom
the thirty-second degree of northern latitude, which are sure of
finding a market between the tropics. The population of these
countries, as stated by Strabo, Pliny, Plutarch, and even Arrian
himself, is doubtless exaggerated, but as they all drew lk)m
original sources, and quote authors who had personally visited
these countries, whatever abatements may be made, we must
still suppose that the apparent view of the whole suggested an
idea of population, and presented an aggregate of cities, towns,
and villages, of which, from the circumstances of their own
country, the Macedonians had no previous conception.

These Authors ** assert, that Alexander subdued five thousand
cities in India as large as Cos. Mention is hkewise made of a
thousand cities in the single province of Bactria ; and Aiiian,
who seems to be always on his guard, informs us, that the
country of the Glausae, or Glaucdnisee, contained thirty-seven
cities, the smallest of which had five thousand, and the largest
ten thousand inhabitants, and that the villages contained an

« Pukdy Aycen Akbari^ dwaya. Peu- *♦ Auock.
kanecs of Diooysius Perieg. Liv. 1143. '' Paiije*ib.

" Moultan. ** Robertson, Rcnncll, Strabo, 6g^, 685.

^ Bayer very strangely suppoact that Cabal Pliny, 6. 17* 19* Plutarch, 699.
if Taxila» p. 28.


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equal number; the whole, amounting to near half a million,
Alexander added to the kingdom of Poms *^

Whatever degree of credit may be given to these accounts, -
they will at least evince an extraordinary population ; and,
either from the fertility of the country, or its situation among so
great a number of navigable streams, the flourishing state of this
tract appears manifest in every age, unless when desolated by
invasion. Tlie historian of Timour expresses the same admira-
tion as the Greek writers ; the Ayeen Akbari reckons the
Panje-ab as the tliird province of the Mogul empire, and men*
tious forty *• thousand vessels employed in the conmierce of the
Indus ••.

It was this commerce that furnished Alexander >vith the means
of seizing, building, hiring, or purchasing the fleet with which
he fell down the stream ; and when we reflect that his army
consisted of an hundred and twenty-four thousand men, with
the whole country at his command, and that a considerable
portion of these had been left at the Hydaspes during the in*
terval that the main body advanced to the Hyphasis, and re-
turned to the Hydaspes again, we shall have no reason to accuse
Arrian of exaggeration, when he asserts, that the fleet consisted
of eight hundred vessels, of which thirty only Avere ships ^ of

^ Wc ought not to be surprised mt these *• Ponim et Texilem reliquit in regnig

exaggerations. Cheref-eddin says, Cashmeer suist sumino in aedificanda dasse amborum

really contains 10,000 flourishing villages, but studio usus. Q^Cuftius, lib.ix. cap. 5.

is estimated at 100,000. Vol. iii. p. 161. ** Tp«a*^irp9fo» x«* ii/xiQ?ua6*, Arrian, lib. vi.

The level country is not more than twenty in iait.

leagues from mountain to mountain. The ca- TpMMcomy)* implies, that they were not even

pital is Nagaz, or Synn Nagar, which Mr. gallies of war, such as the Greeks used in the

H. Jones interprets Shcrecn Nagur, the sweet Mediterranean, and which were called Trirc^

city. mes, gallies with three banks of oars ; but

*« Maurice, p. 138. voL i. from Ayeen these seem to have only one. deck, and to be

Akbari. rowed with thirty oars on a line, th»t is. fifteen


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war, and the rest such as were usually employed in the naviga-
tion of the river,

Strabo '' mentions the proximity of Em6dus, which afforded ^
plenty of fir, pine, cedar, and other timber ; and Arrian informs
us, that Alexander, in the country of the Assac^ni, and before
he reached the Indus, had already built vessels which he sent
down the Koph^nes to Taxila. All these circumstances con-
tribute to prove the reality of a fact highly controverted ; and
even though we were to extend the whole number of the fleet,
comprehending tenders and boats, with some authors to two
thousand, there is no improbability sufficient to excite astonish-

By the same means that Alexander obtained a fleets he
acjquired information in regard to the commerce of the country,
and the different coasts with which the natives traded. Taxiles
and Poms were both in his interest; many of their subjects
doubtless embarked with him, either for the purpose of con-
ducting the fleet, or with a view to their own advantage ; many
possibly who had frequently made the same voyage, and knew
the commerce of the coast, from whom the inquisitive spirit of

on each side ; the ifuoXtoUf according to Gro-
Doviu8» were half-decked^ with the waist of the
▼easel left open for the rowers. But see Casaa*
bon ad Athenzunu Not. 737.

Major Rennell mentions, that vessels of an
hundred and eighty tons are used on the Gan-
ges; and Captain Hamilton, p. 122, vol. i.
says, that those employed on the Indus were,
in his time, frequently of two hundred tons,
divided into separate apartments which mer-
chants hired for the voyage, and adapted most
con^modiously to the navigation* They car-
ried a mast an4 aail^ but were more usually

towed by men. The passage from Tatta to
Lahore is si* or seven weeks, but the return
is made in eighteen days, or even twelve ; the
navigation is open, clear up to Cashmeer, by
means of the Chelum ; and Mr. Forstcr left
Cashmeer by that stream, which he calls the
Jalum. The course of this river is eight hun-
dred miles from Tatta to Multan only, allow-
ing for the sinuosities of the river. See Major
Rennell's Memoir.

'* Strabo, 691. Arrian, lib. iv. in fine.
Rennell says^ Emodus is not near.

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Alexaadei* could not fail to extract the infornration '* necessary
for the accomplishment of designs he had contemplated so long,
and with such anxious solicitude.

The evidence of this does not rest uppn deduction or con^
jecture ; the reiwrt of Nearchus the admiral, and Onesicritus
the pilot of the fleet, is still extant in the writings of Strabo,
Arrian, Diod6rus, and PUny ; and though the credit of Onesi-
critus is impeached by Strabo, on account of his inclination to
exaggerate, he does not hesitate to appeal to his authority in a
variety of instances, which evince hb general knowledge, and
sometimes his intimate acquaintance with the country; but
from Nearchus he proves, that all the native commodities which
to this day form the staple of the East Indian commerce were
fully known to the Macedonians. Rice ", cotton •*, and the

ixarcbf eanot ^ *AXf{«(y)po» OKfJoiauif (iMtypo^Afo
Tuv r^ ^9)y X^pfty ruv IjAXUforeirm avru» t^ it

tS yci^4^hotMi» Strab. lib. ii. p* 69. Saiate
Croix^ 20.

Nor 18 there any reason to doobt what Pa«
trodes says^ that those who accompanied
Alexander wrote at random ; but that Alex-
ander's own knowledjie was accurate, as he
obtained his information ^m those who knew
the country best» and made themt^coninit their
intelligence to paper. These papers were
communicated to Patrocles by Xenocles the
Treasurer.— This passage possibly alludes to
the survey of Betoii and Diognetus. Sainte
Croix extends it to more general information,

" Rice. "Opvf*. Urithi in Sanskrcet. The
cultivation of it by flooding the lands is noticed
by AristobCdus. Strabo, 692.

f ^ Cotton seems to derive its name from the

fruit in Crete, called by Pliny Mala Cotonea,
or Cydonia^ lib. xr. cap. 11. It is distin-
guished by other names ; Bombax> Bambaz,
Gossipium, Xylon ; the cloth made of k,
Byssus. Ferunt cotonei mali amj^tudine cu*
curbitas, quie maturitatc ruptse ostendunt lami-
ginis pilasi ex quibus Testes pretioso linteo &•
ciunt. Pliny, lib. xii. c. la Byssus, referred
by Parkhurst, Lex. in voce, to 2 Chronicles,
iii. 14. J^l^* Bpa<m fjuri fnuuXtct^, Herod.
Ub. vii. Ezeki^, xxvii. 7. Beloe, p. 287.
possibly printed cotton, and worn by the priestt
in Egypt. The Editor of Chambers's Die-
tionary 8ays> it grew originally only in Egypt ;
but ceitainly he is mistaken. See Salmaa.
Plia. Ex. 296. Bombyx, however, isin reriity
the silkoworm, though ill applied to cotton.
See Hoffman in voce, and Vossius ad Metam.
Ed. Var. p. 563. from Pollux. It is pro-
verbial in Acabsia^ tom. tii. p. 729. Texit
ceu Bombyx, rete mortis suse su&met manu.

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fine muslins made of that material, the sugar-cane ", and
silk ^^ are all expressly mentioned in a passage which he ad-
duces from Nearchus ; and however the Greeks or Romans be-
came afterwards acquainted with these commodities ; the first
knowledge, or at least the first historical account of them, is
certainly to be attributed to the Macedonians. None of tliese
articles had ever been brought into Greece, or any part of
Europe, by sea, and few of them had ever been seen unless by
accident ; on these, however, it is evident, Alexander depended
for the foundation of the commerce he meditated, and for the

•* Sugar. . "Ei^tixt i\ xal rtfl rZf nmXtifxt/t on
xmSai /uuX»t lAtXica'vf /xt^ ovauv. This assertion^
Strabo (694) quotes ezpreisly from Nearchuf.
He speaks also of canes from which honey is
made, though without bees. I do cot know
that Saccbarura is used by any author prior to
Fliny and Dioscorides^ lib. Kxii. 8. Saocha-
rtim et Arabia fert, sed laudatius India. See
Mmtsttis PUn. Ex. vol. iL et seq. who has a
long dissertation upon die subject, and imagines
Pliny V Saccharumy as well as that of Diosco-
itdMt to be roanna. Ntebuhr. i. 307. says^
manna is used in pastry at Mosul and Diar*
bekir. See Vossius ad MeUm. Ed. Var. 864.
who directly contradicu Salmanos. The
K%\xfAOi of Nearchus is the true sugar-cane.
Sacar appears to be a word of Arabick extrac-
tion. Shuker. Mr. Jones.

^ Silk. The passage in Strabo is not ex-
press; but having mentioned cotton before,
be adds, f-oidarD» H jmJ t« Zn^uuu tx t*nml ^>imif

VeUeraque ut foliis depectant tenuta Seres.


The Critical Reviewers, October 1791,
p. 126, interpret this of cotton, as does Sal-
masius, p. 298. and p. 998 : they call the
S^res, inhabitants of Bocharia, and Sir-hend,
Berinda on the Indus, the staple for silk.

When in Sogdiana, Alexander was in the
neighbourhood of Bocharia ; but the mention
of Zifpixofc by Strabo is incidental to India ; and
if it were not for a passage in Arrian> which
seems to relate to the same quotation from
Nearchus, I should not hesitate to refer this
expression of Strabo's to silk. Arrian says^

>Jbfy rS »T^ rZ9 itv^^im^ &c. 8lc. Indie. I
have since learnt, that the Reviewers follow
the [authority of d'Anvillc Eclairciss. but
that great geographer's error is, consulting
similarity of sound in names too much. When
the locality is established, resemblance of sound
is a fltroog con^rmation, but to fix locality by
sound is beginning at the wrong end. I can-
not help thinking, however, that the mention
of S^res and Serica in aUusion to cotton is
always error or confusion ; for we must observe,
that silk, when it came to be known and cha.
racterised, was always Sirica ; while the
knowledge of cotton or vegetable wool is as
old as Herodotus at least, in Greece. The
silk-worm is first described by Pausanias Eliac.
sub fine. Gibbon, vol. iv. p. 72, from d'An-
ville Eclair. Chambers's Dictionary. See
Salmasius, p. 204, and Vossius ad Melam. p.
563, and Ammianus Marcellinus, lib. xxiii,
p. 467.

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ixitrodutrtion of these he was now planning tlie communication
which was to perpetuate the intercourse between Europe and
the East Indies.

At this day, when we view the effects, without adverting to
the cause, we may deem Hghtly of a voyage which required so
much preparation to accomplish, and which a single sloop would
now perform in a tenth part of the time ; but the merit of the
attempt is to be estimated by the originality of the conception ;
and we must allow much to the penetration of that mind, which
could fix upon the productions of any country as a basis for
commerce, that should continue in request for two thousand
years, and create a demand perpetually on the increase.

The knowledge of India obtained by the Macedonians will
perhaps be as fully exemplified by adverting to objects of
curiosity as utility. Of this, Strabo and Arrian furnish abundant
testimony, who from these sources drew all the information they
have left us ; and however their account may be deficient in
some subordinate particulars, the general outline is faithful.
This will immediately appear by selecting some of the most
striking characteristics peculiar tx) the Hindoos, in their super-
stition, their policy, manners, habits, and customs, which will
at the same time prove that the nation is essentially the same
after the revolution of two thousand years, and that the Mace-
donians were no ordinary inquirers.

I. It is true that Strabo and Arrian from Nearchus reckon
seven casts or tribes. 1. Philosophers or Bramins. 2. Hus-
bandmen. 3. Herdsmen, Shepherds, and Hunters. 4. Arti-
zans. 5. Soldiers. 6. Inspectors of Manners or Pohce. 7*
Counsellors of the Chief Magistrate. Now though this account
be not correct, for there are only four original casts : 1. Bra-

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mins ^\ 2. Soldjprs. 3. Merchants or Mechanics. 4. Soodras
or Sen^ants ; yet are these branched out into such a variety of
subdivisions, by forbidden marriages ^ and degradation of cast,
that the mistake was natural to those who visited India for the
first time.

II. The manner of hunting and taming the elephant are de-
scribed by Arrian, p. 328. Strabo, 711.

III. Women were not dishonoured who received an elephant
as the price of their favours. Arr. 331. Strabo, 712.

IV. There were no slaves in India. Arr. 330. Strain), 710.
This is in one sense still true, for no Hindoo is a slave ; but
Menu mentions seven sorts : 1. Prisoners of war. 2. Those
maintained in consideration of service. 3. Those bora of a
female slave. 4. Those sold ; 5.' or given ; 6. or inherited.
7.. Those degraded for not paying fines. Menu likewise forbids
Bramins to deal in slaves. See Menu, p. 242. 300. Onesicri-
tus says, there were no slaves in the country of Musicdnus.

V. Gold collected in the rivers. Strabo, 718.

VI. Chintz. ZiifSivi^ Ivav&iTg. Strabo, 7O9.

VII. The palm tree ^ called Tala, of which the head b
eaten. Arr. 320.

•^ See Sir W. Jones* on Menu. p. 28. woman becomes pure only by avoiding mix-

1. Brahmeni — Scripture — Priests. Menu, ture, and not till the seventh generation.
p. 5. Menu. p. 997.

2. Cshatriya — Protection — Soldiers. Menu. '* Tda Borassus, the Palmeira or Toddy
299. palm tree. Asiat. ResJv.p.i^j. Calcutta Ed.

3. Vaisya — ^Wealth — Merchants, Husband- Ives, Appendix, p. 458. Nicok di Conti, ia
men. Menu. 5. one passage, makes it the palm tree which pro-

4. Sudia— Labonr-^LabourerSt Servants, duces leaves to write on^; in another, the HI-
Menu. 5. meira. Ramusio* i* p. 343. Valentine, in his

Brahmeni has, however, another derivation, Indica Literata, seems to intimate that it is a

p. 28. Menu. Brahma great en or eni m^. generic name, p. 383. Sec Schmeidcr in Atn

United to the great Deity. c 7.

^ The offspring of a Bramin by an inferior

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VIII. Cotton raiment, (Strab. passim.) whi<jh reaches ta th&
middle of the leg- Ar. 330.

IX. Parrots^ and monkies^ Ar. 329.

X. Strigils and shampooing. Strab. 709.

XI. Intermarriages between the casts fqrbidden. Ar. 320:
Strab. 704.

XII. The knowledge of letters is denied by Megasthenes^
Strab. 709- but asserted by Nearchus, who says they write on
linen or cotton cloth, and that their character is beautifnl,
which is true of the Sanskreet.. Arr.

XIII. Rice planted in water, and wine irom rice, that is
arrack. Strab. 709.

XIV. Food of the natives, oryza soJ?bilis^ or pillau. None
eat flesh but th^ hunters. Arr. 331. Strab.

;jCV. The men wear earrings, dye their beard, use umbrellas,^
w^ar canjars or daggers at the girdle^ and tuxbans on the head.
Arr. 330.

XVI. The Hindoos never exercise two trades, always follow
their father's profession. Arr, 326.

XVII. Perforate the nose and lips. Strab. 717.

XVIII. Women hunt with the King, llie ground marked
out. No man suflfered to approach. Strab. 710.

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