Rawlinson, H. G. Intercourse between India and the western world from the earliest times to the fall of Rome

(Cambridge :  University Press,  1916.)



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34    The Maurya Empire.    Megasthenes

But the Macedonian troops, desperate at the
thought of new terrors and fresh privations,
refused to go any further. They had fought
battles, crossed deserts and rivers, and climbed
mountain ranges at the order of their leader, but
this was too much. The breaking-point had been
reached at last. And so Alexander had to content
himself with the conquest of the old Persian
" satrapy of India." He was no mere military
adventurer, and from the first his object was to
develop the immense commercial resources of the
Panjab. Trading depots were founded all along
the course of the Indus as the Macedonian army
moved towards the mouth of the river. Buke-
phala and Nikaea were built on the banks of the
Hydaspes ; Alexandria-on-Indus at the important
spot where the Akesines joins the main stream ;
and Patala at the head of the Indus delta ^. Alex-
andria-on-Indus soon became an important town.
It survived the overthrow of the Macedonian power
in the Panjab for many years, and became famous
under the rule of the Baktrian kings as a great
Graeco-Buddhist centre. '' Alasanda of the Yonas "
is mentioned in the Mahdvarnsa, the chronicle-
history of the distant island of Ceylon, as the
" capital of the Yona country," and 30,000 monks
are said to have come from this place to the
dedication-festival of the great tope of Ruanvelli

1 Hence called Patalene. Patala is the modern Bahma-
nabad. Bukephala is Jihlam. For Alexandna-on-Indus,
see Arrian, Exped. Alex. vi. 14, 15.
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