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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The Ptolemies                       91

miles from the base ; the fourth, on a hill, at an un¬
certain distance ; the fifth (the Apollo Hydreuma)
one hundred and eighty-four miles ; the sixth, on
a mountain ; the seventh, the New Hydreuma,
was two hundred and thirty miles from the base ;
the last, seven miles further on, had a caravanserai,
for two thousand persons and a guard. A single
day's journey from here brought the merchant to
the sea. The journey took eleven or twelve days,
even under the most favourable conditions. In
274 B.C., a further improvement was made.
Philadelphus built another port at Myos Hormos ^,
(Mussel Harbour) one hundred and eighty miles
north of Berenike, and five days nearer Koptos.
Myos Hormos, situated in the bay of Ras abn
Somer, near the Jifatin Islands, is a much safer
harbour than Berenike, which had awkward shoals
and was exposed to the wind^. Myos Hormos
was thus almost an ideal port and became the
great trading centre for the East Indian trade,
quickly eclipsing all its rivals^. Further down the
coast were Adulis (the modern Massowa) and
Ptolemais Epitheron (Ptolemais of the Hunts),
a great rendezvous of the elephant-hunters from
Nubia. Besides the value of their ivory, elephants
had been in great requisition for military purposes,
ever since the five hundred presented by Chandra¬
gupta to Seleukus Nikator had taken a prominent

1  27° 12' N. 33° 55' E.

2  Strabo, Geog. xvi. 4. 6.
^ Ihid. 24.

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