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 Ptolenues                       93

Strabo^ to be of the greatest value, superior to
that of Megasthenes.    Eratosthenes depended for
his information upon the data supplied by Pa-
trokles, an officer who held an important command
over the eastern provinces of the Syrian Empire
under  Seleukus  Nikator  and Antiochus  I.    He
appears to have used the opportunities he thus
enjoyed  in  an  admirable manner, and to have
collected much   invaluable  information.    Erato¬
sthenes goes a good deal further than his  con¬
temporaries   in   his  knowledge   of   the  general
configuration of India, which he describes as   a
rhomboid, its four sides being composed of the
Indus,   the   Himalayas,   and   the   shores   of   the
Eastern and Southern Oceans respectively^.    He
knows of the Royal Road to Pataliputra and of
the mouth of the Ganges.    He has heard of the
" summer rains," brought by the Etesian winds,
and watering the flax, rice, millet, and other crops.
He calls the people of Southern India the Koniaki
(a reminiscence of Cape Kory), and he has heard
of Ceylon and its numerous elephants^.

At this time, however, there was little direct
trade with India. Athenaeus tells us that in the
processions of Ptolemy Philadelphus were to be
seen Indian women, Indian hunting dogs, and
Indian cows, among other strange sights; also
Indian   spices   carried   on   camels.      The   same

1  Strabo, Geog. xv. lo.

2  Strabo, i. i. 22 and xv. 11. Arrian, Indika, in. See
Cunningham, Anc. Geog. of India, p. i.         ^ Strabo, xv. 14.
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