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0034 Archaeological Reconnaissances in North-Western India and South-Eastern Īrān : vol.1
Archaeological Reconnaissances in North-Western India and South-Eastern Īrān : vol.1 / Page 34 (Grayscale High Resolution Image)

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doi: 10.20676/00000189
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and antiquarian information as the detailed maps produced in recent years by the Survey of India, and the local observations recorded by British administrators in District Gazetteers have placed at the disposal of the critical student.

Prolonged experience elsewhere had convinced me that, even with the help thus afforded, careful examination on the ground would be needed for a definite

conclusion. But though desired for many years past, the freedom requisite for such an investigation had not offered before. As to the great interest attaching to this question of historical topography there could be no doubt. The scene of what was probably the most hazardous among the many amazing exploits of

Alexander's campaigns could claim more than romantic glamour if correctly located. For as that great strategist and student of geography Hellmuth von

Moltke has justly observed: `The locality is the surviving portion of reality of an event that has long ago passed by.... It often restores to clearness the picture which history has preserved in half-effaced outlines.'2

Alexander's passage of the Jhelum when swollen in flood and his subsequent decisive victory on the other bank over the formidable Indian army which op-

posed him, form the most remarkable of the military feats achieved by the great

Macedonian captain, taking `rank among the most brilliant operations of ancient warcraft'.3 They represent an event of outstanding and lasting historical impor-

tance. It is true, Alexander's victorious advance into the Panjâb did not result in permanent conquest. But it was the first among the numerous successful invasions of India from the north-west frontier which history records, and by reason of the cultural influences for which it opened the door, it marks an epoch in the past of India.

Before I indicate the views previously held as to the scene of this memorable event and then set forth the result of my own local investigations, it is necessary

to refer briefly to the immediately preceding stages of Alexander's campaign,

and next to consider what the extant records tell us about the passage of the river and the battle that followed. In our examination of the records attention

may be confined chiefly to those data which help to locate the scene.4 They are mainly to be gathered from Arrian's Anabasis. His account, derived mostly from the contemporary records of Ptolemy and Aristoboulos, is the fullest and the most reliable.

Alexander, after crossing the Indus at the close of his expedition against Aornos, had been hospitably received at Taxila, whose ruler had tendered his submission while the Macedonian forces still stood in the Peshawar valley.

2 Cf. Moltke, Reisebriefe aus der Türkei.   details gathered from classical texts, Anspach, De

3 See Hogarth, Philip and Alexander of Macedon, Alexandri Magni expeditione indica, pp. s9 sqq.,

p. 239.   may be conveniently consulted.

4 For a synopsis of such data and for other