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0040 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 40 (Grayscale High Resolution Image)

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doi: 10.20676/00000189
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any deep ravine, as Curtius's account mentions. In accordance with this location Mr. Vincent Smith was prepared to look for the battle-field on the comparatively narrow stretch of riverine flat which to the east of the river intervenes between its left bank and the much broken ground at the foot of the Pabbi range of hills. But a mere glance at a detailed map would suffice to raise grave doubts as to how this narrow stretch of practicable ground could afford space for so extensive a line of battle as Arrian describes.

Before Mr. Vincent Smith took up the question at Oxford, with quasi-legal acumen but without adequate study of the ground, General Cunningham's theory, put forth in his Archaeological Survey Report of 1863-64, held the field.24 He placed Alexander's camp at Jalâlpur, a small town on the right bank of the river about 3o miles below Jhelum. There, as the map shows, the river leaves the foot of a rugged projecting spur of the Salt Range, washed by it for a distance of about 8 miles higher up, and finally emerges into the open alluvial plain.

It was at the village of Dilâwar, at the upper end of the river's course along the spur just mentioned, that General Cunningham sought the place which Alexander had selected for his crossing. But the distance between Jalâlpur and Dilâwar is only 8 miles, and hence would not agree with the 150 stadia, or 17i miles, which Arrian definitely mentions as the distance between Alexander's camp and the place of his crossing. In order to meet this difficulty about his assumed locations, General Cunningham felt obliged to make Alexander's troops perform an arduous night march by a very devious route. This he supposed to have taken them from Jalâlpur up a narrow winding ravine, and then across its head by a difficult track into another winding ravine, and thus finally down to Dilâwar ( see Skeleton Map 1) . On this route the desired distance of some 17 miles would indeed be arrived at. But how a large force could be taken over this distance, across such difficult ground, in the course of a single stormy night, remained unexplained.

The Nestor of Indian Archaeology had taken pains to study the ground and had endeavoured to strengthen his theory by arguments drawn from such scanty topographical indications as classical authors apart from Arrian and Curtius afford regarding Alexander's operations. Thus he rightly pointed out that the southerly direction indicated by Strabo25 for Alexander's march from Taxila as far as the Hydaspes distinctly points to a route having been followed that lay to the west of one leading to Jhelum town, like the present Grand Trunk Road. He also recognized that the distance of 120 Roman miles, or 110 English miles, from Taxila to the Hydaspes, as recorded by Pliny from the measurements of

24 See Archaeological Survey Report, ii. pp. 175 sqq.   25 Cf. Strabo, Geographia, xv. 52.