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0065 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 65 (Grayscale High Resolution Image)

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doi: 10.20676/00000189
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inhabited cannot be treated as a serious objection. The advantages provided by so large an island were all the greater, because by taking his troops on boats and rafts along it for a considerable distance down the river, Alexander could bring them much nearer to the enemy, and thereby increase that advantage of surprise which necessarily counted for much in his hazardous enterprise. Nor can we ignore the fact that the flatness of the opposite bank was bound to add greatly to the effectiveness of the screen, whereas the supposed crossing-place below Mangla lies within full view of the ridge opposite, some 200 feet higher and only about 2i miles away.

The remaining three points specifically brought forward against my location of the crossing-place can be dealt with succinctly. The ground upon which the landing took place and which was mistaken for solid land is definitely described by Arrian (v. xiii. 2 ) as a great island `parted from the other side by the river'. Of the ground supposed to have been reached below Mangla Professor Breloer himself speaks as 'tatsächlich Festland'. The road leading from Haranpur to Jalalpur, which I assume Alexander to have followed on his secret march from his main camp to the latter place, lies throughout across cultivated ground with plentiful tree growth as the maps show. It nowhere approaches the river bank closer than 2 miles, and for the most part lies farther away from it. The distance on the road between the two places is recorded in the Survey map No. 43. H. NW. as 17 miles, corresponding as closely as may be to the 150 stadia of Arrian. On the other hand, the distance between Jhelum town and the Pothawäla Kas, as shown in Professor Breloer's sketch-map, presumably prepared from the Survey of India's 1-inch sheet, is only a little over 14 miles, even on the somewhat devious route marked by him. The reference made by Arrian ( v. xii. 1) to the reserves under Meleager, Attalos, and Gorgias posted half-way between the great camp and the intended crossing-place affords no topographical criterion as the position is not otherwise specified.

As regards the concluding remarks of Professor Breloer's critique which concern the site of the battle, it will suffice to say that, as already plainly stated in my paper21a and repeated above, I hold it `quite impossible to determine the exact position of the battle-field'. I clearly stated above that we have no definite indication as to the distance from the place of landing to where the main force of Poros was encountered.22 Hence the belief attributed to me that Poros

21s Cf. G.J., July, 1932, p. 43.

22 Nor has the fact that our crossing of the river bed due south of its present junction with the Halkiwàni Nàlâ ( fully half a mile above the one shown in the 1-inch map of 1911) brought us to the vicinity of Nûrpur village been sufficient to

induce me to place Alexander's final landing exactly at this spot, as assumed by Professor Breloer (p. 204) . This caution, imposed on the one hand by regard for river-line changes on such ground and on the other by the inadequacy of our extant sources, disposes of the imputed inconsistency.