I. ALL the territory that lies west of the river Indus up to the river Cophen is inhabited by Astacenians and Assacenians, Indian tribes. But they are not, like the Indians dwelling within the river Indus, tall of stature, nor similarly brave in spirit, nor as black as the greater part of the Indians. These long ago were subject to the Assyrians; then to the Medes, and so they became subject to the Persians; and they paid tribute to Cyrus son of Cambyses from their territory, as Cyrus commanded. The Nysaeans are not an Indian race; but part of those who came with Dionysus to India; possibly even of those Greeks who became past service in the wars which Dionysus waged with Indians; possibly also volunteers of the neighbouring tribes whom Dionysus settled there together with the Greeks, calling the country Nysaea from the mountain Nysa, and the city itself Nysa. And the mountain near the city, on whose foothills Nysa is built, is called Merus because of the incident at Dionysus' birth. All this the poets sang about Dionysus; and I leave it to the narrators of Greek or Eastern history to recount them. Among the Assacenians is Massaca, a great city, where resides the chief authority of the Assacian land; and another city Peucela, this also a great city, not far from the Indus. These places then are inhabited on this side of the Indus towards the west, as far as the river Cophen. II. But the parts from the Indus eastward, these I shall call India, and its inhabitants Indians. The boundary of the land of India towards the north is Mount Taurus. It is not still called Taurus in this land; but Taurus begins from the sea over against Pamphylia and Lycia and Cilicia; and reaches as far as the Eastern Ocean, running right across Asia. But the mountain has different names in different places; in one, Parapamisus, in another Hemodus; elsewhere it is called Imaon, and perhaps has all sorts of other names; but the Macedonians who fought with Alexander called it Caucasus; another Caucasus, that is, not the Scythian; so that the story ran that Alexander came even to the far side of the Caucasus. The western part of India is bounded by the river Indus right down to the ocean, where the river runs out by two mouths, not joined together as are the five mouths of the Ister; but like those of the Nile, by which the Egyptian delta is formed; thus also the Indian delta is formed by the river Indus, not less than the Egyptian; and this in the Indian tongue is called Pattala. Towards the south this ocean bounds the land of India, and eastward the sea itself is the boundary. The southern part near Pattala and the mouths of the Indus were surveyed by Alexander and Macedonians, and many Greeks; as for the eastern part, Alexander did not traverse this beyond the river Hyphasis. A few historians have described the parts which are this side of the Ganges and where are the mouths of the Ganges and the city of Palimbothra, the greatest Indian city on the Ganges. III. I hope I may be allowed to regard Eratosthenes of Cyrene as worthy of special credit, since he was a student of Geography. He states that beginning with Mount Taurus, where are the springs of the river Indus, along the Indus to the Ocean, and to the mouths of the Indus, the side of India is thirteen thousand stades in length. The opposite side to this one, that from the same mountain to the Eastern Ocean, he does not reckon as merely equal to the former side, since it has a promontory running well into the sea; the promontory stretching to about three thousand stades. So then he would make this side of India, to the eastward, a total length of sixteen thousand stades. This he gives, then, as the breadth of India. Its length, however, from west to east, up to the city of Palimbothra, he states that he gives as measured by reed-measurements; for there is a royal road; and this extends to ten thousand stades; beyond that, the information is not so certain. Those, however, who have followed common talk say that including the promontory, which runs into the sea, India extends over about ten thousand stades; but farther north its length is about twenty thousand stades. But Ctesias of Cnidus affirms that the land of India is equal in size to the rest of Asia, which is absurd; and Onesicritus is absurd, who says that India is a third of the entire world; Nearchus, for his part, states that the journey through the actual plain of India is a four months' journey. Megasthenes would have the breadth of India that from east to west which others call its length; and he says that it is of sixteen thousand stades, at its shortest stretch. From north to south, then, becomes for him its length, and it extends twenty-two thousand three hundred stades, to its narrowest point. The Indian rivers are greater than any others in Asia; greatest are the Ganges and the Indus, whence the land gets its name; each of these is greater than the Nile of Egypt and the Scythian Ister, even were these put together; my own idea is that even the Acesines is greater than the Ister and the Nile, where the Acesines having taken in the Hydaspes, Hydraotes, and Hyphasis, runs into the Indus, so that its breadth there becomes thirty stades. Possibly also other greater rivers run through the land of India. IV. As for the yonder side of the Hyphasis, I cannot speak with confidence, since Alexander did not proceed beyond the Hyphasis. But of these two greatest rivers, the Ganges and the Indus, Megasthenes wrote that the Ganges is much greater than the Indus, and so do all others who mention the Ganges; for (they say) the Ganges is already large as it comes from its springs, and receives as tributaries the river Cainas and the Erannoboas and the Cossoanus, all navigable; also the river Sonus and the Sittocatis and the Solomatis, these likewise navigable. Then besides there are the Condochates and the Sambus and Magon and Agoranis and Omalis; and also there run into it the Commenases, a great river, and the Cacuthis and Andomatis, flowing from the Indian tribe of the Mandiadinae; after them the Amystis by the city Catadupas, and the Oxymagis at the place called Pazalae, and the Errenysis among the Mathae, an Indian tribe, also meet the Ganges. Megasthenes says that of these none is inferior to the Maeander, where the Maeander is navigable. The breath therefore of the Ganges, where it is at its narrowest, runs to a hundred stades; often it spreads into lakes, so that the opposite side cannot be seen, where it is low and has no projections of hills. It is the same with the Indus; the Hydraotes, in the territory of the Cambistholians, receives the Hyphasis in that of the Astrybae, and the Saranges from the Cecians, and the Neydrus from the Attacenians, and flows, with these, into the Acesines. The Hydaspes also among the Oxydracae receives the Sinarus among the Arispae and it too flows out into the Acesines. The Acesines among the Mallians joins the Indus; and the Tutapus, a large river, flows into the Acesines. All these rivers swell the Acesines, and proudly retaining its own name it flows into the Indus. The Cophen, in the Peucelaetis, taking with it the Malantus, the Soastus, and the Garroeas, joins the Indus. Above these the Parenus and Saparnus, not far from one another, flow into the Indus. The Soanus, from the mountains of the Abissareans, without any tributary, flows into it. Most of these Megasthenes reports to be navigable. It should not then be incredible that neither Nile nor Ister can be even compared with Indus or Ganges in volume of water. For we know of no tributary to the Nile; rather from it canals have been cut through the land of Egypt. As for the Ister, it emerges from its springs a meagre stream, but receives many tributaries; yet not equal in number to the Indian tributaries which flow into Indus or Ganges; and very few of these are navigable; I myself have only noticed the Enus and the Saus. The Enus on the line between Norica and Rhaetia joins the Ister, the Saus in Paeonia. The country where the rivers join is called Taurunus. If anybody is aware of other navigable rivers which form tributaries to the Ister, he certainly does not know many. V. I hope that anyone who desires to explain the cause of the number and size of the Indian rivers will do so; and that my remarks may be regarded as set down on hearsay only. For Megasthenes has recorded names of many other rivers, which beyond the Ganges and the Indus run into the eastern and southern outer ocean; so that he states the number of Indian rivers in all to be fifty-eight, and these all navigable. But not even Megasthenes, so far as I can see, travelled over any large part of India; yet a good deal more than the followers of Alexander son of Philip did. For he states that he met Sandracottus, the greatest of the Indian kings, and Porus, even greater than he was. This Megasthenes says, moreover, that the Indians waged war on no men, nor other men on the Indians, but on the other hand that Sesostris the Egyptian, after subduing the most part of Asia, and after invading Europe with an army, yet returned back; and Indathyrsis the Scythian who started from Scythia subdued many tribes of Asia, and invaded Egypt victoriously; but Semiramis the Assyrian queen tried to invade India, but died before she could carry out her purposes; it was in fact Alexander only who actually invaded India. Before Alexander, too, there is a considerable tradition about Dionysus as having also invaded India, and having subdued the Indians; about Heracles there is not much tradition. As for Dionysus, the city of Nysa is no mean memorial of his expedition, and also Mount Merus, and the growth of ivy on this mountain then the habit of the Indians themselves setting out to battle with the sound of drums and cymbals; and their dappled costume, like that worn by the bacchanals, of Dionysus. But of Heracles the memorials are slight. Yet the story of the rock Aornos, which Alexander forced, namely, that Heracles could not capture it, I am inclined to think a Macedonian boast; just as the Macedonians called Parapamisus by the name of Caucasus, though it has nothing to do with Caucasus. And besides, learning that there was a cave among the Parapamisadae, they said that this was the cave of Prometheus the Titan, in which he was crucified for his theft of the fire. Among the Sibae, too, an Indian tribe, having noticed them clad with skins they used to assert that they were relics of Heracles' expedition. What is more, as the Sibae carried a club, and they brand their cattle with a club, they referred this too to some memory of Heracles' club. If anyone believes this, at least it must be some other Heracles, not he of Thebes, but either of Tyre or of Egypt, or some great king of the higher inhabited country near India.