11. Alexander the Great sailed into India - where no rivers now exist.


I came, I saw, I conquered - Julius Caesar

The  Indian campaign  of Alexander the Great began in 326 BC. Alexander was born  July
20,  356 B.C. in Pella, in the Kingdom of Macedonia. During his leadership, he united the Greek city-states and led the Corinthian League.  He also became the king of Persia, Babylon and Asia, and created Macedonian colonies in Iran. After conquering the Achaemenid Empire  of Persia, the Macedonian king (and now high king of the Persian Empire) Alexander launched a campaign  in north west India (what is now Pakistan.) The  Battle of the Hydaspes river against King Porus  in Punjab  is considered by many historians,  as the most costly battle that the armies of Alexander fought.

The  rationale for this campaign  is usually  said  to be Alexander’s desire to conquer the entire known world,  which the Greeks thought ended in north-western India. While  considering the conquests of Carthage and Rome, Alexander died  in Babylon on June 13, 323 BC. In 321 BC, two years after Alexander’s death, Chandragupta Maurya of Magadha, founded the Maurya Empire  in India.

The  Battle of the Hydaspes River was fought by Alexander in July  326 BC against King Raja Purushottama (Poros) a Kshatriya on the Hydaspes River (Jhelum River)  in the Punjab  of  Pakistan, near Bhera. The  Hydaspes was the last major battle fought by Alexander. The  main train went  into modern-day Pakistan through the Khyber Pass,  but a smaller force under the personal command  of Alexander went  through the northern route, resulting in the Siege of Aornos along the way. In early spring of the next year, he combined his forces and allied  with  Taxiles (also Ambhi),  the King of Taxila, against his neighbor, the King of Hydaspes.

13 Ancient Things that don't make sense in History - Hydaspes
Battle of Hydaspes
Porus  wiz Puru was a great King of Indus/ Asiatic continent. Arrian writes about Porus, in his own words “One of the Indian Kings called Porus  a man remarkable alike  for his strength and noble courage, on hearing the report about Alexander, began to prepare for the inevitable.

Accordingly, when hostilities broke out,  he ordered his army  to attack Macedonians from whom he demanded their king, as if he was his private enemy.  Alexander lost no time in joining  battle, but his horse being  wounded  in the first charge; he fell  headlong to the ground, and was saved by his attendants who hastened up to his assistance.” 

Porus  drew  up on the south bank  of the Jhelum River,  and was set to repel any crossings. The Jhelum River was deep and fast enough  that any opposed crossing would probably doom the entire attacking force. Alexander knew that a direct crossing would fail,  so he found a suitable crossing, about 27  km (17 miles)  upstream of his camp. The  name of the place  is ‘Kadee’. Alexander left his general Craterus behind with  most of the army  while he crossed the river upstream with  a strong part of his army.  Porus  sent a small cavalry and chariot force under his son to the crossing.

According to sources, Alexander first encountered Porus’s son in the past, so the two men were not  strangers. Porus’s son killed  Alexander’s horse with  one blow, and Alexander fell  to the ground. Arrian also writing about the same  encounter adds that “Other writers state that there was a fight at the actual landing  between Alexander’s cavalry and a force of Indians commanded by Porus’s son, who was there  ready to oppose them with  superior numbers, and that in the course of fighting he (Porus’s  son) wounded  Alexander with  his own hand  and struck the blow which killed  his (Alexander’s) beloved horse Buccaphalus.”

The  force was easily  routed, and there isn’t any mention in any account that Porus’ son was killed.  Porus  now saw that the crossing force was larger, and decided to face it with  the bulk of his army.  Porus’s armies were poised with  cavalry on both flanks,  the war elephants in front, and infantry behind the elephants. These war elephants presented an especially difficult situation for Alexander, as they scared the Macedonian horses.

Alexander did not  continue, thus leaving  all the headwaters of the Indus River unconquered. Afterwards, Alexander founded Alexandria Nikaia  (Victory), located at the battle site, to commemorate his triumph. He also founded Alexandria Bucephalus on the opposite bank  of the river in memory  of his much cherished horse, Bucephalus, who carried Alexander through the Indian subcontinent, and died heroically during the Battle of Hydaspes.

East of Porus’s kingdom,  near the Ganges  River (the Hellenic version of the Indian name Ganga), was the powerful Nanda Empire  of Magadha and Gangaridai Empire  of Bengal. Fearing the prospects of facing other powerful Indian armies and exhausted by years of campaigning, his army mutinied at the Hyphasis River (the modern Beas  River)  refusing to march further east.

As for the Macedonians, however, their struggle with Porus blunted their courage and stayed their further advance into  India. For  having had  all they could do to repulse an enemy  who mustered only twenty thousand infantry and two thousand horse; they violently opposed Alexander when he insisted on crossing the river Ganges also, the width of which, as they learned, was thirty- two furlongs, its depth a hundred fathoms, while its banks on the further side  were covered with multitudes of men-at-arms and horsemen and elephants. For  they were told  that the kings of the Ganderites and Praesii were awaiting them with  eighty thousand horsemen, two hundred thousand footmen, eight thousand chariots, and six thousand fighting elephants. 

Gangaridai, a nation which possesses a vast force of the largest-sized elephants. Owing to this, their country has  never been conquered by any foreign king: for all other nation’s  dread, the overwhelming number and strength of these animals.  Thus,  Alexander the Macedonian, after conquering all Asia, did not  make war upon the Gangaridai, as he did on all others; for when he had arrived with all his troops at the river Ganges, he abandoned as hopeless an invasion of the Gangaridai when he learned that they possessed four thousand elephants well-trained and equipped for war.

This is a traditional account of how Alexander entered and fought in India.  To access this land he had  to travel thousands of miles east to a new land.   Traditionally, this campaign  was seen as a route march over  a barren desert land, which to be frank no-one  in their right mind would attempt.

However, recently a Photojournalist (not  a historian) physically travelled the same  path as Alexander the great and found that he used the waterways of the past which to date have been ignored as they are current too  low to facilitate such  a large army,  but in the past, David suggests that the river was much larger than today.

In search of the Alexander’s Lost  World (TV Documentary), David Adams  followed in the footsteps of the earliest Greek explorers, putting a new theory on Jason and the Argonauts to the test.

13 Things that don't make sense in History - Alexander's Travels

Were the ancient accounts correct? Were the Caspian and Black seas once joined, actually making it possible for the Argonauts to sail to the East?

Aboard a replica of the Argo,  David Adams  embarked on an epic journey that took  him from Greece across half the earth and into   war torn Afghanistan. In Russia,  David discovered the Phasis River,  the waterway that  led Jason to ‘The land of the Golden Fleece’  and onto  the Caspian  Sea where Alexander planned to create a great canal  to connecting it to the Black Sea.

13 Ancient Things that don't make sense in History - Black Caspian Sea
Were the ancient accounts correct - where the Caspian Sea and The Black Sea once connected?
He entered Alexander’s Lost  World in search of the mysterious River Oxus  that  according to the Ancient Greeks once  flowed  into  the Caspian,  transporting riches all the way from India. In the desert wastes of Turkmenistan, he also discovered the ruins  of a magnificent 4,000-year-old city and startling evidence to suggest that the reports of the Ancient Greeks were correct; in their time, earth’s climate was radically different than today.

Crossing into  Afghanistan in search of the lost city  of Bactra, Adams  uses the Ancient Greek accounts as a guide  to try to locate Alexander’s fabled Central Asian Capital.

Long thought to be the citadel of Balkh, the Greeks accounts appear to describe a different city  entirely. In the markets beneath the citadel, David found evidence to suggest Bactra may lie out towards the Oxus River at the end of a great delta.

Continuing  his historic journey, David travelled along Alexander’s route of conquest through Uzbekistan and Tajikistan to unearth Alexandria on the Oxus.   Moreover, in the waters of the Oxus River Adams  discovers a surprising connection to Jason and the Argonauts – could they have  possibly travelled this far from Greece?

The  story of the golden  fleece is remarkably similar to a process still  practiced today on
the banks of the Oxus  in Uzbekistan where river water is poured down a slope  on top  of   a piece of sheep’s fleece, which catches the gold in its wool like a filter.

David found extraordinary evidence that this lost world  was once  connected to the west. On the Pakistan borders, David meets with  the fabled ‘Children of Alexander’ and determines – once and for all – Alexander’s relationship to them. When  the road turns to river and rubble, he finds the remains of other invaders and their unexplored citadel – Chinese and Tibetans, who just like Alexander once  fought for control of the trade routes in an epic battle of 20,000 men.

Moreover, on his final leg of his Quest for Alexander’s lost world,  he found evidence of the earliest communities, including  farming and irrigation above  4000 meters – evidence that long ago a radically different climate made  farming possible on the roof of the world.   The  most remarkable aspect of this civilisation is that they were doing this long before the time of Alexandra the Great some  estimate 7,000 years ago.

Finally, he journeys on, deep into  the high Pamir Mountains on Afghanistan’s border with  China; he   goes  in search of the true source of the Oxus  River – it remains undetermined until  this day,  and he measured the flow and volumes,  before making the final push  to the place  he believes is the source – an ice cave  at the base of a glacier.   Which in the last ice age would have  been far greater in size and the source of greater volumes  of water making the Oxus  far deeper and accessible?

So it seems that the last Ice Age had  an influence even  on the Greek and Roman period some 15,000 years later.  The  story of Jason and the Argonauts is clearly based on the Greeks sailing  up the Oxus in search of adventure. Alexander the great could not have accessed India without the Flooding  of the Black and Caspian  Seas compared to today that  allowed  him to connect with  the Oxus  in the Caspian  and sail to Lake Aral  before starting his journey South West to Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Afghanistan and finally Pakistan (India) some  2,000 miles without ships and boats, for travel and supplies.

This  route is confirmed by the naming of conquered towns  with  his route, which still  bear the name Alexandria such  as Eschate:

Alexandria Eschate (Latin:  Alexandria Ultima, English  meaning  “Alexandria the Farthest”) or Alexandria Eskhata was founded by Alexander the Great in August 329 BCE as his most northerly base in Central Asia. It was established in the southwestern part of the Fergana Valley, on the southern bank  of the river Jaxartes (modern name Syr  Darya). 

On the banks of the Jaxartes.

Then there is the Ai-Khanum:

Ai-Khanoum or Ay Khanum (lit.  “Lady Moon” in Uzbek, possibly the historical Alexandria on the Oxus, also possibly later named  Eucratidia) was one of the primary cities of the Greco-Bactrian kingdom. Previous scholars have  argued that Ai Khanoum was founded in the late 4th century BC, following  the conquests of Alexander the Great. Most-recent   analysis now strongly suggests that the city  was founded after 280 BC by the Seleucid King Antiochus I. The  city  is located in Takhar Province, northern Afghanistan, at the confluence of the Oxus  river (today’s Amu Darya) and the Kokcha river, and at the doorstep of the Indian subcontinent.

On the banks of the Oxus and Kokcha

Another is Alexandria in Aria:

Aria  was an Old Persian satrapy, which enclosed chiefly the valley of the Hari  River (this being eponymous to the whole land according to Arrian) and which in antiquity was considered as particularly fertile and,  above  all, rich  in wine. The  region of Aria  was separated by mountain ranges from the Paropamisadae in the east.

On the banks of the Hari.

Then  there’s Alexandria in Margiana.

Merv  formerly Achaemenid Satrapy of Margiana, and later Alexandria and Antiochia in Margiana, was a major oasis-city in Central Asia, on the historical Silk Road, located near today’s Mary in Turkmenistan? Several cities have  existed on this site, which is significant for the interchange of culture and politics at a site of major strategic value. It is claimed that Merv  was briefly the largest city  in the world  in the 12th century. The  oasis  of Merv  is situated on the Murghab River that flows down from Afghanistan, on the southern edge of the Karakum  Desert,

On the banks of the Murghab

And last but not least Kapisa:

Alexandria on the Caucasus (medieval Kapisa, modern Bagram)  was a colony of Alexander the Great (one of many colonies designated with  the name Alexandria). He founded the colony at an important junction of communications in the southern foothills of the Hindu Kush mountains, in the country of the Paropamisade. Alexander populated the city  with  7,000 Macedonians, 3,000 mercenaries and thousands of natives (according to Curtius VII.3.23), or some  7,000 natives and 3,000 non-military camp followers and a quantity of Greek mercenaries  (Diodorus, XVII.83.2), in March 329 BC. He also built  forts in what  is nowadays Bagram  in Afghanistan, at the foot of the Hindu Kush, replacing forts erected in much the same  place  by Persia’s King Cyrus  the Great c. 500
BC. Still, the waters of the Kabul, Panjshir, and Khorband rivers created a fertile alluvial plain, and the city  was to become very  prosperous.

On the banks of the Panjshir and Khorband

Which no doubt was used  to transport and feed these towns  and outposts of Alexandra’s empire?

This  included his most famous city  Alexandria— that  become the world  centre of the learned from Europe, Asia, and Africa. Its position was unrivalled. Situated at the mouth of the Nile, it commanded the Mediterranean Sea, while by means  of the Red Sea; it held  easy  communication with  India and Arabia. When  Egypt  had  come under the sway of Alexander, he had  made  one of his generals’ rule  over  that country, and men of intellect collected there to study and to write. A library was started, and a Greek, Eratosthenes, held  the post of a librarian at Alexandria for forty years, namely,  from 240 -190  B.C.

During this period he made  a collection of all the travels and books  of earth description—the first the world  had  ever known—and stored them in the Great Library of which he must have  felt so justly proud and a legacy  to the world.

It is ironic  that the famous librarian drew  a map of the world  for his library at Alexandria, but it has perished with all the rest of the valuable treasure collected in this once celebrated city by a nation we consider to be the model of modern civilisation - the Romans.   We know that he must have  made  a great many mistakes in drawing  a map of his little island  world,  which measured eight thousand miles by three thousand eight hundred miles. However, the Caspian  Sea was connected with a Northern Ocean, and the Danube  sent a tributary to the Adriatic - is this another indication that post global flooding  was still  being  felt long after the ice had  disappeared?

One thing is for sure. Without the raised waters of the Caspian and Black Seas and the glacier that feed the Oxus in Afghanistan Alexander would have had an Empire much smaller than we celebrate today. 

The Indian campaign of Alexander the Great began in 326 BC; Alexander was born September 20, 356 B.C. in Pella, in the Kingdom of Macedonia. During his leadership, he united the Greek city-states and led the Corinthian League. He also became the king of Persia, Babylon and Asia, and created Macedonian colonies in Iran. After conquering the Achaemenid Empire of Persia, the Macedonian king (and now high king of the Persian Empire) Alexander launched a campaign in North West India (what is now Pakistan.)

The rationale for this campaign is usually said to be Alexander's desire to conquer the entire known world, which the Greeks thought ended in north-western India, and he did by traveling the vast distances from Asia Minor to India by a fleet of 100 boast.  However, now these rivers either do not exist or are far too small for his fleet of boats to sail upon.

So what happened to all the water?

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