Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Alexander's correspondence with Porus


According to ancient historian Pseudo-Callisthenes, from his book 'Alexander Romance'.

When Alexander arrived with all his forces at the border of India, letter bearers sent by Poros, king of India, met him and gave him the letter of Poros. Alexander took it and read it out before his army. Its contents were these:

So Alexander, having read out Poros’s letter in public before his soldiers, said to them:

“Comrades-in-arms, do not be upset again at the letter of Poros’s that 1 have read out. Remember what Darius wrote too- It is a fact that the only state of mind barbarians have is obtuseness. Like the animals under them—tigers, lions, elephants, which exult in their courage but are easily hunted thanks to man’s nature—the kings of the barbarians too exult in the numbers of their armies but are easily defeated by the intelligence of the Greeks.”

Having given this declaration to encourage his army, Alexander wrote in reply to Poros.

King Porus of India fights against the troops of Alexander the Great at the Battle of the Hydaspes River. His elephant was named Ajax for his bravery, and Alexander made bronze tusk bands dedicating the elephant to the Greek gods.

After Alexander defeated Porus in battle he expanded Porus' kingdom and they actually became best mates!

Source: "Collected ancient Greek novels", edited by B. P. Reardon. (pg. 714-715)


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