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Ancient India as Described in Classical Literature
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Ancient India as Described in Classical Literature
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About the Book

 

This book, Ancient India as described in Classical Literature by John W. McCrindle contains the annotated translation of extracts pertaining to India from the works of Herodotos, Strabo. Plinius, Aelianus, and others. It is veritable treasure house of information on a horde of subjects ranging from animals to the campaigns of Alexander. Everything about that period a few centuries before and after the Christian Era-comes alive in its pages.

 

About the Author

 

John Watson McCrindle was born near Maybole. Ayrshire. educated at Maybole and Edinburgh universities and taught at the Patna and Krishnagar colleges. He retired in 1860 as Principal of the Patna College. His contribution to the knowledge of Indian history comprises the following works:

 

Ancient India as described by Megasthenes and Arrian; The Commerce and Navigation of the Erythraean Sea; Ancient India as described by Ptolemy; and Invasion of India by Alexander the Great. These books give a nearly complete collection of all works and incidental notices relating to India contained in Greek and Roman literature.

 

Preface

 

This is the sixth and last volume of a series of works designed to contain annotated translations of all the texts in Greek and Latin literature which relate to ancient India. The five already published are ;-

 

The Indika of Ktesias the Knidian.

The Indika of Megasthenes and Arrian.

The Commerce and Navigation of the Erythraean Sea.

Ptolemy's Geography of India.

The Invasion of India by Alexander the Great.

 

Such other texts as have not been included in these volumes are given here. They have been extracted from numerous sources, such as the Histories of Herodotus, Polybius, Diodorus Siculus, and Dion Cassius; the Geographies of Strabo and Dionysius Periegetes; the Natural History of Pliny, the Christian Topography of Kosmas Indikopleustes, the Life of Apollonius of Tyana by Philostratus; the Romance History of Alexander; and Notices in Aelian, Nonnus, Porphyry, Stobeeus, Dion Chrysostom, Eusebius, and others.

 

Though the extracts have not been arranged in their order of sequence in accordance with any fixed principle, as that of their chronology, yet some of them have been placed side by side as treating in the main of the same subjects, namely Brahmanism and Buddhism.

 

Since I entered on the undertaking thus, after an interval of three-and-twenty years, brought to completion, Indian Archreology has advanced apace, and some of its discoveries have enabled me to correct, in later volumes, what proved to hue been errors in the earlier.

 

To nearly all the extracts will be found prefixed a brief notice of the life of the author.

 

With regard to the variation in the spelling of proper names according as the translation in which they occur is from a Greek or a Latin text, I must express my hope that it may not occasion any inconvenience to the reader. In the Greek form the letter" takes the place of c, a; of oe, and os of us.

 

In conclusion, I mast express the gratification and encouragement which I derived from the very favourable notices accorded to each volume of the series as it appeared, alike from the Home, the Continental, and the Indian press.

 

Introduction

 

This is the sixth and last volume of a series of works, which, in accordance with the original design announced in the first volume which appeared in 1877, contains annotated translations of all the Greek and Roman Classics which throw any light upon the distant past of India.

 

The volumes already published are :-

1. Ancient India as described by Megasthenes and Arrian. Calcutta, 1877. This volume includes the fragments of the Indika of Megasthenes collected by Dr. Schwanbeck of Bonn, and the first part of the Indika of Arrian, in which that careful writer supplies a general account of India derived from the best authorities.

 

II. The Commerce and Navigation of the Erythraean Sea. Calcutta, 1879. This volume contains a translation (with commentary) of the Periplus Erythraei Maris by an unknown writer of the first Christian century, and of the second part of the Indika of Arrian, in which is described the memorable voyage of Nearchos from the mouth of the Indus to the head of the Persian Gulf.

 

III. Ancient India as described by Ktesias the Knidian. Calcutta, 1882. Ktesias was the first writer who gave the Greeks a special 'treatise on India. The work is lost, but we have an epitome of its contents by Photios, and fragments of it in other writers.

 

IV. Ancient India tu described by Ptolemy. Calcutta, 1885. This volume contains not only Ptolemy's Geography of India, but also his Geography of Central and Eastern Asia, and a copy of his Map of India.

 

V. The Invasion of India by Alexander the Great. First edition, Westminster, 1893. New edition, 1896. This work contains translations of the accounts of Alexander's campaigns in India and Afghanistan found in Arrian, Q. Curtius, Diodorus Si cui us, Plutarch, and Justinus. The Introduction contains a sketch of the History of Alexander, and the Preface to the new edition brings the work up to date.

 

The present volume, which completes the series, contains translations of all the remaining accounts of India which occur in the Classics, and which are all either extracts from larger works, or merely incidental notices.

 

The extracts have been collected from the following sources:--

 

I. The History of Herodotos, who mentions the voyage of discovery made by Sky lax down the Indus from Kaspatyros to the ocean, tells the story of the gold-digging ants, and names a few Indian tribes with brief notices of their characteristics.

 

II. The Geography of Strabo, who has devoted the greater part of his fifteenth book to a description of India and Ariana.

 

III. The Natural History of Pliny, which contains a Geography of India and numerous notices of its natural productions.

 

IV. Aelian's Peculiarities of Animals, a work in which occur many notices of the animals of India.

 

V. The Itinerary of A lexander the Great. An excellent work (by an unknown author) dedicated to the Emperor Constantius, and meant for his guidance in the war against Sapor for which he was preparing.

 

VI. The Christian Topography of Cosmas Indikopleustes, a 'Work which contains valuable information regarding Taprobane (Ceylon), the Malabar coast towns, and the trade carried on in the eastern seas in the sixth century A.D.

 

VII. Works containing passages about the Brachmans and Buddhists of India:-

 

A. The De Abstinentia of Porphyry, who cites from the lost work of Bardesanes a fragment about the Indian Gymnosophists.

 

B. The Physica of Stobaeus, who has preserved another fragment from that author on the same subject.

 

C. The Oratims of Dion Chrysostom, in one of which a glowing picture of Indian life is presented, and in another a short notice of the Brachmans.

 

D. The Pseudo-Kallisthenes, or Romance History of Alexander, which contains the short treatise by Palladius About the Nations of India and the Brachmans.

 

E. Various authors by whom the Brachmans are incidentally noticed: Clemens Alexandrinus, Origen, St. Jerome, Archelaus, Kedrenus, Rulinus, and Hierokles.

 

VIII. A Description of the Whole World, a poem in hexameter verse, consisting of 1187 lines, of which eighty-five are descriptive of India and its conquest by Bacchus, composed by Dionysius· Periegetes.

 

IX. The Life of Apolloniru of Tyana by Philostratus of Lemnos, whose account of the journey which Apollonius is said to have made into India is based on the Journal of Damis, by whom the famous Theumaturgtst was accompanied on his eastern journey.

 

X. The Dinysiaka of Nonnus, an enormous epic in forty-eight books devoted to the history of Bacchus, including his greatest achievement, the conquest of India.

 

XI. The Bibliotheca, or Universal History of Diodorus Siculus, from which have been extracted the story (here abridged) of Iambulus, and the story of the Indian widow who burned herself on her husband's funeral pile.

 

XII. Various works in which India is incidentally noticed, as in Polybius, Pausanias, Frontinus, Plutarch, Appian, Ammianus Marcellinus, Dion Cassius, and some Latin poets.

 

Contents

 

INTRODUCTION

ix

SECTION I

HERODOTOS

1

SECTION II

STARBO- INDIA

6

SECTION III

STARBO- ARIANA

80

SECTION IV

STARBO-INCIDENTAL NOTICES OF INDIA

95

SECTION V

PLINY

102

SECTION VI

AELIAN

136

SECTION VII

THE ITINERARY OF ALEXANDER THE GREAT

150

SECTION VIII

KOSMAS INDIKOPLEUSTES-CHRISTIAN TOPOGRAPHY

156

SECTION IX

EXTRACTS TREATING OF THE BRAHMANS

107

SECTION X

INCIDENTAL NOTICES OF THE BRAHMANS

167

SECTION XI

DIONYSIOS-OR BASSARIKA OF NONNOS

196

SECTION XII

PHILOSTRATOS OF LEMNOS

191

SECTION XII

THE DIONYSIAKA OR BASSARIKA OF NONNOS

196

SECTION XIV

DIODORUS SICULUS

201

SECTION XV

INCIDENTAL NOTICES OF THE CLASSICS

206

INDEX

217

 

 


Ancient India as Described in Classical Literature

Item Code:
IGB02
Cover:
Hardcover
Edition:
2015
ISBN:
9788121512893
Size:
9.0 inch x 5.5 inch
Pages:
248
Other Details:
Weight of the Book: 430 gms
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$27.50   Shipping Free
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About the Book

 

This book, Ancient India as described in Classical Literature by John W. McCrindle contains the annotated translation of extracts pertaining to India from the works of Herodotos, Strabo. Plinius, Aelianus, and others. It is veritable treasure house of information on a horde of subjects ranging from animals to the campaigns of Alexander. Everything about that period a few centuries before and after the Christian Era-comes alive in its pages.

 

About the Author

 

John Watson McCrindle was born near Maybole. Ayrshire. educated at Maybole and Edinburgh universities and taught at the Patna and Krishnagar colleges. He retired in 1860 as Principal of the Patna College. His contribution to the knowledge of Indian history comprises the following works:

 

Ancient India as described by Megasthenes and Arrian; The Commerce and Navigation of the Erythraean Sea; Ancient India as described by Ptolemy; and Invasion of India by Alexander the Great. These books give a nearly complete collection of all works and incidental notices relating to India contained in Greek and Roman literature.

 

Preface

 

This is the sixth and last volume of a series of works designed to contain annotated translations of all the texts in Greek and Latin literature which relate to ancient India. The five already published are ;-

 

The Indika of Ktesias the Knidian.

The Indika of Megasthenes and Arrian.

The Commerce and Navigation of the Erythraean Sea.

Ptolemy's Geography of India.

The Invasion of India by Alexander the Great.

 

Such other texts as have not been included in these volumes are given here. They have been extracted from numerous sources, such as the Histories of Herodotus, Polybius, Diodorus Siculus, and Dion Cassius; the Geographies of Strabo and Dionysius Periegetes; the Natural History of Pliny, the Christian Topography of Kosmas Indikopleustes, the Life of Apollonius of Tyana by Philostratus; the Romance History of Alexander; and Notices in Aelian, Nonnus, Porphyry, Stobeeus, Dion Chrysostom, Eusebius, and others.

 

Though the extracts have not been arranged in their order of sequence in accordance with any fixed principle, as that of their chronology, yet some of them have been placed side by side as treating in the main of the same subjects, namely Brahmanism and Buddhism.

 

Since I entered on the undertaking thus, after an interval of three-and-twenty years, brought to completion, Indian Archreology has advanced apace, and some of its discoveries have enabled me to correct, in later volumes, what proved to hue been errors in the earlier.

 

To nearly all the extracts will be found prefixed a brief notice of the life of the author.

 

With regard to the variation in the spelling of proper names according as the translation in which they occur is from a Greek or a Latin text, I must express my hope that it may not occasion any inconvenience to the reader. In the Greek form the letter" takes the place of c, a; of oe, and os of us.

 

In conclusion, I mast express the gratification and encouragement which I derived from the very favourable notices accorded to each volume of the series as it appeared, alike from the Home, the Continental, and the Indian press.

 

Introduction

 

This is the sixth and last volume of a series of works, which, in accordance with the original design announced in the first volume which appeared in 1877, contains annotated translations of all the Greek and Roman Classics which throw any light upon the distant past of India.

 

The volumes already published are :-

1. Ancient India as described by Megasthenes and Arrian. Calcutta, 1877. This volume includes the fragments of the Indika of Megasthenes collected by Dr. Schwanbeck of Bonn, and the first part of the Indika of Arrian, in which that careful writer supplies a general account of India derived from the best authorities.

 

II. The Commerce and Navigation of the Erythraean Sea. Calcutta, 1879. This volume contains a translation (with commentary) of the Periplus Erythraei Maris by an unknown writer of the first Christian century, and of the second part of the Indika of Arrian, in which is described the memorable voyage of Nearchos from the mouth of the Indus to the head of the Persian Gulf.

 

III. Ancient India as described by Ktesias the Knidian. Calcutta, 1882. Ktesias was the first writer who gave the Greeks a special 'treatise on India. The work is lost, but we have an epitome of its contents by Photios, and fragments of it in other writers.

 

IV. Ancient India tu described by Ptolemy. Calcutta, 1885. This volume contains not only Ptolemy's Geography of India, but also his Geography of Central and Eastern Asia, and a copy of his Map of India.

 

V. The Invasion of India by Alexander the Great. First edition, Westminster, 1893. New edition, 1896. This work contains translations of the accounts of Alexander's campaigns in India and Afghanistan found in Arrian, Q. Curtius, Diodorus Si cui us, Plutarch, and Justinus. The Introduction contains a sketch of the History of Alexander, and the Preface to the new edition brings the work up to date.

 

The present volume, which completes the series, contains translations of all the remaining accounts of India which occur in the Classics, and which are all either extracts from larger works, or merely incidental notices.

 

The extracts have been collected from the following sources:--

 

I. The History of Herodotos, who mentions the voyage of discovery made by Sky lax down the Indus from Kaspatyros to the ocean, tells the story of the gold-digging ants, and names a few Indian tribes with brief notices of their characteristics.

 

II. The Geography of Strabo, who has devoted the greater part of his fifteenth book to a description of India and Ariana.

 

III. The Natural History of Pliny, which contains a Geography of India and numerous notices of its natural productions.

 

IV. Aelian's Peculiarities of Animals, a work in which occur many notices of the animals of India.

 

V. The Itinerary of A lexander the Great. An excellent work (by an unknown author) dedicated to the Emperor Constantius, and meant for his guidance in the war against Sapor for which he was preparing.

 

VI. The Christian Topography of Cosmas Indikopleustes, a 'Work which contains valuable information regarding Taprobane (Ceylon), the Malabar coast towns, and the trade carried on in the eastern seas in the sixth century A.D.

 

VII. Works containing passages about the Brachmans and Buddhists of India:-

 

A. The De Abstinentia of Porphyry, who cites from the lost work of Bardesanes a fragment about the Indian Gymnosophists.

 

B. The Physica of Stobaeus, who has preserved another fragment from that author on the same subject.

 

C. The Oratims of Dion Chrysostom, in one of which a glowing picture of Indian life is presented, and in another a short notice of the Brachmans.

 

D. The Pseudo-Kallisthenes, or Romance History of Alexander, which contains the short treatise by Palladius About the Nations of India and the Brachmans.

 

E. Various authors by whom the Brachmans are incidentally noticed: Clemens Alexandrinus, Origen, St. Jerome, Archelaus, Kedrenus, Rulinus, and Hierokles.

 

VIII. A Description of the Whole World, a poem in hexameter verse, consisting of 1187 lines, of which eighty-five are descriptive of India and its conquest by Bacchus, composed by Dionysius· Periegetes.

 

IX. The Life of Apolloniru of Tyana by Philostratus of Lemnos, whose account of the journey which Apollonius is said to have made into India is based on the Journal of Damis, by whom the famous Theumaturgtst was accompanied on his eastern journey.

 

X. The Dinysiaka of Nonnus, an enormous epic in forty-eight books devoted to the history of Bacchus, including his greatest achievement, the conquest of India.

 

XI. The Bibliotheca, or Universal History of Diodorus Siculus, from which have been extracted the story (here abridged) of Iambulus, and the story of the Indian widow who burned herself on her husband's funeral pile.

 

XII. Various works in which India is incidentally noticed, as in Polybius, Pausanias, Frontinus, Plutarch, Appian, Ammianus Marcellinus, Dion Cassius, and some Latin poets.

 

Contents

 

INTRODUCTION

ix

SECTION I

HERODOTOS

1

SECTION II

STARBO- INDIA

6

SECTION III

STARBO- ARIANA

80

SECTION IV

STARBO-INCIDENTAL NOTICES OF INDIA

95

SECTION V

PLINY

102

SECTION VI

AELIAN

136

SECTION VII

THE ITINERARY OF ALEXANDER THE GREAT

150

SECTION VIII

KOSMAS INDIKOPLEUSTES-CHRISTIAN TOPOGRAPHY

156

SECTION IX

EXTRACTS TREATING OF THE BRAHMANS

107

SECTION X

INCIDENTAL NOTICES OF THE BRAHMANS

167

SECTION XI

DIONYSIOS-OR BASSARIKA OF NONNOS

196

SECTION XII

PHILOSTRATOS OF LEMNOS

191

SECTION XII

THE DIONYSIAKA OR BASSARIKA OF NONNOS

196

SECTION XIV

DIODORUS SICULUS

201

SECTION XV

INCIDENTAL NOTICES OF THE CLASSICS

206

INDEX

217

 

 


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