Prof. Dinesh Agrawal
Address: 156 Aberdeen lane, State College, PA 16801 USA
Tel: (814)-234-3558 (Home), (814)-863-8034 (Office)
The facts narrated below will expose the popular myth about the so-called world-conquerer "Alexander, The Great(?)". I am sure your readers will be interested to learn the truth about the mis-adventures of Alexander in India.
Alexander did not win any war on the Indian soil, he in fact lost to Porus, the king of Punjab, and had to sign a treaty with Porus in order to save his diminishing band of soldiers who were grief-stricken at the loss of their compatriots at the hands of Porus`s army, and expressed their strong desire to surrender.
Alexander after winning many battles and defeating the Persian king, invaded India and crossed Indus. Here he was joined by Ambhi, the king of Taxila. Ambhi surrendered himself to Alexander. He was enemy of Porus and wished to defeat Porus with the help of Alexander.
The facts of Alexander`s miserable defeat and his shattered dream at Indian soil have been avoided consistently by Greek historians and the same was perpetuated during British regime. But the truth which is documented in many narratives of the Europeans themselves presents a totally different picture. The depictions by Curtius, Justin, Diodorus, Arrian and Plutarch are quite consistent and reliable in concluding that Alexander was defeated by Porus and had to make a treaty with him to save his and his soldiers` lives. He was a broken man at his return from his mis-adventures in India.
In the Ethiopic texts, Mr E.A.W. Badge has included an account of "The Life and Exploits of Alexander" where he writes inter alia the following:
"In the battle of Jhelum a large majority of Alexander`s cavalry was killed. Alexander realized that if he were to continue fighting he would be completely ruined. He requested Porus to stop fighting. Porus was true to Indian traditions and did not kill the surrendered enemy. After this both signed treaty, Alexander then helped him in annexing other territories to his kingdom".
Mr Badge further writes that the soldiers of Alexander were grief- stricken and they began to bewail the loss of their compatriots. They threw off their weapons. They expressed their strong desire to surrender. They had no desire to fight. Alexander asked them to give up fighting and himself said, "Porus, please pardon me. I have realized your bravery and strength. Now I cannot bear these agonies. WIth a sad heart I am planning to put an end to my life. I do not desire that my soldiers should also be ruined like me. I am that culprit who has thrust them into the jaw of death. It does not become a king to thrust his soldiers into the jaws of death."
These expressions of `Alexander, The Great!` do not indicate from any stretch of imagination his victory over Porus? Can such words be uttered by a `World Conquerer"?
I am sure many readers will find in the history texts, an account of Alexander`s exploits and conquests which totally contradict what is quoted above. And most of us have been taught in the school that Alexander defeated Porus and he wept because he had no more worlds to conquer, and that is what made him `Alexander, The Great`. These myths and beliefs will receive a rude shock by these facts which show that Alexander was not that great after all, but in fact he was `Alexander, The Ordinary`.
Another myth is propagated by the Western historians that Alexander was noble and kind king, he had great respects for brave and courageous men, and so on. The truth is other-wise. He was neither a noble man nor did he have a heart of gold. He had meted out very cruel and harsh treatment to his earlier enemies. Basus of Bactria fought tooth and nail with Alexander to defend the freedom of his motherland. When he was brought before Alexander as a prisoner, Alexander ordered his servants to whip him and then cut off his nose and ears. He then killed him. Many Persian generals were killed by him.
The murder of Kalasthenese, nephew of Aristotle, was committed by Alexander because he criticised Alexander for foolishly imitating the Persian emperors. Alexander also murdered his friend Clytus in anger. His father`s trusted lieutenant Parmenian was also murdered by Alexander. The Indian soldiers who were returning from Masanga were most atrociously murdered by Alexander in the dead of night. These exploits do not prove Alexander`s kindness and greatness, but only an ordinary emperor driven by the zeal of expanding his empire.