Monday, February 18, 2008

The battle that stopped Alexander the Great!!!

Following the Battle of Hydaspes, Alexander was highly surprised by Porus for his bravery in battle, and therefore made an alliance with him and appointed him as satrap of his own kingdom, even adding some land he did not own before. Alexander then named one of the two new cities that he founded, Bucephala, in remembrance of the horse who had brought him to India, who had died during the Battle of Hydaspes. Alexander continued on to capture all the headwaters of the Indus River.

East of Porus' empire, near the Ganges River, was the formidable kingdom of Magadha reigned by the Nanda dynasty. Fearing the prospects of facing another powerful Indian army and exhausted by years of campaigning, his army mutinied at the Beas River refusing to march further east. This river thus marks the easternmost extent of Alexander's conquests.

A rock inscriptions excavated near Greece read:

"As for the Macedonians, however, their fight with Porus diminished their courage and stopped 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."

Alexander, after the meeting with his general Coenus, decided that it was favorable to return. Alexander was forced to turn south. Along the way his army ran into the Malli clans in modern day Multan. The Malli were the most warlike clans in South Asia during that period. Alexander's army challenged the Malli, and the ensuing battle led them to the Malli citadel. During the assault, Alexander himself was wounded seriously by a Mallian arrow. His forces, believing their king dead, took the citadel and unleashed their fury on the Malli who had taken refuge within it,perpetrating a massacre,sparing neither man,woman nor child. Following this, the surviving Malli surrendered to Alexander's forces, and his beleaguered army moved on.He sent much of his army to modern southern Iran with his general Craterus, and commissioned a fleet to explore the Persian Gulf shore under his admiral Nearchus, while he led the rest of his forces back to Persia by the southern route through the Gedrosian Desert.

Alexander left forces in India although. In the territory of the Indus, he appointed his officer Peithon as a satrap, a rank he would possess for the following ten years until 316 BC, and in the Punjab he left Eudemus in charge of the force, at the side of the satrap Porus and Taxiles. Eudemus became king of a part of the Punjab after their death. Both rulers returned to the West in 316 BC with their armies. In 321 BC, Chandragupta Maurya founded the Maurya Empire in India and defeated the Greek satraps.

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