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says, that according to the reports of the Brahmins, it extended over a line of ten Yojans, or about forty miles; and that the present city of Lachnau, or Lucnow, was only a suburb, called Lacshmanadwara, or the gate of Lacshman, brother of Rama.*

Though Pythagoras, it is said, had visited India; and though, from what has been transmitted to us of his doctrines, it is evident that many of them must have been borrowed from the Hindus, yet the Greeks, before the expedition of Alexander, had but little knowledge of India, or its inbabitants. All that is to be found in Herodotus, is extremely vague and unsatisfactory. Before his time, the Persians, it appears, had not only subdued some of the

* Asiat. Res. vol. i. p. 259.

The extent given to this city in the Ayeen Akbery, is fabulous: but it is there said, (and it probably may be true) that it was the largest city in Hindustan, and esteemed one of the most sacred places of antiquity. "In the Tereetah Joug it was the residence of Rajah Ramchund, who enjoyed the two-fold office of King and Prophet."-See the Ayeen Akbery, vol. ii. p. 41.

Indian provinces to the west of the Indus; but had also obliged some of the princes, whose territories lay along the eastern side of that river, to pay them tribute. The Indian conquered provinces on the west of the Indus, and the power of collecting the tribute from the others, formed the twentieth Satrapy of the Persian Empire. And we are told by Herodotus that Darius Hystaspes,* who, it appears, had crossed the Indus in person about 180 years before Alexander, sent Scylax, of Caryanda, to explore the Indus and the countries contiguous to it, as Alexander afterwards sent Nearchus.+

* The fifth sovereign of the Kyanian Dynasty of Persia.

+ Mr. Maurice, in his Indian Antiquities, announces the opinion that Darius and Zoroaster had both visited India, secretly. We shall in substance quote the pas sage:"The principal fire temple and usual place of residence of Zoroaster, and of his royal protector Darius Hystaspes, was at Balkh, the capital of Bactria. Stationed so near the country of the Brachmans, this bold and judicious reformer would hardly fail of visiting them. In reality we are told, by one of the later

From the intelligence supplied by the early Greek and Latin authors, we find that the same religion, laws, manners, and

historians of the Roman empire, that Hystaspes himself, and most probably not unattended by the illustrious Archimagus, did personally penetrate into the secluded regions of Upper India, in disguise, and that he was there instructed by the Brachmans in the principles of the mathematics, astronomy, and the pure rites of sacrifice. That part of India which Hystaspes visited was, doubtless, Cashmire, where, in all probability, the genuine religion of Brahma flourished longest without adulteration.”—Indian Antiq. vol. ii. pp. 125 and 126.

The author he refers to, is Ammianus Marcellinus, a native of Antioch, who settled at Rome in the beginning of the fifth century of the Christian Era. He is considered as an impartial writer. The passage referred to by Mr. Maurice is as follows:

"Hystaspes, qui quum superioris Indiæ secreta fidentius penetraret, ad nemorosam quandam venerat solitudinem, cujus tranquillis silentiis præcelsa Bracmanorum ingenia potiuntur; eorumque monitu rationes mundani motus et siderum, purosque sacrorum ritus, quantum colligere potuit, eruditus, ex his quæ didicit, aliqua sensibus magorum infudit: quæ illi cum disciplinis præsentiendi futura, per suam quisque progeniem posteris ætatibus tradunt.-Ammian. Marcell. lib. xxiii.


customs, existed amongst the people of India, at the time they first obtained any knowledge of them, which at present exist and are practised by them: but, from the more accurate and extensive information that has been obtained of late years, we shall find it established beyond a doubt, that the Hindūs were a polished and refined people, while the inhabitants of Greece were in a state of barbarism, that is, long before Egyptian or Phenician adventurers had visited their country.

The learning and sciences of the Hindūs, and the affinity which appears to exist between their mythology and that of the Egyptians, Greeks, and Romans, began in the course of the last century to occupy the attention of several literati in different countries of Europe:* but all the informa

Mr. Langlès in his notes to the tenth volume of his edition of Chardin's travels, has endeavoured to prove that the religious and political institutions of the Hindus and Prasii were the same.

* See five Memoirs by the Abbé Mignot, in the Mémoires de l'Académie des Inscriptions et Belles-Lettres,


tion acquired from the relations of modern travellers and missionaries, from Marco Paolo downward, though in many particulars faithful, was still too obscure and sometimes too contradictory, to enable them to form any just opinion on the subject. The voyage published in 1779 by Monsieur Le Gentil,* who was sent by the French government to Pondicherry, to observe the transit of Venus over the disk of the sun, and a subsequent voyage by Monsieur Sonnerat,+ afforded more certain grounds of information in regard to the Indian astronomy, than Europeans had before obtained; a subject which was afterwards more fully illustrated in the Histoire de


vol. xxxi. Three Memoirs of M. de Guignes, in the same work, vol. xl; and various other works that, previous to the time I have mentioned, appeared in France, England, and other countries.

* Voyage dans les Mers de l'Inde, fait par ordre du Roi, à l'occasion du Passage de Venus sur le Disque du Soleil.

+ Voyage aux Indes Orientales et à la Chine. Paris,

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