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On the Mythology, &c. of the Hindus,
and its Affinity with that of the Greeks
*** In reading the Names of Persons and Places, the Vowels are understood to be pronounced as in the Italian Language.
The longer Notes, referred to in the course of this volume, are placed at the end of Vol. II. in order to equalize the size of the two volumes.
Ancient and Modern India.
ON ANCIENT INDIA.
ANCIENT India appears to have comprehended not only the countries lying to the east of the Indus, but also those to the west of that river, which are bounded by the Hindu-Khow* and other mountains, as far south as the parallel of Moultan. The
* The eastern extremity of the Indian Caucasus. + This city appears to be situated in what is named by the Greeks, the country of the Malli.
territories, extending along the western side of the river from Moultan down to the place where it discharges itself by various branches into the sea, are separated from Persia by a long ridge of lofty rocky mountains; which, at the time of Alexander's expedition, were inhabited by a people, by the Greeks named Arabitæ:* consequently, India to the west of the Indus comprised Cabul, Candahar, Paishawur, Ghizni, Aria or Herat, together with Kajykan, Sewistan, and the Delta of the Indus.+
* Probably colonists from Arabia.
+ "The lower part of this Delta is intersected by rivers and creeks, in almost every direction, like the Delta of the Ganges: but, unlike that, it has no trees on it, the dry parts being covered with brushwood; and the remainder, by much the greatest part, being noisome swamps, or muddy lakes. A minaret, at the mouth of Ritchel river, serves as a mark for the road, which, from the flatness and sameness of the appearance of the coast, could not otherwise be discriminated. The upper part of the Delta is well cultivated, and yields abundance of rice.
To the east of the Indus, the countries are distinguished by Strabo, Pliny, and Ptolemy, by the names of India intra Gangem and India extra Gangem; the former meaning the countries lying between the Indus and the Ganges, from west to east, and from the mountains of Emodus on the north, down to the sea at Cape Comorin, and including the island of Taprobane or Ceylon. It is possible that the continental part of this space, may have obtained the name of peninsula, from being inclosed by
"The Ayeen Akbery says, that the principal food of the inhabitants of Sindy, is fish and rice.
"It appears from Strabo, that Aristobulus allowed only 1000 stadia for the basis of the Delta."-Rennell.
"Ptolemy assigns, as the confines of India on the west, the territory of the Paropamisada; the province of Arachosia, the modern Zablestan; and that of Gedrosia, at present denominated Mikran. These provinces, indeed, seem to be considered by Pliny, (lib. vi. c. 20.) rather as a part of the Indian than the Persian empire; to which he adds that of Aria, whose capital is the modern Herat."-Maurice's Indian Antiquities, vol. i. pp. 151, 152.