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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 Hindú-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 Paropamisadæ; 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.
those two great rivers, both of which have their sources in the mountains above mentioned. India extra Gangem comprehends the countries situated to the east of the Ganges, Thibet, Nepal, Boutan, Assam, Aracan, Ava, Siam, the islands of Java, Sumatra, and various other 'eastern islands. The Imaus, called by the Indians Himodhi, * meaning the receptacle of Snow, separated it on the north-east from the countries included under the general name of Scythia extra Imaum.
“ India then on its most enlarged scale, in which the ancients appear to have understood it, comprises an area of nearly forty degrees on each side, including a space almost as large as all Europe; being divided on the west from Persia, by the Arachosian mountains; bounded on the east by the Chinese part of the further peninsula; confined on the north by the wilds of Tartary, and extending to the south as far as the isles of Java. This trapezium, therefore, comprehends the stupendous hills of Potyid or Tibet, the beautiful valley of Cashmire, and all the domains of the old Indo-Scythians, the countries of Nepal and Boutan, Camrup or Assam, together with Siam, Ava, Racan, and the bordering kingdoms, as far as the China of the Hindūs, or Sin of the Arabian geographers; not to mention the whole western peninsula, with the celebrated island of Sinhala, or Lion-likemen,* at its southern extremity. By India, in short, we mean that whole extent of country in which the primitive religion and lan
* By Europeans those mountains are sometimes written Himalaya.
The Emodus, &c. of the ancients, are those mountains which extend from the Ganges, above Sirinagur, to Cashmire.
+ Pliny, speaking of the mountains we have mentioned, but beginning with those on the east, says:
“ Junguntur inter se Imaus, Emodus, Paropamisus, Caucasi partes, à quibus tota decurrit India in planitiem immensam et Egypto similem.”—Plin. lib. vi. c. 17.
See.“ Recherches sur la Géographie Systematique et Positive des Anciens, &c. &c. par T.J. Gosselin, Paris, 1813."