Arrian, Anabasis of Alexander

LCL 269: 2-3

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1. Ἐν δὲ τῇ χώρᾳ ταύτῃ, ἥντινα μεταξὺ τοῦ τε Κωφῆνος καὶ τοῦ Ἰνδοῦ ποταμοῦ ἐπῆλθεν Ἀλέξανδρος, καὶ Νῦσαν πόλιν ᾠκίσθαι λέγουσι· τὸ δὲ κτίσμα εἶναι Διονύσου· Διόνυσον δὲ κτίσαι τὴν Νῦσαν ἐπεί τε Ἰνδοὺς ἐχειρώσατο, ὅστις δὴ οὗτος ὁ Διόνυσος καὶ ὁπότε ἢ ὅθεν ἐπ᾿ Ἰνδοὺς ἐστράτευσεν· 2οὐ γὰρ ἔχω συμβαλεῖν εἰ ὁ Θηβαῖος Διόνυσος [ὃς] ἐκ Θηβῶν ἢ ἐκ Τμώλου τοῦ Λυδίου ὁρμηθεὶς ἐπὶ Ἰνδοὺς ἧκε στρατιὰν ἄγων, τοσαῦτα μὲν ἔθνη μάχιμα καὶ ἄγνωστα τοῖς τότε Ἕλλησιν ἐπελθών, οὐδὲν δὲ αὐτῶν ἄλλο ὅτι μὴ τὸ Ἰνδῶν βίᾳ χειρωσάμενος· πλήν γε δὴ ὅτι οὐκ ἀκριβῆ ἐξεταστὴν χρὴ εἶναι τῶν ὑπὲρ τοῦ θείου ἐκ παλαιοῦ μεμυθευμένων. τὰ γάρ τοι κατὰ τὸ εἰκὸς ξυντιθέντι οὐ πιστά, ἐπειδὰν τὸ θεῖόν τις προσθῇ τῷ λόγῳ, οὐ πάντῃ ἄπιστα φαίνεται.

3Ὡς δὲ ἐπέβη τῇ Νύσῃ Ἀλέξανδρος, ἐκπέμπουσι παρ᾿ αὐτὸν οἱ Νυσαῖοι τὸν κρατιστεύοντα σφῶν, ὄνομα δὲ ἦν αὐτῷ Ἄκουφις, καὶ ξὺν αὐτῷ πρέσβεις τῶν δοκιμωτάτων τριάκοντα, δεησομένους Ἀλεξάνδρου 4ἀφεῖναι τῷ θεῷ τὴν πόλιν. παρελθεῖν τε δὴ ἐς τὴν σκηνὴν τὴν Ἀλεξάνδρου τοὺς πρέσβεις καὶ καταλαβεῖν καθήμενον κεκονιμένον ἔτι ἐκ τῆς ὁδοῦ ξὺν τοῖς ὅπλοις τοῖς τε ἄλλοις καὶ τὸ κράνος [αὐτῷ] περικείμενον καὶ τὸ δόρυ ἔχοντα· θαμβῆσαί


Anabasis of Alexander V

Book V

1. In this country between the rivers Cophen and326 b.c. Indus which Alexander invaded it is said that a city called Nysa was also situated, a foundation of Dionysus in the time when he subdued the Indians, whoever this Dionysus was, and whenever or whence he marched against the Indians; for my part I cannot2 gather whether the Theban Dionysus, starting from Thebes or from the Lydian Tmolus, led an army against the Indians, after assailing so many warlike peoples, unknown to the Greeks of that time, and yet subduing none of them by force but the Indians; still, one must not be a precise critic of ancient legends that concern the divine. For things which are incredible if you consider them on the basis of probability appear not wholly incredible, when one adds the divine element to the story.1

When Alexander approached Nysa, the people of3 Nysa sent out to meet him the man of greatest power among them, whose name was Acuphis, with thirty envoys of the highest repute, to beg Alexander to leave the city to the god. The envoys, it is4 said, came into Alexander’s tent, and found him sitting still all dusty from the journey with his ordinary armour on and wearing his helmet and carrying his spear; they were amazed at the sight and fell to

DOI: 10.4159/DLCL.arrian-anabasis_alexander.1976