Pliny the Elder, Natural History

LCL 352: 386-387


Pliny: Natural History

cognomen Bragmanae, quorum Mactocalingae; flumina Prinas et Cainnas, quod in Gangen influit, ambo navigabilia; gentes Calingae mari proximi et supra Mandaei, Malli quorum mons Mallus, finisque tractus eius Ganges.


XXII. Hunc alii incertis fontibus ut Nilum rigantemque vicina eodem modo, alii in Scythicis montibus nasci dixerunt, influere in eum xix amnes, ex his navigabiles praeter iam dictos Crenaccam, Rhamnumbovam, Casuagum, Sonum. alii cum magno fragore ipsius statim fontis erumpere, deiectumque per scopulosa et abrupta, ubi primum molles planities contingat, in quodam lacu hospitari, inde lenem fluere, ubi minimum, v͞i͞i͞i͞ p. latitudine, ubi modicum, stadiorum c, altitudine nusquam minore passuum xx, novissima gente Gangaridum Calingarum: regia 66Pertalis vocatur. regi l͞x͞ peditum, equites m, elephanti dcc in procinctu bellorum excubant. namque vita mitioribus populis Indorum multipertita degitur: tellurem exercent, militiam alii capessunt, merces alii suas evehunt externasque invehunt, res publicas optumi ditissimique temperant, iudicia reddunt, regibus adsident. quintum genus celebratae illis1 et prope in religionem versae sa-


Book VI

name of Bragmanae, among them the Mactocalingae; the rivers are the Prinas and Cainnas, the latter a tributary of the Ganges, both of them navigable; then the tribes of the Calingae nearest the sea, and further inland the Mandaei, the Malli occupying Mount Mallus, and the river Ganges, which is the boundary of this region.

XXII. The Ganges is said by some people to riseThe Ganges and adjacent regions. from unknown sources like the Nile and to irrigate the neighbouring country in the same manner, but others say that its source is in the mountains of Scythia, and that it has nineteen tributaries, among which the navigable ones besides those already mentioned are the Crenacca, Rhamnumbova, Casuagus and Sonus. Others state that it bursts forth with a loud roar at its very source, and after falling over crags and cliffs, as soon as it reaches fairly level country finds hospitality in a certain lake, and flows out of it in a gentle stream with a breadth of 8 miles where narrowest, and 12½ miles as its average width, and nowhere less than 100 feet deep, the last race situated on its banks being that of the Gangarid Calingae: the city where their king lives is called Pertalis. This monarch has 60,000 infantry, 1000 cavalry and 700 elephants always equipped ready for active service. For the peoples of the more civilised Indian races are divided into many classes in their mode of life: they cultivate the land, others engage in military service, others export native merchandise and import goods from abroad, while the best and wealthiest administer the government and serve as judges and as counsellors of the kings. There is a fifth class of persons devoted to wisdom, which is held in high honour with these

DOI: 10.4159/DLCL.pliny_elder-natural_history.1938