Cosmas Indicopleustes, Christian Topography (1897) pp. 358-373. Book 11
A description of Indian Animals, and of the Island of Taprobane.HIS animal1 is called the rhinoceros from having horns upon his snout. When he is walking his horns are mobile, but when he sees anything to move his rage, he erects them and they become so rigid that they are strong enough to tear up even trees by the root, those especially which come right before him. His eyes are placed low down near his jaws. He is altogether a fearful animal, and he is somehow hostile to the elephant. His feet and his skin, however, closely resemble those of the elephant. His skin, when dried, is four fingers thick, and this some people put, instead of iron, in the plough, and with it plough the land. The Ethiopians in their own dialect call the rhinoceros Arou, or Harisi, aspirating the alpha of the latter word, and adding risi. By the arou they designate the beast as such, and by arisi, ploughing, giving him this name from his shape about the nostrils, and also from the use to which his hide is turned.2 In Ethiopia I once saw a live |359 rhinoceros while I was standing at a far distance, and I saw also the skin of a dead one stuffed with chaff, standing in the royal palace, and so I have been able to draw him accurately.3
The Taurelaphus, the Bull-stag or Ox-deer.
The taurelaphus is an animal found in India and in Ethiopia. Those in India are tame, and are used for the transport of pepper and other stuffs packed in saddle-bags. They are milked, and from the milk butter is made. We also eat their flesh, the Christians killing them by cutting their throats and the Pagans by felling them. The Ethiopian kind, unlike the Indian, are wild and have not been domesticated.
The Camelopardalis----the Giraffe. 
Cameleopards are found only in Ethiopia. They also are wild creatures and undomesticated. In the palace 4 one or two that, by command of the King, have been caught when young, are tamed to make a show for the King's amusement. When milk or water to drink is set before these creatures in a pan, as is done in the King's presence, they cannot, by reason of the great length of their legs and the height of their breast and neck, stoop down to the earth and drink, unless by straddling with their forelegs. They must therefore, it is plain, in order to drink, stand with their forelegs wide apart. This animal also I have delineated from my personal knowledge of it. |360
The Agriobous or Wild Ox.
This wild ox is a large Indian animal,5 and from it is got what is called the toupha,6 with which commanders of armies decorate their horses and banners when taking the field. If his tail, it is said, catches in a tree, he does not seek to move off but stands stock-still, having a strong aversion to lose even a single hair of his tail. So the people of the place come and cut off his tail, and then the beast, having lost it all, makes his escape. Such is the nature of this animal.
The Moschus or Musk-deer.
The small animal,7 again, is the Moschus, called in the native tongue Kastouri. Those who hunt it pierce it with arrows, and having tied up the blood collected at the navel8 they cut it away. For this is the part which has the pleasant fragrance known to us by the name of musk. The men then cast away the rest of the carcase.
The Monoceros or Unicorn.
This animal is called the unicorn,9 but I cannot say that I have seen him. But I have seen four brazen figures of |361 him set up in the four-towered palace of the King of Ethiopia. From these figures I have been able to draw him as you see.10 They speak of him as a terrible beast and quite invincible, and say that all his strength lies in his horn. When he finds himself pursued by many hunters and on the point of being caught, he springs up to the top of some precipice whence he throws himself down11 and in the descent turns a somersault so that the horn sustains all the shock of the fall,12 and he escapes unhurt. And scripture in like manner speaks concerning him, saying, Save me from the mouth of lions, and my humility from the horns of unicorns.13 And again: And he that is beloved as the son of unicorns;14 and again in the blessings of Balaam wherewith he blessed Israel, he says for the second time: God so led him out of Egypt even as the glory of the unicorn;15 thus bearing complete testimony to the strength, audacity, and glory of the animal.
The Chaerelaphus or Hog-deer and Hippopotamus. 
The hog-deer I have both seen and eaten. The hippopotamus, however, I have not seen, but I had teeth of it so |362 large as to weigh thirteen pounds,16 and these I sold here.17 And I saw many such teeth both in Ethiopia and in Egypt.
This is a picture of the tree which produces pepper. Each separate stem being very weak and limp twines itself, like the slender tendrils of the vine, around some lofty tree which bears no fruit. And every cluster of the fruit is protected by a double leaf. It is of a deep green colour like that of rue.
Argellia----The Narikela of Sanskrit----Cocoa-nuts.
The other tree [represented] bears what are called argellia, that is, the large Indian nuts. It differs nothing from the date-palm, except that it is of greater height and thickness and has larger fronds. It bears not more than two or three flower-spathes, each bearing three nuts. Their taste is sweet and very pleasant, like that of green nuts. The nut is at first full of a very sweet water which the Indians drink, using it instead of wine.18 This delicious drink is called rhongcosura. If the fruit is gathered ripe and kept, then the water gradually turns solid on the shell, while the water left in the middle remains fluid, until of it also there is nothing left over. If however it be kept too long the concretion on the shell becomes rancid and unfit to be eaten. |363
The Phoca or Seal, the Dolphin and the Turtle.
The seal, the dolphin, and the turtle we eat at sea 19 if we chance to catch them. When we want to eat the dolphin and turtle we cut their throat. But we do not kill the seal that way, but strike it over the head as is done with the large kinds of fish. The flesh of the turtle, like mutton, is dark-coloured; that of the dolphin is like pork, but dark-coloured and rank;20 and that of the seal is, like pork, white and free from smell.
Concerning the Island of Taprobanê. 21
This is a large oceanic island lying in the Indian sea. By, the Indians it is called Sielediba, but by the Greeks |364 Taprobanê, and therein is found the hyacinth stone.22 It lies on the other side of the pepper country. Around it are numerous small islands 23 all having fresh water and cocoa- nut trees. They nearly all have deep water close up to their shores.24 The great island, as the natives report, has a length of three hundred gaudia, that is,of nine hundred miles,25 and it is of the like extent in breadth. There are two kings in the island, and they are at feud the one with the other.26 The one has the hyacinth country, and the other the rest of the country where the harbour is. and the centre of trade.27 |365 It is a great mart for the people in those parts. The island has also a church of Persian Christians who have settled there, and a Presbyter who is appointed from Persia, and a Deacon and a complete ecclesiastical ritual.28 But the natives and their kings are heathens.29 In this island they have many temples, and on one, which stands on an eminence, there is a hyacinth as large as a great pine-cone, fiery red, and when seen flashing from a distance, especially if the sun's rays are playing round it, a matchless sight.30 The island being, as it is, in a central position, is much frequented by ships from all parts of India and from Persia and Ethiopia, and it likewise sends out many of its own. And from the |366 remotest countries,31 I mean Tzinista and other trading places, it receives silk,32 aloes, cloves, sandalwood33 and other products, and these again are passed on to marts on this side, such as Male,34 where pepper grows, and to Calliana35 which exports copper and sesame-logs, and cloth for making dresses, for it also is a great place of business. And to Sindu36 also where musk and castor is procured and androstachys,37 and to Persia and the Homerite country, and to Adulé. And the island receives imports from all these marts which we have mentioned and passes them on to the remoter ports, while, at the same time, exporting its own produce in both directions. Sindu is on the frontier of India, for the river Indus, that is, the Phison, which discharges into the Persian Gulf, forms the boundary between Persia and India.38 The most notable places of trade in India are these: Sindu, |367 Orrhotha,39 Calliana, Sibor,40 and then the five marts of Male which export pepper: Parti, Mangarouth,41 Salopatana, Nalopatana, Poudopatana.42 Then out in the ocean, at the distance of about five days and nights from the continent, lies Sielediba, that is Taprobanê. And then again on the continent is Marallo, a mart exporting chank shells,43 then Caber44 which exports alabandenum, and then farther away is the clove country, then Tzinista which produces the silk.45 Beyond this there is no other country, for the ocean surrounds it on the east. This same Sielediba then, placed as one may say, in the centre of the Indies and possessing the |368 hyacinth receives imports from all the seats of commerce and in turn exports to them, and is thus itself a great seat of commerce.
 Now I must here relate what happened to one of our countrymen, a merchant called Sopatrus, who used to go thither on business, but who to our knowledge has now been dead these five and thirty years past. Once on a time he came to this island of Taprobane on business, and as it chanced a vessel from Persia put into port at the same time with himself. So the men from Adulé with whom Sopatrus was, went ashore, as did likewise the people of Persia, with whom came a person of venerable age and appearance.46 Then, as the way there was, the chief men of the place and the custom-house officers received them and brought them to the king. The king having admitted them to an audience and received their salutations, requested them to be seated. Then he asked them: In what state are your countries, and how go things with them? To this they replied, they go well. Afterwards, as the conversation proceeded, the king inquired Which of your kings is the greater and the more powerful? The elderly Persian snatching the word answered: Our king is both the more powerful and the greater and richer, and indeed is King of Kings, and whatsoever he |369 desires, that he is able to do. Sopatrus on the other hand sat mute. So the king asked: Have you, Roman,47 nothing to say? What have I to say, he rejoined, when he there has said such things? but if you wish to learn the truth you have the two kings here present. Examine each and you will see which of them is the grander and the more powerful. The king on hearing this was amazed at his words and asked, How say you that I have both the kings here? You have, replied Sopatrus, the money 48 of both ---- the nomisma 49 of the one, and the drachma, that is, the miliarision 50 of the other. Examine the image of each, and you will see the truth. The king thought well of the suggestion, and, nodding his consent, ordered both the coins to be produced. Now the Roman coin had a right good ring, was of bright metal and finely shaped, for pieces of this kind are picked for export to the island. But the miliarision, to say it in one word, was of silver, and not to be compared with the gold coin. So the king after he had turned them this way and that, and had attentively examined both, highly commended the nomisma, saying that the Romans were certainly a splendid, powerful, and |370 sagacious people.51 So he ordered great honour to be paid to Sopatrus, causing him to be mounted on an elephant, and conducted round the city with drums beating and high state. These circumstances were told us by Sopatrus himself and his companions, who had accompanied him to that island from Adule; and as they told the story, the Persian was deeply chagrined at what had occurred.
But, in the direction of the notable seats of commerce already mentioned, there are numerous others [of less importance] both on the coast and inland, and a country of great extent. Higher up in India, that is, farther to the north, are the White Huns.52 The one called Gollas when going to war takes with him, it is said, no fewer than two |371 thousand elephants, and a great force of cavalry. He is the lord of India, and oppressing the people forces them to pay tribute. A story goes that this king once upon a time would lay siege to an inland city of the Indians which was on every side protected by water. A long while he sat down before it, until what with his elephants,  his horses and his soldiers all the water had been drunk up.53 He then crossed over to the city dryshod, and took it. These people set great store by the emerald stone and wear it set in a crown. The Ethiopians who procure this stone from the Blemmyes 54 in Ethiopia take it into India and, with the price it fetches, they invest in wares of great value. All these matters I have described and explained partly from personal observation, and partly from accurate inquiries which I made when in the neighbourhood of the different places.
The kings of various places in India keep elephants,55 such as the King of Orrhotha, and the King of Calliana, and the Kings of Sindu, Sibor and Male. They may have each six hundred, or five hundred, some more, some fewer. Now the King of Sielediba gives a good price both for the elephants and for the horses that he has. The elephants he pays for by cubit measurement. For the height is |372 measured from the ground, and the price is reckoned at so many nomismata for each cubit, fifty it may be, or a hundred, or even more. Horses they bring to him from Persia, and he buys them, exempting the importers of them from paying custom. The kings of the continent tame their elephants, which are caught wild, and employ them in war. They often set elephants to fight with each other for a spectacle to the king.56 They keep the two combatants apart by means of a great cross beam of wood fastened to two upright beams and reaching up to their chests. A number of men are stationed on this and that side to prevent the animals meeting at close quarters, but at the same time to instigate them to fight one another. Then the beasts thrash each other with their trunks till one of them gives in. The Indian elephants are not provided with large tusks, but should they have such, the Indians saw them off, that their weight may not encumber them in action. The Ethiopians do not understand the art of taming elephants; but should the king wish to have one or two for show, they capture them when young and subject them to training. Now the country abounds with them, and they have large tusks which arc exported by sea from Ethiopia even into India and Persia and the Homerite country and the Roman dominion. These particulars I have derived from what I have heard.
The river Phison separates all the countries of India [lying along its course] from the country of the Huns. In scripture the Indian region is called Euilat (Havilah). For it is thus written in Genesis: Now the river goeth out from Eden to water Paradise. And from there it was parted and became four heads. The name of the first is Phison (Pishon); that is it which compasseth the whole land of Euilat, where there is gold; and the gold of that land is good; there is the |373 carbuncle and the jasper stone;57 where the writer clearly calls the country Euilat. This Euilat, moreover, is of the race of  Ham. For thus again it is written: The sons of Ham, Cush and Misraim, Phut and Caraan the sons of Cush, Sabâ and Euilat; that is the Homerites and Indians, for Sabâ is situated in the Homerite country, and Euilat is in India. For the Persian Gulf divides those two countries. And that country has gold according to sacred scripture. It has also the pezerôs58 which Scripture calls anthrax (carbuncle) and the jasper stone, by which it designates the leek-green stone.59 Clearly therefore does divine scripture, as being really divine, relate these things, even as the whole of our treatise goes to show.
[Footnotes renumbered and placed at the end]
1. 1 In the Codex the pictures of the animals and plants precede the description of them. See the Plates in the Appendix.
2. 2 Salt states that the name, by which the rhinoceros (two-horned) is designated to this day all over Abyssinia, is absolutely the same as that given by Cosmas. Hence he was convinced that the language spoken at the Court of Axum was Gheez.
3. 1 The animal, however, as depicted by Cosmas is more like a horse than a rhinoceros. A description of the rhinoceros and its mode of fighting with the elephant is given by Agatharchides in his work on the Erythraean.
4. 2 Cosmas here uses the Latin word: palati/w.
5. 1 This is evidently the yak, the Bos grunniens of naturalists.
6. 2 The Chowries or fly-flappers used in India, particularly on occasions of state and parade. Tupha is the Turkish name of the horsetail standard.
7. 3 It is little more than three feet in length.
8. 4 The cyst of the male, which is about the size of a hen's egg, contains a clotted, oily, friable matter, dark-brown in colour, and this is the true musk.
9. 5 The first author who has given a description of the unicorn is Ctesias of Cnidos, a physician who spent seventeen years at the Court of Artaxerxes Mnêmôn, where he heard all manner of marvellous stories about India. The one-horned animal which he describes under the name of the wild ass of India, and which Aristotle speaks of as the Indian ass, is best identified with the rhinoceros, notwithstanding all the errors of the description.
10. 1 Lobo, in his history of Abyssinia, describes the unicorn as resembling a beautiful horse, and in the picture of it by Cosmas its body is not unlike that of a horse. For a remark on this picture, see Yule's Marco Polo, vol. ii, 273.
11. 2 Gr. ei0j krhmno_n e0fa&lletai, kai\ r(i/ptei e(auto_n e0k tou~ u#youj. Montfaucon's rendering of these words: "deorsum in praecipitia sese conjicit," does not give their full import.
12. 3 This is said to hold true of the oryx.
13. 4 Psalm xxii, 21. The Revised Version has here: from the horns of the wild ox. To the influence of the Septuagint Version, which rendered the Hebrew word for the wild ox (reem) by unicorn, may be traced most of the fables about the unicorn.
14. 5 Psalm xxix, 6.
15. 6 Numb. xxiii, 22.
16. 1 Gr. litrw~n. This word is the Sicelo-Greek form of the Latin libra. The coinage system of the Dorians of Sicily was borrowed from Italy.
17. 2 In Alexandria----and probably in his earlier years, when he was a merchant.
18. 3 "Possibly," says Yule, "Cosmas has confounded the cocoa-nut milk with the coco-palm toddy. For sura is the name applied on the Malabar coast to the latter. Roncho may represent lanha, the name applied there to the nut when ripe, but still soft."
19. 1 Gr. kata_ qa&lattan. Montfaucon renders ad oram maris "on the sea shore."
20. 2 Gr. w(j xoi/rou, melamyo&u de\ kai\ bromw~dej. Montfaucon in his rendering overlooks the de\, and thus makes Cosmas say that pork is black and foul-smelling. bromw~dej is an incorrect form of brwmw~dej, an epithet applied by Strabo to the district of Puteoli, which was noted for its foul smells.
21. 3 Ceylon has been known by many names. In Sanskrit works it is called Lanka, an appellation unknown to the Greeks. Megasthenes, who wrote his work on India about 300 B.C., calls it Taprobanê, a compound which is generally regarded as a transliteration of Tâmraparnî, copper-coloured leaf, a name given to the island by its Indian conqueror, Vijaya. This name is found in its Pâli form, Tambaparni, in Asôka's inscription on the Girnâr rock. Some are, however, of opinion that Taprobanê is a slightly-altered form of Dwîpa-Râvana (Island of Râvana), as the country was called by Brahmanical writers. From the Periplûs and Ptolemy we learn that Taprobanê was anciently called Simoundou, but in his own time, Salike, i.e., the country of the Salai. Here we have in a slightly-altered form the Siele-diva of Cosmas, for diva is but a form of Dwipa, the Sanskrit for island. Both salai and siele have their common source in sihalam (pronounced as Silam), the Pâli form of the Sanskrit sinhala, a lion. To the same source may be traced all its other names, such as Serendivus, Sirlediba, Serendib, Zeilan, Sailan, and Ceylon. As there are no lions in Ceylon, sinhala must be taken to mean a lion-like man----a hero----the hero Vijaya.
22. 1 Some think this is not our jacinth, but rather the sapphire; others take it to be the amethyst.
23. 2 The Laccadives. The name means, islands by the hundred thousand.
24. 3 Gr. 'Assobaqai\ de\ w(j e)pi\ to_ plei=ston pa~sai/ ei0sin. Montfaucon renders alia aliam proxime sitae, thus taking no account of baqai\, the predominant partner in the compound. 'Assobaqo\j is a barbarous form of a)gxibaqh&j.
25. 4 "The Hindus" says Tennent in his Ceylon, Chap. I., "propounded the most extravagant ideas, both as to the position and extent of the island; expanding it to the proportions of a continent, and, at the same time, placing it a considerable distance south-east of India." The Classical and Arab writers were no less extravagant in their estimates than the Hindus. Even Ptolemy, who determined correctly the general form and outline of the island, as well as its actual position with reference to the adjoining continent, represented it as some fourteen times larger than it is. Its extreme length from north and south is 271 1/2 miles, its greatest width 137 1/2 miles, its circuit somewhat under 700 miles, and its area one-sixth smaller than that of Ireland. With regard to the word gaudia, Tennent says (Ceylon, vol. ii., p. 543, note): "It is very remarkable that this singular word, gaon, in which Cosmas gives the dimensions of the island, is in use to the present day in Ceylon, and means the distance which a man can walk in an hour.....A gaon in Ceylon expresses a somewhat indeterminate length, according to the nature of the ground to be traversed."
26. 5 Gr. e0nanti/oi a)llh&lwn. Tennent (ibid.) prefers to render this expression by "ruling at opposite ends of the island."
27. 6 Tennent (ibid.) rejects Thevenot's notion that by hyacinth Cosmas meant here "the part of the island where jacinths are found;" on the ground that the region which produces gems, namely, the south part of the island, is that which also has the port and the emporium. The King who possessed the wonderful gem (called by Gibbon the luminous carbuncle) ruled the northern part of the island. The emporium, according to Gibbon, was Trinquemale, but Tennent takes it to be Point de Galle.
28. 1 Gr. kai\ pa~san th_n e)kklhsiastikh_n leitourgi/an.
29. 2 Gr. a)llo&fuloi. Tennent renders the sentence thus: "The natives and their kings are of different races." Cosmas, however, here uses the term in the sense in which the kindred compounds a)llofule/w and a)llofulismo&j are used in the Septuagint. The latter word in II Maccab. iv, 13, means the adoption of gentle manners and customs. Montfaucon rightly renders: alieni cultus.
30. 3 The Chinese pilgrim Hiouen Thsiang, who was a century later than Cosmas, relates that at Anarajapura, on a spire surmounting one of its temples, a ruby was elevated which with its transcendent lustre illuminated the whole heaven. Marco Polo again relates that the King of Ceylon was reputed to have the grandest ruby that ever was seen----one that was flawless and brilliant beyond description. "It is most probable" says Tennent (quoting the authority of Dana's Mineralogy, vol. ii, p. 196), "that the stone described by Marco Polo was not a ruby but an amethyst, which is found in large crystals in Ceylon, and which modern mineralogists believe to be the 'hyacinth' of the ancients." There is no authentic record of the ultimate history of this renowned jewel, unless it be the "carbuncle" of unusual lustre which was purchased early in the 14th century for the Emperor of China. See Tennent's Ceylon, vol. i, pp. 543-4, note.
31. 1 Gr. tw~n e)ndote/rwn. The countries inside of Cape Comorin, that is, to the east of it.
32. 2 Gr. me/tacin-me/taca and not me/tacij is the usual form of this word. Metaxa is a Latin as well as a Greek word, and means properly "yarn." It was used, however, by the mediaeval Greeks to signify silk in general. Procopius, who was contemporary with Cosmas, says that clothing was made from it, and that of old Greeks called this clothing mêdikê, but in his time, sêrikê. See Note 2, p. 47.
33. 3 Gr. tzanda&nan.
34. 4 The Malabar littoral.
35. 5 Calliana, now Kalyâna, near Bombay, is named in the Kanhêri Bauddha Cave inscription. Mention is also made of it in the Periplûs of the Erythraean Sea, which states that it was raised to the rank of a regular mart in the times of the elder Saragones, who was probably one of the great Sâtakarni or Andrabhritya dynasty.
36. 6 Probably Diul-Sind at the mouth of the Indus. See Yule's Hobson-Jobson, p. 247.
37. 7 Gr. a)ndrosta&xhn. This word, so far as I know, is not met with elsewhere. I take it to be an error in transcription for na&rdou sta&xun or nardo&staxun, Latin spica nardi, whence our spikenard.
38. 8 The Persian empire when overthrown by Alexander the Great extended to the Indus, and even embraced some territory in Sindh lying along the eastern bank of that river.
39. 1 Pliny, in his list of the Indian races, mentions a people called the Horatae, whose country adjoined the Gulf of Khambay. Their name is an incorrect transcription of Sorath, the popular form of Saurâsh-tra ----or, as it is called by the author of the Periplûs and by Ptolemy, Surastrênê, i.e., Gujarat. Some have therefore identified Orrhotha with Surat, but as Surat was not a place of any importance till the arrival of the Portuguese in India, this view cannot be accepted. Yule took it to be some place on the western coast of the peninsula of Gujarat.
40. 2 Yule identifies Sibor with Chaul or Chênwal, a seaport situated 23 miles to the south of Bombay. It is the Simylla of Ptolemy, and the Saimûr or Jaimûr of the Arabian geographers.
41. 3 Mangarouth is now Mangalôr.
42. 4 These three ports appear to have been situated on the coast of Cottonarikê, the pepper country, somewhere between Mangalôr and Calicut. The termination patana means " town". Poudopatana means "New town", and the place so called may be identified with Ptolemy's Podoperoura.
43. 5 Gr. koxli/ouj.
44. 6 Caber is the emporium called by Ptolemy Chavêris, which Dr. Burnell identified with Kâvêrîpattam----a place situated a little to the north of Tranquebar, at the mouth of the Podu-Kâvêrî (New Kâverî). Kâvera is the Sanskrit word for saffron. What its export, alabandenum was, is unknown.
45. 7 Gr. h( tzini/sta th_n me/tacin ba&llousa. Anciently Seres was the name of the Chinese nation as known by land, and Sinae as known by sea. In the Periplûs the country is called Thîna. Cosmas was the first who laid down its correct boundary on the east by the Ocean.
46. 1 "Cosmas", says Tennent in his Ceylon (vol. i, p. 542, note 2), "wrote between A.D. 545 and A.D. 550; and the voyage of Sopatrus to Ceylon had been made thirty years before. Kumaara Daas reigned from A.D. 515 to A.D. 524." He further states (ibid., p. 393) that of the eight kings who reigned between A.D. 515 and A.D. 586, two died by suicide, three by murder, and one from grief occasioned by the treason of his son. The Malabars, taking advantage of the anarchy prevailing, made frequent descents on the island then and afterwards. This author, following the French version of Thevenot, has been misled into saying that Sopatrus sailed from Adulé in the same ship with the Persian bound for Ceylon. Cosmas describes the Persian as a presbu&thj, i.e., an old man, and not an orator (i.e., an ambassador), as Montfaucon renders the Greek word.
47. 1 "Vincent has noted the fact that in his interview with the Greek, he (the King) addressed him by the epithet of Roomi, "su_ (Rwmeu~", the term which has been applied from time immemorial in India to the powers who have been successively in possession of Constantinople, whether Roman, Christian, or Mahommedan" (Tennent's Ceylon, vol. i, p. 542, note 2).
48. 2 Gr. taj moni/taj. This is a Latin word, and should be monh&taj. Monêta was a name of Juno, in whose temple money was coined. Proprie, nota numinis impressi moneta est.
49. 3 Gr. no&misma. This would be an aureus. Constantine the Great coined aurei of seventy-two to the pound of gold, and at this standard the coin remained to the end of the empire.
50. 4 This word is generally written miliarh&sion, a silver drachma of which twenty made a daric, which was equivalent to an Attic stater. Among the imports of Barygaza (Bharoch) enumerated in the Periplus we find gold and silver denarii----dhna&rion xrusou~n kai\ a)rgurou~n.
51. 1 "This story," says Tennent (Ceylon, vol. i, p. 542), "would, however, appear to be traditional, as Pliny relates a somewhat similar anecdote of the ambassadors from Ceylon in the reign of Claudius, and of the profound respect excited in their minds by the sight of the Roman denarii."
52. 2 Gr. leukoi\ Ou}nnoi. The absence of the rough breathing from the name is notable, since another form of it is Xou~noi. About the year 100 of our aera the most warlike tribes of the Huns, impatient of bearing longer the Chinese yoke, turned their faces westward, and having left behind them the mountains of Imaus, directed their march, some to the Oxus, and others to the Volga. "The first of these colonies", says Gibbon in his 26th Chapter, "established their dominion in the fruitful and extensive plains of Sogdiana, on the eastern side of the Caspian, where they preserved the name of Huns, with the epithet of Euthalites or Nephthalites. Their manners were softened, and even their features were insensibly improved by the mildness of the climate, and their long residence in a flourishing province which might still retain a faint impression of the arts of Greece. The white Huns, a name which they derived from the change of their complexions, soon abandoned the pastoral life of Scythia." Sir William Hunter, at p. 170 of his work on The Indian Empire, says: "The latest writer on the subject (the fortunes of the Scythian or Tartar races in Northern India) believes that it was the White Huns who overthrew the Guptas between 465 and 470 A.D. He (Dr. J. Ferguson) places the great battles of Korur and Maushari, which 'freed India from the Sâkas and Hunas', between 524 and 544 A.D. Cosmas Indicopleustes, who traded in the Red Sea about 535 A.D., speaks of the Huns as a powerful nation in Northern India in his days."
53. 1 Even as the army of Xerxes and his beasts of burden drank up the Scamander.----See Herodot. vii, 43.
54. 2 The Blemmyes were fierce predatory nomads of the Nubian wilds and the regions adjacent. Emeralds were found in the mines of Upper Egypt, and were no doubt shipped from Adule for the Indian markets by the Ethiopian traders who bought them from the Blemmyes. If taken to Barygaza (Bharoch), they could be transported thence by a frequented trade-route to Ujjain, thence to Kabul, and thence over the Hindu Kush to the regions of the Oxus.
55. 3 Pliny has preserved from Megasthenes a section of his Indika, in which he states the number of elephants kept by each of the Indian kings in his time.
56. 1 A custom still in vogue.
57. 1 Gen. ii, 10-12.
58. 2 This is an incorrect form of paide/rwj, a kind of opal.
59. 3 Gr. li/qon pra&sinon.
This text was transcribed by Roger Pearse, Ipswich, UK, 2003. All material on this page is in the public domain - copy freely.
Greek text is rendered using the Scholars Press SPIonic font, free from here.
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