I to Iolaos Iole to Ixion


In relation to the ancient Greeks, India was simply the western-most border of the Persian Empire.

The islands of the Indian Ocean were also a probable source of the tin used in the manufacture of bronze which the Greeks used for weapons, household utensils and artwork.

The historian, Herodotus, gave many examples of how the Indian nation interacted with the Persians and served as a contingent of the Persian army; the Indians were said to be the most numerous people on earth and paid a tribute of 360 talents of gold dust (20,520 pounds) to the Persian Empire.

The Indians were also said to eat their parents after they died and to be black like the Ethiopians (Aithiopians) of Africa; when the Persians took the city of Babylon, the Persian satrap (governor) had so many Indian hunting dogs that the tribute (taxes) of four large villages was required to feed and maintain them.

The Indians were credited with the most unlikely method of obtaining gold that you will ever encounter; the inhabitants of northern India were the most war-like and it was this group who gathered the gold; they would harness three camels, two male and one female, and ride into the desert during the hottest part of the day, i.e. early morning; in the desert, there were large ants, smaller than dogs but larger than foxes; these ants would dig holes in the sand and the sand deposited on the surface contained gold; the heat of the sun would force the ants underground and the Indians would use this occasion to fill their bags with the gold laden sand; the ants would smell the intruders and bolt from their holes to defend their territory; when the ants emerged, the Indians would put the bags of sand on the female camel, take the male camels in tow, and ride for home as quickly as possible; there was nothing faster afoot than those ants and they soon overtook the fleeing Indians; when the ants were snapping at the heels of the camels, the Indians would cut the male camels loose and let the ants devour them while the rider made his escape on the female camel with his gold.

The Persian emperor, Darius, was the first to conquer India when he sent a group of explorers down the Indus River to see where it entered the sea; the explorers determined the course of the river and proclaimed that it had the second largest number of crocodiles of any river in the world (we can assume that only the Nile River of Egypt had more crocodiles).

The Indians wore garments of a peculiar fabric called cotton; their infantry troops used reed bows and arrows tipped with iron; the Indian cavalry rode swift horses and drove chariots pulled by both horses and wild asses.

In 480 BCE, when the Persian navy was defeated near the island of Salamis, king Xerxes fled to his homeland but left a contingent of the Persian army in Thessaly; along with the elite Persian troops, the Indian infantry and cavalry were chosen as part of the occupying force; when the final battle took place near Plataea, the Indian army, like the Persians and their other allies, were soundly defeated by the Greeks.

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I to Iolaos Iole to Ixion


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