Alexander the Great Essay. Alexander’s ideas concerning India were, at this point still sketchy in the extreme. To the Greeks, the land across the Indus was a shallow peninsula, bounded on the north by the Hindu Kush, and on the east by the great world- stream of Ocean, which ran at no great distance beyond the Sind Desert. On the main Indian sub- continent, let alone the vast Far Eastern land- mass from China to Malaysia, they knew nothing.
Scylax, Herodotus and Ctesias had all written in some detail about India, but even if Alexander had read this stuff he still would not have been much smarter. By the 4 Th. century Persia had abandoned her Indian satrapies: and when it was officially part of the empire, the land beyond the Indus remained a region of myth and fable. Alexander’s main impulse in invading this mysterious land was sheer curiosity, along with a determination to achieve world- domination in the fullest sense. When he finally stood on the ocean shore he would then fulfill this ambition. India once conquered would mean that all of Asia would be in his hands.
In Alexander’s army were about between 6,500 and 15,000 cavalrymen, and infantry was from 20,000 to 120,000 men. An Indian rajah, Sasigupta, who warned Alexander about what lay beyond the Khyber Pass, joined Alexander. Alexander sent envoys to rajah Amhi and all other minor princes, they brought gifts and twenty- five elephants. After Abhi of Taxila and the Indians west of the Indus River asked Alexander to support to defeat his archenemy Porus. Alexander divided his army into two forces.
First force was controlled by two of his generals, Hephaestion and Perdiccas, they were instructed to go down the Khyber Pass to the Indus and to take over all places on their way. Alexander and Craterus who was second- in- command controlled second force, they planned to take a mobile column up the Choaspes River, and to go through the Bajaur and Swat, to reduce any enemy strongholds “en route”. And finally all forces will rendezvous at the Indus. Porus’s army consisted of infantry and cavalry, but difference in cavalries of Alexander’s and Porus’s armies were that Alexander’s cavalry was made from horses and Porus’s from elephants.
In that part Porus was stronger. But that didn’t save Porus, because Alexander’s men were dodging them, and relentlessly slashing and shooting at them and their riders. Presently the elephants decided they had had enough and slowly began to back away. When Porus saw that any more resistance would be futile he rode slowly off the field weak from loss of blood.
Alexander, anxious to save the life of this great warrior sent a diplomat after him to offer terms. Porus was brought to Alexander, weak and thirsty. When Alexander asked how he wanted to be treated he said “Like a king”. .