Arrian, Anabasis 5.17

קפיצה אל:ניווט, חיפוש

מקורות ראשוניים ועתיקים א / מקורות ראשוניים ועתיקים A


1 Meantime the Indians, concentrating all their cavalry from every quarter, kept riding parallel to Alexander to match and oppose his movement, and Coenus and his troops, according to orders, began to appear in the rear. Seeing this, the Indians were compelled to form their cavalry so that it faced both ways; the more numerous and strongest part confronted Alexander, the rest wheeled against Coenus and his force. 2 This of course at once upset both the lines and the minds of the Indians, and Alexander, seeing his opportunity exactly on this redeployment of the cavalry, attacked those on his front, with such effect that the Indians did not even wait to receive the charge of his cavalry, but were broken and driven back to their elephants, as if to some friendly wall, 3 At this point the drivers of the elephants brought up their animal against the cavalry, and the Macedonian phalanx for its part boldly advanced to meet the elephants, hurling javelins at their drivers and, forming a ring around the animals, volleyed upon them from all sides. And the action was now without parallel in any previous contest, for the beasts charged into the line of infantry and, whichever way they turned, began to devastate the Macedonian phalanx, dense though it was, while the Indian cavalry, seeing the infantry fully engaged, wheeled again and themselves charged the cavalry. 4 But when Alexander's forces has the mastery over them a second time, as they were much superior both in strength and experience, they were again pressed back on the elephants, At this point all Alexander's cavalry had become concentrated in one squadron, not under orders but forced into this concentration in the very conflict. And wherever it fell upon the Indian ranks they escaped only with heavy slaughter. 5 The elephants were now crowded onto a narrow space, and their own side were as much damaged by them as the enemy, and trodden down in their turnings and jostlings. Among the Indian cavalry, cramped round the elephants in a narrow space, there was great carnage; and most of the drivers of the elephants had been shot down, some of the elephants had been wounded, others were weary and had lost their drivers; they no longer kept their separate formation in the battle but, 6 as if maddened by suffering, attacked friends an foes alike and in all sorts of ways kept pushing, trampling, and destroying. The Macedonians, however, had plenty of room, and attacked the animals at their own judgement, giving way wherever they charged, but following close as the turned round, and shooting at them with javelins, whereas the Indians who were retreating among the elephants were now receiving most damage from them. 7 As the beasts wearied and no longer made vigorous charges, but merely trumpeted and gradually retired like ships backing water, Alexander himself threw his cavalry in a circle around their whole division, and then gave a signal for the infantry to lock shields, concentrate into the most compact mass possible and advance the phalanx. In this way the Indian cavalry were cut down in the action with few exceptions, while their infantry too were falling, as the Macedonians were by this time pressing them on all sides. At this point, where a gap appeared in Alexander's cavalry, they all turned and fled


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Loeb, trans. P. A. Brunt. Vol. 2, pp. 51-55.