by K. V. Ramakrishna RaoB.sc., M.A., A.M.I.E.,
The Birth and Death of Alexander
The birth of Alexander is shrouded in mystery and legends.
He was born in a
night to Olympias, the daughter of Neoptolemus,
prince of the Molossi, when the great temple of the Asian
Goddess at Ephesus was supposed to have been burned down.
She was fierce and beautiful7! His father,
Philip divorced Olympias and married Cleopatra, thus Alexander
was estranged from him and his legitimacy was suspected. Later
Olympias murdered Philip elevating Alexander to an advantageous
position. Other versions accuse Alexander of patricide.
How Alexander died is mystery, though, historians asserted
that he was died of a mysterious disease, after
the conquest of India! When he was dying,
Peucestas and some others of the Companions passed the night in
the temple of Serapis and asked the god whether they should
convey the sick man into the temple, if haply the might be cured
there by divine help, but a voice warned them not to bring him,
but to let him remain where he lay! Bury8
characteristically notes that, such is the punctilious and authentic account of in the Court diary; but it is not
sufficient to enable us to discover the precise nature of the
fatal disease. These details are discussed to
show that they have no similarity with that of Skanda archetype
or Skanda form of worship.
Then, how to Interpret Alexander historically on Others?
The western scholars have been compromised miserably and
proceeded further just to historicize Alexander for their
historical purposes. Many times, they have to depend upon
the forged, concocted and fabricated literature, collectively
known as The Alexander Romance. Therefore,
historians have to be careful in taking such mythical legends
for historical interpretations. They cannot try to make mole out
of a mountain.
The Alexander Romance
Like the Alexanders invasion on India, the Alexander
Romance has also been exploited by the westerners to
belittle India. Some have tried to interpret that the Skanda /
Kanda worship has been developed only from the Alexander
myth. Therefore, such Romances turned myths have to be
analyzed critically. The Alexander Romance is nothing but
superstitious, legendary and mythical narrations developed based
on earlier myths and circulated in the name of Alexander.
This legendary narrative took shape in Egypt, mostly some
five centuries after Alexanders death. Earlier elements and a
few facts survive among its wild fiction. Because of the spread
of the Romance of Alexander, there are Afghan chieftains who
still claim to be descended from his blood. Seventy years ago
they would go to war with the red flag they believed to be his
banner, while on stormy nights in the Aegean, the island
fishermen of Lesbos still shout down the sea with their
question, Where is Alexander the Great?, and on giving
their calming answer, Alexander the Great lives and is
King, they rest assured that the waves still subside (RLF,
His only measurement is given in the fictitious Romance of
Alexander , where he is said to have been three cubits, or
four feet six inches high
.Only in German myth was
Alexander was remembered as king of the dwarfs, and it would
perhaps be rash to explain his ambition on the assumption that
he was unusually small (RLF, p.41).
Philips orders Aristotle to teach Homer to Alexander (RLF,
..Alexander is said to have been crowned as Pharaoh of
Upper and Lower Egypt,
an honour only mentioned in the
fictitious Romance of Alexander; this crowning cannot be
dated to any one month, but is supported by the Pharonic titles
which were applied to him in the inscriptions of the countrys
temples. As Pharaoh, he was the recognized representative of god
on earth, worshipped as a living and accessible god by his
Egyptian subjects; he was hailed as Horus, divine son of the sun
god Ra whose worship had prevailed in Lower Egypt, and as
beloved son of Amun, the creator of the universe, whose worship
had flourished in the temples of Upper Egypt and grown to
incorporate the worship of the more southerly Ra. This divine
sonship fitted him to the dynastic past of the native Pharaohs,
for he could be said to share their common father Amun-Ra, who
visited the Pharaohs mother to father each future king;
Romance of Alexander gives the details of death of
Alexander as to how he was poisoned to death (RLF, p.462).
The author discusses about his deification in pages 436-460
Chapter 31. He was worshipped as god in Egypt and Greece.
This romance / the German myth also gives a hint that the
myth might have been adapted and adopted from the Vamana
avatara, where, the Dwarf Vishnu conquers the entire world,
which is well known in India. The main feature of the dwarf
incarnation is to conquer the world. As usual, to reverse the
facts, the historians must have resorted to this reverse method
of writing history as has been done in other cases.
The Alexanders Invasion of India
Encyclopedias14 have been cautious in narrating
about the Alexanders invasion of India, because, he never
reached India proper. They never record that he conquered India,
though they mention about his invasion of India. In fact, there
has been a tradition that the Indian forces defeated him and he
was forced to retreat.
In the battle of Jhelum a large majority of
Alexanders cavalry was killed. Alexander realized that if he
were to continue fighting he would be completely ruined. He,
therefore, requested Porus to stop fighting. Treye to Indian
tradition Porus did not kill the surrendered enemy. After this
both signed a treaty. Alexander then helped him in annexing
othere territories to his kingdom15.
Recently, a project on Alexander after working extensively,
created a website, which points out the following facts:
- Alexanders ideas concerning India were
sketchy in the extreme.
- To the Greeks, the land across the Indus was a shallow
peninsula, bounded on the north by the Hindu Kush (it was known
as such only in the medieval period) and on the east by
the great world-stream of ocean, which ran at no great distance
beyond the Sind desert, implying that there were no
- On the main Indian sub-continent, let alone the vast Far
Eastern land-mass from China to Malaysia, they knew
- In general Alexanders ignorance of Indian
geography remained profound.
- His whole eastern strategy rested on a false
- When enlightenment came, it was too late.
- The great Ganges Plain, by its mere existence, shattered
his dream more effectively than the army could have done.
Therefore, the historians have made a frivolous attempt
during 19th century to make Alexander invade India
obviously to strengthen their invasion theory of colonized
The Nile and Nila Explode the Myth of Alexanders
Invasion on India: Alexander and Virgil considered and named
Indus as Nile.
According to the geographical theories of
the earliest Greeks, the Prometheus Bound is described as
follows: This condition was fulfilled by the river Indus. Arrian
(vi, I) mentions that Alexander the Great, when preparing to
sail down the Indus 9having seen the crocodiles in the river
Indus, and in no other river except the Nile
..), seemed to
himself to have discovered the sources of the Nile; as though
the Nile, rising from some place in India, and flowing through
much desert land, and thereby losing its name Indus,
.flowed through inhabited land, being now called Nile
by the Ethiopians of those parts and afterwards by the
Egyptians. Virgil in the Ivth George echoes the obsolete
Blavatsky16, after giving these details notes that
Alexander, who was better acquainted with
Attock than with India for he never entered India proper
could not have failed to hear the Indus near its sources, called
Nil and Nila. The mistake if mistake it is is thus
easily accounted for
The Greek cartographers have cleared showed that the world
ends with Arabia during the material period. No two maps tally
with each other in any detail. In fact, they later start to
identify India as Indian extra-Gangem and India intra-Gangem. Whereas, there were Greek scholars who
considered India as a land of knowledge, wealth and so on, and
thus, later even mentioned as paradise on the earth. But,
because of the complexity, they started misrepresented the facts
Suggested Further Reading
This article is reproduced from the research work
of KV Ramakrishna Rao, M.A., A.M.I.E., C.Eng(I)., B.L.