Reference question (Was: Filliozat)

Vidyasankar Sundaresan vidya at
Thu May 9 22:37:23 UTC 1996

Yvette Rosser wrote:

> In his message S. Vidyasankar wrote:
> >Isn't "kalanos, the gymnosophist," who went with Alexander, also  
supposed to
> have immolated himself?
> Perhaps Vidya could provide a textual source for this reference?

Sorry for the delay in responding to this question. I see that the  
discussion has progressed in many different lines since this  
posting, but for whatever it is worth, here is a reference.

The Invasion of India by Alexander the Great, by J. W. M'Crindle,  
AMS Press, New York, 1972.

This has translations from Arrian, Diodorus, Plutarch, Justin and  
Q. Curtius. In the introduction, the translator says that according  
to Strabo, Kalanos immolated himself at Pasargadai, but Diodorus  
puts this incident in Susa. Apparently, Kalanos and Mandanes were  
two of the "gymnosophists" who conversed with Alexander and his  
generals. According to Plutarch, when Kalanos mounted his funeral  
pyre, he predicted Alexander's death in Babylon. Plutarch also  
notices ten other gymnosophists who incited one Sabbas (Sambos in  
Arrian, ruler of Sindh) to revolt. Alexander captured them and said  
he would put to death first the one who answered his questions the  
worst and then the rest in order. The ten are supposed to have used  
their wit in repartee to save their necks, and Alexander sent them  
away with presents.

Other references to Kalanos are found in St. Ambrose's De  
Bragmanibus, and in the History of Alexander by  
(pseudo?)-Kallisthenes. Six whole chapters in this latter work are  
full of Kalanos, Mandanes and the Brahmans, according to M'Crindle.

Zarmanochegas, a native of Bargosa (Baruch?), immolated himself in  
Athens in the presence of Augustus Ceaser. Zarmanochegas is taken to  
represent the Sanskrit SramaNAcArya, from which follows the  
identification of the gymnosophists with Buddhists. The same early  
writers however, say that the philosophers whom Alexander met with  
were Brahmans. This use of the word "brAhmaNa" seems to be a general  
one, to denote all philosophers. Duncker in his "History of  
Antiquity" (pp. 422-424) notes that even in Megasthenes, the  
Brahmanas and Sramanas were confounded in many places, although it  
is clear from Megasthenes that in 300 BC, it was clear that the  
Brahmans had the upper hand.

The description of gymnosophists as naked ascetics does not seem to  
lend much support for the idea that they were Buddhists. Earlier  
European authors seem to have identified almost every reference to  
SramaNas as referring to Buddhists. It is more likely that the  
gymnosophists were digambara jaina ascetics or maybe avAdhUtas of a  
more Brahminical character. Moreover, to the gymnosophists is  
attributed the doctrine, "We attempt to know our selves, so that we  
may know everything there is." This seems very non-Buddhist in  
character, but it might fit in with both Jaina and Brahminical  
conceptions of Atman and kevala-jnAna.

S. Vidyasankar

ps. While on the topic of Alexander and Greek references to India,  
have there been further developments in the Sandrocottus =  
Chandragupta Maurya identification? There have been some recent  
attempts by revisionist historians in India to suggest that  
Sandrocottus is not the Maurya king, but the Gupta one. Is there a  
response to this from more objective historians? 

> From indology-l at 09 1996 May +0100 22:37:00
Date: 09 May 1996 22:37:00 +0100
From: indology-l at (Peter Wyzlic)
Subject: Re: Q: Epigraphia Indica
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Content-Type: text/plain; charset=us-ascii
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Reply-To: Peter at

Hello rsalomon,

In your
message: <960508133039.736K-100000 at>
date: <09 May 96>

You wrote on "Re: Q: Epigraphia Indica":

>As far as I have been able to figure it out, the (relatively) recent
>publication history of EI has been as follows:
>	vol. 40 was only published through fascicle 5 (April 1974,
>	        actually published 1986)
>	vol. 41, 1975-76 was published in 1989, in a single volume (no
>               fascicles)
>	vol. 42, 1977-78 was published in 1992, also in a single volume.
>-Rich Salomon

Thank you for your answer.

To be precise, the question concerns

	vol. 38: we have fasc. 1-7 (January 1969-July 1970) (publ.
		1970-1981), the titlepage, the table of contents as well as
		the index are missing

	vol. 39: fasc. 1-7 (January 1971-January 1973) (publ. 1981-85), here
		also we have never got title, table of contents nor the index

By the way, the last fascicle of the "Arabic and Persian Supplement" seems
to be the volume "1975" (publ. 1983).

I can't figure out if this is due to the negligence of our bookseller or of
the publisher(s).

Peter Wyzlic

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