Alexandria Bucephalous

Alexandria Bucephalous

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Alexandria Bucephalous, or Alexandria Bucephalus or Alexandria Bucephala or Bucephala or Bucephalia, was a city founded by Alexander the Great in memory of his beloved horse Bucephalus
Bucephalus
Bucephalus or Bucephalas was Alexander the Great's horse and one of the most famous actual horses of antiquity. Ancient accounts state that Bucephalus died after the Battle of the Hydaspes in 326 BC, in what is now modern Pakistan, and is buried in Jalalpur Sharif outside of Jhelum, Pakistan...

. Founded in May 326 BC
326 BC
Year 326 BC was a year of the pre-Julian Roman calendar. At the time, it was known as the Year of the Consulship of Visolus and Cursor...

, the town was located on the Hydaspes (Jhelum River
Jhelum River
Jehlum River or Jhelum River , ) is a river that flows in India and Pakistan. It is the largest and most western of the five rivers of Punjab, and passes through Jhelum District...

), east of the Indus River
Indus River
The Indus River is a major river which flows through Pakistan. It also has courses through China and India.Originating in the Tibetan plateau of western China in the vicinity of Lake Mansarovar in Tibet Autonomous Region, the river runs a course through the Ladakh district of Jammu and Kashmir and...

. Bucephalus had died after the Battle of the Hydaspes in 326 BC
326 BC
Year 326 BC was a year of the pre-Julian Roman calendar. At the time, it was known as the Year of the Consulship of Visolus and Cursor...

. The garrison was settled with Greek
Greeks
The Greeks, also known as the Hellenes , are a nation and ethnic group native to Greece, Cyprus and neighboring regions. They also form a significant diaspora, with Greek communities established around the world....

 and Iranian
Persian people
The Persian people are part of the Iranian peoples who speak the modern Persian language and closely akin Iranian dialects and languages. The origin of the ethnic Iranian/Persian peoples are traced to the Ancient Iranian peoples, who were part of the ancient Indo-Iranians and themselves part of...

 veterans plus natives. It had large dockyards, suggesting it was intended as a center of commerce
Emporia (ancient Greece)
Emporia, sing emporion were places which the traders of one nation had reserved to their business interests within the territory of another nation. Famous emporia include Sais where Solon went to acquire the knowledge of Egypt, Elim where Hatshepsut kept her Red Sea fleet...

.

Across the river, the nearby town of Alexandria Nicaea
Nicaea (Punjab)
Nicaea was a city in what is now the present-day Mong, one of the two cities founded by Alexander the Great on opposite sides of the Hydaspes river. The second city founded by Alexander on the Hydaspes was Bucephala....

 was also founded on the battle site at that time.

The exact site of the city is still unknown but several locations have been proposed:
  • G.W.B. Huntingford identifies this Alexandria with a large mound
    Tell
    A tell or tel, is a type of archaeological mound created by human occupation and abandonment of a geographical site over many centuries. A classic tell looks like a low, truncated cone with a flat top and sloping sides.-Archaeology:A tell is a hill created by different civilizations living and...

     west of Jhelum, a city 150 miles (242 km) south east of Peshawar
    Peshawar
    Peshawar is the capital of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa and the administrative center and central economic hub for the Federally Administered Tribal Areas of Pakistan....

    , Pakistan
    Pakistan
    Pakistan , officially the Islamic Republic of Pakistan is a sovereign state in South Asia. It has a coastline along the Arabian Sea and the Gulf of Oman in the south and is bordered by Afghanistan and Iran in the west, India in the east and China in the far northeast. In the north, Tajikistan...

    ., while Lendering
    Jona Lendering
    Jona Lendering is a Dutch historian and the author of books on antiquity, Dutch history and modern management...

     cites Jhelum
    Jhelum
    Jhelum or Jehlum may refer to:* Jhelum, a city in Pakistan on the banks of the Jhelum River* Jhelum District, an administrative division in Punjab, Pakistan surrounding the city of Jhelum...

     more generally.
  • The Hungarian archaeologist and Silk Road
    Silk Road
    The Silk Road or Silk Route refers to a historical network of interlinking trade routes across the Afro-Eurasian landmass that connected East, South, and Western Asia with the Mediterranean and European world, as well as parts of North and East Africa...

     expert Sir Marc Aurel Stein believed that instead of the road
    Grand Trunk Road
    The Grand Trunk Road also formerly known as Uttarapatha, Shah Rah-e-Azam or Sadak-e-Azam or Badshahi Sadak is one of South Asia's oldest and longest major roads...

     from Taxila
    Taxila
    Taxila is a Tehsil in the Rawalpindi District of Punjab province of Pakistan. It is an important archaeological site.Taxila is situated about northwest of Islamabad Capital Territory and Rawalpindi in Panjab; just off the Grand Trunk Road...

     to Jhelum which dates from medieval times, Alexander's army went south to cross the river near modern Bhera
    Bhera
    Bhera is a city on the Jhelum river in Sargodha District, Punjab province of Pakistan. It lies at latitude 32.48 N, longitude 72.92.-Location:...

    . At this site the battle would have happened near the modern town of Mong
    Mong, Punjab
    Mong or Mung is a town and Union Council of Mandi Bahauddin District in the Punjab province of Pakistan. It is located at at an altitude of 217 metres ....

    . The topography, river orientation and natural features including salt cliffs
    Salt Range
    The Salt Range is a hill system in the Punjab province of Pakistan, deriving its name from its extensive deposits of rock salt. The range extends from the Jhelum River to the Indus, across the northern portion of the Punjab province. The Salt Range contains the great mines of Mayo, Khewra, Warcha...

     in this vicinity match closely the description in ancient
    Arrian
    Lucius Flavius Arrianus 'Xenophon , known in English as Arrian , and Arrian of Nicomedia, was a Roman historian, public servant, a military commander and a philosopher of the 2nd-century Roman period...

     sources.
Further supporting this location is the claim by the residents of Mong and nearby Phalia
Phalia
Phalia is a city in Mandi Bahauddin District, Punjab, Pakistan. The population of Phalia was calculated to be 25,914 in 2007 .-History:...

 that their towns
Towns
- People :* Anthony Towns , computer programmer* Charles B. Towns American an expert on alcoholism and drug addiction* Colin Towns , English composer...

 are Nicaea
Nicaea (Punjab)
Nicaea was a city in what is now the present-day Mong, one of the two cities founded by Alexander the Great on opposite sides of the Hydaspes river. The second city founded by Alexander on the Hydaspes was Bucephala....

 and Bucephala
Bucephala
Bucephala may refer to:* Bucephala , the goldeneye, a duck genus* Bucephala is the name of at least two Greek cities:** Bucephala, or Alexandria Bucephalus, a city founded by Alexander the Great and named in honor of his horse, Bucephalus...

.
  • The historian and BBC
    BBC
    The British Broadcasting Corporation is a British public service broadcaster. Its headquarters is at Broadcasting House in the City of Westminster, London. It is the largest broadcaster in the world, with about 23,000 staff...

     presenter Michael Wood supports Stein's claims for Nicaea at Mong, but proposes Garjak rather than Phalia for the location of Bucephila. Phalia is significantly distant at 17km
    Kilometre
    The kilometre is a unit of length in the metric system, equal to one thousand metres and is therefore exactly equal to the distance travelled by light in free space in of a second...

     and located east of the River when ancient sources agree it was on the west bank opposite Nicaea. Furthermore, archaeological finds at Garjak include Greek coins and ruins of an ancient Hindu temple
    Hindu temple
    A Mandir, Devalayam, Devasthanam, or a Hindu temple is a place of worship for followers of Hinduism...

     with a burial stone in the shape of a horse. There is also a legend associated with Garjak regarding a magical horse.
  • another less likely proposed site is near modern Jalalpur
    Jalalpur Sharif
    Jalalpur Sharif is a small town located in Jhelum, and is a Union Council of Pind Dadan Khan Tehsil in Jhelum District, Punjab province, Pakistan...

     south of these sites where there are extensive but still un-excavated ruins. Tarn profits this site, which is not to be confused with the Jalalpur
    Jalalpur Jattan
    Jalalpur Jattan is a town located in Gujrat District, Punjab, Pakistan. It is located at 32°38'0N 74°12'0E with an altitude of 232 metres . The city was founded by a JATT named Jalal and Kula Chor, and a place in Jalalpur Jattan, was built by Chandragupta Maurya, an Indian ruler in 300 BC....

     nearby on the Chenab river
    Chenab River
    The Chenab River چنRiver' آب) is a major river of Jammu and Kashmir and the Punjab in Pakistan. It forms in the upper Himalayas in the Lahaul and Spiti district of Himachal Pradesh, India, and flows through the Jammu region of Jammu and Kashmir into the plains of the Punjab, Pakistan...

    , a city of Alexander's contemporary Chandragupta Maurya
    Chandragupta Maurya
    Chandragupta Maurya , was the founder of the Maurya Empire. Chandragupta succeeded in conquering most of the Indian subcontinent. Chandragupta is considered the first unifier of India and its first genuine emperor...

    . Eggermont disagrees with the Jalalpur identification arguing that the Jhelum river flowed far from this site in ancient times.
Local historian Mansoor Behzad Butt of Gujrat
Gujrat
Gujrat is a city in Pakistan. It is the capital of Gujrat District and the Gujrat Tehsil subdivision in the Punjab Province. People living in Gujrat refer to themselves as Gujratis, which sometimes leads to confusion with people from the Indian state of Gujarat which adjoins Pakistan...

 district supports the idea Bucephalus was buried in Jalalpur Sharif
Jalalpur Sharif
Jalalpur Sharif is a small town located in Jhelum, and is a Union Council of Pind Dadan Khan Tehsil in Jhelum District, Punjab province, Pakistan...

.
  • P. M. Fraser
    Fraser
    -Australia:* Fraser, Australian Capital Territory, a suburb in the Canberra district of Belconnen* The Division of Fraser, an electoral division in the northern Australian Capital Territory* Fraser Island, along the coast of Queensland-Canada:* Fraser River...

    , a supporter of a Jhelum site concludes that only archeological excavation will settle the century old debate.


Irrespective of its location, Alexandria Bucephalous remainded a significant centre for some time as it is mentioned in the Metz Epitome
Metz Epitome
The Metz Epitome is a late antiquity summary of earlier historical fragments and covers the conquests of Alexander the great between Hyrcania and southern India...

, and is shown on the late Roman
Ancient Rome
Ancient Rome was a thriving civilization that grew on the Italian Peninsula as early as the 8th century BC. Located along the Mediterranean Sea and centered on the city of Rome, it expanded to one of the largest empires in the ancient world....

 Peutinger Table map
Map
A map is a visual representation of an area—a symbolic depiction highlighting relationships between elements of that space such as objects, regions, and themes....

.
The 1st-century Periplus of the Erythraean Sea
Periplus of the Erythraean Sea
The Periplus of the Erythraean Sea or Periplus of the Red Sea is a Greco-Roman periplus, written in Greek, describing navigation and trading opportunities from Roman Egyptian ports like Berenice along the coast of the Red Sea, and others along Northeast Africa and India...

reads:
Several cities were named with the pre-name "Alexandria
Alexandria (disambiguation)
Alexandria is a city in Egypt.Alexandria may also refer to- Alexandrias founded or renamed by Alexander the Great :* Iskandariya, Iraq* Alexandria Asiana, Iran* Alexandria Ariana, Afghanistan* Alexandria Bucephalous, Pakistan, on the Jhelum...

" during the period. Alexander the Great founded nearly 20 towns, but also renamed others for a total of about 70 towns
Oppidum
Oppidum is a Latin word meaning the main settlement in any administrative area of ancient Rome. The word is derived from the earlier Latin ob-pedum, "enclosed space," possibly from the Proto-Indo-European *pedóm-, "occupied space" or "footprint."Julius Caesar described the larger Celtic Iron Age...

 reportedly (Pliny
Pliny the Elder
Gaius Plinius Secundus , better known as Pliny the Elder, was a Roman author, naturalist, and natural philosopher, as well as naval and army commander of the early Roman Empire, and personal friend of the emperor Vespasian...

) named by him.