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Thursday, June 7, 2018

Scylax of Caryanda

Scylax of Caryanda (in Caria), Greek historian, lived in the time of Darius Hystaspis (521‑485 B.C.), who commissioned him to explore the course of the Indus. He was engaged to sail, explore and describe the shore of the Indian Ocean for the needs of the Persian.

Scylax of Caryanda was a pioneer in two ways; he wrote the first Indian logos in Greek, and he was rumored to have visited India.

He started from Caspatyrus and is said by Herodotus to have reached the sea, whence he sailed west through the Indian Ocean to the Red Sea. The exploration of the Persian gulf and Indian ocean lasted for two years and it was finished around 515 BC.

 An account of Scylax’s voyage may have been written and transmitted to later writer. Direct evidence of a written account of Scylax’s explorations comes from Aristotle. In the Politics,the philosopher quotes Scylaxas the source of the statement that in India “the kings are physically very different from their subjects, etc.”

Scylax allegedly completed some books after this voyage: the Periplous, the Periodos Gês, and the Events in the Time of Heracleides King of Mylasa. Few fragments of his Periplous about India remain. They discuss its landscape, plants, political constitution and peoples.
Scylax of Caryanda
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