Indika, by Ktesias of Knidos----------------------------explanation

1. [according also to Herodotos 3:94, and Strabon 2, v. 32] Indians "almost outnumber all other men taken together"

this would be the case only if "India" be so defined as to include China

5. hounds the size of lions

Chinese leonine hounds (so repraesented in art)

5. "the sun ... ten times larger than in other countries"

Chinese mythical 10 suns (in S^an Hai Jing)

7. animal whose "stings are about a foot in length, and not thicker than the finest thread."

this is a description of jellyfish-stings -- jellyfish are a class of S^intoo deity (mentioned in the Kojiki)

8. 35-day period, associated with coolness

35-day cycle of the Balinese (Javanese) calendar; 35-text system of the rN~in-ma of Bod, which is perpetually cool

8. hurricanes

tai-fung (typhoon) of the China Sea

10. allusion to volcanoes

volcanoes of Philippines, Indonesia, or Solomon Is.

11. pygmies, diminutive people

pygmy tribes of Malaya

11. snub-nosed people

snub-nosed people of Burma

19. the river HUpArkHOs

HUAng-HO in China

20. hound-people

Chinese fable of a tribe whose ancestors were a woman and a dog

21. red insect yielding dye; purple dye

cochineal-insect (? formerly only in Mexico); Chinese imperial purple

these red dye-insects are said by Aelianus (4:46) to the in the same region as the hound-people

so the allusion may be to the Huichol legend of their ancestry in a man and a bitch

23. males who wash merely their hands: they reside in caves

related to Christ's law against hand-washing? or to Pilate's hand-washing? Christ cave-tomb?

24. people who "neither eat grain nor drink water"

Daoist rule against eating of grain

25. unicorn

Chinese unicorn (in S^an Hai Jing)

26. river-residing worms who seize on animals with their teeth

this is a description of a leech (which is a class of S^intoo deity)

30. bathing in mineral-springs

this is a Chinese custom

31. huge-eared people

this is a favorite Chinese fable

33. the Seres ["SILk" folk]

SILLa of Korea

Frag. 20 [Plinius 37:2]. river HUpobAros, acc. to)

HUAi river; or else z^U-jiAng ("Pearl River") in China

Frag. 28 [Plinius 31:2]. "water called Side in which nothing will float"

this is the "weak water" in which nothing will float, so well-known in the S^an Hai Jing

Frag. 30B [Plinius 7:2]. neckless people "who had their eyes placed in their shoulders"

Chinese myth of warrior whose face was in his thorax [this text is older than the similar story in the Rama-ayana]


J. W. McCrindle (transl.): Ancient India. 1882.