By Steven E. Sidebotham
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Extra resources for Berenike and the Ancient Maritime Spice Route
C. e. and later. in line with Diodorus Siculus (18. 33. 1–18. 36. 5), Perdiccas, certainly one of Alexander’s former lieutenants, invaded Egypt in 321 b. c. e. with a strength that incorporated elephants. He used to be defeated by way of Ptolemy I Soter and finally killed through his personal troops. sixty seven Ptolemy most likely captured a few elephants from his deceased opponent. Then, on the conflict of Gaza in 312 b. c. e. , Ptolemy I, joined by way of Seleucus I, who were pressured to escape his realm, captured fortythree Indian elephants from Demetrius Poliorketes, son of Antigonus Monopthalmos,68 thereby augmenting his elephant devices. those Indian elephants might have ultimately passed on to the great beyond, as did no matter what goodwill that had as soon as existed among the Ptolemies and the Seleucids. With the top of a little civil family members among the 2 states someday early within the 3rd century b. c. e. , Ptolemaic entry to Indian elephants grew to become something of the previous. sixty nine certainly, the Seleucids, who managed overland entry to India, attempted to avoid their Ptolemaic adversaries from buying the Indian species, and the Ptolemies have been, thereby, compelled to find exchange assets. even though they denied their Egyptian adversaries entry to Indian pachyderms, that species seems to be on cash minted through Tarentum in occasion of its alliance with Pyrrhus of Epirus opposed to the Romans. 70 although Pyrrhus was once a protégé of the Ptolemy I and maybe of Philadelphus,71 the depiction of the pachyderms at the Tarentine cash is Indian, probably deriving through Egypt if in a roundabout way from the Seleucids. definitely whilst Pyrrhus introduced his conflict in 280 b. c. e. opposed to the Romans in aid of Tarentum, Ptolemaic penetration into these areas of Africa that later produced elephants for his or her army used to be both in its infancy or had but to happen in any respect. hence, it can be that these Indian beasts in Pyrrhus’s ownership got here to him from the Ptolemies yet were at the start captured from Demetrius on the conflict of Gaza defined previous. For the Ptolemies, discovering a similar species with the dimensions, strength, and intelligence of an elephant used to be now not an choice; they demanded elephants. Strategically outflanking the Seleucids to carry Indian elephants from the subcontinent by way of sea instead of overland to Egypt, even though, was once basically now not possible, or if attainable it can were tremendous unsafe, may have led to an unacceptably excessive attrition expense of elephants, ships, and crews, and will surely were prohibitively dear. seventy two another resource needed to be discovered towards domestic. starting with Ptolemy II Philadelphus or even at the same time early because the latter a part of Ptolemy I Soter’s reign (323–282 b. c. e. ), the Ptolemies became to Africa to procure elephants. seventy three The African species captured by way of the Ptolemies used to be transported through sea to Egypt, often to Berenike, and thence marched to the Nile. Graffiti and pictographs within the jap desolate tract allude to the transdesert conveyance of elephants that landed at Berenike. Depictions of at the least elephants—one painted in pink with a human rider, most likely a mahout, and the opposite a graffito of an elephant by myself— look on rock outcrops in a wadi close to the Ptolemaic-Roman hilltop castle of Abraq, southwest of Berenike.
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