Indica (Megasthenes)

Indika was a book written by Megasthenes (c. 350 BC-290 BCE), a Greek traveller and geographer who visited India during the third century BCE. The available copy of Indika is incomplete and only fragments of the entire work is available. Indika was probably divided into four books. It appears that Megasthenes used the Attic dialect.

Later writers such as Arrian, Strabo, Diodorus, and Pliny refer to Indika in their works. Of these writers, Arrian speaks most highly of Megasthenes, while Strabo and Pliny treat him with less respect.

Indika contained many legends and fabulous stories, similar to those which we find in the Indica of Ctesias, yet these tales appear not to have been fabrications of Megasthenes, but accounts which he heard during his stay in India. These legends probably contained, as modern writers have shown, real truth, though disguised by popular legends and fancy.

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