Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Did Alexander the Great Fight the Yeti?


While reading the Anabasis Alexandri (Robson translation) at the Ancient History Sourcebook at Fordham, I came upon a curious passage. It reads as though Alexander's men, in the course of the invasion of India, fought a pitched battle with a tribe of Yeti! Very strange but it is indeed in the account from antiquity. Here is the passage that suggests Yeti's, "Those captured were hairy, not only their heads but the rest of their bodies; their nails were rather like beasts' claws; they used their nails (according to report) as if they were iron tools; with these they tore asunder their fishes, and even the less solid kinds of wood; everything else they cleft with sharp stones; for iron they did not possess. For clothing they wore skins of animals, some even the thick skins of the larger fishes." Maybe they were just strange hairy men...

Here is a more complete account of the battle from http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/ancient/arrian-bookVIII-India.html:

Thence they set sail and progressed with a favouring wind; and after a passage of five hundred stades the anchored by a torrent, which ,was called Tomerus. There was a lagoon at the mouths of the river, and the depressions near the bank were inhabited by natives in stifling cabins. These seeing the convoy sailing up were astounded, and lining along the shore stood ready to repel any who should attempt a landing. They carried thick spears, about six cubits long; these had no iron tip, but the same result was obtained by hardening the point with fire. They were in number about six hundred. Nearchus observed these evidently standing firm and drawn up in order, and ordered the ships to hold back within range, so that their missiles might reach the shore; for the natives' spears, which looked stalwart, were good for close fighting, but had no terrors against a volley. Then Nearchus took the lightest and lightest-armed troops, such as were also the best swimmers, and bade them swim off as soon as the word was given. Their orders were that, as soon as any swimmer found bottom, he should await his mate, and not attack the natives till they had their formation three deep; but then they were to raise their battle cry and charge at the double. On the word, those detailed for this service dived from the ships into the sea, and swam smartly, and took up their formation in orderly manner, and having made a phalanx, charged, raising, for their part, their battle cry to the God of War, and those on shipboard raised the cry along with them; and arrows and missiles from the engines were hurled against the natives. They, astounded at the flash of the armour, and the swiftness of the charge, and attacked by showers of arrows and missiles, half naked as they were, never stopped to resist but gave way. Some were killed in flight; others were captured; but some escaped into the hills. Those captured were hairy, not only their heads but the rest of their bodies; their nails were rather like beasts' claws; they used their nails (according to report) as if they were iron tools; with these they tore asunder their fishes, and even the less solid kinds of wood; everything else they cleft with sharp stones; for iron they did not possess. For clothing they wore skins of animals, some even the thick skins of the larger fishes.

4 comments:

John M. said...

Perhaps related to the Alma people?

http://open.salon.com/blog/cloud_9/2009/08/22/in_search_of_the_alma_wild_snowmen_of_russia

Some have speculated that they were/are Neanderthal.

I read an account of a Russian Army officer who went in search of them. He found that there was a village with an Alma woman residing there. He said that the men of the village would often sneak out and have sex with her. She had a young son who picked the officer up in his chair with his jaws.

Sorry, I can't remember where I read it, but if I recall correctly, it was from a more reputable source. I'll see if I can dig it up.

I read another account of an anthropologist who went to try to find the Alma in Mongolia. She made contact by leaving food and things in a field and backing away. She said eventually they would come out of the forest, root through the stuff she left and then would leave things behind in trade.

Sorry, can't remember the source on that one, either.

Interesting find, nonetheless, thanks.

Loren Coleman said...

No, Alexander the Great did not fight Yetis.

http://www.cryptomundo.com/cryptozoo-news/alex-no-yetis/

See Cryptomundo.com for my complete answer.

Cheers.

Alex said...

I read a strange article long time ago about a man and his life story.
He was a real fan of yeti, but this it's interesting. Maybe it's true, who knows?

Ms. P J Prihoda said...

There are many historical accounts found in ancient manuscripts. I have searched for years on this topic and have posted some of my findings here.
http://osareal.com/Alexandar%20ancient%20Bigfoot.html

See for yourself