Alexandria in Orietai

Alexandria in Orietai was one of the seventy-plus cities founded or renamed by Alexander the Great.[1]

Alexandria in Orietai
Cities of Alexander in Pakistan
Cities of Alexander in Pakistan
Founded byAlexander the Great

The town was founded by Alexander in autumn of 325 BC after his army had separated from Nearchus and the boats near the mouth of the Indus River. The sources agree that a town was built among the Oreitians, that the fortification was left to Hephaestion[2] and Leonnatus be built in the autumn of 325 BC and that it was located near Rhambacia, the largest town of the Oreitai.[3][4][5] The core of colonists were retired Arachosian horsemen.

Alexander probably intended the new town to be an emporium controlling the local and Indian spice trade through the passes to Kandahar. The area certainly had exotic resources for trade. Written four centuries later the Roman Periplus of the Erythraean Sea says that this area "yields much wheat, wine, rice and dates but along the coast there is nothing but Bdellium".[6]


The exact site of the city in Balochistan, Pakistan is still unknown but several locations have been proposed:

  • Stein locates it near modern Bela, Pakistan and this remains the most popular site.
  • Diodorus, however, says it was on the coast.[7] Although it is uncertain the extent to which the coast has changed in 2+12 millennia.
  • Tarn, however, thinks no city was built here due to a lack of Greek artefacts in the area.[8]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Edward James Rapson, The Cambridge History of India, Volume 1. 1955 Cambridge University Press. Page 380
  2. ^ The Campaigns of Alexander By Arrian(google ebook) Penguin UK 2003 page 331
  3. ^ Diodorus 17.104.4-8
  4. ^ Quintus Curtius 9.10.5-7
  5. ^ Arrian Anabais 6.21.3-6
  6. ^ Periplus of the Erythraean Sea, Chapter 38
  7. ^ Diodorus 17.104.8
  8. ^ Hamilton, J. R. (1972). "Alexander among the Orietia". Historia. 21 (4): 603–608. JSTOR 4435291.

Further readingEdit