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On this page: Porus – Posca – Poseidippus



the port of the Tiber, from whence the road de­ scended to the port of Ostia. At his temple an annual festival, the Portunalia, was celebrated on the 17th of August. (Varro, De Ling. Lot. vi. 19 ; Arnob. iii. 23 ; Cic. de Nat. Deor. ii. 26 ; Virg. A fin. v. 241.) He was represented with a key in his hand, portus as well as porta signifying a place which can be closed. At the time when the Romans became familiar with Greek mythology, Portnnus was identified with the Greek Palaemon (Festus, s. v. Portunus^ p. 242, ed. Mliller; comp. palaemon.) [L. S.]

PORUS (n&pos\ the Greek form of the name of two Indian kings at the period of Alexander's invasion. Bohlen (Das alte Indien, vol. i. p. 91) considers it to be a corruption of the Sanscrit "Paurusha," which signifies a hero.

1. King of the Indian provinces east of the river Hydaspes, which appears to have formed the boundary of his dominions on the west. It was here, accordingly, that he prepared to meet the in­vader, and, far from following the example of 'Taxilas and Abisares, who had sent embassies of submission to Alexander, he assembled a large army, with which he occupied the left bank of the river. On the arrival of the king on the opposite side, the forces of Porus, and especially his elephants (more than 200 in number), presented so formidable an aspect that Alexander did not venture to attempt the passage in the face of them, but sought by delay, and by repeated feigned attempts at crossing, to lull the vigilance of the Indian monarch into security. These devices were partly successful, and at length Alexander, leaving Craterus with the main body of his army encamped opposite to Porus, effected the passage of the river himself, about 150 stadia higher up, with a force of 6000 foot and 5000 horse. Porus immediately despatched his son, with a select body of cavalry, to check the inarch of the invaders, while he himself followed with all his best troops. The battle that ensued* was one of the most severely contested which occurred during the whole of Alexander's campaigns. Porus displayed much skill and judgment in the disposition of his forces, but his schemes were baffled by the superior generalship of his adversary, and his whole army at length thrown into con­fusion. Still the Indian king maintained his ground, and it was not till the troops around him were utterly routed, and he himself severely wounded in the shoulder, that he consented to quit the field. Alexander was struck with his courage, and sent emissaries in pursuit of him to assure him of safety. Hereupon Porus surrendered, and was conducted to the conqueror, of whom he proudly demanded to be treated in a manner Avorthy of a king. This magnanimity at once con­ciliated the favour of Alexander, who received him with the utmost honour, and not only restored to him his dominions, but increased them by large accessions of territory. (Arrian, Anab. v. 8, 9— 19,20, 21; Curt. viii. 1 3, 14 ; Diod. xvii. 87—89 ; Pint. Alex. 60; Justin. xii. 8 ; Strab. xv. pp. 686, 691, 698.)

* It was fought, according to Arrian, in the month of Munyclnon, in the archonship of Hege-mon, i. e. April or Ma}^, b, c. 326 : bat this date is .subject to many difficulties. (See Clinton, F. H. vol. ii. p. 158 ; Droysen, Gescfi. Alex. p. 400, note ; and Thirl wall's Greece, vol. vii. p. 22, note.)


From this time Porus became firmly attached to his generous conqueror. He accompanied Alex­ander on his expedition against the neighbouring Indian tribes ; but after he had crossed the Ace-sines, was sent back to his own territory to raise an additional force, with which he rejoined the king at San gal a, and rendered him effective assistance against the Cathaeans, a tribe with whom he him­self was previously on terms of hostility. He subsequently accompanied Alexander with an auxiliary force as far as the banks of the Hyphasis, and after his return contributed actively to the equipment of his fleet. For these services he was rewarded by the king with the government of the whole region from the Hydaspes to the Hyphasis, including, it is said, seven nations, and above t\vo thousand cities. (Arrian, Anab. v. 22, 24, 29, vi. 2 ; Curt. ix. 2. § 5, 3. § 22 ; Diod. xvii. 93.) These dominions he continued to hold unmolested until the death of Alexander, and was allowed to retain them (apparently with the title of king) in the division of the provinces after that event, as well as in the subsequent partition at Triparadeisus, b.c. 321. Probably the generals were aware how difficult it would have been to dispossess him. Eudemus, however, who had been left in command of the Macedonian troops in the adjacent province, was able to decoy Porus into his power, and treacherously put him to death. (Diod. xviii. 3, xix. 14 ; Curt. x. 1. § 20 ; Arrian, ap. Phot. p.

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We are told that Porus was a man of gigantic stature — not less than five cubits in height ; and his personal strength and prowess in war were not less conspicuous than his valour.

2. Another Indian monarch who, at the time of Alexander's expedition, ruled over the district termed Gandaris, east of the river Hydraotes. He was a cousin of the preceding, but on hostile terms with him, which led him on the approach of Alex­ander to court the alliance of the Macedonian king, and to send envoys with offers of submission to the invader, both before and after the defeat of Porus. But on learning the favour with which his kinsman had been treated by Alexander, he became alarmed for his own safety, and fled on

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the approach of the conqueror. His dominions were subdued by Hephaestion, and annexed to those of his kinsman. (Arrian. Anab. v 20, 21 ; Strab. xv. p. 699.) [E. H. B.]

POSCA, M. PINA'RIUS, praetor b.c. ]«1, obtained Sardinia as his province. He crossed over to Corsica, and put down an insurrection in that island, and on his return to Sardinia carried on war with success against the Ilienses, a people who had not hitherto been completely subdued. (Liv. xl. 18, 25, 34). Cicero speaks of a M. Pina-rius J\usca, who brought forward a lex annalis, which was opposed by M. Servilius (de.Orat. ii. 65), but as this Pinarius Rusca is not mentioned elsewhere, it has been conjectured that we ought to read Posca instead.

POSEIDIPPUS or POSID1PPUS (nocrdSnr-ttos, norr/SiTTTros, both forms are found in MSS. ; the inscription on the statue in the Vatican gives the former). 1. An Athenian comic poet of the New Comedy, was the son of Cyniscus, and a native of Cassandreia in Macedonia. He is one of the six who are mentioned by the anonymous writer on Comedy (p. xxx.) as the most celebrated poets of the New Comedy. In time, he was the

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