Dated: May 3, 2009.
In 1986 (when I was a schoolboy) I made six elephants for my Persian army. I send you some pictures of it, plus the little research material I used over 20 years ago. I made four Indian elephants, based on a painting of the Hydaspes by Peter Connolly, not realising the officer on top of one of them which I found on an black and white drawing, was in fact King Porus himself. I also made two Persian elephants, based on a painting from the book Greece and Rome by National Geographic. This painting depicts Alexander fighting Porus as well but is far from historically correct. These Macedonians look like Classical Greeks and the Indians like 19th century Pakistan's! Also the castle saddle on top of the elephants seems not to be used by the Indians, nor by the Achaemenid Persians. As a teenage boy I suspected already there was something wrong about these classical Indians on this painting. I decided these turbaned men looked more like Middle Eastern people so I used them as an example for my Persian elephants. My elephants are from different Hong Kong and Taiwan factories, from my 1970's mini-zoo. The figures are Atlantic Greek and Wild West sets and some of the bowmen are Matchbox WWII German infantry.
By now, I have a far more clear idea about what the few elephants in Darius' Persian army at Gaugamela, fighting Alexander, looked like: In my vision they were elephants of the Indian species, ridden by Indian mahouts in a mixture of Indian and Median dress, supported by one or two Indian or Persian bowmen/javelinmen, dressed in Median or Persian style, without a saddle/castle to sit in. I think after traveling all the way from India, some Indian soldiers in Persian service exchanged there traditional Indian dress for a mixture of Median/Indian or even Greek clothing and equipment.
Mr. Cryns from the Netherlands
King Porus on elephant
Many thanks to Mr. Cryns.
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