Wakhan: any chance Alexander ever went there?

This moderated forum is for discussion of Alexander the Great. Inappropriate posts will be deleted without warning. Examples of inappropriate posts are:
* The Greek/Macedonian debate
* Blatant requests for pre-written assignments by lazy students - we don't mind the subtle ones ;-)
* Foul or inappropriate language

Moderator: pothos moderators

Post Reply
Posts: 2
Joined: Fri Sep 05, 2014 1:22 am

Wakhan: any chance Alexander ever went there?

Post by Jaza »

I recently saw the TV show "Alexander's Lost World" (http://www.alexanderslostworld.com/) - I see that there was previous discussion about it on Pothos (http://www.pothos.org/forum/viewtopic.php?t=3940). The final few episodes are based in the Wakhan Corridor area of Afghanistan, and the show's narrator (David Adams) strongly suggests that Alexander and his army passed through the length of the Wakhan's main valley, and that from there they crossed one of the high passes into Pakistan.

I've seen some very fleeting suggestions online elsewhere - e.g. http://www.timeout.com/travel/features/ ... fghanistan and http://pamirhighwayadventure.com/travel ... -corridor/ - that Alexander and/or his legions went to the Wakhan. But nothing that makes a definite claim, or that provides any details to back up such a claim.

All sources I've seen that describe Alexander's actual routes through that part of the world, make no mention of the Wakhan. It looks like, according to the authoritative sources - e.g. http://www.livius.org/aj-al/alexander/a ... hrono.html - the furthest upstream on the Oxus River (modern Amu Darya / Panj) that Alexander reached was Alexandria on the Oxus (Ai-Khanoum) or thereabouts. And it seems that he and/or his legions only crossed from Afghanistan (Bactria) into Pakistan (Gandhara) once, and it was via the Khyber Pass / Swat Valley.

So, I'm pretty sure at this point that neither Alexander nor his legions ever did set foot in the Wakhan, let alone cross its high passes. But I'd like to confirm this with people more knowledgeable on the topic than myself. Thoughts?
Strategos (general)
Posts: 2180
Joined: Mon Sep 09, 2002 2:16 pm
Location: LONDON

Re: Wakhan: any chance Alexander ever went there?

Post by agesilaos »

I don't think the presenter claimed he had gone there either, I only watched it once many moons ago; so I 'd agree with you that he had not; he entered Pakistan through the Khyber Pass I think.
When you think about, it free-choice is the only possible option.
Pezhetairos (foot soldier)
Posts: 106
Joined: Mon Jun 02, 2014 5:21 pm

Re: Wakhan: any chance Alexander ever went there?

Post by Hando »

I saw that series online a few months ago and really enjoyed it. However, I also do not think Alexander went to the Wakhan. I did go to the Pamirs 3 years ago and it was breathtaking. I visited Penjikent (Alexander Eshcate), but unfortunately only the outskirts of the city so I did not manage to visit the centre and what would have been the city Alexander founded. Before the trip, I had planned to go to the Sogdian rocks area eventhough we do not know which cliff Roxane was from. But due to the long distances involved and the short time period, I never did get to visit the area. Hopefully some other time.
Post Reply