Came across this article on boloji and found it very interesting (edited quotes) "Many years ago I came across a comment in a Usenet posting, that said that there was no proof that Alexander won any victories in India and that it might be more appropriate to call him “Alexander the Merely Mediocre”. The comment amused and intrigued me and much later I had an opportunity to read Alexander’s biography by Plutarch. I was surprised to find out that Plutarch wrote his biography over two hundred years after Alexander’s death using oral legends as his source. It is possible that he may also have had access to a personal diary kept by Alexander’s physician, but that is about it. So what exactly happened to Alexander in India? Supposedly, Alexander first met some resistance from minor kingdoms in the Northwest, possibly from around Swat. He defeated these rulers...he fought Porus and Porus lost. Porus is captured and brought to Alexander in chains. Alexander looks at the tall (supposedly 6 cubits) Porus and asks him how he wanted to be treated. Porus replied, “Like a king” – his arrogance and pride aroused Alexander’s admiration. Promptly, Alexander released Porus, agreed to be his friend, restored his lost kingdom to him, and added to it lands that were part of Ambi’s Taxila. Huh? Let’s have that again. Then, having established himself as a magnanimous victor, Alexander asked Porus what it would take to win the rest of India. He made the mistake, I guess, of asking this in public with all his generals listening in, and Porus described the entire rest of the Gangetic valley with its multiple kingdoms, and the Magadhan empire downstream. As a result, there was no more stomach among Alexander’s generals for continuing. They had almost lost to Porus. How could they successfully confront even larger forces? And so Plutarch’s story goes that the army revolted against continuing... And Alexander – at the Indus delta he splits his force into two and sends one by sea and the other by land and they both return safely after three years. But, uh-ho? Why couldn’t he just retreat? He had just defeated Porus and obtained his eternal friendship. He had defeated the kingdoms along the way and set up his own warlords to rule them. There is a simpler explanation that does not require one to strain one’s intelligence. Alexander lost to Puru. Alexander negotiated a safe-conduct for his own troops, provided they went down the Indus, and did not trouble Taxila or Puru again. So there’s Alexander, having suffered his first major defeat, set adrift down the Indus with a much reduced army. They even pick up some “philosophers” from a city populated and defended by “philosophers”, i.e., Brahmins. Plutarch has some stories about these Brahmins, some of which remind one of prescriptions in Kautilya’s Arthashastra. Along the way, Alexander suffers a wound to the side. They reach the delta of the Indus and make a decision to split. Whichever half returned first, it would serve to spread a different story, a story of the victory and the magnanimity of Alexander the Great." ---------------------- Link to complete article. This is the first time I have heard this perspective and it sounds intriguing. Any thoughts?