Alexander and Porus by Charles Le Brun, 1673

Porus, the Greek version of the Indian names Puru or Purshottam, was the ruler of a Kingdom that was located between what is now known as the Jhelum and the Chenab rivers (in Greek sources called Hydaspes and Acesines) in the Punjab. Its capital may have been around what is currently the city of Lahore [1].

Unlike his neighbour, Ambhi (in Greek: Omphius), the King of Taxila, Porus resisted Alexander the Great.

Puru fought the battle of the Hydaspes River with Alexander in 326 BC. After he was defeated by Alexander, Alexander reportedly asked him how he wished to be treated. ‘Like a king,’ Porus replied, ‘Everything is contained in the words “like a king”.‘ (Πάντα εν τω βασιλικώς ένεστι.) This answer so appealed to Alexander that he restored the captive to his realms, and Porus became a vassal.

Porus was said to be "5 cubits tall", either the implausible 7½ ft (2.3 m) assuming an 18-inch cubit, or the more likely 6 ft (1.8 m) if a 14-inch Macedonian cubit was meant.


Porus is supposed to have held the position of a Macedonian subordinate ruler until he was assassinated, sometime between 321 and 315 BC, by the Thracian Eudamus' agents after the death of Alexander (Diodorus Siculus) .

After his assassination, his son Malayketu ascended the throne with the help of Eudamus. However, Malayketu was killed in the Battle of Gabiene in 317 BC.


Arrian, The Campaigns of Alexander, book 5.

Lendring, Jona. Alexander de Grote - De ondergang van het Perzische rijk (Alexander the Great. The demise of the Persian empire),Amsterdam:Athenaeum - Polak & Van Gennep, 2004.

Additional Reading

Holt, Frank L. Alexander the Great and the Mystery of the Elephant Medallions, California: University of California Press, 2003, 217pgs. ISBN 0520244834

Münster, Sebastian. Cosmographia, Basel:House of Sebastian Heinrich-Petri, 1552

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