In 326 BC, Alexander of Macedonia was in Punjab. He wanted to continue and conquer the rest of India. But his men revolted and wanted to go back. Alexander decided to travel via the river Jhelum to Indus into the Arabian Sea. According to John Keay in his book “India: a History”:http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0802137970/jksobservat-20
bq. Ships were readied and he sailed in late 326 BC. The voyage downriver took six months. Stern opposition came from numerous riverine peoples, some of whom have been tentatively identified, and from sizeable townships which clearly included well established brahman communities. Some of these townships no doubt occupied sites beneath which the Harappan cities had already laiin, cocooned in alluvial oblivion, for 1500 years
bq. In an egagement with the “Malloi” Alexander himself was seriously wounded. An arrow stuck him in the chest and may have punctured his lung
But Alexander survived this attack. But two years later, he died in Babylon. Now some experts think that he is a victim of “West Nile Virus”:http://www.sunspot.net/news/health/bal-te.md.alexander13dec13,0,263502.story?coll=bal-health-headlines
bq. According to Marr’s article, Alexander’s counselors told him to enter Babylon from the east. That required him to pass through a swamp – where mosquitoes might breed. The insects carry West Nile virus, which they pass to birds – especially crows – and to humans, spreading the disease.
bq. As Alexander reached the walls of Babylon, Greek biographer Plutarch wrote two centuries later, “he saw a large number of ravens flying about and pecking one another, and some of them fell dead in front of him.”
bq. At a banquet in Babylon, the conqueror drank 11 pints of wine, then grabbed his chest, stricken. In the ensuing days he suffered chills, constant fever and horrible abdominal pain. Many diseases exhibit those symptoms, but one unique factor existed: a strange paralysis that began in Alexander’s feet and slowly moved up the body.