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C.D. Warner, et al., comp.  The Library of the World’s Best Literature.
An Anthology in Thirty Volumes.  1917.
Of the Voluntary and Willing Death of Calanus
By Claudius Ælianus (c. 175–c. 235)
From ‘A Registre of Hystories’

THE ENDE of Calanus deserveth no lesse commendation than it procureth admiration; it is no less praiseworthy than it was worthy wonder. The manner, therefore, was thus. The within-named Calanus, being a sophister of India, when he had taken his long leave and last farewell of Alexander, King of Macedonia, and of his life in lyke manner, being willing, desirous, and earnest to set himselfe at lybertie from the cloggs, chaines, barres, boults, and fetters of the prison of the body, pyled up a bonnefire in the suburbs of Babylon of dry woodde and chosen sticks provided of purpose to give a sweete savour and an odoriferous smell in burning. The kindes of woodde which hee used to serve his turne in this case were these: Cedre, Rosemary, Cipres, Mirtle, and Laurell. These things duely ordered, he buckled himselfe to his accustomed exercise, namely, running and leaping into the middest of the wodstack he stoode bolte upright, having about his head a garlande made of the greene leaves of reedes, the sunne shining full in his face, as he stoode in the pile of stycks, whose glorious majesty, glittering with bright beams of amiable beuty, he adored and worshiped. Furthermore he gave a token and signe to the Macedonians to kindle the fire, which, when they had done accordingly, hee beeing compassed round about with flickering flames, stoode stoutly and valiauntly in one and the selfe same place, and dyd not shrincke one foote, until hee gave up the ghost, whereat Alexander unvailyng, as at a rare strange sight and worldes wonder, saide (as the voice goes) these words:—“Calanus hath subdued, overcome, and vanquished stronger enemies than I. For Alexander made warre against Porus, Taxiles, and Darius. But Calanus did denounce and did battell to labor and fought fearcely and manfully with death.”  1

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