I am a knight-errant, and not one of those whose names Fame has never thought of immortalising in her record, but of those who, in defiance and in spite of envy itself, and all the magicians that Persia, or Brahmans that India, or Gymnosophists
that Ethiopia ever produced, will place their names in the temple of immortality, to serve as examples and patterns for ages to come, whereby knights-errant may see the footsteps in which they must tread if they would attain the summit and crowning point of honour in arms."
Fearing suspicion of adultery, the queen tells her husband that the baby died at birth, but instructs one of the gymnosophists
to hide the infant.
of the post-Alexandrian epoch were indeed the Indian thinkers both as they regarded the world and themselves.
The account begins with a journey Alexander made to Africa.35 Along the way he encounters the Gymnosophists
(or the "Sages of the South"),(36) reaches the Mountains of Darkness, uses ropes to help trace his route (recalling, perhaps, the Quranic asbab), and encounters a land inhabited only by women (the Amazons in the Greek version of the Alexander Romance).
His first encounter is with the Gymnosophists
(here incorrectly called Bragmans), who live in poverty and meditation.
The tradition of an encounter between Alexander and the gymnosophists
originated with Onesicritus, pupil of Diogenes.
In that way, he creatively proposed, sounding almost like the Indian gymnosophists
he had so hoped to meet, that Soul gives rise to time.
The indictment of Brahmin gymnosophists
(mendicant ascetics, portrayed as socially parasitic) is as old as antiquity, except that the ones being indicted in antiquity for being like the Brahmin gymnosophists
were the Christians.
(35) Augustine, furthermore, refers to "naked" (nudi) gymnosophists
of India in De civitate Dei without further comment, while making it clear in a different book of the same work that these devotees nonetheless covered their genitals: adhibent tamen genitalibus tegmina, quibus per cetera membrorum carent ("they use a covering for their genitals, which the rest of their members are without").