"As Alexander, in those torrid parts Of India"

(Canto 14, lines 31-32)

This story about Alexander the Great's adventures in India comes from Albertus Magnus' works, referring to a letter (later proved spurious) from the Emperor to Aristotle. It tells how snow started falling during Alexander's exploits in India, which turned into a rain of fire after his soldiers stamped the it under their feet. Alexander therefore let his men put out the fires with their clothes. Like his source, Dante mixes things up slightly when he instead says Alexander told his men to "trample down the soil".