Craterus

Craterus

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Craterus was a Macedon
Macedon
Macedonia or Macedon was an ancient kingdom, centered in the northeastern part of the Greek peninsula, bordered by Epirus to the west, Paeonia to the north, the region of Thrace to the east and Thessaly to the south....

ian general under Alexander the Great and one of the Diadochi
Diadochi
The Diadochi were the rival generals, family and friends of Alexander the Great who fought for the control of Alexander's empire after his death in 323 BC...

.

He was the son of a Macedonian nobleman named Alexander from Orestis
Orestis (region)
For the modern municipality, see OrestidaOrestis was a region of Upper Macedonia, corresponding roughly to the modern Kastoria Prefecture, West Macedonia, Greece. Its inhabitants were the Greek tribe Orestae...

 and brother of admiral Amphoterus
Amphoterus (admiral)
Amphoterus the brother of Craterus, was appointed by Alexander the Great commander of the fleet in the Hellespont in 333 BC. Amphoterus subdued the islands between Greece and Asia which did not acknowledge Alexander, cleared Crete of the Persians and pirates, and sailed to Peloponnesus in 331 BC,...

. Craterus commanded the phalanx
Phalanx formation
The phalanx is a rectangular mass military formation, usually composed entirely of heavy infantry armed with spears, pikes, sarissas, or similar weapons...

 and all infantry on the left wing in Battle of Issus
Battle of Issus
The Battle of Issus occurred in southern Anatolia, in November 333 BC. The invading troops, led by the young Alexander of Macedonia, defeated the army personally led by Darius III of Achaemenid Persia in the second great battle for primacy in Asia...

 (333 BC). In Hyrcania
Hyrcania
Hyrcania was the name of a satrapy located in the territories of present day Gilan, Golestan, Mazandaran and part of Turkmenistan, lands south of the Caspian Sea. To the Greeks, the Caspian Sea was the "Hyrcanian Sea".-Etymology:...

 he was sent on a mission against the Tapurians, his first independent command with the Macedonian army. At the Battle of the Hydaspes River
Battle of the Hydaspes River
The Battle of the Hydaspes River was fought by Alexander the Great in 326 BC against King Porus of the Hindu Paurava kingdom on the banks of the Hydaspes River in the Punjab near Bhera in what is now modern-day Pakistan...

 (326 BC, near modern Jhelum
Jhelum
Jhelum or Jehlum may refer to:* Jhelum, a city in Pakistan on the banks of the Jhelum River* Jhelum District, an administrative division in Punjab, Pakistan surrounding the city of Jhelum...

) he commanded the rearguard, which stayed on the western bank; his men crossed the river only during the final stages of the battle.

At large festivities in Susa
Susa
Susa was an ancient city of the Elamite, Persian and Parthian empires of Iran. It is located in the lower Zagros Mountains about east of the Tigris River, between the Karkheh and Dez Rivers....

, Craterus married princess Amastris
Amastris
Amastris also called Amastrine, was a Persian Princess. She was the daughter of Oxyathres, the brother of the Persian King Darius III.-Marriages:...

, daughter of Oxyathres
Oxyathres of Persia
Oxyathres was a brother of the Persian king Darius III Codomannus...

, the brother of Darius III
Darius III of Persia
Darius III , also known by his given name of Codomannus, was the last king of the Achaemenid Empire of Persia from 336 BC to 330 BC....

. Craterus and Polyperchon
Polyperchon
Polyperchon , son of Simmias from Tymphaia in Epirus, was a Macedonian general who served under Philip II and Alexander the Great, accompanying Alexander throughout his long journeys. After the return to Babylon, Polyperchon was sent back to Macedon with Craterus, but had only reached Cilicia by...

 were appointed to lead 11,500 veteran soldiers back to Macedonia. Craterus was in Cilicia
Cilicia
In antiquity, Cilicia was the south coastal region of Asia Minor, south of the central Anatolian plateau. It existed as a political entity from Hittite times into the Byzantine empire...

, where he was building the fleet, when Alexander unexpectedly died in Babylon
Babylon
Babylon was an Akkadian city-state of ancient Mesopotamia, the remains of which are found in present-day Al Hillah, Babil Province, Iraq, about 85 kilometers south of Baghdad...

.

In 322 BC Craterus aided Antipater
Antipater
Antipater was a Macedonian general and a supporter of kings Philip II of Macedon and Alexander the Great. In 320 BC, he became Regent of all of Alexander's Empire. Antipater was one of the sons of a Macedonian nobleman called Iollas or Iolaus and his family were distant collateral relatives to the...

 in the Lamian War
Lamian War
The “Lamian War”, also referred to as the “Hellenic War” and the “War against Antipater”, was fought by the Athenians and their Aetolian, Locrian, and Phocian allies against the Macedonians in Thessaly during the winter of 323–322 BC...

 against Athens
Athens
Athens , is the capital and largest city of Greece. Athens dominates the Attica region and is one of the world's oldest cities, as its recorded history spans around 3,400 years. Classical Athens was a powerful city-state...

. He sailed with his Cilician navy to Greece and led troops at the Battle of Crannon
Battle of Crannon
The Battle of Crannon , fought between the Macedonian forces of Antipater and Craterus and rebellious Greek forces led by the Athenians, was the decisive battle of the Lamian War. Macedonian victory, though militarily unspectacular, convinced the Greeks to sue for peace...

 in 322 BC. When Antigonus
Antigonus I Monophthalmus
Antigonus I Monophthalmus , son of Philip from Elimeia, was a Macedonian nobleman, general, and satrap under Alexander the Great. During his early life he served under Philip II, and he was a major figure in the Wars of the Diadochi after Alexander's death, declaring himself king in 306 BC and...

 rose in rebellion against Perdiccas
Perdiccas
Perdiccas was one of Alexander the Great's generals. After Alexander's death in 323 BC he became regent of all Alexander's empire.Arrian tells us he was son of Orontes, a descendant of the independent princes of the Macedonian province of Orestis...

 and Eumenes
Eumenes
Eumenes of Cardia was a Thracian general and scholar. He participated in the wars of the Diadochi as a supporter of the Macedonian Argead royal house.-Career:...

, Craterus joined him, alongside Antipater and Ptolemy. He married Antipater's daughter Phila
Phila of Macedonia
For other persons named Phila, see PhilaPhila , daughter of Antipater, the regent of Macedonia, is celebrated by the ancient sources as one of the noblest and most virtuous women of the age in which she lived...

. He was killed in battle against Eumenes
Eumenes
Eumenes of Cardia was a Thracian general and scholar. He participated in the wars of the Diadochi as a supporter of the Macedonian Argead royal house.-Career:...

 in Asia Minor
Asia Minor
Asia Minor is a geographical location at the westernmost protrusion of Asia, also called Anatolia, and corresponds to the western two thirds of the Asian part of Turkey...

 when his charging horse fell over him, somewhere near the Hellespont, in 321 BC.

Historical novels

  • Named with the phonetically accurate spelling of Krateros, Craterus is one of the minor characters in the historical novel Roxana Romance by A.J. Cave.
  • Also named as Krateros, Craterus is a major character in the two Alexander novels by Mary Renault
    Mary Renault
    Mary Renault born Eileen Mary Challans, was an English writer best known for her historical novels set in Ancient Greece...

    , The Persian Boy
    The Persian Boy
    The Persian Boy is a 1972 historical novel written by Mary Renault and narrated by Bagoas, a young Persian from an aristocratic family who is captured by his father's enemies, castrated, and sold as a slave to the king Darius III, who makes him his favorite...

    and The Fire From Heaven.

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