Nicanor (satrap)

Nicanor (satrap)

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Nicanor or Nikanor 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 officer of distinction who served as satrap of Media
Medes
The MedesThe Medes...

 under Antigonus
Antigonus
Antigonus, a Greek name meaning "comparable to his father" or "worthy of his father", may refer to:* Three Macedonian kings of the Antigonid dynasty that succeeded Alexander the Great in Asia:** Antigonus I Monophthalmus...

. (Possibly to be identified with Nicanor of Stageira
Nicanor of Stageira
Nicanor or Nikanor, of Stageira in Macedonia, was despatched by Alexander the Great to proclaim at the Olympic games of 324 BCE the decree for the recall of the exiles throughout the Greek cities....

, who served under Alexander the Great.)

In the division of the provinces at Triparadeisus
Partition of Triparadisus
The Partition of Triparadisus was a power-sharing agreement passed at Triparadisus in 321 BCE between the generals of Alexander the Great, in which they named a new regent and established the repartition of their satrapies...

, after the death of 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...

 in 321 BCE, he gained the position of governor of Cappadocia
Cappadocia
Cappadocia is a historical region in Central Anatolia, largely in Nevşehir Province.In the time of Herodotus, the Cappadocians were reported as occupying the whole region from Mount Taurus to the vicinity of the Euxine...

. He attached himself to the party of Antigonus
Antigonus
Antigonus, a Greek name meaning "comparable to his father" or "worthy of his father", may refer to:* Three Macedonian kings of the Antigonid dynasty that succeeded Alexander the Great in Asia:** Antigonus I Monophthalmus...

, whom he accompanied in the war 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:...

. After the second battle, that at Gabiene
Battle of Gabiene
Battle of Gabiene was a second great battle between two of Alexander the Great's successors: Antigonus and Eumenes in the wars of the Diadochi.-Background:...

, the mutinous Argyraspids agreed to surrender their general into Antigonus' hands; it was Nicanor who was selected to receive the prisoner from them.

After the defeat of Peithon
Peithon
Peithon or Pithon was the son of Crateuas, a nobleman from Eordaia in western Macedonia. One of the bodyguards of Alexander the Great, later satrap of Media and one of the diadochi....

 and his associates in 316 BCE, Nicanor was appointed by Antigonus as satrap
Satrap
Satrap was the name given to the governors of the provinces of the ancient Median and Achaemenid Empires and in several of their successors, such as the Sassanid Empire and the Hellenistic empires....

 (governor) of Media
Medea
Medea is a woman in Greek mythology. She was the daughter of King Aeëtes of Colchis, niece of Circe, granddaughter of the sun god Helios, and later wife to the hero Jason, with whom she had two children, Mermeros and Pheres. In Euripides's play Medea, Jason leaves Medea when Creon, king of...

 and the adjoining provinces, commonly termed the "upper satrapies", which he continued to hold until 312 BCE when Seleucus
Seleucus
-Monarchs and relations of the Seleucid Empire:* Seleucus I Nicator , son of Antiochus and founder of the Seleucid Empire* Seleucus II Callinicus * Seleucus III Ceraunus...

 made himself master of 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...

, and provoked the Babylonian War
Babylonian War
The Babylonian War was a conflict fought between 311-309 BC between the Diadochi kings Antigonus Monophthalmus and Seleucus I Nicator, ending in a victory for the latter...

.

Nicanor now assembled a large force and marched against the invader, but was surprised and defeated by Seleucus at the passage of the river Tigris
Tigris
The Tigris River is the eastern member of the two great rivers that define Mesopotamia, the other being the Euphrates. The river flows south from the mountains of southeastern Turkey through Iraq.-Geography:...

, and his troops were either cut to pieces or defected to the enemy.

What happened to Nicanor in this battle is uncertain. Diodorus writes that Nicanor escaped the slaughter and escaped to the desert, from where he wrote to Antigonus for assistance. Appian
Appian
Appian of Alexandria was a Roman historian of Greek ethnicity who flourished during the reigns of Trajan, Hadrian, and Antoninus Pius.He was born ca. 95 in Alexandria. He tells us that, after having filled the chief offices in the province of Egypt, he went to Rome ca. 120, where he practised as...

, however, says he was killed in the battle. It is certain, at least, that we hear no more of him.

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