People > Craterus

Craterus

Background

Craterus (370-321 BCE) was a famous Macedonian general that served under Alexander III the Great and commanded the center phalanx. Upon the death of Alexander the Great he would participate in the Wars of the Diadochi. He was born to the sone of a Macedonian nobleman named Alexander From Orestis. He was also related to the admiral Amphoterus.

Alexander & Craterus on a Lion Hunt Mosaic

During the Battle of Issus in 333 BCE he would command the entire Macedonian phalanx. While on campaign in Hyrcania he would be sent on a separate mission against the Tapurians which was first first independent command of the Macedonian army. During the Battle of the Hydaspes in 326 BCE he would command the rearguard which remained on the western bank. His soldiers would only cross the river during the closing phase of the battle.

After this he would return back with the rest of the army following the end of the campaign. After large festivities in the city of Susa he would marry the princess Amastris who was the daughter of Oxyathres, the brother of Darius III. After this Craterus and Polyperchon led an army of 11,500 veterans back to Macedon. While Craterus was building the fleet in Cilicia in anticipation of upcoming campaigns Alexander III the Great would die unexpectedly in the city of Babylon.

During the ensuing Wars of the Diadochi in 322 BCE Craterus would aid Antiochus I Soter in the Lamian War against the city of Athens. That same year he would sail with the Cilician navy to Greece where he would lead troops in the Battle of Crannon. When Antigonus would later rebel against Perdiccas and Eumenes he would be joined by Craterus along with Antipater and Ptolemy I Soter.

Later in his life he would marry Antipater's daughter Philia. He would eventually be killed in 321 BCE while in battle against Eumenes in Asia minor when his charging horse fell over onto him. Overall he was one of Alexander's most trusted generals and capable military commanders and was instrumental in the success of his campaign.

Sources

Primary Sources

Secondary Sources

External Links

Craterus in Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology (http://www.ancientlibrary.com/smith-bio/0891.html)

Short biography from livius.org (http://www.livius.org/cn-cs/craterus/craterus.htm)

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