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Cleitus


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‘the Black’ (d. 328 bc), Macedonian noble and brother of the wet‐nurse of Alexander 2 the Great, commanded the royal Squadron of Companions (see hetairoi) and saved Alex‐ander's life at the Granicus. In 330 he was raised to the command of the entire Macedonian cavalry alongside the royal favourite, Hephaestion. Alienated by the absolutist trends at court, he lost control at a symposium, criticizing the king's divine aspirations and the fashionable denigration of Philip II, and was struck down by Alexander in a paroxysm of drunken fury. The murder became a standard example of royal excess in rhetoric and popular philosophy (see alcoholism).

Subjects: Classical Studies.


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