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Nearchus


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Of Crete, boyhood friend of Alexander 2 the Great and satrap of Lycia/Pamphylia (334–329 bc); he commanded the fleet on the Hydaspes and sailed along the coast from southern India to the Tigris. Prominent at Babylon in 323 (see greece (history), Hellenistic period), he served on the staff of Antigonus I between 317 and 312. His memoirs of Alexander's campaign were popular, much used by Strabo and Arrian. The extant citations refer to events in India and to Nearchus' own voyage. Valuable detail is preserved, and there are traces of a critical attitude to Alexander (his account of the transit of Gedrosia is a catalogue of horrors); but there is much fantasy, and his own importance is systematically exaggerated.

Subjects: Classical Studies.


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