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*Klei/tarxos), son of the historian Deinon (Plin. Nat. 10.49), accompanied Alexander the Great in his Asiatic expedition, and wrote a history of it.


History of Alexander the Great

Cleitarchus' History of Alexander the Great has been erroneously supposed by some to have formed the basis of that of Curtius, who is thought to have closely followed, even if he did not translate it. We find Curtius, however, in one passage (9.5.21) differing from Cleitarchus, and even censuring him for his inaccuracy. Cicero also (de Leg. 1.2) speaks very slightingly of the production in question (τὰ περὶ Ἀλέξανδρον), and mentions him again (Brut. 11) as one who, in his account of the death of Themistocles, eked out history with a little dash of romance. Quintilian says (Inst. Or. 10.1), that his ability was greater than his veracity; and Longinus (de Sublim. ' 3; comp. Toup. ad loc.) condemns his style as frivolous and inflated, applying to it the expression of Sophocles, σμικροῖς μὲν αὐλίσκοις, φορβερᾶς δ᾽ ἄτερ. He is quoted also by Plutarch (Plut. Them. 27, Alex. 46), and several times by Pliny, Athenaeus, and Strabo.

Not the Cleitarchus who wrote a treatise on foreign words

The Cleitarchus, whose treatise on foreign words (γλῶσσαι) is frequently referred to by Athenaeus, was a diffrent person from the historian.

Further Information

Fabric. Bibl. Graec. iii. p. 38; Voss, de Hist. Graec. p. 90, ed. Westermann.)


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