Posted inAncient Greece

Chares, the Athenian General who Held Power to Enrich Himself and his Supporters without Ever Winning a Major Battle

Brave to the point of recklessness, especially when it came to excessively exposing his own physical integrity during combat, Chares of Athens was a general who never enjoyed prestige or popular favor. The reason lies in his shady personality: not only did he not hide but boasted of his libertine behavior, he lacked scruples, did […]

Posted inAncient Greece

Philetaerus, the Eunuch Founder of the Kingdom of Pergamon and the Attalid Dynasty Who Knew How to Manage Alexander’s Heirs

As we have seen in other articles published here, eunuchs have always enjoyed the trust of kings and emperors because their inability to have descendants barred them from direct access to power, which limited their ambition. Or so it was thought, as in practice they could exercise authority indirectly and/or in lesser spheres. We have […]

Posted inAncient Greece

Crateros, the General who May Have Been Denied the Succession to Alexander Because of a Phonetic Error

«Tôi kratistôi». Diodorus of Sicily recounts in his Historical Library that this was the laconic response given by Alexander the Great on his deathbed to his friend Perdiccas when asked who he left as heir. The expression means “to the strongest”, but it was ambiguous – or very explicit, depending on how you look at […]