The Murder of Cleitus
The Murder of Cleitus
Basic Elements
The uncontested facts are few. Cleitus is introduced quite differently in various accounts as: Cleitus, Clitus, Kleitos, Cleitus the Black, and Cleitus son of Dropides. In most accounts however, the event is at Samarcand/Maracanda and the cause for the excessive drinking is the feast of the twins Castor and Pollux (Gemini). It is certain Cleitus and Alexander began to throw insults at one another. At some point, a poem is sarcastically recited about the Macedonian generals who were defeated by Spitamenes. Alexander may have boasted about surpassing his fathers greatness. Cleitus shouts that the glory of the empire is it not Alexanders sole achievement but from the blood of the Macedonian soldiers. Cleitus recites Euripides Andromache in order to insult the king. Alexander throws an apple at Cleitus head. Cleitus may have been ushered out of the room only to fatefully return back. Alexander capriciously slays him with a pike or spear. Almost all accounts speak of the kings deep remorse and abstention from food and drink for three days. Callisthenes and Anaxarchus relieve the king of guilt though they probably add legitimacy to the idea of his own absolute power.

Background Information
Cleitus is an important military figure both in Philip and Alexanders command. He led the Royal Squadron of the Companion Calvary and after the Philotas Affair was appointed co-commander

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Murder Of Cleitus And Various Accounts. (April 3, 2021). Retrieved from