For faster navigation, this Iframe is preloading the Wikiwand page for Cleitarchus.


Cleitarchus or Clitarchus (Greek: Κλείταρχος) was one of the historians of Alexander the Great. Son of the historian Dinon of Colophon, he spent a considerable time at the court of Ptolemy Lagus.[1] He was active in the mid to late 4th century BCE.

Quintilian (Institutio Oratoria. x. I. 74) credits him with more ability than trustworthiness, and Cicero (Brutus, II) accuses him of giving a fictitious account of the death of Themistocles. But there is no doubt that his history was very popular, and much used by Diodorus Siculus, Quintus Curtius, Justin and Plutarch, and the authors of the Alexander romances. His unnatural and exaggerated style became proverbial.[1]

His work, the History of Alexander, is almost completely lost and has survived only in some thirty fragments preserved by ancient authors, especially by Aelian and Strabo.

A recent papyrological find from Oxyrhynchus (P.Oxy. LXXI 4808) records that he was a tutor (Greek: διδάσκαλος) of Ptolemy IV Philopator, r.221–205 BCE, and suggests that he wrote in the mid to late 3rd century, not, as was hitherto thought, in the late 4th. Luisa Prandi (2012) has recently restated the case for the "high" dating.


  •  This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainChisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Cleitarchus". Encyclopædia Britannica. Vol. 6 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. p. 481.
  • Luisa Prandi, Fortuna e realtà dell'opera di Clitarco (Stuttgart: Franz Steiner Verlag, 1996) (Historia. Einzelschriften, 104).
  • Luisa Prandi, ′New Evidence for the Dating of Cleitarchus (POxy LXXI.4808)?′, Histos 6 (2012), 15–26, [1]

{{bottomLinkPreText}} {{bottomLinkText}}
Listen to this article

This browser is not supported by Wikiwand :(
Wikiwand requires a browser with modern capabilities in order to provide you with the best reading experience.
Please download and use one of the following browsers:

This article was just edited, click to reload
This article has been deleted on Wikipedia (Why?)

Back to homepage

Please click Add in the dialog above
Please click Allow in the top-left corner,
then click Install Now in the dialog
Please click Open in the download dialog,
then click Install
Please click the "Downloads" icon in the Safari toolbar, open the first download in the list,
then click Install

Install Wikiwand

Install on Chrome Install on Firefox
Don't forget to rate us

Tell your friends about Wikiwand!

Gmail Facebook Twitter Link

Enjoying Wikiwand?

Tell your friends and spread the love:
Share on Gmail Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Buffer

Our magic isn't perfect

You can help our automatic cover photo selection by reporting an unsuitable photo.

This photo is visually disturbing This photo is not a good choice

Thank you for helping!

Your input will affect cover photo selection, along with input from other users.


Get ready for Wikiwand 2.0 🎉! the new version arrives on September 1st! Don't want to wait?