The New International Encyclopædia/Nearchus

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NEARCHUS, nē̇-är′kŭs ( Lat., from Gk. Νέαρχος, Nearchos) . The commander of the fleet of Alexander the Great in his Indian expedition (B.C. 327-326). He was the son of Androtimus, and was born in Crete, but settled in Amphipolis in Macedonia, near the Thracian boundary. He was high in favor with Philip, but was banished on account of his adherence to Alexander. When, however, Alexander succeeded to the throne of Macedon, Nearchus was recalled, and when the conquest of the Persian Empire was begun, he was appointed Governor of Lycia and other districts in the south of Asia Minor. In B.C. 329 he accompanied Alexander to Bactria, with a body of Greek mercenaries. When his patron ordered a fleet to be built on the Hydaspes, Nearchus received the command of it. He sailed down the Indus, and then to the Persian Gulf, and arrived at Susa, in Persia, February 24, 324, shortly after Alexander himself, who had marched overland. After the death of Alexander Nearchus accepted the decision of the other generals with regard to the position of the kingdom, and retained his own provinces under Antigonus, whom he accompanied against Eumenes. In 314 Antigonus appointed him a councilor of his son, Demetrius. Fragments of his narrative of his voyage have been preserved in the Indica of Arrian. Consult McCrindle, Invasion of India by Alexander the Great (Westminster, 1896).