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Headword: Κρατερός
Adler number: kappa,2335
Translated headword: Krateros, Craterus
Vetting Status: high
The Macedonian, who was very large to look at and not far from royal bulk, and stood out by the splendour of his apparel,[1] and in all his dress was attired in the manner of Alexander, except for the diadem, and [was] to his associates the sort of man, with [his] reasonableness and with the addition of solemnity, to seem extremely amicable and plausible by the attractiveness of his words, when they compared [him] with the small size of Antipatros's body and his mean nature,[2] and additionally his aloofness and his savagery towards his subjects. [Accordingly] they revered Krateros in the manner of a king, and conferring praises upon him -- appropriately, given that he was the most daring of commanders and had the greatest understanding of military deeds -- they held him unquestionably second in esteem after Alexander. So on this point there was even a movement in the whole army, which openly revered Krateros like a king. Every one of them thought it wrong that both men had been appointed to an equal division, and they were totally unwilling to obey Antipatros. And Eumenes,[3] during the war, finding the prostrate body of Krateros with breath still in it, is said to have leapt down from his horse and bewailed him, calling to witness Krateros's courage and understanding and the extreme kindliness of his disposition and the unaffectedness of his friendship towards himself, inasmuch as he had no love of wealth and was a companion to upright justice. 'This man is indeed "strongest",'[4] [he said,] 'whose deeds of virtue find a concord of praises even among his opponents.'[5] And he tended his body with honour and with fitting magnificence. While, therefore, these things, too, bring good repute to Krateros, he is also believed to have been most wise and most gentle and most reliable in sharing friendship, since in fact he acquired comradeship by nature and practised it.
Greek Original:
Κρατερός, ὁ Μακεδών: ὃς ἦν μέγιστός τε ὀφθῆναι καὶ οὐ πρόσω ὄγκου βασιλικοῦ, τῆς τε σκευῆς τῇ λαμπρότητι διαφέρων, καὶ παντὶ τῷ κόσμῳ κατὰ τὸν Ἀλέξανδρον ἔσταλτο πλὴν τοῦ διαδήματος: καὶ τοῖς συγγινομένοις οἷος σὺν ἐπιεικείᾳ καὶ τοῦ σεμνοῦ προσόντος φιλοφρονέστατος δόξαι καὶ πιθανώτατος τῷ ἐπαγωγῷ τῶν λόγων, ὡς συμβάλλουσι τῇ τε σμικρότητι τοῦ Ἀντιπάτρου σώματος καὶ τῇ φαυλότητι, ἐπὶ τούτοις τῷ ἀπροσμίκτῳ καὶ ἀνημέρῳ ἐς τοὺς ὑπηκόους: [ὥστε] θεραπεύειν τὸν Κρατερὸν κατὰ βασιλέα, καὶ ἐν ἐπαίνοις ἄγοντας κατὰ τὸ εἰκός, οἷα δὴ στρατηγῶν τὸν εὐτολμότατον καὶ τῶν πολεμικῶν ἔργων συνετώτατον, δεύτερον τῇ προτιμήσει μετὰ Ἀλέξανδρον ἀναμφιλόγως ἄγειν. κίνησίς τε δὴ οὖν ἦν ἐπὶ τούτῳ τῆς στρατιᾶς συμπάσης, Κρατερὸν μὲν οἷα βασιλέα ἐς τὸ ἐπιφανὲς θεραπευούσης, καὶ ἑκάστων ἀπαξιούντων ἐν ἴσῃ μοίρᾳ ἄμφω τετάχθαι, Ἀντιπάτρῳ δὲ κατ' οὐδὲν ἐθελόντων πείθεσθαι. Εὐμένης δὲ κατὰ τὸν πόλεμον εὑρὼν τὸ Κρατεροῦ σῶμα κείμενον ἔτι ἔμπνουν καταπηδῆσαί τε ἀπὸ τοῦ ἵππου λέγεται αὐτὸν καὶ κατολοφύρασθαι, ἐπιμαρτυρόμενος ἀνδρείαν τε τὴν Κρατεροῦ καὶ σύνεσιν καὶ τὸ ἄγαν ἵλεων τοῦ τρόπου καὶ ἐς φιλίαν τὴν πρὸς αὑτὸν ἀνεπίπλαστον, ὅσον τε πλούτου ἀνέραστον καὶ ὀρθῇ δικαιοσύνῃ σύντροφον: κράτιστος δὲ ἄρα οὗτος, ὅτου τὰ ἀρετῆς ἔργα καὶ παρὰ τοῖς ἐναντίοις τῷ ἐπαίνῳ ξυμφωνούσης ἔχει. ἐντίμως δὲ καὶ μεγαλοπρεπῶς τὸ σῶμα αὐτοῦ ἐκήδευσεν. ἔχει μὲν οὖν καὶ ταῦτα Κρατερῷ ἀγαθὴν δόξαν, πεπίστευται δὲ σωφρονέστατος γενέσθαι καὶ πραότατος καὶ φιλίας κοινωνῆσαι βεβαιότατος, οἷα δὴ τὸ φιλέταιρον φύσει κτησάμενος καὶ ἐπιτηδεύσας.
One of the marshals of Alexander the Great; died 321 BC. See generally OCD(3) s.v. Craterus.
This entry = Jacoby, FGrH 156 fr.177 a-b = Arrian, Affairs after Alexander, frs.19 and 26.
[1] cf. omicron 22 and sigma 562, where his name has become textually corrupted into Karteros.
[2] φαυλότης , 'poor nature', is explicitly contrasted with επιείκεια , 'reasonableness', at Aristotle, Nicomachean Ethics 1175b25. For Antipatros see alpha 2703/alpha 2704.
[3] For Eumenes see OCD(3) s.v. "Eumenes(3)".
[4] κράτιστος , a play on his name. In Diodorus Siculus 17.117.4 and Arrian, Anabasis 7.26.3, the dying Alexander leaves his kingdom to 'the strongest', τῶι κρατίστωι .
[5] The syntax seems garbled; I translate the text given by Jacoby, τῶν ἐπαίνων ξψμφώνησιν ἔχει . A simple emendation of the Suda's text would be to invert the order of ἀρετῆς and ἔργα , translating as 'whose deeds partake of virtue that accords with praise even among his opponents'.
Keywords: biography; clothing; economics; ethics; geography; historiography; history; medicine; military affairs; zoology
Translated by: D. Graham J. Shipley on 24 June 2001@04:59:32.
Vetted by:
David Whitehead (augmented notes; added keywords; cosmetics) on 24 June 2001@05:49:48.
David Whitehead (more keywords) on 4 December 2005@09:18:57.
David Whitehead (more keywords; tweaking) on 17 March 2013@06:04:22.


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