People > Rhoesaces



Rhoesaces was the brother of Spithridates, a satrap of Ionia, both who fought and died against Alexander the Great at the Battle of Granicus in 334. Rhoesaces also served in the earlier campaigns of Artaxerxes III in Phoenicia and in Egypt were he was singled out for his 'valour and loyalty' to serve alongside allied Theban troops. He is described by Diodorus of Sicily as holding the possession of satrap of 'Ionia and Lydia' (Dio 16.47.2) which he may have shared with his brother. Alexander claimed the life of his brother Spithrobates in the battle of Granicus just moments before Rhoesaces could get there to help his brother. According to Diodorus of Sicily the fight between Alexander and Spithridates happened like this:"He threw his javelin first at Alexander with so might an impulse and so powerful a cast that he pierced Alexander's shield and drove through the breastplate. Alexander shook the weapon off as it dangled by his arm, then applying his spurs to his horse and using the momentum of his charge, he drove his lance squarely into the satrap's chest. At this the adjacent ranks in both armies cried out at the amazing display of manhood. The point, however, snapped off against the breastplate and the broken shaft recoiled. The Persian drew his sword and drove at Alexander; but the king recovered his grip on his lance just in time to stab at the man's face and drive the blow home."Diodorus of Sicily goes on to describe Rhoesaces behavior:"The Persian fell, but just at this moment his brother Rhosaces galloped up and brought his sword down on Alexander's head so hard that he split his helmet and wounded his scalp. As Rhoesaces aimed another blow at the same break in the helmet, Cleitus , known as "the Black," dashed up and cut off the Persian's arm."Thus ending Rhoesaces attempted revenge for his brother's death. This act from Cleitus, would lead to his demise later on in life. It is said that Cleitus openly mocked Alexander of how he saved his life at Granicus, and that it was a reason he could not be a god. Alexander, in a drunken rage, stabbed his friend Cleitus the Black, and ended up going into a crazed frenzy, even going as far as trying to impale himself on the spear he stabbed Cleitus the Black with.
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