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Harpalus was an aristocrat of Macedon in the 4th century BC. Harpalus did not follow Alexander in his advance within the Persian Empire but received a post in Asia Minor. Alexander reportedly contacted him with a demand of reading material for his spare time. Harpalus sent his King theatrical plays by Aeschylus, Sophocles and Euripides, the history of Philistus and odes by Philoxenus and Telestes.

Harpalus was also a charming rogue who twice absconded with large amounts of money. The first time he was forgiven and reinstated, only to abuse his trust again. He was assassinated in Crete during 323 BC.

Harpalus is featured in the historical novel "Fire from Heaven" by Mary Renault. In it, he is entrusted by his teacher Aristotle with the task of observing and recording the lives of wild animals, by way of explaining some of the fantastic additions in Aristotle's zoological writings.

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