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Nicocreon (in Greek Νικοκρέων lived 4th century BC) was king of Salamis in Cyprus, at the time of Alexander the Great's (336 –323 BC) expedition against Persia. He submitted to the conqueror in common with the other princes of Cyprus, without opposition; and in 331 BC, after the return of Alexander from Egypt, repaired to Tyre to pay homage to that monarch, where he distinguished himself by the magnificence which he displayed in furnishing the theatrical exhibitions.1 After the death of Alexander he took part with Ptolemy against Antigonus, and in 315 BC, we find him actively co-operating with Seleucus and Menelaus, the generals of Ptolemy, in effecting the reduction of those cities of Cyprus which had espoused the opposite cause. In return for these services he subsequently obtained from Ptolemy the territories of Citium, Lapethus, Ceryneia, and Marion, in addition to his own, and was entrusted with the chief command over the whole island.2 We know nothing of the fortunes of Nicocreon after this: but as no mention occurs of his name during the memorable siege of Salamis, by Demetrius Poliorcetes (306 BC), or the great sea-fight that followed it, it seems probable that he must have died before those events. The only personal anecdote transmitted to us of Nicocreon is his putting to death in a barbarous manner the philosopher Anaxarchus in revenge for an insult which the latter had offered him on the occasion of his visit to Alexander.3


Smith, William (editor); Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology, "Nicocreon (1)", Boston, (1867)


1 Plutarch, Parallel Lives, "Alexander" or, 29

2 Diodorus Siculus, Bibliotheca, xix. 59, 62, 79

3 Cicero, The Tusculan Disputations, ii. 22, On the Nature of Gods, iii. 33; Plutarch, Moralia, "De virtute morali" (36 MB PDF); Diogenes Laertius, The Lives and Opinions of Eminent Philosophers, ix. 59


This article incorporates text from the public domain Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology by William Smith (1867).

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