Clitus Niger

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ca. 300 BCE

Also known as Clitus Melas
King of Bactria

According to some sources, Clitus Niger was the older foster-brother of Alexander the Great. Others describe him as Alexander's friend. He was his cavalry leader, and from his name almost certainly a Black African, making him one of the world's first known transracial placements. In 334 he saved Alexander's life at the Battle of Granicus River, but Alexander later killed him during a drunken feast in Maracanda.


Rogers, J.A. World's Great Men of Color. (1946, repr. London: Collier Macmillan, 1972), vol. 1, pp. 94-97
New Century Classical Handbook, edited by Catherine B. Avery. (London: Harrap, 1962)
Plutarch. "Alexander" [from his Parallel Lives]. Also available at:


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