There were many battles IN the Hellespont but this is one with the
name. The Battle of the Hellespont took place in 321 between the armies of
Craterus and Neoptolemus against Eumenes.
Opponents: Craterus' faction versus Perdiccas' faction among the successort
to Alexander the Great
Commanders and leaders:
Craterus - 20,000
Eumenes - 20,000
The death of Alexander the Great in 323 threw his empire into a state of
political and military turmoil, with his generals and governors splitting up
the empire as his Successors (the Diadochi).
Perdiccas inherited the
main Macedonian army and the title regent of the Asiatic Empire. He
also tried to marry Alexanders sister Cleopatra of Macedon, which would
have given him a claim to the Macedonian throne. Because of this a coalition of
other successors formed against him. An army under Craterus was sent to Asia to
confront Perdiccas and his allies. Perdiccas sent Eumenes and Neoptolemus with
an army to the Hellespont to prevent Craterus from crossing into Asia.
Neoptolemus, jealous of Eumenes, deserted with a few hundred horse and joined
forces with Craterus.
After crossing, when Craterus and Eumenes met, each had around 20,000 infantry
but Craterus phalanx of veteran Macedonians was superior. Eumenes relied
on his more numerous cavalry. Persian cavalry from Asia Minor composed the
superior cavalry of Eumenes. Pharnabazus III, the former Persian satrap of
Phrygia, was commanding a squadron of cavalry for Eumenes composed principally
of Asiatic troops
Both sides stationed their phalanx in the center and cavalry on the wings.
Craterus, commanding the right wing, charged at the onset. The phalanxes
engaged and a stiff fight endued. Eumenes being apprehensive of opposing any
Macedonians to a general so popular with his countrymen. As soon as they came
in sight of the enemy the two commanders charged the army of Craterus, which
was unable to withstand the shock, and the aged general himself perished in the
confusion. With Craterus slain, his cavalry was scattered. On the other wing,
Neoptolemus confronted Eumenes, and in single combat, Neoptolemus was killed.
Craterus infantry, by now surrounded and leaderless, surrendered. Eumenes
invited the defeated Macedonians to join him. They agreed, but took off by
night to rejoin Antipater, the regent of Greece and Macedonia. The Battle of
the Hellespont removed two contenders, but the War of the Successors would go
on for another 40 years.