Nearchts, a Greek admiral of the 4th century B. C. He was a native of Crete, was prominent at the court of Macedon during the reign of Philip, and having participated in the intrigues of Alexander against his father, he was banished. On the death of Philip he was recalled, and after the conquest of the maritime provinces of Asia was made governor of Lycia and other regions S. of the Taurus. In 329 he joined Alexander in Bactria with a reen-forcement of Greek mercenaries. During the Indian expedition he was intrusted with the command of the fleet, and when the armament arrived down the Indus at the ocean, he offered to conduct the ships to the shores of Persia. He began his voyage Sept. 21, 325, and after encountering numberless dangers reached the mouth of the Anamis, a river of Caramania, emptying at the entrance to the Persian gulf, Dec. 9, five days' journey from which place Alexander was then encamped. Sailing along the N. shore of the Persian gulf to the Pasi-tigris, Nearchus ascended that stream and arrived at Susa in February, 324. Alexander had already arrived there, and bestowed upon the admiral, besides other marks of favor, a crown of gold and the daughter of the Rho-dian Mentor in marriage.
After the death of Alexander, Nearchus was restored to the government of his former provinces, which he held as the dependant of Antigonus. The latest mention of him in history is in 314, when Antigonus appointed him to attend his son Demetrius Poliorcetes as a counsellor on his first taking command of an army. Nearchus is said to have written an account of his voyage ( ), the substance of which has been probably preserved in the Inclica of Arrian.