Clearchus of Soli  

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"Previous, however, to the age of Alexander the Great, little seems to have been attempted in this style of composition by the European Greeks ; but the more frequent intercourse which his conquests introduced between the Greek and Asiatic nations, opened at once all the sources of fiction. Clearchus, who was a disciple of Aristotle, and who wrote a history of fictitious love adventures, seems to have been the first author who gained any celebrity by this species of composition. Of the romances, however, which were written previous to the appearance of the Theagenes and Chariclea of Heliodorus, I am compelled to give a very meagre account, as the works themselves have perished, and our knowledge of them is chiefly derived from the summary which is contained in the Bibliotheca of Photius."--History of Fiction (1814) by John Colin Dunlop

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Clearchus of Soli was a Greek philosopher of the 4th–3rd century BCE, belonging to Aristotle's Peripatetic school. He was born in Soli in Cyprus.

He wrote extensively on eastern cultures, and is thought to have traveled to the Bactrian city of Ai-Khanoum (Alexandria on the Oxus) in modern Afghanistan.

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