Memnon of Rhodes (380 – 333 BC) was the commander of the Greek mercenaries working for the Persian king Darius III when Alexander the Great of Macedonia invaded Persia in 334 BC. He commanded the mercenaries at the Battle of the Granicus River, where his troops were massacred by the victorious Macedonians. He then began a campaign to capture the Aegean islands with the Persian fleet and led a direct assault on Macedonia, while Alexander was resting at Phaselis. Memnon managed to capture the island of Chios and most of Lesbos. Demosthenes, after hearing of Memnon's successes, began to prepare Athens for a revolt along with other Greek cities, while Sparta began to prepare for war. By a stroke of fortune for Alexander, Memnon died of illness at Mytilene and transferred command to his nephew, Pharnabazus.
Many scholars maintain that had Memnon's campaign been successful, Alexander would have had an immensely difficult time continuing his campaign in Asia, and might have soon been defeated. It was not until after the major Persian defeat at the Battle of Issus that Memnon's strategy was revitalised and finally put into action, but by then the advantage had been lost, and Alexander showed himself willing to sacrifice Greece if necessary by then if he still felt he could accomplish his greater goals.
Memnon of Rhodes is the subject of a work of historical fiction, Memnon by Scott Oden (ISBN 1-932815-39-2 US hc; ISBN 0553818953 UK pb), in which the character of Memnon is also the son of Timocrates of Rhodes.