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What was the REAL relationship Between Alexander the Great and Hephaestion?

What was the REAL relationship Between Alexander the Great and Hephaestion?

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Alexander the Great was known as a womanizer – his list of romances quite extensive. However, some researchers suggest that he also fell in love with at least two men, one of them being Hephaestion, a General in Alexander’s Army.

Researchers cannot make empirical studies to be sure about the thoughts and feelings of the people who lived in the times of Alexander the Great. At most, they can only make deductions from the historical records that are available. All that really exists is a puzzle, which researchers try to interpret and put together.

The companion of brothers

Hephaestion was born, like Alexander, in around 365 BC. He was a son of Amyntor, a noble man of Macedonia. Hephaestion was a friend, companion and a general in the army of Alexander. According to the ancient resources, he had a special bond with the king. He was described as his dearest friend, the person who was witness to the most significant moments in Alexander's life, but also the one with whom the king shared his most personal secrets.

Head of Hephaistion sculpted in marble. Statue is at the Getty Museum in California.

Alexander and Hephaestion spent time with each other nearly their whole lives, until the death of Hephaestion in 324 BC. They traveled, fought in battlefields and experienced many adventures together. Alexander is said to have felt a strong bond with him also due to his sensitivity, love of literature and intelligence. When Hephaestion died, Alexander’s life collapsed. As a ruler, he didn't have too many people who he could trust. It seems that he believed in the loyalty his mother Olympias, Hephaestion, and his friend Ptolemy, future pharaoh Ptolemy I Soter. According to some later writings, Alexander felt extreme loneliness after the death of his dear friend, and he himself died just a few months after the burial of Hephaestion.

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Friends or Lovers?

Throughout history, the Greek male friendship may be considered somewhat unique. Greek men could love their best friends like brothers and like family, and their way of treating each other could often be misinterpreted.

At the same time, Ancient Greek military forces (for example, the Spartans), believed that homosexual sex made bonds between the soldiers stronger. This same-sex interaction was a very popular topic to many ancient authors. The great philosopher Plato in his work Symposium wrote that the interlocutor Phaedrus made a comment on the importance of sexual relationships between men, which improves the brotherhood and bravery on the battlefield. Many researchers interpreted his interest in this topic as confirmation that he was in such a relationship with Socrates, although there is no evidence to support this theory.

The Warren Cup, portraying a mature bearded man and a youth on its "Greek" side

According to the Paul Cartledge, a Professor of Greek History in the University of Cambridge, who described his theory of Alexander the Great: The Hunt for a New Past:

''The question of Alexander's sexuality--his predominant sexual orientation--has enlivened, or bedeviled, much Alexander scholarship. That he loved at least two men there can be little doubt. The first was the Macedonian noble Hephaestion, a friend from boyhood, whom he looked on--and may actually have referred to--as his alter ego. The Persian queen mother, it was said, once mistook the taller Hephaestion for Alexander, who graciously excused her blushes by murmuring that 'he too is Alexander'. Whether Alexander's relationship with the slightly older Hephaestion was ever of the sort that once dared not speak its name is not certain, but it is likely enough that it was. At any rate, Macedonian and Greek mores would have favored an actively sexual component rather than inhibiting or censoring it. Like hunting, homosexuality was thought to foster masculine, especially martial, bravery.''

If we follow this way of thinking, there was at least one more man who could have been the male lover of Alexander. His name was Bagoas and he was a Persian eunuch. However, it is impossible to really know the truth of their relationship as there is no direct information about the sexual preferences of Alexander.

'Bagoas pleads on behalf of Nabarzanes'

Searching for the truth

Homosexuality was a norm in the ancient times, but in the case of Alexander the Great and Hephaestion, it is hard to rationally conclude what the true relationship was between them. Even if they were lovers, the beliefs and perceptions about homosexual relationships was definitely different than the way it is considered today. However, the author of this article doubts the theory that Alexander and Hephaestion were in a romantic relationship.

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The weddings at Susa; Alexander to Stateira (right), and Hephaestion to Drypetis (left). Late 19th-century engraving.

After the death of Hephaestion, Alexander decided to build an impressive monument in his memory in Macedonia. Currently it is suggested that the Amphipolis tomb could have been built in memory of Hephaestion. It is also possible that the ashes of the great friend of Alexander were brought there from the desert in Persia. The answer to the question of what was between Alexander and Hephaestion remains buried in their graves.

In the first authorized biography of William Shatner, Shatner: Where No Man by Sondra Marshak and Myrna Culbreath, one chapter is devoted to an interview with Gene Roddenberry. The authors compared Kirk's friendship with Spock to the bond between Alexander the Great and his friend Hephaistion. In context, a series of historical novels about Alexander's life by Mary Renault were appearing at the time this book was being prepared, and Roddenberry had read them. Shatner had played Alexander in a 1968 TV-movie, and both he and Roddenberry described themselves as fans of the historical Alexander.

Roddenberry was interviewed the week after the announcement of Star Trek: Phase II, the originally planned television series. Marshak and Culbreath began by asking him a series of questions about the Kirk-Spock friendship, particularly in the context of Mary Renault's novels about Alexander the Great. Asked if he saw the Kirk-Spock friendship as "two halves which come together to make a whole", Gene replied:

Roddenberry further revealed that he had cast Shatner as Kirk partly on the basis of his performance as Alexander.

Marshak and Culbreath: "There's a great deal of writing in the Star Trek movement now which compares the relationship between Alexander and Hephaistion to the relationship between Kirk and Spock -- focusing on the closeness of the friendship, the feeling that they would die for one another --"

Roddenberry: "Yes, there's certainly some of that, certainly with love overtones. Deep love. The only difference being, the Greek ideal. we never suggested in the series. physical love between the two. But it's the. we certainly had the feeling that the affection was sufficient for that, if that were the particular style of the 23rd century." (He looks thoughtful.) "That's very interesting. I never thought of that before." [1]

Portrayed in Star Trek

This pairing is often used and referenced in Kirk and Spock fiction and art, both m/m and gen. From a 1976 letter by Beverly C in The Halkan Council #22:

Some Star Trek Fanwork Examples

  • "Possession" in The Book of Smutty Days (2006)
  • You Strike Me Still, a print zine (2008)
  • Succubus, Incubus (1978) was one of the first stories to note the linking character/relational similarities between Kirk/Spock and Alexander/Hephaistion.
  • The Gateway of the King (1984), a story in the British zine The Voice
  • "Alexander/Hephaistion: Two Poems," in Galactic Discourse #3
  • The Author (1987), "Kirk is determined to win first place in a writing contest and the prize, a 1st edition of Mary Renaultʼs Fire from Heaven, that reminds him of what he wants with Spock."
  • Sojourns (1988), a controversial RPS novel
  • Protector of Logic (2007), "Kirk is going to the shipʼs costume party as Alexander the Great, and wants Spock to go as Hephaiston."

art by Pat Stall (1978) for Succubus, Incubus portrays Kirk/Spock as Alexander/Hephaistion

Review of J. Reames’ “An Atypical Affair? Alexander the Great, Hephaistion Amyntoros and the Nature of Their Relationship”

I recently read this article that was ferreted out by one of our readers, Cassidy. As you may recall, we have talked of Jeanne Reames before. Her PhD thesis was on Hephaestion, and she is one of his foremost scholars. I have been drawn to her work, because she sees many things about Hephaestion in the same light as I do though we do differ at times. This article which can be found here:

deals with Alexander and Hephaestion’s relationship and whether or not it was sexual in nature. Those of you who have been around for a while know that this is my least favorite topic when it comes to these two. I am in no way shape or form homophobic. In fact, one of my favorite hobbies is reading male-male romance stories. I find common ground in the “otherness” and loneliness that is often at the center of these stories. However, I absolutely hate the attempt to make these two the poster boys for gay romance. Reames agrees somewhat with this view.

Like me, she does not deny that their was a relationship between the two, and that that relationship was the most important in each their lives. She states:

In terms of affectional attachment, Hephaistion–not any of Alexander’s three wives–was the king’s life partner. Whatever the truth of any sexual involvement, their emotional attachment has never been seriously questioned. No doubt as teenagers, both had learned from Aristotle some version of what he would later write in his Nikomachean Ethics–that perfect love was the highest friendship (1156b), and that friendship was a state of being, not a feeling (1157b). Moreover, Aristotle speaks of the friend as the ‘second self’ (1170b) and indicates that there is only one special friend (1171a).

I fully agree with this. I have long thought that much as Alexander is reported to have told Sisygambis upon meeting her that these two men were two halves of the same whole. In Hephaestion, Alexander found a constant source of unquestioned support. As a man who was used to contention in his life, whether it be between his parents or between he and his men, in Hephaestion he had someone who would listen to anything he would say and offer sound, quiet advice. In fact, I have long supposed that Hephaestion served as a brake on a sometimes erratic likely bipolar Alexander. He was Alexander’s moral compass. A single word from Hephaestion was often far more powerful that the loudest challenge from one of his generals or dissenters.

Reames goes on to point out the following about the relationship when the question of sex is brought up:

I do think it quite possible that Alexander and Hephaistion were physically intimate at some point. I do not necessarily think, however, that they were still physically intimate in the latter years, though they may have been. Mostly, I don’t think it greatly significant to the affection they held for one another.

This is the very point I have always tried to make. Whether or not they had sex at some point, it doesn’t matter when considering the overall strength of their relationship and to attempt to reduce their relationship to simply a sexual one is a massive insult to both men. It is entirely possible to have a relationship with another person that goes beyond the basic bonds of friendship but in no way includes a sexual component. In fact, my best friend and I have a very similar relationship. We are closer than friends, but are not family by blood. Though attraction may have existed at some point, we have mutually agreed that it has no place in our current relationship. There is no need for sex between us, because there is no way to be emotionally closer than we already are. In each other, we have found an unquestioned source of support and an understanding mind.

I know that to deny a sexual relationship between Alexander and Hephaestion sets me against all the Farrell-Letoers out there among others. However, I brave their disapprobation to stand by my point. As always, these posts are intended to open a dialogue so feel free to comment.

About Joe

3 responses to &ldquo Alexander The Great’s Gay Lovers &rdquo

Joe, have you read The Persian Boy, the historical novel by Mary Renault?If so, what did you think of it? Was it more fact or fiction?

Sadly, I have not had the opportunity to read The Persian Boy by Mary Renault. I have wanted to, but I haven't had the chance to buy it yet, so I haven't read it. It is certainly on my list for books to read (a very long list at that). I've heard a lot about it, though since I have not read it, I am reticent to comment on its historical accuracy. As soon as I get a chance to read it, I will let you know what I think.

Great text, you portray Alexander as I have always pictured him, about the film I didn’t know the homophobia of the Greek government and the prudish pressure the film received, no wonder it ended up being a little bit of a drag… stupid ignorant Greek homophobes, I liked the way you finished the article. I think you’re right. He and Hephaestion were the very first great historical characters who lived a true homoerotic love in their adult age.

Alexander the Great: History’s Superstar

Detail of the Alexander Mosaic, c. 100 BC, originally from the House of the Faun in Pompeii, currently in Naples National Archaeological Museum. (Image: Museu Nacional Arqueológico de Nápoles) The discovery of a vast tomb in Amphipolis in northern Greece, which archeologists believe dates back to the era of Alexander the Great, has captured the public’s imagination both in Greece and around the world like few other archeological finds in the modern period.

The reason, of course, is speculation over who is buried in the tomb of Amphipolis. The size of the tomb, 500 meters in circumference, and its splendor – the entrance is guarded by a pair of sphinxes while two beautiful and enigmatic Caryatids serve as support columns and sleepless guards to keep intruders away – indicate that only someone extremely rich and of the stature of a great king would have merited such a resting place. And who greater than Alexander the Great? Except, of course, that historical records tell us that Alexander died in Babylon and was finally buried in the city he founded in Egypt, although his body was initially on its way back to Macedonia when one of his generals diverted the funeral cart back to Egypt.

The main contenders then for occupants of the tomb are Alexander’s mother Olympias, his wife Roxanne and their son Alexander IV, all of whom were murdered after Alexander’s death by Cassander, who hated and envied Alexander. There is also speculation that the tomb may have been ordered by Alexander for his beloved friend, comrade and possibly lover Hephaestion, who died a mere eight months before Alexander himself in 323 BCE.

But who was Alexander really, and what made him “great” – audacious, aggressive, fearless and victorious? What leadership qualities did he possess such that he was able to conquer half of the then-known world at such a young age and be revered throughout the ancient world as a god? Was he an imperialist war monger or a cosmopolitan visionary?

In this exclusive interview by C. J. Polychroniou for Truthout and the Greek national newspaper the Sunday Eleftherotypia, Guy MacLean Rogers, who is Mildred Lane Kemper Professor of History and Classical Studies at Wellesley College and author, among many other works on ancient Greece, of the biography, Alexander: The Ambiguity of Greatness, published by Random House in 2004, explains the uniqueness of Alexander the Great, his vision and his character, and also what may have happened to his body and tomb.

C.J. Polychroniou for Truthout: In just 12 years, Alexander III of Macedon changed completely the nature of the ancient world, making him probably the most iconic military commander of all times. What were the qualities of leadership that Alexander possessed that allowed him to conquer half the world before the age of 30?

Guy MacLean Rogers: Alexander was the kind of leader that comes along once in history. He was extremely intelligent, observant, brave beyond reason, and lethal in combat. He set clear goals and focused relentlessly on how to achieve them. He knew and respected his enemies, but feared no one. He motivated his soldiers by displaying a willingness to sacrifice on their behalf. In sum, he was a charismatic, inspirational leader, and his unbroken string of victories suggested that he was beloved of the gods. That is why tens of thousands were willing to follow him from Macedon to the Indus River.

What factors drove him to expand to the end of the known world?

Originally Alexander was the leader of a Pan-Hellenic war of revenge against Persia for their actions against Greek city-states, particularly their burning of the temples on top of the Athenian Acropolis in 480 BCE. But he eventually developed a revolutionary theological justification for his plan to conquer the entire world. In my book, Alexander: The Ambiguity of Greatness (2004), I argue that Alexander wanted to unite all of Zeus’ children under the rule of the best – the Macedonians and the Persians – and the best of the best, Alexander. Alexander’s imperial vision thus included sharing rule over his empire with the Persians that he had conquered.

Alexander was a controversial figure even in his own times – a heavy drinker, just like his father, Philip II, fearless but with a violent temper – and certainly not infallible. Yet, he was able to unite people and actually be revered as a god. Was Alexander born a success, thereby supporting the claim of those scientists who believe that DNA dictates if we succeed or fail?

I am a firm believer in the importance of DNA or what is hard-wired into us genetically. But family, education, and culture are equally important to success.

Alexander was born with great intellectual and physical capacities. He could see things that the rest of us can’t. When he was a boy, he alone observed that the wild horse Bucephalas (which was being offered for sale to his father) was afraid of its own shadow. Alexander turned Bucephalas toward the sun so that the horse would not be frightened by his own shadow and then mounted and rode him. Before battles, Alexander instantly understood how his opponents wanted to fight from observing their battle formations, and he made the necessary tactical adjustments. He also was a naturally gifted athlete. He was a fine runner, and was tough as nails. He had superhuman powers of endurance. I don’t think such capacities are teachable. In that sense, Alexander was born to become Alexander, just as Mozart was born to become Mozart.

Yet Alexander’s upbringing and his education were at least as important to his development and success. Both of his parents, Philip II and Olympias, set the highest expectations for him. And they hired the best tutors for him, including Aristotle. You could say that Alexander was born and then raised to be a leader, indeed to make history. In my book, I especially emphasize Olympias’ influence upon Alexander. Olympias was history’s ultimate tiger mom. Alexander may have been the only man in Macedon not afraid of his mother.

In the ancient Greek mindset, myth and reality seemed to work in tandem. Thus, Alexander’s great role models were Hercules and Achilles, and he seemed to embrace Olympias’ claim that he had been conceived by Zeus, not Philip, although Alexander clearly never rejected Philip as his biological father. What was the role of myth in ancient Greek society?

We must be indeed careful about assuming that among most ancient Greeks there was a clear division between what we would call myth and history. The ancient Greek word mythos did not necessarily mean a story about the past or present that was untrue. I do not think that Alexander considered the Trojan War to be a myth (in our modern sense of the word) or that Achilles and Patroclus were mythological characters. On the contrary, I am convinced that Alexander really believed that there was a Homer, and a Trojan War, and that Achilles, his ancestor, was a real person.

What does the personal relationship between Alexander and Hephaestion, which seems to resemble closely the relationship between Achilles and Patroclus as recorded in Homer’s Illiad, tell us about friendship and homoeroticism in ancient Greece?

Alexander’s relationship with Hephaestion tells us both less and more than many people want it to. People want to use the evidence for that relationship to argue that Alexander was fundamentally homosexual or bisexual, while ignoring the evidence for his heterosexual relations.

My argument is that we should not impose our own sexual categories (homosexual, heterosexual, bisexual, etc.) upon the ancient Greeks, including Alexander, because those categories are modern constructs that are alien to the ancient world in which Alexander lived. The ancient Greeks had their own ideas about what we call sexuality. They did not think that if someone acted upon an attraction to a man or a woman that that action placed that person irrevocably into one kind of sexual camp or another.

If you look carefully at Alexander’s intimate relationships over time what you discover is that Alexander was a lover of beauty, without regard to modern sexual categories or ancient ethnic prejudices. Alexander shared his bed with both beautiful Greeks and Asians. As far as Alexander’s specific relationship with Hephaestion is concerned, I would make a couple of further points. There may well have been an erotic facet of it. But I do not think that it was the focus of the relationship. Alexander knew Hephaestion from boyhood, and clearly they became close friends who trusted and cared about each other. The experience of fighting together in combat no doubt intensified that bond, as it often does.

One more point: If Alexander and Hephaestion were indeed lovers, it tells us a lot about ancient Greek culture that no one really seems to have cared very much. You do not find a lot of comment about the relationship in the sources. Were Alexander and Hephaestion lovers? No one seems to have been bothered by it.

Certain parties in Greece’s geographical neighborhood like to claim that Alexander the Great was not Greek, but a Slavo-Macedonian? Yet, we know that ancient Macedonians spoke Greek, believed in Greek gods, and participated in the ancient Olympic Games, which only Greek city-states could do. Furthermore, Alexander’s mission was to spread the culture of Hellenism throughout the rest of the world. So, is there any historical evidence to suggest that Alexander was not Greek?

In the modern world, we talk about identity in terms of DNA or (unfortunately) race or ethnicity or national citizenship. But in the ancient Greek world, what we would call national identity was based upon an idea of biological descent from an ancestor or ancestors. In Alexander’s case, Plutarch tells us that on Alexander’s mother (Olympias’) side, he was descended from Neoptolemus, the son of Achilles. And on his father’s side, he was a descendant of Herakles. If Plutarch is right, it follows that Alexander was considered to have been directly descended from some of the greatest heroes, and even later gods (Herakles) of Hellenic history. We also know that Alexander spoke and wrote Greek and that his education was a thoroughly Hellenic one. His favorite work of literature was the Iliad, as everyone knows. He called the Iliad a handbook of warfare, and he slept with the copy of it that Aristotle had annotated for him.

What is your opinion about the Amphipolis tomb, and what’s your speculation about what may have happened to Alexander’s tomb?

I have been reading about the excavation of the Amphipolis tomb just about every day, and, like everyone else, feel a sense of excitement about what the archaeologists may find. I know that some people are anxious to hear the results, but my sense of the situation is that the archaeologists are being careful and don’t want to put forth any conclusions before they have analyzed all the data. That is exactly the right way to proceed. I hope that when they enter the inner part of the tomb that there will be some kind of evidence, such as an inscription, that will make the identity of the occupant and/or the purpose of the monument clear.

As far as Alexander’s tomb is concerned, that is one of the greatest mysteries in history. We know that a long list of famous people, including Octavian (then-soon-to-be-the Roman emperor Augustus), actually saw Alexander’s body in its tomb in Alexandria, and it was reported to have been visited periodically into the late medieval or early modern period (depending upon how you define those eras). But then there have been no more sightings until now, and no one has been able to demonstrate conclusively that Alexander’s body was removed from Alexandria. Because of the urban growth of Alexandria, it has been very difficult for archaeologists to explore the possible places beneath the streets of the city where he might be buried. However, at present, there are archaeologists working in the city and news has come out that they may be closing in on finding Alexander’s final resting place.

I hope that I am still alive, if and when they find the tomb. Finding Alexander’s tomb – and especially his remains – would be a sensational achievement, maybe the greatest archaeological discovery in history. With all due respect, many were the pharaohs of Egypt, many the emperors of imperial Rome, but there was, and only ever will be, one Alexander.

Zack Snyder's 300 Sequel Was A Gay Love Story Featuring Alexander The Great, But WB Wanted No Part Of It

Zack Snyder and Warner Bros had an undeniable hit when they adapted Frank Miller’s 300, plain and simple. The project that partnered studio and filmmaker was so mythic, it not only spawned a sequel with 300: Rise of an Empire, it apparently almost got one final entry from Snyder himself. Unfortunately, you won’t be seeing that movie anytime soon, because when the Army of the Dead co-writer/director tried to write a 300 sequel, he ended up penning a gay love story featuring Alexander the Great which Warner Bros wants no part of.

Though there was the entire debacle over Justice League and the planned Snyderverse, Zack Snyder and Warner Bros. both seemed excited about another sequel to the 300 franchise. With 300: Rise of an Empire seeming to be quite successful, at least on paper, who could blame the collaborators for wanting one last battle for glory? But as The Playlist recently sat down with the director, in honor of his new film Army of the Dead, Snyder spun this story of how and why that concept just didn’t pan out:

Over the pandemic, I had a deal with Warner Bros. and I wrote what was essentially going to be the final chapter in 300, But when I sat down to write it, I actually wrote a different movie. I was writing this thing about Alexander the Great, and it just turned into a movie about the relationship between Hephaestion and Alexander. It turned out to be a love story. So it really didn’t fit in as the third movie.

Now, to be perfectly honest, there are two reasons that stand out as to why this would-be 300 sequel wasn't picked up by Warner Bros. The first being the obvious fact that this Alexander the Great movie wasn’t the sequel that Zack Snyder was intending to write. While a love story between Alexander the Great and beloved friend and confidant Hephaestion does sound rather interesting, it doesn’t fit the assignment that was pitched. So the rejection of this concept doesn't feel like it lies in any sort of malice, it just doesn't map up to the 300 follow-up that Warner Bros. was probably expecting.

But then there’s the other elephant in the room in the fact that the last time Warner Bros dared to make a movie in this wheelhouse, it was Oliver Stone’s mythic bomb Alexander. Starring Colin Farrell as Alexander, and Jared Leto as Hephaestion, the movie that did, to a certain extent, address the relationship that Zack Snyder wanted to tackle. However, Stone's version of events was a huge failure that lost millions at the box office, and would go on to have three alternate cuts on home video. So you can see where Warner Bros. would be just a bit gun shy about repeating history with a similar-sounding project.

Still, it’s hard to ignore how awesome this concept, born out of a 300 franchise capstone we’ll never see, maybe/possibly/could have been. It also doesn’t help that Zack Snyder is having fun with talking it up a little more, as he even revealed the film’s title, and it sounds as cool as you’d think. Here’s the last word on Snyder’s Blood and Ashes:

But there was that concept, and it came out really great. It’s called Blood and Ashes, and it’s a beautiful love story, really, with warfare. I would love to do it, [WB] said no… you know, they’re not huge fans of mine. It is what it is.

After watching Zack Snyder’s Justice League, the command of such an epic story in the writer/director’s hands could have been just what the historical movie genre called for. But Blood and Ashes, not matter how epic it sounds, doesn't match up with the expectations of a 300 sequel, and ultimately Warner Bros. ended up passing on the project. Still, much like it did with Army of the Dead, there's always the outside chance that Netflix or another streamer one day could turn this pitch around (maybe possibly/could) and get this project moving. For now, we'll just have to wait and see how Zack Snyder's latest does upon its current theatrical release, as well as its streaming debut, set to take place this Friday.


Let's begin with Diodorus Siculus and his sprawling work, The Library of History, which purports to tell the history of a large part of the world (include Greece, Egypt, Persia, India and parts of Europe) from the Trojan War to the 1st century BCE.

We know very little about Diodorus, except that he was from Sicily and wrote during the 1st century BCE. This means that, of the five best surviving sources on Alexander's campaigns, Diodorus was closest to the historical time period of wrote about. But this doesn't necessarily make him the most reliable. The accuracy of Diodorus' account, which deals in some mythic events, has been debated by critics.

Regardless, how does Diodorus describe Alexander's companion Hephaestion? Is there anything special about his account compared to the others we've looked at?

As his account begins at Alexander's succession to the throne of Macedon, Diodorus does not provide us any insight into how Alexander and Hephaestion may have met. He also omits any reference to Hephaestion at Troy, merely stating that Alexander visited the tombs of the heroes and honored them.

The first mention of Hephaestion in this work comes after the Battle of Issus, when Alexander visits the captured Persian royal family. Here, Diodorus tells a similar version of the story told by Curtius and Arrian. Hephaestion, Diordorus tells us, was "the most valued of his friends", in addition to being taller and more handsome than Alexander. When Queen Sisygambis mistakenly bows before Hephaestion, Alexander tells her not to worry, "for actually he too is Alexander" (XVII, 37).

The next interesting mention comes much later, during the decisive Battle of Guagamela, when Diodorus tells us that Hephaestion was wounded by an enemy spear. He refers to Hephaestion as the commander of the king's bodyguards.

However, according to the footnote, this doesn't add up. It explains that, at the time of this battle, Hephaestion was not yet a member of Alexander's most elite group of advisers/bodyguards, known as the "Somatophylakes" (Note: According to Wikipedia, Hephaestion actually was a member in 331 BCE). In addition, this group, which normally consisted of seven men, apparently did not have a commander.

Finally, the most prominent discussion about Hephaestion in this account comes after his death. Diodorus reports that Alexander loved Hephaestion more than any of his friends. Once, when a companion had compared Hephaestion to Craterus, another of Alexander's closest friends, Alexander responded by explaining that Craterus was "king-loving" while Hephaestion was "Alexander-loving" (XVII, 114).

In other words, Hephaestion admired Alexander as a person, not merely a leader. This piece of evidence may not suggest a romantic relationship between Alexander and Hephaestion, but it does suggest a personal relationship beyond what was normal for a king and one of his commanders or subjects.

The way Hephaestion's interacted with Alexander's mother, Olympias, reinforces the strength of his relationship with the king. According to Diodorus, Olympias was jealous of Hephaestion's intimate relationship with Alexander and slandered him in letters to her son. Hephaestion responded with a letter of his own, which said:

Hephaestion could only get away with sending orders to the queen if he had Alexander's full trust and support.

Curtius reports, "He scorned sensual pleasures to such an extent that his mother was anxious lest he be unable to beget offspring." To encourage a relationship with a woman, King Philip and Olympias were said to have brought in a high-priced Thessalian courtesan named Callixena. According to Athenaeus, Callixena was employed by Olympias out of fear that Alexander was "womanish" (γύννις), and his mother used to beg him to sleep with the courtesan, apparently to no success. [1] [2] [3] Some modern historians, such as James Davidson, see this as evidence of Alexander's homosexuality. [2] However, the ancient sources report Alexander as sexually active with women throughout his life and how in adulthood he brought concubines to bed every night. One instance tells of him spending thirteen days making love with a tribe-leader of woman-warriors hailing from the Caucasus mountains. [4]

Ancient authors see this and other anecdotes as proof of Alexander's self-control in regards to sensual pleasures, and accounts are also known of Alexander's stern refusal to accept indiscreet offers from men who tried to pimp him male prostitutes, among whom, according to Aeschines and Hypereides, was the renowned Athenian orator Demosthenes. According to Carystius (as quoted by Athenaeus), when Alexander praised the beauty of a boy at a gathering, probably a slave belonging to one Charon of Chalcis, the latter asked the boy to kiss Alexander, but Alexander refused, to spare Charon the embarrassment of having to share his boy's affections. [5]

According to Plutarch, the only woman with whom Alexander had sex before his first marriage was Barsine, daughter of Artabazos II of Phrygia but of Greek education. There is speculation that he may have fathered a child, Heracles, of her in 327 BC. Mary Renault, however, was skeptical of such a story:

No record at all exists of such a woman accompanying his march nor of any claim by her, or her powerful kin, that she had born him offspring. Yet twelve years after his death a boy was produced, seventeen years old. a claimant and shortlived pawn in the succession wars. no source reports any notice whatever taken by him of a child who, Roxane's being posthumous, would have been during his lifetime his only son, by a near-royal mother. In a man who named cities after his horse and dog, this strains credulity. [6]

Regardless, ancient reports state that Alexander and Barsine became lovers, as Alexander was enthralled by her beauty and knowledge of Greek literature. [4]

Alexander married three times: to Roxana of Bactria, Stateira, and Parysatis, daughter of Ochus. He fathered at least one child, Alexander IV of Macedon, born by Roxana shortly after his death in 323 BC. There is speculation that Stateira could have been pregnant when she died if so, she and her child played no part in the succession battles which ensued after his death.

Diodorus Siculus writes, "Then he put on the Persian diadem and dressed himself in the white robe and the Persian sash and everything else except the trousers and the long-sleeved upper garment. He distributed to his companions cloaks with purple borders and dressed the horses in Persian harness. In addition to all this, he added concubines to his retinue in the manner of Darius, in number not less than the days of the year and outstanding in beauty as selected from all the women of Asia. Each night these paraded about the couch of the king so that he might select the one with whom he would lie that night. Alexander, as a matter of fact, employed these customs rather sparingly and kept for the most part to his accustomed routine, not wishing to offend the Macedonians." [7]

According to Plutarch, Alexander once sought a sexual encounter with Theodorus's music girl, saying to him that "if you don't have lust for your music-girl, send her to me for ten talents." [8]

Aristotle Edit

Aristotle was the head of the royal academy of Macedon and, in 343 BC, Philip II of Macedon invited him to serve as the tutor for the prince, Alexander. [9] Alexander received inspiration for his eastward conquests, as Aristotle was encouraged to become: "a leader to the Greeks and a despot to the barbarians, to look after the former as after friends and relatives, and to deal with the latter as with beasts or plants" Aristotle held ethnocentric views against Persia, which estranged him and Alexander as the latter adopted a few of the Persian royal customs and clothing. This tension led to ancient rumors that painted Aristotle as a suspect for Alexander’s death, but this rumor spread based on a single claim made six years after Alexander’s passing. [10]

Alexander also received his primary education on the Persian customs and traditions through Aristotle. Aristotle’s tutelage is also attributed as the reason why Alexander brought an entourage of zoologists, botanists, philosophers, and other researchers on his expeditions deep into the east. Through those expeditions Alexander discovered that much of the geography he learned from Aristotle was plainly wrong. Upon Aristotle’s publication of his geographic work, Alexander lamented: [11]

Alexander the Great: Myth, Genesis and Sexuality

Daniel Ogden’s book is as much about the dynamics of the appropriation and retrojection of myths and symbols as is it is about Alexander the Great. As such, it will repay the attention of a readership far broader than the community of Alexander and Hellenistic scholars to which it is obviously directed. To its principle target, in particular to those Alexander scholars keen on employing psychoanalytic or gender-driven approaches, Ogden offers a long-overdue, though not entirely new, corrective. Regardless of their specific interest and approaches, though, most readers will profit from a preliminary look at and regular referral to Ogden’s pp. 185-188, where they will find an admirably clear overview of each of the book’s chapters and of its conclusions.

The first of those chapters, “Son of the Thunderbolt,” analyzes the content and chronology of a trio of Alexander’s birth myths, one involving a lion, another a thunderbolt, and a third a serpent. In Ogden’s view, the lion myth, an early tale, allowed for the double parentage of Philip and Zeus the second, which typically incorporated an eagle in combination with a thunderbolt—both standard symbols of Zeus and thereby associated with the lineage of the Argead dynasty—appears on some of Alexander’s coins. These, together with the same iconography on assorted Ptolemaic issues, popularized the eagle/thunderbolt version of Alexander’s parentage the third—the serpent tale—, while it divorced Philip from the fathering of Alexander, preceded any connection between Alexander’s sire and Ammon, who was identified with the ram, not the serpent.

An investigation of Alexander’s serpent father and visualizations of his coupling with Olympias comprises Chapter Two, “Son of the Serpent.” Although P Oxy. no. 4808, col. i, lines 9-17, 1 which seems to make Cleitarchus a teacher of Ptolemy IV Philopater (born ca. 244) and thereby points to a birth-date for the historian of around 310, would require some modification of Ogden’s absolute chronology (cf. Ogden, pp. 31 and 183), it does not compromise his argument that Ptolemy I initiated the merging the serpent-sire and Ammon-sire traditions, in the process facilitating subsequent associations with a wider array of deities. Of these—Agathos Daimon, Asclepius, Dionysus, Meilichios, Sabazius, and Sarapis—, Ogden makes a strong case for Meilichios as the god in earliest version of this tradition.

Chapter Three, “Son of the Ram,” reviews the Macedonian foundation myths of Macedon, Caranus, Perdiccas, Midas, and Archelaus the imagery of rams, goats, and sheep and sirings by Zeus therein and the impact of these stories on the Alexander tradition and on Alexander himself. With respect to the last, Ogden suggests that the ubiquity of these animals in Macedonian lore and in the iconography of Ammon prompted Alexander’s wish to visit that god’s oracle at Siwah.

Chapter 4, “Son of the Eagle”— the conclusions to which (pp. 108-110) should be read before the chapter and perhaps before the book itself—examines the presence of Alexander birth myths in the foundation myths of various Hellenistic dynasties the claim of Ptolemy, son of Lagus, to be the illegitimate son of Philip II and offspring of Zeus and the coincident iconography of eagles and thunderbolts—a pairing central, too, to the Seleucids. Ogden further observes that the Ptolemies and Seleucids forged additional connections to the Argead dynasty through Heracles and, by extension, Perseus, in the latter case, with implications for Egypt and Persia.

Chapter 5, “Son of the Witch,” employs Macedonian court polygamy to illuminate the circumstances of Alexander’s rearing. Much of this ground Ogden has covered previously in his Polygamy, Prostitutes and Death: The Hellenistic Dynasties (London: Duckworth, 1999). Here, as he did there, Ogden convincingly counters ancient and modern claims that Alexander was at best (or worst) “restrained or even undermotivated in sex” (p. 122), though one should perhaps be wary of what a comparison of Alexander’s impregnation rate of 1 per 2.7 years from his first attested offspring to his death to Philip’s 1 to 3.1 ratio actually reveals about their respective libidos or fertility.

Chapters 6, “Alexander’s Wives,” and 7, “Alexander’s Dalliances,” nicely mesh. Among the noteworthy conclusions of the former are that almost all we know of Roxane derives from “the vigorously fictive tradition that followed her” (p. 133) and that Barsine—perhaps a childhood companion of Alexander—was, whatever their precise relationship, a woman whose “primary purpose was the production of [Alexander’s] heirs” and who “may have had a profound influence [on] Alexander’s developing ambitions for the destiny of his empire” (p. 142). The verdict of the latter chapter is that, though Alexander “is associated more with women in the extant historical sources than is any other Macedonian king” (p. 143), these accounts—mainly of courtesans or of local queens who, whether real or made-up, wished to become mothers to Alexander—“are so obviously and heavily fictionalised that they can offer us nothing in the attempt to [reconstruct] even the broader sexual codes of the Macedonian court, … let alone Alexander’s own sexuality” (p. 143).

Chapter 8, “Alexander’s Men,” focuses mainly on Hephaestion and Bagoas the eunuch, with a nod to Excipinos (cf. Curtius Rufus 7.9.19 and Ogden’s n. 34 at p. 239) and a somewhat surprising tip of hat to Hector, son of Parmenio (pp. 171-173). With respect to Hephaestion and Alexander, Ogden concludes that, if ancient traditions of a homoerotic relationship between them are not just an attempt to provide a backstory for what Alexander’s contemporaries seem to have viewed as his excessive grief over Hephaestion’s death, the most likely model for any homoerotic bond is “the training bodies for [age-peers] that are found in a number of [ancient] Greek societies” (p. 166), in Macedon most closely associated with the institution of the Royal Pages. As for Bagoas, Ogden holds that the testimony of Curtius Rufus “is simply too good, and should not be used to draw any conclusions about the nature of Alexander’s relationship with Bagoas, or about the development of it” (p. 170). Those familiar with the programmatic power of Ernst Badian’s “The Eunuch Bagoas,” Classical Quarterly 8 (1958), pp. 145-157, on that scholar’s body of work on Alexander and of the impact of those studies on modern Alexander scholarship in general will recognize that this is important stuff. 2

Chapter 9, “Alexander the Gynnis,” treats Alexander’s alleged effeminacy, which Ogden rightly links to the suspect story, traceable to Theophrastus, of the courtesan Callixeina. This theme Ogden views as a reflection of a tradition in which Alexander succumbed either to the real or imagined temptations of the East and to a fatal attraction—if not Alexander’s own, then one attributed to him as early as Theophrastus—to Dionysus. Whatever its origin, this strand of our sources again “has little to tell us of the actual sexuality of Alexander the Great” (p. 184).

Ogden’s conclusion (pp. 185-189) is a succinct, chapter-by-chapter recapitulation of his argument and method, at the end of which he makes an important distinction between his own and W. W. Tarn’s take on Alexander’s sexuality. 3 Unlike Tarn’s straight and restrained conqueror, Ogden’s Alexander is heterosexually active to a degree that coincides closely with “the patterns of sex life reconstructable for Philip … and for other Macedonian kings” (p. 188) that may strike some today as promiscuous. Ample notes (pp. 189-251) and bibliography (pp. 252-270) follow. Twenty-four images, most of them helpful drawings by Eriko Ogden, enhance the text.

There are a few slips in proofreading, e.g., “relate” for “relates” (p. 30) “if it, is” for “if it is (p. 53) “on” rather than “of” (p. 142) “reconstuct” for “reconstruct” (p. 143) a redundant “in” (p. 147) “it her to” and “it him to” (p. 149) and “Theophrastus” for “Theopompus” (p. 158, with a mistaken citation of Athenaeus 595a-c as 585a-c). P. 230, n. 14, overstates Elizabeth Carney’s non-committal position on the character of Roxane’s wedding ceremony. 4

Given Ogden’s dissection of Curtius Rufus’ account of Bagoas, Lloyd Gunderson’s, “Quintus Curtius Rufus: On His Historical Methods in the Historiae Alexandri ” deserved notice. 5 Exegesis of Aeschines’ Against Timarchus 166-169, our earliest mention of Alexander, then around ten, and certainly pertinent to Ogden’s themes, would have been welcome. 6 Ogden’s identification of Bagoas the eunuch with a trierarch named Bagoas (pp. 244-245) will surprise many and, perhaps, convince a few. 7 Problematic, too, is Ogden’s take on Il. 24.130-131 (pp. 163-164, with p. 242, n. 63), which views the particle περ as an indication of contrast between intercourse with a woman as opposed to with a male. But the subsequent γάρ and what follows it in lines 131-132 seem to support J. D. Denniston’s understanding of the passage, strengthened by his reference to Od. 20.7, as Thetis’s contrast between the opportunity Achilles has for intercourse with a woman and the looming loss of that and all other pleasures in consequence of his imminent death. 8 P. 245, n. 103, misunderstands N. G. L. Hammond, Alexander the Great: King, Commander, Statesman (London: Chatto and Windus Ltd, 1981), p. 265, where Hammond’s “Hephaestion, Hector, and a Persian boy” is actually a dismissive reference to Mary Renault, The Nature of Alexander (New York: Pantheon Books, 1975), p. 113, rather than a postulation on Hammond’s part of a sexual relationship between Hector and Alexander.

Table of Contents

List of Figures.
1. Son of the Thunderbolt: Alexander’s Birth Myths and Their Dates.
The Birth Myths.
The Lion-seal.
The Thunderbolt.
The Serpent Sire and Its Tradition.
The Serpent Sire and the Debate over Alexander’s Paternity.
The Serpent Sire and Ammon.
2. Son of the Serpent: The Original Identity of Alexander’s Serpent Sire.
Alexander’s World of Serpents.
Patterns in the Alexander Serpent-lore.
The Original Identity of the Serpent Sire.
The Visualisation of the Seduction of Olympias.
3. Son of the Ram: Alexander as Heir to the Macedonian Foundation Myths.
The Interaction of Alexander’s Myths with the Foundation Myths.
4. Son of the Eagle: The Heirs to Alexander’s Birth Myths.
The Opportunities Offered by Alexander’s Myths.
Ptolemy Soter.
Seleucus Nicator: The Foundations of Antioch and Seleuceia.
Seleucus Nicator: Descent and Typologies.
Seleucus Nicator: Apollo as Sire.
Antigonus Monophthalmus and Demetrius Poliorcetes.
Other Hellenistic Dynasties and the Roman Empire.
5. Son of the Witch: Traditions of Polygamy in the Macedonian Court.
The Polygamous Structure of the Macedonian Court.
Olympias and Philinna: A War of Witches?
Alexander’s Family: Polygamy and Productivity.
6. Alexander’s Wives: Fact and Tradition.
7. Alexander’s Dalliances: Fact and Tradition.
Sons and Mothers: Encounters with Local Queens.
8. Alexander’s Men: Fact and Tradition.
The Enigma of Hephaestion.
Bagoas the Eunuch.
9. Alexander the Gynnis.
The Gynnis Tale.
What was a Gynnis ?
Alexander as a Gynnis.

1. Oxyrhynchus Papyri 71, edited by R. Hatzilambrou, P. J. Parsons, and J. Chapa (London: Egypt Exploration Society, 2007), pp. 27-36 and Plate IV, especially pp. 34-35.

2.That Ogden’s “Alexander’s Sex Life,” Alexander the Great: A New History, edited by Waldemar Heckel and Lawrence A. Tritle (Malden, MA: Wiley-Blackwell, 2009), pp. 203-217, covers some of the same ground, makes it no less so.

3. E.g., Alexander the Great II: Sources and Studies, (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1948), pp. 319-326.

4. Women and Monarchy in Macedonia (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 2000), pp. 106 and 288, n. 86.

5. Philip II, Alexander the Great and the Macedonian Heritage, edited by W. Lindsay Adams and Eugene Borza (Washington, D.C.: University Press of America, 1982), pp. 177-196.

6. Cf. Nick Fisher’s commentary, Aeschines: Against Timarchos (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2001), pp. 311-315.

7. Cf. Helmut Berve, Das Alexanderreich, Vol. II (Munich: Beck, 1926), nos. 195 and 194, respectively.

8. The Greek Particles 2 (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1954), p. 482.

Alexander’s metamorphosis after the battle at Gaugamela in 331 BC?

John Maxwell O’ Brien contends that Alexander the Great’s personality suffered a metamorphosis after the battle of Gaugamela in 331BC. This statement places O’ Brien on one side of an ongoing debate about the personality of Alexander. This contention is that Alexander was a good man and leader until he crossed into the East, where he became power-mad and corrupt. The other side of this argument has a more sympathetic view on Alexander’s behaviour in the East, whereby his actions can be explained as one of a cultural unifier. When discussing which side of these arguments holds more truth, one must discuss the elements of Alexander’s personality and behaviour after the Battle of Gaugamela, which gives credence to O’ Brien’s metamorphosis theory.

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The first and most obvious place to start is Alexander’s newfound ‘orientalism’, after his conquering of Persia. This included Alexander wearing elements of Persian dress, the appointment of 30,000 Persian ‘Epigoni’ and the attempted introduction of Persian customs, such as ‘proskynesis’. This caused much resentment towards Alexander from his Macedonian and Greek subjects, who saw this as Alexander favouring Persian ways over Macedonian. Issues arose from Alexander’s new Persian ideals such as bowing down before him (proskynesis), as Persians did to their King. This was something which the Macedonians were not accustomed to and “did not perform the act, considering it appropriate only for gods and, when performed for the Great King (who was not a god, though everything just short of it) as a mark of Oriental servility.” The historian Callisthenes was a loud voice in the objections to this practice and his denouncement of the act of proskynesis, and as he saw it, Alexander’s new god-like self-opinion, would find him implicated in a plot to assassinate Alexander.

The Essay on The Persian Letters Montesquieu God Religion

The Persian Letters The book The Persian Letters by Montesquieu is a fictional novel that was written by the author so he could comment on the society in which he was living. This novel has served as a good example of the ideas that were present during the early Enlightenment. There are many ideas and themes that Montesquieu discusses by using the point of view of two Persian travelers in Europe .

The ‘Pages Plot’ was important because it shows how formerly devoted followers of Alexander were suddenly compelled to plot against his life. The incident which supposedly led to this showed a difference in Alexander’s treatment of his people as Arrian described. “He was led to copy Persian extravagance and the habit of barbaric kings of treating their subjects as inferior beings.” Hermolaus orchestrated the plot because of his humiliating disciplining by the king after a hunting incident. When the plot was discovered Callisthenes was implicated and put to death like the others involved, although his involvement seemed unlikely. Before his death Hermolaus declared “That it is no longer possible for a free man to tolerate the arrogance of Alexander”. This declaration clearly shows a vast change in how Alexander was viewed by his subjects, and this can be traced to how Alexander was now treating them. It is difficult to accept that Hermolaus’s actions and words represented the majority of the Greeks and Macedonians, but it is clear that more of them were turning against Alexander because of his new Persian attitudes.

The execution of Philotas and the assassination of his father, the general Parmenion, was a vital and often divisive incident in the history of Alexander. “Few problems in the history of Alexander the Great have been a greater vexation to the historian than the execution of Philotas and the murder of his father, Parmenion, events that shed unfavourable light on Alexander’s character.” The execution of Philotas occurred because of the lack of warning he gave to Alexander, after apparently hearing of a plot against his life. He was found guilty of treason and sentenced to death. Parmenion was then brutally killed by Alexander because the Macedonian blood-feud would have meant that Parmenion would try to kill Alexander. The view of O’ Brien to this entire incident could be described as a gratuitous display of violence and brutality by Alexander against old and trustworthy friends. This however is not a fair assessment of this incident and the portrayal of it as a malicious act against innocent men is unlikely. Alexander was very loyal to old friends throughout his life, and he never brought such accusations against any of his other officers. Another point which refutes the arguments of the anti-Alexander writers on this subject is the fact that Alexander never seems to have felt any regret over his decision to execute Parmenion. This is odd in light of the fact that Alexander displayed a “bitter shame” over any actions he believed he had committed unjustly. Therefore, it stands to reason that the king felt entirely justified in his actions by the guilt of Philotas and his father Parmenion.

The Essay on Alexander Iii Persian Greek Horse

Alexander III According to Plutarch, Alexander was born on the sixth of Hecatomb aeon (July) in the year 356 B. C. He was the son of Philip, king of Macedon, and Olympias. Supposedly on the day he was born the temple of Artemis burnt down, signifying his future glory. Not much is known of the youth of Alexander. Itis known that he was taught by Aristotle and had a love of the Greek epic poems. One .

An incident which did leave Alexander with regret was the killing of Cleitus by his own hands. Cleitus was one of Alexander’s closest friends and had actually saved his life at Granicus. The argument started with a clash between the pro-Persian Macedonians and the old-guard (including Cleitus) at Maracanda. Cleitus insulted Alexander, particularly about his new ‘Oriental’ ways and he sneered at Alexander for preferring the company of servile types who “would prostrate themselves before his white tunic and his Persian girdle.” The argument resulted in Alexander running Cleitus through with a spear. This brutal murder of one of his closest friends is often pointed to as evidence of a change in the character of Alexander. He could no longer accept any criticisms or disagreements and this killing proved that nobody was safe from his egomaniacal rages. However the fact that he was so upset about this incident, to the point of suicide, demonstrated that he had not metamorphosed into this egoistical tyrant that some would have you believe. This incident reveals a man who was capable of making horrendous mistakes when inebriated and in the heat of anger. It clearly shows that Alexander was not a saint, but it does not in any way demonstrate that he had changed into a power-mad tyrant given to casual murder.

A final relevant incident which took place after the victory at Gaugamela was the burning of Persepolis in 330BC. According to Arrian, Alexander burnt it in order to gain revenge against the Persians. “Alexander replied that he wished to punish the Persians for their invasion of Greece, their destruction of Athens, the burning of the temples, and all manner of terrible things done to the Greeks because of these things, he was exacting revenge.” There is no good reason to doubt that this was the reason for the burning of the city, despite claims that it was done after a drunken celebration. These claims state that Alexander was swayed after an impassioned speech by an Athenian courtesan, Thais. Thais is never mentioned in Arrian’s account of this incident, therefore it is difficult to put any credence to this theory. By removing the theory of alcohol in the destruction of the city, one can only contend that its destruction was an act of policy. How does this fit in with O’ Brien’s metamorphosis argument? It would be fair to say that Alexander had a sound political mind and that the burning of Persepolis was done to garner credit from the Greeks and especially the Athenians. It was not the action of a man whose character had suddenly transformed, and it was always in the character of Alexander to be so rootless in one place in order to gain someplace else.

The Term Paper on Alexander The Great Persian Empire

Alexander the Great By Tina Leacock Long before the birth of Christ, the land directly above what we know as Greece today, was called Macedonia. Macedonia still exists, but it is now Bulgaria, Yugoslavia and modern Greece. Macedonia was considered to be part of ancient Greece, but the people of these two countries could not be more different. No people in history ever gave so much to the human .

It is difficult to state whether Maxwell O’ Brien’s statement about Alexander’s character is agreeable or not. In some instances there is obviously a clear change in the behaviour of the king. This is especially true in his newfound ‘Orientalism’. The reasons behind this can be explained differently to the contention that he was becoming more egotistical and self-aggrandising, although there is some undoubted truth in that as well. Could Alexander simply have been trying to create a merger between the cultures which he was now the ruler of? In some instances, such as the wearing of Persian clothes and the Epigoni, this is probably true. However such instances like the attempt to introduce proskynesis, point to a man whose success and power had started to get the better of him.

Alexander’s character is such a complicated one, which has been debated exhaustively over the years that, it is almost impossible to fully understand. There are many conflicting accounts offered to every incident of note in the life of Alexander. This means that somebody could make a compelling case to say that Alexander was anything between a saint and a megalomaniacal butcher. The truth probably lies somewhere in the middle. The only thing about Alexander’s character which can be said with any certainty is that it has engaged some of the greatest historical minds to try and comprehend it for over two thousand years and it continue to be debated for centuries to come.

The Term Paper on Alexander And The Great Crusade Alexanders Legacy

Alexander and the Great Crusade, Alexanders Legacy (1) Alexander the Great was born on July 21, 356 A.D. in the capital of Macedonia, Pella. He was a son of King Philip II of Macedon. According to a famous legend, Alexanders birth was being prophesized by the Oracle of Athens, who predicted future Macedonian king to become the greatest military leader of all times. However, at the time when .


Borza, Eugene N., ‘Fire From Heaven: Alexander at Persepolis’, Classical Philology, Vol. 67, No. 4 (Oct., 1972), pp. 233-245.

Bosworth, A.B. & Baynham, E.J., Alexander the Great in Fact and Fiction, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2002.

Bosworth, A.B., Alexander and the East: The Tragedy of Triumph, Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1998.

Bury, J.B. & Meiggs Russell, A history of Greece to the death of Alexander the Great, Houndsmills, Basingstoke, Hampshire: Macmillan Education, 1975.

Hammond, N.G.L., A History of Greece to 322BC, Oxford [Oxfordshire]: Clarendon Press New York: Oxford University Press, 1986.

Heckel, Waldemar, ‘The Conspiracy Against Philotas’, Phoenix, Vol. 31, No. 1 (Spring, 1977), pp. 9-21.

Hornblower, Simon, The Greek World: 479-323BC, London Methuen, 1983.

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