Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Alexander the Great


Alexander the Great's father was Philip of Macedon. Philip had wives but also male lovers.

Philip was killed by a vengeful former lover, Pausanias, who had been rejected by the king for a prettier boy.

Young Alexander had a friend called Hephaestion. Both boys were tutored by Aristotle. Alexander was in love with Hephaestion.

Alexander was unmarried when he set off on his conquests.

Alexander led his army from Greece to the borders of India.

Alexander fell in love with a young man from Persia. Curtius describes him as, "... Bagoas, a eunuch exceptional in beauty and in the very flower of boyhood, with whom Darius was intimate and with whom Alexander would later be intimate."

Alexander made a political marriage when he married the daughter of the defeated king of Persia.

Hephaestion died of typhus. Alexander was grief stricken and he himself died some months later.

Robin Lane Fox in the book Alexander the Great:

"Hephaestion was the man Alexander loved...At the age of thirty Alexander was still Hephaestion's lover."

Mary Renault, in The Nature of Alexander :

"With Hephaestion he remained in love, at a depth where the physical becomes almost irrelevant; and years later Bagoas ( a young Persian) was still his recognized eromenos/lover"

Paul Cartledge, Professor of Greek History in the University of Cambridge:

"That he loved at least two men there can be little doubt. The first was the Macedonian noble Hephaestion, a friend from boyhood ... Macedonian and Greek mores would have favoured an actively sexual component rather than inhibiting or censoring it. Like hunting, homosexuality was thought to foster masculine, especially martial, bravery.

"The other non-female beloved of Alexander's was named Bagoas. He was not just a 'barbarian' (Persian) but also a eunuch.... Alexander's personal commitment to him seems to have attained levels of sexual intimacy that his Greek and Macedonian courtiers found embarrassing."

No comments: