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Alexander the Great & Hephaestion

andrew potter
Alexander III of Macedon (20/21 July 356 – 10/11 June 323 BC), commonly known as Alexander the Great, was a king of Macedon, a state in northern ancient Greece. Born in Pella in 356 BC, Alexander was tutored by Aristotle until the age of 16. By the age of thirty, he had created one of the largest empires of the ancient world, stretching from the Ionian Sea to the Himalayas. He was undefeated in battle and is considered one of history's most successful commanders. Hephaestion (c. 356 BC – 324 BC), son of Amyntor, was a Macedonian nobleman and a general in the army of Alexander the Great. He was "... by far the dearest of all the king's friends; he had been brought up with Alexander and shared all his secrets."

Alexander conquered most of the known world. He also conquered the young eunuchs Bagoas and Medius. Alexander’s relationships with his youthful aides would not have seemed unusual in ancient Greece, particularly among soldiers. In his Lives, Plutarch recounts an episode (also mentioned by Athenaios and Dicaearchus) during festivities when Alexander’s army was returning from India: "Bagoas sat down close by him, which so pleased the Macedonians, that they made loud acclarnations for him to kiss Bagoas, and never stopped clapping their hands and shouting till Alexander put his arms round him and kissed him." (Picture: Hephaestion)

Alexander’s most intimate relationship was with his cavalry commander, Hephaestion. They made sacrifices together at shrines in Troy, identifying their own love with that of the mythical Achilles and Patroclus. Alexander was devastated by Hephaestion’s death and soothed his grief with an elaborate and extremely expensive funeral.

Alexander succeeded his father, Philip II of Macedon, to the throne in 336 BC after Philip was assassinated. Upon Philip's death, Alexander inherited a strong kingdom and an experienced army. He was awarded the generalship of Greece and used this authority to launch his father's military expansion plans. In 334 BC, he invaded Achaemenid- ruled Asia Minor and began a series of campaigns that lasted ten years. Alexander broke the power of Persia in a series of decisive battles, most notably the battles of Issus and Gaugamela. He subsequently overthrew the Persian King Darius III and conquered the entirety of the Persian Empire. At that point, his empire stretched from the Adriatic Sea to the Indus River.


Alexander the Great and Hephaestion by Sven de Rennes
Alexander the Great was king of Macedon, a state in northern ancient Greece. Hephaestion, son of Amyntor, was a Macedonian nobleman and a general in the army of Alexander the Great. He had been brought up with Alexander and shared all his secrets. They made sacrifices together at shrines in Troy, identifying their own love with that of the mythical Achilles and Patroclus. Alexander was devastated by Hephaestion death and soothed his grief with an elaborate and extremely expensive funeral.

Seeking to reach the "ends of the world and the Great Outer Sea", he invaded India in 326 BC, but was eventually forced to turn back at the demand of his troops. Alexander died in Babylon in 323 BC, without executing a series of planned campaigns that would have begun with an invasion of Arabia. In the years following his death, a series of civil wars tore his empire apart, resulting in several states ruled by the Diadochi, Alexander's surviving generals and heirs.

Alexander's legacy includes the cultural diffusion his conquests engendered. He founded some twenty cities that bore his name, most notably Alexandria in Egypt. Alexander's settlement of Greek colonists and the resulting spread of Greek culture in the east resulted in a new Hellenistic civilization, aspects of which were still evident in the traditions of the Byzantine Empire in the mid-15th century. Alexander became legendary as a classical hero in the mold of Achilles, and he features prominently in the history and myth of Greek and non-Greek cultures. He became the measure against which military leaders compared themselves, and military academies throughout the world still teach his tactics.

Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alexander_the_Great

Further Readings:

Days of Love: Celebrating LGBT History One Story at a Time by Elisa Rolle
Paperback: 760 pages
Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform; 1 edition (July 1, 2014)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1500563323
ISBN-13: 978-1500563325
Amazon: Days of Love: Celebrating LGBT History One Story at a Time

Days of Love chronicles more than 700 LGBT couples throughout history, spanning 2000 years from Alexander the Great to the most recent winner of a Lambda Literary Award. Many of the contemporary couples share their stories on how they met and fell in love, as well as photos from when they married or of their families. Included are professional portraits by Robert Giard and Stathis Orphanos, paintings by John Singer Sargent and Giovanni Boldini, and photographs by Frances Benjamin Johnson, Arnold Genthe, and Carl Van Vechten among others. “It's wonderful. Laying it out chronologically is inspired, offering a solid GLBT history. I kept learning things. I love the decision to include couples broken by death. It makes clear how important love is, as well as showing what people have been through. The layout and photos look terrific.” Christopher Bram “I couldn’t resist clicking through every page. I never realized the scope of the book would cover centuries! I know that it will be hugely validating to young, newly-emerging LGBT kids and be reassured that they really can have a secure, respected place in the world as their futures unfold.” Howard Cruse “This international history-and-photo book, featuring 100s of detailed bios of some of the most forward-moving gay persons in history, is sure to be one of those bestsellers that gay folk will enjoy for years to come as reference and research that is filled with facts and fun.” Jack Fritscher


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Comments

( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
valarltd
Jun. 10th, 2013 02:49 pm (UTC)


My first encounter with Bagoas was in a Roxane PoV romance novel. It was...not flattering.

My second encounter was much better.
When people ask how Naomi and I came to write together, we just smile and say, "Once upon a time, Han Solo fell in love with Bagoas..."
elisa_rolle
Jun. 10th, 2013 03:15 pm (UTC)
i think i read that Bagoa's romance novel you said... don't remember much, so probably not good.
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )

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