Hephaestion and alexander relationship memes

Personal relationships of Alexander the Great - Wikipedia

hephaestion and alexander relationship memes

And I think if Alexander loved Hephaistion, he would have wanted to do what he flaunting a physical relationship with Hephaistion past the "proper" age. . Not that I really understand where this meme that pops up in a lot of. Hephaestion son of Amyntor, was an ancient Macedonian nobleman and a general in the army of Alexander the Great. He was. "Hephaestion was the one whom Alexander loved, and for the rest of their lives their relationship remained as intimate as it is now irrecoverable: Alexander was .

Arrian discreetly draws no conclusions from this, but, according to Thomas R. Martin, by no means does the identification of Alexander and Hephaestion with Achilles and Patroclus equate to their being homosexuals as Homerauthor of the Iliad, never suggested that Achilles and his close friend Patroclus were homosexual or that they had sexual relations.

Martin further suggests this concept was theorized by unspecified "later authors", [36] who include however such eminent writers as Aeschylus and Plato [55] that had lived before Alexander and Hephaestion's time. Thus, according to Robin Lane Fox quite different conclusions can be drawn: Already the two were intimate, Patroclus and Achilles even to those around them; the comparison would remain to the end of their days and is proof of their life as lovers, for by Alexander's time, Achilles and Patroclus were agreed to have enjoyed the relationship which Homer himself had never directly mentioned.

Martin, homosexual affairs were seen as abnormal by majority Greek standards of their time. According to Eva Cantarellafor instance, male bisexuality was widely permitted and ruled by law, and generally not frowned upon by the public to the extent to which it remained within the preset limits.

hephaestion and alexander relationship memes

The Greeks used to approach the relationships between men in a very different way from how they will be dealt with today with exceptions of course. For the Greeks "homosexuality was not an exclusive choice.

Loving another man was not an option out of the norm, different, somehow deviant. It was just a part of life experience; it was the show of an either sentimental or sexual drive that, over a lifetime, alternated and was associated sometimes at the very same time with love for a woman".

Some Roman and later writers, taking the Athenian pattern as their example, have tended to assume either that Alexander and Hephaestion had a sexual relationship which belonged to their adolescence, after which they left it behind, or that one of them was older, the lover erastes and the other was the beloved eromenos despite there being scarcely any direct evidence that Alexander and Hephaestion had a sexual relationship at all.

As Robin Lane Fox says, "descendants of the Dorians were considered and even expected to be openly homosexual, especially among their ruling class, and the Macedonian kings had long insisted on their pure Dorian ancestry".

Lucianwriting in his book On Slips of the Tongue, [63] describes an occasion when Hephaestion's conversation one morning implied that he had been in Alexander's tent all night, and Plutarch [64] describes the intimacy between them when he tells how Hephaestion was in the habit of reading Alexander's letters with him, and of a time when he showed that the contents of a letter were to be kept secret by touching his ring to Hephaestion's lips. Diogenes of Sinope, in a letter written to Alexander when he was a grown man, accuses Alexander of being "ruled by Hephaestion's thighs".

As Andrew Chugg says, "it is surely incredible that Alexander's reaction to Hephaestion's death could indicate anything other than the closest relationship imaginable". In the context of the nature of their relationship however, one stands out as remarkable.

What was the REAL relationship Between Alexander the Great and Hephaestion? | Ancient Origins

Arrian says that Alexander "flung himself on the body of his friend and lay there nearly all day long in tears, and refused to be parted from him until he was dragged away by force by his Companions". In this picture we can see Hephaestion point out Alexander. Such an all-encompassing love often leaves little room for other affections. Hephaestion was the best friend of Alexander, his king and his commanding officer, so it is not surprising that we only hear of several other close friendships or attachments in his life.

There is no evidence, however, that he was anything but popular and well liked among the group of Alexander's close friends and Companions who had grown up together, and worked well together for so many years. It is possible that he was closest to Perdiccasbecause it was with Perdiccas that he went on the mission to take Peuceolatis and bridge the Indus. By that time, as Alexander's effective second-in-command, he could doubtless have chosen any officer he cared to name.

It is notable that their two cavalry regiments in particular were selected by Alexander for the dangerous crossing of the river Hydaspes before the battle with the Indian king, Porus.

On that occasion superb teamwork would have been of paramount importance. Outside the close-knit coterie of the Macedonian high command he had his enemies.

This is clear from Arrian's comment about Alexander's grief: Arrian [71] mentions a quarrel with Alexander's secretary Eumenes but, because of a missing page in the text, the greater part of the detail is missing, leaving only the conclusion that something persuaded Hephaestion, though against his will, to make up the quarrel.

However, Plutarch, who wrote about Eumenes in his series of Parallel Lives[72] mentions that it was about lodgings and a flute-player, so perhaps this was an instance of some deeper antagonism breaking out into a quarrel over a triviality.

hephaestion and alexander relationship memes

What that antagonism might have been, it is not possible to know, but someone with the closeness to the king of a secretary might well have felt some jealousy for Hephaestion's even greater closeness. In only one instance is Hephaestion known to have quarrelled with a fellow officer and that was with Craterus. In this instance it is easier to see that resentment might have been felt on both sides, for Craterus was one of those officers who vehemently disliked Alexander's policy of integrating Greek and Persian, whereas Hephaestion was very much in favour.

Plutarch tells the story: Once on the expedition to India they actually drew their swords and came to blows It is a measure of how high feelings were running over this contentious issue that such a thing should have happened and also an indication of how closely Hephaestion identified Alexander's wishes with his own.

Hephaestion gave perhaps the ultimate proof of this in the summer of BC, when he accepted as his wife Drypetis, daughter of Darius and sister to Alexander's own second wife Stateira.


They became brothers-in-law, and yet there was more to it than that. Alexander, says Arrian "wanted to be uncle to Hephaestion's children". They arrived in the autumn and it was there, during games and festivals, that Hephaestion fell ill with a fever. Arrian says that after the fever had run for seven days, Alexander had to be summoned from the games to Hephaestion, who was seriously ill.

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He did not arrive in time; by the time he got there, Hephaestion was dead. His meal, however, seems to have caused a relapse that led to his rapid death. Precisely why this should have happened is not known. As Mary Renault says, "This sudden crisis in a young, convalescent man is hard to account for.

And third, you have Alexander's association with Achilles and Hephaestion's with Patroclus. For some, this association is the strongest evidence pointing toward a romantic relationship.

For others, it is little more than pro-Alexander propaganda invented after his death. Below, I'll explore all three of these areas and conclude with a theory of my own. Sir Kenneth Dover's careful analysis of this kind of same-sex affair in modern times led to the popularization of the "Dover model" for understanding ancient Greek homosexuality.

Most of the evidence comes from Athens, which may distort our perspective.

alexander + hephaestion - sights

More warlike places such as Sparta and Macedon had slightly different expectations about expressing same-sex desire. For instance, a younger partner's athleticism and skill in battle may be valued above his beauty in these places whereas in Athens, beauty was paramount.

It's also possible that affairs between militaristic youth of a similar age were more common in Macedon than in Athens. I do not necessarily think, however, that they were still physically intimate in their latter years, though they may have been.

Mostly, I don't think it greatly significant to the affection they held for one another pg. The Sacred Band of Thebeswidely considered Greece's most lethal fighting force before the rise of Macedon, was allegedly composed solely of pairs of male lovers. The underpinning logic was that the men fought more bravely with their lovers by their side.

There is evidence to suggest that Philip and Alexander, although rivals of the Sacred Band, greatly admired the group's spirit.

hephaestion and alexander relationship memes

Plutarch reports that after defeating them at the Battle of Chaeronea in BCE, Philip wept and cursed anyone who had ever questioned their lifestyle Parallel Lives, Pelopidas. Even though modern scholars have developed theories to explain certain kinds of same-sex relationships in certain regions, much about how the Greeks, especially the Macedonians, viewed homosexuality remains unclear. We know male same-sex relations occurred in many circumstances, as Philip II Alexander's father and other earlier Argead kings got caught up in drama with their younger male lovers.

And we know that same-sex intimacy was associated with masculine virtues, at least in some cases like with the Sacred Band of Thebes. But it remains difficult to account for the full range of same-sex relations and norms in ancient Macedon.

If new evidence can answer enough of the lingering questions, a clearer portrait of Alexander and Hephaestion could come into focus. To my knowledge, the key contemporary biographers of Alexander do not mention any sexual or romantic relations between the pair. If they were in fact lovers, this strikes me as odd.

Were Alexander the Great and Hephaestion lovers?

There is an argument that says that because same-sex affairs were common in 4th century Greece, Alexander's biographers didn't need to explicitly mention it. Defenders of this view say that these writers provided enough clues for readers to assume that which was obvious.

In addition, it can be reasonably assumed that if the precise nature of his affair with Hephaestion was frowned upon by conventional standards, it may have been in the best interest of contemporary historians especially those using Alexander's legend to further their political aims to downplay the romantic aspects of this relationship.

While these explanations are plausible, I am not convinced. Many, many people wrote about Alexander's life at the time and in the immediate decades that followed. Are we supposed to believe that not one of them was willing to directly address the proverbial elephant in the room if there even was one? Regardless of what reason one subscribes to, one has to admit that it says something that none of the biographers we know about were willing to just come out with it. Alexander's alleged association with Achilles There are many parallels between Alexander the Great and the mythological Greek hero Achilles.

Most obviously, they were both Greek warriors who led armies against Eastern civilizations. According to credible ancient sources, Alexander admired and envied Achilles who he believed was his ancestor on his mother's side. I think its no accident that Alexander wanted these shrines built in the city Alexander had founded with the intent of it becoming the great port-city of the Mediterranean?

Side question- does anyone know what happened to Hephaistion's ashes after he was burned? Was it even intended for the ashes to be gathered given how huge the pyre was? If the ashes were never intended to be gathered, does anyone know what was meant to be Hephaistion's symbolic final resting place?

Did having a place to visit that contained some part of the deceased person's mortal remains have the same significance to Alexander and contemporaries as it would to modern Westerners? Also, Alexander made a effort to get the ritual worship of Hephaistion under way in the months before Alex died, organizing the first sacrifices to Heph as a divine hero, and ordering contracts to be sworn in Hephaistion's name, etc.

It seems to me that if Alexander had lived long enough to see to completion his plans for Hephaistion's memorials, Heph may very well have ended up with gigantic monuments to him scattered all over the world.

And if Alexander had lived long enough for his son to grow up and start an dynasty, Alexander may very well have done other things to memorialize Heph that none of the generals who went on to squabble over Alexander's empire had any motive to do.

I feel like Hephaisiton is a mysterious figure in many ways which intrigues me and yet so many people just dismiss him. I mean I guess it's possible that Hephaistion was a fairly regular guy who just happened to have one of the most exceptional choose your own definition of that word people in history fall in love with him.

I mean, it happens like that sometimes.

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We humans aren't wholly rational, predictable creatures. The length and depth of Alexander's devotion towards Hephaistion tends however to make me think there must have been something exceptional about Hephaistion for Alexander to rate him so highly.

I think a large part of my own interest in Hephaistion arises from this mystery to me of what it was that made Alexander so enamored of him. For as much as I love Renault's books, I'm ultimately disappointed with how flat her Hephaistion seems as a character.

And I'm also quite disappointed with most modern historians dismissive assessment of him. Most of them that I've read seem outright hostile and I don't get why.

hephaestion and alexander relationship memes

I find it hard to believe that Alexander, who seemed so obsessed with excellence, would have publicly held Hephaistion in such high esteem if Alexander himself didn't rate Hephaistion's contributions immensely valuable. I have seen some intriguing stuff that posits Heph may have been involved in persuading Athens to back down from joining Sparta's rebellion against Alexander or that Heph may have been the man responsible for suborning by covert diplomacy the Persian governor of Babylon and arranging for him to turn against Darius at the battle of Gaugamala.

Has any historian really explored this idea?