21. November 2004 · Comments Off on Alexander The Gay · Categories: General

I can’t believe the lawsuit trying to force Warne Bros. to put a disclaimer in the opening credits of the new movie Alexander, due to references to his sexuality. I thought it was common knowledge to even a casual student of history, such as myself, that Alexander was at least bisexual, if not gay. But for the real lowdown, there’s this from Marc Millner, a grad student in Greek Classical Studies at the University of Washington:

So was he gay? The consensus among scholars is clear: Although Alexander occasionally slept with women, he preferred men.

And the man he preferred most was his boyfriend Hephaestion. They met when they were teens and remained lovers until Hephaestion died nineteen years later. The most respected scholars are not reticent about Alexander’s sexual appetites. For example, earlier this month Peter Green, author of the widely respected Alexander of Macedon: A Historical Biography recently appeared in The History Channel’s documentary on Alexander and was quite blunt about Hephaestion being the love of Alexander’s life. In a recent article for the New Republic, Green went even further quoting an anecdote the ancient philosopher Theophrastus attributes to his teacher Aristotle, who was also Alexander’s tutor: “Both Philip and Olympias [Alexander’s parents] were scared that their adolescent son was showing signs of becoming a gynnis, a ‘femme’ invert, and actually imported a high-class courtesan [hooker] to straighten out his sexual drive.”

And certainly the consensus among the academics who exchange ideas on Pothos.org, the most widely respected and renowned international site for serious Alexander scholars, is that Alexander was in love with Hephaestion and had an affair with the Persian eunuch, Bagoas.

Oddly enough, the most interesting take on Alexander’s sexuality comes from two non-academics–Michael Alvear and his sister Vicky Alvear Shecter. They co-wrote the first historically accurate comic biography on antiquity’s greatest warrior, Alexander the Fabulous: The Man Who Brought the World to Its Knees.

An interesting article, if you care to read the whole thing.

What also amazes me is that this lawsuit is being filed by an actual group of Greek (not Greek-Ameican) lawyers, as we always hear from those in Europe that we are entirely too Victorian about such things.

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