Different colored eyes

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robbie
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Different colored eyes

Post by robbie »

Hi everyone!

1.Once and for all: did Alexander the Great have heterochromia - two different colored eyes?
2. Does anyone know what Robin Lane Fox or other modern historians think about this?
3. Are there any sources that confirm this? Didn't Plutatch say he did have two colors?


best,
Robert
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marcus
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Re: Different colored eyes

Post by marcus »

robbie wrote:1.Once and for all: did Alexander the Great have heterochromia - two different colored eyes?
2. Does anyone know what Robin Lane Fox or other modern historians think about this?
3. Are there any sources that confirm this? Didn't Plutatch say he did have two colors?
Hi Robert,

The only suggestion that Alexander had heterochromia comes from the Alexander Romance.

Plutarch doesn't say that his eyes were of different colour. In the Life of Alexander (4.1) he mentions the "melting glance"; and in Moralia he refers to the "liquid softness" of his eyes (De Fortuna 2.2, Mor 333d-345b).

I don't have time at the moment to check out what modern scholars have said about it; but I am sure that at least one has suggested that, if it were true, it might have been caused by one of the head injuries that Alexander suffered during the campaign - David Bowie famously has heterochromia, and that is believed to have been caused by a childhood injury.

Hope this helps, at least a little.

All the best
Marcus
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robbie
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Re: Different colored eyes

Post by robbie »

DEAR Marcus

Thank you so much...

I have posted a new topic, one that I found very, very strange... hope you could comment on it too..


Best, Robert
agesilaos
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Re: Different colored eyes

Post by agesilaos »

Mary Renault suggested the blow on the head at Cyropolis caused one pupil to dilate, but since the only source is the Romance it would be better to ignore it unless one wants to suggest reasons for Boukephalos' horns and penchant for flesh. :twisted: There was a discussion of this in a thread called 'Alexander's eyes' which you can access by searching the title.
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robbie
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Re: Different colored eyes

Post by robbie »

thank you for you reply...


best,
Robert
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chris_taylor
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Re: Different colored eyes

Post by chris_taylor »

robbie wrote:1.Once and for all: did Alexander the Great have heterochromia - two different colored eyes?
If you mean "was he born with two different coloured eyes", then once and for all: no :)

(1) congenital heterochromia is rare - about 1 in 250,000

(2) The human brain is an incredibly powerful facial-recognition-computer. It is conditioned to focus on the eye region and to register differences in facial symmetry. In other words: when we look at a face, we look at the eyes first and although we may not notice a minor abnormality that affects both eyes (= our brain discards the information as an extreme variation of normal), our brains will immediately register *differences* between eyes.

If Alexander had been born with two different eyes, every person he ever talked to face to face would have noticed AND COMMENTED on it: the King of Macedon, the Pharaoh of Egypt, the Great King of Persia has two different eyes!

Why would they comment on it? Because Alexander would have been the only human they'd ever see with the abnormality in their entire life.

It's inconceivable that all first hand accounts of something so unusual, known to so many, were irretrievably lost before they could find their way into Curtius or Plutarch.
marcus wrote:

I don't have time at the moment to check out what modern scholars have said about it; but I am sure that at least one has suggested that, if it were true, it might have been caused by one of the head injuries that Alexander suffered during the campaign - David Bowie famously has heterochromia, and that is believed to have been caused by a childhood injury.
Bowie has "acquired mydriasis" - his pupil is permanently wide, like you get from eyedrops at the opticians.

Chris.
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Re: Different colored eyes

Post by Nicator »

agesilaos wrote:Mary Renault suggested the blow on the head at Cyropolis caused one pupil to dilate, but since the only source is the Romance it would be better to ignore it unless one wants to suggest reasons for Boukephalos' horns and penchant for flesh. :twisted: There was a discussion of this in a thread called 'Alexander's eyes' which you can access by searching the title.
Yes, we've covered this topic a few times. It bares mentioning that Mary Renault was, if memory serves, a trained nurse. And the black pupil Alexander likely had was a temporary phenomenon caused by concussion somewhere in Bactria, when he was stoned and pelted from all sides.
Later Nicator

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Alexander began, his grand plan, invoked...

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