don't use the word gay

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blackajax1
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don't use the word gay

Post by blackajax1 »

You shouldn't use the words, gay homosexual,
bi-sexual or pedophile in regards to the Ancient
Greeks because those words are connotative of
our modern views on sexuality, the Greeks had
another culture with a more tolerant view of
sexuality...As far as Alexander being a drunk, again that's
the wrongs word, but I think he enjoyed getting
drunk in the last years of his life because he
couldn't do what he really loved to do...plan
campaigns and fight battles. he had no desire
to sit on a throne and be a king or a ruler...he
wanted to campaign
ruthaki
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Re: don't use the word gay

Post by ruthaki »

Well said. We shouldn't put our modern morality on the ancient people. Same goes for the lyric poet Sappho who has become "muse" of all lesbians. Fact is, she was (in our modern terms, "Bisexual" the same as Alexander was. And in their society this wasn't unusual. (She ran a 'finishing school' for young girls, and yes, she 'loved' some of them and wrote poem/songs for them but she also had male lovers and was widowed at an early age.) As for Alexander's drinking: It seems that while they were away they started drinking their wine 'neat' rather than mixing it (probably because of impure water) and the Macedonians were a noted lot of drinkers (take a look at Philip's reputation). No doubt he also drank to ease the pain of injuries some of which were severe. I'm trying to remember the author of the book "The Invisible Enemy" which deals with this aspect of Alexander's life. Read it, as it is very intersting.
alexandersdesciple

Re: don't use the word gay

Post by alexandersdesciple »

ajax you are absolutely spot onAs I said before we never hear about any one calling the Hunn, vikings or the monguls drunks as they were heavy drinking cultures of war and pilage,
its always the same people of modern so called high virtues try to mock cultures 2000 years ago, and to be fair society and culture must be now much worse people still murdered and high injustices tollerated.Also calling ATL gay infuriates me I accept he did have bi relationships but as has been said he was a man of his times.NO one calls jesus who never had female relationships, infact he spent all of his private life with 12 men.To say ATG great married for political reasons, I dont particulaly think it is true, Alexander was his own man and did what he liked, he had children many wives and even wanted Hepeastion to marry Darius daughter so there children and them could be related.I do feel he had a very high respect for women in the way he was close to his mother and must have not liked all the treatment Philip put her through even though she was rather bad news, she was his mother.I accept gays but I dont like the idea of them claiming ALexander was totally gay.L:ets just say he was a man of a society long gone.regards Alexes Desciple
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neneh
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Re: don't use the word gay

Post by neneh »

"You shouldn't use the words, gay homosexual, bi-sexual or pedophile in regards to the Ancient Greeks /.../" I do agree that the words you mention are absolutely useless when talking about ancient times, and the need people sometimes have to judge him on the basis of his sexuality puzzles me. If we can judge him by the standards of his own time when it comes to his military achievements, why is it that it's so hard to apply those same standards to whatever relationsships he might have had? "As far as Alexander being a drunk, again that's the wrongs word /.../"Again, I agree with you. I think we can all agree that the deeds of Alexander the Great were not the deeds of some red-nosed volatile alcoholic. So what if he liked his drink? Most of us do. And what about drinking wine as a precaution against water-poisoning? Calling him a "drunk" suggests he had a serious drinking problem, but would someone with that kind of problem have been able to achieve anything, let alone ruling the greatest empire ever?Kindest regards,Neneh
chris
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Re: don't use the word gay

Post by chris »

HiI agree. Too much is made of his sexuality - it suits other peoples agenda perhaps. I believe the Macedonians did have a fearsome reputation for drinking -it was part of their culture. Much like the Scots (that's a joke)
S

Re: don't use the word gay

Post by S »

Greetings All,The subject of Alexander's sexuality has been discussed multiple times. And while I agree that the modern terms related to same-sex relationships do not apply *as understood today*, I have to repeat that *neither* do terms that refer to opposite-sex relationships. Yet because people *do* have personal biases and responses based on their own modern upbringing, they tend to see the world as "straight" with "gay" being "abnormal"... neither of which is true. The sexual norms of the world today, like the world then, are fluid and diverse- it is just due to the influence of particular religions that some people perceive "straight" as normal, and insist others do the same. Alexander- and his Companions- were simply what they were, and their sexuality had little to do with their achievements, ambitions, goals, abilities, intellect, character, virtues- just like gay people today. However, I understand why gay people find something to relate to in Alexander.. They have a point: if Alexander were in the world today, he *would* be judged on his sexual relationships and condemned by many... many who even now admire him, so long as they can identify him as "straight". If this were not the case, this discussion would not keep coming up, with posters insisting the word "gay" not be used while not seeming to insist the word "straight" not be used. Bias is obvious, when you look carefully.As to paedophile, first, the word paedophile is not related to homosexual, there is no connection, so that can be placed out of the race. But pedastery *was* a part and parcel of elements of the Greek culture. Modern sensibilities may not like to think about it, but it's true. It does not mean that every man indulged, but the options were there and were acceptable; the *conduct* during this relationship was what was important. I don't mind discussing Alexander's sexuality, since it seems impossible not to- but let's throw out all modern references and assumptions and discuss the individual relationships, male and female, for theirmerit and how they affected political outcomes rather than worry about whether the partner was male or female.Regards,
Sikander
S

Re: don't use the word gay

Post by S »

Greetings,While I understand your concerns, I also think it is important to look at the ancient world with objective eyes, and recognize that homo-eroticism played a vital part in the social structure of much of the ancient world, from powerful male-bonding to social arrangements of mentorship.Secondly, Alexander and other leaders *did* marry for political reasons. Kings often do- to fail to understand this is to fail to understand how the aristo works. Even today, marriages in the aristo, both local and global, are often,if not usually, based on securing wealth and power in the hands of the select few.... which is why there are still arranged marriages, and why you seldom have princes marrying outside their class.Alexander was "his own man" but he was King- and as such, had expectations and responsibilities that he was required to fulfill; failure to do so would result in the selection of a new king, by whatever means was necessary. Alexander had not many, but several wives, as befitted a king securing lands and borders behind him. However, he waited an unsual amount of time to marry, if you recall, and it was certain to have had some people worried- it was irresponsible for a king to leave no heir..As to "Jesus".. yes, some people *have* questioned his lack of relationships with women (referencing "John, whom Jesus loved"), which is why there has been an intense study of the social lives of the Essenes (which Yeshua was), why there have been claims that he and "Mary Magdelen" were lovers (remembering that Mary of Magdalen was *neither* the prostitute mentioned in the Bible nor the woman who washed his feet but was instead a scholar) and probably why homophobia is part and parcel of fundamentalist Christian faith?On this you are right: the ancient world was the anceint world, and as such, must be studied apart from today. This means letting go of the biases we hold as "truth" and seeing through new eyes.Regards,
Sikander
gahauser
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Re: don't use the word gay

Post by gahauser »

Sikander, you know how I feel about the topic...when my book was published I spent more time explaining to people that 'this is how it was back then' and not to place our 'modern' mores on ancient cultures. It is almost useless exhausting myself trying to justify behaviour that needs absolutely no- justification!!
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marcus
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Re: don't use the word gay

Post by marcus »

Very briefly to continue the Jesus bit... I read, a while ago, quite a convincing argument to say that Jesus was actually married (to Mary Magdalen, although it didn't necessarily have to be her). I don't know enough about the Essenes, or whether Jesus really was one... but the argument was basically that (a) he was a rabbi, who were *expected* to marry and have a family; (b) in the tradition of classical biography, where generally things that are untoward are mentioned, the *lack* of mention of a wife could indicate that there *was* one... because it would have been untoward had Jesus *not* been married.Now, I make no claims as to the veracity of this, but the way the argument was presented was interesting and compelling to say the least. I wish I could remember where I read it! :-)All the bestMarcus
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S

Untowards...

Post by S »

Greetings Marcus,
Depends...Some of the mystic sects did not require marriage; however, I will refrain from going further off topic (grin)
Regards,
Sikander
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marcus
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Re: Untowards...

Post by marcus »

Yes, it was intended as a very brief excursion off-topic... not least because I don't know enough about those things!Back to Alexander! :-)Marcus
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