Alexander the Great sexuality

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Lisandra

Alexander the Great sexuality

Post by Lisandra »

Even thought i know he became king at the age of 20 years old, i will like to know if he actually was a homosexual, i read that he had a closest friend, and that they might had a sexual relationship, but i just can't believe it, i need some info about that.
Please
Thanks
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marcus
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Re: Alexander the Great sexuality

Post by marcus »

Alexander *might* have had a sexual relationship with Hephaistion; then again, he might *not*.Nobody knows (whatever some books, websites, films, etc. say), and to be honest only some people care :-)All the bestMarcus
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S

Re: Alexander the Great sexuality

Post by S »

Greetings,This topic comes up on every discussion board on Alexander, which probably says more about our modern concerns than about Alexander, since very little is actually written about his private life in the extant sources and what we have is speculation on all sides, heterosexual *and* homosexual. Jeanne Reames-Zimmerman has a good article on this topic in the articles section here on Pothos.Bottom line is, Alexander probably had relations with both, as was fairly the norm. *Who* you had sex with was not as important as how you conducted yourself in the affair and how you conducted the affair.. perceived passive versus active was more important. That said, each region seems to have had its own attitudes regarding human sexuality, so no blanket statement works.Some people say Alexander was heterosexual because he fathered children and his marriages are mentioned (though kings were generally expected to marry and establish a bloodline of heirs and of course, fathering children is no indication of sexual orientation), some say he was gay because of his noted relationship with Hephaistion and Bagoas. In reality, these terms simply cannot and should not be applied to Alexander. Alexander was a product of his times morality, which has nothing to do with the social constructs of sexual "morality" today-My personal take is, if Alexander had felt the public needed to know more about his private life, he would have allowed more to be written about it! (smile). In the end, gays have a postive role model and straights have someone to admire for positive qualities, so ultimately, Alexander is once again "something for everyone". Whether they are gay *or* straight, what most people admire about Alexander is his strength of will, determination, courage, drive, vision and ability to break the paradigms, enabling him to achieve more than those who preceded him, while at the same time acknowledging his flaws. Interesting enough, those who cannot deal with less than rigid sexuality would probably not be comfortable around the man if he were alive today...

Regards,
Sikander
Karla

Re: Alexander the Great sexuality

Post by Karla »

This site has the perfect response to your question. It is from one of the sites in this website. http://www.pothos.org/alexander.asp?par ... alityPoint is: "Homosexuality" is a modern term. The way we see it now is not the way they saw it then.Regards, Karla
ruthaki
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Re: Alexander the Great sexuality

Post by ruthaki »

Thanks Karla. When ever anyone says to me "Alexander was gay" it makes me crazy. We cannot put todays morality on those times. The only thing that was really frowned on was pedophilia (no touching boys under 12). Girls, however, were married off by at least 14(and engaged very young. In writing my play about Sappho I'm running into the same things. You just can't compare sexuality then in the same way it is now.
S

Re: Alexander the Great sexuality

Post by S »

Greetings Ruth-

(Laughing)and whenever anyone says to me "Alexander was straight", it drives *me* crazy!!! I dislike the attempts of both camps to define the man, since neither would be accurate. Though I still maintain that his emotional life was oriented more towards males; that was certainly common enough in the culture.Regards,
Sikander
gahauser
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Re: Alexander the Great sexuality

Post by gahauser »

Hi Sikander,
Well, here it is again. I think people just need to understand we cannot judge today's mores on the society back in 300BC. You know I've been defending that constantly in my book. I just don't see why it's an issue. The man was what he was. His loves didn't change that fact.
GA
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Linda
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Re: Alexander the Great sexuality

Post by Linda »

..and sexuality is nothing to do with morality. In my opinion. :) Most people here will know that I believe strongly the ancients had the concept of different sexualities - in the Phaedo, as I constantly quote, Plato defines women who loves women, men who love men, and men who love women. Which to me is a definition of sexuality not to dissimilar to our own. Or to some people's. Not Pat Buchanan's or the Rev Iain [email protected] definition, admittedly.I think rather than defending A from the perspective of "it wasn't the same then as now" is rather missing the point. How sexuality is perceived and practised is as variable now as it was then. I still think that the phrase "bisexuality was normal" needs to be justified.However, I think the original poster should ask herself why she can't believe Alexander was gay (ie a man who loves men exclusively, to use Plato's words)? (Whether he was or not is a different matter. I don't think we know enough to do more than speculate - I think he was more interested in men than women, but he did have relationships with both. Can't argue with that.) However, I agree with Sikander that there is interest in A's sexuality because this is an area of much debate in our own time, and probably in a few years, no one will feel the need to discuss it much.Linda
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Re: Alexander the Great sexuality

Post by Linda »

Just to add to my own post - that although how sexuality is perceived and practised is as variable now as then, Plato's definitions still apply throughout time and place, and I would add those men who love both men and women, and women who love etc etc
S

Re: Alexander the Great sexuality

Post by S »

Greetings GA and Linda,Yes, despite every effort to deny it, the sexual continuum was, is and will remain alive, well and fully functioning- it's such a simple concept encompassing so much, it boggles the mind that it seems so threatening to some...but then, it's not really about "morality" but about control of others, and the imposition of one's own fears or insecurities onto others, I suspect! Regards,
Sikander
jan
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Re: Alexander the Great sexuality

Post by jan »

Hello,I checked the index at the end of Arrian's Campaign, and there were 29 listings pertaining to Hephaestion. None mentioned anything about a personal relationship between him and Alexander other than that they were friends from childhood.If you check the indexes, you may be able to learn all that that author has to say.
S

Re: Alexander the Great sexuality

Post by S »

Greetings Jan,Sometmes, what is not said says volumes. Alexander was *not* the sort to invite personal inquiry, and his friends respected that. There are times and people to whom it is *not* "okay" to gossip about ones friends, and in the case of Alexander, this was true- and those who wrote the books from which our extant sources derive, would have been either those who respected Alexander enough to stand true to his desire for privacy (anyone reading the books will note just how little is actually written about Alexander personally) or those who knew they would be limited to what Alexander's friends would allow. It was later that the "romances" began, when there were few living to call the authors liars..except in that one case where one of the friends states "Where was I when this happened?" in reference to the "Amazon Queen"...Hephaistion was not a topic open to discussion or debate... the few times personal incidents *are* mentioned (the public argument, his death)the emotions are raw and pointedly overwrought. The marriages, on the other hand, being public events, are open for discussion and noted for posterity. Hephaistion's immortality and importance were declared- and ensured in history- by the flames.Regards,
Sikander
alexandersdesciple

Re: Alexander the Great sexuality

Post by alexandersdesciple »

Jusat a simple question companions,can anyone here imagine that Alexander was buggered by anyone.I doubt itRegardsAlexes desciple
S

Re: Alexander the Great sexuality

Post by S »

Greetings,Why assume this was the case? It might be helpful for you to understand the interactive dynamics of the times. Read Jeanne's article, for a start, and think about it.Regards,
Sikander
ruthaki
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Re: Alexander the Great sexuality

Post by ruthaki »

To follower of the king. Are you kidding?
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