ALEXANDER WAS NOT HOMOSEXUAL

This moderated forum is for discussion of Alexander the Great. Inappropriate posts will be deleted without warning. Examples of inappropriate posts are:
* The Greek/Macedonian debate
* Blatant requests for pre-written assignments by lazy students - we don't mind the subtle ones ;-)
* Foul or inappropriate language

Moderator: pothos moderators

ZOROBABEL

ALEXANDER WAS NOT HOMOSEXUAL

Post by ZOROBABEL »

WELL, WE KNOW THAT HOMESEXUALITY WAS SOMETHINK FREQUENT IN ALL ANCIENT NATIONS AND IN GREECE AFTER THE 6TH B.C CENTURY, BUT ALEXANDER WAS NOT HOMOSEXUAL. FURTHERMORE HE WAS VIRGIN UNTIL HIS MARRIAGE WHEN HE BECAME 21.
Linda
Hetairos (companion)
Posts: 434
Joined: Tue Aug 12, 2003 2:57 pm

Re: ALEXANDER WAS NOT HOMOSEXUAL

Post by Linda »

OK. IF THAT IS WHAT YOU THINK.:)
jan
Strategos (general)
Posts: 1709
Joined: Sat Feb 15, 2003 2:29 pm

Re: ALEXANDER WAS NOT HOMOSEXUAL

Post by jan »

Does it really matter?
Tre

Re: ALEXANDER WAS NOT HOMOSEXUAL

Post by Tre »

Greetings!We have no idea when Alexander lost his virginity or to whom and he sure as heck wasn't married when he was 21. So how well have you really researched this issue?The proper modern term would be bisexual, not homosexual, and homoeroticism is a better term still. Leave modern perceptions at home when you study the ancients and you will be much happier for it.Regards,Tre
ruthaki
Strategos (general)
Posts: 1229
Joined: Sat Jul 13, 2002 4:31 pm
Location: Vancouver B.C. Canada

Re: ALEXANDER WAS NOT HOMOSEXUAL

Post by ruthaki »

I agree with Tre. You cannot attach todays morality on ancient people. It was customary in ancient Greece for young boys to have older men as teachers, mentors and -- yes! -- sometimes they became intimate. But nobody frowned on it unless the boy was under 12. They all intended to marry and propogate so it was ok. Even the workd "lesbian" wasn't coined until the 1800's and attached to women who 'love' women. I.E. Sappho, the lyric poet, of 600 BC who ran a finishing school for girls on the island of Lesbos. She may have had her 'favorites' to whom she wrote love poems, but she was also a married woman (widowed) and had a daughter and various men she was involved with. Alexander 'loved' Hephaestion. That doesnt make him a 'homosexual' in todays definition of the word.
Linda
Hetairos (companion)
Posts: 434
Joined: Tue Aug 12, 2003 2:57 pm

Re: ALEXANDER WAS NOT HOMOSEXUAL

Post by Linda »

oh Lord...can we please leave modern perceptions at home when we study the ancients? Like homosexuality being a modern concept? Read your Plato. The term maybe, the concept wasn't. Homoeroticism is just a cop-out term. Every age has its own way of expressing sexuality, both hetero and homo, and bi. But the nuts and bolts are the same. Pardon my French. Apologies to the French. You don't know how silly this argument sounds to anyone who is gay or bisexual. Marriage was a social institution, and so people married then who wouldn't now. Ruth, there are examples of adult male lovers in ancient Athens, and it was not frowned on in Macedonia. Homosexuality has always been subject to more social and religious pressures than heterosexual behaviour, and so it is no great surprise that how it is expressed has changed throughout the ages, and so there is no "normal" profile of it. People leap on ancient Athens as some kind of boy-paradise, but in fact there are relatively few poems etc compared to "straight" love poems. But the fact that they were there, and somehow protected from censure by their antiquity led to repressed Christian societies seeing the Greeks as somehow particularly into all this. If you look at advertising, tv programmes etc now, you see a lot more openly homoerotic imagery and gay relationships portrayed than 20 years ago. I don't think more people are gay than before, but perhaps they can admit it to themselves and to others. Most of the homoerotic statues in Greece are of young men, not boys. They tweak the same buttons as that incredibly distracting Calvin Klein advert. I don't expect Marcus to react the same way, though...

Linda
maciek
Hetairos (companion)
Posts: 439
Joined: Tue Aug 13, 2002 5:51 pm

Re: ALEXANDER WAS NOT HOMOSEXUAL

Post by maciek »

Tre is definitely right, and if You Tim are so sure about Your statement You should say why do You think so.Maciek
User avatar
marcus
Somatophylax
Posts: 4764
Joined: Fri Aug 16, 2002 6:27 am
Location: Nottingham, England

Re: ALEXANDER WAS NOT HOMOSEXUAL

Post by marcus »

I should jolly well think not, Linda :-)I can, of course, appreciate male beauty as well as the next man (or woman), but you're probably right that the same buttons ain't tweaked.Still, it's all rather academic when the issue of so-called homosexuality in Ancient Greece is being discussed.All the bestMarcus
Marcus
Sine doctrina vita est quasi mortis imago
At Amazon US
At Amazon UK
susan
Somatophylax
Posts: 612
Joined: Tue Aug 13, 2002 4:41 pm
Location: UK
Contact:

Marcus' role !

Post by susan »

Marcus ! For some reason you seem to be cast as the arbiter of male sexuality on this forum ! either sexual reprobate, sexual prude, or archetypal red-blooded male depending on the tenor of the question. Do tell us your secrets !RegardsSusan
Tre

Re: ALEXANDER WAS NOT HOMOSEXUAL

Post by Tre »

Here we go again Linda.You wrote, 'You don't know how silly this argument sounds to anyone who is gay or bisexual.'And I should care? You do not have to be of a particular sexual orientation to 'understand' history and my own orientation has nothing to do with my scholarship. I have no vested interest in proving he was one way or the other or both to satisfy any particular interest to either myself or anyone else. You try to hard to prove a case that isn't backed up by the sources.What I am interested in is history and we would term him now bisexual for lack of a better description. You have repeatedly argued away any evidence that suggests he was anything but your definition of homosexual and frankly I don't buy your arguments.Regards,Tre
User avatar
marcus
Somatophylax
Posts: 4764
Joined: Fri Aug 16, 2002 6:27 am
Location: Nottingham, England

Re: Marcus' role !

Post by marcus »

Susan,What can I say? But I'm not sure how I could *ever* have gained a reputation for being a prude. I pride myself on being completely unshockable... indeed, I always aim to shock *other* people :-)All the bestMarcus (with a testosterone-fuelled growl)
Marcus
Sine doctrina vita est quasi mortis imago
At Amazon US
At Amazon UK
susan
Somatophylax
Posts: 612
Joined: Tue Aug 13, 2002 4:41 pm
Location: UK
Contact:

Re: Marcus' role !

Post by susan »

Yes, sorry, I re-read the messages about you and you weren't being accused of that - the opposite in fact.
Susan
Linda
Hetairos (companion)
Posts: 434
Joined: Tue Aug 12, 2003 2:57 pm

Re: ALEXANDER WAS NOT HOMOSEXUAL

Post by Linda »

TreYes, indeed, here we go again...In my argument I didn't refer to what Alexander's orientation was. In fact, my opinion varies depending on the day of the week. I would probably say, on balance, that he was more interested in men than women, but I am aware that there is not really enough evidence to say definitively one way or the other, or if he was in the middle. What I do argue for, if you read it carefully, is against the idea that the concept of homosexuality is a modern one, and in that I always quote Plato. The Symposium. I *have* a vested interest, being mostly gay, to say that there is something permanent about sexuality which is not dependent on society. And that is what I object to when people say "it wasn't the same then as it is now" like saying someone was Black in 2nd century BC, and then someone else saying "Ah - they didn't have that political concept then..." That person would still be Black - ie African origin. But I know I have a lone view here - I didn't mean to answer the first time, but it irritates to have the "He wasn't gay, they didn't have that concept" Fine to say, "We don't know enough about his personal life, this is what we know..." That is fine with me. I mentioned sexual orientation beign a factor because for me, I have found that a lot of people who have never had to question their sexuality think sexuality is a matter of choice, and for most people I know who are gay this is emphatically not the case. If it is like that now, I think it must have been then, so I really don't understand what it means to say that the terms are not applicable. There is a huge variety of sexual behaviour now, and there was then, and I cannot (reading the plays and poems) see a difference in behaviour that cannot be explained by social structure. Now if you are talking about scholarship, then there is no such thing as pure scholarship - everyone brings their own agenda to the work, and that is what makes things interesting. However, this is difficult as I suspect our definitins of what sexuality is are very different, and so it is far to big a thing to discuss online and in this way, which is a shame. Sexuality is a very peculiar area to discuss, as it arouse lots of emotions (down, Marcus), so maybe I will stick to my resolution to ignore anything about this, as I spend ages trying to discuss something with the same people and it never works, so I won't.
Thalestris-Alexandros

Re: ALEXANDER WAS NOT HOMOSEXUAL

Post by Thalestris-Alexandros »

Gee, I am sure Tim got what he wanted from this posting: passion driven responses. What does it matter anyway? Why is it made an issue? Leave the vocabulary out and all will be well. If Alexander followed this posting, he would dismiss it, if not experience a feeling of bewilderment. "What are these terms of sexuality? What am I called?" he would inquire. Personally, his sexuality is as alluring and enthralling as his intellectual brilliance and charisma!
Pam

Re: ALEXANDER WAS NOT HOMOSEXUAL

Post by Pam »

How about: Alexander was a man of his time in all respects. And repected by those who counted in his time.
Then we can stop trying to justify or condemn today's lifestyle choices with "lots of famous people have been..." Alexander, as I believe has been said a couple of times, is about history, not 21st century manias and phobias.
Post Reply