Never heard of Walter Pater till I read this. I as I am old enough to have gotten through college with a typewriter (did the internet exist in the late 80's?) I can honestly say that my opinion on Alexander (or any historical figure) was not formed by the internet.
Yes, there is a lot of erronous information or opinion online, a fascinating study on it's own.
Saying that the idea that Alexander had a physical relationship with Hephaistion has only come up since, when? Pater or whoever, denies the fact that, whether you agree with the validity or not, that it was being written about two thousand years ago. It isn't something that was created out of thin air by Pater.
It really shouldn't matter, though that it still does says so much about our own era.. What I find more alraming are internet sites like Stormfront that have attached themsleves to ATG's history and legacy to persue their white supremacist agendas. I find them by accident looking for images of the "Alexander Sarcohpagus" ...ewwwwww.
Karen, I will have to check out Kos again. I do remember some discussion about Alexander over there a year or two ago...the seige of Tyre or something and someone posted that Alexander had an "outrageous sense of entitlement" because he decided to beseige Tyre when they refused to submit. I am not doing the quote justice, because in it's context it was very funny. Was that you?
I do have to say this about Green, and others, including Michael Wood. To me their scholarship is a reflection of the anit-imperialist, anti-war sentiment that grew up especially in the sixties and seventies. Now me, personally..I am very anti-imperialist in my own modern era. But I don't try to retroactively push that same vision on a past over two thousand years. I know we are all products of our age, just as Arraian, Plutarch and Curtius were, but please be a little more aware of it. I literally threw Wood's book across the room after one last Stalin comparison....
Another last bit...I think that many historians (and I will give credit to Wood for the travels) simply are not aware of how things really work outside their "ivory towers". An example is the heavy drinking theories. Here, I think I might come in contact more with the old Macedonian and Homeric ideals. It has been my great fortune to belong to a sub-culture of commerical fishing in the Pacific. More specifically the king crab fisheries in Alaska and even Russia.
It is in a smaller sense a life of glory and plunder and retelling the great stories and surviving incredible weather and disasters. The most charismatic captians are the ones who bring the most "glory" ( I can not stress this enough) and riches. They are legendary. And the participants drank like fish, drastically at times, when they gathered in their own version of "symposia". At least one departed fisherman entered his personal Valhalla on a burning boat out on the water (though small, as he had already been cremated). There was even a kind of "camp following". It was/is part of the culture, though times have changed. I tend to think of the current fishery as more the Diodachi than Alexander himself.
I wouldn't approve at all if someone like Alexander came into the world, today, but I do wish that historians and others would always keep in mind that what was was and belongs to a world we have very little connection to. As someone here so wonderfully put it, if we met Alexander and his cohorts today we might not like him very much at all. But I would like to think that his history would not be used for whatever the historian's own poltical or moral bent is. I don't have an opinion on ATG's personality, he is too remote. Though I think that of all the historians of the modern age, he would like Renault most of all. She may not have truly captured ATG's "nature", but she captured, perhaps, the way he wished to be seen.