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LGBT People Of History Part Two Alexander The Great
Alexander the Great
Alexander the Great - perhaps the most famous leader of pre-Roman times was born in 356BCE. He was born into a stongly patriarchal society in which being a warrior was the pinnacle of achievement.
His tutor in his younger years was Aristotle. In the society in which he grew up the norm was that men had young male lovers. Alexander broke the mould in that he had a deep love for a man his own age – his childhood friend Hephaestion. It was to become legendary because of its passion.
As they crossed Asia en route to Persia, they arrived at Troy and they stopped to proclaim their love in front of the tombs of Achilles and Patroclus, a couple who were also devoted to each other in very ancient times.
Alexander did marry women – twice – but it was said by many that he was “not at ease with sex (with women)” Olympias, his mother and Philip, his father were very keen for him to have children and indeed he did father a child.
Alexander had at least one other great love in his life. This was Bagoas, a eunuch, who was exceptionally good looking and quite candid in his speech. The two of them became lifelong friends and lovers. Bagoas was given a villa near Babylon and he even oversaw the construction of a navy for Alexander’s voyage back to Greece.
But it was Hephaestion who was the real love of his life. When Hephaestion died as they were on their way home from India, Alexander was utterly devastated and he lay on his body for an entire day before being dragged off. He then commanded that mourning should take place. Alexander had survived many severe battle wounds but took sick and died in Babylon soon after probably of a broken heart. He was 33.
Callum and Ian.
Our Other LGBT People Of History
- LGBT People Of History Collection
Here are the links to each of the LGBT People Of History hubs that Ian and I have wrote. As mentioned above, each time a new one is published you will find it on here.
- LGBT Pioneers of History 1 - Hadrian
Emperor Hadrian and Hadrian's Wall
- LGBT People of History 3 - King Edward II of England
- LGBT People Of History Part Four Richard The Lionheart
- LGBT People of History 5 - James VI and I