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Hephaestion

Hephaestion

Overview
Hephaestion son of Amyntor
Amyntor
Amyntor , was an ancient Greek name attributed to several people both mythological and historical.- Mythological :...

, was a Macedonian
Ancient Macedonians
The Macedonians originated from inhabitants of the northeastern part of the Greek peninsula, in the alluvial plain around the rivers Haliacmon and lower Axios...

 nobleman and a general in the army of Alexander the Great. He was "... by far the dearest of all the king's friends; he had been brought up with Alexander and shared all his secrets." This friendship lasted their whole lives, and was compared, by others as well as themselves, to that of Achilles
Achilles
In Greek mythology, Achilles was a Greek hero of the Trojan War, the central character and the greatest warrior of Homer's Iliad.Plato named Achilles the handsomest of the heroes assembled against Troy....

 and Patroclus
Patroclus
In Greek mythology, as recorded in the Iliad by Homer, Patroclus, or Patroklos , was the son of Menoetius, grandson of Actor, King of Opus, and was Achilles' beloved comrade and brother-in-arms....

.

His military career was distinguished.
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Hephaestion son of Amyntor
Amyntor
Amyntor , was an ancient Greek name attributed to several people both mythological and historical.- Mythological :...

, was a Macedonian
Ancient Macedonians
The Macedonians originated from inhabitants of the northeastern part of the Greek peninsula, in the alluvial plain around the rivers Haliacmon and lower Axios...

 nobleman and a general in the army of Alexander the Great. He was "... by far the dearest of all the king's friends; he had been brought up with Alexander and shared all his secrets." This friendship lasted their whole lives, and was compared, by others as well as themselves, to that of Achilles
Achilles
In Greek mythology, Achilles was a Greek hero of the Trojan War, the central character and the greatest warrior of Homer's Iliad.Plato named Achilles the handsomest of the heroes assembled against Troy....

 and Patroclus
Patroclus
In Greek mythology, as recorded in the Iliad by Homer, Patroclus, or Patroklos , was the son of Menoetius, grandson of Actor, King of Opus, and was Achilles' beloved comrade and brother-in-arms....

.

His military career was distinguished. A member of Alexander the Great’s personal bodyguard
Somatophylakes
Somatophylakes , in its literal English translation from Greek, means "bodyguards".The most famous body of somatophylakes were those of Philip of Macedon and Alexander the Great. They consisted of seven men, drawn from the Macedonian nobility, who also acted as high-ranking military officers,...

, he went on to command the
Companion cavalry
Companion cavalry
The Companions were the elite cavalry of the Macedonian army from the time of king Philip II of Macedon and reached the most prestige under Alexander the Great, and have been regarded as the best cavalry in the ancient world and the first shock cavalry...

, and was entrusted with many other tasks through Alexander's ten-year campaign in Asia, including
diplomatic missions, the bridging of major rivers, sieges, and the foundation of new settlements. Besides being a soldier,
engineer and diplomat, he corresponded with the philosophers Aristotle
Aristotle
Aristotle was a Greek philosopher and polymath, a student of Plato and teacher of Alexander the Great. His writings cover many subjects, including physics, metaphysics, poetry, theater, music, logic, rhetoric, linguistics, politics, government, ethics, biology, and zoology...

 and Xenocrates
Xenocrates
Xenocrates of Chalcedon was a Greek philosopher, mathematician, and leader of the Platonic Academy from 339/8 to 314/3 BC. His teachings followed those of Plato, which he attempted to define more closely, often with mathematical elements...

, and actively supported
Alexander in his attempts to integrate Greeks and Persians. Alexander formally made him his second-in-command when he appointed him Chiliarch
Chiliarch
Chiliarch , in the Greek army of the Hellenistic period, was a commander of a 1,000 men unit, roughly equivalent to a modern battalion. The office was an adaptation by Alexander the Great of the Persian Achaemenid empire's hazarapatish. A chiliarch held duties both martial and civil...

 of the empire, and made him part of the royal family when he gave him as his bride Drypetis, sister to his own second wife, Stateira
Stateira II
Stateira II , possibly also known as Barsine, was the daughter of Stateira I and Darius III of Persia. After her father's defeat at the Battle of Issus, Stateira and her sisters became captives of Alexander of Macedon. They were treated well, and she became Alexander's second wife at the Susa...

, both daughters of Darius III
Darius III of Persia
Darius III , also known by his given name of Codomannus, was the last king of the Achaemenid Empire of Persia from 336 BC to 330 BC....

 of Persia. When he died suddenly at Ecbatana
Ecbatana
Ecbatana is supposed to be the capital of Astyages , which was taken by the Persian emperor Cyrus the Great in the sixth year of Nabonidus...

, Alexander was overwhelmed with grief. He petitioned the oracle
Oracle
In Classical Antiquity, an oracle was a person or agency considered to be a source of wise counsel or prophetic predictions or precognition of the future, inspired by the gods. As such it is a form of divination....

 at Siwa
Siwa Oasis
The Siwa Oasis is an oasis in Egypt, located between the Qattara Depression and the Egyptian Sand Sea in the Libyan Desert, nearly 50 km east of the Libyan border, and 560 km from Cairo....

 to grant Hephaestion divine status, and Hephaestion was honoured as a Divine Hero
Hero
A hero , in Greek mythology and folklore, was originally a demigod, their cult being one of the most distinctive features of ancient Greek religion...

. At the time of his own death eight months later, Alexander was still planning lasting monuments to Hephaestion's memory.

Youth and education


Hephaestion’s exact age is not known. No concise biography has ever been written about him, likely stemming from the fact that he died before Alexander and none of those among Alexander's companions who survived him would have had a need to promote someone other than themselves. Many scholars cite Hephaestion’s age as being similar to Alexander’s so it is fair to assume that he was born about 356 BC. He is said to have become a page in 343 BC, a role common to adolescent boys of the aristocratic class in Macedon. Now a member of court life, it is possible that the two future conquerors would have met around this time.

The only surviving anecdote from Hephaestion’s youth comes courtesy of the Alexander Romance
Alexander Romance
Alexander romance is any of several collections of legends concerning the mythical exploits of Alexander the Great. The earliest version is in Greek, dating to the 3rd century. Several late manuscripts attribute the work to Alexander's court historian Callisthenes, but the historical figure died...

. According to this tale, “... one day when Alexander was 15 years old [...] sailing with Hephaestion, his friend, he easily reached Pisa [...] and he went off to stroll with Hephaestion.” That Alexander’s exact age is given provides another clue to Hephaestion’s upbringing because at fifteen Alexander and his companions were at Mieza
Mieza
Mieza, "shrine of the Nymphs", was a village in Ancient Macedon, where Aristotle taught the boy Alexander the Great. It was the home to Alexander's companion Peucestas.Now the site of the modern town Náousa....

 studying under Aristotle
Aristotle
Aristotle was a Greek philosopher and polymath, a student of Plato and teacher of Alexander the Great. His writings cover many subjects, including physics, metaphysics, poetry, theater, music, logic, rhetoric, linguistics, politics, government, ethics, biology, and zoology...

. Hephaestion has never been named among those who attended the lectures at Mieza, but his close friendship with Alexander at that age suggests strongly that he was numbered among them. More telling is Hephaestion’s name being found in a catalogue of Aristotle’s correspondences. The letters themselves no longer exist, but for them to have found their way into an official catalogue, their content must have been of some significance. It implies that Hephaestion received a good education, and shows that Aristotle was impressed enough by his pupil to send letters throughout Alexander's expanding empire to converse with him.

A few years after the lectures at Mieza, Hephaestion’s presence was notably absent when several of Alexander’s close friends were exiled as a result of the Pixodarus
Pixodarus of Caria
Pixodarus was a prince or king of Caria.-Biography:He was the youngest of the three sons of Hecatomnus, all of whom successively held the sovereignty of their native country...

 affair. Among those exiled by Philip II
Philip II of Macedon
Philip II of Macedon "friend" + ἵππος "horse" — transliterated ; 382 – 336 BC), was a king of Macedon from 359 BC until his assassination in 336 BC. He was the father of Alexander the Great and Philip III.-Biography:...

 after Alexander’s failed attempt to offer himself as groom to the Carian princess were Ptolemy
Ptolemy I Soter
Ptolemy I Soter I , also known as Ptolemy Lagides, c. 367 BC – c. 283 BC, was a Macedonian general under Alexander the Great, who became ruler of Egypt and founder of both the Ptolemaic Kingdom and the Ptolemaic Dynasty...

, Nearchus
Nearchus
Nearchus was one of the officers, a navarch, in the army of Alexander the Great. His celebrated voyage from India to Susa after Alexander's expedition in India is preserved in Arrian's account, the Indica....

, Harpalus
Harpalus
For other uses, see Harpalus Harpalus son of Machatas was an aristocrat of Macedon and boyhood friend of Alexander the Great in the 4th century BC. Being lame in a leg, and therefore exempt from military service, Harpalus did not follow Alexander in his advance within the Persian Empire but...

, Erigyius
Erigyius
Erigyius , a Mytilenaean, son of Larichus, was an officer in Alexander the Great's army. He had been driven into banishment by Philip II, king of Macedon, because of his faithful attachment to Alexander, and returned when the latter came to the throne in 336 BC...

, and Laomedon
Laomedon of Mytilene
Laomedon , native of Mytilene and son of Larichus, was one of Alexander the Great's generals, and appears to have enjoyed a high place in his confidence even before the death of Philip II, as he was one of those banished by that monarch for taking part in the intrigues of the...

. The reason for Hephaestion’s absence from this list could be due to the fact that all of the exiled men were older friends of Alexander, Erigyius himself roughly 24 years older than the prince. Hephaestion was a contemporary of Alexander and it is likely that his influence might have been seen as less of a threat than these more mature companions. Whatever Hephaestion’s opinion had been on the whole affair, like many of Alexander’s other childhood companions he was not exiled in its aftermath.

While it is true that very little detail of Hephaestion’s childhood and education can be found, that which remains gives credence to what is known about his later life. His friendship with Alexander was long-lasting, as was his tenure in the court at Pella
Pella
Pella , an ancient Greek city located in Pella Prefecture of Macedonia in Greece, was the capital of the ancient kingdom of Macedonia.-Etymology:...

; he even shared the same education as the future Great King of Greece and Asia. With such a promising start, age and experience would have helped mould Hephaestion Amyntoros into the man who would one day be the second most powerful man in Alexander’s empire; second only to the king himself.

Career


Sharing Alexander's upbringing, Hephaestion would have learned to fight and to ride well from an early age. His first taste of military action was probably the campaign against the Thracians
Thracians
The ancient Thracians were a group of Indo-European tribes inhabiting areas including Thrace in Southeastern Europe. They spoke the Thracian language – a scarcely attested branch of the Indo-European language family...

 while Alexander was regent, followed by Philip II's
Philip II of Macedon
Philip II of Macedon "friend" + ἵππος "horse" — transliterated ; 382 – 336 BC), was a king of Macedon from 359 BC until his assassination in 336 BC. He was the father of Alexander the Great and Philip III.-Biography:...

 Danube campaign (342 BC), and the battle of Chaeronea
Battle of Chaeronea (338 BC)
The Battle of Chaeronea was fought in 338 BC, near the city of Chaeronea in Boeotia, between the forces of Philip II of Macedon and an alliance of Greek city-states...

 (338 BC) while he was still in his teens. His name is not mentioned in lists of high-ranking officers during the early battles of Alexander's Danube campaign (335 BC), or the invasion of Persia, and nor are the names of Alexander's other close friends and contemporaries, suggesting that their promotions, when they achieved them, were earned by merit.

Hephaestion's career was never solely a military one. Right from the start, he was also engaged in special missions, sometimes diplomatic, sometimes technical. The first mention of his career in the sources is a diplomatic mission of some importance. After the battle of Issus
Battle of Issus
The Battle of Issus occurred in southern Anatolia, in November 333 BC. The invading troops, led by the young Alexander of Macedonia, defeated the army personally led by Darius III of Achaemenid Persia in the second great battle for primacy in Asia...

 (333 BC), when Alexander was proceeding south down the Phoenicia
Phoenicia
Phoenicia , was an ancient civilization in Canaan which covered most of the western, coastal part of the Fertile Crescent. Several major Phoenician cities were built on the coastline of the Mediterranean. It was an enterprising maritime trading culture that spread across the Mediterranean from 1550...

n coast and had received the capitulation of Sidon
Sidon
Sidon or Saïda is the third-largest city in Lebanon. It is located in the South Governorate of Lebanon, on the Mediterranean coast, about 40 km north of Tyre and 40 km south of the capital Beirut. In Genesis, Sidon is the son of Canaan the grandson of Noah...

, Hephaestion was "... authorised to appoint to the throne the Sidonian he considered most deserving of that high office." Hephaestion took local advice, and chose a man distantly related to the royal family, but whose honesty had reduced him to working as a gardener. The man, Abdalonymus
Abdalonymus
Abdalonymus or, variously, Abdolonymus, Abdolonimus, and Abdalonimus was a gardener, but of royal descent, who was made king of Sidon by Alexander the Great in 332 BC.-Life:...

, had a successful royal career, fully justifying Hephaestion's choice.

After the siege of Tyre (332 BC), Alexander entrusted his fleet to Hephaestion, who had orders to skirt the coast and head for Gaza
Gaza
Gaza , also referred to as Gaza City, is a Palestinian city in the Gaza Strip, with a population of about 450,000, making it the largest city in the Palestinian territories.Inhabited since at least the 15th century BC,...

, their next objective, while Alexander himself led the army overland. Hephaestion's task was not an easy one, for this was not the Athenian fleet with which Alexander had started, and had earlier disbanded, but a motley collection of semi-reluctant allies of many nationalities, who would need holding together with patience and strength. Furthermore, on arrival at Gaza, the cargo of siege engines had to be unloaded, transported across difficult terrain, and reassembled.

Plutarch
Plutarch
Plutarch then named, on his becoming a Roman citizen, Lucius Mestrius Plutarchus , c. 46 – 120 AD, was a Greek historian, biographer, essayist, and Middle Platonist known primarily for his Parallel Lives and Moralia...

, while writing about Alexander's correspondence, reveals an occasion when Hephaestion was away on business, and Alexander wrote to him. The subject matter suggests that this took place while they were in Egypt. What business Hephaestion was attending to we do not know, but Andrew Chugg has suggested that it was concerned either with his command of the fleet or Athenian diplomacy. He quotes sources which suggest that Hephaestion had been approached by Aristion of Athens to effect a reconciliation between Alexander and Demosthenes
Demosthenes
Demosthenes was a prominent Greek statesman and orator of ancient Athens. His orations constitute a significant expression of contemporary Athenian intellectual prowess and provide an insight into the politics and culture of ancient Greece during the 4th century BC. Demosthenes learned rhetoric by...

, and certainly, Athens' inaction during the revolt of the Spartan king, Agis
Agis III
Agis III , son of Archidamus III, was the 20th Eurypontid king of Sparta.He succeeded his father in 338 BC, on the very day of the battle of Chaeronea...

, would seem to support the idea. As Chugg says, "If he did persuade Alexander to reach an accommodation with Demosthenes at this critical juncture, as would seem likely from the circumstances, then he was significantly responsible for saving the situation for Macedon in Greece by preventing the revolt of Agis spreading to Athens and her allies."

It is likely, though not certain, that it was Hephaestion who led the advance army from Egypt to bridge the Euphrates river. Darius of Persia
Darius III of Persia
Darius III , also known by his given name of Codomannus, was the last king of the Achaemenid Empire of Persia from 336 BC to 330 BC....

 sent Mazaeus
Mazaeus
Mazaeus was a Persian noble and governor of Babylon.He was the second to last satrap of Cilicia. Shortly aftwards, his successor was expelled by Alexander the Great....

 to hold the opposite bank while the bridging work was in progress. This Mazaeus was the commander who threw away what looked like certain victory on the Persian right at the battle of Gaugamela
Battle of Gaugamela
The Battle of Gaugamela took place in 331 BC between Alexander the Great and Darius III of Persia. The battle, which is also called the Battle of Arbela, resulted in a massive victory for the ancient Macedonians and led to the fall of the Achaemenid Empire.-Location:Darius chose a flat, open plain...

 (331 BC), and later became Alexander's governor of Babylon
Babylon
Babylon was an Akkadian city-state of ancient Mesopotamia, the remains of which are found in present-day Al Hillah, Babil Province, Iraq, about 85 kilometers south of Baghdad...

. Robin Lane Fox
Robin Lane Fox
Robin Lane Fox is an English historian, currently a Fellow of New College, Oxford and University of Oxford Reader in Ancient History.-Life:Lane Fox was educated at Eton and Magdalen College, Oxford....

 has an interesting suggestion that conversation with Hephaestion may have won Mazaeus over: "It is conceivable that the battle of Gaugamela was partly won on the banks of the Euphrates and that Mazaeus' reinstatement was less a sign of magnanimity than of a prearranged reward."

It is at Gaugamela that mention is first made of Hephaestion's rank. He is called the "... commander of the bodyguards (somatophylakes
Somatophylakes
Somatophylakes , in its literal English translation from Greek, means "bodyguards".The most famous body of somatophylakes were those of Philip of Macedon and Alexander the Great. They consisted of seven men, drawn from the Macedonian nobility, who also acted as high-ranking military officers,...

)." This is not the Royal Squadron, whose duties also included guarding the king in battle, and which was at that time commanded by Cleitus—a man of the older generation—but a small group of close companions specifically designated to fight alongside the king. Hephaestion was certainly in the thick of things with Alexander, for Arrian
Arrian
Lucius Flavius Arrianus 'Xenophon , known in English as Arrian , and Arrian of Nicomedia, was a Roman historian, public servant, a military commander and a philosopher of the 2nd-century Roman period...

 tells us he was wounded, and Curtius specifically mentions that it was a spear wound in the arm.

After Gaugamela, there is the first indication that Alexander intended reconciliation with the Persians, and that Hephaestion supported him in this unpopular policy. One evening in Babylon
Babylon
Babylon was an Akkadian city-state of ancient Mesopotamia, the remains of which are found in present-day Al Hillah, Babil Province, Iraq, about 85 kilometers south of Baghdad...

, Alexander noticed a high-born woman obliged to dance as part of the entertainment. Curtius explains:
"The following day, he (Alexander) instructed Hephaestion to have all the prisoners brought to the royal quarters and there he verified the lineage of each of them."
Alexander had realised that people from noble families were being treated with little dignity, and wanted to do something about it. That he chose Hephaestion to help him shows that he could rely on Hephaestion's tact and sympathy.
Yet Alexander could also rely on Hephaestion for firmness and resolve. When his policies had led to a plot against his life, the possible involvement of a senior officer, Philotas
Philotas
Philotas was the eldest son of Parmenion, Alexander's most experienced and talented general. When Alexander became king of Macedonia with Parmenion's support Philotas (in Greek, Φιλώτας, died October 330 BC) was the eldest son of Parmenion, Alexander's most experienced and talented general. When...

, caused much concern. It was Hephaestion, along with Craterus
Craterus
Craterus was a Macedonian general under Alexander the Great and one of the Diadochi.He was the son of a Macedonian nobleman named Alexander from Orestis and brother of admiral Amphoterus. Craterus commanded the phalanx and all infantry on the left wing in Battle of Issus...

 and Coenus
Coenus
Coenus , a son of Polemocrates and son-in-law of Parmenion, was one of the ablest and most faithful generals of Alexander the Great in his eastern expedition...

, who insisted on, and actually carried out, the customary torture.

After the execution of Philotas (330 BC), Hephaestion was appointed joint commander—with Cleitus—of the Companion cavalry
Companion cavalry
The Companions were the elite cavalry of the Macedonian army from the time of king Philip II of Macedon and reached the most prestige under Alexander the Great, and have been regarded as the best cavalry in the ancient world and the first shock cavalry...

, Philotas' former position. This dual appointment was a way of satisfying two divergent shades of opinion now hardening throughout the army, one, like Hephaestion, broadly supportive of Alexander's policy of integration, and the other, that of Philip's older veterans in particular, whose implacable resentment of Persian ways was well-represented by Cleitus. The cavalry prospered under this command, showing itself equal to learning new tactics, necessary against Scythian nomads, and to counter-insurgency measures such as those deployed in the spring of 328 BC. The army set out from Balkh
Balkh
Balkh , was an ancient city and centre of Zoroastrianism in what is now northern Afghanistan. Today it is a small town in the province of Balkh, about 20 kilometers northwest of the provincial capital, Mazar-e Sharif, and some south of the Amu Darya. It was one of the major cities of Khorasan...

 in five columns, to spread through the valleys between the Oxus and Tanais
Tanais
Tanais is the ancient name for the River Don in Russia. Strabo regarded it as the boundary between Europe and Asia.In antiquity, Tanais was also the name of a city in the Don river delta that reaches into the northeasternmost part of the Sea of Azov, which the Greeks called Lake Maeotis...

 rivers, to pacify Sogdiana
Sogdiana
Sogdiana or Sogdia was the ancient civilization of an Iranian people and a province of the Achaemenid Empire, eighteenth in the list on the Behistun Inscription of Darius the Great . Sogdiana is "listed" as the second of the "good lands and countries" that Ahura Mazda created...

. Hephaestion commanded one of the columns, and after arriving at Marakanda, he set out again to establish settlements in the region.

In spring 327 BC, the army headed into India, and Alexander divided his forces. He led his section north into the Swat Valley
Swat (Pakistan)
Swat is a valley and an administrative district in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Province, located close to the Afghan-Pakistan border. It is the upper valley of the Swat River, which rises in the Hindu Kush range. The capital of Swat is Saidu Sharif, but the main town in the Swat valley is Mingora...

, while Hephaestion and Perdiccas
Perdiccas
Perdiccas was one of Alexander the Great's generals. After Alexander's death in 323 BC he became regent of all Alexander's empire.Arrian tells us he was son of Orontes, a descendant of the independent princes of the Macedonian province of Orestis...

 took a sizeable contingent through the Khyber Pass
Khyber Pass
The Khyber Pass, is a mountain pass linking Pakistan and Afghanistan.The Pass was an integral part of the ancient Silk Road. It is mentioned in the Bible as the "Pesh Habor," and it is one of the oldest known passes in the world....

. Hephaestion's orders were to "... take over either by force or agreement all places on their march, and on reaching the Indus to make suitable preparations for crossing." They were in unknown territory, whose political and geographical landscapes were unfamiliar, and Hephaestion would have had to make decisions on the spot, and act accordingly. He reached the Indus with the land behind him conquered, including the successful siege of Peuceolatis, which took thirty days, and proceeded to organise the construction of boats for the crossing.

Alexander often had to divide his forces, and command was given to a variety of senior officers on different occasions. For example, a few weeks before this mission of Hephaestion's, Craterus had been sent with a large force to subdue the last two remaining Bactria
Bactria
Bactria and also appears in the Zend Avesta as Bukhdi. It is the ancient name of a historical region located between south of the Amu Darya and west of the Indus River...

n rebels. It seems that Hephaestion was chosen when the objectives were far from clear-cut, and Alexander needed a commander on whom he could rely to do what he would have done himself, without needing instructions.

Hephaestion took part in a notable cavalry charge at the battle of the Hydaspes river
Battle of the Hydaspes River
The Battle of the Hydaspes River was fought by Alexander the Great in 326 BC against King Porus of the Hindu Paurava kingdom on the banks of the Hydaspes River in the Punjab near Bhera in what is now modern-day Pakistan...

 (326 BC) and then, when the army began its homeward journey, was again entrusted with half the army, including the elite troops and two hundred elephants, as they travelled south-west along the banks of the Hydaspes. Some of the army, including Alexander himself, travelled in boats, which had been provided by the sponsorship of leading courtiers. Arrian lists Hephaestion first among these "honorary trierarch
Trierarch
Trierarch was the title of officers who commanded a trireme in the classical Greek world. In Athens and a few other states this officer was also required to pay for the outfitting and maintenance of the ship. Trierarchs thus had to be men of considerable means, since the expenses incurred could...

s", indicating his leading position at this time. On entering hostile territory, Alexander split his forces into three. Hephaestion's section marched "... five days in advance, with the object of intercepting and capturing any native troops which ... might be rapidly moving forward". Again, Hephaestion was called upon when initiative was required. After Alexander had taken a detour to subdue a hostile tribe, in which he was seriously injured, Hephaestion took command of the greater part of the army as they travelled down the Indus to the sea. At the coast, he organised the construction of a fortress, and a harbour for the fleet at Pattala.

Hephaestion was in command at Pattala, while Alexander advanced. When he rejoined Alexander at Rhambacia, he established a city there also. Hephaestion crossed the Gedrosian desert
Gedrosia
Gedrosia from Pashto Gwadar-khua is the hellenized name of an area that corresponds to today's Balochistan. Eastern Balochistan is southwestern province of Pakistan and parts of southwestern and south-central Afghanistan and western Balochistan is divided between Iranian provinces of Hormozgan and...

 with Alexander, sharing the torments of that journey, and when the army was safely back in Susa
Susa
Susa was an ancient city of the Elamite, Persian and Parthian empires of Iran. It is located in the lower Zagros Mountains about east of the Tigris River, between the Karkheh and Dez Rivers....

, he was decorated for bravery. He was to take part in no further fighting; he had only months to live. But, having ended his military career as Alexander's de facto second-in-command, he was also his second in the political sphere. Alexander had made that official by naming him Chiliarch
Chiliarch
Chiliarch , in the Greek army of the Hellenistic period, was a commander of a 1,000 men unit, roughly equivalent to a modern battalion. The office was an adaptation by Alexander the Great of the Persian Achaemenid empire's hazarapatish. A chiliarch held duties both martial and civil...

. Photius mentions Perdiccas being appointed "... to command the chiliarchy which Hephaestion had originally held."

Relationships


Little is known of Hephaestion's personal relationships, beyond his extraordinarily close friendship with Alexander. Alexander was an outgoing, charismatic man, who had many friends, but his dearest and closest friend and confidant was Hephaestion. Theirs was a friendship which had been forged in boyhood. It endured through adolescence, through Alexander's becoming king, through the hardships of campaigning and the flatteries of court life, and their marriages.

Their tutor, Aristotle, described such a friendship as "... one soul abiding in two bodies". That they themselves considered their friendship to be of such a kind is shown by the stories of the morning after the battle of Issus
Battle of Issus
The Battle of Issus occurred in southern Anatolia, in November 333 BC. The invading troops, led by the young Alexander of Macedonia, defeated the army personally led by Darius III of Achaemenid Persia in the second great battle for primacy in Asia...

. Diodorus, Arrian
Arrian
Lucius Flavius Arrianus 'Xenophon , known in English as Arrian , and Arrian of Nicomedia, was a Roman historian, public servant, a military commander and a philosopher of the 2nd-century Roman period...

 and Curtius
Quintus Curtius Rufus
Quintus Curtius Rufus was a Roman historian, writing probably during the reign of the Emperor Claudius or Vespasian. His only surviving work, Historiae Alexandri Magni, is a biography of Alexander the Great in Latin in ten books, of which the first two are lost, and the remaining eight are...

 all describe the scene, when Alexander and Hephaestion went together to visit the captured Persian royal family. Its senior member, the queen Sisygambis
Sisygambis
Sisygambis was the daughter of king Artaxerxes II Memnon, who married Arsames of Ostanes and was the mother of Darius III of Persia, whose reign was ended during the wars of Alexander the Great....

, knelt to Hephaestion to plead for their lives, mistaking him for Alexander, because he was the taller, and both young men were wearing similar clothes. When she realised her mistake, she was acutely embarrassed, but Alexander reassured her with the words, "You were not mistaken, Mother; this man too is Alexander." Their love for each other was no secret, as is borne out by their own words. Hephaestion, when replying to a letter to Alexander's mother, Olympias, said "... you know that Alexander means more to us than anything." Arrian says that Alexander, after Hephaestion's death, described him as "... the friend I valued as my own life." Paul Cartledge
Paul Cartledge
Paul Anthony Cartledge is the first A. G. Leventis Professor of Greek Culture at Cambridge University, having previously held a personal chair in Greek History at Cambridge....

 describes their closeness when he says: "Alexander seems actually to have referred to Hephaestion as his alter ego."

Their friendship was also a working partnership; in all that Alexander undertook, Hephaestion was at his side. They worked well together; it is possible to discern a pattern, when studying Hephaestion's career, of Alexander's constant trust in, and increasing reliance on Hephaestion. By the time of the advance into India, after the deaths of senior generals from the older generation, there had been worrying instances among senior officers of their own generation, of treachery, a lack of sympathy with Alexander's aims of further integration of Persians into the army, and of sheer incompetence. Time after time, when Alexander needed to divide his forces, he entrusted half to Hephaestion, knowing that in him he had a man of unquestionable loyalty, who understood and sympathised with his aims, and above all, who got the job done.

Hephaestion played a full part in Alexander's regular consultations with senior officers, but he was the one to whom Alexander would also talk in private, sharing his thoughts, hopes and plans. Curtius states that Hephaestion was the sharer of all his secrets, and Plutarch
Plutarch
Plutarch then named, on his becoming a Roman citizen, Lucius Mestrius Plutarchus , c. 46 – 120 AD, was a Greek historian, biographer, essayist, and Middle Platonist known primarily for his Parallel Lives and Moralia...

 describes an occasion when Alexander had a controversial change to impose, and implies that Hephaestion was the one with whom Alexander had discussed it, and who arranged for the change to be implemented. According to the painting done by Aetion, of Alexander's first wedding, Hephaestion was his torch bearer (best man), showing by this not only his friendship, but also his support for Alexander's policies, as Alexander's choice of an Asian bride had not been a popular one.
By the time they returned to Persia, Hephaestion was officially, by title, Alexander's second-in-command, as he had long been in practice, and also his brother-in-law. Hammond sums up their public relationship well:
"It is not surprising that Alexander was as closely attached to Hephaestion as Achilles
Achilles
In Greek mythology, Achilles was a Greek hero of the Trojan War, the central character and the greatest warrior of Homer's Iliad.Plato named Achilles the handsomest of the heroes assembled against Troy....

 was to Patroclus
Patroclus
In Greek mythology, as recorded in the Iliad by Homer, Patroclus, or Patroklos , was the son of Menoetius, grandson of Actor, King of Opus, and was Achilles' beloved comrade and brother-in-arms....

", and "At the time of his death Hephaestion held the highest single command, that of the Companion Cavalry
Companion cavalry
The Companions were the elite cavalry of the Macedonian army from the time of king Philip II of Macedon and reached the most prestige under Alexander the Great, and have been regarded as the best cavalry in the ancient world and the first shock cavalry...

; and had been repeatedly second in command to Alexander in the hierarchy of the Asian court, holding the title of Chiliarch, which had been held by Nabarzanes under Darius
Darius III of Persia
Darius III , also known by his given name of Codomannus, was the last king of the Achaemenid Empire of Persia from 336 BC to 330 BC....

. Thus Alexander honoured Hephaestion both as the closest of his friends and the most distinguished of his Field Marshals."

It has been suggested that as well as being close friends, Alexander and Hephaestion were also lovers. None of the ancient sources states this in so many words. By the time the extant sources were written—some three hundred years later—homosexual affairs were looked upon with less favour than they had been in ancient Greece—Horace speaks of the Greek vice—and so had already begun the process which has continued intermittently ever since, the "airbrushing" of Hephaestion out of history. However, Arrian describes the occasion when Alexander and Hephaestion publicly identified themselves with Achilles and Patroclus, who were acknowledged, by Plato
Plato
Plato , was a Classical Greek philosopher, mathematician, student of Socrates, writer of philosophical dialogues, and founder of the Academy in Athens, the first institution of higher learning in the Western world. Along with his mentor, Socrates, and his student, Aristotle, Plato helped to lay the...

 and Aeschylus
Aeschylus
Aeschylus was the first of the three ancient Greek tragedians whose work has survived, the others being Sophocles and Euripides, and is often described as the father of tragedy. His name derives from the Greek word aiskhos , meaning "shame"...

 among others, to have been lovers.
It happened right at the beginning of the campaign in Asia, when Alexander led a contingent of the army to visit Troy
Troy
Troy was a city, both factual and legendary, located in northwest Anatolia in what is now Turkey, southeast of the Dardanelles and beside Mount Ida...

, scene of the events in his beloved Iliad
Iliad
The Iliad is an epic poem in dactylic hexameters, traditionally attributed to Homer. Set during the Trojan War, the ten-year siege of the city of Troy by a coalition of Greek states, it tells of the battles and events during the weeks of a quarrel between King Agamemnon and the warrior Achilles...

. He laid a wreath on the tomb of Achilles, and Hephaestion laid a wreath on the tomb of Patroclus, and they ran a race, naked, to honour their dead heroes. Arrian discreetly draws no conclusions from this. However, Robin Lane Fox, writing in 1973, says:
"It was a remarkable tribute, uniquely paid, and it is also Hephaestion's first mention in Alexander's career. Already the two were intimate, Patroclus and Achilles even to those around them; the comparison would remain to the end of their days and is proof of their life as lovers, for by Alexander's time, Achilles and Patroclus were agreed to have enjoyed the relationship which Homer himself had never directly mentioned."

Hephaestion and Alexander grew up in a time and place where homosexual affairs were seen as perfectly normal, but the pattern that such affairs followed was not the same in every city-state. Roman and later writers, taking the Athenian pattern as their example, have tended to assume either that their sexual relationship belonged to their adolescence, after which they left it behind, or that one of them was older, the lover (erastes) and the other was the beloved (eromenos).

The former assumption has persisted to the present day, with writers of fiction, such as Mary Renault
Mary Renault
Mary Renault born Eileen Mary Challans, was an English writer best known for her historical novels set in Ancient Greece...

, and the film director Oliver Stone
Oliver Stone
William Oliver Stone is an American film director, producer and screenwriter. Stone became well known in the late 1980s and the early 1990s for directing a series of films about the Vietnam War, for which he had previously participated as an infantry soldier. His work frequently focuses on...

 among its proponents, as well as modern historians such as Paul Cartledge
Paul Cartledge
Paul Anthony Cartledge is the first A. G. Leventis Professor of Greek Culture at Cambridge University, having previously held a personal chair in Greek History at Cambridge....

, who says: "Rumour had it—and rumour was for once surely correct—that he [Hephaestion] and Alexander had once been more than just good friends." Aelian
Claudius Aelianus
Claudius Aelianus , often seen as just Aelian, born at Praeneste, was a Roman author and teacher of rhetoric who flourished under Septimius Severus and probably outlived Elagabalus, who died in 222...

 takes the latter view when he uses just such an expression when describing the visit to Troy: "Alexander laid a garland on Achilles' tomb and Hephaestion on Patroclus', indicating that he was Alexander's eromenos, as Patroclus was of Achilles."

However, what was the case in Athens
Athens
Athens , is the capital and largest city of Greece. Athens dominates the Attica region and is one of the world's oldest cities, as its recorded history spans around 3,400 years. Classical Athens was a powerful city-state...

 was not necessarily the case in Macedon
Macedon
Macedonia or Macedon was an ancient kingdom, centered in the northeastern part of the Greek peninsula, bordered by Epirus to the west, Paeonia to the north, the region of Thrace to the east and Thessaly to the south....

. As Robin Lane Fox says, "... descendants of the Dorians were considered and even expected to be openly homosexual, especially among their ruling class, and the Macedonian kings had long insisted on their pure Dorian ancestry."
This was no fashionable affectation; this was something that belonged at the heart of what it was to be Dorian, and therefore Macedonian, and had more in common with the Theban Sacred Band than with Athens. In light of this, it is not surprising that there is evidence that their sexual relationship was indeed lifelong.
Lucian
Lucian
Lucian of Samosata was a rhetorician and satirist who wrote in the Greek language. He is noted for his witty and scoffing nature.His ethnicity is disputed and is attributed as Assyrian according to Frye and Parpola, and Syrian according to Joseph....

, writing in his book On Slips of the Tongue describes an occasion when Hephaestion's conversation one morning implied that he had been in Alexander's tent all night, and Plutarch describes the intimacy between them when he tells how Hephaestion was in the habit of reading Alexander's letters with him, and of a time when he showed that the contents of a letter were to be kept secret by touching his ring to Hephaestion's lips. Diogenes of Sinope, in a letter written to Alexander when he was a grown man, accuses Alexander of being "... ruled by Hephaestion's thighs."

No other circumstance shows better the nature and length of their relationship than Alexander's overwhelming grief at Hephaestion's death. As Andrew Chugg says, "... it is surely incredible that Alexander's reaction to Hephaestion's death could indicate anything other than the closest relationship imaginable." The many and varied ways, both spontaneous and planned, by which Alexander poured out his grief are detailed below. In the context of the nature of their relationship however, one stands out as remarkable. Arrian says that Alexander "... flung himself on the body of his friend and lay there nearly all day long in tears, and refused to be parted from him until he was dragged away by force by his Companions."

Such an all-encompassing love often leaves little room for other affections. Hephaestion's lover was also his best friend, his king, and his commanding officer, so it is not surprising that we hear of no other close friendships or attachments in his life. There is no evidence, however, that he was anything but popular and well liked among the group of Alexander's close friends and Companions who had grown up together, and worked well together for so many years.
It is possible that he was closest to Perdiccas
Perdiccas
Perdiccas was one of Alexander the Great's generals. After Alexander's death in 323 BC he became regent of all Alexander's empire.Arrian tells us he was son of Orontes, a descendant of the independent princes of the Macedonian province of Orestis...

, because it was with Perdiccas that he went on the mission to take Peuceolatis and bridge the Indus, and by that time, as Alexander's effective second-in-command, he could doubtless have chosen any officer he cared to name. They accomplished everything they set out to do with great success, which indicates that the two of them worked well together, and that Hephaestion found the irrepressible Perdiccas a congenial companion. It is notable that their two cavalry regiments in particular were selected by Alexander for the dangerous crossing of the river Hydaspes, before the battle with the Indian king, Porus. On that occasion, superb teamwork would have been of paramount importance.

It would be wrong to imply that Hephaestion was universally liked or admired. Outside the close-knit coterie of the Macedonian high command, he had his enemies. This is clear from Arrian's comment about Alexander's grief:
"All writers have agreed that it was great, but personal prejudice, for or against both Hephaestion and Alexander himself, has coloured the accounts of how he expressed it."

However, given the factions and jealousies that arise in any court, and that Hephaestion was supremely close to the greatest monarch the western world had yet seen, it is remarkable how little enmity he inspired. Arrian mentions a quarrel with Alexander's secretary, Eumenes
Eumenes
Eumenes of Cardia was a Thracian general and scholar. He participated in the wars of the Diadochi as a supporter of the Macedonian Argead royal house.-Career:...

, but because of a missing page in the text, the greater part of the detail is missing, leaving only the conclusion, that something persuaded Hephaestion, though against his will, to make up the quarrel. However, Plutarch, who wrote about Eumenes in his series of Parallel Lives
Parallel Lives
Plutarch's Lives of the Noble Greeks and Romans, commonly called Parallel Lives or Plutarch's Lives, is a series of biographies of famous men, arranged in tandem to illuminate their common moral virtues or failings, written in the late 1st century...

, mentions that it was about lodgings, and a flute-player, so perhaps this was an instance of some deeper antagonism breaking out into a quarrel over a triviality. What that antagonism might have been, it is not possible to know, but someone with the closeness to the king of a secretary might well have felt some jealousy for Hephaestion's even greater closeness.

In only one instance is Hephaestion known to have quarrelled with a fellow-officer, and that was with Craterus
Craterus
Craterus was a Macedonian general under Alexander the Great and one of the Diadochi.He was the son of a Macedonian nobleman named Alexander from Orestis and brother of admiral Amphoterus. Craterus commanded the phalanx and all infantry on the left wing in Battle of Issus...

. In this instance, it is easier to see that resentment might have been felt on both sides, for Craterus was one of those officers who vehemently disliked Alexander's policy of integrating Greek and Persian, whereas Hephaestion was very much in favour. Plutarch tells the story:
"For this reason a feeling of hostility grew and festered between the two and they often came into open conflict. Once on the expedition to India they actually drew their swords and came to blows ...".
Alexander, who also valued Craterus highly, as a most competent officer, was forced to intervene, and had stern words for both. It is a measure of how high feelings were running over this contentious issue, that such a thing should have happened, and also an indication of how closely Hephaestion identified Alexander's wishes with his own.
Hephaestion gave perhaps the ultimate proof of this in the summer of 324 BC, when he accepted as his wife, Drypetis, daughter of Darius and sister to Alexander's own second wife, Stateira. Up till this time, Hephaestion's name had never been linked with any woman, or indeed any man other than Alexander. Of his short married life, nothing is known, except that at the time of Alexander's own death, eight months after Hephaestion's, Drypetis was still mourning the husband to whom she had been married for only four months.

For Alexander to marry a daughter of Darius made good political sense, allying himself firmly with the Persian ruling class, but for Hephaestion to marry her sister shows the high esteem in which Alexander held him, bringing him into the royal family itself. They became brothers-in-law, and yet there was more to it than that. Alexander, says Arrian "... wanted to be uncle to Hephaestion's children ...". Thus, it is possible to imagine Alexander and Hephaestion hoping that their respective offspring might unite their lines, and that ultimately, the crown of Macedon and Persia might be worn by one who was a descendant of them both.

Death and funeral


In spring 324 BC Hephaestion left Susa, where he had been married, and accompanied Alexander and the rest of the army as they travelled towards Ecbatana
Ecbatana
Ecbatana is supposed to be the capital of Astyages , which was taken by the Persian emperor Cyrus the Great in the sixth year of Nabonidus...

. They arrived in the autumn, and it was there, during games and festivals, that Hephaestion fell ill with a fever. Arrian says that after the fever had run for seven days, Alexander had to be summoned from the games to Hephaestion, who was seriously ill. He did not arrive in time; by the time he got there, Hephaestion was dead. Plutarch says that, being a young man and a soldier, Hephaestion had ignored medical advice, and as soon as his doctor, Glaucias, had gone off to the theatre, he ate a large breakfast, consisting of a boiled fowl and a cooler of wine, and then fell sick and died.

Piecing the accounts together, it seems as if Hephaestion's fever had run its course for seven days, after which time he was sufficiently recovered for his doctor, and Alexander himself, to feel it was safe to leave him, and for Hephaestion to feel hungry. His meal, however, seems to have caused a relapse that led to his rapid death. Precisely why this should have happened is not known. As Mary Renault says, "This sudden crisis in a young, convalescent man is hard to account for." The explanation that fits most of the facts is that the fever was typhoid, and that solid food perforated the ulcerated intestine that the typhoid would have caused. This would have led to internal bleeding, though it would be unusual in that case for death to follow quite as swiftly as it seems to have done here. For that reason, it is not possible altogether to discount other possible explanations, one of them being poison.

Hephaestion's death is dealt with at greater length by the ancient sources than any of the events of his life, because of its profound effect upon Alexander. Plutarch says "... Alexander's grief was uncontrollable ..." and adds that he ordered many signs of mourning, notably that the manes and tails of all horses should be shorn, the demolition of the battlements of the neighbouring cities, and the banning of flutes and every other kind of music. Arrian relates an account that "... he flung himself on the body of his friend and lay there nearly all day long in tears, and refused to be parted from him until he was dragged away by force by his Companions ...", another that said "... he lay stretched upon the corpse all day and the whole night too ...", and another which told how he had the doctor, Glaucias, executed for his lack of care. Arrian also mentions Alexander ordering the shrine of Asclepios in Ecbatana to be razed to the ground, and that he cut his hair short in mourning, this last a poignant reminder of Achilles
Achilles
In Greek mythology, Achilles was a Greek hero of the Trojan War, the central character and the greatest warrior of Homer's Iliad.Plato named Achilles the handsomest of the heroes assembled against Troy....

' last gift to Patroclus
Patroclus
In Greek mythology, as recorded in the Iliad by Homer, Patroclus, or Patroklos , was the son of Menoetius, grandson of Actor, King of Opus, and was Achilles' beloved comrade and brother-in-arms....

 on his funeral pyre: "... he laid the lock of hair in the hands of his beloved companion, and the whole company was moved to tears."

Another hint that Alexander looked to Achilles to help him to express his grief may be found in the campaign which shortly followed these events, against a tribe called the Cossaeans. Plutarch says they were massacred as an offering to the spirit of Hephaestion, and it is quite possible to imagine that to Alexander, this might have followed in spirit Achilles' killing of "... twelve high-born youths ..." beside Patroclus' funeral pyre.

Arrian states that all his sources agree that "... for two whole days after Hephaestion's death Alexander tasted no food and paid no attention in any way to his bodily needs, but lay on his bed now crying lamentably, now in the silence of grief." Alexander ordered a period of mourning throughout the empire, and Arrian tells us that "Many of the Companions, out of respect for Alexander, dedicated themselves and their arms to the dead man ..." The army, too, remembered him; Alexander did not appoint anyone to take Hephaestion's place as commander of the Companion cavalry
Companion cavalry
The Companions were the elite cavalry of the Macedonian army from the time of king Philip II of Macedon and reached the most prestige under Alexander the Great, and have been regarded as the best cavalry in the ancient world and the first shock cavalry...

; he "... wished Hephaestion's name to be preserved always in connexion with it, so Hephaestion's Regiment it continued to be called, and Hephaestion's image continued to be carried before it."

Alexander sent messengers to the oracle at Siwa
Siwa Oasis
The Siwa Oasis is an oasis in Egypt, located between the Qattara Depression and the Egyptian Sand Sea in the Libyan Desert, nearly 50 km east of the Libyan border, and 560 km from Cairo....

, to ask if Amon
Amun
Amun, reconstructed Egyptian Yamānu , was a god in Egyptian mythology who in the form of Amun-Ra became the focus of the most complex system of theology in Ancient Egypt...

 would permit Hephaestion to be worshipped as a god. When the reply came, saying he might be worshipped not as a god, but as a divine hero
Hero
A hero , in Greek mythology and folklore, was originally a demigod, their cult being one of the most distinctive features of ancient Greek religion...

, Alexander was pleased, and "... from that day forward saw that his friend was honoured with a hero's rites." He saw to it that shrines were erected to Hephaestion's memory, and evidence that the cult took hold can be found in a simple votary plaque now in Archaeological Museum of Thessaloniki, inscribed, "To the Hero Hephaestion".

Hephaestion was given a magnificent funeral. Its cost is variously given in the sources as 10,000 talents or 12,000 talents. It is difficult to give a modern equivalent for such a huge amount, but we know that in Hephaestion’s time, the daily wage of a skilled worker was two or three drachmas. Today, in western Europe, 2008, that would be between £50 and £100, so the lowest possible value for 1 drachma in modern terms is £25. We know there were 6,000 drachmas in a talent, so even at the most conservative estimate, Hephaestion’s funeral would have cost £1,500,000,000. Alexander himself drove the funeral carriage part of the way back to Babylon, with some of the driving entrusted to Hephaestion's friend Perdiccas. At Babylon, funeral games were held in Hephaestion's honour. The contests ranged from literature to athletics, and 3,000 competitors took part, the festival eclipsing anything that had gone before, both in cost and in numbers taking part. Plutarch says that Alexander planned to spend ten thousand talents on the funeral and the tomb. He employed Stasicrates, "... as this artist was famous for his innovations, which combined an exceptional degree of magnificence, audacity and ostentation ...", to design the pyre for Hephaestion.

The pyre was sixty metres high, square in shape, and built in stepped levels. The first level was decorated with two hundred and forty ships with golden prows, each of these adorned with armed figures, and with red banners filling the spaces between. On the second level were torches, with snakes at the base, golden wreaths in the middle, and at the top, flames surmounted by eagles. The third level showed a hunting scene, and the fourth a battle of centaurs, all done in gold. On the fifth level, also in gold, were lions and bulls, and on the sixth, the arms of Macedon and Persia. The seventh and final level bore sculptures of siren
Siren
In Greek mythology, the Sirens were three dangerous mermaid like creatures, portrayed as seductresses who lured nearby sailors with their enchanting music and voices to shipwreck on the rocky coast of their island. Roman poets placed them on an island called Sirenum scopuli...

s, hollowed out to conceal a choir who would sing a lament
Lament
A lament or lamentation is a song, poem, or piece of music expressing grief, regret, or mourning.-History:Many of the oldest and most lasting poems in human history have been laments. Laments are present in both the Iliad and the Odyssey, and laments continued to be sung in elegiacs accompanied by...

. It is possible that the pyre was not burnt, but that it was actually intended as a tomb or lasting memorial; if so, it is likely that it was never completed, as there are references to expensive, uncompleted projects at the time of Alexander's own death.

One final tribute remained, and it is compelling in its simplicity and in what it reveals about the high esteem in which Hephaestion was held by Alexander. On the day of the funeral, he gave orders that the sacred flame in the temple should be extinguished. Normally, this was only done on the death of the Great King himself.

Ancient Sources

  • Aelian
    Claudius Aelianus
    Claudius Aelianus , often seen as just Aelian, born at Praeneste, was a Roman author and teacher of rhetoric who flourished under Septimius Severus and probably outlived Elagabalus, who died in 222...

    , Varia Historia
  • Arrian
    Arrian
    Lucius Flavius Arrianus 'Xenophon , known in English as Arrian , and Arrian of Nicomedia, was a Roman historian, public servant, a military commander and a philosopher of the 2nd-century Roman period...

    , The Campaigns of Alexander
  • Curtius Rufus
    Curtius Rufus
    Curtius Rufus was a Roman politician mentioned by Tacitus for actions during the reigns of the emperors Tiberius and Claudius. In all probability he is to be equated with the first century Roman historian Quintus Curtius Rufus.-Early life:...

    , The History of Alexander
  • Diodorus Siculus
    Diodorus Siculus
    Diodorus Siculus was a Greek historian who flourished between 60 and 30 BC. According to Diodorus' own work, he was born at Agyrium in Sicily . With one exception, antiquity affords no further information about Diodorus' life and doings beyond what is to be found in his own work, Bibliotheca...

    , Universal History
  • Diogenes Laertius
    Diogenes Laertius
    Diogenes Laertius was a biographer of the Greek philosophers. Nothing is known about his life, but his surviving Lives and Opinions of Eminent Philosophers is one of the principal surviving sources for the history of Greek philosophy.-Life:Nothing is definitively known about his life...

    , Lives and Opinions of Eminent Philosophers: Aristotle
  • Diogenes of Sinope
    Diogenes of Sinope
    Diogenes the Cynic was a Greek philosopher and one of the founders of Cynic philosophy. Also known as Diogenes of Sinope , he was born in Sinope , an Ionian colony on the Black Sea , in 412 or 404 BCE and died at Corinth in 323 BCE.Diogenes of Sinope was a controversial figure...

    , Letters
  • Homer
    Homer
    In the Western classical tradition Homer , is the author of the Iliad and the Odyssey, and is revered as the greatest ancient Greek epic poet. These epics lie at the beginning of the Western canon of literature, and have had an enormous influence on the history of literature.When he lived is...

    , Iliad
  • Horace
    Horace
    Quintus Horatius Flaccus , known in the English-speaking world as Horace, was the leading Roman lyric poet during the time of Augustus.-Life:...

    , Epistles
  • Lucian
    Lucian
    Lucian of Samosata was a rhetorician and satirist who wrote in the Greek language. He is noted for his witty and scoffing nature.His ethnicity is disputed and is attributed as Assyrian according to Frye and Parpola, and Syrian according to Joseph....

    , Pro Lapsu
  • Plutarch
    Plutarch
    Plutarch then named, on his becoming a Roman citizen, Lucius Mestrius Plutarchus , c. 46 – 120 AD, was a Greek historian, biographer, essayist, and Middle Platonist known primarily for his Parallel Lives and Moralia...

    , Parallel Lives, Alexander, Eumenes

Modern Sources

  • Cartledge, Paul
    Paul Cartledge
    Paul Anthony Cartledge is the first A. G. Leventis Professor of Greek Culture at Cambridge University, having previously held a personal chair in Greek History at Cambridge....

     (2004) Alexander the Great: The Hunt for a New Past. London:Macmillan. ISBN 1-4050-3292-8
  • Chugg, Andrew Michael (2006) Alexander's Lovers. Lightning Source UK Ltd. ISBN 978-1-4116-9960-1
  • Hammond, N. G. L. (1980 2nd edition) Alexander the Great: King, Commander and Statesman. Bristol Press. ISBN 1-85399-068-X
  • Hammond, N. G. L. (1997) The Genius of Alexander the Great. London:Duckworth. ISBN 0-7156-3341-4
  • Heckel, Waldemar (2006) Who's Who in the Age of Alexander the Great. MA,USA:Blackwell. ISBN 1-4051-1210-7
  • Lane Fox, Robin
    Robin Lane Fox
    Robin Lane Fox is an English historian, currently a Fellow of New College, Oxford and University of Oxford Reader in Ancient History.-Life:Lane Fox was educated at Eton and Magdalen College, Oxford....

     (1973) Alexander the Great. London: Allen Lane. ISBN 0-141-02076-8
  • Renault, Mary
    Mary Renault
    Mary Renault born Eileen Mary Challans, was an English writer best known for her historical novels set in Ancient Greece...

     (1975) The Nature of Alexander. London: Allen Lane. ISBN 0-7139-0936-6

Further reading

  • Reames, Jeanne. Hephaistion Amyntoros: Eminence Grise at the Court of Alexander the Great. Diss. The Pennsylvania State University, c1998. (abstract)
  • Borza, Eugene and Jeanne Reames. Some New Thoughts on the Death of Alexander the Great, The Ancient World 31.1 (2000) 1-9.
  • Bosworth, Albert Brian. Hephaistion. In: Simon Hornblower, Antony Spawforth (Hrsg.): The Oxford Classical Dictionary. 3. Aufl., Oxford University Press, Oxford 1996, ISBN 0-19-866172-X.
  • Carney, Elizabeth D. Alexander the Great and the Macedonian Aristocracy. Dissertation, Duke University, 1975.
  • Heckel, Waldemar. Hephaistion. In: Ders.: The Marshals of Alexander's Empire. Routledge, London 1992, ISBN 0-415-05053-7.
  • Reames, Jeanne. An Atypical Affair? Alexander the Great, Hephaistion, and the Nature of Their Relationship. In: The Ancient History Bulletin 13.3 (1999), S. 81–96.
  • Reames, Jeanne. The Mourning of Alexander the Great, Syllecta Classica 12 (2001) 98-145.

Portrayals of Hephaestion in fiction

  • Cave, A. J. (2008) Roxana Romance. Pavasta. Hardcover: ISBN 978-0-9802061-0-4, eBook: ISBN 978-0-9802061-1-1
  • In the Oliver Stone
    Oliver Stone
    William Oliver Stone is an American film director, producer and screenwriter. Stone became well known in the late 1980s and the early 1990s for directing a series of films about the Vietnam War, for which he had previously participated as an infantry soldier. His work frequently focuses on...

     film Alexander
    Alexander (film)
    Alexander is a 2004 epic film based on the life of Alexander the Great. It is not a remake of the 1956 film which starred Richard Burton. It was directed by Oliver Stone, with Colin Farrell in the title role...

    , he is portrayed by Jared Leto
    Jared Leto
    Jared Joseph Leto is an American actor, director, producer, occasional model and musician. Leto has appeared in both big budget Hollywood films and smaller projects from independent producers and art houses. He rose to prominence for playing Jordan Catalano in the teenage drama My So-Called Life...

    .

External links