In Actuality, Alexander Only Had Two Sons
Alexander had a complicated love life, ranging from a possible relationship with Hephaestion to a relationship with a Thessalian courtesan to impregnating multiple women.
“I wonder how Alexander the Great was with women,” Eliza said. She opened the Server and zoomed in on ancient Macedonia. “I don’t see why that’s relevant,” Craig said. “I’m just curious.” On the screen, Alexander sat on his throne, idly sipping wine from a silver jug. A row of women stood before him, each one of a different ethnicity. A few weary soldiers knelt by Alex’s feet, anxiously awaiting his command. Eliza clicked the translate icon so they could watch the clip with subtitles. “These females are mine by right,” the ruler said. “For I am a living god.” His men nodded fearfully. Alex scratched his chin and then pointed casually at one of the women, an Asian beauty with slender hips and large black eyes. When he snapped his fingers, she took off her clothes and gracefully spun in a circle. “Your body pleases me,” Alex said. “I will soon impregnate you.” Craig laughed. “Can you believe this guy?” Eliza shrugged. “I think he’s kind of sexy.” Craig knew it was crazy to envy a dead Macedonian, but he couldn’t stop his face from flushing. He forced a laugh to mask his jealousy. “What’s sexy about him?” Eliza shrugged. “There’s just something about the way he carries himself.” He watched in pained silence as Eliza zoomed in on the tyrant’s rugged face. “My power mocks Zeus,” Alexander was saying. “And when he sees my feats he is afraid.” He gestured at the row of women. “I will impregnate all of you. One after the other. And you will give birth to a race of living gods.” A little sigh escaped from Eliza’s lips. “Okay,” Craig said. “This is a lot of fun. But can we maybe get back to Sam now?” “Sure,” Eliza said, clearing her throat. “Just a second…” Craig watched with annoyance as she tagged the Alexander clip as a favorite. Eventually, she closed the Server and typed in a search for Sam. (Location 1348)
Alexander would've killed it on dating apps.
Real Historical Facts About Alexander's Love Life
According to Plutarch, the only woman with whom Alexander had sex before his first marriage was Barsine, daughter of Artabazos II of Phrygia but of Greek education (View Highlight)
Barsine was a noble Persian, daughter of Artabazus, and wife of Memnon. After Memnon's death, several ancient historians have written of a love affair between her and Alexander. Plutarch writes, "At any rate Alexander, so it seems, thought it more worthy of a king to subdue his own passions than to conquer his enemies, and so he never came near these women, nor did he associate with any other before his marriage, with the exception only of Barsine (View Highlight)
According to Robin Lane Fox, Alexander and Hephaestion were possible lovers. After Hephaestion's death in Oct 324 BC, Alexander mourned him greatly and did not eat for days. Alexander held an elaborate funeral for Hephaestion at Babylon, and sent a note to the shrine of Ammon, which had previously acknowledged Alexander as a god, asking them to grant Hephaestion divine honours. The priests declined, but did offer him the status of divine hero. Alexander died soon after receiving this letter; Mary Renault suggests that his grief over Hephaestion's death had led him to be careless with his health. (View Highlight)
Alexander was overwhelmed by his grief for Hephaestion, so much that Arrian records 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". Some have suggested that they shared a homosexual relationship together, however historians have challenged that claim, stating instead that Hephaestion was “his closest and dearest friend”. (View Highlight)
As soon as Alexander died in 323 BC, Roxana murdered Alexander's two other wives. Roxana wished to cement her own position and that of her son, unborn at that time, by ridding herself of a rival who could be—or claim to be—pregnant. (View Highlight)
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"He scorned sensual pleasures to such an extent that his mother was anxious lest he be unable to beget offspring." To encourage a relationship with a woman, King Philip and Olympias were said to have brought in a high-priced Thessalian courtesan named Callixena. According to Athenaeus, Callixena was employed by Olympias out of fear that Alexander was "womanish" (γύννις), and his mother used to beg him to sleep with the courtesan, apparently to no success. Some modern historians, such as James Davidson, see this as evidence of Alexander's homosexuality. However, the ancient sources report Alexander as sexually active with women throughout his life and how in adulthood he brought concubines to bed every night. One instance tells of him spending thirteen days making love with a tribe-leader of woman-warriors hailing from the Caucasus mountains. (View Highlight)