Was Alexander The Great straight, gay, or bisexual?

Was Alexander The Great straight, gay, or bisexual?

There are some historical rumors about the sexuality of Alexander, The Great. The airing on Netflix of the series Alexander: The making of a God has rekindled people’s interest in his sexuality. What he truly gay?

Alexander , The Great

Alexander succeeded his father, Philip II and became the king of the ancient Greek kingdom of Macedon. He ascended the throne in 336BCE when he was just 20 years of age. But in a decade, he expanded his empire massively and it became one of the largest empires in the world and world history.

Alexander, The Great was indeed a great man. He is a notable figure in the history of Ancient Greece! But there are some sort of negative and absurd rumors about his sexuality. There are rumors that this Greek king was a gay person.

Alexander The Great
Netflix docudrama on Alexander The Great (Source: IMDb)

The Netflix docudrama Alexander: The making of a God explores the life story of this great conqueror. It is in six parts and offers an insight into his life. There is an archaeological excavation going on at one site in Alexandria, Egypt. The docudrama also deals with it. This series has raised interest anew in the minds of the viewers about Alexander’s sexuality. Was he really gay?

Alexander’s life story and sexual orientation

Alexander was a very successful military commander. But he was also infamous. There are tales about his mother that state that Alexander’s mother was worried that he had no interest in women. The first-century Roman historian Quintus Curtius Rufus writes:

He scorned sensual pleasures to such an extent that his mother was anxious lest he be unable to beget offspring,”

Alexander raging a war (Source: World Atlas)She went to the extent of bringing in a courtesan named Callixena. Alexander’s mother pleaded with her son to sleep with Callixena. But Alexander refused. This fueled the rumor about his sexuality. Leading modern-day historians like James Davidson believe that his refusal is an adequate indication to confirm that he was gay.

But Greek philosopher and biographer Plutarch, who was alive between AD 46 and AD 119 states that Alexander did have sex with one woman. She was Barsine, the daughter of Artabazus II of Phyrgia. Alexander loved her for her beauty and respected her for her great knowledge of Greek literature.

Alexander had three marriages in his lifetime. The first wedding was with Roxana of Bactria. And his second wife was Stateira, the daughter of a Persian king, while his third wife was Parysatis, whose father had also ruled Persia.

Alexander’s likely male sex partners

Being married does not confirm that a person is straight. Alexander was quite close to several men. The most mentioned in this context is the army general and nobleman Hephaestion. Quintus Curtius Rufus describes him as Alexander’s dearest friend from their growing years and Alexander used to share all his secrets with him. English historian Robin Lane Fox feels that the two could have been lovers.

Read here: Is Australian actor, Jacob Elordi gay? Know his sexuality!

Alexander The Great
Alexander (Source: National Geographic)

The courtier, Bagoas was another of Alexander’s likely lover. Quintus states:

Bagoas was in the very flower of boyhood, with whom [another Persian ruler] Darius was intimate and with whom Alexander would later be intimate.”

However, another historian counteracts this claims and feels that Bagoas had some enemies whom he wanted Alexander to overpower and kill. Some also add that Bagoas was actually an eunuch.

But it is vital to remember that in olden days, these terms such as homosexual, bisexual, gay, lesbian did not exist. Yet, there are records that Alexander did enjoy relationships with people of different genders. Moreover, the social view and attitude towards gender and sexuality in ancient Greece was different from what it is now. In fact, during those bygone days, homosexuality was rampant in all socio-economic strata of society. It was not considered as abnormal. It was not against religion or nature.

Hence, one can say that Alexander did like both men and women. He might have been bisexual to be precise.

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