Alexander the Great was able to conquer just as many women, as he did lands , a favorite amongst both the ladies and men”¦ His relationship with his lifelong companion Hephaestion may have even caused Alexander’s demise. Nonetheless, he produced children and later did not live to see the death of one of his wives , a consequence of jealousy and his passing. In this article, we will begin with his relationship with Hephaestion , the son of a Macedonian noble.
Not only was Hephaestion the closest (and best childhood) friend to Alexander, but he also held the position of second-in-command to Alexander’s soldiers. He would serve as the individual that accomplished the deepest emotional attachment out of all his companions and the women in his life. As a youth, the two studied together alongside a group of children belonging to Macedonian aristocracy.
More is known about Hephaestion during the time that Alexander carves his niche at Troy. It is during this time that the two companions leave sacrifices at the shrines of Achilles and Patroclus. Alexander paid homage to Achilles, while Hephaestion honored Patroclus. There are no definite resources that point to a relationship between Alexander and Hephaestion, but during these Macedonian and Greek times , people were not looked down upon for engaging in such relationships. It was viewed as normal at these times for sexual relationships between two men to take place.
The bond between Alexander and Hephaestion was deep and they remained close friends until the end of Hephaestion’s life, which Alexander took rather hard. As a result, he did not eat for days. In his honor, a grand funeral was held at Babylon for Hephaestion. He also sent a note to the shrine of Ammon asking that Hephaestion be granted “divine honors.” This was the same shrine that saw Alexander as a god. In the end, the priests declined his wish, but offered to give his beloved friend the status of a ‘divine hero.’ Right after he received the priest’s response, Alexander died. It has been long suspected that his grief over Hephaestion’s death was to blame. Alexander had become rather reckless when it came to his health.
It is thought that Campaspe (also referred to as Pancaste) served as one of Alexander’s mistresses. This would make her the first woman that he was intimate with. Campaspe was viewed as a prominent member of society in Thessaly. Some records suggest that she may have started a love affair between Alexander and herself. There are a few stories associated with Campaspe’s role in Alexander’s life, but her existence does not appear in any of the major sources (five in total) that depict the life of Alexander. However, she is mentioned in the writings of significant Roman authors, like Pliny the Elder and Lucian of Samosata.