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Was really Alexander homosexual?
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Awakener



Joined: 21 Jun 2004
Posts: 3

PostPosted: Mon Jun 28, 2004 12:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I would like to thank you all for a wonderful and mature conversation!!! Second of all, I respect each and every opinion and the only reason why I participated in this discussion was to let you know my own. You are free to make your assumptions. Just bear in mind that making quick assumption usually doesn’t lead to the truth. Furthermore, what I wrote before may have answered Alexia’s questions, but I wasn’t referring to her. However I want to thank her for proving my points without realizing it. She also reminds a lot of my self in the beginning of my research, as she is using the same arguments I used back then. Nothing personal. That’s all! I have nothing more to say in this forum.
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Jenna Corinth



Joined: 22 Jun 2004
Posts: 55

PostPosted: Wed Jun 30, 2004 1:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The thing that has always struck me as strange about this debate (although I haven't come across it on this messageboard) isn't the argument over whether Alexander had male lovers (as most people accept he did) but rather the extreme dislike for Bagoas by some Hephaistion fans, and vice versa.

I've totally never understood this. They seem to think that because he was lovers with Bagoas, it somehow lessens his love for Heph, which is absolute nonsense. Plus I don't think the wee guy deliberately set out to seduce or "snare" Alexander, it just happened.

Bagoas may have harboured jealousy toward Hephaistion, as written about by Mary Renault, but I don't think Bagoas would have bothered Hephaistion in the least, I'm sure he always knew he was number one. There's room to like both men, it's not a case of 'one or the other'.
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Enkidu



Joined: 21 Sep 2004
Posts: 2
Location: munich,germany

PostPosted: Tue Sep 21, 2004 4:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Katalin wrote:
Hi Alexia!
Please tell me if there is any historical evidence about the Bagoas and Alexander affair.I have just recently read about it in Manfredis book and by Mary Renaut. But isnt it just imagination?
I always read with great interest all your comments and I relly would like to know your opinion,
Thanks
Katalin


Hello Katalin

If you read The Persian Boy by Mary Renault, you shaould have read the last pages 'from theauthor'. She explains quite a lot in them. As far as i can remember, Bagoas the eunuch is in Plutarchs historical scripts.


Question to all:

Why do you think that Alexander's love to men is enphasized? May be because there is something behind?
He must have loved men,that's for sure. Otherwise all the stories about his Love for men wouldn't have been worth mentioning. He truly must have shown people what Love meant to him. Why do you think his male-to-male love was worth mentioning by all historians who touched his personality? there must have been something behind it! may be because he showed some class in love?

I guess, all men from that time were supposed to marry at a certain point a fromer male lover from adolesence didn't matter that much anymore. Was Alexander a homosexual? Analyzing his his character, as being very much in love with his mother (at least when he was still in Greece/Macedone), very true to his male friends, his abstinence from women (didn't rape his captives), he could well have been gay. But then - unlike me - my brother shows a lot of parallels in his character to Alexander,and he is - unlike me - a complete heterosexual!
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wolverine



Joined: 29 Sep 2004
Posts: 1

PostPosted: Wed Sep 29, 2004 11:40 pm    Post subject: Alexander was not a homo Reply with quote

Alexander the great was not a homo. There is absolutely no proof of that as the first thread poster explained. Just look at some of the great University Profs like J.B. Bury (Univ of Cambridge), Russel Meiggs (Oxford), Victor Davis Hanson and many more who are authorities on Greek History never mention crap like this in their works. The fact is guys like Oliver Stone need controversy in their movies because that is the only thing that makes them sell, stone has a history of doing this. This is just another attack on real historical material by this director. It's too bad, because most kids these days will just watch a movie about historical events and believe that instead of reading the classics and those interpreted by real scholars. Oliver Stone has violated American History, now he is just violating classical history.
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Rachel25



Joined: 14 Aug 2004
Posts: 68

PostPosted: Thu Sep 30, 2004 2:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Looks like awakener will have to take back her 'mature conversation' compliment. Rolling Eyes

Yes, Stone and so many other directors have been known to change/exaggerate things to make a story for their films fit. But Stone is not pulling idea that Alexander had deep relationships, possibly sexual one, with men out of thin air. Last I checked for everyone of the historians Wolverine named there were probably an equal amount of Historians and/or sources that say it is likely he did have affairs with men.

Now Stone obviously choose to follow those sources. It's his movie.

And that wouldn't necessarily make Alexander a 'homo' as you so eloquently put it.
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Nikas



Joined: 13 Apr 2004
Posts: 73

PostPosted: Thu Sep 30, 2004 7:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

From Plutarch's Moralia:

"When Antipatrides brought to dinner a beautiful harp-player, Alexander, stirred to love at the sight of her, asked Antipatrides whether he happened to be at all in love with the girl; and when he admitted that he was, Alexander said, "You abonminable wretch! Please take her away from here at once."


"A girl was brought to him late in the evening with the intent that she should spend the night with him, and he asked her, "Why at this time?" She replied, "I had to wait to get my husband to go to bed"; whereupon Alexander bitterly rebuked his servants, since, owing to them, he had so narrowly escaped becoming an adulterer."



There is also many other anecdotes on Alexander's love of women. Really, people should really not take the sources out of context and try to portray the man different then what he was.
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meshuggahruls



Joined: 16 Jan 2004
Posts: 120
Location: Australia

PostPosted: Thu Sep 30, 2004 12:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

some ppl are intrigued by homosexualitly. some turned on, some repulsed, some distrusting, some accepting. but all and the same we will just have to assume that alex was BISEXUAL. because nobody has first hand evidence that he was straight or gay.so bi it is.
cheers
from
cal
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vulgaren



Joined: 06 Jul 2004
Posts: 140
Location: Skopje, Republic of Macedonia

PostPosted: Fri Oct 01, 2004 11:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think we are talking about platonic love and not physical.
Don't be confused - even the bible says - love your neigbour friends.

This discussion just shows how shallow we are in some way as we look at anything to do with love through sexual polarisation.
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meshuggahruls



Joined: 16 Jan 2004
Posts: 120
Location: Australia

PostPosted: Fri Oct 01, 2004 12:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

hey its the 21st century ... im allowed to be shallow. Twisted Evil
and **** sometimes i even enjoy it.
enjoy your day or night beautiful people and enjoy being shallow, you only live once.
from
cal
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Cid



Joined: 25 Oct 2004
Posts: 11

PostPosted: Mon Oct 25, 2004 4:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Depends on how you define homosexual. He had homosexual desires but it doesn´t make him a homosexual. Gay men want him gay and straight guys want him straight. The closest label is bisexual. Greeks didn´t label. He wasn´t a homosexual he was a bisexual.
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Professor X



Joined: 27 Oct 2004
Posts: 2

PostPosted: Wed Oct 27, 2004 1:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

All the fuss about Alexander's homosexuality is deliberate.
What is the basis of all those who want him homo or bi? The only historian writer (whose writings can be used as true source) is Arrianos. And the only thing on which the fuss is based is a phrase that calls Alexander and Hephaistion "erastai", which ONLY TODAY, in MODERN greek language would mean "lovers". In the ancient greek sense the word symbolises great love and admiration. Eros is the god of love, but not exclusively sexual/***. So the word cannot be used exclusively to express a sexual relationship.
It's all an invention, an interpretation no more valid and truthful than a unilateral view of someone who barely knows about greek history.
And no, there is no homophobia here. But homosexuality is generally considered as a negative or non-acceptable aspect. It is very convenient to attack a leader's reputation by calling him homo. And very convenient to call homophobic everyone who doesn't so.
For god's sake, don't you have anything better to do than gossiping around?Because you can't just turn history into a tabloid with sexual scandal in order to amuse yourself.
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Cid



Joined: 25 Oct 2004
Posts: 11

PostPosted: Wed Oct 27, 2004 7:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Professor X wrote:
All the fuss about Alexander's homosexuality is deliberate.
What is the basis of all those who want him homo or bi? The only historian writer (whose writings can be used as true source) is Arrianos. And the only thing on which the fuss is based is a phrase that calls Alexander and Hephaistion "erastai", which ONLY TODAY, in MODERN greek language would mean "lovers". In the ancient greek sense the word symbolises great love and admiration. Eros is the god of love, but not exclusively sexual/***. So the word cannot be used exclusively to express a sexual relationship.
It's all an invention, an interpretation no more valid and truthful than a unilateral view of someone who barely knows about greek history.
And no, there is no homophobia here. But homosexuality is generally considered as a negative or non-acceptable aspect. It is very convenient to attack a leader's reputation by calling him homo. And very convenient to call homophobic everyone who doesn't so.
For god's sake, don't you have anything better to do than gossiping around?Because you can't just turn history into a tabloid with sexual scandal in order to amuse yourself.


I agree but people don´t realise that Alexander definately wasn´t a homosexual. He was probably bisexual, it´s more likely than heterosexual considering the historical data. His heterosexual relationships are as badly documented as any other so why ignore based on opinion? But these assumptions are based on modern labels, no labels were around that time. One gay guy here was writing about Alexander and saying he was a gay man and loved only his male friend. He obviously knew very little about Alexander. But why are we disagreeing that Alexander´s sexuality is unknownst to us? We can´t really know for sure but if historians say he was probably bisexual, then ok. It wasn´t a big deal back then, he wasn´t a homo or hetero or bi. No labels but if he were alive today as we think of him he´d be bi. Oliver Stone makes him bi, which is good because then concerned straight people should be happy enough and concerned gay people should be to. But the bis win. (suckers)
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Professor X



Joined: 27 Oct 2004
Posts: 2

PostPosted: Wed Oct 27, 2004 9:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Still, whether he was bi or not is not the main issue stemming from 32 years of radically changed history...
Besides, you don't judge people by their sexuality, nor you search about it, unless a)you want to have an affair with them (!)... b) you're an uneducated old lady gossiping around.
Certainly, there are many, many more important aspects of Alexander to discuss. And much more decent.
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Cid



Joined: 25 Oct 2004
Posts: 11

PostPosted: Wed Oct 27, 2004 11:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Professor X wrote:
Still, whether he was bi or not is not the main issue stemming from 32 years of radically changed history...
Besides, you don't judge people by their sexuality, nor you search about it, unless a)you want to have an affair with them (!)... b) you're an uneducated old lady gossiping around.
Certainly, there are many, many more important aspects of Alexander to discuss. And much more decent.


True, but this discussion on his sexuality is mainly because of how Alexander´s sexuality is shown on-film. There is no right way I guess. But history does tell us that bisexuality (male bisexuality-modern terms of course) was normal in ancient Greek. And if history has shaky documented facts that Alexander did have wives and male lovers than it is likely that he was in modern terms bi and I´m pleased that Stone is just doing what is most likely. The older version of Alexander the Great with Burton he was a heterosexual because homosexuality was a huge taboo at that time, bisexuality has existed as long as any other sexuality but it wasn´t named till recently in history and in the 60´s it was extremely rare to find anyone who identified as bisexual. So I understand why he wasn´t in that version. But this is late 2004 and if bisexuality offends some people than their living in the past :p. I´m not an old gossip-spreading lady, everything I state here is what I read from good sources. Alexander´s sexuality (as bisexual) I consider more normal than anything else but I also think his battle skills and tactics are as interesting.
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tintin



Joined: 15 Nov 2004
Posts: 24
Location: Winchester, MA, USA

PostPosted: Tue Nov 23, 2004 9:34 pm    Post subject: Re: Was really Alexander homosexual? Reply with quote

I never stop to be amazed at the stupidity of my fellow human beings. Rolling Eyes Since, I also have not seen the movie (I'll see it first thing tomorrow, when it opens), I can only speculate about it. I am VERY apprehensive about it, being an Hollywood movie. I remember (a figure of speech) what a DISASTER Troy turned out to be...

Of course, voyeurism being the favorite pastime of most people, the only interest most people have/will have about this film, while being totally ignorant of Ancient History and Ancient Greece in particular, is Alexander's sexual preferences.

In the time of Alexander, social historians will tell you that the proper upbringing of a young man of nobility involved a tutor with whom the young teenager (Alexander' 's tutor was no other than the great Greek philosopher Aristotle) would share everything, including the bed. This was considered part of a proper education . As he grew older and had completed his education, the young man went into the real world, got married, and created a family. Obviously, his formative tears left something behind (no pun intended) and maybe, I say maybe, his interest in young and not so young men continued.

Alexander sexual preferences for his friend and General Hephaestion and his eunuch Bagoas, with whom he shared almost every minute of the day, is quite understandable, given the times and circumstances. History shows that for Alexander, women came second.

The saddest part of the all story is that most people, cretins in my book, will spend their available time worrying about the sexuality of Alexander instead of learning about the monumental achievements of the man. Sad indeed.
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