Reviewing Alexander the Great

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Just saw Alexander the Great. My thoughts are 5 stars for cinemetography and 2.5 stars for historical accuracy. They did the Battle of Gaugamela expertly but royally screwed up the portrayal of his Indian campaign, to the point of showing him recieving his major wound at the Battle of the Hydaspes, totally ignoring the city assault which gave him the wound (and occured after the Hydaspes). AND THEY TOTALLY FORGOT ABOUT THE SIEGE OF TYRE! Gaugamela was a great victory, but the Siege of Tyre was just as great, if not greater. In all of history, Tyre had only been taken twice. The Babylonians sieged that city for several years without breaking it.

It was a great movie, definitely worth seeing. But it had the potential to be a GREAT GREAT GREAT movie if they spent more time on his campaigns and less time on his love life. (There were only two battle scenes in the whole movie, the rest of the three hours came dangerously close to being a soap opera)

Overall rating: 4 stars

What do you all think of the movie?
 
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I haven't seen the movie yet, but I did watch a "making of" show on the History Channel last week. It certainly did appear that quite a bit of effort was put into the Gaugamela battle scenes. It was very interesting how military adviser Dale Dye (our ole "BoB" buddy) trained Colin Farrell both physically and mentally to play the great leader.........

As Janos said it is good to get a reveiw from someone who knows the history behind it, since it has gotten some mediocre (at best) reveiws........
 

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NO

http://www.ew.com/ew/report/0,6115,785227_1_0_,00.html

Is it possible to defame someone who's been dead for 2,300 years? Maybe you can under Greek libel law. According to Reuters, a coalition of 25 Greek lawyers is threatening to sue Alexander director Oliver Stone and distributor Warner Bros. over the upcoming film's depiction of Alexander the Great as bisexual. ''We are not saying that we are against gays but we are saying that the production company should make it clear to the audience that this film is pure fiction and not a true depiction of the life of Alexander,'' attorney Yannis Varnakos told Reuters on Friday.

Varnakos said he'd like for the movie, which opens Nov. 24, to run with a disclaimer that says Alexander is a work of fiction, ''or we will take the case further.'' He said, ''We have not seen the film, but from the information we have already there are references to his alleged homosexuality, a fact that is in no historical document or archive on Alexander.'' In a reference to another Stone film that offered a disputed take on history, Varnakos said, ''We cannot come out and say that President John F. Kennedy was a shooting guard for the Los Angeles Lakers basketball team, and so Warner cannot come out and say Alexander was gay.''

Alexander, which stars Colin Farrell as the Macedonian emperor, contains a fairly explicit sex scene between Farrell and Rosario Dawson, who plays Alexander's first wife, Roxane. Farrell is also shown kissing Francisco Bosch, who plays a Babylonian eunuch named Bogoas. As for Alexander's closest companion, Hephaistion (Jared Leto), Stone shows them embracing and exchanging long, meaningful glances but stops short of depicting them as lovers. Farrell recently acknowledged to EW that the filmmakers shied away from making Alexander's sexuality more blatant for fear of alienating homophobic moviegoers. ''In an ideal world we could have and would have shot the movie with [more graphic] stuff in it,'' he said.

Robin Lane Fox, an Oxford historian who published a definitive and bestselling biography of Alexander in 1972, served as a consultant on the film and signed off on Stone's interpretation of the sparse historical record regarding the conqueror. The film's publicity materials quote Lane Fox as saying, ''One of the fascinations about Alexander is the gaps in what we can know — they give such scope for the imagination.''

________________________________________________________
So the answer is... (From what we know from historical sources)...NO, NO, And NO
 
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He did a good job portraying Alexander as we know him. I imagine most of the blame should be heaped on the director. As Tonight Show talk show host Jay Leno said: "Alexander the Great was assassinated by Oliver Stone." and "It's a good thing Alexander the Great is dead and doesn't know about this. In his time he conquered the known world, now he's been beaten by Spongebob Squarepants."

''We have not seen the film, but from the information we have already there are references to his alleged homosexuality, a fact that is in no historical document or archive on Alexander.''

In response to the above quote: What about Hephaestion? There is evidence to suggest that the relationship between those two was intimate - and it's in ancient chronicles. It is also a well known fact, confirmed by ancient chronicles, that the Macedonian nobility tended to "swing both ways".
 
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Alexander was a product of his times. In the Greek world of this era there was no stigma placed on bisexual leanings. In many ways it would be seen as the norm, especially amongst the upper classes. So even if there is no concrete historical evidence to confirm Alexander's bisexuality, there is no open denial either. There would be no reason to since his society didn't frown upon its occurance.........
 

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pirateship1982 said:
''We have not seen the film, but from the information we have already there are references to his alleged homosexuality, a fact that is in no historical document or archive on Alexander.''

In response to the above quote: What about Hephaestion? There is evidence to suggest that the relationship between those two was intimate - and it's in ancient chronicles. It is also a well known fact, confirmed by ancient chronicles, that the Macedonian nobility tended to "swing both ways".
Lance Williams said:
Alexander was a product of his times. In the Greek world of this era there was no stigma placed on bisexual leanings. In many ways it would be seen as the norm, especially amongst the upper classes. So even if there is no concrete historical evidence to confirm Alexander's bisexuality, there is no open denial either. There would be no reason to since his society didn't frown upon its occurance.........
Dear pirateship1982 and Lance Williams,

You are speaking about generalities, but you failed to bring forward historical facts (ancient scripts) about any of your positions...
Please, if any of you, can say something more than your opinion, something based on specific historical references (ancient scripts), I would be more than happy to learn about the subject.
Otherwise, I suggest you search a little further the truth on this subject.
For the moment just read what the expert historical advisor of the film answered to the question...

Robin Lane Fox, an Oxford historian who published a definitive and bestselling biography of Alexander in 1972, served as a consultant on the film and signed off on Stone's interpretation of the sparse historical record regarding the conqueror. The film's publicity materials quote Lane Fox as saying, ''One of the fascinations about Alexander is the gaps in what we can know — they give such scope for the imagination.''

Please enlight me on the validity of your opinion.

best,
Pyros
 

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The following are copy/paste from other sites:

PROOF THAT ALEXANDER THE GREAT WAS NOT GAY FROM ORIGINAL ANCIENT GREEK SOURCES:

“When Philoxenos, the leader of the seashore, wrote to Alexander that there was a young man in Ionia whose beauty has yet to be seen and asked him in a letter if he (Alexander) would like him (the young man) to be sent over, he (Alexander) responded in a strict and disgusted manner: “You are the most hideous and malign of all men, have you ever seen me involved in such dirty work that you found the urge to flatter me with such hedonistic business?” (From Plutarch’s On the Luck and Virtue of Alexander A, 12)

“But as for the other captive women, seeing that they were surpassingly stately and beautiful, he merely said jestingly that Persian women were torments to the eyes. And displaying in rivalry with their fair looks the beauty of his own sobriety and self-control, he passed them by as though they were lifeless images for display.” (From Plutarch’s Parallel Lives: Alexander, 21)

“When Philoxenus, the commander of his forces on the sea-board, wrote that there was with him a certain Theodorus, of Tarentum, who had two young men of surpassing beauty to sell, and enquired whether Alexander would buy them, Alexander was incensed, and cried out many times to his friends, asking them what shameful thing Philoxenus had ever seen in him that he should spend his time in making such disgraceful proposals.” (From Plutarch’s Parallel Lives: Alexander, 22, 1)

In light of the evidence above, CONSIDER the following questions and DRAW your own conclusions:

If Alexander was a homosexual, would he have reacted in this manner to Philoxenos’ proposals?

If Alexander was a homosexual, would he have ruthlessly
and disgustingly dismissed Philoxenus?

If Alexander was a homosexual, would he have “drooled” over Persian women who were “torments to the eyes”?


What we know today about Alexander the Great is based on ancient writings (Plutarch, Arrian, Diodorus Siceliotis, Cicero etc). None of these writings say that Alexander was a Gay. They describe him as fearless, real man, visionary etc but they don't say that he was a gay. Most people today that think that Alexander and some other ancient Greeks were gay is because they didn't translate well the ancient documents. Do you know that it was illegal in Ancient Greece to be a gay? When a man was having sexual relationship with another man, he was taken all the political rights and if he was doing later, anyone of these political rights, he was put to death. ("Aishinis", against Timarhos "paragraph 21").



A NEW BOOK WHICH DEMOLISHE STHE MYTH THAT HOMOSEXUALITY WAS ACCEPTED BY ANCIENT GREEKS

Debunking the Myth of Homosexuality in Ancient Greece BY ADONIS GEORGIADES

http://www.grecoreport.com/debunking_the_myth_of_homosexuality_in_ancient_greece.htm

Proof that Homosexuality was UNNATURAL by Ancient Greeks (Original Ancient Greek Sources):

“And whether one makes the observation in earnest or in jest, one certainly should not fail to observe that when male unites with female for procreation the pleasure experienced is held to be due to nature, but it is AGAINST nature when male mates with male or female with female, and that those first guilty of such enormities were impelled by their slavery to pleasure.” Plato Laws 1.636c

“If we were to follow in nature's steps and enact that law which held good before the days of Laius, declaring that it is right to refrain from indulging in the same kind of intercourse with men and boys as with women, and adducing as evidence thereof the nature of wild beasts, and pointing out how male does not touch male for this purpose, since it is unnatural,--in all this we would probably be using an argument neither convincing nor in any way consonant with your States.” Plato Laws 8.836c

“I maintain that our regulation on this head must go forward and proclaim that our citizens must not be worse than fowls and many other animals which are produced in large broods, and which live chaste and celibate lives without sexual intercourse until they arrive at the age for breeding; and when they reach this age they pair off, as instinct moves them, male with female and female with male;” Plato Laws 8.840d

“We might forcibly effect one of two things in this matter of sex-relations,--either that no one should venture to touch any of the noble and freeborn save his own wedded wife, nor sow any unholy and bastard seed in fornication, nor any unnatural and barren seed in sodomy,--or else we should entirely abolish love for males” Plato Laws 8.841d

“When Zeus created humans and their other soul properties, he ingrained them in every human being. However, he left SHAME out. Since he didn’t know where to insert it, he commanded that it (shame) be inserted in the anus. Shame, however, complained about this and was very upset. Since shame was profusely complaining, shame said: “I will only agree to be inserted this way (i.e., in the anus) and whoever is inserted after me, I will come out.” From this day on, may every sexually inclined person who chooses this method be SHAMEFUL!” Aesop’s Fables, Zeus and Aeschyne (Shame)


Debunking the Myth of Homosexuality in Ancient Greece BY ADONIS GEORGIADES

This is the myth that Adonis Georgiades so successfully and convincingly demolishes in his book Debunking the Myth of Homosexuality in Ancient Greece.

Georgiades manages, in just over 200 easy-to-read and well-documented pages, to cite a multitude of ancient sources which shed the light of truth upon the question of just how homosexuals and homosexuality were regarded in the Hellas of the 9th to the 4th century B.C. His thesis is simple: "Of course homosexuality existed in Greece, just as it has existed, and will continue to exist, everywhere and at all times in human history. However, while it did exist, it was never legally sanctioned, thought to be a cultural norm, or engaged in without risk of serious punishment, including exile and death." A pitiful creature like Barney Frank, for instance, would have -- upon his particular "proclivity" being discovered -- been executed or sent into exile. After which, his living quarters would have been fumigated and ritually purified by a priest. Unless, of course, he had previously "gone public" with his homosexual lifestyle.
In that case, though he would have been permitted to live, he would, under Athenian law (grafí etairísios), not be permitted

to become one of the nine archons,
nor to discharge the office of priest,
nor to act as an advocate for the state,
nor shall he hold any office whatsoever,
at home or abroad, whether filled by lot or by election;
he shall not be sent as a herald;
he shall not take part in debate,
nor be present at the public sacrifices;
when the citizens are wearing garlands, he shall wear none;
and he shall not enter within the limits of the place that has been purified for the assembling of the people.
Any man who has been convicted of defying these prohibitions pertaining to sexual conduct shall be put to death (Aeschines. "Contra Timarchus," as cited in Georgiades, p. 69).



We learn as well that "Athens had the strictest laws pertaining to homosexuality of any democracy that has ever existed" (62). In non-democratic Sparta, as well as in democratic Crete and the rest of democratic Hellas, there were similar prohibitions with similar punishments as that meted out in Athens, and Georgiades gives us citations galore to prove his main thesis: "At no time, and in no place, was this practice considered normal behavior, or those engaged in it allowed to go unpunished" (passim). In order to remove any doubt whatsoever, he draws on such ancient luminaries as Aeschylus, Aristophanes, Diodorus Seculus, Euripides, Homer, Lysias, Plato, Plutarch and Xenophon, all of whom have left a written record as to what the prevailing norms were concerning this behavior. He also covers Greek vase painting, Mythology and Lesbianism, while not neglecting to reveal the truth about such much-maligned personalities from Hellas' glorious past as Achilles and Patroclus, Alcibiades and Socrates, Alexander the Great and Hephaestion, and the woman that the later Greeks regarded as "the greatest of the lyric poets," Sappho.


Greek vase painting has been a favorite source for the distorters of Greek culture and civilization. Georgiades points out that, of the tens of thousands of vases unearthed so far (the count for just the province of Attica, where Athens is located, is over 80,000), only 30 or so have an overtly homosexual theme; representing, in other words, just .01% of the total (127). When one compares this small percentage to what we see today on TV, in ads, books, magazines, the cinema, etc., one can just imagine what future generations will think of us. There is more, much more, but the purpose of this review is to stimulate the reader to order the book to see for himself just how Georgiades has managed to shed the light of truth on this important aspect of Greek history.


There is one more thing, however, that must be said. Georgiades has -- in a clear and easy-to-comprehend manner -- delineated the difference between what the ancients meant when they used the words "Erastis" and "Eromenos," and the way these words are translated and used in our time. This alone is worth the price of the book. Briefly, to the ancient Greeks, the term Erastis denoted a man who mentored, in a non-physical way, an Eromenos. The Eromenos was in all cases a beardless youth who looked up to and respected his mentor, and who had been commissioned by the boy's parents to take on the vital chore of preparing him to assume the roles of husband, father, soldier, and active citizen in the affairs of his community. Georgiades delves deeply into this relationship, and explains how and why these terms have come today to be confused with the "dominant" and "passive" partners in an homosexual union.
 

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I have read before about homosexuality being actually illegal in ancient Greece. Sure it went on but behind closed doors like in plenty of other societies too no doubt.

Male companionship, even love for one male to another is some thing else entirely. Even more so when friendships are forged in battle and shared hardships and dangers bring young men closer together.

That is more than likely the case with Alexander's love for some of his male companions and their love for him.

If that is not the case maybe they should have considered Boy George instead of Colin Farrell for the lead role! :eek:
 

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Lance Williams said:
It seems to me we've touched a sore point here.........
No, actually I don't like to hear this kind of libellous myth for the civilization that is the base of our modern world.
 
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I never conclusively stated that Alexander was homosexual, or more properly, bisexual, I simply pointed out that it was possible and there was evidence to suggest he might have been. My point was it has not been conclusively proven that he WASN'T, even if it has not been conclusively proven that he was.

As for homosexuality being illegal, let us examine the below quote:

“When Philoxenos, the leader of the seashore, wrote to Alexander that there was a young man in Ionia whose beauty has yet to be seen and asked him in a letter if he (Alexander) would like him (the young man) to be sent over, he (Alexander) responded in a strict and disgusted manner: “You are the most hideous and malign of all men, have you ever seen me involved in such dirty work that you found the urge to flatter me with such hedonistic business?” (From Plutarch’s On the Luck and Virtue of Alexander A, 12)

If homosexuality was illegal, then why was Philoxenos only reprimanded? If he had comitted a crime he would have been punished but Alexander only rebuked him. Clearly from your own text citation it appears homosexuality was accepted in Macedonia.

I do feel it neccessary to point out that what philosophers said and what people did were two different things. Remember that though Greece was democratic, Macedonia, at the time, was a monarchy. The monarch makes the rules and he can break the rules. Monarchs have been known to violate moral standards. This is a trait of the nobility that is universal, whether the monarch is Greek, Macedonian, Roman, English, French, or Chinese. As the old saying goes, absolute power corrupts absolutely.

In concluding I feel that you have put forth some very good points. My knowledge of ancient texts is second-hand and you are quoting specific sources so I may very well be wrong. But I will end with one last question: What do the texts you quote say of Hephaestion? Was their love one of comradeship or intimacy?

P.S. - The reason I'm pushing this matter is not to be critical of Greece or to say that they were immoral. I'm pushing it because I'm very defensive about rewriting history until something has been conclusively proven.
 

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pirateship1982 said:
I never conclusively stated that Alexander was homosexual, or more properly, bisexual, I simply pointed out that it was possible and there was evidence to suggest he might have been. My point was it has not been conclusively proven that he WASN'T, even if it has not been conclusively proven that he was.

As for homosexuality being illegal, let us examine the below quote:

“When Philoxenos, the leader of the seashore, wrote to Alexander that there was a young man in Ionia whose beauty has yet to be seen and asked him in a letter if he (Alexander) would like him (the young man) to be sent over, he (Alexander) responded in a strict and disgusted manner: “You are the most hideous and malign of all men, have you ever seen me involved in such dirty work that you found the urge to flatter me with such hedonistic business?” (From Plutarch’s On the Luck and Virtue of Alexander A, 12)

If homosexuality was illegal, then why was Philoxenos only reprimanded? If he had comitted a crime he would have been punished but Alexander only rebuked him. Clearly from your own text citation it appears homosexuality was accepted in Macedonia..
From my point of view the above shows that homosexuality "existed" in ancient times as it exist in modern times. Furthermore it shows, from the reaction of Alexandros, that he condemned homosexuality.


pirateship1982 said:
I do feel it neccessary to point out that what philosophers said and what people did were two different things. Remember that though Greece was democratic, Macedonia, at the time, was a monarchy. The monarch makes the rules and he can break the rules. Monarchs have been known to violate moral standards. This is a trait of the nobility that is universal, whether the monarch is Greek, Macedonian, Roman, English, French, or Chinese. As the old saying goes, absolute power corrupts absolutely..
Here you should be more careful with the use of words...
"Greek, Macedonian, Roman"
The above is not correct...

The Hellenic city-state of Sparta was in war with the Hellenic city-state of Athens...
The Hellenic kingdom of Macedonia was in war with various Hellenic city-states...
The Hellenic League of Deilos (Athenian confederation) was in war with the Hellenic Peloponesian federation (Sparti)...
The Hellenic Aitolian League (Aitolian koinon) was in war with the Hellenic League of Achaians...
The Hellenic Dynasty of Antigonos in Macedonia was in war with the Hellenic Aitolian League...
PYROS ("Pyric victory"), the king of the Hellenic Epirus was in war with both the Hellenic Macedonians (Demetrius) and the Hellenic Aitolian League...

From the above I want to make clear that it isn't correct to put in a row the Greeks, The Macedonians and the Romans...

It is the same thing if I told you... New York, New Jersey and Honduras.
Both The Hellenic Greek city-states and the Hellenic Kingdom of Macedonia were Hellenes.

you wrote: "The monarch makes the rules and he can break the rules."
This is not the case in ancient Greece...
The general rule is that Kings follow the rules...just read about the kings in Sparti. The LAW and RELIGION were above kings in ancient Greece.


pirateship1982 said:
In concluding I feel that you have put forth some very good points. My knowledge of ancient texts is second-hand and you are quoting specific sources so I may very well be wrong. But I will end with one last question: What do the texts you quote say of Hephaestion? Was their love one of comradeship or intimacy?

P.S. - The reason I'm pushing this matter is not to be critical of Greece or to say that they were immoral. I'm pushing it because I'm very defensive about rewriting history until something has been conclusively proven.
I want to thank you because your good-willing scepticism gives me the opportunity to present the truth (based on the original ancient sources) concerning these issues.

As for Alexandros-Hephaestion relation, I copy/paste an article from another site, maybe you will find it interesting.
Although I disagree with several points of the author and I find that he fail to give the correct meaning to words like erastis/eromenos or other generalities.
The base for your search should be what the three Greek historians (Arrian, Diodorus and Plutarch)say about Alexander and not what the Romans or others add in later times:

Hephaistion
Let us return now to the question of what involvement, if any, Alexander had with his life-long friend, Hephaistion. Our three Greek historians (Arrian, Diodorus and Plutarch) never term him erastes or eromenos, only philos (friend) or malista timomenos (honoured). Alexander himself calls him philalexandros (friend of Alexander).(P.s Achilles: In these few sentences is hidden the most probable truth, as these historians were both Hellenes and lived close to the era of Alexander) Curtius and Justin use only amicus, never amans. The only implication of a sexual relationship or use of the term eromenos for Hephaistion occurs in late sources or those of dubious authorship. [Ael. VH 12.7, Epic. Dis. 2.12.17-18, Diog. Epistles 24, and Luc. Dial. Dead 397.] So while we do have evidence that it was possible, in Macedonian society, for young boys of roughly the same age to form attachments to one another which included a sexual expression (Achilles: the Author says his opinion, he doesn't present historical facts), there is no indisputable evidence for such an attachment between Alexander and Hephaistion. That evidence does exist is circumstantial only.Personally, I find it convincing(P.s Achilles: the Author base his opinion not on solid evidence but on personal impression and imagination), but I do think we must acknowledge that we cannot state with certainty that Alexander and Hephaistion were lovers, either as young men, or continuing throughout their lives.
But let us turn to this circumstantial evidence. First, and perhaps most important, is the literary comparison made between their friendship and that of Achilles and Patroklos, which 4th century Greece assumed to have had a sexual side.(P.s Achilles:The Author fails to give the correct meaning/translation to the Greek words ERASTES/EROMENOS - these words are not connected with sexual relations but their true meaning indicate ideas as military & social training, companionship, friendship and spiritual guidance; if anyone wish to understand the true meaning of ERASTES/EROMENOS should study the way of combat of the ancient Greek phalanx of hoplites).For mention of Achilles and Patroklos as lovers in material with which Alexander himself was probably familiar, see Pl. Sym. 180a, TGF F135-36 {Aeschylus' Myrmiddons), and Aesch. Tim. 1.141-42.] The problem with this bit of circumstantial evidence is that we cannot be sure when the comparison came about. Was it used in Alexander's own lifetime by Alexander and Hephaistion themselves? Certainly Alexander cast himself as Achilles! But was Hephaistion also cast as Patroklos at the time, or was this done later by the poetasters? Much depends on what one makes of Arrian's story (1.12.1) that Hephaistion laid a wreath on Patroklos' grave at Troy, as Alexander laid one on Achilles'. Arrian gives this as a logos--a mere story: "They say...." The tale was not, apparently, found in Arrian's chief sources (Ptolemy and Aristobulos). It is difficult what, or how much, to make of it. Did Arrian include it as part of a complicated flattery for his patron, the Roman emperor Hadrian (who, as we recall, loved the youth Antinoos)? Certainly, others in Alexander's train were compared to figures in the Achilles legend (most notably old Lysimakhos as Phoenix). As Cohen has pointed out, these Homeric tales were living reality to the Macedonians. [Ada Cohen, "Alexander and Achilles--Macedonians and 'Mycenaeans,'" The Ages of Homer: A Tribute to Emily Townsend Vermule (1995).] So while we need not let skepticism completely overwhelm us, I'm afraid the verdict on the veracity of the Achilles/Patroklos pastiche must remain "unknown."


Perhaps a safer allusive comparison is found in Curtius (7.9.19) wherein a certain young Euxenippos is compared to Hephaistion and found wanting in virility. While Curtius' use of conciliatum does not have to mean "beloved," that seems to be the thrust of the passage (pun intended). Euxenippos was a pretty boy who had caught the king's eye. (Alexander would hardly be the first Macedonian king to have a fling with one of his Pages.) This makes the boy's comparison to Hephaistion particularly suggestive. Has the king's current eromenos been set beside his old flame and come off the worse for the comparison? I believe this passage makes far more sense if we assume a romantic affair at some point between Alexander and Hephaistion.

Finally, Hephaistion's death and Alexander's grief is, itself, an indication of Hephaistion's significance to the conqueror. If Alexander is understood to be mourning a spouse (or spouse-equivalent), the severe nature of his mourning is far more comprehensible--and proves, in fact, not to be abnormal or pathological at all, contrary to much ancient and modern opinion. Yet, again, Alexander's bereavement is not proof of a sexual relationship between the two; it only proves, or at least suggests, that Hephaistion occupied the central emotional place in Alexander's life. We must remember that the two of them had been friends at least nineteen years, if we accept Mieza as the terminus ante quem for their meeting. During much of this, they would have have lived in close quarters on campaign and no doubt seen one another daily when not away on independent missions. Nineteen years is longer than many modern marriages. Whatever the truth of their sexual involvement, their emotional attachment has never been seriously questioned. In the Nicomachean Ethics, Aristotle speaks of the true friend as the "second self" (1170b) and postulates there is only one special friend (1171a). At least some of his teachings seem to have made an impression on his student!

Conclusion
Finally, I would like to point out that whatever one chooses to believe about Alexander's sexual relationship with Hephaistion, it would be reductive to characterize it solely in this way. Greek philia included a level of friendship that was particularly intense, one which is sometimes difficult for us now to grasp. In our societies, friendship all too often exists on the boundaries of other relationships--those with our family or lovers. For the Greeks, though, such was not the case, and perhaps they were richer for it. In short, our models of friendship are not consonant with theirs, and in these ancient societies where homoerotic desire was freely (Achilles: again this is the Author's opinion without any historical facts of it), sometimes emphatically, expressed, intense friendship might well develop a sexual expression even while that expression was not the focus of the friendship, or even thought of as particularly characteristic of it.

Thus, it would be inappropriate to refer to the friend as "lover" except in very specific circumstances, as such would fall short of encompassing the whole. Alexander's choice of philalexandros for Hephaistion said far more about the nature of his affection than calling him merely eromenos.


Dr. Jeanne Reames-Zimmerman
The Pennsylvania State University

[Excerpted and abbreviated from: Hephaistion Amyntoros: Éminence Grise at the Court of Alexander the Great, Jeanne Reames-Zimmerman, Diss. Pennsylvania State University, 1998, 152-179. Author retains copyright; Thomas William-Powlett has permission to reproduce.]

P.s Erastis/Eromenos are meanings that we find in the training of the Spartan hoplites.
The problem is that most of historians (including Dr. Jeanne Reames-Zimmerman) tried to translate the phenomenon meaning of these words and failed to see the TRUE meaning of these symbolic ideas.
There isn’t anything more sacred than the relation between of Erastis/Eromenos.
To any of you that wish to understand a bit more what is the meaning of companionship for the hoplite of the Hellenic Ancient Greece just think what is the spiritual impact when a FREE man hear from his commander the following words:

I don’t ask you to fight for your GODS,
I don’t ask you to fight for your CITY,
I don’t ask you to fight for your FAMILY,

I JUST ASK YOU TO NOT DISSAPOINT THE PERSON (HOPLITE) NEXT TO YOU…(phalanx of hoplites)



Cheers! :smoke:
 
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piero1971

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alexander

I've finally seen ALexander.

ok.

Cinematography is good - normal it's a movie done by one of the best directors alive.

Special effects: great.

historical Accuracy: I'm not a specialist of the period, but I found the uniforms of Persians and Macedonians and Greeks very well done and the depiction of the interior of houses annd of Alexandria (Egypt) and Babylon excellent. As for the battles, they are confused (I don't like it so much) by choice.

sexuality, etc. : I think the movie was quite to what I imagine ti was at the times.

my opinion is that this is not an Epic saga of the life of Alexander the Great, but rather a story on the pshychoogy of Alexander... how he reacted to his mother and father and friends and fellow soldiers as well as conquerred people.

Not bad at all in that respect as it showed a humane Alexander, with his obsessions and acts of rage. I could not indentify myself with the character because of the sexual part of the scenes... that are still disturbing for a 100% hetero and 20th century bred guy like me, but I guess that is ok at the times...

I found that the entire campaign before Gaugamelas that is missing is a mistake because ti would show hwo and why the Macedonians and the Phalanx were so great a weapon for the times.. (the phalanx was not as impressive in the moovie as I thought it should have been...an advancing wall of spikes... for that braveheart - or spartacus - was better done...) and I thought that the movie did not show enough of the brutality of Alexander's rage when his horse and when his lovers died.

I also dont' like when actors in an acient movie speak with scottish and irish accent.. get a grip guys, you're paid millions.. do some effort to get the accent away... I mean angelina Jolie - Olympia - forces herself to do a sort of Greek accent, and Crater speaks scottish!!

actors play is great, which i expected under the direction of Oliver Stone - but still he is better director in movies like Platoon, JFK, the Doors, Natural Born Killers, and Any Given Sunday (I am a big Oliver Stone Fan).
 

hogdriver

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pirateship1982 said:
Just saw Alexander the Great. My thoughts are 5 stars for cinemetography and 2.5 stars for historical accuracy. They did the Battle of Gaugamela expertly but royally screwed up the portrayal of his Indian campaign, to the point of showing him recieving his major wound at the Battle of the Hydaspes, totally ignoring the city assault which gave him the wound (and occured after the Hydaspes). AND THEY TOTALLY FORGOT ABOUT THE SIEGE OF TYRE! Gaugamela was a great victory, but the Siege of Tyre was just as great, if not greater. In all of history, Tyre had only been taken twice. The Babylonians sieged that city for several years without breaking it.

It was a great movie, definitely worth seeing. But it had the potential to be a GREAT GREAT GREAT movie if they spent more time on his campaigns and less time on his love life. (There were only two battle scenes in the whole movie, the rest of the three hours came dangerously close to being a soap opera)

Overall rating: 4 stars

What do you all think of the movie?

The shortcomings may be stated in two words - Oliver Stone. :nuts: Never one to let facts of history get in the way of a good story, Stone has bastardized another historical figure in order to give life to his revisionist construct. Who will be next?? :mad:
 

thomas.tmcc

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pirateship1982 said:
Just saw Alexander the Great. My thoughts are 5 stars for cinemetography and 2.5 stars for historical accuracy. They did the Battle of Gaugamela expertly but royally screwed up the portrayal of his Indian campaign, to the point of showing him recieving his major wound at the Battle of the Hydaspes, totally ignoring the city assault which gave him the wound (and occured after the Hydaspes). AND THEY TOTALLY FORGOT ABOUT THE SIEGE OF TYRE! Gaugamela was a great victory, but the Siege of Tyre was just as great, if not greater. In all of history, Tyre had only been taken twice. The Babylonians sieged that city for several years without breaking it.

It was a great movie, definitely worth seeing. But it had the potential to be a GREAT GREAT GREAT movie if they spent more time on his campaigns and less time on his love life. (There were only two battle scenes in the whole movie, the rest of the three hours came dangerously close to being a soap opera)

Overall rating: 4 stars

What do you all think of the movie?
Hi I havent seen the film ,but one thing that bugs me I dont think alexander had blonde hair ! ,as most people in greece are dark skined and have black hair ,so why does colin farrel have blonde ,no offence to any greeks intended ,as I love going to greece and meeting them ,my wife and I got married in corfu ,she loves greece as do I between us we have been to corfu,rhodes,zante and myself crete .

Thomas
 

Achilles

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thomas.tmcc said:
Hi I havent seen the film ,but one thing that bugs me I dont think alexander had blonde hair ! ,as most people in greece are dark skined and have black hair ,so why does colin farrel have blonde ,no offence to any greeks intended ,as I love going to greece and meeting them ,my wife and I got married in corfu ,she loves greece as do I between us we have been to corfu,rhodes,zante and myself crete .

Thomas
Hi Thomas,

There are certain things that have changed since the ancient times…
Indeed Alexander had blonde hair.
As for Pyrrhos and the people of Epirus, a lot of them had blonde-red hair… Pyrric is connected with the word Pyr that means fire.

You may find Greeks with dark skin in Crete and Greeks with ultra white skin in the Ionian Islands. This has to do with the mix of populations during the medieval times. Crete was close to the North African pirates/raiders and Corfu was close to Venice… make the math to see the results.

The blonde color was a symbol of beauty in the ancient Greek society.


p.s my father is from Corfu
 

Wolfe Tone

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OK I did it. I have just returned from seeing Alexander.

I went with an open mind prepared to be disappointed or not.

Overall I must say I found the film interesting and entertaining if somewhat drawnout.

The Cinemamatic effects and the acting were excellent. Angelina Jolie as Olympia was top class. Colin Farrell was pretty good too.

The Irish accents didn't bother me anyway! :cheeky:

Now Alexander's sexuality is the one area of the film which has created the most controversy. I thought his love for Hephaiston was emphasised a little too much. We just don't know what the exact nature of their relationship was but my own personal belief is that they were as close as Brothers and no more. But others see more to it than meets the eye.

Alex also was supposed to have had an intimate relationship with Bagoas the eunuch, who does not speak in the film. There things are more enigmatic. But close servants did sometimes stay within their masters' room of a night in previous ages. There was nothing particularly unusual about that. Maybe the boy was the only male who Alexander did not have to play King with and who would appear to have had a sensitive nature that the more Macho personalities of his entourage would almost certainly have lacked.

Roxanne was no doubt a love match because politically she was usless to Alexander's policies. Except of course that she could produce an heir.

I think overall the aspects of Alex's personal character were covered well enough.

On the military front there were some excellent battle scenes but not nearly enough.

I can understand that from Oliver Stone's perspective Battles are hugely expensive but I am sure a few more small scale actions, of which Alex took part in plenty, could have been inserted to give the film a bit more pace.

He is thinking of doing a directors cut. If so he could drop a couple of short clips of bedroom drama and perhaps if he has any leftover action shots stick a few more of those in.

Well they spent over 200 million on it already, surely spending another 10 to make the film some kind of a commercial success would'nt be too much to ask? :D
 
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