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Alexander the Great, Relationship with Hephaestion - History Channel
Whatever Hephaestion's opinion had been on the whole affair, like many of Alexander's other childhood companions he was not exiled in its aftermath. In other words, two adult Greek men may well have had a sexual relationship, despite the fact that such a relationship would violate the cultural norm. This older man would educate the youth in the ways of Greek life and the responsibilities of adulthood. Critically, however, girls in these communities also experienced same-sex love, sometimes for their mistresses Sappho writes of her love for various students of hers and sometimes for each other. Greek boys no longer left the confines of the community, but rather paired up with older men within the confines of the city. Far from being a shadowy thing, same-sex love was celebrated as a cultural ideal that even the great heroes and the gods engaged in. In another scene, Bagoas dances publicly for Alexander in a rather sexual fashion, and Alexander kisses him. During Plato's time there were some people who had "the audacity to say" that homosexual sex was shameful in any circumstances. The seventh and final level bore sculptures of sirens , hollowed out to conceal a choir who would sing a lament. By the time Alexander reached Asia Minor modern Turkey in at the beginning of his conquest of Persia, Hephaestion and Alexander already were close. His wife was beneath him because she was a woman. According to Eva Cantarella , for instance, male bisexuality was widely permitted and ruled by law, and generally not frowned upon by the public to the extent to which it remained within the preset limits. What that antagonism might have been, it is not possible to know, but someone with the closeness to the king of a secretary might well have felt some jealousy for Hephaestion's even greater closeness.
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