Log in

Wed, Jun. 23rd, 2010, 11:32 pm
kizzikat: The Temple of Hephaestion

This map of Alexandria comes from E M Forster's Guide to Alexandria (1922).


The island of Pharos was, according to Forster, empty in the early days of Alexandria (possibly until the building of the lighthouse about 279 BC) except for a temple to Hephaestion.  Presumably this temple is the one Cleomenes, the Greek Alexander left in charge of Egypt, built in the hope that Alexander would excuse his corruption charges.  He was executed by Ptolemy in about 322 BC.

It is possible that the temple to Hephaestion might have been the first building that anyone saw on sailing into the new Alexandria. The prehistoric harbour (the island was known to Homer), might still have been in use until the causeway was built, creating the two great harbours, and merchants arriving in the new city might have drawn up their contracts and sworn to uphold them in Hephaestion's temple, as Alexander ordered that merchants' contract were to include Hephaestion's name, and oaths were sworn in Hephaestion's name. 

Is this a testimony to Hephaestion's organisational abilities, and perhaps a reputation for fair dealing?

Sat, Jul. 3rd, 2010 07:04 pm (UTC)

Thanks a lot for sharing - this is a very interesting find. Did you ever heard about the temple before? Just when you think you know everything there is to know, there is something new to explore and ponder upon. Is there more about the temple in the book?

thanks a lot for sharing.

Sun, Jul. 4th, 2010 03:33 pm (UTC)

Hello, thanks for commenting. I'm afraid that is all he says, other than that the tomb of Alexander was at the crossroads within the city. I must read Andrew Chugg's book on the tomb of Alexander!