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Thu, Oct. 14th, 2010, 11:04 pm
kizzikat: 1870 Dictionary of Greek and Roman Antiquities ed W Smith

Part of the entry on Hephaestion:

‘For it is equally to the credit of Hephaestion and Alexander, that though the former undoubtedly owed his elevation to the personal favour and affection of the king, rather than to any abilities or achievements of his own he never allowed himself to degenerate into the-position of a flatterer or mere favourite, and the intercourse between the two appears to have been uniformly characterised by the frankness and sincerity of a true friendship.’

 ‘It was fortunate for Hephaestion that his premature death saved him from encountering the troubles and dissensions which followed that of Alexander, and in which he was evidently ill qualified to compete with the sterner and more energetic spirits that surrounded him. Even during the lifetime of the king, the enmity between him and Eumenes, as well as that already adverted to with Craterus, had repeatedly broken out, with a vehemence which required the utmost exertions of Alexander to repress them; and it is but justice to the latter to observe, that his authority was employed on these occasions without any apparent partiality to his favourite. (Plut. Alex. 47, Eum. 2 ; Arr. Anab. vii. 13, 14.) If, indeed, we cannot refuse this obnoxious name to Hephaestion, nor affirm that he was altogether exempt from the weaknesses and faults incident to such a position, it may yet be fairly asserted that history affords few examples of a favourite who abused his advantages so little.’

Mary Renault says something similar in The Nature of Alexander - "that so little is adduced against him is remarkable."  Perhaps she had read this.


Tue, Oct. 19th, 2010 07:41 pm (UTC)
parisad

The quarrel with Eumenes is another subtle evidence that Hephaestion was ready to use his influence over Alexandros and that he perfectly knew how to "take" the King, and of course he knew, they had been friends since their childhood...I can't blame him for that, though: he was loyal to Alexandros and he surely loved him, but when your friend/lover is also a King, it's very difficult not to try to take some advantage...