Alexander’s Lovers is a factual, historical account of the various persons with whom Alexander is believed to have conducted romantic relationships. It incorporates much new research and tells a more complete version of their biographies than has previously been published. The issue of Alexander’s personality has been called the hardest problem in history. This new book takes up the challenge by investigating the King’s character through the mirror of the lives of his lovers. Foremost among these relationships was that with Hephaistion, the companion of Alexander’s youth, who later rose to become his deputy. Yet also of key importance were Roxane, the King’s fabulously beautiful Afghan queen, Barsine, his Persian mistress, and Bagoas, the eunuch who entered Alexander’s service near the shores of the Caspian Sea. There were others, including Pankaste, the Thessalian courtesan, Thalestris, Queen of the Amazons, Stateira and Parysatis, the Persian princesses and Cleophis, Queen of Massaga, but these liaisons were either essentially political in nature or merely mythical. Alexander’s Lovers is aimed at the large range of Alexander enthusiasts who have been frustrated to find his rather intriguing love life relegated to little more than embarrassed footnotes in the conventional histories of his career.
Did you know that Alexander got the idea of adopting Persian dress from a book he read in his youth? Had you realised that Alexander’s pursuit of divine honours was merely an aspect of his emulation of Achilles? Would you be interested to discover that Bagoas the Eunuch undertook a diplomatic mission in Bactria or that Hephaistion’s diplomacy kept Athens from joining the Spartan rebellion of King Agis? Are you aware that Aetion’s famous painting of Alexander’s marriage depicted Hephaistion and Bagoas as well as Roxane and that it was really a depiction of the King’s various passions? Had you heard that Alexander first met his mistress Barsine when they were both children in Macedon and that she was the great-granddaughter of a Great King? Can you name the girl betrothed to Alexander’s son? Would it surprise you to learn that Alexander’s mourning and funeral arrangements for Hephaistion were conducted according to precepts dictated by Homer and Euripides? If you are intrigued by any of these questions and would like to get to know Alexander on a more personal level than is feasible from the conventional histories, then you need to read Alexander’s Lovers.