macedon king

Greatest Gay Lovers: Alexander the Great x Hephaestion

Alexander III of Macedon son of King Philip II, would grow up to be the worlds greatest military commander.

By the age of age of 18, he brought down the greatest empire the world has ever seen. Conquered most of the known world by the age of 33. While never losing a battle.

As a child Alexander had a passion for philosophy. He attended lectures at Mieza, tutor by Aristotle. While there he would meet Hephaestion. Who would later become the 2nd most powerful man in Alexander’s empire. As well as Alexander’s life long lover and confidant.

Their tutor Aristotle described the friendship as “one soul abiding in two bodies”.

Alexander would describe his relationship with Hephaestion, to that of Achilles and Patroclus. Who are said to be lovers by Plato and Aeschylus.

Robin Lane Fox, wrote: “Already the two were intimate, Patroclus and Achilles even to those around them; the comparison would remain to the end of their days and is proof of their life as lovers…”

In 324 BC, Hephaestion contracted typhoid. Hearing the news Alexander rushed to be at his side but by the time he arrived, Hephaestion passed away.

Plutarch says ”…Alexander’s grief was uncontrollable, he flung himself on the body of his friend and lay there nearly all day long in tears, and refused to be parted from him until he was dragged away by force by his companions.“

Arrian states ”…for two whole days after Hephaestion’s death Alexander tasted no food and paid no attention in any way to bodily needs, but lay on his bed now crying lamentably, now in the silence of grief.“

Alexander cut his hair short in mourning, this last a poignant reminder of Achilles’ last gift to Patroclus on his funeral pyre: Arrian states ”… he laid the lock of hair in the hands of his beloved companion, and the whole company was moved to tears.“

Long after Alexander own death one philosopher wrote, Alexander was only defeated once and that was by Hephaestion’s thighs.

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HISTORY EDITS: Alexander the Great (July 356 BC - June 323 BC)

Alexander III of Macedon, commonly known as Alexander the Great, was king of Macedon and a member of the Argead dynasty. He was born in Pella in 356 BC and succeeded his father Philip II at the age of twenty. He spent most of his ruling years on military campaigns, and created one of the largest empires of the ancient world by the age of thirty, stretching from Greece to northwestern India. He was undefeated in battle until his death in Babylon in 323 BC. 

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Tomb of Thessalonike of Macedon

Vergina, Greece

300 BCE


Thessalonike (352 or 345 – 295 BC) was a Macedonian princess, the daughter of king Philip II of Macedon by his Thessalian wife or concubine, Nicesipolis, from Pherae. History links her to three of the most powerful men in Macedon—daughter of King Philip II, half sister of Alexander the Great and wife of Cassander.

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–> Favorite historical figures:

Alexander III of Macedon: king of Macedonia, he created one of the largest empires of the Ancient world, stretching from Greece to Egypt into northwest India and modern-day Pakistan. Undefeated in battle, he is widely considered one of history’s most successful military commanders. Military academies throughout the world still teach his tactics. He is often ranked among the most influential people in human history.

Cleopatra VII Philopator: last active pharaoh of Ptolemaic Egypt, she was a politically astute ruler who fought for the independence of her country, while understanding the need for an implication in Roman affairs, leading to her relationships with Julius Caesar and Mark Antony. Despite the efforts of a lifetime, Egypt became a province to the newly-established Roman Empire after her death.

Anne of Brittany: last Sovereign Duchess of Brittany and twice anointed Queen consort of France (1491-1498 and 1499-1514), she was a central figure in the struggle for influence that led to the union of Brittany and France. She is highly regarded in Brittany as a conscientious ruler who defended the Duchy - the safeguarding of Breton autonomy and the preservation of the Duchy outside the French crown being her life’s work. 

Charles Brandon, 1st Duke of Suffolk: lifelong friend of Henry VIII, courtier and general, he married for love Mary Tudor in 1515, risking his head in the process and losing the royal favor temporary. Much appreciated at court, he spent his life as a trusted and beloved courtier to the king, who payed for his burial in 1545.

François I: first king of the House of Valois, he was a prodigal patron of the arts, who initiated the French Renaissance. His reign saw important cultural changes, the rise of absolute monarchy in France, as well as the spread of humanism and Protestantism. For his role in the development and promotion of a standardized French language, he became known as “le Père et Restaurateur des Lettres” (the “Father and Restorer of Letters”).

Mary Tudor, Queen of France: sister to Henry VIII, she became the third wife of Louis XII of France in 1514. At his death in 1515, she married Charles Brandon for love, against the wishes of her brother and his council. The couple were eventually pardoned, after having paid a heavy fine. She was the maternal grandmother of Lady Jane Grey.

Mary I of England: first queen regnant of England, she wielded the full powers of a king and paved the way for her female successors. She is mostly remembered for her restoration of Roman Catholicism and her unpopularity at the time of her death. Although her reign (1553-1558) was quite short, she started the policies of fiscal reform, naval expansion, and colonial exploration that were later lauded as Elizabethan accomplishments.

Louis XIV, the “Sun King”: one of the most powerful French monarchs, he consolidated a system of absolute monarchical rule, turned France into the leading European power of his time, encouraged and benefited from the work of prominent political, military, and cultural figures. His reign, by its length and achievements, has been dubbed “Le Grand Siècle” (“the Great Century”).

“Alexander the Great” by Iron Maiden

Top Metal Songs of the 80′s - #72

King Darius the third
Defeated fled Persia
The Scythians fell by the river Jaxartes
Then Egypt fell to the Macedon King as well
And he founded the city called Alexandria

By the Tigris river
He met King Darius again
And crushed him again in the battle of Arbela
Entering Babylon
And Susa, treasures he found
Took Persepolis the capital of Persia

Obviously one of my favorite songs, and the subject of one of my favorite stories which I post every time I post the song. Basically, when the album came out, I was in high school. I walked from school tot he mall to buy it, then went home and listened to it on repeat all night, “forgetting” about my World history test the next day. Luckily, my test was on…Alexander the Great. From listening to the song, I learned enough facts to pass the test (it obviously included no actual critical thought, just rote memorization), to the surprise of everyone. 

The song itself is one of their best epics, beginning with the famous quote by King Philip of Macedon (which I occasionally recite to my students, to their utter amazement - how can someone remember something that obscure?!), and passes through a number of different structures, most based on a couple central themes. It’s simply a model for constructing an epic song that they would continue to employ through their most recent album.

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//Oh Macedonia :’ ) When it first declared independence, they adopted the Vergina sun on a red background as its flag. The Vergina sun is a symbol associated with the ancient Macedon king’s, and Greece objected to Macedonia using it. They eventually relented on this issue and changed the flag to a more generic sun.

Fun fact on Mace’s design: She has red hair because of the flag! Sort of! Red and yellow show up in symbols for Macedonia a lot, so I wanted to base her color scheme on the colors. Plus, the more general symbolism of the colors fit, with red meaning passion and yellow meaning joy, as passionate and joyful are two words I’d use to describe her. So, she ended up with a yellow dress and gold (later hazel) eyes, and red hair.

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The Signs as Famous Kings pt. 4 (Water)

Cancer - Alexander III, King of Macedon (331-323 BC)
The curly-headed and dark-eyed curious boy-prince was tutored in archery, horsemanship but also poetry and philosophy or drama. Alexander’s childhood heroes were heroic warriors and he was eager to become one himself. The grown-up Alexander is said to be the embodiment of a true king. Courageous, power-conscious, loyal and ambitious, he was destined to lead and expand Macedon. But this task called for cruelty and unscrupulousness as well. This King was tremendously stubborn on the one hand but his calm and logical side made him part of reasoned debates on the other. His opposing personality traits also show off in his peace-loving and happiness-seeking nature which conflicted with his changes of mood.  

Scorpio - Attila the Hun, Ruler of the Hunnic Empire (434-453)
For his enemies the impersonation of ruthless terror and violence but for his allies a mighty and gracious leader; Attila’s life might have been driven mainly by the rumors  spread about this man of honor and justice. A cunning lover of war, a brilliant horseman, educated in archery and bargaining, Attila was the very opposite of the other more barbarian conquerors. Preparing advanced battle tactics in the background and gaining respect as well as henchmen by keeping the sheer superstition of his fellows, suppliants and foes alive allowed Attila to contribute to defeating the Romans. It is uncertain how he died but the passing of Attila, one of the greatest military leaders of all time, was bemoaned strongly.

Pisces - King Arthur of England (late 5th, early 6th century)
King Arthur is rather a legendary figure than a historical one but still he is a widely-known former leader of England. According to medieval histories he led the defense against Saxon invaders. One of the king’s greatest personality traits was his strong belief  in equality which is why he created the Round Table where he listened to the advice of others. Whether literature created that picture of him or not, he is remembered as brave, loyal, kind and trusting of his family, knights and staff. Arthur had an ongoing strive for a peaceful and happy empire although it was permanently endangered by battles. This King was a man who made decisions with thought always seeing the bigger picture.

Alexander III of Macedon (356 – 323 BC),  known as Alexander the Great , was a king of Macedon, a state in northern ancient Greece. He had created one of the largest empires of the ancient world, stretching from the Ionian Sea to the Himalayas.

Today 2,345 years ago the Battle of Gaugamela took place.

On the 1st of October 331bce, Alexander the Greats army versed Darius III Persian army on the plains of modern day Iraq.
According the Graeco-Roman historian Arrian, Darius III had 40,000 cavalry, 1,000,000 infantry and 200 scythe-bearing chariots. However the logistics of this make it unlikely that any army in antiquity could have commanded more than 50,000.
Alexander had at his command seasoned warriors inherited from his father Philip II amounting to 40,000 infantry, 7,000 cavalry with the elite force that Alexander led personally, the Companions.

Alexander the Great, King of Macedon had already inflicted two defeats upon the Persian King, but on both these occasions it was said that the battle ground had been chosen in favour of the Macedonians where Darius could not exercise his full military power. As such Alexander let Darius choose the battle ground for their third conflict, where the Persian King would have the advantage of using his scythed chariots which needed level ground to operate.
The night before the battle Alexanders generals tried to persuade their king to launch a night attack on the camping Persian army, but Alexander replied stating that he would not steal his victory like a thief in the night.

Having already scouted the battle grounds Alexander devised a plan to counteract Darius’ chariots. On the day he placed his forces slightly to the left of the Persian centre, and when he advanced he did so on the oblique moving further to the left. This caused Darius’ own strategy into disarray and he launched his chariots prematurely, depriving them of the cavalry cover they needed for protection.

(Pictured above. The mosaic from Pompeii, 1st century. Showing Alexander perusing a fleeing Darius.)

When the Persians made a break in the front line and in consequence the cavalry was launched in confusion to assist those surrounding the right wing, Alexander having previously drawn away part of the Persian cavalry in chase wheeled around towards the gap in the Persian front. Charging ahead with his Companions and the Phalanx that was stationed there, Alexander engaged in hand-to-hand combat and fought his way through towards Darius. There are two accounts of Darius reaction, one suggested by Arrian is that Darius fearing for his life fled, however Diodorus Siculus writes Darius as ‘raining javelins on his enemies’ and ‘as the two kings closed…a javelin hurled by Alexander missed Darius by impaled the chariot driver beside him’. Either way the outcome was that Darius did indeed flee the battle ground.
It is said that the casualties among the Macedonians reached 300, while the Persian casualties reached 35,000.
King Darius had lost the battle and more importantly lost his entire empire in that single day. Alexander thus won an empire stretching from Sahara to the Himalayas.
Alexander perused Darius afterwards, but the Persian King was assassinated by his own generals.


Watch this to see an accurate and brilliant recreation of the battle from the film ‘Alexander’.

Tetradrachm of Antigonus III (r. 229-221) from Amphipolis, Macedon, struck c. 228-227 BC

Obverse: The head of Poseidon wearing a seaweed wreath; dotted border. Reverse: Apollo holding a bow while seated on a ship’s prow; the inscription ΒΑΣΙΛΕΩΣ ΑΝΤΙΓΟΝΟΥ on the prow and a monogram below.

Antigonus III Doson was the king of Macedon from 229 BC to 221 BC. He was a member of the Antigonid dynasty and the son of Demetrius the Fair. As king, Antigonus III proved to be as much a master of tactical diplomacy as of military strategy. In less than a decade of rule he not only secured the borders of his nation, he also reestablished Macedon as the dominant power in the region. Unlike previous Macedonian rulers who attempted direct dominion over their fiercely independent neighbors to the West and South, he formed alliances with Epirus and the Achaean League. When Sparta, under Cleomenes III, attempted to establish hegemony over the whole Peloponnese, Aratus of Sicyon - long the leader of Greek opposition to Macedonian domination - invited Antigonus to intervene (226 BC). Establishing his base on the heights above Corinth, Antigonus reconstituted a broad-based Hellenic league (224 BC) under his leadership before launching his attack on Sparta. The Spartan forces, outmatched by the larger, better equipped Macedonian army, were so overwhelmed in the battle of Sellasia (222 BC) that Cleomenes only managed to escape with a few horsemen, and ultimately had to seek refuge in Egypt. However, in a magnanimous gesture, Antigonus restrained his soldiers from plundering Sparta, saying it was Cleomenes, not Sparta, that was his enemy.

Antigonus did not long survive this victory. For, while his forces were campaigning in the southern Peloponnese, Illyrians invaded Macedonia from the north. Antigonus had to rush north to repel this new threat. On his way, Antigonus passed through Tegea and Argos, his arrival at the latter coinciding with the beginning of the Nemean Games, where he was honoured by the Achaean League and various other cities. His death occurred soon after, when he returned to Macedon and engaged the Illyian army; for though Macedonian forces were once again victorious, the commander became sick during the battle (possibly though not necessarily as a result of a ruptured blood vessel) and died.

Perseus of Macedon in the character of Perseus the Mythological Hero, 323-31 BC

This is a Hellenistic engraved sealstone of lapiz lazuli. Perseus of Macedon is shown here wearing the winged helmet of the hero Perseus with a crest in the form of a cock’s head. The magical curved sword of Perseus is shown behind his neck.

Perseus of Macedon was the last king of the Antigonid dynasty, who ruled the successor state in Macedon created upon the death of Alexander the Great in 323 BC. He also has the distinction of being the last of the line, after losing the Battle of Pydna on 22 June 168 BC; subsequently Macedon came under Roman rule.

The mythological Perseus was the first hero and the founder of Mycenae. His exploits in defeating various archaic monsters provided the founding myths of the Twelve Olympians. He was the son of the mortal Danaë and the god Zeus and was also the great grandfather of Heracles, also a son of Zeus. Perseus beheaded the Gorgon Medusa and saved Andromeda from the sea monster Cetus (Ketos).

Tetradrachm of King Aeropos, Macedon,  c. 398/7-395/4 BC

This very rare and extremely fine coin shows a young man wearing a simple taenia. On the reverse ΑΕΡΟΠΟ is inscribed above a horse with its reins trailing below.

Aeropus II was the regent and guardian for the infant Orestes, son of Archelaus I, who had been murdered in 399 BC, perhaps partially because of his strong philhellenic (loving all things Greek) bias, which enraged many of the native nobles. This assassination led to a turbulent succession crisis during which Orestes was eliminated leaving Aeropus as sole ruler for a short period before being challenged by Amyntas II (possibly his son or the illegitimate son of Archelaus I) and then being succeeded by his own son Pausanias.

Pausanias lasted for a very short period before being ousted by Amyntas III (the great grandson of Alexander I) in 393 BC. This ushered in a period of relative stability culminating in the reigns of his son Philip II and grandson Alexander III (the Great). Returning to Aeropus, what little we know about him indicates that he was a member of the powerful Lynkestes family, long time rivals of the Macedonian royal house (other Lynkestids were involved in revolts after Amyntas III’s death in 369 BC). The fact that no coins are known of the infant Orestes has led to the suggestion that Aeropus continued issuing silver and very rare bronze in the name of Archelaus I before the death of the child, only afterwards striking coins in his own name.