Was Alexander the Great Gay or Bisexual?

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Written By Sedoso Feb

People know Alexander the Great as a renowned historical figure who was a very successful military commander who never lost a battle. However, people are wondering if he was gay or bisexual, only accentuated by the release of the Alexander: The Making of a God documentary. Here is what you need to know.

Was Alexander the Great gay?

It is unknown if Alexander the Great was considered gay.

However, some historians such as James Davidson believed Alexander the Great was gay or homosexual. This was because Alexander the Great was extremely disinterested in sexual relations with women in his teenage years, this was worrying for his parents King Philip and Olympias, who went so far as to purchase a Thessalian courtesan named Callixena to encourage Alexander to no avail.

One key factor contributing to the theory of Alexander the Great’s homosexuality was his relationship with Hephaeston, with some historians suggesting that the two were intimate. Alexander was also reported to have been strongly attracted to Hepheaston’s thighs and after his friend’s death, Alexander was so distraught that he flung himself to his body and embraced it for days until he was forcibly parted from it. Additionally, other ancient sources also claimed that Alexander was infatuated with Bagoas, with whom he would become intimate.

On the other hand, other ancient authors claimed that Alexander the Great simply had self-control to the point where he would not even engage in sexual relations with men either as he reportedly simply refused male prostitutes sent to him by other men.

Was Alexander the Great bisexual?

It is possible Alexander the Great was bisexual as he had dalliances with both women and men.

According to ancient historians, Alexander had relations with several women such as Barsine, whom he was enthralled by due to her beauty and wit. He also married three women, Roxana of Bactria, Stateira, and Parysatis, and fathered children with them. He also experienced attraction toward and had relations with men such as Hephaeston and Bagoas.

However, it is noteworthy that Ancient Greek customs did not have terms like “gay”, “bisexual” or “straight” and homosexuality was so widespread in Greece that it was not considered shameful. As such, Alexander’s sexual orientation could be considered bisexual.

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