Plutarch on Alexander the Great & Hephaestion — Ancient Heroes
Alexander and Hephaestion were possible lovers,and their tutor,Aristotle, described their relationship as "one soul abiding two. Alexander III, king of the ancient state of Macedon, is often heralded as one of . notably his friend Hephaestion, who also attended Aristotle's academy and The relationship between the Macedonian officer corps and the king was open and . Daily Quiz for December 22, · Allied Forces' Fight for Air. "Hephaestion was the one whom Alexander loved, and for the rest of their lives their relationship remained as intimate as it is now irrecoverable: Alexander was .
Arrian says that Alexander "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". In this picture we can see Hephaestion point out Alexander. Such an all-encompassing love often leaves little room for other affections. Hephaestion was the best friend of Alexander, his king and his commanding officer, so it is not surprising that we only hear of several other close friendships or attachments in his life.
There is no evidence, however, that he was anything but popular and well liked among the group of Alexander's close friends and Companions who had grown up together, and worked well together for so many years. It is possible that he was closest to Perdiccasbecause it was with Perdiccas that he went on the mission to take Peuceolatis and bridge the Indus.
By that time, as Alexander's effective second-in-command, he could doubtless have chosen any officer he cared to name.
It is notable that their two cavalry regiments in particular were selected by Alexander for the dangerous crossing of the river Hydaspes before the battle with the Indian king, Porus. On that occasion superb teamwork would have been of paramount importance. Outside the close-knit coterie of the Macedonian high command he had his enemies. This is clear from Arrian's comment about Alexander's grief: Arrian  mentions a quarrel with Alexander's secretary Eumenes but, because of a missing page in the text, the greater part of the detail is missing, leaving only the conclusion that something persuaded Hephaestion, though against his will, to make up the quarrel.
However, Plutarch, who wrote about Eumenes in his series of Parallel Lives mentions that it was about lodgings and a flute-player, so perhaps this was an instance of some deeper antagonism breaking out into a quarrel over a triviality. What that antagonism might have been, it is not possible to know, but someone with the closeness to the king of a secretary might well have felt some jealousy for Hephaestion's even greater closeness.
In only one instance is Hephaestion known to have quarrelled with a fellow officer and that was with Craterus.
In this instance it is easier to see that resentment might have been felt on both sides, for Craterus was one of those officers who vehemently disliked Alexander's policy of integrating Greek and Persian, whereas Hephaestion was very much in favour. Plutarch tells the story: Once on the expedition to India they actually drew their swords and came to blows It is a measure of how high feelings were running over this contentious issue that such a thing should have happened and also an indication of how closely Hephaestion identified Alexander's wishes with his own.
Hephaestion gave perhaps the ultimate proof of this in the summer of BC, when he accepted as his wife Drypetis, daughter of Darius and sister to Alexander's own second wife Stateira.
They became brothers-in-law, and yet there was more to it than that.Alexander the Great, Relationship with Hephaestion - History Channel
Alexander, says Arrian "wanted to be uncle to Hephaestion's children". They arrived in the autumn and it was there, during games and festivals, that Hephaestion fell ill with a fever. Arrian says that after the fever had run for seven days, Alexander had to be summoned from the games to Hephaestion, who was seriously ill.
He did not arrive in time; by the time he got there, Hephaestion was dead. His meal, however, seems to have caused a relapse that led to his rapid death. Precisely why this should have happened is not known.
As Mary Renault says, "This sudden crisis in a young, convalescent man is hard to account for. This would have led to internal bleeding, though it would be unusual in that case for death to follow quite as swiftly as it seems to have done here. For that reason, it is not possible altogether to discount other possible explanations, one of them being poison.
Following Hephaestion's death his body was cremated and the ashes were taken to Babylon. Plutarch says that "Alexander's grief was uncontrollable" and adds that he ordered many signs of mourning, notably that the manes and tails of all horses should be shorn, the demolition of the battlements of the neighbouring cities and the banning of flutes and every other kind of music.
Plutarch says they were massacred as an offering to the spirit of Hephaestion and it is quite possible to imagine that to Alexander this might have followed in spirit Achilles' killing of "twelve high-born youths" beside Patroclus' funeral pyre. Arrian tells us that "Many of the Companions, out of respect for Alexander, dedicated themselves and their arms to the dead man". When the reply came saying he might be worshipped not as a god, but as a divine heroAlexander was pleased and "from that day forward saw that his friend was honoured with a hero's rites".
Its cost is variously given in the sources as 10, talents or 12, talents. It is difficult to give a modern equivalent for such a huge amount but we know that in Hephaestion's time, the daily wage of a skilled worker was two or three drachmas. The contests ranged from literature to athletics and 3, competitors took part, the festival eclipsing anything that had gone before both in cost and in numbers taking part.
He employed Stasicrates"as this artist was famous for his innovations, which combined an exceptional degree of magnificence, audacity and ostentation", to design the pyre for Hephaestion. The first level was decorated with two hundred and forty ships with golden prows, each of these adorned with armed figures with red banners filling the spaces between.
On the second level were torches with snakes at the base, golden wreaths in the middle and at the top, flames surmounted by eagles.
Personal relationships of Alexander the Great - Wikipedia
The third level showed a hunting scene, and the fourth a battle of centaursall done in gold. On the fifth level, also in gold, were lions and bulls, and on the sixth the arms of Macedon and Persia.
The seventh and final level bore sculptures of sirenshollowed out to conceal a choir who would sing a lament. On the day of the funeral, he gave orders that the sacred flame in the temple should be extinguished. It is one of the most important, and widely studied, work of ancient times. Arrian mentions the familiar scene in which Alexander honors the tomb of Achilles and Hephaestion honors the tomb of Patroclus.
Hephaestion - Wikipedia
Plutarch, however, does not include Hephaestion at all in his retelling of this scene. Instead, he solely focuses on Alexander, writing that the young king was especially interested in achieving glory after death just as Achilles had. Plutarch remarks of Alexander's kindness toward his royal captives, but never mentions any such encounter.
As far as I can tell, the first major insight Plutarch offers into Alexander's relationship with Hephaestion comes in Book 39, as he discusses Alexander's mother's habit of sending her son private letters from Macedon. Hephaestion was in the habit of reading the king's letters with him, and on this occasion his eye fell on a letter which had been opened. The king did not prevent him from reading it, but took the ring from his own finger and pressed the seal to his lips, so much as to tell him to keep silence" Penguin edition, pg.
Although this anecdote is short, it shows the unparalleled degree of trust Alexander had in Hephaestion. Olympias' letters were filled with allegations of conspiracies and other highly combustible information.
Clearly, Alexander had no fear that Hephaestion would ever betray him. Then there was the tension between Hephaestion and Craterus, another one of Alexander's leading generals.
According to Plutarch, Craterus had difficulty adapting to some of Alexander's Persian-inspired habits. This woman, the widow of Memnon, the Greek mercenary commander, was captured at Damascus. She had received a Greek education, was of a gentle disposition, and could claim royal descent, since her father was Artabazus who had married one of the Persian kings daughters.
These qualities made Alexander the more willing he was encouraged by Parmenioso Aristobulus tells us to form an attachment to a woman of such beauty and noble lineage. Hence it was that he first began to indulge in luxurious and splendid banquets, and fell in love with his captive Barsine for her beauty, by whom he had afterwards a son that he called Heracles.
The boy would have been Alexander's only child born during his lifetime Roxane's son was born posthumously. Even if Alexander had ignored him, which seems highly unlikely, the Macedonian Army and the successors would certainly have known of him, and would almost certainly have drawn him into the succession struggles which ensued upon Alexander's death.
Yet we first hear of the boy twelve years after Alexander's death, when a boy was produced as a claimant to the throne. Alexander's illegitimate son would have had more rights to the throne than his illegitimate  half-brother. Heracles played a brief part in the succession battles, and then disappeared.
It seems more likely that the romance with Barsine was invented by the boy's backers to validate his parentage. Robin Lane Fox writes, "Roxana was said by contemporaries to be the most beautiful lady in all Asia. She deserved her name of Roshanakmeaning 'little star', probably rokhshana or roshana which means light and illuminating in Persian. Marriage to a local noble's family made sound political sense.