Mary Renault's Alexander

Recommend, or otherwise, books on Alexander (fiction or non-fiction). Promote your novel here!

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aleksandros
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Post by aleksandros »

wow thank you! do you happen to know any more novels about Allexander's childooh apart from yours and Renault's?
I suppose the toughest part of the preparation for writing the book must have been Aristotle's philosophical aproach. I ll buy both books i guess. I searched many bookstores in Thessaloniki and i couldnt find Fire from Heaven in greek! damn
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derek
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Post by derek »

Alexanthros,

Valerio Manfredi wrote a trilogy about Alexander, which is probably as well known as Mary Renault's novels. The first is called Child of a Dream, and covers Alexander's childhood.

If you have a special interest in his youth, then you should read Plutarch's Life of Alexander. That's where most of what we know about his childhood comes from.

Derek
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Post by aleksandros »

before i started reading 'fire from heaven' i read about Mary Renault. I read about her sexual orientation and passions too. I wanted to believe that i am not about to read a gay pride novel but unfortunately i was wrong. Many of you said that this novel is probably the best about Alexander's childhood and now i feel sorry about Alexander who knew he wouldnt have a Homer as Achilles did........but poor Alexander, you didnt even have the Pressfield Spartans had.
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Post by amyntoros »

alexanthros wrote:before i started reading 'fire from heaven' i read about Mary Renault. I read about her sexual orientation and passions too. I wanted to believe that i am not about to read a gay pride novel but unfortunately i was wrong. Many of you said that this novel is probably the best about Alexander's childhood and now i feel sorry about Alexander who knew he wouldnt have a Homer as Achilles did........but poor Alexander, you didnt even have the Pressfield Spartans had.
Alexander had many biographers but most of the books have not survived. As it stands we have just the five main sources and a few mentions in other extant works. None of these writers may compare with Homer but they are obviously enough for his fame to have spread - how else have you and everyone else been able to form an opinion of Alexander?

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derek
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Post by derek »

Alexanthros,

If Mary Renault offended you, then I suggest you stay away from my version.

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Post by Semiramis »

alexanthros wrote:before i started reading 'fire from heaven' i read about Mary Renault. I read about her sexual orientation and passions too. I wanted to believe that i am not about to read a gay pride novel but unfortunately i was wrong. Many of you said that this novel is probably the best about Alexander's childhood and now i feel sorry about Alexander who knew he wouldnt have a Homer as Achilles did........but poor Alexander, you didnt even have the Pressfield Spartans had.
alexanthros,

It's only fiction after all. :) I find that I have to let the author draw their own characters and fill in the gaps in the sources their own way... kind of relinquish a large degree of control to them.. before I can really begin to enjoy any work of fiction about Alexander. I love Renault even though in reality I don't think Alexander would've been anything like the sweetheart she makes him out to be. I bet he was a lot more rough and brutal.

About the "gay pride" thing... there's just no way to be certain about all the people Alexander slept with or his romantic feelings... And that leaves a lot of room for speculation... This area's just so ripe for poetic license.. :) I'm guessing you weren't keen on Oliver Stone's movie either? :)
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Post by aleksandros »

I didnt like Stone's film at all. But like i said back then, if Stone showed us 20% of real Alexander i could stand even a male gay threesome in the end (cause i dont have a prob with women doing so).
Stone showed us he dont have a clue about what Alexander was. He has no imagination and he doesnt understand anything of ancient macedonian warfare. And as for the historical inaccurancies and anachronisms lets not start.

It just bugs me when people write books or do films only to promote their personal agenda. There is not a single evidence that alexander was bi but i ll accept the fact that Renault took for granted he was. After all we are not sure about anyone of us if he had sex with a man or not. If i write a book about one of you depicting you gay you will sue me but noone cares what Alexander would thing of such books cause he has been dead for so long. The very authors of Alexander show no respect to his personality. Thats why all this gay thing started in literature many centuries after his death. What i was trying to say is that there are so many things which remain unanalyzed in this book, and given that fact, the amound of pages spent on sex reveal the exact agenda Renault had.
You don't write a book about Alexander if you have never riden a horse, if you have never read an Aristotle's book. We weren't to see a single philosophical debate between Alexander and Aristotle. How could we, she clearly has no clue whats going on in Aristotle's 'On the Soul', 'Metaphysics', 'Nicomachean Ethics', Aristotle tutoring is supposed to be the most exiting and essential part of Alexander's upbringing. And if she deliberately avoid that thats because it would take many pages from sex. Aristotle was not just a frog disector.

Oh God reading back what i have writen so far i seem angry. I am not. I just see the same mistales of the movie in this book.

Derek which is your version? I dont know your real name. (sorry)
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Post by Paralus »

Yet again discussion of the sexuality of Alexander devolves down to anachronistic and irrelevant terms such as "gay" and "gay pride". These are all modern concepts - as is homosexual - and defined by a non- pagan religious culture.

They have no bearing on Alexander. None.

That Alexander may have engaged in homo-erotic relationships is quite likely. He was, after all, brought up at court along with the pages. What we know of those Macedonian institutions gives every indication that such relationships were not at all anything out of the ordinary. Even with the king. It seems that the genesis of the Pages was the Persian court practice where such relationships were also nothing out of the ordinary.

Alexander the Great was a pagan and lived in a pagan culture. He indulged in pagan ritual and sacrifice. He did not, as those around him did not, live by modern moral precepts - as, indeed, his actions show. That is all accepted without question yet, for some reason, when it comes to sexuality he is the paragon of Christian virtue.

What a rediculous concept.
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Ἐπὶ τοὺς πατέρας, ὦ κακαὶ κεφαλαί, τοὺς μετὰ Φιλίππου καὶ Ἀλεξάνδρου τὰ ὅλα κατειργασμένους;
Wicked men, you sin against your fathers, who conquered the whole world under Philip and Alexander.

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Post by Vanessa Howard »

Thank you Paralus - I agree wholeheartedly.

Any view we have now on sexual orientation is flawed as it inescapably framed by the time we live in now- it is purely subjective.

But it has also always puzzled me why ATG's orientation matters so much - it is truly odd as is had little/no bearing on his reign.

His/his court's one regret may have been that he did not becoming a father earlier in life but there again, if he'd lived to his father's age, it is likely he would have had an accepted adult heir.....but sorry, that's another topic entirely.

I just don't think it is fruitful to embark on yet another ATG/sex dust up.
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Post by aleksandros »

Paralus wrote:Yet again discussion of the sexuality of Alexander devolves down to anachronistic and irrelevant terms such as "gay" and "gay pride". These are all modern concepts - as is homosexual - and defined by a non- pagan religious culture.

They have no bearing on Alexander. None.

That Alexander may have engaged in homo-erotic relationships is quite likely. He was, after all, brought up at court along with the pages. What we know of those Macedonian institutions gives every indication that such relationships were not at all anything out of the ordinary. Even with the king. It seems that the genesis of the Pages was the Persian court practice where such relationships were also nothing out of the ordinary.

Alexander the Great was a pagan and lived in a pagan culture. He indulged in pagan ritual and sacrifice. He did not, as those around him did not, live by modern moral precepts - as, indeed, his actions show. That is all accepted without question yet, for some reason, when it comes to sexuality he is the paragon of Christian virtue.

What a rediculous concept.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aHk9JoXoBMY
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Post by Paralus »

alexanthros, I think you need - in the modern cliche - to get over it. It might also serve to read the Greek sources a little more closely. If posting links to indignant, agenda-pushing youtube members' creations is the substance of your argument you have none.

Then again, don't worry about the Greek sources. Your mind is, self-evidently, closed.

It matters little what relationships Alexander indulged. That it matters so seriously to you says much more about you than it could ever do about Alexander.

As Vanessa Howard has pointed out, his greatest "relationship failure" was the failure to produce a timely heir. The fact that - on the evidence - it largely did not interest him is most likely to blame.

Interesting your observation about reaching Philip's age Vanessa. I've always had a sneaking suspicion that Alexander never cared for an heir. Not enough to plan around one. He was fifteen years off his father when he died. I'd think that any heir of age had Alexander reached his father's age might well have found himself in a rather perilous situation.

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Ἐπὶ τοὺς πατέρας, ὦ κακαὶ κεφαλαί, τοὺς μετὰ Φιλίππου καὶ Ἀλεξάνδρου τὰ ὅλα κατειργασμένους;
Wicked men, you sin against your fathers, who conquered the whole world under Philip and Alexander.

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Vanessa Howard
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Post by Vanessa Howard »

Thank you for your clear thinking, as ever, Paralus

The child/children of Alexander did not reach maturity so yes, I think it is hard to imagine any successor arriving at a point they could command unchallenged - they would probably would have to have enjoyed ATG's talents and luck.

With regard to successor - do you think his nod to making Hephaistion Chiliarch and arranging the joint marriage of them both to Darius’s daughters was laying the groundwork for a dynasty - in the East at least - or just sound short-term politics?
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Post by aleksandros »

Paralus wrote:alexanthros, I think you need - in the modern cliche - to get over it. It might also serve to read the Greek sources a little more closely. If posting links to indignant, agenda-pushing youtube members' creations is the substance of your argument you have none.

Then again, don't worry about the Greek sources. Your mind is, self-evidently, closed.

It matters little what relationships Alexander indulged. That it matters so seriously to you says much more about you than it could ever do about Alexander.
Thank you for your kind comment on my mind.

Why dont you help me read the Greek sources a bit more closely? That's why friends are around, to help each other. Give me the quotes and passages i have to read. It would really help me establish my views on Alexander in a better way.
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aleksandros
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Post by aleksandros »

Paralus wrote: It matters little what relationships Alexander indulged. That it matters so seriously to you says much more about you than it could ever do about Alexander.
I agree but i never saw you criticize Renault who used half of her book on that non important subject.
And if you had, then we agree 100%! As i said before if the more important aspects in Alexander's life were properly analyzed i wouldnt care if Alexander was depicted sucking on a thing in some passages of the book.
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Post by karen »

alexanthros wrote:If i write a book about one of you depicting you gay you will sue me.
You mean any one of us? If so, you've committed a falsehood to a public forum posting.

If you wrote a book about me depicting me as gay, I wouldn't sue you, because it's true. I am gay.

Yes! We exist! Even here on this forum! Everywhere, in fact. The only places we seem absent is those in which we must conceal our sexual orientation so as to preserve our acceptance in the community, property, liberty, lives, etc. -- protecting ourselves from irrational loathing, both institutionalized and individual, usually fomented by certain organized religions.

If you lose your respect for me because of what I have revealed here, I'm afraid I shall have to lose my respect for you.

Sincerely,
Karen
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