Hephaestion the Athenian

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Alexias
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Hephaestion the Athenian

Post by Alexias »

In 'Alexander of Macedon - The journey to World's End', Harold Lamb, while not actually stating that Hephaestion was Athenian, implies that he had Athenian connections. He says Hephaestion had the fine manner of an Athenian and that his family had lost their fortune in trade so he had become a mercenary. He also states that he was captain of the Agema and blood-kin to Alexander. Yet he makes no mention of Hephaestion being brought up with Alexander.

The book is a curious mixture of history and novelization, and at times seems plainly wrong eg there is no mention of Bessus or Bagoas, and Lamb has Alexander more intent on studying and drawing maps of far-eastern mountains than becoming king at Philip's death. Methinks Alexander was a teeny bit more ambitious than that.

The book does appear to have had an influence in North America, where the idea of Hephaestion being an Athenian (and/or a prince) seems particularly entrenched. It also seems to be a direct source for Oliver Stone who, amongst other things, appears to have used this sentence from Lamb 'When a man is most alone, he hold most closely to myth'. Stone's version is "We are most alone when we are with the myths" - unless Lamb's words are an unacknowledged quote from somewhere.

Anyway, as the book was written in 1946 it pre-dates Heckel's interpretation of the Amyntor son of Demetrios as Hephaestion's father, and Reames' thesis about Hephaestion's Athenian connections. My question is though, does anyone know if Lamb made the Athenian connection up or whether he got it from someone else?
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Re: Hephaestion the Athenian

Post by agesilaos »

I think that the Athenian idea stems from his patrinym, Amyntor is allegedly an Attic form of Amyntas, I am sure that was picked up early, will try to check some dusty German tomes. The details Lamb gives are fiction, we know nothing of his family beyond his father's name, captain of the Agema comes from Diodoros XVII 61 iii ' Ἡφαιστίων μὲν εἰς τὸν βραχίονα ξυστῷ βληθεὶς ἐτρώθη, τῶν σωματοφυλάκων ἡγούμενος' Hephaistion was wounded in the arm by a lance while leading the bodyguards, a controversial phrase which has been discussed more than once here. As far as we can tell there was no familial link to Alexander their bond seems to have been ofa different sort.

I think the quote is Lamb's own coining, the sentiment is not very Greek :D
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Re: Hephaestion the Athenian

Post by hiphys »

The form Amyntor is by no means Attic: it's documented in the Iliad, 9, 448 ( it is the name of the father of Phoenix, Achilles' guardian; in Homer there are only few Attic forms, but not Attic names ) and it is a 'nomen agentis', 'the man who defends'. This name may produce the short form Amyntas (like Antipas from Antipatros), that was common in Macedonia. Therefore I don't understand the link between 'Amyntor' and the supposed Athenian origin of Hephaistion, before the finding of the inscription with the name Amyntor, son of Demetrios. It is sheer fiction!
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Re: Hephaestion the Athenian

Post by agesilaos »

Thanks for the clarification, I may have mis-remembered, but it looks like the athenian loink may have been extrapolated from his part in the mission to Athens with Antipatros either post Chaironaia or Thebes, cannot remember :oops:
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Re: Hephaestion the Athenian

Post by Alexias »

It may be that the Athenian link has been extrapolated from Demosthenes writing to Hephaestion in Egypt via the young man Aristion. This may simply have been because Demosthenes met him in Athens after Chaeronea or in Corinth after Thebes. It might also be that as Hephaestion was in charge of the fleet supplying the army as they invaded Egypt, he may have engaged in diplomatic negotiations to secure Egypt. With his activities in Sidon, he may have been emerging as Alexander's chief diplomatic officer, but the fact that he was known to have influence with Alexander would have course have been a prime reason to write to him.

In saying he was like an Athenian, Lamb may simply have been trying to make him appear more sophisticated than Alexander's other friends to account for a bookish (at least in Lamb's view) young Alexander's partiality.

The royal connection might be a mistake for Harpalus whom Peter Green believes could have been a nephew of Philip's wife Phila.
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Re: Hephaestion the Athenian

Post by hiphys »

Most interesting, IMHO, is that the ancient source for this news isn't Demosthenes, but Harpocration, who quotes Marsyas of Pella (an Alexander's Companion) as stating (in the fifth book of his work 'On Alexander') that Demosthenes sent Aristion to Hephaistion (Jacoby,FGrHist 135 F 2). But even more interesting is that the author of this quote was'nt concerned with Hephaistion's origin or his role in the diplomatic mission, but he was simply mocking Demosthenes and his relationship with this Aristion. Therefore I think he sent us a valuable information unwittingly - and, for this reason, more precious - about the importance of Hephaistion in Athenian eyes, but of course not an indication of his (alleged) Athenian links.
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Re: Hephaestion the Athenian

Post by Jeanne Reames »

The fuller discussion of why Athens can be found in Heckel's article, "Hephaistion, the Athenian," ZPE 87 (1991): 39-41. The association is based on an inscription, not just linguistic associations, and yes, a few other things such as Demosthenes's appeal to Hephaistion, but this is one of those, "Could be" rather than "For certain is." :-) In any case, "Amyntor" is not specifically Athenian, or even Ionian, but it is found in the Greek South. Amyntas is the Macedonian version. The name "Hephaistion" is also otherwise unattested in Macedonia, although as archaeology there is in its adolescence, that could change tomorrow with the discovery of a new cache of gravestones. :-)
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Re: Hephaestion the Athenian

Post by agesilaos »

Welcome, again? I am sure we discussed things ages ago (the meanings of hetairoi, I think); nevertheless, how secure are the sources for his interaction with Demosthenes? I am a bit distracted on other threads which have laid dormant too long; could you just give a summary of the evidence, the modern literature is different, we have a thread on the Demetrios inscription; maybe it will migrate here in typical pothos style :D

As a personal appeal, could you keep us updated on new articles? Most of us have no access to the latest research, but may be able to find it somewhere if we knew for what to look. As a general point maybe we might use the 'Alexander in the media' thread for this; and also book reviews, and notices; it would make that area more worthwhile.

On a closing note, what happened to 'Beyond Renault''? It was very interesting just to find so many books about ATG, I obtained a copy of the Menin simply on the description , and it was worth it ; not as history: but as a read. Maybe we could migrate that here, there have been many more (but ''less'') books published; I would suggest we push things to the whole of Macedonia as a kingdom (I recently found a book set around Philip V, for 50p, but it is much better than anything Manfredi has puked onto the page - guess my review has been telegraphed!)

Waldemar did dip in here once, and there were great resorces at Calgary which have now vanished; he did once ask 'what had happened to pothos?' It was the year of the Stone film, so it was slightly obvious, but I think if us poor plebs get to interact, with people more at the coal face it will be mutually beneficial - as you may have noticed we do not do 'argument by authority' (well, you will notice those that do!), but outside a university one simply cannot be abreast of the published research, yet alone the archaeology.

If you can recruit a few we will need a new rank, 'philos', is my idea not based on posts but status... when I am tyrant :lol:
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Jeanne Reames
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Re: Hephaestion the Athenian

Post by Jeanne Reames »

Agesilaos -- Thanks. Part of the problem is simple lack of time to do much online stuff beyond job-specific. Uni service has eaten my life. Right now, I'm not teaching this summer as my (90-year-old) father is staying with me, but I'm finishing up an article (on ATG and the destruction of the Branchidae), plus another project that I'm not at liberty to discuss. If it goes through, I will announce it.

In the fall, I'll be taking over as grad chair, plus I just started up a new minor in Ancient Med Studies, so I'm doing double-duty as GPC and Director of AMS, plus regular teaching (and research), so my online time is quite limited. (Not to mention I have a teen son, who keeps me pretty busy and sometimes drives me crazy with this or that crisis.) So in short, I'll have dozens of emails in my box a *day* related to uni work. (This is why I resist department chair, as our current chair said he routinely gets 50+ emails a day!)

Demosthenes ... I actually don't remember the original sources detailing Demosthenes sending an envoy to H. while the army was in Egypt, and I'm not in my office to check. I've got it cited somewhere in my work; I believe it was one of the main sources, but can't be sure. As I recall, it wasn't something that was automatically dubious, but there are a variety of reasons why D. may have sought out H., although Waldy also noted it in his own article on the inscription, too, and the suggestion of the Athenian tie originated with him (due credit where credit is due).

As always with supposition such as any possible Athenian ties for Hephaistion, it rests on a "freight of evidence" rather than any single certain piece. This is why I tend to be cautious about the suggestion ... although I should note that not everybody who quotes me on it is--which I find a tad annoying. I think it quite possible, again for a variety of reasons that sort of fit together like a jigsaw puzzle, but as I repeatedly say ... a single discovery of a heretofore unknown graveyard in Macedonia with stelai naming a bunch of Amyntors and Hephaistions could blow the theory all to hell. This is the simple reality of doing work in history. It's VERY important to maintain a sense of "quite likely/virtually certain," "likely," "probable," "possible," and "an interesting possibility." As for the A-H Athenian tie, I'd rate that somewhere between "probable" and "possible," but without further conclusive evidence, not more than that. :-) It's the sort of detail one plays with in fiction, but doesn't bank on in history.

In terms of keeping up with journal articles, to be honest, even I'm not very good at that. I do understand the difficulty in finding stuff (and knowing what is reliable), as I faced the conundrum at Emory in the mid-80s before I started my phud at Penn State. Now, with the explosion of e-media and the internet, the lay of the land has changed considerably--even since my Ph.D.--for both good and ill. Online searches are MUCH easier. I used to combe through every AH journal in the Emory, and later PSU library, every couple of months, to see what had come out recently. These days, one can accomplish a LOT via JSTOR...but which journals any given JSTOR subscription has access to varies by uni, and some of the more obscure journals just aren't on there. In which case, perusing bibliographies of books/articles one has is the way academics do it, honestly. But even that misses stuff, depending.

My best advice is for folks to run searches and purchase a subscription to JSTOR, or if near a university, one might be able to request (probably for a minimal monthly or yearly fee) access to the university libraries and databases, which will sometimes include not just access to JSTOR, but also to ebook versions of various academic books. Sometime in the next couple of weeks, I will try to compile a list of some recent publications of note, including (et al.) the new Blackwell Companion to Ancient Macedonia, plus Waldy's festschrift. I'm seeing fewer articles on Macedonia/Alexander in journals these days and more in conference proceedings and festschrifts, in part because we've had a slew of retirements and such. But I make no promises (time).

Yet honestly, even I can't keep up with stuff unless I'm pursuing it for research or in prep for a course. I did a grad seminar on Argead Macedonia a while back, for which I compiled a massive bibliography of articles relevant up through that year. But that's pre-Alex. I only taught through Philip with the expressed desire to "Teach my students Philip Love." :-D It worked! One of the students in that class went on to write her master's thesis on Philip's military influences, and just successfully defended in May. I directed, and Graham Wrightson also sat on her committee.

ANYway, re: Calgary ... Waldy is retired, and so his website and biblio and such are no more. In fact, a number of uni's are removing faculty webspace (although in Waldy's case, it had more to do with lack of time and retirement), in favor of more regimented control of what university online space looks like. (growl, snarl) That's what happened to my previous sites, and why I now have my own domain. I resisted buying one for a while, as 1) academics with their own webspace without good reason (e.g., lots of books, etc.) has always struck me as a tad pretentious, and 2) I warn my own students to distrust educational sites that aren't .edu or have some other well-known affiliation, given the large amount of crap on the web, and the fact undergrads rarely have the sufficient background to sort chaff from wheat. But I finally broke down and got a site, so I could put up my CV the way I wanted it (not within the narrow confines of the uni auto-formatting), and so I could return the Hephaistion site (and perhaps do some other stuff later). Right now, I'm converting a lot of class material previously in HTML/on websites to Power-Point because of the university removal of my webspace. And that's yet ANOTHER time-eating chore, but some of the stuff needs to be updated, so it's a mixed blessing.

"Beyond Renault" wont' be back for the foreseeable future, just because I don't have time to keep up with it. Again, my time online is severely limited with teaching, administrative duties, and parental duties. :-) So my order of "What needs to be done" depends largely on, 1) Is it asking to be fed/clothes washed/etc. (kid, Dad, cats), 2) Is something broken in the house that needs a repairman, and 3) is somebody paying me to do it (job)? Ha. Anything else is relegated after the above--which is usually quite minimal time. ;> There are days I don't get to my email until the evening (no joke!).
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Re: Hephaestion the Athenian

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Jeanne Reames wrote:My best advice is for folks to run searches and purchase a subscription to JSTOR, or if near a university, one might be able to request (probably for a minimal monthly or yearly fee) access to the university libraries and databases, which will sometimes include not just access to JSTOR, but also to ebook versions of various academic books. Sometime in the next couple of weeks, I will try to compile a list of some recent publications of note, including (et al.) the new Blackwell Companion to Ancient Macedonia, plus Waldy's festschrift. I'm seeing fewer articles on Macedonia/Alexander in journals these days and more in conference proceedings and festschrifts, in part because we've had a slew of retirements and such. But I make no promises (time).
Many European academics host their articles on academia.edu although the clickwrap hides some copyright issues. Searching there can be another good start for topics with rare keywords. In theory all of these handbooks and guides and $prestigious_university|$prestigious_publisher Histories of $topic in $region|$culture|$period are supposed to provide concise guides to the latest research, but they tend to be expensive and quality varies ...

People used to swear by the database L'Anne Phililogique, but the gap between the latest date indexed and the current date seems to constantly increase.
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Re: Hephaestion the Athenian

Post by sean_m »

The only other thing I can suggest is setting up a Google Alert (or similar) to ping once a month with all new contributions to Bryn Mawr Classical Review and EThOs (or similar) with keywords like "Alexander" "Macedon" "Argead" and so on. BMCR only covers books (except where the reviewer is driven to tell the world about the very important article which the book failed to cite), and not all books, but anyone can use it from anywhere.

But like Dr. Reames, I often hear about books years after they were published or conference two days before they are scheduled. The best way to find about new scholarly literature is changing so fast and there is so much to digest.
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agesilaos
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Re: Hephaestion the Athenian

Post by agesilaos »

I subscribe, well it is free to alerts from brynmawr, that way you get everything; I am not so obsessive not to delight in some extra-Alexander activity; AWOL is also excellent linking to all the online journals and not a few monographs; EThOs is English Theses Online Service run by the British library and provides free downloads of certain theses (none from Oxbridge, however) there are good things there but if you want to avoid disappointment search for those you can download only, the list of titles which you cannot is rather frustrating! Both Canada and Australia offer similar services and in France they have Persee and cefael Check the link I left for Decourt (called Descourts by me oops) on the less than likely site of Kynoskephalai thread. There is also Cambridge Journals Online which has some things, back issues of Classical Quarterly for instance and some 'Greece and Rome'. Ancient History Bulletin was rumoured to be being digitised but since Waldemar Heckel has retired that may be a spent project.

Mmmh... not really about Hephaistion and Athens this post :oops:
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Re: Hephaestion the Athenian

Post by Alexias »

I found a link to Heckel's 1991 paper http://www.uni-koeln.de/phil-fak/ifa/zp ... 087039.pdf, but I can't find the Harpocration text online that mentions Demosthenes and Aristion.
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Re: Hephaestion the Athenian

Post by Jeanne Reames »

Ah, yes, I tend to forget about academia.edu, despite having my own stuff up there. 8} There are copyright problems, but given how increasingly difficult it is for libraries to afford journals, it makes it a little easier for those conducting research. That said, most of the articles are more recent, not the older articles because they came to us in off-prints, not PDF. One of my own students made PDFs of my off-prints for me (bless her heart), or I wouldn't have them.
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Re: Hephaestion the Athenian

Post by amyntoros »

Alexias wrote:I found a link to Heckel's 1991 paper http://www.uni-koeln.de/phil-fak/ifa/zp ... 087039.pdf, but I can't find the Harpocration text online that mentions Demosthenes and Aristion.
This is all I have that mentions H along with Aristion. And the link still works, even though it is for a search I did many years ago. :shock:
SUIDAS
Adler number: alpha,3898
Translated headword: Aristaios, Aristaeus
Translation: One of the Giants, who survived.[1]
But [sc. a different name is] Aristeus, [genitive] Aristeos.[2]
And Aristion likewise.[3] He is a Samian or Plataian, and, since a lad, a companion of Demosthenes; he was sent by him to Hephaistion for negotiations. Hyper[e]ides mentions him in the [speech] Against Demosthenes.[4]
Aristaios, the story goes, was the only Giant to survive on the Sicilian mountain called Etna; the fire of heaven did not reach him, nor did Etna crush him.[5] Notes:
[1] Aelian fr. 214 Hercher. On the mythological Giants and their battle with the Gods see further at the end of the lemma (and OCD(3) 636-7).
[2] e.g. that of two Corinthian generals in Thucydides (1.29 [Web address 1]; 1.60-65, 2.67).
[3] From this point, down to "...negotiations" the source becomes Harpokration, who cites Diyllos (FGrH 73F2) and Marsyas (FGrH 135F2) as sources.
[4] Hyper. Dem 20, apparently.
[5] Quoted from alphaiota 376.
Translated by: David Whitehead on 10 October [email protected]:53:15.
Vetted by David Whitehead (added notes and keywords; cosmetics) on 10 September [email protected]:26:27.
Best Regards,
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