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sikander
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To Amyntoros

Post by sikander »

Greetings Amyntoros,

You said: "I freely offered on this forum (more than once) to send it as an email attachment, figuring that anyone truly inclined to assess the evidence for themselves would welcome the opportunity."

I believe I received one of these attachments (but would not mind receiving one again, as I have been cleaning files and was already wondering if I had lost some emails); however, would it be possible to post this attachment on the main Pothos site, under the article on Alexander's sexualiity, so we could refer it as a resource reference when the questions come up again?

Regards,
Sikander
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marcus
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Re: To Amyntoros

Post by marcus »

sikander wrote:... would it be possible to post this attachment on the main Pothos site, under the article on Alexander's sexualiity, so we could refer it as a resource reference when the questions come up again?

Regards,
Sikander
That's a good idea, Sikander. The file is very long and would need some splitting up, but it might well be worth doing.

Depending on what's happening with the site changes that Thomas has been working on, it might be a case of "work pending", but I see no reason why it should not be scheduled.

Feeling very cynical this morning, however - it won't make a huge amount of difference, because there will be people who won't ever look at it, and continue with their ill-informed opinions with no interest in rational argument and historical process.

ATB
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jasonxx

Post by jasonxx »

Ill stand cursed. But this idea od censorship sereves no point at all than to pander to the liberal closed minded opinions.

Its very akin to Religious books. choosing and selecting only gospels that suits the remit of the hidden agendas that suit the sect or whatever and anything that dont suite is either taboo or burned.

In an adult world anything is in the realms of topical debate. If you cant discuss all of Alexanders issue without blushing then why bother.If you can talk about war battles massacre torture assasination Alcoholism etc then why is the Sexuality taboo.

You talk about evidence to suport or not to support.
theres no evidence of Alcoholism. Mystery ilnesses etc but you will give that plenty of air room.Theres no evidence with most of it.

Heat and kitchen applies here.

Kenny
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Post by Taphoi »

Hi Amyntoros & Marcus,

I am very happy to say that both of you seem to be fair-minded individuals with a broad knowledge of the sources and that I sympathise with your not wishing to see too much bile and bigotry displayed on the Forum. I also support you in snipping contributions which depart from rational argument and slip into rant and abuse.

Nevertheless, it is not an entirely satisfactory response to the many less expert visitors that reach the Forum to refer them to a long and difficult to interpret file lodged in a more obscure location. You can hide the truth by planting a forest around it just as effectively as using a fence. I suspect that 99% of the threads on the Forum on every topic say things that have been said before, so that is no excuse.

Best wishes,

Andrew
jasonxx

Post by jasonxx »

This Is pathetic and indicates Pothos is full of weedy pacifistic who have the inability to debate. Or will only debate that what they feel safe with. Imagine Alexander with your way of thinking hed have done nothing and given you nixy to Write books to make money nor to even talk about.

Parmenio. "We cant take Tyre its a dodgy way and some people might get upset"

Alexander"Ok Parmenio we cant go round upseting people, Back to Pella and do some knitting"

Marcus your supposed to be a history teacher, Do you decide to leave things out of your teachings that are relevent to the history to save arguments?

Its no good ignoring or banning subjects. If we were and do ignore Fundamentalism ets how on earth to we debate understand and even draw a conclusion.?

Just because I have views dont mean bigotry. It means im not afraid to talk about things.

Sel a viv

Kenny
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dean
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Post by dean »

Feeling very cynical this morning, however - it won't make a huge amount of difference, because there will be people who won't ever look at it, and continue with their ill-informed opinions with no interest in rational argument and historical process.
Maybe a lot of people wouldn't bother to check it out yet I am sure that a lot of people "would"- either way, I think that these type of projects have great value in themselves_ and I wish I had more time so that I too could follow up similar ones myself .
Best wishes,
Dean
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athenas owl
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Post by athenas owl »

amyntoros, I for one would love a file like that...whether personally or on the site. The fact that I now know someone has taken the time to do it....thank you. I have read back on most of the topics here (I learn so much), but I had missed that. I should go back and visit some of the topics to find it. This place is invaluable to me.

jasonxx. "close minded liberals", "weedy pacifists", "censorship"? As Amynotors pointed, out there are 63 topics she read through. Sometimes people just get tired of "debating" the same thing ad nauseum, usually with people who are not going to change their minds anyway. How many times can one repeat themsleves?

It isn't pacifism or censorship to say, "I'm just tired of arguing about this..again".
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Regarding Alexander's Sexuality

Post by sikander »

Greetings All,

Marcus, thank you. I see it as a worthwhile project as a reference source and one which would allow people to quickly access sources they could look into, rather than having to weed through everything themselves.. especially considering that not everyone *has* access to all sources.

I do not see any attempt to "censor" things here. What I see is a recognition that there are some subjects that will always be controversial, sensitive and continually debated, *because* they relate to our prejudices, beliefs and/or all too human concerns in the modern world .Human sexuality is a powerful drive; as such, it is also the drive that gets the most attention in societies and cultures as a subject of control, debate and law.. this makes it tedious to some, fascinating to others and to others, an issue that they feel needs to be resolved (which personally, I do not believe will happen) (laughing)
Because we know this will be the case, why not build on the Sexuality file? I see this as a legitimate source for reference. I also trust the thoroughness and accuracy of any work that Amyntoros compiles.

I recognize that we will have to remind people to visit this file, just as we have to frequently remind people to visit other files.. I probably remind visitors privately to visit the Book Reviews file at least 3 times a week! It might be that people forget we *have* a home page with those wonderful sections and perhaps it means we moderators must put out more effort to point members and visitors to them?

That said, I *would* like to see an adherence to the debate standards that Pothos is known for- no name-calling, no labelling, no disrespect. The majority of people here do not know each other personally; knowing so little about each other, we cannot assume anything about one another. Pothos has a reputation for its standard of debate; I have had people say "Pothos has set the bar higher.." I would like to see this continue.

Regards,
Sikander
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amyntoros
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Post by amyntoros »

Marcus, Sikander … I think there might be a problem with posting the Sexuality file on this, a public forum, because the majority of the source translations I used are still in copyright. Eight or nine of them are Loeb, two are Penguin editions, and then there are a couple of others. I suspect we would not be covered under copyright laws of fair use considering the total of 30 pages of text. Now, if we were able to get permission from Harvard University Press/Loeb it would be a great start – I could substitute the Loeb translation for Plutarch as well - but I have no idea how to begin to approach the publisher. Also, this is a site based in England so this would have to be investigated under English copyright law, I believe.
jasonxx wrote:But this idea od censorship sereves no point at all than to pander to the liberal closed minded opinions.
Kenny, if you look at the definition of liberal I think you’ll find that “liberal closed minded opinions” is an oxymoron. :)
jasonxx wrote:Its very akin to Religious books. choosing and selecting only gospels that suits the remit of the hidden agendas that suit the sect or whatever and anything that dont suite is either taboo or burned.
No texts were chosen for the file to suit a hidden agenda, everything relevant was included and that was the whole point – that the reader has all the information in front of him to be able to make up his own mind. The excerpts are divided under the headings of General Comments, Alexander and Women, and Alexander and Men. Then there are subheadings of the names of individuals and miscellaneous characters. For instance, almost every reference to Roxane is included, subdivided again under The marriage of Alexander and Roxane; Death of First Child of Roxane; Roxane at the Time of Alexander's Death, etc.. Hephaistion’s listing, however, does NOT include his military exploits because they have no specific bearing on his personal and/or intimate relationship with Alexander. Now, if anyone wanted to study everything about Hephaistion, they would need a complete file of every extant reference. Marcus and I have such a file, but I hesitate to offer it because we started to compile our character files for personal use (and then real life intervened and we stalled, didn’t we, Marcus? :) ) and they involved a substantial amount of work. The edited version of Hephaistion references in the Sexuality file wasn’t made to suit any hidden agenda though – it simply gives all the relevant excerpts.
jasonxx wrote:If you can talk about war battles massacre torture assasination Alcoholism etc then why is the Sexuality taboo.


Hardly taboo, Kenny, as Athenas Owl has pointed out.
jasonxx wrote:You talk about evidence to suport or not to support. theres no evidence of Alcoholism. Mystery ilnesses etc but you will give that plenty of air room. Theres no evidence with most of it.
Well, many Pothosians share your opinion that there is no evidence of alcoholism per se, but there are certainly plenty of references to drinking and yes, there has been plenty of debate on the subject. That’s not the point, however. No one is censoring the debates – my invitation to members wanting to discuss Alexander’s sexuality is for them to offer something new in the way of insight, based on historical sources and not personal prejudice. There’s an old thread that includes the following in the introductory post: I have just seen a weird site called Gay heroes and Alexander comes at the top, I dont like it as as I said before times and societys, … I love Alexander and accept the bi sexual tendencies of the time but it isnt right to call him a homosexual, its like calling Jesus gay because he spent all his time with his 12 friends, Christians would be outraged as I am if our heroes were labeled gay. How do statements such as I don’t like it and would be outraged as I am add anything to our understanding of Alexander? They highlight the biases of the person posting, but that’s it. Another one of the previous threads on this subject was begun by a person who included this comment: I wonder why there has been a systematic and methodical propaganda, sick to me, by the international homosexual community to describe Alexander pretty much as a gay hero. Apart from the fact that once again the gay community is blamed (as if historians have never discussed this topic!), the part of the sentence most indicative of the problem is sick to me. It all boils down to this: If a person has a deep seated belief that a certain behavior is abnormal, undesirable, and immoral, then it follows that he will not want to acknowledge or accept it in someone he admires. And when he feels the need to express these personal objections on the forum it is bound to ellicit the same responses, ad infinitum. Furthermore, Jeanne's article on Pothos has an excellent explanation of why the modern terms of homosexual or gay, do not apply. Which is why I referred members to the pages on Sex in the first place!

(Sikander, Athenas Owl - I'll get the attachment sent out to you ASAP :) )

Best regards,
Amyntoros

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karen
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Issues (Gesundheit!)

Post by karen »

If Alexander's history continues to have meaning and relevance, it is because we see in his life and behaviour a mirror for our modern struggles and controversies.
Well, in terms of sexuality, Andrew, I think this would only be true if Alexander had lived similarly exposed to a religion that condemned homosexual people/behavior and that had absolutely pervaded common mores and thought. Then his sexual issues might truly mirror ours. As it is -- and much of the problem with the whole debate is this -- ancient Greek sexuality is such a foreign land to our Judeo-Christian-shadowed worldview that people just can't and don't get it. There are no ancient Greek words for "gay" and "bi" and "straight" because no one then concerned themselves with such labels. If you (and I address this to everyone) think it's human nature for people to sweat and worry over whether they or someone else is gay or not, and you can't imagine a society in which no one does that because no one cares, then Alexander's time is beyond your conception.

People's arguments about Alexander that are coloured by their own issues about homosexuality... are only really about their issues about homosexuality. They have nothing to do with Alexander. This is why I say, if you can't accept that gay/bi people can be good people, you can't discuss it rationally.

So often I hear, "Well, Alexander can't possibly have been gay! Not HIM!" Followed quickly by the fingers in the ears and the "La la la I can't hear you!" when you show the evidence. But the thought is never completed -- "can't possibly have been gay, because..." Because what? Even absolutely no evidence of same-sex sex wouldn't prove that Alexander never enjoyed it -- so you can't make an absolute statement based on evidence. So -- because what? Because warriors can't have sex with other men? Because kings and generals can't? Because heroes can't? Because cultural icons/national heroes can't? Because good and admirable people can't? Come on -- complete the sentence, and tell the truth about what you're really thinking.

I was in a same-sex relationship for 18 years. But I'm not a heterophobe. Some of my best friends are straight people. My sister married one. If my kids grow up straight, I won't worry that they're headed for the fiery pit. And if someone could show me conclusive evidence that Alexander was 100% straight, that wouldn't tarnish him in my eyes in the slightest. Am I scandalized that he married three women and had actual kids -- that he was a BREEDER!? Heck no. (It was part of his job to be a breeder.) Do you see me jumping up and down and saying, "Okay fine, but I'm sure he didn't ENJOY it with ladies, he just closed his eyes and thought of the empire!" No. Because I believe that good and admirable people, kings, warriors, generals, cultural icons and national heroes, can be straight. Or gay. Or bi. This violates no sensibilities of mine; it's not an issue.

It's in this spirit that the discussion should be conducted, if it is to have any intellectual validity, and I suspect Amyntoros and Marcus have perhaps despaired of that ever happening, and that's why they're tired of the topic.

The only possible usefulness in the emotional debate I see (other than entertainment for those who find it entertaining) is for those who find themselves with an intense emotional stake to seize the opportunity for self-examination. Why is it so important to you that Alexander be exclusively straight? Is it because you would make him your ideal of manhood, and Hephaistion's thighs don't fit in with that? Is it because you identify or want to identify with him, but don't want to be a perv? Perhaps you have a secret worry that you yourself are not 100% straight, and you're overcompensating -- that's a frequent cause of homophobia, and it can be completely subconscious. Best to have these things out in the open; that's how you grow.

So let's keep the discussion entirely honest, as well as civil; that way it will have some benefit.

Warmly,
Karen
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dean
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Post by dean »

Sikander said,
Pothos has a reputation for its standard of debate; I have had people say "Pothos has set the bar higher.." I would like to see this continue.
I think that this is absolutely true- on this forum I have found a wonderfully unique place where people's views are respected and debated without feeilng the need to offend anyone- and I hope this continues- the home page of pothos is also a wonderfully comprehensive and accurate database of most aspects of Alexander's life.

Best regards,
Dean
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marcus
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It's not often than I get peeved, but ...

Post by marcus »

Amyntoros has been far too generous with her time as far as answering some of the posts on this forum is concerned. I have better things to do, so:

1. At no point have I removed any posts to do with Alexander's sexuality. At no point do I intend to do so. Alexander's sexuality is not one of the topics that is 'forbidden' on this site, and therefore I have no reason to do so. I merely expressed my own feelings about the emergence of yet another discussion of a topic that has been debated many times before.

2. At no point did I suggest that, if we were to put the file of quotations that pertain to Alexander's sexuality on the main site, it would be done in order to suppress further discussion of the subject; nor that I, or anyone else, would therefore be deleting further discussions. In fact, as I thought I had indicated in my post to Sikander, I hoped (without much conviction, as the heated responses that have greeted me merely confirm, alas) that it would be of use to prevent any future discussions from becoming merely slanging matches between two groups of people who have not read, and who are unlikely to read the source material in an attempt to reach a considered, rather than a knee-jerk, opinion.

3. Before people start slinging mud at what they misperceive as being any attempt to censor this thread, perhaps they might consider the contentious language in which they have written their own posts. If I delete any posts, it will be because of that.

Best wishes
Last edited by marcus on Sun Jan 14, 2007 8:21 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Post by marcus »

amyntoros wrote:Marcus, Sikander … I think there might be a problem with posting the Sexuality file on this, a public forum, because the majority of the source translations I used are still in copyright. Eight or nine of them are Loeb, two are Penguin editions, and then there are a couple of others. I suspect we would not be covered under copyright laws of fair use considering the total of 30 pages of text. Now, if we were able to get permission from Harvard University Press/Loeb it would be a great start – I could substitute the Loeb translation for Plutarch as well - but I have no idea how to begin to approach the publisher. Also, this is a site based in England so this would have to be investigated under English copyright law, I believe.
You are right, of course, that it would need to be looked into. I don't imagine it would be a major issue because we wouldn't be reproducing great chunks at a time, merely selected quotations. But we should be sure, you are right.

Of course, I have already put brief biogs of some of the individuals concerned on the site, along with (in most cases) the entire set of references - these include Stateira (mother and daughter), Thalestris and Cleophis. There's no reason why, in the first place at least, we shouldn't post a list of the references for all of them - more difficult for people to look them up, of course, but maybe better than nothing.

ATB
Last edited by marcus on Sun Jan 14, 2007 8:36 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Cultural/Environmental Mores

Post by sikander »

Greetings All,

First, thank you Amyntoros, for the file.. I look forward to reading it again.

Second, yes to so many of the posts that repeat that a person's orientation has nothing to do with his or her capabilities. I had the fortune to grow up in an environment where orientation was simply not even considered as pertinent to much of anything. How a person behaved towards others, the quality of how they related was more important.

I had to study, observe and reflect on how some perceive orientation as pertinent in any way to anything... If we cannot remove our biases from the discussion, how can we objectively study, and accurately interpret what we are reading, about a time and place and people far removed from our experiences, values, belief systems and cultures? Far too many anthopological and sociological studies have been proven to be contaminated by the application of biased perception on the part of the observer..

We must also be careful not to assume that all global cultures even today are the same. The variances are, in some cases, quite dramatic. We cannot interpret the past from only one cultural, religious or ethnic perspective

This is why I continue to maintain, that were many of his admirers to meet Alexander today, they would not enjoy the experience (laughing).

Regards,
Sikander
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Post by athenas owl »

amyntoros, that would be very appreciated! At your leisure, of course. Thank you for the consideration.

I live in a tiny town on the edge of nowhere and depend on the internet for a lot of my sketchy information. Can't run to the library quickly and am unsure often which book I should order if I want specific information. I'm trying to build up a little library on ATG and the period. It is one fo the reasons I appreciate this site (I need to contribute $$).

Pekuestas (Pecuestas) is someone I am trying to track down in some depth. Any reccies on a good biography for him would be appreciated (I still have to get Heckel's book). I'm especially curious about any information of his whereabouts after 316 B.C.

Sorry for the brief hijack.
This is why I continue to maintain, that were many of his admirers to meet Alexander today, they would not enjoy the experience (laughing).

Regards,
Sikander
I agree and may I quote you on that elsewhere sometime?
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