I was reading this thread, as this issue has always fascinated me. In the end, histories, theories aside Alexander ran an army. That required rules and the application of discipline else, well, we all know what happens when insubordination occurs... Philotas, a very highly ranked officer, a general with a long record of service in that army had the duty to report, as one would in any army, but especially when it involves so serious an issue as a possible conspiracy, i.e., mutiny, etc. re high up's in the command. If in fact, the account about Philotas already knowing of the possible conspiracy against Alexander, yet not reporting such to him or anyone else of equal command, esp. security officers, would be a serious breach of military protocol. If anyone has ever served in the military they will know this. History books, discussion on websites among scholars, etc., is one thing, the reality of command with a real time military in the field in an active arena is another.
This could also be applied to that other infamous, at least that's how I see it, issue between Krateros and Hephaistion where they draw upon one another and Alexander came along and pretty much chews them out. Alexander had every right to reprimand Hephaistion in whatever manner he chose. Hephaistion, being of high rank, would have known and expected as such. Same would have applied to Krateros. They committed a serious act of insubordination! Had they been lessor ranked they could have been executed immediately or at least cashiered out, etc. No doubt they would have done the same to thsose of lessor rank who failed to follow the rules. Their special companionship with Alexander may have been what saved them. That is unless such behavior was accepted in Alexander's army, which I would find impossible to believe.
Arguing all these theories is great, but the cold reality is Alexander ran an army, Philotas, Krateros, Hephaistion and the rest of the Companions were members in that military organization. Military life has very different rules than civilian, no doubt even back in Alexander's day. If Philotas failed to report a possible conspiracy against Alexander's life, he blew it big time. He, having been an officer in Philip's army prior to Alexander's he would have been well versed with military regulations and known what was expected of him. His father, Parmenion, as brilliant as they come, and most likely very loyal and straight military all the way was no fool! I find it hard to believe he would have allowed Philotas to grow up in a military environment as such, where he would spend the largest portion of his life and remain ignorant of how things worked.
If there really was a conspiracy, and Philotas failed to report it knowing it's importance, he got what he deserved. Parmenion... now that's another issue.
And, for all those fans of Hephaistion who think Alexander was so cruel to him calling him out before the army for the stupidity and part in the insubordinate act he took part in with Krateros, get real! Hephaistion was no idiot, a man does not rise to such rank as he, no not even as a favorite of Alexander's and not expect if he screwed up to get away unscathed.
I just don't believe Alexander was so enthralled by Hephaistion's whatever, thighs, face, eyes, that he would have given him the rank and duties he did, if Hephaistion had not been so talented or deserving. Alexander was shrewd militarily and never did anything without knowing what he was doing, (well, most of the time, I hope). He proved time and again to be a good judge of men militarily. If he raised Hephaistion as high as he did in rank there must have been a damn good reason for it, and I doubt it had anything to do with his looks and past possible sexual relationships.
What I find interesting about these two issues is not the interpretion of the how's, why's or who did what to whom, etc., but what propelled them in the first place and why. What was it that was happending at the time these situations occured in Alexander's army that propelled them into reality in the first place? With the Philotas' conspiracy, as I refer to it, it is obviously clearer, a conspiracy that had, at least in the histories that have come down to us, a basis in some disatisfaction with changes in Alexander's goals, etc. I wish were truly knew more.
As for as the insubordination of Krateros and Hephaistion, what I'd like to know is what was going on that caused these two men to slip there normally restrained military boundaries and act as they did. They would have known, if this action, did indeed ever occur, they were risking their lives and incurring not only the anger of Alexander, but they would also have known how their actions would have been perceived by him, their Companions and families. Krateros and Hephaistion were among his most valued generals, and possilby even closest companions. I cannot for a moment think, if this situation did occurr, it must have been the result of something that had by the time it had come to this point been long simmering in the army itself, and Alexander would have had to have been much more clearly aware of it. The greater question is then, what could have been so severely disruptive to two high ranking officers to cause them such great risk by their actions? For me, at least, that is the question I entertain.
There two issues irk me, and I get fed up with fantasy surrounding them most of the time. Alexander may have had many other faults, but he knew his stuff when it came to his military, which was his lifeblood, and he knew how to get what he wanted and who to use to get it. He also honored men who were as himself, excelling in their duties to him, their rank, their families...expecting perfection, yes, undoubtedly even the ability to be ruthless to get the job done. They were not Oliver Stone's Hollywood, pretty boy version. (I recall an interview of Colin Farrell's after the movie, where he said pretty much summed it up with something like "Alexander and his army were animals".) Maybe not so bad, I reserve the animal description for the Nazi's, but yes, they were cold blooded, calculating and ruthless, all of them, yes, that would have included Hephaistion, most probably, next to Krateros and after Alexander, among the worst. They had a job to do, they did it. That is the military reality they lived in.