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Posted: Mon Nov 23, 2015 4:58 pm
by Kahiel
Hey guys, wondering if I could get a bit of help.

I'm currently doing some research on Hephaestion....and coming a bit short in terms of sources and information. Can anyone suggest some reading, links and the like in terms of him? I wasnt sure if there had been a similar thread prior, so I thought of posting this here(If there is, I dont mind being linked to it either!). Any little info would help~

Thank you in advance!

Re: Hephaestion

Posted: Mon Nov 23, 2015 9:39 pm
by Alexias
You could:

1. buy Andrew's book ... drew+chugg

2. visit Jeanne's website

3. buy Jeanne's thesis on Hephaestion

4. visit and search each of the documents for occurrences of Hephaestion's name (NB Curtius is not on there)

5. visit and search for Hephaestion (but beware that there are other Hephaestions)

6. visit and search for Hephaestion

There isn't a definite study on Hephaestion - there needs to be one.

Re: Hephaestion

Posted: Mon Nov 23, 2015 11:13 pm
by Kahiel
Thank you very much. I found Jeanne's website last night. (My internet is crap, so had to wait for ungodly hours to load it.)

And I do agree that studies about Hephaestion needs to be explored a bit more. There's just so much that's unknown about the man.
Again, thank you for the links. I hope there's gonna be a list of the campaigns he participated/headed with or without Alexandros beside him. It'd be nice to delve into how he makes diplomacy work to their cause...or how he operates when engaging in such.

Re: Hephaestion

Posted: Tue Nov 24, 2015 8:45 am
by agesilaos
There is very little of that, the choosing of Abdalonymus, Curtius IV 1 xv-xxvi, Diodoros XVII 47 i, Justin XI 10 viii; his only military mission was with Perdikkas building a bridge across the Indus.

Two other sources are Heckel's 'Marshals of Alexander's Empire' and his 'Who's Who' he is very useful for pointing out the sources and modern literature.

Re: Hephaestion

Posted: Tue Nov 24, 2015 7:37 pm
by amyntoros
Years ago Marcus and I put together Word files of all the Alexander sources using, wherever possible, out of copyright translations. We then created various sub files; characters, religion, sexuality, etc., etc. The intent was that these files would be available to anyone who requested them. I do have a file which runs about twenty pages and includes all the known sources on Hephaistion. Here's a tiny example of the contents to give you an idea - these quotes below are from Arrian:
He made Ora and Massaga into forts to control the district, and fortified Bazira as a city. Hephaestion, Perdiccas and their men fortified another city for him, called Orobatis, and leaving a garrison there went on towards the river Indus; on arrival, they were engaged in following all Alexander’s instructions for bridging the Indus.

He also found a wood good for felling near the river, and had it cut down by his troops, and ships built, which went down the river Indus to the bridge Hephaestion and Perdiccas had built for Alexander long before.

On arriving at the river Indus, Alexander found a bridge made over it by Hephaestion, and many smaller boats as well as two triacontoroi …

Alexander himself selected the agema of the Companions, the hipparchies of Hephaestion, Perdiccas and Demetrius, the cavalry from Bactria and Sogdiana and the Scythian horsemen …
The translations are not necessarily the best - as I said we used old texts on purpose so they could be freely quoted online - but once you have the information you can always refer to more recent (and accurate?) texts. So ... if you would like a copy of the file send me a PM with your email address (better not to post on the forum for all to see) and I'll send you the file as an attachment.

All the best,

Re: Hephaestion

Posted: Sun Nov 29, 2015 7:41 am
by Kahiel
Any source would be really helpful. I've began reading through the ones I was able to get and so far, most are the same, but they all have bits and pieces that are different from each.

Re: Hephaestion

Posted: Sun Jan 31, 2016 10:43 am
by Semiramis
You could watch the Oliver Stone Alexander movie if you're tired of reading. ;) I still love it.

Re: Hephaestion

Posted: Wed Mar 09, 2016 6:26 am
by Jeanne Reames
Kahiel -- On my website under "Sources" (link below), you'll find a list of modern bibliography for Hephaistion, including several works by Sabine Muller, not mentioned here (in part perhaps because much of her work is in German). While Sabine and I do not agree on everything, nonetheless, she has done a great deal of work on Hephaistion, and her articles should be taken into consideration. In addition, Waldemar Heckel is coming out with a new MARSHALS, v. 2.0, if you will. I know a number of folks are not fond of Heckel's portrait of Hephaistion, and again, he and I disagree on quite a few points...but it's still seminal work. Heckel's knowledge of Macedonian prosopography is extensive.

Re: Hephaestion

Posted: Fri Mar 16, 2018 6:15 pm
by Susa the Great
Semiramis wrote: Sun Jan 31, 2016 10:43 am You could watch the Oliver Stone Alexander movie if you're tired of reading. ;) I still love it.
What is it in that Stone[d] movie about Hephaistion that may give anyone any notion about the man? Painted eyes? :D :D
Hephaistion was the king's chief councelor and chief logistics officer. Not a frightened-faced, panda-eyed dislocated figure floating around Alexander, and telling him he's was his Achilles yukk!
Come on, all that was serious business!

In my opinion, if nothing else, Mary Renault's thrilogy, specially the one I have read, "The Persian Boy", is the most convincing depiction until now. And I heard about Nabil Saleh's book, but never read that one.

Re: Hephaestion

Posted: Fri Mar 16, 2018 10:12 pm
by Alexias
The thing that keeps striking me about Oliver Stone's version of Alexander is that that despite his protestations that it is only Hephaestion that he loves, Alexander keeps betraying Hephaestion, and perhaps the Greek ideals of their youth that he represents. He rejects him before the bloodbath of Gaugamela, betray shim with Bagoas in Babylon, betrays him by falling in love with Roxane and letting her throw his ring away, he turns to Bagoas when Parmenion is murdered, he lusts after Bagoas shortly before he kills Cleitus despite Hephaestion obvious discomfort, he does nothing when Cleitus attacks Hephaestion, Hephaestion is almost killed when he rushes after Alexander's reckless charge on the elephant, and then Alexander turns his back on Hephaestion when he is dying. And yet Hephaestion still loves him. This makes Stone's Alexander look a pretty shit human being and Hephaestion a doormat.

Stone seems to saying that the Persians, who 'couple in the street' and where 'no man is free' have corrupted Alexander and the Persian influence is responsible for his worst acts but that is inaccurate historically. It also argues that Alexander wasn't a free agent and the master of his own destiny. I am not sure if Stone is saying it was all some plan of the gods to give a gift to mankind as great as Prometheus did, but what exactly?

Re: Hephaestion

Posted: Fri Mar 16, 2018 11:16 pm
by Susa the Great
Weelll, I'm ok if Oliver Stone[d]had or hadn't romantic ideas about Alex and Hep’s relationship, noone knows what it really was, right? Pretty private chappies, feel like slapping them noisily sometimes for being so private WTH! :D

I have watched that movie more than twice, and God! it is so bad, unfortunately! He had Money, he could have made it right. What I hate the most is the harem scene with those idiotic concubines dancing like a 1940’ American adventure movie in the East. I’d rather watch Simbad adventures at all times.
The scene I love the most (yes, such a thing exists!!) is that one in which Alexander is overlooking the Khiber Pass, he's wearing that lovely wooly cloak... That scene makes me want to watch it every two years :) And the concubines dance makes me want to go like an ostrich.

But I do see your point. Stone[d] managed to turn an intricate relationship between two entwined partners into a petty, superficial thing.
I feel no one never really knows or knew what to do with Hephaistion, specially because of that same-sex relationship story someone brought forward... I feel he is like a hot potato in the hands of movie directors/writers. Poor poor Hephaistion. If he were a footnote, he’d do better in fiction; if noone had ever brought that same-sex story forward, H would have been just the logistics and diplomatic officer bumming around the back of the scene, having some lines, finding Abdalonymus in a garden in Sidon... So whomever wants to deal with Alexander, will have to deal with that half-obscure presence, the one guy beside the throne.
It is quite irritating to see that Stone[d] and that writer -- wassisname --- Fox? Yea, that one who wrote the screeplay.... they have spoilt a very good story. Yuk!

Re: Hephaestion

Posted: Sat Mar 17, 2018 1:59 pm
by Alexias
Robin Lane Fox didn't write the screenplay; he was the historical adviser. Oliver Stone and two other people did.
if noone had ever brought that same-sex story forward, H would have been just the logistics and diplomatic officer bumming around the back of the scene
Completely incorrect historically. At the time of his death Hephaestion was the second most powerful man in the Empire.

Re: Hephaestion

Posted: Sat Mar 17, 2018 6:26 pm
by Susa the Great

Well, I really wasn't trying to be historically correct, I was only [trying] thinking with the Hollywood mind :)

And really -- how one can talk history when one is thinking of that movie lol

Ah yes, Hephaistion was granted the old hazarapatis title, was he not? But not that power you mention, the hazarapatis was not that powerful, you know. I think it was more a courtly title to smooth feathers and to be very propah before the Persians (all for diplomacy's sake I guess). But he was, and there is no doubt about it, Alex the emperor's chief councelor, as Alexander's trust on him seemed unbreakable, yes? Of course hep was, that was his place -- doing diplomacy and politiking: when Alexander just could not act politically, then there was Hep doing that for him. Marvellous combination of skills! While one say "off with his head!", the other say "let's negotiate". Yey!

And it is so limiting when people go desperately trying to justify Hephaistion looking for Great Military Achievements aka battle & blood... I think it is Dr. Reames who says "his greatest achievements are logistical and diplomatical". Will a general-king-emperor need more in a huge campaign and in an emperorship? God no! Different strokes for different folks. But then there is always Gaugamela, and the Mallian volte-face... :/

Re: Hephaestion

Posted: Sun Apr 01, 2018 6:30 am
by Jeanne Reames
Some general observations from somebody who's lived with this guy for 25+ years:

1) Too many people misinterpret and freak out over the fact Hephaistion was primarily a diplomatic & logistics officer. Those inclined to dismiss him, including a lot of my colleagues, see him as unimportant and incapable because these are his roles. Heckel calls his appointments nepotism. I respect Waldemar as a scholar, but we will probably always disagree on Hephaistion's competence. My issues are with his interpretations, not his fundamental scholarship.

BUT, the flipside are those Hephaistion fans who confirm the negative view of logistics by being insulted that he's "just" a logistics officer and I (and whoever else) who argue that was his primary role are somehow "dissing" him. They want him to be a great combat leader, to counter Heckel's, et al., dismissal of him.

This is just the same damn playbook, and I call it ALL into question.

Stop it. Think for a minute about the stupid combat-primacy narrative that supports. He has to be a great military combat commander (never mind the evidence), or he's being dissed! Please. Alexander clearly didn't think so. That should be enough for us.

2) Being Alexander's lover is an issue for us TODAY, not for them, then. This is especially true if it were primarily in their youth. But even if they continued off-and-on into adulthood. Stone totally screwed that up. Jared Leto in eyeliner is about as far from my view of Hephaistion as possible.

3) The role of Chiliarch/Hazarapatish was (I think) ATG's attempt to regulate court procedure, and traditionally the role of hazarapatish was the second-highest civil service role, after the Great King. It appears that Hephaistion was meant to stay behind and run Persia while Alexander headed back west. He would, presumably, have the help of Peukestas, satrap of Persia, and other advisors.

Being unable to show any of the above in film is a failure of imagination, not a problem of his role. Stone owed too much to Renault, who essentially wrote Hephaistion as a cypher. He had no personality. He can be written better, imo.

Re: Hephaestion

Posted: Sun Apr 01, 2018 11:39 am
by Paralus
Can't say I'd disagree with any of that - especially the second point. Alexander clearly found the man competent. The notion that Hephaistion, when given army commands, needed another officer to essentially "ride shotgun" is, I suspect, one of those interpretations you take issue with. I'd agree that the position of chiliarch (and others) was an attempt to meld Achaemenid court and military procedure with Macedonian. It comes after military (and court) reforms and the addition of Iranian cavalry into the overall cavalry forces. Second highest civil-service role it was and, in Alexander's court and army, the commander of the cavalry and second in command. Perdikkas took this role on Hephaistion's death and so Justin refers to him as "tribune of the camp". Seleukos would be the last we have attested. Certainly not a position for an incompetent.

The less said of Stone's film, the better. Especially that silly soliloquy about the brotherhood of man while Hephaistion departs this mortal coil.