Title: “Alexander’s Lovers”
Author: Andrew Chugg
Number of Pages: 220
Date of Publication: April 29, 2006
5 stars: Couldn’t have been better
This is a fascinating and helpful book about Alexander the Great and his lovers. What information is included in the book?
The first 60 pages or so are about Alexander’s life and accomplishments, including sections on “The Pursuit of Darius”, “The Brahmins and the Mallian Arrow” and “The Mutiny at Opis”. Then there is a lengthy section on Hephaistion (pgs 64-130). The wealth of information here is astounding. Many different sources are quoted and credited for their input, allowing us to see where the similarities and differences are in their information. There are also various sketches of statues and copies of paintings (black and white). Compared to Hephaistion, the other sections in the book are quite small. But considering how important he was to Alexander, this makes sense.
After Hephaistion, pages 131-143 are on Barsine. Next is the section on Bagaos the eunuch. (pgs 144-154). Many histories have left out Bagoas entirely, preferring that he not existed. However there is undeniable evidence that he did exist, and again there is a wealth of information here on him. Bagoas is followed by the section on Thalestris (Queen of the Amazons) and Cleophis (Queen of Massaga) from pages 155-163.
One of the greatest mysteries about Alexander was why he married Roxane. Many argue that she was the only woman he ever loved. Roxane’s section is 164-184, followed by Stateira and Parysatis (The Persian Princesses). Pages 185-197 deal with the Persian Princesses, including their backgrounds, and their political importance. A short epilogue follows this section, and includes the fates of Alexander’s relatives- including his brothers/sisters/mother/ and children.
I quite enjoyed this book. As another review stated, this is perhaps the most written about Hephaistion anywhere, and it is very helpful to finally have it all in one place instead of constantly cross referencing. Remember, as Alexander once said, “He too is Alexander.” It is sad that there isn’t more information on him, considering his importance to Alexander. It even seems that his successes were downplayed, although after reading this book you will see that he was a brilliant strategist and general. In closing, Alexander the Great is an important figure in history, and true scholars will want to pick up Chugg’s story.
For more on Hephaistion and Bagoas (if you are at all interested in historical fiction), I’d recommend Mary Renault’s Alexander the Great trilogy- Fire from Heaven, The Persian Boy (A personal favorite!), Funeral Games.