Was Alexander the Great really gay?

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The truth behind the myths and hearsay.

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Alexander: The Making of a God on Netflix and are now fixating on one of the most notable figures in ancient Greece? Are you wondering what the truth is about his sexuality? Was he really gay, as some historical rumours suggest?

Maybe we can help.

The six-part Netflix docudrama explores the life of Alexander the Great through academic insight, archaeology and ongoing excavations at a site in Alexandria, Egypt.

Alexander was the king of the ancient Greek kingdom of Macedon, succeeding his father, Philip II, taking the throne in 336BCE at the age of 20. By the time he was 30, he had built one of the largest empires ever seen, spanning from his homeland all the way to India.

He is widely considered to be one of the most successful – as well as infamous – military commanders of all time.

Was Alexander the Great really gay? And was he married?

Alexander the Great’s sexuality has been hotly debated by historians. So, was he gay? The answer isn’t straightforward.

One point that’s regularly referred to is the fact that his mother was concerned he wasn’t interested in women.

“He scorned sensual pleasures to such an extent that his mother was anxious lest he be unable to beget offspring,” first-century Roman historian Quintus Curtius Rufus wrote, with records suggesting that she brought in a courtesan named Callixena and pleaded with her son to go to bed with her.

Alexander refused, leading modern-day historians such as James Davidson to consider the ruler could have been gay.


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