(356 - 324 BC.)
Alexander himself named Hephaiston> Philalexandros *( the friend of Alexander
in Greek), while his another friend Craterus Alexander called> Philobasileus
(in Greek friend of the King). Hephaistion was vice-king (Chiliarch),
and he has married the sister of Barsine - Alexander's own wife at the
royal wedding in Susa. He was Alexender's Alter Ego.
Hephaistion, was the son of Macedonian aristocrat Amyntas, and he was the
dearest Alexander's friend ever since from his childhood, and for Roman
historian Q. Curtius Rufus he is described as: omnium amicorum carissimus.
From age 13 to 16 he and Alexander, at the park of Mieza, together with
the other boys belonging to the Macedonian aristocracy were taught by Aristotle,
who introduced them to the world of arts and sciences.
He had great freedom, as anyone else, to speak his own mind to the
king. And snatches of evidence in the extant sources suggest his real gifts
were diplomatic and logistical, not military. He was taller and even more
handsome than Alexander was.
One famous event
after the battle of Issus (autumn 333) gives us an idea about Alexander's
and Hephaestion friendship, when Alexander had captured Darius's throne
tent with complete Persian imperial escortent; including Darius's
mother - Sisygambis; his wife - Stateira; his harem. and other princesses.
When Alexander and
Hephaestion went to meet Sisygambis, she prostrated herself at the feet
of the most kingly figure. She chose by the mistake the taller Hephaestion!
Alexander is said to have responded rather friendly:
"Don't worry mother, he is Alexander too."
image has remained documented in the marble relief with engraved text to
the hero Hephaistion, and it is situated now in the Museum of The Saloniki.
He was presented often in the artworks of ancient
artists near Alexander (*P.Moreno ), like mosaicos
and frescos which represent hunting scenes in the heroic nudity. In autumn
324 Hephaestion died in Ecbatana, eight months before Alexander. Alexander
indulged in deep mourning for his best friend; he was given a royal funeral
in Babylon with a grandiose pyre* (projected by Stasiratos, megaloman who
suggested to Alexander, to transform Mt. Athos situated on the Calcidic
peninsula in the Alexander figure, the same thing was done by Americans
few millennia later with their presidents) costing 10,000 talents. His
post of chiliarch was left unfilled. General order was sent out to the
Greeks to honor Hephaestion as a hero that Alexander linked to it the demand
that he himself should be accorded divine honors.
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