Transcript of "Weddings and funerals - Alexander the Great"
Alexander continues to campaign along his route back
Marching down the river (Hydaspes) to mark out his
Alexander had built a fleet which was commanded by
Two opposing tribes formed an alliance to fight
Alexander moved quickly to separate them, using his
navy for speed.
Policy changed from peacefully conquer, to brutal
Alexander is almost killed at the Siege of Multanes
His men hesitate (Flagging morale?) so he goes instead.
When the ladders break he jumps into the inside of the walls
and fights off attackers.
His lung is pierced by an arrow.
Mass weddings at
Wherein Alexander makes his troops get married.
Susa is the capital of Susiana.
Alexander held an expensive marriage
ceremony which the Persian Princesses
and other noble women were married to
The wedding ceremonies lasted 5 days,
held in a luxurious tent. Entertainers were
recruited from all over the Greek World
Alexander gets busy.
Alexander married 2 Princesses, (He had
already married Roxane, daughter of a
Sogdian Baron in 327BC)
This time he married Stateira (the eldest
daughter of Darius III, AKA Barsine)
[Stateira’s sister also married off to
And he married Parysatis (daughter of
Artaxerxes III Ochus)
• Daughter of Oxyartes, Bactrian princess
• Captured after Alexander took over the Sogdian Rock
• Bore Alexander a son, posthumously (after her death)
= Alexander IV
Alessandro Varotari (1588-1648), Roxane and Alexander IV
Rubens, The Crowning of
Roxane by Alexander
visions of Roxane
The Wedding of Alexander and Roxane
The Wedding of Alexander
Everyone must get Married!
90 other marriages were celebrated. Each
was given an impressive dowry by
Alexander (to improve relations with his
Many marriages did not last after
Alexander’s death but were important as
they symbolised the transfer of power to
The weddings were the pinnacle of
Alexander’s Policy of Fusion.
Alexander was now Great King of the
Persian Empire – ruling in an oriental
style as the absolute monarch.
Alexander does not deal with Loss well.
at the ANCIENT
age of 30 years
the battle of
Either way, Alexander commemorates his horse’s
death by founding a city a calling it Bucephalus.
Hephastion from the film
Too heavy on the homoeroticism.
Hephaestion’s role in the
Army under Alexander
Plutarch of Chaeronea writes that Alexander once
remarked that without him, Hephaestion would be
nothing. This was true. Hephaestion was a
competent officer, but was lacking the brilliance of
rival commanders like Parmenion and Craterus. He
was a skilled diplomat and a great organizer, but he
did not speak his foreign languages
like Peucestas and did not write as beautifully as
Eumenes. However, he was closer to the king's heart,
and this must have made his position very, very
difficult: all court officials envied him. This made him
an isolated man, who was completely dependent on
the king. Therefore, Alexander could completely rely
"... Alexander's grief was uncontrollable ...“ - Plutarch
"... he flung himself on the body of his friend and lay
there nearly all day long in tears, and refused to be
parted from him until he was dragged away by force
by his Companions ...“ - Arrian
"... he lay stretched upon the corpse all day and the
whole night too ...“ - Arrian
"... for two whole days after Hephaestion's death
Alexander tasted no food and paid no attention in
any way to his bodily needs, but lay on his bed now
crying lamentably, now in the silence of grief.“ - Arrian
"Many of the Companions, out of respect for
Alexander, dedicated themselves and their arms to
the dead man ...“ - Arrian
Alexander makes someone
Bans all music, horses manes and tails are shorn,
demolition of neighboring cities battlements.
Hephaestion’s physician Glaucias is put to Death for
lack of care.
Shrine of Asclepios in Ecbatana is razed on
Alexnader cuts his hair short.
Alexander launches an extremely bloody campaign
against the Cosseans, a nomadic tribe living in the
The COST of Hephaestions
10,000 Talents on the funeral
Average daily wage of a skilled worker = 2-3
Hellenistic Mercenaries get 1 Drachma/day
6,000 Drachma = 1 Talent
1 Talent = 16.43 years work as a mercenary.
6.54 for average skilled worker.
Median NZ income in 2012 was 29,120
1.91 BILLION dollars on this funeral.
Games, Pyres, Festival
Hephaestion’s corpse is transported to Babylon
Alexander drives the carriage himself.
3,000 competitors take part in Funeral games in honor of
The Companion Cavalry continue to carry Hephastion’s
Commissions Stasicrates to build the funeral pyre.
60 meters high, square and built in levels.
The first level was decorated with two hundred and forty
ships with golden prows, each of these adorned with armed
figures, and with red banners filling the spaces between. On
the second level were torches, with snakes at the base,
golden wreaths in the middle, and at the top, flames
surmounted by eagles. The third level showed a hunting
scene, and the fourth a battle of centaurs, all done in gold.
On the fifth level, also in gold, were lions and bulls, and on
the sixth, the arms of Macedon and Persia. The seventh and
final level bore sculptures of sirens, hollowed out to conceal
a choir who would sing a lament.
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