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Headword: *(hfaisti/wn
Adler number: eta,660
Translated headword: Hephaistion, Hephaestion
Vetting Status: high
A Macedonian comrade of Alexander.[1] A story has it[2] that Alexander went to the tent of the womenfolk of Darius the Persian and went inside with Hephaestion alone of his comrades; and Darius' mother did not know which of the two was the king -- for they were both equipped in the same fine gear -— and she approached Hephaestion and bowed down before him, because he seemed to be the taller of the two. When Hephaestion stepped back, and one of those with her pointed to Alexander and said that he was Alexander, she was ashamed of her mistake and backed away, but Alexander said that she had not been mistaken: for he [sc. Hephaestion] was Alexander.[3] And I have recorded these things neither as true nor as entirely unbelievable; but if it happened this way, I praise Alexander[4] because he might have done and said these things -- on this ground I praise Alexander. Thus says Arrian. [I praise Alexander] because of his pity toward the women and his trust and honor toward his friend. If to those who have written on Alexander he seems plausible...[5]
Greek Original:
*(hfaisti/wn, e(tai=ros *makedw\n tou= *)aleca/ndrou. lo/gos de\ e)/xei *)ale/candron e)lqei=n e)pi\ th\n skhnh\n tw=n gunaikw=n *darei/ou tou= *pe/rsou kai\ parelqei=n ei)/sw cu\n *(hfaisti/wni mo/nw| tw=n e(tai/rwn: kai\ th\n mhte/ra th\n *darei/ou a)gnoh/sasan o(/stis o( basileu\s ei)/h au)toi=n: e)sta/lqai ga\r a)/mfw tw=| au)tw=| ko/smw|: th\n de\ *(hfaisti/wni proselqei=n kai\ proskunh=sai, o(/ti mei/zwn au)th=| e)fa/nh e)kei=nos. w(s de\ o( *(hfaisti/wn te o)pi/sw u(pexw/rhse kai/ tis tw=n a)mf' au)th\n to\n *)ale/candron dei/cas e)kei=non e)/fh ei)=nai *)ale/candron, th\n me\n kataidesqei=san th=| diamarti/a| a)poxwrei=n, *)ale/candron de\ ou) fa/nai au)th\n a(martei=n: kai\ ga\r e)kei=non ei)=nai *)ale/candron. kai\ tau=ta e)gw\ ou)/te w(s a)lhqh= ou)/te w(s pa/nth| a)/pista a)ne/graya: a)lla\ ei)/te ou(/tws e)pra/xqh, e)painw= *)ale/candron o(/ti w(s kai\ tau=ta a)\n pra/cas kai\ ei)pw/n, e)pi\ tw=|de e)painw= *)ale/candron. ou(/tws fhsi\n *)arriano/s. o(/ti th=s te e)s ta\s gunai=kas katoikti/sews kai\ th=s e)s to\n e(tai=ron pi/stews kai\ timh=s. ei)/te piqano\s dokei= toi=s suggra/yasin *)ale/candron.
[1] The closest friend of Alexander the Great (for whom see chiefly alpha 1121, and the Hephaestion page at Livius: web address 1). On Hephaestion (already mentioned under alpha 3898) see generally Brian Bosworth in OCD(4) s.v. 'Hephaestion(1)'. The present entry, after this opening gloss, is drawn from Arrian, Anabasis 2.12.6-8, with some alterations and expansions.
[2] Arrian cites Ptolemy I and Aristobulus for the previous section of his narrative (Anabasis 2.12.6) but does not mention a specific source for this story.
[3] Perhaps there is a play on the etymology of the name. Alexander would then be implying that Hephaestion is "a defender of mankind."
[4] The following words, "o(/ti" through the end of the passage, have been altered and rearranged from their order in Arrian, Anabasis 2.12.8.
[5] The final part of the entry is garbled because of the rearrangement of Arrian, who continues this as follows (with material which the present entry has already used): "as having done and said these things, on this basis too I praise Alexander".
Associated internet address:
Web address 1
Keywords: biography; clothing; definition; ethics; gender and sexuality; geography; historiography; history; women
Translated by: Abram Ring on 4 November 2005@10:18:54.
Vetted by:
David Whitehead (restored pre-retranslation vetting status) on 4 November 2005@10:29:39.
David Whitehead (more keywords) on 21 December 2012@06:32:54.
David Whitehead (updated a ref) on 3 August 2014@06:22:55.
Catharine Roth (updated link) on 8 March 2021@00:49:14.


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