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Headword: Ἡφαιστίων
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:
Ἡφαιστίων, ἑταῖρος Μακεδὼν τοῦ Ἀλεξάνδρου. λόγος δὲ ἔχει Ἀλέξανδρον ἐλθεῖν ἐπὶ τὴν σκηνὴν τῶν γυναικῶν Δαρείου τοῦ Πέρσου καὶ παρελθεῖν εἴσω ξὺν Ἡφαιστίωνι μόνῳ τῶν ἑταίρων: καὶ τὴν μητέρα τὴν Δαρείου ἀγνοήσασαν ὅστις ὁ βασιλεὺς εἴη αὐτοῖν: ἐστάλθαι γὰρ ἄμφω τῷ αὐτῷ κόσμῳ: τὴν δὲ Ἡφαιστίωνι προσελθεῖν καὶ προσκυνῆσαι, ὅτι μείζων αὐτῇ ἐφάνη ἐκεῖνος. ὡς δὲ ὁ Ἡφαιστίων τε ὀπίσω ὑπεχώρησε καί τις τῶν ἀμφ' αὐτὴν τὸν Ἀλέξανδρον δείξας ἐκεῖνον ἔφη εἶναι Ἀλέξανδρον, τὴν μὲν καταιδεσθεῖσαν τῇ διαμαρτίᾳ ἀποχωρεῖν, Ἀλέξανδρον δὲ οὐ φάναι αὐτὴν ἁμαρτεῖν: καὶ γὰρ ἐκεῖνον εἶναι Ἀλέξανδρον. καὶ ταῦτα ἐγὼ οὔτε ὡς ἀληθῆ οὔτε ὡς πάντῃ ἄπιστα ἀνέγραψα: ἀλλὰ εἴτε οὕτως ἐπράχθη, ἐπαινῶ Ἀλέξανδρον ὅτι ὡς καὶ ταῦτα ἂν πράξας καὶ εἰπών, ἐπὶ τῷδε ἐπαινῶ Ἀλέξανδρον. οὕτως φησὶν Ἀρριανός. ὅτι τῆς τε ἐς τὰς γυναῖκας κατοικτίσεως καὶ τῆς ἐς τὸν ἑταῖρον πίστεως καὶ τιμῆς. εἴτε πιθανὸς δοκεῖ τοῖς συγγράψασιν Ἀλέξανδρον.
[1] The closest friend of Alexander the Great (for whom see chiefly alpha 1121, and the Alexander 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, "ὅτι " 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.


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