My Alexander page on Facebook can be found here. I update it whenever I read something in the news about Alexander or his times, on anniversaries and so forth that I think might be of interest to group members.
I welcome all comments on the page but there are two issues that I don’t allow – the question of whether or not Alexander was gay, and whether or not he was Greek.
The reason I don’t allow comments on this is because a. it is irrelevant. If you had asked an ancient Greek whether he was ‘gay’ or ‘straight’ he would not have known what you meant. The ancient Greeks did not define their sexuality according to whether one was inclined towards a member of the opposite or same sex. They were more interested in who was the ‘top’ and ‘bottom’ partner during intercourse. b. Discussion of the issue can cause needless quarrels.
Alexander was Macedonian. In his time, the Greeks regarded the Macedonians as barbarians. This didn’t apply to the Macedonian royal family, which was regarded as being of Greek origin.
Today, the land that once formed Lower Macedon – including Pella, where Alexander was born – is in Greece and Greeks claim him as one of their own. The land that once formed Upper Macedon is now part of the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM).
In light of the above, it seems to me that the case for calling Alexander Greek is weak but – on the basis of his royal blood – is valid. On that point, it doesn’t matter for me whether or not Alexander had Greek blood – if the ancient Greeks were prepared to accept the Argeads as Greek, that’s good enough for me.
In regards FYROM, I do not see any justification for its appropriation of him. As I understand it, the people of FYROM are Slavs, and the Slavic people did not arrive in that region until the seventh century AD. This removes any possibility of them having a connexion to the ancient Macedonians.
Those are the two issues. If I see any comments about them, I will delete them unless there is a good reason to let them stay.