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Netflix Doc Presents Alexander the Great as Being Gay

Alexander gay Netflix
Applying modern labels to historical figures can be misleading due to differing contexts. Credit: Video screenshot/Netflix

Netflix’s documentary “Alexander: The Making of a God,” portrays the Macedonian king as being gay causing anger among many viewers who say it distorts history.

In the opening episode of the series which started airing on Netflix on January 31, Alexander the Great, played by Buck Braithwaite, kisses his friend Hephaestion on the mouth and body, and they exchange tender caresses.

Although Alexander’s relationships with men such as Hephaestion, a close companion, and Bagoas, a eunuch, are documented in historical records, it is unclear whether these relationships indicate possible romantic or sexual involvement. All we know is that he married three women (Roxana, Stateira, and Parysatis) and fathered a son.

However, terminology like “gay,” “straight,” and “bisexual” didn’t exist in ancient Greece. While same-sex relationships were present, social attitudes and interpretations differed greatly from today.

Historians disagree as to whether or not he was only drawn to women. His relationships were influenced by political alliances, power dynamics, and cultural norms.

Anger at Netflix’s portrayal of Alexander the Great as gay

The gay implication in the Netflix series has angered many viewers.

This is the second time a Netflix documentary on ancient Greek themes angers viewers. Last Spring the documentary Queen Cleopatra, exploring the life of the legendary ruler of Egypt, was criticized for “blackwashing” due to the decision to depict Cleopatra as black, despite the historical figure being of Greek descent.

The new Netflix series promises to reveal the “extraordinary life of Alexander the Great,” per the official synopsis. In particular, it will track his rise from an exiled young man to his growing obsession with defeating the Persian Emperor Darius. This led him to “conquer the known world in just under six years.”

The story will be told through dramatic scenes and expert academic insights in addition to ground-breaking archaeology and ongoing excavations at the archaeological site in Alexandria, Egypt. The excavations are led by Calliope Limneos-Papakosta.

The Greek archaeologist has been searching for the Golden Fleece of Greece’s ancient history, namely, the priceless tomb of Alexander the Great.

Alexander was history’s most successful military commander

Alexander the Great, the king of Macedonia, was one of history’s most successful military commanders. His achievements are numerous and profound, the most significant of which was his conquest of the Persian Empire. It was the largest empire of the time.

He defeated Persian King Darius III and seized control of vast territories extending from the Balkans to modern-day Pakistan.

Alexander’s conquests resulted in the spread of Greek culture and language across his empire, leading to the Hellenistic Era. This period saw a blend of Greek, Persian, Egyptian, and Indian cultures, massively influencing art, architecture, and literature, and he founded over twenty cities, most famously Alexandria in Egypt, which became a major hub for both education and culture in the ancient world.

Alexander died at the young age of 32, leaving behind an empire that stretched over three continents and a legacy that profoundly influenced the course of Western civilization.

His life was the subject of a film in 2004 entitled Alexander, directed by Oliver Stone and starring Colin Farrell as the titular character alongside Angelina Jolie, Anthony Hopkins, and Jared Leto.

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