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Hephaestion

(d. 324 bc)


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(d. 324 bc),

Macedonian noble. Perhaps the most intimate friend of Alexander 2 the Great, he came to prominence after the death of Philotas (330), when he shared command of the Companion cavalry with Cleitus the Black. Later he held many independent commands, notably the commission to advance down the Kabul valley and bridge the Indus (327). One of the élite Bodyguard, he was further distinguished by his elevation to the chiliarchy, the principal ceremonial office at court, and at the mass marriage at Susa (324) his bride (like Alexander's) was a daughter of Darius III. His sudden death at Ecbatana (autumn 324) plunged Alexander into a paroxysm of grief, and a colossally extravagant pyre was planned (but never executed) for his obsequies. His importance is measured by Alexander's affection. Nothing suggests that his abilities were outstanding.

Subjects: Classical Studies.


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