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Alexander the Great's Bathing Chamber Unearthed After 2,300 Years Sheds Light on His ‘Homo-Erotic’ Practices

Alexander the Great's Bathing Chamber Unearthed After 2,300 Years
Source: Unsplash

A bathing chamber from 2,300 years ago shed light on Alexander the Great's life.

May 12 2024, Published 2:01 p.m. ET

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The tragic death of King Philip II ushered in the ascension of his son, Alexander the Great, to the throne. The new leader's home, the Aigai palace, was nestled in the ceremonial heart of the ancient Macedonian realm, and spanned 15,000 square meters, dwarfing even the Parthenon.

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Enclosed within its fortified walls lay courtyards, temples, sanctuaries, theaters and the renowned palaestra, where warriors honed their skills, including the young Alexander, who bathed alongside his comrade and rumored lover, Hephaestion.

In a momentous revelation, archaeologists have unveiled the remnants of this ancient bathing chamber and palaestra within the Royal city of Aigai, situated in modern Vergina, Northern Greece.

This discovery, featured in Bettany Hughes' Treasures of the World, offers a vivid glimpse into the intimate rituals of Alexander and his companions.

The presenter described the sight saying, “This would have been where Alexander the Great bathed with his companions — his famous favorite Hephaestion and all those young men who then traveled with him on campaigns and after his death squabbled over his empire.”

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The presenter added, “It is a really visceral moment to be there imagining Alexander bathing in a lovely homo-erotic way with his teenage, testosterone-filled companions.”

As the scion of King Philip II and Queen Olympias, Alexander, tutored by the famed philosopher Aristotle, rose to prominence following his father's tragic demise. His ambition knew no bounds, and he famously aspired to be the ruler of the known world.

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Ascending to the throne in 336 BCE, he embarked on a relentless campaign, forging one of history's most expansive empires, spanning from Greece to Egypt and into the Indian subcontinent.

After years of meticulous excavation and a roughly $20 million investment, the archaeological team has meticulously restored vast sections of the palace, unveiling intricate mosaics, marble floors and colonnades.

Moreover, the discovery of numerous precious artifacts enriches our understanding of this ancient seat of power. Notably, access to the tomb of Alexander's sister Thessaloniki, interred within Aigai, provided a poignant glimpse into the sepulchral beauty of the past.


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