The Confession of Alexandrus Basileus 334

Dramatis Personae (up to 15 Dystros)

 

Alexandrus Basileus - Alexander III of Macedon (The "Great"), 356-323 B.C., King of Macedon, General of the Hellenic League, Pharoah of Egypt, and conquerer of Illyria, Scythia, Anatolia, Persia, Bactria, and parts of Hindustan.

Philip II - Alexander's father, was murdered by the traitor Pausanias (conspired with Alexander's mother) in 342. Alexander became king after an acclamation by the army and the Aristos (the heads of families of Macedon)

Olympias (otherwise referred to as the witch, the bitch, and the whore) his mother, who was a madwoman and a Dionysian worshipper, and who indulged all sorts of perverted sex rituals with men, women, boys and girls and tried to get Alexander to become a Dionysian. He did not: he was initiated by Aristotle into the Eleusinian mysteries, and was redirected by both he and Philip to the more traditional, Greek method of instruction, but several years later than his coevals

Hephaestion - Alexander's best friend, and lover from the year prior to Philip's murder. Much older than Alexander, he had entered the army after completing his first military training under Memnon, and had been appointed to be sent south with Philip at the time Alexander was forcibly separated from his mother. Hephaestion, one of her child pets, was selected by her to turn Alexander and keep him close to her. The plan backfired, and Philip exiled both of them. This led in a few short months to the death of Philip (see above.) Alexander remains ignorant of the true relationship between Hephaestion and his mother until Samos, where he meets with Memnon and learns how it all really happened.

Apollion - a member of the house of Pausanius who had survived the purge in 342, and Alexander's closest coeval (same age colleague.) He was not favored for leadership because of the role his family played in the assassination of Philip, but had the best reputation for stability, leadership, and objectivity; Alexander kept him near him during the first four years of his relationship with Hephaestion, and somehow Apollion managed to neither offend Hephaestion nor fail to serve Alexander. He was one of the few.

Seleuccus - a member of the family which later took the leadership of the Makednoi empire and became the Seleukid dynasty. He consolidated his power within the empire by a base of governships in northwest and coastal Anatolia during this first round of the campaign. Seleuccus is fictional, and represents several leaders within Alexander's ranks.

Xanion - a co-eval member of Alexander's family on Philip's side. Xanion, though talented militarily, achieved his place by his closeness to and favor by Philip, and his intimacy with Alexander in youth. He undertook military training with Alexander and Apollion and was 'one of the group', but his lack of judgement and streak of cruelty made him less effective in field situations. He was lured by the plot of Pausis into helping him to return Hephaestion to his position, thus betraying Alexander. He was forgiven, however, and put into a role similar to that of Seleuccus. Xanion's true role, however, was more malevolent, and this will unfold in the plot. His Trojan wife became embroiled in a sexual fiasco involving Hephaestion's cabal, and we will get to this in time. Xanion is fictional, and represents more than one of Alexander's cousins who presume too much upon their relationship with him.

Aristotle: the Greek tutor, mentor, philosopher and statesman who counseled Philip during his rise and conquest of Greece and Thrace, and who was appointed to be the teacher to Alexander, Hephaestion, and the other co-evals of Philip's selection in the next generation. He only had two years to teach Alexander before Alexander rose to power and went on campaign, first north, then south across the Hellespont, but taught Hephaestion far longer. Aristotle kept up a long correspondence with Hephaestion in life. In this novel, it is assumed that Aristotle is dead, or banished and unreachable. In real life, he outlived Alexander and died in 321. Alexander was most profoundly influenced by Aristotle, which reduced the overall pernicious influence of his mother and Hephaestion; but it was too weak an influence, still, to redirect him socially. All of his private musings are addressed to Aristotle, who he sees as his fondest friend and best counselor.

Memnon: military leader and one of the most trusted advisors within Philip's army. Memnon, Antipater, and Parmenion constituted the highest ranks of Philip's army, and thus, of Alexander's when he built up his expeditionary force. In real life, Memnon died in battle in the fall of 334 in September. In this version, he is wounded at Granicus, is ill and closeted at Alexandria Troas, and lingers. He was closest to Hephaestion as a youth - Hephaestion was eromenos to Memnon at the normal time youths had such relationships - about 5 years before Alexander met him.

Parmenion - Alexander's most trusted general after Hephaestion, and who served as second before

Hephaestion took the position. he was in charge of logistics, the baggage of the expeditionary force, and was the major military planner with Philip of the entire Asian campaign. He operated independently and commanded the larger part of the ground forces that thrust into Anatolia (Turkey), Syria and Persia. Because Parmenion was able to utilize a portion of the force independently, the Persians often had to fight a two-front war, one led by Alexander, the other by Parmenion. Parmenion was Alexander's equal in military brilliance, but was hampered by the sudden inspirations that struck Alexander. They worked best when on one large battlefield where the choices were obvious, or far apart with different objectives. Alexander both respected Parmenion for his brilliance, and obeyed him for his wisdom; Parmenion in this story is a foil for Philip, and it is his belief that it was not Philip's, but Parmenion's military brilliance, that won Greece for Philip. So Alexander transferred all of his admiration for Philip (whether deserved or not) to Parmenion upon Philip's death.

Ataxerxes - a brilliant Persian military leader, died suddenly as the campaign against Persia from the north was being readied. He was thorough, calculated, and ready to sacrifice most of the population of Anatolia, and its wealth, to throw as a buffer against Makedon. At his death, his plans for Anatolia went slack, and his cousin, the inexperienced Darius III, rose to power.

Darius III - king of Persia, new to the position. He did not have the confidence of his army, who abandoned him after several key defeats in Persia, and his family was taken hostage by Alexander. He was assassinated by his own men and replaced after the invasion of Bactria, and the entire treasury of Persia, over 8,000 tons, was carried off to Alexander's new Bactrian capital of Ekbatana in western Iran. Darius's family, including his wife, daughter, and small sons, were treated as royalty, and Alexander officiated at the marriage of Darius's daughter to one of his generals (I don't know which yet.)

Scheravasana - fictional. She represents the type of temple priestess who served as oracle in the temples of Marduk, an ancient god who was the god of Asia minor, Ur, Chaldea and Babylon during the reign of Shargon the Great and Shargon II, Nebuchadnezzar and the great Babylonian kings. Many women in positions of leadership during Alexander's advance through Asia offered themselves to him; and those who held adequate family or governmental rank could sue for marriage. This priestess was not highly ranked enough to become Alexander's wife. She plays a mystical role in his world, however, like many women he came to know in Asia. He preferred the Persian religious rites and beliefs, and embraced two major strains of religious thought there: the ancient sacrificial worship of Marduk, and that of Ahura-Mazda, the Zoroastrian religion. Scheravasana represents the more traditional sacrificial (and ascetic) religion of Marduk. The temples of Marduk capitulated in force to Alexander, believing him to be the reincarnation of Shargon the Great.