Bagoas. There is no image of him available, the above is the version produced by TheBand from DeviantArt. It should be noted as well that his actual name is unknown. The name Bagoas was more of a title that was given to any eunuch that served a great king. For this reason it is also hard to nail down a specific Bagoas when there were many that carried the name.
What we know about this Bagoas is that he was a eunuch in the Persian Empire in the 4th Century BCE, said to have been the catamite of Darius III, and later the Eromenos (Beloved) of Alexander the Great. The two met while Alexander was on campaign against the Persian king Darius. The war had raged for some time, with Darius finally on the run, deserted by his vassals. His general, Nabarzenes, went to swear fealty to Alexander and to offer rich gifts, Bagoas among these gifts. Curtius describes him as “… a eunuch exceptional in beauty and in the very flower of boyhood,” The stormy, outspoken character of the slave matched his stunning looks and the friendship and love which grew between him and the warrior king lasted the rest of their lives.
Their love affair is attested to by many historians of the time, such as Plutarch, who recounts an episode showing that the love between the two was common knowledge among the troops, and much appreciated. At a dancing contest after the crossing of the Gedrossian Desert, Bagoas had won the honors then went to sit by the side of the king. The troops, with whom Bagoas was very popular, demanded Alexander kiss him. Plutarch writes of the event “which so pleased the Macedonians that they shouted out for him to kiss Bagoas, and never stopped clapping their hands and shouting till Alexander took him in his arms and kissed him warmly,”. The episode is attested by several ancient writers and the kiss became famous. Alexander saw to it that his young beloved was well provided for. Supposedly the king married Bagoas along with at least 2 women. Bagoas was placed in a villa outside of Babylon and it was required all Alexander’s officers and courtesans, both Greek and Persian, to render him honors (to present him with rich gifts).
They all did but one, the satrap Orsines, who claimed that he had come “to honor the friends of Alexander, not his whores,” and that “it was not the custom of the Persians to take males in marriage who had been turned into women for the sake of being fucked.” Enraged, the young Bagoas wrought Orsines’ destruction by means of endless calumnies, rousing Alexander’s mind to anger until he condemned the man to death. Still not satisfied with his handiwork, Bagoas struck Orsines as he was being led off to execution. Orsines turned and drove home one final insult: “I had heard that women once reigned in Asia; this however is something new, for a eunuch to reign!” Alexander’s favor to Bagoas can also be seen in his later appointment as one of the trierarchs, men of substance who oversaw and funded the construction of the navy for the journey homeward.
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