Alexander Takes Leave of Hephaestion
Hephaestion: Often referred to as Alexander ‘s alter ego, he is his closest friend from childhood and sometimes lover, and member of the companions. With similar physical attributes, very handsome and fair, he is occasionally mistaken for the king. A true romantic, fiercely loyal, vain, competitive, thin – skinned. A fierce warrior and leader in his own right, he is nearly as ruthless and resolved as Alexander himself. Absolute power corrupts him absolutely. But his devotion to Alexander never wanes. Unquestioningly loyal and totally his equal, Alexander felt that Hephaestion was the only one who loved him for himself alone. He served faithfully as a General in Alexander ‘s army, becoming sole commander of the companion cavalry. Seen by his rivals as the second man in the empire and the king ?s most likely successor, he died suddenly in Ecbatana in 324 BC just months before Alexander, possibly poisoned. His death was an enormous personal loss for Alexander.