EntertainmentControversy over Netflix's portrayal of Alexander the Great's sexuality in new series

Controversy over Netflix's portrayal of Alexander the Great's sexuality in new series

Netflix portrayed the king of Macedonia as gay.
Netflix portrayed the king of Macedonia as gay.
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12:55 PM EST, February 6, 2024, updated: 4:08 AM EST, March 7, 2024

The legacies of the ancient Greeks, Macedonians, and Romans are often noted for their strategic prowess, philosophical contributions, military genius, and cultural understanding. Also widely acknowledged is their evil and generally open attitude towards sexual orientation. Some viewers have taken issue with the portrayal of this particular aspect on Netflix.

Questioning Alexander the Great's sexuality

The new Netflix eight-episode series is dedicated to the legendary Macedonian ruler, Alexander the Great. Titled "How Alexander the Great Became a God", the production illuminates the character of the king from the Argead dynasty, celebrated as the greatest ruler of Macedonia and one of the most formidable conquerors in history. However, some audience members have expressed concerns regarding the portrayal of the king's sexual orientation in the production.

Alexander the Great, Netflix's latest hero

In just the eighth minute of the series, Alexander the Great is depicted in an explicit scene with a male companion. Netflix implies that Alexander, mirroring the sexual norms of many Macedonians and Greeks of his time, was gay. However, historical facts appear to contradict this assertion. The Macedonian ruler had three wives, a mistress, and fathered Alexander IV.

So, was Alexander the Great heterosexual? Not exactly, according to historian Professor Daniel Ogden. In his scholarly work "Alexander's Sex Life", Ogden proposes that the ruler was in fact bisexual. His romantic partners included Hephaestion, whose death profoundly affected the king, and Bagoas, a eunuch gifted to Alexander by a Persian general.

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