Aelian, VH 3.23: Alexander and Bagoas' House

Michael B. Charles, Eva Anagnostou-Laoutides

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


This article challenges the association made by some modern scholars that the Bagoas in Aelian's Varia Historia at 3.23 is identical to the Bagoas mentioned by Athenaeus, Plutarch and especially Curtius as the eunuch and lover of Alexander the Great. Our discussion suggests that there is a range of possible identifications for Bagoas to whom Aelian refers, and that it is difficult to place great confidence in the reliability of Aelian's account, more so given the author's own uncertainty about his underlying source(s). The article concludes that the passage cannot be used as evidence to support the idea that Alexander was sexually involved with a eunuch.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)704-710
Number of pages7
JournalAthenaeum : studi periodici di letteratura e storia dell' antichita
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2018


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