Justus Sustermans, The Family of Darius in Front of Alexander

Ταῦτα μὲν Πτολεμαῖος καὶ Ἀριστόβουλος λέγουσι· λόγος δὲ ἔχει καὶ αὐτὸν Ἀλέξανδρον τῇ ὑστεραίᾳ ἐλθεῖν εἴσω ξὺν Ἡφαιστίωνι μόνῳ τῶν ἑταίρων· καὶ τὴν μητέρα τὴν Δαρείου ἀμφιγνοήσασαν ὅστις ὁ βασιλεὺς εἴη αὐτοῖν, ἐστάλθαι γὰρ ἄμφω τῷ αὐτῷ κόσμῳ, τὴν δὲ Ἡφαιστίωνι προσελθεῖν καὶ προσκυνῆσαι, ὅτι μείζων ἐφάνη ἐκεῖνος. ὡς δὲ ὁ Ἡφαιστίων τε ὀπίσω ὑπεχώρησε καί τις τῶν ἀμφ’ αὐτήν, τὸν Ἀλέξανδρον δείξας, ἐκεῖνον ἔφη εἶναι Ἀλέξανδρον, τὴν μὲν καταιδεισθεῖσαν τῇ διαμαρτίᾳ ὑποχωρεῖν, Ἀλέξανδρον δὲ οὐ φάναι αὐτὴν ἁμαρτεῖν· καὶ γὰρ ἐκεῖνον εἶναι Ἀλέξανδρον. καὶ ταῦτα ἐγὼ οὔθ’ ὡς ἀληθῆ οὔτε ὡς πάντῃ ἄπιστα ἀνέγραψα. ἀλλ’ εἴτε οὕτως ἐπράχθη, ἐπαινῶ Ἀλέξανδρον τῆς τε ἐς τὰς γυναῖκας κατοικτίσεως καἱ τῆς ἐς τὸν ἑταῖρον πίστεως καὶ τιμῆς· εἴτε πιθανὸς δοκεῖ τοῖς συγγράψασιν Ἀλέξανδρος ὡς καὶ ταῦτα ἂν πράξας καὶ εἰπών, καὶ ἐπὶ τῷδε ἐπαινῶ Ἀλέξανδρον.
(Arrian, Anabasis Alexandrou 2.12.6-7)

This is the account of Ptolemaeus and Aristobulus; there is, however, a story that next day Alexander himself visited the tent with Hephaestion and no other companion; and Darius’ mother, not knowing which of the two was the king, as both were dressed alike, approached Hephaestion and did him obeisance, since he appeared the taller. Hephaestion drew back, and one of her attendants pointed to Alexander and said he was the king; she drew back in confusion at her mistake, but Alexander remarked that she had made no mistake, for Hephaestion was also an Alexander. I have written this down without asserting its truth or total incredibility. If it really happened, I approve of Alexander’s compassion for the women and of the trust and honour bestowed on his companion. If the historians of Alexander think it plausible that he would have acted and spoken in this way, I approve of Alexander on that ground too. (tr. Peter Astbury Brunt)

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