Hephaestion (c. 356 BC – 324 BC), son of Amyntor, was a Macedonian nobleman and a general in the army of Alexander the Great. He was
“… by far the dearest of all the king’s friends; he had been brought up with Alexander and shared all his secrets.”
This friendship lasted their whole lives, and was compared, by others as well as themselves, to that of Achilles and Patroclus.
His military career was distinguished. A member of Alexander the Great’s personal bodyguard, he went on to command the Companion cavalry, and was entrusted with many other tasks through Alexander’s ten-year campaign in Asia, including diplomatic missions, the bridging of major rivers, sieges, and the foundation of new settlements. Besides being a soldier, engineer and diplomat, he corresponded with the philosophers Aristotle and Xenocrates, and actively supported Alexander in his attempts to integrate Greeks and Persians. Alexander formally made him his second-in-command when he appointed him Chiliarch of the empire, and made him part of the royal family when he gave him as his bride Drypetis, sister to his own second wife, Stateira, both daughters of Darius III of Persia. When he died suddenly at Ectabana, Alexander was overwhelmed with grief. He petitioned the oracle at Siwa to grant Hephaestion divine status, and Hephaestion was honoured as a Divine Hero. At the time of his own death eight months later, Alexander was still planning lasting monuments to Hephaestion’s memory.