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Each of the generals and Friends tried to meet the king's desires and made likenesses of Hephaestion in ivory and gold and other materials which men hold in high regard.1 Alexander collected artisans and an army of workmen and tore down the city wall to a distance of ten furlongs. He collected the baked tiles and levelled off the place which was to receive the pyre, and then constructed this square in shape, each side being a furlong in length. [2] He divided up the area into thirty compartments and laying out the roofs upon the trunks of palm trees wrought the whole structure into a square shape.2 Then he decorated all the exterior walls. Upon the foundation course were golden prows of quinqueremes in close order, two hundred and forty in all. Upon the catheads each carried two kneeling archers four cubits in height, and (on the deck) armed male figures five cubits high, while the intervening spaces were occupied by red banners fashioned out of felt. [3] Above these, on the second level, stood torches fifteen cubits high with golden wreaths about their handles. At their flaming ends perched eagles with outspread wings looking downward, while about their bases were serpents looking up at the eagles. On the third level were carved a multitude of wild animals being pursued by hunters. [4] The fourth level carried a centauromachy rendered in gold, while the fifth showed lions and bulls alternating, also in gold. The next higher level was covered with Macedonian and Persian arms, testifying to the prowess of the one people and to the defeats of the other. On top of all stood Sirens, hollowed out and able to conceal within them persons who sang a lament in mourning for the dead. [5] The total height of the pyre was more than one hundred and thirty cubits.

All of the generals and the soldiers and the envoys and even the natives rivalled one another in contributing to the magnificence of the funeral, so, it is said, that the total expense came to over twelve thousand talents.3 [6] In keeping with this magnificence and the other special marks of honour at the funeral, Alexander ended by decreeing that all should sacrifice to Hephaestion as god coadjutor.4 As a matter of fact, it happened just at this time that Philip, one of the Friends, came bearing a response from Ammon that Hephaestion should be worshipped as a god. Alexander was delighted that the god had ratified his own opinion, was himself the first to perform the sacrifice, and entertained everybody handsomely. The sacrifice consisted of ten thousand victims of all sorts.

1 These were probably medallions or small images to be worn in wreaths, as one wore images of the gods. It was a common ancient practice, employed later in the case of the Hellenistic kings and the Roman emperors.

2 The brevity of Diodorus's account leaves the meaning a little obscure. It is possible that the ground plan was divided into thirty transverse compartments, each thus about 22 feet wide and 220 yards long. Each of these could be roofed with flat timbers to support the next higher section of the pyre.

3 Justin 12.12.12 gives the same figure; Plut. Alexander 72.2 and Arrian. 7.14.8, 10,000 talents.

4 Lucian Calumniae non temere credendum 17 gives a fuller account of Hephaestion's deification; he received temples and precincts in the cities, his name was used in the most solemn of oaths, and he received sacrifice as a πάρεδρος καὶ ἀλεξίκακος θεός. No archaeological record of any of this remains (C. Habicht, Gottmenschentum und griechische Städte, 1956), and the ancient tradition was various. Justin 12.12.12 reports, like Diodorus, that Alexander ordered that Hephaestion was to be worshipped "ut deum." Plut. Alexander 72.2 states that Ammon recommended that he should be honoured as a hero, and so did he also according to Arrian. 7.23.6, after first refusing to allow him divine worship (Arrian. 7.14.7). The term πάρεδρος is odd: elsewhere it seems to mean a priest (G. E. Bean, Journal of Hellenic Studies, 72 (1952), 118.

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