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Special Features Index  

 
Spotlight Kings, Queens, and Emperors
 
Alexander the GreatAlexander the Great, King of Macedonia (356-323 B.C.E.) was a conqueror who vastly expanded the empire he inherited from his father, Philip II. The great soldier was renowned for his passionate love of his comrade-in-arms, Hephaestion.
 
 
Queen AnneAnne, Queen of England (1665-1714) was the last of the Stuart monarchs. She conducted romantic friendships with several women, including Sarah Churchill, Duchess of Marlborough.
 
 
Julius CaesarJulius Caesar (ca 100-44 B.C.E.) was one of the most powerful men of the ancient world. Some of his contemporaries publicly addressed him as "queen" and one Roman poet even disparagingly called him a cinaedus, or passive homosexual.
 
 
Christina of SwedenChristina of Sweden (1626-1689) was officially declared "King of Sweden" when she was just six years old. Christina was an enigmatic monarch and an enthusiastic patron of the arts who shocked Europeans by her aversion to marriage, her "mannish" ways, and her love for women.
 
 
King Edward IIEdward II, King of England (1284-1327) was an early fourteenth-century king who formed intense relationships with his male favorites. Those relationships ultimately cost him his throne and led to his violent death.
 
 
ElagabalusElagabalus (204 or 205-222) briefly ruled Rome. His reign was so legendary for its sexual excesses that he became an emblem of the debauched, sexually perverse ruler.
 
 
Frederick the GreatFrederick the Great, King of Prussia (1712-1786) was a military genius and cynical diplomat who vastly expanded his kingdom through a series of brutal wars. Though his homosexuality was an open secret during his lifetime, subsequent historians have often tried to conceal it.
 
 
King Gustav IIIGustav III, King of Sweden (1746-1792) was an enlightened despot who encouraged a remarkable flowering of art and culture. His contemporaries, including his mother, assumed he was homosexual.
 
 
King Gustav VGustav V, King of Sweden (1858-1950), the last monarch to exert direct power over his nation's government, was a successful king whose bisexuality was covered up during his lifetime.
 
 
  HadrianHadrian (76-138), a Roman emperor who earned a reputation for military prowess and administrative skill, is remembered today for his love for the beautiful youth Antinous. Their relationship was not exceptional because the lovers were male, but for its intensity.  
 
 
  King Henry IIIHenry III (1551-1589), the last French king of the Valois dynasty, was widely accused of sodomy, but such charges were probably not true.  
 
 
  James VI and IJames VI and I (1566-1625) was the sponsor of the English translation of the Bible that bears his name and himself an accomplished author. King James was well known for his passionate attachments to handsome young men.  
 
 
  Louis XIII of FranceLouis XIII, King of France (1601-1643) reigned from 1610 to 1643. His most intense emotional relationships were with a series of handsome men.  
 
 
  Louis XVIII King Louis XVIII, King of France (1755-1824), who reigned from 1814 to 1824, is often included in lists of famous gay people, but the evidence is unclear. His case illustrates the difficulty of attributing a homosexual orientation to people in the past.  
 
 
  Ludwig II Ludwig II, King of Bavaria (1845-1886) is best known for his enthusiastic patronage of Richard Wagner and for his fabulous castles. King Ludwig ultimately withdrew from public life, perhaps in part due to the impossibility of living openly as a gay man.  
 
 
  Philip II of Macedon Philip II, King of Macedon (382-336 B.C.E.), the father of Alexander the Great, achieved the hegemony of all of Greece before being killed by an enraged young favorite.  
 
 
  William III, Prince of Orange, King of EnglandWilliam III, Prince of Orange, King of England (1650-1702) became the acknowledged defender of Protestant Europe. His preeminence has made it difficult for Anglophone admirers to assess his sexual orientation candidly.  
 
 
 

 
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