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Alexander the Great and Roxane

Roxana (Bactrian Roshanak - "luminous beauty", Pashto: روښانه Roshāna/Rokhāna - "luminous beauty", Persian: Rokhsāna), sometimes Roxane, was a Bactrian noble and a wife of Alexander the Great. She was born earlier than the year 343 BC, though the precise date remains uncertain. She was the daughter of a Bactrian named Oxyartes of Balkh in Bactria (then eastern Achaemenid Empire, now northern Afghanistan, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan), and married Alexander at the age of 16 after he visited the fortress of Sogdian Rock. Balkh was the last of the Persian Empire's provinces to fall to Alexander. Ancient sources describe Alexander's professed love for Roxana. She accompanied him on his campaign in India in 326 BC. She bore him a posthumous son called Alexander IV Aegus, after Alexander's sudden death at Babylon in 323 BC. With the king's death, Roxana and her son became victims of the political intrigues of the collapse of the Alexandrian empire. Roxana murdered Alexander's other widow, Stateira II, and Stateira's sister Drypteis (Pl. Alex. 77.4). Roxana and her son were protected by Alexander's mother, Olympias, in Macedonia, but her assassination in 316 BC allowed Cassander to seek kingship. Since Alexander IV Aegus was the legitimate heir to the Alexandrian empire, Cassander ordered him and Roxana assassinated around 310 BC.

Balkh was a centre of Zoroastrianism during the invasion of Alexander. Trapusa and Bhallika, two merchant brothers from Balkh, traveling on business in India met the Buddha and made offerings. They were the first laymen to receive the Buddha’s teachings.


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External links

Historical Novels

  • Cave, A.J. Roxana Romance Pavasta: 2008, Hardcover, ISBN 978-0-9802061-0-4, eBook, ISBN 978-0-9802061-1-1



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