Oxyartes (Greek: Oxyártēs, in Persian: وخشارد (Vaxš-ard), from an unattested form in an Old Iranian language: *Huxšaθra-) was a Bactrian, father of Roxana, the wife of Alexander of Macedon. He is first mentioned as one of the chiefs who accompanied Bessus on his retreat across the Oxus river into Sogdiana (329 BC). After the death of Bessus, Oxyartes deposited his wife and daughters for safety in a rock fortress in Sogdiana, which was deemed impregnable, but which nevertheless soon fell into the hands of Alexander, who not only treated his captives with respect and attention, but was so charmed with the beauty of Roxana as to design to make her his wife. Oxyartes, on learning these tidings, is said to have hastened to make his submission to the conqueror, by whom he was received with the utmost distinction; and celebrated by a magnificent feast the nuptials of his daughter with the king, 327 BC.
Shortly after we find him successfully interposing to prevail upon Chorienes to surrender his rock fortress; and at a subsequent period he was appointed by Alexander satrap of the province of Paropamisadae, in India. In this position he continued until the death of Alexander (323 BC), and was confirmed in his government, both in the first division of the provinces immediately after that event, and in the subsequent one at Triparadisus, 321 BC.
At a later period we find him sending a small force to the support of Eumenes; but after the death of that general, 316 BC, he seems to have come to terms with Antigonus, who was content to assume the appearance of confirming him in an authority of which he would have found it difficult to dispossess him. It seems probable that he must have died before the expedition of Seleucus against India, as we find that monarch ceding Paropamisus to Chandragupta Maurya, without any mention of Oxyartes.
- Smith, William (editor); Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology, "Oxyartes (2)", Boston, (1867)
- Arrian, Anabasis Alexandri, iii. 28
- Arrian, iv. 18-20; Curtius Rufus, Historiae Alexandri Magni, viii. 4; Strabo, Geography, xi. 11; Plutarch, Parallel Lives, "Alexander", 47
- Arrian, iv. 21, vi. 15; Curtius, ix. 8; Plutarch, 58
- Diodorus Siculus, Bibliotheca, xviii. 3, 39; Justin, Epitome of Pompeius Trogus, xiii. 4; Photius, Bibliotheca, cod. 82, cod. 92
- Diodorus, xix. 14, 48
- Strabo, xv. 2
This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Smith, William, ed. (1870). "article name needed". Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology.