Roxana (Greek: Ρωξάνη; Avestan: Raoxshna; Persian: روشنک, "luminous beauty"; Persian: رکسانا, رخسانا Rokhsāna; sometimes Roxanne, Roxanna, Roxandra and Roxane, was a Bactrian princess and a wife of Alexander the Great. She was born earlier than the year 343 BC, though the precise date remains uncertain, and died in ca. 310 BC.
Roxana was the daughter of a minor Bactrian baron named Oxyartes of Balkh in Bactria (around modern-day Balkh province of Afghanistan), and married Alexander the Great at a young age, after he visited the fortress of Sogdian Rock. In 327 BC Alexander married Roxana despite the strong opposition from all his companions and generals.
After Alexander's sudden death at Babylon in 323 BC, she bore him a posthumous son called Alexander. Also, after Alexander's death, Roxana murdered Alexander's other widow, Stateira II, as well as either Stateira's sister Drypteis or Parysatis II (Alexander's third wife).
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 to be killed ca. 310 BC.
Historical novels and film
- Roxana is one of the main characters in The Romance of Alexander and Roxana by Marshall Monroe Kirkman, 1909, reprinted 2010, ISBN 978-1-160-01995-8.
- Roxana appears as one of the characters in A Conspiracy of Women by Aubrey Menen, 1965.
- Roxana appears as one of the minor characters in The Persian Boy by Mary Renault, 1972, ISBN 0-394-48191-7. Renault uses the spelling Roxane.
- Roxana appears as one of the characters in Funeral Games by Mary Renault, 1981, ISBN 0-394-52068-8. Renault uses the spelling Roxane.
- Roxana appears as one of the characters in Alexander: The Ends of the Earth by Valerio Massimo Manfredi, 2002, ISBN 978-0-7434-3438-6.
- Roxana is the main character in Roxana Romance by A. J. Cave, 2008, Hardcover ISBN 978-0-9802061-0-4, eBook ISBN 978-0-9802061-1-1.
- In the film Alexander (2004), Roxana is played by Rosario Dawson.
- The Nature of Alexander by Mary Renault
- Plutarch. Alex. 77.4
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