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For other uses, see Roxana (disambiguation).
Alexander the Great and Roxana, in a 1756 painting by Italian Baroque artist Pietro Rotari.

Roxana (Ancient Greek: Ῥωξάνη; Old Iranian Raoxshna; 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 c. 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.[1]

After Alexander's sudden death at Babylon in 323 BC, she bore him a posthumous son called Alexander. After Alexander's death, Plutarch claims that Roxana murdered Alexander's other widow, Stateira II, as well as either Stateira's sister Drypteis[2] 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 was the legitimate heir to the Alexandrian empire, Cassander ordered that he and Roxana be killed c. 310 BC.

Historical novels and film[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ The Nature of Alexander by Mary Renault
  2. ^ Plutarch. Alex. 77.4

External links[edit]