Ancient Narratives

Unveiling the Hidden Stories: Alexander the Great and His Fascinating Spouses

The Fascinating Spouses of Alexander the GreatAlexander the Great, the renowned Macedonian king, was not only known for his military conquests but also for his numerous marriages and relationships. In this article, we will delve into the lives of three of Alexander’s most prominent spouses:

Roxana, Stateira II (also known as Barsine), and

Parysatis II.

We will explore their relationships with Alexander, their roles in his empire, and their intriguing fates after his death. Join us on this journey to uncover the hidden stories behind these remarkable women.


Roxana, the first wife of Alexander the Great, was a woman who captured his heart. Loved deeply by Alexander, their marriage was a symbol of their affection and bond.

However, it is important to note that their union faced challenges, particularly due to the disapproval of Alexander’s inner circle. Many questioned the marriage’s political implications and its potential impact on Alexander’s conquests.

Despite these concerns,

Roxana’s loyalty and support for Alexander remained steadfast until his untimely death.

Stateira II (Barsine)

Stateira II, commonly known as Barsine, had a tumultuous relationship with Alexander. After the fall of the Persian Empire, Alexander took Stateira II, the wife of Darius III, as his own.

Barsine was held captive by Alexander and had a complex and strained relationship with him. Though their dynamic was fraught with challenges, there were instances of respect and tenderness between them.

Ultimately, Stateira II played a crucial role in bridging the gap between Macedonians and Persians, as she symbolized the union of two great empires.

Parysatis II

Parysatis II, the youngest daughter of Artaxerxes III, became Alexander’s wife after his magnificent victory over the Persian Empire. Their marriage took place during the extravagant Susa wedding, where

Parysatis II was bestowed the title of “Queen of Asia.” This union was important for Alexander’s effort to integrate the Persian and Macedonian cultures.

Parysatis II’s influence extended far beyond her role as Alexander’s spouse, as she acted as a cultural ambassador between the East and the West. Transition: Now that we have explored the lives of Alexander the Great’s remarkable spouses, let us shift our focus to the period after his death.

Leadership Succession

After Alexander’s sudden demise, his empire faced a crucial challenge: the lack of a clear successor. At the time of his death,

Roxana was pregnant with his child, which further complicated matters.

In the absence of a direct male heir, Philip II Arrhidaeus, Alexander’s half-brother, was proclaimed as the king. This decision led to a power struggle among Alexander’s generals and ignited a series of conflicts that shaped the future of his vast empire.

Controversies and Tragedy

Following Alexander’s death,

Roxana and her son faced a tragic fate.

Roxana found herself imprisoned by Cassander, who sought to solidify his own power.

Rumors circulated regarding her and her son’s demise, suggesting that they were both victims of murder or poisoning. These controversies only added to the dramatic and tragic tale that surrounded Alexander’s family and those close to him.


In this article, we have explored the intriguing lives of Alexander the Great’s spouses. Be it

Roxana, the beloved first wife,

Stateira II (Barsine), the captive Persian princess, or

Parysatis II, the cultural ambassador, these women played significant roles in Alexander’s life and legacy.

Furthermore, we touched upon the challenges faced after his death, including the struggles for leadership succession and the controversies surrounding

Roxana’s imprisonment and alleged murder. The stories of these remarkable women shed light on the multifaceted nature of Alexander the Great’s empire and provide valuable insights into one of history’s most captivating figures.

Alexander’s Marriages and Uniting Cultures

The Susa Weddings

One of the most significant events in Alexander the Great’s quest to unite Greek and Persian cultures was the grand Susa Weddings. This mass wedding, held in 324 BCE, marked a groundbreaking moment in history as it symbolized the merging of Greek and Persian traditions.

During the Susa Weddings, Alexander married two prominent Persian women: Stateira II (also known as Barsine) and

Parysatis II. The marriage to Stateira II was a politically strategic move for Alexander.

Stateira II was not only the daughter of Darius III, the last Persian king, but she was also the wife of Darius III before his defeat by Alexander. By marrying Stateira II, Alexander aimed to consolidate his grip over the Persian Empire and legitimize his rule in the eyes of the Persians.

This union symbolized the union of two empires and was seen as a gesture of reconciliation. The marriage to

Parysatis II also held immense significance.

Parysatis II was the daughter of Artaxerxes III and the sister of Darius III. Her marriage to Alexander further cemented the bond between the Macedonian and Persian cultures.

The extravagant Susa Weddings served as a platform to showcase this union to both Greeks and Persians, as it was attended by not only Macedonian officials but also Persian nobility.

Purpose of Marriages

The marriages of Alexander the Great were not solely based on romantic love but were driven by political and strategic considerations. These alliances served various purposes, such as fostering loyalty among conquered peoples, ensuring unity among his diverse empire, and seeking political convenience.

Alexander recognized the importance of creating a sense of unity among his subjects. By marrying Persian princesses, he aimed to ease tensions and bridge the gap between Greeks and Persians, fostering a sense of cohesion within his vast empire.

These marriages were not forced, but Alexander encouraged his top officials to follow his lead and take Persian wives as well. This further extended the integration of Greek and Persian cultures, as these high-ranking officials served as key influencers and role models in their respective regions.

Moreover, these marriages acted as a demonstration of Alexander’s power and authority over his conquered territories. By marrying into influential Persian families, he solidified his position as the rightful ruler of the Persian Empire.

The decision to wed Persian princesses also had political advantages, as it allowed him to gain the trust and loyalty of the Persians. It served as a strategic move to appease the conquered people and show them that his conquests were not solely aimed at domination but also at creating a harmonious empire.

The marriages of Alexander the Great were not without controversy, especially from those who opposed the intermingling of Greek and Persian cultures. Some staunch traditionalists within his own Macedonian ranks saw these alliances as a threat to Greek ideals.

However, Alexander’s vision of cultural harmony prevailed, and his marriages came to symbolize the fusion of Greek and Persian customs, leaving a lasting impact on the future of the Hellenistic world. Alexander the Great’s Family

Fate of Alexander’s Family

After Alexander the Great’s death in 323 BCE, his family experienced a tragic fate.

Among his closest surviving family members was

Roxana, his first wife, and their young son, whom Alexander had named Alexander IV.

Roxana, being of Bactrian origin, faced opposition and suspicion from the Macedonian nobility, particularly from Cassander.

Cassander, one of Alexander’s generals, sought to solidify his own power and viewed

Roxana and her son as a threat. In a bid to eliminate any potential rivals, Cassander imprisoned

Roxana and her son.

Rumors circulated regarding the circumstances of their demise, with some claiming that they were executed while others suggested they were victims of poisoning. The fate of Alexander’s family highlights the struggle for power and the inherent dangers of the post-Alexander era.

It was not uncommon for successors and generals to eliminate potential claimants to the throne to prevent challenges to their own authority. The tragic end of

Roxana and her son serves as a reminder of the treacherous political climate that followed Alexander’s death.


In this expansion, we explored the significant role of Alexander the Great’s marriages in uniting Greek and Persian cultures.

The Susa Weddings, where Alexander married Stateira II and

Parysatis II, marked a pivotal moment in history, symbolizing the merging of two great empires.

These marriages were not solely based on love but were driven by political and strategic considerations, aiming to foster loyalty, unity, and political convenience within the empire. Furthermore, we delved into the tragic fate of Alexander’s family after his death.

Roxana and their son faced imprisonment and, according to rumors, met with untimely deaths at the hands of Cassander, one of Alexander’s generals. Their story serves as a poignant reminder of the power struggles and dangers that plagued the post-Alexander era.

Through these narratives, we gain a deeper understanding of the complexities of Alexander the Great’s reign and the profound impact his marriages and family had on the shaping of his empire and its subsequent history. Alexander the Great’s Legacy

Alexander’s Influence and Achievements

Alexander the Great is renowned for his exceptional leadership and numerous achievements, which continue to shape his legacy even to this day.

His reign was marked by his genius as a military strategist and his unparalleled military victories. From his early conquests in Greece and Persia to his triumphant march across Egypt and India, Alexander left an indelible mark on history.

Alexander’s military brilliance was evident in his ability to lead his troops to victory against overwhelming odds. He employed innovative tactics that allowed him to defeat formidable adversaries, often relying on his cavalry’s speed and maneuverability.

His conquests transformed him into one of the most successful military commanders in history. Beyond his military prowess, Alexander was also a skilled politician and statesman.

He established a vast empire that stretched from Greece to Egypt and India, making it the largest empire the world had ever seen at that time. His ability to navigate and rule over such diverse territories showcased his exceptional political acumen.

Moreover, Alexander sought to foster a sense of unity among his subjects by embracing the cultures he encountered, encouraging the blending of Greek and Persian traditions. Alexander’s influence extended beyond his own lifetime and ushered in a new era known as the Hellenistic Period.

This period witnessed a fusion of Greek, Egyptian, Persian, and Indian cultures, leading to a flowering of art, literature, and scientific advancements. The empire he established served as a catalyst for the spread of Greek language, principles, and ideas, leaving a lasting impact on the regions he conquered.

Perception of Greatness

The greatness of Alexander the Great has stood the test of time, with countless tributes paying homage to his influential and powerful leadership. He is often revered as one of the greatest conquerors in history, as his military accomplishments and vision of a vast empire continue to captivate the imagination of people worldwide.

Alexander possessed a globalist mindset that defied the limitations of his time. His ambition to conquer the known world was seen as a symbol of his audacity and unwavering determination.

He inspired his troops with his fearless nature and his unwavering belief in their abilities. This ability to inspire loyalty and devotion in his soldiers was a testament to his charismatic leadership.

Furthermore, Alexander’s legacy goes beyond his military and political achievements. He was not solely focused on conquest and domination but also sought to promote cultural exchange and intellectual growth.

His patronage of the arts and sciences fueled a creative renaissance within his empire, bringing together the best minds of various cultures and contributing to advancements in literature, architecture, and philosophy. Alexander’s greatness is also evident in the enduring impact his legacy has had on subsequent generations.

His conquests and the subsequent Hellenistic Period sparked a fascination with the Greek world and its cultural contributions that continues to this day. From the spread of Greek language and traditions to the adoption of Greek literary and philosophical works, the Hellenistic influence extended far beyond the boundaries of Alexander’s empire.


Alexander the Great’s legacy is one that continues to shape our understanding of leadership, military strategy, and cultural exchange. His achievements as a military commander, politician, and patron of the arts were unprecedented in their time and continue to inspire awe and admiration.

His vision of a vast empire, coupled with his ability to unite and foster cultural exchange, left an indelible mark on the ancient world. Today, Alexander is remembered not only for his military conquests but also for his contributions to the Hellenistic Period and his globalist mindset that transcended the divisions of his time.

His pursuit of greatness and the enduring impact of his legacy make him one of history’s most fascinating and influential figures. Alexander the Great’s marriages, his efforts to unite Greek and Persian cultures, the fate of his family, and his lasting legacy all contribute to his captivating story.

Through marriages with

Roxana, Stateira II, and

Parysatis II, Alexander aimed to consolidate power, foster unity, and bridge cultural divides. However, his family faced tragic consequences in the aftermath of his death, highlighting the treacherous political climate of the time.

Alexander’s influence and achievements as a military genius, political strategist, and patron of the arts continue to resonate, shaping history and inspiring admiration. His legacy extends beyond his conquests, as he left an enduring imprint on the Hellenistic Period and continues to be hailed as one of history’s greatest leaders.

The story of Alexander the Great is a testament to the complexities of power and the far-reaching impacts of an individual’s aspirations and actions.

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