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Alexander marries Roxane


Detail of the Alexander mosaic, found in Pompeii. National Archaeological Museum, Naples (Italy). In 327, Alexander married the daughter of the Bactrian nobleman Oxyartes, Roxane. No source describes the marriage, but a contemporary painter named Aetion made a painting of it, and this painting is described by the Greek author Lucian of Samosata (Paintings, section 7).

The translation is by Robin Lane Fox.

Ancient-Warfare.com, the online home of Ancient Warfare magazine

... a very beautiful bedroom, with a wedding bed on which Roxane was sitting; she was an extraordinary lovely girl but, modestly, she looked down at the ground, feeling shy before Alexander who stood beside her. Smiling cupids were in attendance: one stood behind and pulled back the veil from her face; another removed her shoe, while a third was tugging Alexander towards her by the cloak. Alexander, meanwhile, was offering her a garland, while Hephaestion assisted as best man, holding a blazing torch and leaning against a young boy, probably Hymenaeus, the god of the weddings. On the other side more cupids were playing, this time among Alexander's armor; two heaved his spear, two dragged his shield by the hand-grips, on which sat a third, presumably their king; another had hidden under the breastplate, as if to ambush them.

Roxane bore Alexander a son, Alexander IV.

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