Alexander the Great

Of particular interest to historians around the world is Alexander the Great. His impact on Central Asia has been well documented, and for the many years that I lived there I learned that people are still talking about him to this day. From his home country of Macedonia, this conqueror made his way eastward to Central Asia. Most infamously, he killed Cleitus the Black – man who had once saved his life – during a drunken brawl in Samarkand. Much of this dispute was rooted in his troops’ aversion to Alexander’s adoption of various aspects of Persian culture. But this did not deter him from marrying the daughter of a Bactrian baron in 327 B.C. Her name was Roxana, who is the namesake for Roxana Tour. A painting of her can be seen below.

Roxana was 16 years old when she married Alexander and their union produced a son, Alexander IV Aegus. This boy, therefore, was the legitimate heir to the throne after Alexander died in 323 B.C. Political transitions were a bloody affair in those days, and it wasn't any different for this mother-son duo. After a series of murders of their political rivals, Roxana’s luck ran out when her protector, Alexander’s mother, was assassinated in 316 B.C. This opened the door for Cassander to claim his right to the throne and he murdered Roxana and her son in 310 B.C.

Posted by Greg Stephenson

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