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Roxane

Posted: Sat Jul 07, 2007 7:55 pm
by Vergina Sun
While most of my history teachers have regarded Roxane (Alexander's wife) as a minor character in history, I couldn't help but wonder more about her. Could anyone provide me with more information on her life before Alexander? I'd also like to know what your opinion is on Alexander's reason for marrying Roxane. Was it for political reasons or was it true love? Thank you!

Posted: Sat Jul 07, 2007 9:21 pm
by jasonxx
I most doubt Alexander was in love with anyone. As its been documented somewhere I would say achievement and Conquest were Alexanders mistress.

Although Ive seen many a delightful Indian women and there beauty is really something.If Roxane was the as said most beautiful. how could Alexander not have fallen in love with her.

kenny

Posted: Sat Jul 07, 2007 9:55 pm
by dean
Hello,
of the scant few details that I know- these are my favorites about her.
Her name means "little star" which I have always liked and the other one is the story about her rushing to Alexander as he tried to plunge himself into the river Euphrates (?)to commit suicide in( Babylon)-
Best regards,
Dean

Posted: Sun Jul 08, 2007 1:46 am
by Vergina Sun
Yes, I've also heard of the legend where Alexander attempts suicide by drowning. I can't quite remember where I've heard it though. Do you suppose there is any truth in it?

Also, I love your line "achievement and Conquest were Alexanders mistress." It's a very beautiful line and not untruthful either.

Thank you all for your help!

Re: Roxane

Posted: Sun Jul 08, 2007 8:28 am
by marcus
Vergina Sun wrote:Could anyone provide me with more information on her life before Alexander?
No-one's going to be able to do that, I'm afraid. Anything that was said would be pure speculation.

Frank Holt wrote an excellent article on Roxane a few years ago, published in "History Today". If I recall correctly he makes a few general statements about what her life probably was like; but, ultimately, he has to concentrate on her use as a peace-making tool in 327BC.

There's a lot written about Roxane that you should ignore - either over-romanticised, or plain incorrect (or, rather, unsubstantiated). The one thing you should bear in mind when you read anything about her, is that we know very little about her; therefore most of what you read will be guess-work or pure fiction.

ATB

Posted: Thu Jul 12, 2007 12:48 pm
by Semiramis
jasonxx wrote:I most doubt Alexander was in love with anyone. As its been documented somewhere I would say achievement and Conquest were Alexanders mistress.

Although Ive seen many a delightful Indian women and there beauty is really something.If Roxane was the as said most beautiful. how could Alexander not have fallen in love with her.

kenny
Hi Kenny,

I don't think Roxanne technically qualified as Indian. Her region - Sogdiana - encompasses modern day Afghanistan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan etc. Pliny describes people from her general area as "flaxen haired" (which means blonde I think) and blue-eyed. Roxanne by the way was said to be surpassed in beauty by none other than Strateira. Darius' wife... Who may have died of childbirth two years (no consensus here either I'm afraid) after she had been in Alexander's care *ahem*.

Posted: Thu Jul 12, 2007 5:38 pm
by Vergina Sun
Semiramis wrote:I don't think Roxanne technically qualified as Indian. Her region - Sogdiana - encompasses modern day Afghanistan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan etc. Pliny describes people from her general area as "flaxen haired" (which means blonde I think) and blue-eyed. Roxanne by the way was said to be surpassed in beauty by none other than Strateira. Darius' wife... Who may have died of childbirth two years (no consensus here either I'm afraid) after she had been in Alexander's care *ahem*.
Perhaps I'm mistaken or thinking of a different text, but when Pliny was speaking of flaxen haired, blue-eyed people, I thought he meant the people of Seres (north-western China).

They also informed us that the side of their island which lies opposite to India is ten thousand stadia in length, and runs in a south-easterly direction--that beyond the Emodian Mountains (Himalayas) they look towards the Serve (Seres), whose acquaintance they had also made in the pursuits of commerce; that the father of Rachias (the ambassador) had frequently visited their country, and that the Seræ always came to meet them on their arrival. These people, they said, exceeded the ordinary human height, had flaxen hair, and blue eyes, and made an uncouth sort of noise by way of talking, having no language of their own for the purpose of communicating their thoughts. (Pliny the Elder, The Natural History, Chap XXIV "Taprobane")

Posted: Thu Jul 12, 2007 9:12 pm
by marcus
Vergina Sun wrote:
These people, they said, exceeded the ordinary human height, had flaxen hair, and blue eyes ... (Pliny the Elder, The Natural History, Chap XXIV "Taprobane")
The important words being "they said", as well! :?

Notwithstanding, it is still true that Roxane was not Indian, whatever her hair colour.

ATB

Posted: Thu Jul 12, 2007 10:35 pm
by Vergina Sun
Yes, I agree Roxane was not Indian. I'll just drop the subject of hair color. It's not that important anyway. :)

Posted: Fri Jul 13, 2007 6:45 am
by Semiramis
Hehe... and to get even more trivial, there are blonde Indians anyway. I wasn't saying that Roxanne isn't Indian because her people may have had blondes... Just that Sogdiana's never been considered part of India. Just trying to find as much as I could on Roxanne's general area and the closest I found was Pliny's little entry. :)

Posted: Fri Jul 13, 2007 2:10 pm
by Vergina Sun
I definitely believe Roxane wasn't an Indian, regardless of her hair color, and that there can be blonde Indians (this is pretty trivial). I've never really read much about Sogdiana's people, though. I don't recall any ancient texts describing the people, so I don't blame you for using Pliny's source. I recall Michael Wood saying that after Alexander and his army passed through Asia, there was a great mix of people - such as blue-eyed and flaxen-haired Indians (and maybe Sogdians too). Since Pliny lived and wrote after Alexander's time, maybe what he saw was the result of fusion Alexander dreamed of. I don't know if that's true or not, but it's an idea :D .

Posted: Fri Jul 13, 2007 3:50 pm
by athenas owl
Trying to unravel the history and peoples of that region is never going to be a pat tidy thing.

It veers into eye-glazing (for me anyway)discussions of haplogroups with capital letters and genetic markers and great ripping arguments. A crossroads of human movement for untold thousands of years. Online, anyway, it also veers into modern nationalism and most distressingly, racist motivations (which we are all familiar with). :(

There is a fresco, to the northeast in China, almost a thousand years later showing Buddhist donors who were either blonde or redhead with what may have been light eyes (they were gouged out in many cases, by iconoclasts later). The Tocharians.

Were the Sogdians related to that most distant group of IE's ? Probably remotely, or not, but fair haired people did exist in the region. There is a little figure of a Macedonian/Greek soldier that found north of the Tien Shan mountain range so there was trade, maybe intermarriage as well...a digression.

"Flaxen", did it have the same meaning to Pliny as it does us? Is that the word he actually used? Or is that a later translation? Latin and me..not such good friends.

Posted: Fri Jul 13, 2007 10:18 pm
by Semiramis
Vergina Sun wrote:Since Pliny lived and wrote after Alexander's time, maybe what he saw was the result of fusion Alexander dreamed of. I don't know if that's true or not, but it's an idea :D .
That is a good idea... But I think people of that description lived in regions like Northern Iran, Central Asia, Northern India long before Alexander. Attested by ancient sources like the epic Mahabharata. World was well mixed up before Alexander, he just stirred the pot some more. :)

Posted: Sat Jul 14, 2007 12:50 am
by Vergina Sun
Yet another idea of mine shot down. Don't worry, I enjoy learning. :)
Anyway, I do believe that fair haired people were around for quite a long time. If you feel like reading about the first blondes (yes I've done some research!) here's an article:

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/u ... 735078.ece

I'll try to do more research later. Oh and I definitely agree that Alexander probably did mix the pot even more!

Posted: Sat Jul 14, 2007 8:43 am
by marcus
Semiramis wrote:Hehe... and to get even more trivial, there are blonde Indians anyway. I wasn't saying that Roxanne isn't Indian because her people may have had blondes... Just that Sogdiana's never been considered part of India. Just trying to find as much as I could on Roxanne's general area and the closest I found was Pliny's little entry. :)
No need to explain - to me, at least, it was very clear what you were or weren't saying! :D

I hope you weren't feeling persecuted ...

ATB