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Alexander the Great - THE REST OF THE STORY

THE REST OF THE STORY (Illustration) Archeological Wonders Biographies Famous People Film Geography History Philosophy Social Studies World History Ancient Places and/or Civilizations

History tells us that Alexander's remains were brought to Alexandria, Egypt where they were placed in a sarcophagus. The Roman Emperor, Caesar Augustus, viewed the remains, circa 30 B.C. This illustration, by Showmer, depicts the artist's impression of that event. Click on the image for a better view.

 

After Alexander's untimely death, what happened to those closest to him? What of his wives and children? His mother? Ptolemy? Some managed to survive; others were not so fortunate. Alexander's empire thus ended as it began - with much death.

  • Olympias - Protecting the legacy of her son as best she could, she waged war to assure the succession of Alexander's infant son, Alexander IV. She was killed by Cassander, Alexander's former friend, in 316.
  • Philip Arridaeus - Alexander's mentally deficient half-brother became king after Alexander died, although his regent Perdiccas ruled the empire. Olympias ordered the execution of her step-son on December 25, 317.
  • Barsine - Never married to Alexander, Barsine was the mother of Alexander's first child, a son named Heracles. Both were murdered by (or before) the year 309 B.C.
  • Roxane - The woman with whom Alexander fell in love "at sight" (according to the ancient writer Arrian of Nicomedia whose history, Anabasis of Alexander, is a key source of information regarding Alexander) was from Bactria. After her husband's death, Roxane thought the deal she made would give her son, Alexander IV, the throne when he was old enough (in 305). That agreement, however, merely insured their deaths. Cassander order the executions of both.
  • Statira - At Alexander's death, his Persian wife Statira (daughter of Darius III and also called Barsine) was a threat to Roxane. (She must have been expecting a child.) Consistent with the treatment of other such threats, Roxane had Statira murdered in 320. 
  • Ptolemy - Alexander's friend not only became governor of Egypt after Alexander died, he began a dynasty of Pharaohs which lasted until Rome annexed Egypt in 31 BC. Unusual for antiquity, the Ptolemaic Empire also permitted women to rule. Cleopatra, of Julius Caesar/Marc Anthony fame, was a descendant of Ptolemy.

Alexander, the man with whom we began this journey, remains famous thousands of years after his death. His body, once carefully preserved for all time and still available "for show" in 360 A.D., was likely lost during late-empire riots in Alexandria.

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Author: Carole D. Bos, J.D. 5124stories and lessons created

Original Release: Oct 01, 2004

Updated Last Revision: May 14, 2015


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