The Truth About Alexander The Great's Three Wives

Alexander the Great, to the best of anyone's knowledge, was married three times. In today's thrill-a-minute world of celebrity gossip, that's a relatively unspectacular figure.

No, it's not the quantity of marriages that makes Alexander's personal life such a drippingly juicy tabloid snack, but the fact that he was married to all three concurrently, and he got hitched to two of them during the same ceremony. Also, a couple of them were cousins. Also, one of them probably killed the other two.

History, man. It's like Game of Thrones but for even bigger nerds.

Let's meet Alexander the Great's wives

As anybody with an active Tinder profile can tell you, marriage means different things to different people. If you were a Macedonian king in the fourth century BC, it mostly meant having more political chips to bet, the potential for a legitimate heir, and an excuse to party down hard. Alexander, as we mentioned, had three wives: Roxana, Stateira, and Parysatis. That's right, boomer, Parysatis can be a girl name, too.

First up was Roxana, the daughter of a higher-up from Bactria in the Middle East. Alexander did his Alexander thing and took over the land, and according to Plutarch, he instantly fell in love with Roxana when he saw her dancing at the "hooray, we've been conquered" banquet that followed. Plutarch also noted that the celebrity power couple served to cool relations between Macedonian forces and the understandably touchy citizens of Bactria. The two were married in 327 BC, after taking a brief intermission so that Alexander could go do war for a while.

Next were Stateira and Parysatis, both the daughters of Persian kings, lawfully hitched to Alexander at a mass wedding ceremony intended to bring the Persians and the Greeks closer together. The two women were cousins, which, on top of the polygamy thing, maybe add up to two wrongs making a right by today's standards.

In any case, things got pretty fuzzy after Alexander's untimely death in 323 BC. Depending on who you ask, Roxana killed Stateira and possibly Parysatis, as she was trying to nip any possible heirs to the throne in the bud in an attempt to secure her son Alexander IV's future career prospects. It backfired a little, and both Roxana and young Alex were later assassinated themselves.