Alexander’s children

Alexander’s children

Alexanderson

Roxane with her baby Alexander IV.

Alexander IV Aegus of Macedon

Alexander IV (323 – 309 BC) was the posthumous son of Alexander the Great by his wife Roxane was born in 323 BC, a few months after his father’s death and was immediately declared King as co-ruler with his Alexander’s mentally retarded half brother Arrhidaeus. During his nominal reign between 323 BC and 309 BC, four Regents acted in Alexander’s name: Perdiccas, Antipater, Polyperchon, and Cassander, Antipater’s son. Olympias was eliminated in 315 BC.  Between 316 BC and 309 BC Cassander held the young King Alexander as a prisoner. By 309 BC Cassander had established his power over Macedonia. He put Roxane and Alexander under guard of his aide Glaucias, in Amphipolis, and removed all signs of Royal status from the child. At the age of 14, Alexander IV and his mother were killed by Glaucias on the orders of Cassander.

Herakles

The first child of Alexander was Herakles, son of Alexander’s mistress Barsine. Barsine was the widow of Memnon, the prominent Greek mercenary general serving under the Persian King Darius III. She was the daughter of the Persian satrap Artabazus who had spent time in exile with his daughter at the Macedonian court. Barsine was captured by Parmenion in Damascus, in late 333 BC, shortly after the battle of Issus. According to Diodorus Herakles was 17 years of age when he died in 309 BC. This implies that Herakles was born in 326-327 BC during the Indian campaign. When Alexander died in 323 BC Herakles is reported to have lived in Pergamon, in western Asia Minor, together with his mother.

There is no further mention of him until he is summoned to Europe by Polyperchon in 309 BC, after the death of Alexander IV. (According to Justin Herakles and Barsine stayed in Pydna, Macedonia.) The army started to show some interest in Herakles, as he was the last remaining member of Alexander’s Argead house. So Cassander persuaded Polyperchon to murder him. Herakles was apparently strangled after a banquet. Barsine was also murdered.

Roxane’s first child

One source mentions a first child of Alexander and Roxane who is supposed to have been born at the Indus in 326 BC, and died soon after birth.

Queen Cleophis’ son

Alexander is said to have fathered a child with the Indian Queen Cleophis of Massaga, (northern Pakistan). The source for this is Justin. Cleophis is said to have achieved by sexual favours what she could not achieve by force of arms, and her son Alexander rose to sovereignity over the Indians. However: “Queen Cleophis was from that time called the ‘royal whore’ by the Indians.” (Justin, 12.7.11.)

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