People > Stateira II

Stateira II


Stateira II, also known as Barsine, was a Persian princess from the Achaemenid dynasty and the daughter of King Darius III of Persia. Her life is most notable for her marriage to Alexander the Great, which symbolized the fusion of Persian and Macedonian cultures during his conquests. Stateira II was born into the royal family of the Achaemenid Empire. Her father, Darius III, reigned from 336 to 330 BCE, and her mother was likely Stateira I, the queen consort. As a member of the Persian royal family, she was part of a lineage that traced its roots back to the founder of the Achaemenid Empire, Cyrus the Great.

Captivity and Marriage

During Alexander the Great's invasion of the Persian Empire, Stateira II, along with her family, was captured following the Battle of Issus in 333 BCE. Alexander treated the royal captives with respect, maintaining their dignity despite their status as prisoners. In 324 BCE, as part of his strategy to consolidate his rule over the Persian territories and promote unity between the Greeks and Persians, Alexander married Stateira II in a mass wedding ceremony at Susa. This event also saw the marriage of many of Alexander's companions to Persian noblewomen. The marriage of Alexander to Stateira II was a significant political move, intended to symbolize the integration of Macedonian and Persian cultures and to legitimize Alexander's rule over the conquered Persian territories.

Later Life and Death

After her marriage to Alexander, Stateira II lived in the Macedonian court. Her exact role and influence within the court remain less documented compared to other figures like Roxana, Alexander's first wife. Following Alexander's death in 323 BCE, a power struggle ensued among his generals, known as the Diadochi. In this tumultuous period, Stateira II was murdered by Roxana, who sought to eliminate any potential rivals to secure the succession of her own son, Alexander IV.


Stateira II's marriage to Alexander is often viewed as a symbol of his vision for a blended Macedonian-Persian empire. Her life and death illustrate the complexities and brutalities of succession politics in the wake of Alexander's empire. The details of Stateira II's life are primarily derived from ancient sources like Plutarch, Arrian, and other historians of Alexander’s era. These accounts, while valuable, often reflect the biases and perspectives of their authors.Stateira II remains a significant yet tragic figure in the history of Alexander the Great's empire, embodying the intersections of power, culture, and politics during one of history's most transformative periods.

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