Olympias (c.376- 316 B.C.) was the daughter of Neoptolemus, king of Epirus,
the 4th wife of
Philip II of Macedon
, and the mother of Alexander the Great
. Olympias was considered less desirable as a wife than a Macedonian bride would have been. Olympias retired to Epirus when Philip married a Macedonian and, therefore, higher-status wife named Cleopatra.
Following Philip's assassination, Olympias returned to Macedonia. Olympias had Cleopatra and her child murdered. When Alexander died, she retired, again, to Epirus. From there, in 317, she tried to drive off Cassander, the son of Antipater, who had served as regent in Macedonia and who had been succeeded by Cassander. In his place, Olympias preferred her grandson, Alexander's son, Alexander. Olympias briefly gained control. Cassander forced the surrender of Pydna where Olympias fled.
Olympias was condemned to death and executed in 316.
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Also Known As: Myrtale, Polyxena, Stratonice, according to Olympias, Mother of Alexander the Great, by Elizabeth Carney.