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Olympias, (Ὀλυμπιάς), c. 375–316 BC, was Queen of Macedonia, wife to King Philip II of Macedonia and most notably mother of Alexander the Great and his full blood sister Cleopatra. Daughter of king Neoptolemus I of Epirus she was naturally the sister of Alexander I of Epirus. During the Wars of the Successors, she was defeated by Cassander while fighting on behalf of her grandson, the son of Alexander the Great and effectively executed.

History has proven her to have been a powerful political figure: commonly attributed as the mastermind to her own husband's assassination when she placed a golden crown on the now crucified assassin's head[1]. But she didn't stop there, she compelled Philip's new queen Cleopatra to hang herself and may even have personally burned the new child heir alive herself.[2] Thereby helping to ascend her son Alexander to the throne. Plutarch[3] and Quintus agree that Alexander may well have been accessory to the plot by reciting a specific poetic line to the assassin to be.[4]

It appears that Olympias may have been Philip's fourth wife.

Olympias lived at a crucial time for Greece in which under her husband's reign, the Greek city states were first fused into a single entity which could then be wielded by her son Alexander in the conquest of the Persian Empire.


  1. Quintus Curtius Rufus, History of Alexander, Book 1, Par. 23
  2. Quintus Curtius Rufus, History of Alexander, Book 1, Par. 24
  3. Plutach, Life of Alexander
  4. Quintus Curtius Rufus - History of Alexander, Book 1 Par. 25