Olympias, Mother of Alexander the Great « The Roadrunners' Guide to Ancient World
Nonetheless Olympias and Alexander shared a close relationship, some power with the death of Alexander) she likely had ulterior motives– her goal was to. Eventually Alexander would be known as Alexander the Great. of Sparta into the Corinthian league, Philip's relationship with Alexander came apart. To ensure that her son would be ruler, Olympia had the daughter of King Philip and He easily achieved this goal and in he created the city of Alexandria, named. Most people know the heroic stories of Alexander the Great but not Accounts of her life were only recorded after her marriage to Philip II, the . Olympias finally fulfilled her life goal; to see her son on the Macedonian throne.
Less than a year later, Alexander the Great was born. One possible competitor was his half-brother Philip Arrhidaeus, who Olympias poisoned and left severely damaged. Olympias raised the young Alexander to be proud of his heritage. Her family claimed to be descendants of Achilles, the Greek demigod and hero of the Trojan War. This sparked the wrath of Olympias and she had Cleopatra and her infant daughter killed. As for Philip II, he was assassinated by one of his own bodyguards at a wedding banquet in B.
The details remain unclear but some historians of the era claim that Olympias may have been behind it.
- Alexander the Great Biography
- Olympias: Mother of Alexander
Wikimedia CommonsAlexander the Great Alexander then ascended to the Macedonian throne whereupon his mother told him that Zeus was his true father. This only increased his fervor to lead and conquer like no ruler before him. For the next 14 years, the Macedonian Empire grew until it stretched 3, miles from Spain to India. Alexander the Great used political marriages, treaties, and force to unite the Western world in a vast empire until his death from uncertain causes in B.
The idea was that Cassander would turn over the throne until Alexander IV became older.
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Philip had allegedly fallen in love with Olympias when both were initiated into the mysteries of Cabeiri at the Sanctuary of the Great Godson the island of Samothracethough their marriage was largely political in nature. In the summer of the same year, Olympias gave birth to her first child, Alexander. In ancient Greece people believed that the birth of a great man was accompanied by portents.
As Plutarch describes, the night before the consummation of their marriage, Olympias dreamed that a thunderbolt fell upon her womb and a great fire was kindled, its flames dispersed all about and then were extinguished.
After the marriage Philip dreamed that he put a seal upon his wife's womb, the device of which was the figure of a lion.
Olympias – Women in Antiquity
Aristander 's interpretation was that Olympias was pregnant of a son whose nature would be bold and lion-like. According to primary sources their marriage was very stormy due to Philip's volatility and Olympias' ambition and alleged jealousy, which led to their growing estrangement.
At a gathering after the marriage, Philip failed to defend Alexander's claim to the Macedonian throne when Attalus threatened his legitimacy, causing great tensions between Philip, Olympias and Alexander.
In BC, Philip cemented his ties to Alexander I of Epirus by offering him the hand of his and Olympias' daughter Cleopatra in marriage, a fact that led Olympias to further isolation as she could no longer count on her brother's support. However, Philip was murdered by Pausaniasa member of Philip's somatophylakeshis personal bodyguard, while attending the wedding, and Olympias, who returned to Macedonia, was suspected of having countenanced his assassination. During Alexander's campaigns, she regularly corresponded with him and may have confirmed her son's claim in Egypt that his father was not Philip but Zeus.
The relationship between Olympias and Alexander was cordial, but her son tried to keep her away from politics. However, she wielded great influence in Macedonia and caused troubles to Antipaterthe regent of the kingdom.
In BC, she returned to Epirus and served as a regent to her cousin Aeacides in the Epirote stateas her brother Alexander I had died during a campaign in southern Italy. Alexander IV and with his uncle Philip III Arrhidaeus, the half brother of Alexander the Great who may have been disabled, were subject to the regency of Perdiccaswho tried to strengthen his position through a marriage with Antipater's daughter Nicaea.