History tells us the story of men conquering the world, starting wars, and more, whereas women did the traditional works. Nonetheless, some broke the rules and infixed their name forever. Today we are sharing a tale of one of those women who took the weapon in their hands to confront their enemies. This story is about the Queen of Macedonia Olympias.
The Queen of Macedonia Olympias
Born in 375 BC, Olympias was the eldest daughter of King Neoptolemus I of Epirus and sister of Alexander I of Epirus. Her family was a well-respected household of Epirus, the descent of Achilles.
After the death of Neoptolemus I, his brother Arymbas succeeded on the Molossian throne. He made a treaty with the King of Macedonia, Philip II. Olympia became the fourth wife of Philip II in 358 BC and became the queen consort of Macedonia.
According to some people, her original name was Polyxena. Her name changed before her marriage to Philip II of Macedon. Olympias had several names in her lifetime. In 356 BC, Philip’s racehorse won the Olympic Games. During that time, Olympias’ name was Myrtle, and she received the name, Olympias. Moreover, Olympias gave birth to his first child Alexander in the same year. They also had a daughter Cleopatra.
Olympias: the Mother of Alexander the Great
Olympias was an influential figure in the life of Alexander the Great. She also held a significant role in the succession of Alexander on the throne. Around 337 BC, Philip II married a noblewoman Cleopatra. During that time, there was a question about the legitimacy of the birth of Alexandar. So, she voluntarily went to Epirus with his son. However, her position remained the same. After the death of Philip II in 336 BC, Cleopatra Eurydice and her daughter were executed. Many people think Olympias was indirectly involved in their death.
During the movements of Alexander, she wielded influence in Macedonia and caused trouble for Antipater, the governor of the kingdom. Alexander and his mother had a cordial relationship, but he did not want her to involve in politics. So, in 330 BC, she returned to Epirus and served as a regent to Aeacides in the Epirote state.
Olympias: the Great Warrior
In 323 BC, Alexander the Great lost his life in Babylon. However, at that time, his wife Roxana gave birth to their son Alexander IV. On the other hand, Perdiccas, a general of Alexander the Great, increased his power and marriage to Antipater’s daughter Nicaea to strengthen his position. However, Olympias offered Perdiccas the hand of her daughter, Cleopatra, at the same time. Perdiccas chose Cleopatra to be her betrothed, which angered Antipater. To avenge that, he joined the other rival generals and ousted Perdiccas. Nonetheless, he died after a year.
Another general named Polyperchon succeeded Antipater in 319 BC as regent. However, Cassander, the son of Antipater, established Philip III on the throne of Macedonia. Olympias got involved in the succession war of Macedonia. In 317 BC, she led an army into Macedonia against Eurydice, daughter of Cassander, to stabilize the position of her grandson. The battle ended with shading too much blood. When the enemy army noticed Olympias leading the war, they fled.
After the war ended, she imprisoned Eurydice and Philip Arrhidaeus, Eurydice’s husband. She brutally led Philip and stabbed him to death in front of his wife. Soon after that, she also forced Eurydice to kill herself.
Nonetheless, her victory did not last long. Not long after the death of Eurydice, Cassander destroyed Olympia. He decided to kill Olympias and sent two hundred soldiers to slay her. However, the soldiers refused to kill the mother of Alexander the Great. In the end, the family member of her victims stoned her to death.