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Alexander the Great

Who was the mother of Alexander the Great?

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Answered 2017-08-29 17:36:37

Olympias was the daughter of Neoptolemus the king of Epirus, now modern Albania. According to Plutarch she was descended from Achilles. The only surviving picture of her is on a coin of the period and there is no doubt that she was a very beautiful woman. She was, however, ruthless and vindictive with an obsessive love for her son Alexander the great.

In 359 B.C. Olympias married Philip II of Macedon and Alexander the Great was born in 356 B.C. The marriage was blighted by Philip II's philandering and by the jealous temper of Olympias. When Philip II married Cleopatra in 337, Olympias took Alexander to Epirus and did not return until after the assassination of Philip. Despite the close bond between Olympias and Alexander the Great, he was to leave her in 334 B.C when he was aged twenty-one and was never to see her again.

Alexander appointed Antipater as regent of Macedon during his absence. However, Olympias by her arrogance, ambition and ruthlessness soon made an enemy of Antipater. After the death Of Alexander his half brother Arrhidaeus and his son Alexander IV were proclaimed kings with Cassander, the son of Antipater, as regent. In 316 B.C. Cassander condemned Olympias to death and is said to have denied her the rites of burial.

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