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Olympias, d. 316 B.C., wife of Philip II of Macedon and mother of Alexander the Great. She did not get on well with Philip, who had other wives, but the story that she murdered him is probably false. She reputedly had great influence in molding her son and in giving him an interest in mysticism and in art. Her violent ambitions plunged her into quarrels with Antipater, whom Alexander had left as regent in Macedonia, and after Alexander's death she tried to forestall Cassander, Antipater's son, in Macedonia. He in turn besieged her in Pydna on the Gulf of Thessaloníki, and after her capture he ordered her execution.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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