b. circa 376 B.C.E., Macedon, ancient Greece; d. 316 B.C.E., Macedon
Olympias was the wife of King Philip II of Macedon and mother of Alexander the Great. When Philip divorced Olympias, she and Alexander retreated from Macedon until Alexander returned to quell hostilities. Philip died shortly after, an event possibly orchestrated by Olympias. She then returned to Macedon and murdered Philip’s children by his first wife and forced the wife to hang herself. Olympias enjoyed power both during and after Alexander’s reign, but was eventually condemned to die without trial for the many violent acts she had committed in Macedon.