Alexander the Great's mother was named Olympias. It's uncertain when she was born, but she died in 316 B.C. For being mother to a child eventually called "The Great," her life reads like a soap opera plot. At first Olympias was married to Phillip II of Macedon, but he tossed her out to wed Cleopatra. Olympia was no weak, spurned woman. She is thought to have plotted the murder of Phillip II in 336 B.C., and those of Cleopatra and her baby boy, too. Once Alexander ruled, Olympias gained power, but she had to run away after her son's death. She and the next ruler, Antipater, were enemies. Olympias raised an army to fight Antipater's son, but she lost and was killed for her treachery.
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