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OLYMPIAS.

after this catastrophe, Ricimer was attacked by a violent distemper which carried him off a few weeks afterwards. The only act of Olybrius during his short reign, which is recorded in history, is the raising of Gundobaldus, the nephew of Ricimer, to the patrician dignity, Olybrius died a natural death, as it appears, on the 23d of October 472, after a short and peaceful reign of three months and thirteen days. He left a daughter, Juliana Anicia, by his wife Placidia. His successor was Glycerius. (Marcellinus Conies, Cassiodorus, Vic­tor, Chronica; Chron. Alexandr,, Chron. Paschale; Ennudius, Vita Epiph. p. 380; Evagrius, ii. 16; Procop. Vand. i. 57 ; Zonar. vol. i. p. 40-; Mal-chus, p. 95 ; Priscus in Excerpt. Legat. p. 74 ; Theophan. p. 102, in the Paris edit.; Jornandes, De Reb. Goth. p. 128, ed. Lindenbrog.) [W. P.]

OLYMNIUS cosmos), a physician of Alexandria, whose date is unknown, the author of a work on Critical Days, to be found in MS. in the king's library at Paris. (See Cramer's Anecd. Graeca Paris, vol. i. p. 394.) [W. A. G.]

OLYMPIACUS, physician, [olyjvipicus.] OLYM'PIAS ('CWVv/wrwfe). 1. Wife of Philip II., king of Macedonia, and mother of Alexander the Great. She was the daughter of Neoptolemus I., king of Epeirus, through whom she traced her descent to J^rrhus, the son of Achilles. (Justin. vii. 6. § 10 ; Plut. Alex. 2 ; Diod, xix. 51 ; Paus. i. 11. § 1; Theopomp. fr. 232, ed. Didot.) Her temper, naturally vehement and passionate, led her to engage with wild enthusiasm in all the mystic rites and orgies of the Orphic and Bacchanalian worship ; and we are told that it was on one of these occasions that Philip first met her at Samo-thrace, and became enamoured of her. (Plut. /. c.; Himerius ap. Phot. p. 367, a.) But it was not till some time after the accession of the latter to the throne of Macedonia, b. c. 359, that their nup­tials took place. (Justin. /. <?.) The marvellous stories circulated at a subsequent period of the cir­cumstances connected with the birth of Alexander, B. c. 356, and which gave rise to, or rather were invented in support of, the idea that the latter was the son of Ammon and not of Philip, are too well known to require further notice. (Plut. Alex. 2, 3 ^ Paus. iv, 14. § 7 ; Justin. xi. 11, xii. 16 ; Lucian. Alex. 7 ; Arr. Anab. iv. 10. § 3).

Plutarch and Justin absurdly ascribe to these suspicions the estrangement that subsequently arose between Philip and Olympias, for which the nu­merous amours of the former, and the passionate and jealous character of the latter are amply suffi­cient to account. Jt is certain that the birth of their second child Cleopatra was subsequent to that of Alexander ; nor was it until many years after that event that the marriage of Philip with Cleo­patra, the niece of At talus (b. c. 337), led to an open rupture between him and Olympias. The latter took refuge at the court of her brother Alex­ander, king of Epeirus, whom she stimulated to engage in war with Macedonia, at the same time that she continued to foment the intrigues of her son and his partisans at the court of Philip. She appears to have been the prime mover of the scheme for the marriage of Alexander with the daughter of Pixodarus, which gave especial offence to Philip ; and it was even generally believed that she lent her countenance and support to the assassination of the king by Pausanias, b. c. 336. It is, however, hardly credible that she evinced her approbation of

OLYMPIAS.

that deed in the open manner asserted by some writers. (Plut. Alex. 2, 9, 10 ; Justin. ix. 5, 7 xi. 11 ; Athen. xiii. p. 557, c.)

After the death of Philip she returned to Mace­donia, where she enjoyed the highest consideration and influence through the affection and filial rever­ence of Alexander; of which she soon after took an unworthy advantage by availing herself of the absence of the young king to put to death her rival Cleopatra, together with her infant daughter; an act of cruelty which excited the vehement indigna­tion of Alexander. (Plut. Alex. 10 ; Justin. ix. 7 ; Paus. viii. 7. § 7). It is, indeed, a remarkable trait in the character of the latter that while he was throughout his life conspicuous for his warm at­tachment to his mother, he did not allow himself to be blinded to her faults: during his campaigns in Asia he maintained a constant correspondence with her, and lost no opportunity of showing her respect and attention ; but her frequent complaints and representations against his personal friends, especially Hephaestion, remained unheeded, and he strictly forbade her to interfere in political affairs, or encroach upon the province of Antipater in the government of Macedonia. In this respect, however, his injunctions were ineffectual: Olym­pias and Antipater were continually engaged in the bitterest feuds, and their letters to Alexander in Asia were uniformly filled with complaints and recriminations against each other. Whether the representations of Olympias concerning the ambi­tious character and dangerous designs of the regent had really produced any effect upon the mind of the king, or that he deemed it best to put an end to these bickerings and jealousies by the separation of the parties, it is certain that Craterus had been appointed to succeed Antipater in the regency of Macedonia, while the latter was to conduct an army of fresh levies to Babylon, when the death of Alexander himself (b.c. 323) caused an entire change of arrangements. (Arr. Anab. vii. 12 ; Plut. Alex. 39, 68; Diod. xvii. 32, 114, 118; Justin. xii. 14.) By that event Antipater was placed in the undisputed control of affairs in Macedonia and Greece, and Olympias deemed it prudent to withdraw herself beyond the sphere of his power : she accordingly took refuge in Epeirus, where she urged her cousin Aeacides to join the league of the Greeks against Antipater. (Paus. i. 11. § 3.) But the Epeirots refused to follow their king, and the victory of Antipater and Craterus over their confederates for a time crushed the hopes of Olympias. Her restless ambition and her bitter hatred to the Macedonian regent soon prompted her to fresh schemes. Leonnatus, in whom she had hoped to raise up a rival to Antipater, had fallen in the Lamian war [leonnatus], and she now turned her views towards Perdiccas, to whom she offered the hand of her daughter Cleopatra, in order to withdraw him from his projected union with Nicaea, the daughter of Antipater. (Arrian, ap. Phot. p. 70, a.) Perdiccas, however, did not judge it prudent as yet to break off the proposed alliance, though he secretly determined to marry Cleopatra: but his death in Egypt the following year (b. c»321), put an end to all hopes from that quarter. Olympias, in consequence, continued to live, as it were, in exile in Epeirus until the death of her old enemy Antipater (b.c. 319) presented a new opening to her ambition. Her very name, as the

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