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mother of Alexander, still carried much weight with the Macedonians, and her alliance was now eagerly courted by the new regent Polysperchon, who stood in need of her support against Cassander ; and he sent her an honourable embassy, imploring her to return to Macedonia, and undertake the charge of the young prince Alexander, the son of Roxana. She, however, followed the advice of Eumenes, that she should remain in Epeirus until the fortune of the war was decided, and contented herself with interposing the weight of her name and authority in favour of Poly^-sperchon in Greece, and of Eumenes in Asia. (Diod. xviii. 49, 57, 58, 62, 65.) For a time, indeed, fortune appeared to be unfavourable: the disasters of Polysperchon in Greece, and the alliance concluded by Eurydice with Cassander, gave a decided preponderance to the opposite party. But in b.c. 317, Olympias determined to take a more vigorous part in the contest, and took the field in person, together with Polysperchon, at the head of an army furnished by the king of Epeirus. Eurydice met them with equal daring ; but when the mother of Alexander appeared on the field, surrounded by a train in bacchanalian style, the Macedonians at once declared in her favour, and Eurydice, abandoned by her own troops, fled to Amphipolis, where she soon after fell into the hands of her implacable rival, and was put to death, together with her unfortunate husband, the puppet king Arrhidaeus [eurydice]. Not content with this unnecessary act of cruelty, Olympias followed up her vengeance by the execution of Nicanor, the brother of Cassander, as well as of an hundred of his leading • partisans among the Macedonian nobles, and even wreaked her fury upon the lifeless remains of his brother lollas. (Diod.xix. 11; Justin. xiv.5 ; Athen. xiii. p. 560,f.; Pans. i. 11. § 4; Plut. Alex. 77 ; Ael. V. H.xiii. 35.) But her sanguinary triumph was of short duration : her cruelties alienated the minds of the Macedonians, and Cassander, who was at that time in the Peloponnese, hastened to raise the siege of Tegea, in which he was engaged, and turn-his arms against Macedonia. Olympias on his approach threw herself (together with Roxana and the young Alexander) into Pydna, where she trusted to be able to hold out until Polysperchon or Aeacides should come to her relief; but Cassander succeeded in cutting off all succours from without, and kept the city closely blockaded both by sea and land throughout the winter. At length in the spring of 316, after suffering the utmost extremities of famine, Olympias was compelled by the increasing discontent of the garrison to surrender to Cassander, stipulating only that her life should be spared. But notwithstanding this promise, the conqueror caused her to be arraigned before the assembly of the Macedonians for her late executions, and condemned to death without being allowed a hearing. Olympias in vain protested against the sentence, and demanded to be heard in her -own defence. Cassander feared the effect which her personal appearance might produce, and despatched a body of soldiers to put her to death. Even these men, awed by her daring and majestic carriage, hesitated to fulfil their orders, but the friends of the Macedonians whom she had so lately put to death, rushed in and despatched her with many wounds. She met her fate with a fortitude and dignity worthy of the mother of Alexander, Cassander is
said to have denied the rites of sepulture to her remains. (Diod. xix. 35, 36, 49—51 ; Justin. xiv. 6 j Paus. ix. 7. § 2; Polyaen. iv. 11. § 3 ; Aelian. //. A7", xii. 6 ; Euseb. Arm. p. 155.) Of her character it is unnecessary to speak, after the events above related : she was certainly not without something of the grandeur and loftiness of spirit which distinguished her son, but her ungovernable passions led her to acts of sanguinary cruelty that must for ever disgrace her name. Her life was made the subject of a separate biography by Amyntianus, a writer in the reign of M. Aure-lius. (Phot. Bibl. p. 97, a.)
2. Daughter of Pyrrhus I. king of Epeirus, and wife of her own brother Alexander II. After his death she assumed the regency of the kingdom on behalf of her two sons, Pyrrhus and Ptolemy ; and in order to strengthen herself against the Aetoliaris gave her daughter Phthia in marriage to Demetrius II. king of Macedonia. By this alliance she secured herself in the possession of the sovereignty, which she continued to administer till her sons were grown up to manhood, when she resigned it into the hands of Pyrrhus. But the deaths of that prince and his brother Ptolemy followed in quick succession, and Olympias herself died of grief for her double loss. (Justin. xxviii. 3.) Such is Justin's statement: according to another account Olympias had poisoned a Leucadian damsel named Tigris, to whom her son Pyrrhus was attached, and was herself poisoned by him in revenge. (Athen. xiii. p. 589, f; Helladius, ap. Phot. p. 530, a.)
3. Daughter of Polycletus of Larissa, was the wife of Demetrius, surnamed the Handsome, by whom she became the mother of Anti'gonus Doson, afterwards king of Macedonia. (Euseb. Arm. p, 161.) [E. H. B.]
OLYMPIAS,a female painter, of whom Pliny knew nothing more than that she instructed Auto-bulus. (H. N. xxxv. 11. s. 40. § 43.) [P. S.J OLY'MPICUS ('OAt^Tn/ttfr), sometimes called Otympiacus, but probably incorrectly, a physician of Miletus, who belonged to the sect of the Metho-dici, though he did not embrace all their doctrines. (Galen, Introd. c. 4, vol. xiv. p. 684.) He was the tutor of Apollonius of Cyprus (Galen, dg Meth. Med. i. 7, vol. x. p. 54), and therefore lived in the first century after Christ. Galen does not appear to have thought very highly of him, as he calls him " a frivolous (A^poJS?/?) person" (Ibid. p. 53), and criticizes severely his definition of the words vyteia-and ird8os. (Ibid. pp. 54, &c. 67, &c.) [W. A. G.J OL Y'MPION ('OAi/uTrtW), an ambassador sent by Gen tins, the Illyrian king, to Perseus, in b..c. 168. (Polyb. xxix. 2, 3; Liv. xliv. 23.) [gen-tius ; perseus.]
OLYMPIODORUS ('OAt^TaoSwpos), historical. 1. An Athenian, the son of Lampon. He commanded a body of 300 picked Athenian troops at the battle of Plataeae. When the Megarians were being hard pressed by the Persian cavalry before the general engagement, this body of Athenians undertook to relieve them, a service from which all the other Greeks shrank. (Herod, ix. 21 ; Plut. Aristid. p. 327, a.).
2. An Athenian, against whom a law-suit was brought by his brother-in-law, Callistratus, re specting an inheritance left by a man named Conon. Demosthenes wrote the speech Kara *OAu,u7ao- ,; for Callistratus on this occasion. The par- " ' c 4