The Bullet Point Alexander: Philip II’s Wives

Blog posts for the interested and the rushed

  • In the course of his life (383/2 – 336 BC), Philip II of Macedon married seven times
  • We know all his wives’ names, but not the order in which he married them
  • Read more bullet points here
    .
    Here is a brief outline of each…
    .
    Audata
  • Philip’s first or second wife
  • An Illyrian noblewoman
  • After marrying Philip (possibly in 359/8), Audata took the name Euridike
  • In c. 358 she gave birth to a daughter, Cynnane
  • In 337/6, Cleopatra (below) took the name Euridike on marrying Philip indicating that Audata had, by then, either died or left Philip’s court
    .
    Phila
  • The other candidate for being Philip’s first or second wife
  • Born in c. 375
  • An Elimeiot princess…
  • … Phila may have been related to Alexander’s friend and (unreliable) treasurer, Harpalus
  • Did not bear Philip any children
  • Date of death: unknown
    .
    Philine (or Philinna)
  • From Larissa in Greece, and probably a noblewoman
  • Married Philip c. 358
  • Date of birth and death are both unknown
  • Between 358 and 356 Philinna gave birth to a son: Arrhidaeus
    .
    Olympias
  • Philip’s fourth wife
  • An Epirot princess
  • Paternal descent: Pyrrhus, son of Achilles
  • Maternal descent: Helenus, a Trojan prince
  • Married Philip in 357
  • Olympias changed her name several times during her life (c. 375 – 316 BC)
  • She was born Polyxena. Upon marrying Philip she became Myrtale…
  • … after Philip’s triumph at the 356 BC Olympic Games, she took the name Olympias
  • Finally, in 317, she became known as Stratonike
  • Gave birth to Alexander in 356
  • Took part in the wars of the successors until her execution at Cassander’s hands in 316
    .
    Meda
  • A Thracian princess
  • Married Philip sometime between 357 and 342
  • Date of birth and death: unknown
  • Died childless
    .
    Nicesipolis
    Nikasipolis, Nikesipolis
  • Thessalian by birth, possibly a noblewoman
  • Date of birth: Unknown
  • Jason of Pherae’s niece
  • Known for her great beauty
  • Married Philip II in 352 or 346 and died in c. 345/4 BC…
  • … just twenty days after giving birth to her daughter, Thessalonike
    .
    Cleopatra Euridike
    Kleopatra
  • Macedonian by birth
  • Niece of Attalus, one of Philip II’s most senior generals
  • Married Philip II in 338/7
  • Took the name Euridike upon her marriage to him
  • Gave birth to a daughter, Europa, in 336 just before Philip’s death
  • Both Cleopatra Euridike and Europa were assassinated by Olympias following Philip’s death

Source: Who’s Who in the Age of Alexander the Great by Waldemar Heckel
(with a little help from Wikipedia)

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