Alexander was born in July 356 B.C., the sixth day of the Macedonian month Loïos, to King Philip II and his wife Myrtale (better known to us now by her adopted name, Olympias). Under Philip, Macedonia flourished and grew, while Olympias proved to be the most powerful of his wives. Before Philip's reign, other Greek nations looked down upon Macedonia as barbarian, with obsolete political institutions, coarse speech and manners, and little to offer in battle. Philip therefore began reforms and expansion that Alexander would bring to a peak for Macedonia. Two marriages brought Philip no suitable male heir. His third wife would be the niece of King Arrybas of Epirus (and daughter of the deceased King Neoptolemus). Plutarch asserts that the two met and fell in love years before their union became politically convenient. In any case, Epirus's allegiance would be useful to Philip, and Arrybas
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