Alexander’s half-sister, THESSALONIKE is one of the more ‘tragic’ women figures of ancient Macedon. She was born about 345 BC, the daughter of king Philip II by his Thessalian wife or concubine, Nikesipolis, from Pherae, a Thessalian of noble origins. Her birth fell on the same day that the armies of Macedon and the Thessalian league won a significant battle over the Phocians. Philip is said to have proclaimed “Let her be called victory in Thessaly”. Thus, her name is made up of two words Thessaly and nike” translated to mean “Thessalian Victory.”rpk-tramplin
Her mother died shortly after her birth so she was left in the care of OLYMPIAS, mother of Alexander. At the time she was born, Alexander was under the tutelage of Aristotle and she was only six or seven when he left on his Persian expedition. When Alexander died, Thessalonike would have been just twenty-one years old.
She had spent her childhood in the queen’s quarters and endured a lonely life with the formidable queen. Philip had been assassinated before he could chose a husband for her so she seemed destined to be a spinster.
Eventually she fell under the seduction of KASSANDROS who sought to entice her into marriage so that he would gain more power. He promised to name a city after her if she agreed to the marriage. This is the source for the elegant city of Thessaloniki, which in modern times was known as “the Paris of the North.” And this is Thessaloniki’s only claim to fame.
During her undoubtedly tumultuous marriage to Kassandros, THESSALONIKE gave birth to three sons, Philip, Antipater and Alexander. After their father’s death, she had a great deal of influence over them. One of the sons, Antipater, became jealous of Thessalonike’s favour shown to the youngest brother and as a result he murdered her. Thus ended a tragic life and to this day she is remembered only by the city named after her.