By Spiros Sideris – Athens
“The Queen of the Underworld sheds new light” on the grave of Amphipolis, as states in a publication on the latest findings in Amphipolis the magazine National Geographic, and especially for the mosaic, which depicts the abduction of Persephone.
After describing the mosaic and referring to recent statements by the head of the excavation, Katerina Peristeri, that the deceased buried in the Tomb of Amphipolis is “very important”, the publication hosts the opinion of Ian Worthington, a specialist in ancient Greek history, which believes that in Amphipolis is buried a woman.
That’s because, in the opinion of Worthington, “the mosaic shows a woman driven to the underworld”. If indeed it is proven that his theory is correct, according to him, the tomb may belong to either Roxanne, wife of Alexander the Great, or Olympiada, his mother. Both were killed by Cassander, one of Alexander’s generals, who wanted to secure the throne of ancient Macedonia.
From ancient texts that have survived to the present day, we can say with certainty that Roxanne and her young son died in 310 BC, and is therefore very likely, according to Worthington, for the wife of Alexander the Great to be buried in Amphipolis.
However, according to National Geographic, there are other evidence that the “occupant” at Amphipolis might be Olympiada. “Alexander sought to deify his mother as the female deity in the chariot of Hades. Furthermore, Olympiada continued to remain a significant political force even after the death of Alexander”, the article noted.
And despite the fact that she was murdered by Cassander and his allies, “I think it is possible that she could have been honored with such a tomb”, says Philip Freeman, a professor of classical history at Luther College in Iowa.