Pseudo-Plutarch concludes his essay on the education of children with a reference to Eurydice, the mother of Philip II of Macedon and grandmother of Alexander the Great.

“We must endeavour, therefore, to employ every proper device for the discipline of our children, emulating the example of Eurydice, who, although she was an Illyrian and an utter barbarian, yet late in life took up education in the interest of her children’s studies. The inscription which she dedicated to the Muses sufficiently attests her love for her children:

Eurydice of Hierapolis

Made to the Muses this her offering

When she had gained her soul’s desire to learn.

Mother of young and lusty sons was she,

And by her diligence attained to learn

Letters, wherein lies buried all our lore.”


Last night I read about Eurydice’s life and her role in the rise of Philip II in A history of Macedonia by N.G.L. Hammond.  Hammond’s work is a masterpeice, and Plutarch’s works are given considerable favor in the reconstruction of the history of Macedonia. 

Unfortunately, I have not yet found another source that has the inscription that Plutarch preserves, but I’ve only had time to read Hammond.  Eurydice is a story worth reading and remembering.  For my interest: while Eurydice and Philip II were in Thebes (while he was a teenager), he was a student of a Pythagorean philosopher – perhaps at the behest of his mother.  It’s a classic story of a powerful queen mother installing her son as king.