Ptolemaic dynasty

Ptolemies
Πτολεμαῖοι
Royal house
<
p
t
wAl
M
iis
>
Ptolemy I Soter, founder of the Ptolemaic dynasty, depicted as Pharaoh, British Museum
CountryAncient Egypt, Ancient Macedonia, Ancient Rome
Founded305 BC
FounderPtolemy I Soter
Final rulerCleopatra VII and Ptolemy XV
(Egypt)
Ptolemy XVI
(Syria)
Ptolemy of Mauretania
(Mauretania Caesariensis)
Final headDrusilla
TitlesPharaoh
Basileus of Egypt
King of Macedonia
King of Mauretania Caesariensis
King of Syria
King of Cyrene
DissolutionAD 79
Deposition279 BC (Macedon)
30 BC (Egypt)
AD 40 (Mauretania)

The Ptolemaic dynasty (/ˌtɒlɪˈmeɪ.ɪk/; Ancient Greek: Πτολεμαῖοι, Ptolemaioi), also known as the Lagid dynasty (Λαγίδαι, Lagidae; after Ptolemy I's father, Lagus), was a Macedonian Greek royal house which ruled the Ptolemaic Kingdom in Ancient Egypt during the Hellenistic period. Reigning for 275 years, the Ptolemaic was the longest and last dynasty of ancient Egypt from 305 BC until its incorporation into the Roman Republic in 30 BC.

Ptolemy, a general and one of the somatophylakes (bodyguard companions) of Alexander the Great, was appointed satrap of Egypt after Alexander's death in 323 BC. In 305 BC he declared himself Pharaoh Ptolemy I, later known as Sōter "Saviour". The Egyptians soon accepted the Ptolemies as the successors to the pharaohs of independent Egypt. The new dynasty adopted the Egyptian titles and iconography, and respected local traditions, while also preserving their own Greek language and culture. The Ptolemaic period was marked by the intense interactions and blending of the Greek and Egyptian cultures. Under the Ptolemies, Hellenistic religion was largely influenced by religious syncretism and imperial cult. Elements of Greek education became widespread in urban spaces, culminating in the foundation of the Mouseion (including the Library of Alexandria) and the Serapeum. During the Hellenistic period, the city of Alexandria founded by Alexander the Great would gradually surpass Athens taking its place as the intellectual centre of the Mediterranean world.

Following the earlier dynasties of Egypt, the Ptolemaic dynasty adopted the practice of inbreeding including sibling marriage, but this did not start in earnest until nearly a century into the dynasty's history. All the male rulers of the dynasty took the name Ptolemy, while queens regnant were all called Cleopatra, Arsinoe, or Berenice. The most famous member of the line was the last queen, Cleopatra VII, known for her role in the Roman political battles between Julius Caesar and Pompey, and later between Octavian and Mark Antony. Her apparent suicide after the Roman conquest of Egypt marked the end of Ptolemaic rule in Egypt.

Rulers and consorts

Dates in brackets on the Cup of the Ptolemies represent the regnal dates of the Ptolemaic pharaohs. They frequently ruled jointly with their wives, who were often also their sisters, aunts or cousins. Several queens exercised regal authority. Of these, one of the last and most famous was Cleopatra ("Cleopatra VII Philopator", 51–30 BC), with her two brothers and her son serving as successive nominal co-rulers. Several systems exist for numbering the later rulers; the one used here is the one most widely employed by modern scholars.

Family tree

Ptolemaic family tree
Lagus of Eordea, MacedonArsinoe of Macedon
Ptolemy I
Soter

(Kg 303–282 BC)
Berenice IPhilip
Arsinoe IIPtolemy II
Philadelphus

(Kg. 285–246 BC)
Arsinoe IMagas
of Cyrene
Apama II
Ptolemy III
Euergetes

(Kg. 246–221 BC)
Berenice II
Ptolemy IV
Philopator

(Kg. 221–203 BC)
Arsinoe III
Ptolemy V
Epiphanes

(Kg. 203–181 BC)
Cleopatra I
Syra
Ptolemy VI
Philometor

(Kg. 181–164 BC,
163–145 BC)
Cleopatra II
(Qn. 131–127 BC)
Ptolemy VIII
Physcon

(Kg. 170–163 BC,
145–116 BC)
Eirene
Ptolemy VII
Neos Philopator
Cleopatra III
(Qn, 116–101 BC)
Ptolemy
Memphites
Ptolemy Apion
Cleopatra IVPtolemy IX
Lathyros

(Kg. 116–107 BC,
as Soter II 88–81 BC)
Cleopatra
Selene
Ptolemy X
Alexander I

(Kg. 107–88 BC)
Ptolemy XII
Auletes

(Kg. 80–58 BC,
55–51 BC)
Berenice III
(Qn. 81–80 BC)
Ptolemy XI
Alexander II

(Kg. 80 BC,
for 19 days)
Cleopatra V
(Qn. 58–55 BC)
Cleopatra VI
(Qn. 58 BC)
Berenice IV
(Qn. 58–55 BC)
Ptolemy XIII
Theos Philopator

(Kg. 51–47 BC)
Cleopatra VII
Thea Philopator

(Qn. 51–30 BC)
Ptolemy XIV
(Kg. 47–44 BC)
Arsinoe IV
(Qn. 48–47 BC)
Julius
Caesar
Mark
Antony
Ptolemy XV
Caesarion

(Kg. 44–30 BC)
Alexander
Helios
Ptolemy
Philadelphus
Cleopatra
Selene II
Ptolemy of
Mauretania
Detailed Ptolemaic family tree
AntipaterLagusArsinoe of Macedon
Eurydice
Ptolemy I
Soter

(Kg 303–282 BC)
Berenice I
(∞ Philip

Magas
of Cyrene

Apama II

See below: Berenice II)
Lysimachus
LysandraPtolemaisPtolemy CeraunusArsinoe II
Ptolemy II
Philadelphus

(Kg. 285–246 BC)
Arsinoe I
Berenice II of Egypt
(daughter of
Magas of Cyrene,
see above: Berenice I
)

Ptolemy III
Euergetes

(Kg. 246–221 BC)
Berenice Syra
Antiochus III the GreatArsinoe III
Ptolemy IV
Philopator

(Kg. 221–203 BC)
Cleopatra I
Syra

Ptolemy V
Epiphanes

(Kg. 203–181 BC)

Ptolemy VI
Philometor

(Kg. 181–164 BC,
163-145 BC)
Cleopatra II
(Qn. 131–127 BC)

Ptolemy VIII
Physcon

(Kg. 170–163 BC,
145–116 BC)
Eirene ?
Ptolemy EupatorCleopatra Thea
Ptolemy VII
Neos Philopator
Cleopatra III
(Qn, 116–101 BC)
Ptolemy
Memphites
Ptolemy Apion
Cleopatra TryphaenaCleopatra IV
Ptolemy IX
Lathyros

(Kg. 116–107 BC,
as Soter II 88–81 BC)
Cleopatra V
Selene

Ptolemy X
Alexander I

(Kg. 107–88 BC)
?Berenice III
(Qn. 81–80 BC)

Ptolemy XI
Alexander II

(Kg. 80 BC,
for 19 days)
Ptolemy of Cyprus
Ptolemy XII
Auletes

(Kg. 80–58 BC,
55–51 BC)
Cleopatra VI
(Qn. 58 BC)

Berenice IV
(Qn. 58–55 BC)

Ptolemy XIII
Theos Philopator

(Kg. 51–47 BC)

Cleopatra VII
Thea Philopator

(Qn. 51–30 BC)

Ptolemy XIV
(Kg. 47–44 BC)
Arsinoe IV
(Qn. 48–47 BC)
Julius
Caesar
Mark
Antony

Ptolemy XV
Caesarion

(Kg. 44–30 BC)
Alexander
Helios
Cleopatra
Selene II
Juba II
of Mauretania
Ptolemy Philadelphus
Ptolemy of
Mauretania

Other notable members of the Ptolemaic dynasty

A seated woman in a fresco from the Roman Villa Boscoreale, dated mid-1st century BC. It likely represents Berenice II of Ptolemaic Egypt wearing a stephane (i.e. royal diadem) on her head.

Health

Cameo of Ptolemaic rulers (Kunsthistorisches Museum)

Continuing the tradition established by previous Egyptian dynasties, the Ptolemies engaged in inbreeding including sibling marriage, with many of the pharaohs being married to their siblings and often co-ruling with them. Ptolemy I and other early rulers of the dynasty were not married to their relatives, the childless marriage of siblings Ptolemy II and Arsinoe II being an exception. The first child-producing incestuous marriage in the Ptolemaic dynasty was that of Ptolemy IV and Arsinoe III, who were succeeded as co-pharaohs by their son Ptolemy V, born 210 BC. The best-known Ptolemaic pharaoh, Cleopatra VII, was at different times married to and ruled with two of her brothers (Ptolemy XIII until 47 BC and then Ptolemy XIV until 44 BC), and their parents were also likely to have been siblings or possibly cousins.

The Gonzaga Cameo of Ptolemy II Philadelphus and Arsinoe II from Alexandria (Hermitage Museum)

Contemporaries describe a number of the Ptolemaic dynasty members as extremely obese, while sculptures and coins reveal prominent eyes and swollen necks. Familial Graves' disease could explain the swollen necks and eye prominence (exophthalmos), although this is unlikely to occur in the presence of morbid obesity. This is all likely due to inbreeding depression. In view of the familial nature of these findings, members of the Ptolemaic dynasty are likely to have suffered from a multi-organ fibrotic condition such as Erdheim–Chester disease, or a familial multifocal fibrosclerosis where thyroiditis, obesity and ocular proptosis may have all occurred concurrently.

Gallery

See also


This page was last updated at 2024-04-18 12:42 UTC. Update now. View original page.

All our content comes from Wikipedia and under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License.


Top

If mathematical, chemical, physical and other formulas are not displayed correctly on this page, please useFirefox or Safari