Ptolemaic dynasty

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Ptolemaic Dynasty
Ptolemaic dynasty
Ptolemaic dynasty
Ptolemaic dynasty
Ptolemaic dynastyPtolemaic dynasty
Ptolemaic dynasty
Ptolemaic dynastyPtolemaic dynastyPtolemaic dynasty
Ptolemaic dynasty
Ptolemaic Empire, circa 300 BC
Ptolemaic-Empire-300BC.png
Country Ancient Egypt, Macedonia, Mauretania
Founded305 BC
Founder Ptolemy I Soter
Final ruler Ptolemy XV (Egypt),
Cleopatra VII (Egypt)
Titles Pharaoh, King of Macedonia, King of Mauretania
Estate(s)Egypt, Cyrenaica, Cyprus, Canaan

The Ptolemaic dynasty ( /ˌtɒlɪˈmɪk/ ; Ancient Greek : Πτολεμαῖοι, Ptolemaioi), sometimes also known as the Lagids ( /ˈlæɪdz/ ) or Lagidae ( /ˈlæɪdi/ ; Λαγίδαι, Lagidai, after Lagus, Ptolemy I's father), was a Macedonian Greek [1] [2] [3] [4] [5] royal family, which ruled the Ptolemaic Kingdom in Egypt during the Hellenistic period. Their rule lasted for 275 years, from 305 to 30 BC. [6] They were the last dynasty of ancient Egypt.

Contents

Ptolemy, one of the seven somatophylakes (bodyguards) of Macedon who served as Alexander the Great's generals and deputies, was appointed satrap of Egypt after Alexander's death in 323 BC. In 305 BC, he declared himself Ptolemy I, later known as Sōter "Saviour". The Egyptians soon accepted the Ptolemies as the successors to the pharaohs of independent Egypt. Ptolemy's family ruled Egypt until the Roman conquest of 30 BC.

Like the earlier dynasties of ancient Egypt, the Ptolemaic dynasty practiced inbreeding including sibling marriage, but this did not start in earnest until nearly a century into the dynasty's history. [7] 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 at the conquest by Rome marked the end of Ptolemaic rule in Egypt.

Ptolemaic rulers and consorts

Ptolemy I Soter was the founder of the Ptolemaic dynasty, and the first ruler of the Ptolemaic Kingdom. Ptolemy I Soter Louvre Ma849.jpg
Ptolemy I Soter was the founder of the Ptolemaic dynasty, and the first ruler of the Ptolemaic Kingdom.
Posthumous portrait of Cleopatra VII, from Roman Herculaneum, mid-1st century AD. Posthumous painted portrait of Cleopatra VII of Egypt, from Herculaneum, Italy.jpg
Posthumous portrait of Cleopatra VII, from Roman Herculaneum, mid-1st century AD.

Dates in brackets represent the regnal dates of the Ptolemaic pharaohs. They frequently ruled jointly with their wives, who were often also their sisters. 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.

Ptolemaic family tree

Lagus of Eordea, Macedon Arsinoe of Macedon
Ptolemy I
Soter

(Kg 303–282 BC)
Berenice I Philip
Arsinoe II Ptolemy II
Philadelphus

(Kg. 285–246 BC)
Arsinoe I Magas
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 IV Ptolemy 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
Antipater Lagus Arsinoe of Macedon
Eurydice Double crown.svg
Ptolemy I
Soter

(Kg 303–282 BC)
Berenice I
(∞ Philip

Magas
of Cyrene

Apama II

See below: Berenice II)
Lysimachus
Lysandra Ptolemais Ptolemy Ceraunus Arsinoe II Double crown.svg
Ptolemy II
Philadelphus

(Kg. 285–246 BC)
Arsinoe I
Berenice II of Egypt
(daughter of
Magas of Cyrene,
see above: Berenice I
)
Double crown.svg
Ptolemy III
Euergetes

(Kg. 246–221 BC)
Berenice Syra
Antiochus III the Great Arsinoe III Double crown.svg
Ptolemy IV
Philopator

(Kg. 221–203 BC)
Cleopatra I
Syra
Double crown.svg
Ptolemy V
Epiphanes

(Kg. 203–181 BC)
Double crown.svg
Ptolemy VI
Philometor

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

(Kg. 170–163 BC,
145–116 BC)
Eirene ?
Ptolemy Eupator Cleopatra Thea Double crown.svg
Ptolemy VII
Neos Philopator
Cleopatra III
(Qn, 116–101 BC)
Ptolemy
Memphites
Ptolemy Apion
Cleopatra Tryphaena Cleopatra IV Double crown.svg
Ptolemy IX
Lathyros

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

(Kg. 107–88 BC)
? Berenice III
(Qn. 81–80 BC)
Double crown.svg
Ptolemy XI
Alexander II

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

(Kg. 80–58 BC,
55–51 BC)
Cleopatra VI
(Qn. 58 BC)
Double crown.svg
Berenice IV
(Qn. 58–55 BC)
Double crown.svg
Ptolemy XIII
Theos Philopator

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

(Qn. 51–30 BC)
Double crown.svg
Ptolemy XIV
(Kg. 47–44 BC)
Arsinoe IV
(Qn. 48–47 BC)
Julius
Caesar
Mark
Antony
Double crown.svg
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. Wall painting from Room H of the Villa of P. Fannius Synistor at Boscoreale MET DP105943.jpg
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.

Inbreeding and health

In continuation of 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 [13] 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 most famous Ptolemaic pharaoh, Cleopatra VII, was at different times married to and reigning with two of her brothers (Ptolemy XIII until 47 BC and then Ptolemy XIV until 44 BC), and their parents were likely siblings or possibly cousins as well. [7]

Contemporaries describe a number of the Ptolemaic dynasty members as extremely obese, [14] whilst 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 within the Ptolemaic dynasty. In view of the familial nature of these findings, members of this dynasty likely 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. [15]

See also

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References

  1. Jones, Prudence J. (2006). Cleopatra: A Sourcebook . University of Oklahoma Press. p.  14. They were members of the Ptolemaic dynasty of Macedonians, who ruled Egypt after the death of its conqueror, Alexander the Great.
  2. Pomeroy, Sarah B. (1990). Women in Hellenistic Egypt. Wayne State University Press. p. 16. while Ptolemaic Egypt was a monarchy with a Greek ruling class.
  3. Redford, Donald B., ed. (2000). The Oxford Encyclopedia of Ancient Egypt. Oxford University Press. Cleopatra VII was born to Ptolemy XII Auletes (80–57 BCE, ruled 55–51 BCE) and Cleopatra, both parents being Macedonian Greeks.
  4. Bard, Kathryn A., ed. (1999). Encyclopedia of the Archaeology of Ancient Egypt . Routledge. p.  488. Ptolemaic kings were still crowned at Memphis and the city was popularly regarded as the Egyptian rival to Alexandria, founded by the Macedonians.
  5. Bard, Kathryn A., ed. (1999). Encyclopedia of the Archaeology of Ancient Egypt . Routledge. p.  687. During the Ptolemaic period, when Egypt was governed by rulers of Greek descent...
  6. Epiphanius of Salamis, however, puts the total number of years of the Ptolemy dynasty at 306. See: Epiphanius' Treatise on Weights and Measures - The Syriac Version (ed. James Elmer Dean), University of Chicago Press 1935, p. 28 (note 104), or what was from 306/5 BCE to 1 CE.
  7. 1 2 Move over, Lannisters: No one did incest and murder like the last pharaohs on The A.V. Club
  8. Walker, Susan; Higgs, Peter (2001), "Painting with a portrait of a woman in profile", in Walker, Susan; Higgs, Peter (eds.), Cleopatra of Egypt: from History to Myth, Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press (British Museum Press), pp.  314–315, ISBN   9780691088358.
  9. Fletcher, Joann (2008). Cleopatra the Great: The Woman Behind the Legend. New York: Harper. ISBN   978-0-06-058558-7, image plates and captions between pp. 246-247.
  10. Wasson, Donald (February 3, 2012). "Ptolemy I". Ancient History Encyclopedia. Retrieved October 1, 2016.
  11. Tunny, Jennifer(2001)The Health of Ptolemy II Philadelphus. The Bulletin of the American Society of Papyrologists/ Vol.38(1/4), pp.119-134
  12. Pfrommer, Michael; Towne-Markus, Elana (2001). Greek Gold from Hellenistic Egypt . Los Angeles: Getty Publications (J. Paul Getty Trust). ISBN   0-89236-633-8, pp. 22–23.
  13. Ptolemy II Philadelphus on Encyclopædia Britannica
  14. "Morbid obesity and hypersomnolence in several members of an ancient royal family"
  15. Ashrafian, Hutan (2005). "Familial proptosis and obesity in the Ptolemies". J. R. Soc. Med. 98 (2): 85–86. doi:10.1258/jrsm.98.2.85-a. PMC   1079400 . PMID   15684370.

Further reading