Ptolemy Apion

Last updated
Ptolemy Apion
Ptolemy Apion BM 1383.jpg
Portrait of a Ptolemaic ruler, maybe Ptolemy Apion, 1st century BC, from the temple of Apollo at Cyrene, British Museum
King of Cyrene
Born150-145 BC
Cyrene (?)
Died96 BC
GreekΠτολεμαίος Απίων
House Ptolemaic dynasty
Father Ptolemy VIII Physcon
MotherEirene/Ithaca of Cyrene

Ptolemy Apion or simply known as Apion (Ancient Greek : Πτολεμαῖος Ἀπίων, between 150 BC and 145 BC – 96 BC) was the last Greek King of Cyrene and was a member of the Ptolemaic dynasty. Ptolemy was Greek and native Egyptian in descent. His second name Apion is a name of ancient Egyptian origin and could be a name from his maternal ancestry.



Ptolemy was the son of Egyptian Greek prince, Cyrenaean King and future Pharaoh of Egypt Ptolemy VIII Physcon and his third wife, Eirene (Irene). [1] Ptolemy’s paternal uncle was the Egyptian Greek Pharaoh Ptolemy VI Philometor [2] and his paternal aunt was the Egyptian Greek princess and queen Cleopatra II of Egypt. [2] His paternal grandparents were Egyptian Greek Pharaoh Ptolemy V Epiphanes [1] and Egyptian Greek Queen Cleopatra I of Egypt, [1] who was a Greek princess of the Seleucid Empire.

Ptolemy's mother, Eirene (Irene), a native Egyptian, may actually have been named Ithaca, according to the Roman Jewish historian Josephus. [ citation needed ] Little is known of Eirene's origins, apart from the fact she came from Cyrenaica.[ citation needed ] She was a mistress of Physcon's and was among his concubines.[ citation needed ] Eirene served as Physcon's mistress from 150 BC til 127 BC.[ citation needed ] Eirene accompanied Physcon in 145 BC to Egypt when he became pharaoh and succeeded his brother Ptolemy VI.[ citation needed ]

Ptolemy was most probably born in Cyrene, the capital of Cyrenaica, but was raised and educated in his father's court in Egypt. [ citation needed ] Until 116 BC, he most probably lived in Egypt. Ptolemy never held a royal Egyptian title. In 116 BC, Ptolemy's father had died. From Physcon's will, Ptolemy inherited Cyrenaica and, in that year, ascended the throne without any political opposition.

Little is recorded of Ptolemy's reign of Cyrenaica. Ptolemy died in 96 BC and he implemented the terms of his father's will for Cyrenaica. He never married and had no heirs. In Ptolemy's will, he left Cyrenaica and his ancestral royal estates to the rule of the Roman Republic. Physcon had planned this for Cyrenaica after Ptolemy’s death.

Ptolemy's ancestral estates were occupied by locals in the 1st century. The occupiers of the estates needed assistance from the Roman Emperor, Nero, to legalise the land title through their occupations, thereby vesting ownership in them.

Related Research Articles

The Ptolemaic dynasty, sometimes also known as the Lagids or Lagidae, was a Macedonian Greek royal family, which ruled the Ptolemaic Kingdom in Egypt during the Hellenistic period. Their rule lasted for 275 years, from 305 to 30 BC. They were the last dynasty of ancient Egypt.

Year 96 BC was a year of the pre-Julian Roman calendar. At the time it was known as the Year of the Consulship of Ahenobarbus and Longinus. The denomination 96 BC for this year has been used since the early medieval period, when the Anno Domini calendar era became the prevalent method in Europe for naming years.

Year 116 BC was a year of the pre-Julian Roman calendar. At the time it was known as the Year of the Consulship of Geta and Eburnus. The denomination 116 BC for this year has been used since the early medieval period, when the Anno Domini calendar era became the prevalent method in Europe for naming years.

Ptolemy I Soter Macedonian general

Ptolemy I Soter was a companion and historian of Alexander the Great of the Kingdom of Macedon in northern Greece who became ruler of Egypt, part of Alexander's former empire. Ptolemy was pharaoh of Ptolemaic Egypt from 305/304 BC to his death. He was the founder of the Ptolemaic dynasty which ruled Egypt until the death of Cleopatra in 30 BC, turning the country into a Hellenistic kingdom and Alexandria into a centre of Greek culture.

Ptolemy VI Philometor Egyptian pharaoh

Ptolemy VI Philometor was a king of Egypt from the Ptolemaic period. He reigned from 180 to 164 BC and from 163 to 145 BC. The eldest son of Ptolemy V Epiphanes and Cleopatra I of Egypt, he came to the throne as a very young child in 180 BC and the kingdom was governed by regents: his mother until her death in 178 or 177 BC and then two of her associates, Eulaeus and Lenaeus until 169 BC. From 170 BC, his sister-wife Cleopatra II and his younger brother Ptolemy VIII Euergetes were co-rulers alongside him.

Ptolemy VIII Physcon king of the Ptolemaic dynasty in Egypt

Ptolemy VIII Euergetes II Tryphon, nicknamed Physcon, was a king of the Ptolemaic dynasty in Egypt. He was the younger son of Ptolemy V Epiphanes and Cleopatra I Syra. His reign was characterised by fierce political and military conflict with his older brother Ptolemy VI Philometor and his sister Cleopatra II.

Ptolemy IX Soter king of Egypt

Ptolemy IX Soter II, commonly nicknamed Lathyros, reigned twice as king of Ptolemaic Egypt: first as Ptolemy Philometor Soter in joint rule with his Cleopatra II and Cleopatra III, and then again as Ptolemy Soter. He was the son of Ptolemy VIII and Cleopatra III.

Ptolemy X Alexander I King of Egypt

Ptolemy X Alexander I was King of Egypt from 107 BC till his death in 88 BC, in co-regency with Cleopatra III as Ptolemy Philometor Soter until 101 BC, and then with Berenice III as Ptolemy Philadelphus. He was a son of Ptolemy VIII Physcon and Cleopatra III, and younger brother of Ptolemy IX. His birth name was probably Alexander.

Demetrius the Fair or surnamed The Handsome, also known in modern ancient historical sources as Demetrius of Cyrene, was a Hellenistic king of Cyrene.

Ptolemaic Kingdom Hellenistic kingdom in ancient Egypt from 305 to 30 BC

The Ptolemaic Kingdom was a Hellenistic kingdom based in ancient Egypt. It was ruled by the Ptolemaic dynasty, which started with Ptolemy I Soter's accession after the death of Alexander the Great in 323 BC and which ended with the death of Cleopatra and the Roman conquest in 30 BC.

Battus II of Cyrene, sometimes called Eudaimon or the Latin equivalent Felix, was the third Greek king of Cyrenaica and Cyrene and a member of the Battiad dynasty.

This article concerns the period 99 BC – 90 BC.

Battus III of Cyrene, surnamed The Lame was the fifth Greek Cyrenaean king and a member of the Battiad dynasty.

Ladice or Ladice of Cyrene was a Greek Cyrenaean princess and was a member of the Battiad dynasty. She married the ancient Egyptian pharaoh Amasis II. When Amasis died in 526 BC, she returned from Egypt back to Cyrene.

Arcesilaus III of Cyrene was the sixth Greek Cyrenaean King and was a member of the Battiad dynasty. He succeeded his father as king of Cyrene in 530 BC and was ruler until he was killed by Cyrenaean exiles around 515 BC.

Agathoclea was the favourite mistress of the Egyptian Greek Pharaoh Ptolemy IV Philopator who reigned 221–205; sister of Ptolemy IV’s minister Agathocles and through her father was a distant relation of the Ptolemaic dynasty.

Harsiesi was an ancient Egyptian rebel against the rule of Ptolemy VIII Physcon of the Ptolemaic Dynasty.

Apama II, sometimes known as Apame II was a Syrian Greek princess of the Seleucid Empire and through marriage was a queen of Cyrenaica.

Tryphaena was a Ptolemaic princess. She married the Seleucid king Antiochus VIII Grypus and was queen of Syria.


  1. 1 2 3 "Ptolemy VIII Physcon - Livius". Retrieved 2017-09-28.
  2. 1 2 "Ptolemy V Epiphanes - Livius". Retrieved 2017-09-28.
  3. "Ptolemy VIII Physcon - Livius". Retrieved 1 October 2017.