Ring of Ptolemy VI wearing a Greek diadem
|King of Egypt|
|Consort||Cleopatra II of Egypt|
|Children||With Cleopatra II:|
Cleopatra III of Egypt
|Father||Ptolemy V Epiphanes|
|Mother||Cleopatra I of Egypt|
|Born||May/June 186 BC|
|Died||145 BC (aged 41)|
Ptolemy VI Philometor : Πτολεμαῖος Φιλομήτωρ, Ptolemaĩos Philomḗtōr "Ptolemy, lover of his Mother"; May/June 186–145 BC) 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.(Greek
Greek is an independent branch of the Indo-European family of languages, native to Greece, Cyprus and other parts of the Eastern Mediterranean and the Black Sea. It has the longest documented history of any living Indo-European language, spanning at least 3500 years of written records. Its writing system has been the Greek alphabet for the major part of its history; other systems, such as Linear B and the Cypriot syllabary, were used previously. The alphabet arose from the Phoenician script and was in turn the basis of the Latin, Cyrillic, Armenian, Coptic, Gothic, and many other writing systems.
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.
Ptolemy V Epiphanes, son of the siblings Ptolemy IV Philopator and Arsinoe III of Egypt, was the fifth ruler of the Ptolemaic dynasty from July/August 204 to September 180 BC.
Ptolemy VI's reign was characterised by external conflict with the Seleucid empire over Syria and by internal conflict with his younger brother for control of the Ptolemaic monarchy. In the Sixth Syrian War (170-168 BC), the Ptolemaic forces were utterly defeated and Egypt was twice invaded by Seleucid armies. His attempts to negotiate an end to this conflict exacerbated the conflict with his brother. Though he managed to collaborate with his brother for long enough to secure peace and re-establish order within Egypt, Ptolemy VIII succeeded in expelling Ptolemy VI from Egypt in 164 BC.
The people of Alexandria turned against Ptolemy VIII and invited Ptolemy VI back to the throne in 163 BC. In this second reign he was much more successful in both conflicts. He banished his brother to Cyrenaica and repeatedly prevented him from using that as a springboard to taking Cyprus, despite substantial Roman intervention in his brother's favour. By supporting a series of rival claimants for the Seleucid throne, Ptolemy VI helped instigate a civil war in the Seleucid realm, which would continue for generations and eventually consume the Seleucid dynasty. In 145 BC, Ptolemy invaded Seleucid Syria and won a total victory at the Battle of the Oenoparus, which left him in charge of both the Seleucid and Ptolemaic realms. However, injuries that he sustained in the battle led to his death three days later. The gains from the war were almost immediately lost and his brother Ptolemy VIII returned to power.
Alexandria is the second-largest city in Egypt and a major economic centre, extending about 32 km (20 mi) along the coast of the Mediterranean Sea in the north central part of the country. Its low elevation on the Nile delta makes it highly vulnerable to rising sea levels. Alexandria is an important industrial center because of its natural gas and oil pipelines from Suez. Alexandria is also a popular tourist destination.
Cyrenaica is the eastern coastal region of Libya. Also known as Pentapolis in antiquity, it formed part of the Roman province of Crete and Cyrenaica, later divided into Libya Pentapolis and Libya Sicca. During the Islamic period, the area came to be known as Barqa, after the city of Barca.
Cyprus, officially the Republic of Cyprus, is an island country in the Eastern Mediterranean and the third largest and third most populous island in the Mediterranean, located south of Turkey, west of Syria and Lebanon, northwest of Israel and Palestine, north of Egypt, and southeast of Greece.
Ptolemy was the eldest son of Ptolemy V Epiphanes, who reigned from 204-180 BC. Ptolemy V's reign had been dominated by the Fifth Syrian War (204-198 BC), in which the Ptolemaic realm fought against the Seleucid king Antiochus III, who ruled the Near East and Asia Minor. In that war, Antiochus III had completely defeated the Ptolemaic forces, had annexed Coele-Syria and Judaea to his empire, and reduced Egypt to a subordinate position.
The Near East is a Eurocentric geographical term which roughly encompasses a transcontinental region comprising Western Asia, Turkey, and Egypt. Despite having varying definitions within different academic circles, the term was originally applied to the maximum extent of the Ottoman Empire. The term has fallen into disuse in American English and has been replaced by the terms Middle East, which includes Egypt, and Western Asia, which includes Transcaucasia.
Coele-Syria, Coele Syria, Coelesyria, also rendered as Coelosyria and Celesyria, otherwise Hollow Syria, was a region of Syria in classical antiquity. It probably derived from the Aramaic for all of the region of Syria but more often was applied to the Beqaa Valley between the Lebanon and Anti-Lebanon mountain ranges. The area now forms part of the modern nations of Lebanon and Syria.
The new situation was solidified with a peace treaty, under which Ptolemy V married Antiochus' daughter Cleopatra I in 194 BC.Ptolemy VI was the eldest son of the couple, born in 186 BC, probably in May or June. Ptolemy VI had two siblings: a sister, Cleopatra II, who was probably born between 186 and 184 BC, and a younger brother, the future Ptolemy VIII. His father advertised his position as heir within Egypt and to the wider world, for example by entering a chariot team under his name in the Panathenaic Games of 182 BC.
The Panathenaic Games were held every four years in Athens in Ancient Greece from 566 BC to the 3rd century AD. These Games incorporated religious festival, ceremony, athletic competitions, and cultural events hosted within a stadium.
The defeat in the Fifth Syrian War cast a shadow over the rest of Ptolemy V's reign. One prominent faction within the Ptolemaic court agitated for a return to war in order to restore Egyptian prestige, while another faction resisted the expense involved in rebuilding and remilitarising the realm.Ptolemy V died unexpectedly in September 180 BC, at the age of only 30. It is possible that he was murdered as a result of this factional infighting - a late source claims that he had been poisoned.
Ptolemy VI, who was only six years old, was immediately crowned king, with his mother Cleopatra I as co-regent. In documents from this period, Cleopatra is named before Ptolemy and coins were minted under the joint authority of her and her son.In the face of continued agitation for war with the Seleucids, Cleopatra pursued a peaceful policy, because of her own Seleucid roots and because a war would have threatened her hold on power. Cleopatra probably died in late 178 or early 177 BC, though some scholars place her death in late 176 BC.
Ptolemy was still too young to rule on his own. On her deathbed, Cleopatra appointed Eulaeus and Lenaeus, two of her close associates as regents. Eulaeus, a eunuch, who had been the Ptolemy's tutor, was the more senior of the two, even minting coinage in his own name. Lenaeus was a Syrian slave who had probably come to Egypt as part of Cleopatra's retinue when she got married. He seems to have been specifically in charge of managing the kingdom's finances.
Eulaeus and Lenaeus sought to reinforce their authority by augmenting the dignity of Ptolemy. In early 175 BC, they arranged the wedding of Ptolemy VI to his sister Cleopatra II. Brother-sister marriage was traditional in the Ptolemaic dynasty and was probably adopted in imitation of earlier Egyptian Pharaohs.Ptolemy and Cleopatra were still young children, so the marriage was not consummated for many years; they would eventually have at least four children together. At this time, the couple were incorporated into the Ptolemaic dynastic cult as the Theoi Philometores ('the Mother-loving Gods'), named in honour of the deceased Cleopatra I. In Egyptian religious contexts, the title recalled the relationship of the Pharaoh as Horus to his mother Isis.
The Seleucid king Seleucus IV, who had followed a generally peaceful policy, was murdered in 175 BC and after two months of conflict his brother Antiochus IV Epiphanes secured the throne.The unsettled situation empowered the warhawks in the Ptolemaic court, and Eulaeus and Lenaeus were unable or unwilling to resist them, with Cleopatra I no longer alive. By 172 BC, preparations for war were underway. From 171 BC, both Rome and Macedon were occupied with the Third Macedonian War and the Egyptian government considered the moment for war had come.
In October 170 BC, Ptolemy VIII was promoted to the status of co-regent alongside his brother and sister. The current year was declared the first year of a new era.John Grainger argues that the two brothers had become the figureheads for separate factions at court and that these ceremonies were intended to promote unity within the court in the run-up to war. Shortly afterwards, Ptolemy VI who was now around sixteen was declared an adult and celebrated his coming-of-age ceremony (the anakleteria). Although Ptolemy VI was now ostensibly ruling in his own right, in practice Eulaeus and Lenaeus remained in charge of the government.
The Sixth Syrian War broke out shortly after this, probably in early 169 BC.The Ptolemaic army set out from the border fort of Pelusium to invade Palestine but was intercepted by Antiochus IV's army in the Sinai. The defeated army withdrew to the Nile Delta. Antiochus seized Pelusium and then moved on the Delta.
This defeat led to the collapse of the Ptolemaic government in Alexandria. Eulaeus attempted to send Ptolemy VI to the Aegean island of Samothrace with the Ptolemaic treasury.Before this could happen, however, two prominent Ptolemaic generals, Comanus and Cineas, launched a military coup and took control of Ptolemy's government. As Antiochus advanced on Alexandria, Ptolemy VI went out to meet him. They negotiated an agreement of friendship, which in effect reduced Ptolemy to a Seleucid client. When news of the agreement reached Alexandria, the people of the city rioted. Comanus and Cineas rejected the agreement, rejected Ptolemy VI's authority and declared Ptolemy VIII the sole king (Cleopatra II's position remained unchanged). Antiochus responded by placing Alexandria under siege, but he was unable to take the city and withdrew from Egypt in September 169 BC, as winter approached, leaving Ptolemy VI as his puppet king in Memphis and retaining a garrison in Pelusium.
Within two months, Ptolemy VI had reconciled with Ptolemy VIII and Cleopatra II and returned to Alexandria. The restored government repudiated the agreement that Ptolemy VI had made with Antiochus and began to recruit new troops from Greece.In response, in spring 168 BC, Antiochus invaded Egypt for a second time. Officially, this invasion was presented as an effort to restore Ptolemy VI's position against his younger brother. Antiochus quickly occupied Memphis where he was crowned king of Egypt, and advanced on Alexandria. However, the Ptolemies had appealed to Rome for help over the winter and a Roman embassy led by Gaius Popillius Laenas confronted Antiochus at the town of Eleusis and forced him to agree to a settlement, bringing the war to an end.
Initially, the joint rule of the two brothers and Cleopatra II, which had been established during the war, continued. However, the complete failure of the Egyptian forces in the Sixth Syrian War left the Ptolemaic monarchy's prestige seriously diminished and caused a permanent rift between Ptolemy VI and Ptolemy VIII.
In 165 BC, Dionysius Petosarapis, a prominent courtier who appears to have been of native Egyptian origin, attempted to take advantage of their conflict in order to take control of the government. He announced to the people of Alexandria that Ptolemy VI had tried to get him to assassinate his younger brother and tried to whip up a mob to expel him. Ptolemy VI managed to convince Ptolemy VIII that the charges were untrue and the two brothers appeared publicly together in the stadium, defusing the crisis. Dionysius fled the city and convinced some military contingents to mutiny.Heavy fighting took place in the Fayyum over the next year. Apparently completely separately, another rebellion broke out simultaneously in the Thebaid - the latest in a series of rebellions that had tempted to overthrow the Ptolemies and re-establish native Egyptian rule. Ptolemy VI successfully suppressed the rebellion after a bitter siege at Panopolis.
Owing to the preceding years of conflict, many farms had been abandoned, threatening the government's agricultural revenue. In autumn 165 BC, the Ptolemies issued a royal decree On Agriculture to deal with this problem. This decree attempted to force land back into cultivation but was very unpopular and prompted widespread protests.A new branch of government, the Idios Logos (Special Account) was established to manage estates that had become royal property as a result of confiscation or abandonment.
Late in 164 BC,probably not long after Ptolemy VI had returned from the south, Ptolemy VIII, who was now about twenty years old, somehow expelled Ptolemy VI and Cleopatra II from power - the exact course of events is not known. Ptolemy VI fled to Rome for help, travelling with only a eunuch and three servants. In Rome, he seems to have received nothing. From there he moved on to Cyprus, which remained under his control.
In summer 163 BC, the people of Alexandria rioted against Ptolemy VIII, expelling him in turn and recalling Ptolemy VI. Ptolemy VI decided to come to an agreement with his younger brother and granted him control of Cyrenaica. This may have been done at the instigation of a pair of Roman agents present in Alexandria at the time. Egypt fell under the joint rule of Ptolemy VI and Cleopatra II, who ruled as an equal pair and were mentioned together in all official documents. This system of co-rule would be the norm for most of the rest of the Ptolemaic dynasty. The co-rule was inaugurated by an amnesty decree and a royal visit to Memphis to celebrate the Egyptian new year festival.
Ptolemy VIII was not satisfied with Cyrenaica and went to Rome in late 163 or early 162 BC to request help. The Senate agreed that the division was unfair, declaring that Ptolemy VIII ought to receive Cyprus as well. Titus Manlius Torquatus and Gnaeus Cornelius Merula were sent as envoys to force Ptolemy VI to concede this, but he procrastinated and obfuscated. On their return to Rome at the end of 162 BC, they convinced the Roman Senate to abandon their alliance with Ptolemy VI and to grant Ptolemy VIII permission to use force to take control of Cyprus.The Senate offered him no actual support in this endeavour and Cyprus remained in Ptolemy VI's hands.
In 162 BC, Ptolemy VI was also involved in a scheme to destabilise the Seleucid kingdom. His agents in Rome helped a Seleucid prince, Demetrius I Soter, escape from captivity and return to Syria to seize control of the Seleucid empire from the under-age king Antiochus V Eupator. Once Demetrius was in power, however, their interests began to diverge and the prospect of war between the two kingdoms returned.In 158 or 154 BC, Ptolemy VI's governor of Cyprus, Archias, attempted to sell the island to Demetrius for 500 talents, but he was caught and hanged himself before this plot came to fruition.
In 154 BC, after surviving an assassination attempt which he blamed on his brother, Ptolemy VIII again appealed for assistance against his brother to the Roman Senate which agreed to send a second embassy, led by Gnaeus Cornelius Merula and Lucius Minucius Thermus, equipped with troops, in order to enforce the transfer of Cyprus to his control.In response, Ptolemy VI besieged his younger brother at Lapethus and captured him, with the help of the Cretan League. He persuaded Ptolemy VIII to withdraw from Cyprus, in exchange for continued possession of Cyrenaica, an annual payment of grain, and a promise of marriage to one of his infant daughters (probably Cleopatra Thea) once she came of age.
As a result of the conflict with his brother, Ptolemy VI made particular efforts to advance his eldest son Ptolemy Eupator as heir. The young prince was made priest of Alexander and the royal cult in 158 BC, when he was only eight years old. At age fourteen, in spring 152 BC, Ptolemy Eupator was promoted to full co-regent alongside his parents, but he died in autumn of the same year. This left the succession very uncertain, since Ptolemy's remaining son was very young. He began advancing his daughter, Cleopatra III, formerly deifying her in 146 BC.
A new claimant to the Seleucid throne, Alexander I Balas, appeared in 153 BC. John Grainger proposes that Ptolemy VI provided Alexander with financial backing, naval transport, and secured Ptolemais Akko as a landing base for him. He argues that Alexander's chancellor Ammonius should be seen as a Ptolemaic agent.There is however no explicit evidence for this, and Boris Chrubasik presents Alexander's initial successes as accomplished without any Ptolemaic involvement, and challenges the identification of Ammonius as an Egyptian in particular. At any rate, an agreement between the kings was sealed in 150 BC, when Ptolemy VI married his teenage daughter Cleopatra Thea to Alexander in a ceremony at Ptolemais Akko.
By May 146 BC, however, Ptolemy was gathering troops and in 145 BC Ptolemy VI invaded Syria while Alexander was putting down a rebellion in Cilicia. Ptolemy passed through Judaea from Alexander's vassal Jonathan Maccabee. Ostensibly, Ptolemy acted in support of Alexander against the latest claimant of the Seleucid throne, Demetrius II. In practice, Ptolemy's intervention came at a heavy cost; he took control of all the Seleucid cities along the coast, including Seleucia Pieria.He may also have started minting his own coinage in the Syrian cities.
While he was at Ptolemais Akko, however, Ptolemy switched sides. According to Josephus, Ptolemy discovered that Alexander's chancellor, Ammonius, had been plotting to assassinate him, but when he demanded that Ammonius be punished, Alexander refused.Ptolemy remarried his daughter to Demetrius II and continued his march northward. The commanders of Antioch, Diodotus and Hierax, surrendered the city to Ptolemy and crowned him king of Asia. For a short period, documents referred to him as King of Egypt and Asia. However, fearing that a unification of the Ptolemaic and Seleucid kingdoms would lead to Roman intervention, Ptolemy decided to abandon the title. Instead, he limited himself to annexing Coele Syria and pledged to serve as a "tutor in goodness and guide" to Demetrius II.
Alexander returned from Cilicia with his army, but Ptolemy VI and Demetrius II defeated his forces at the Oenoparas river.Alexander then fled to Arabia, where he was killed. His decapitated head was brought to Ptolemy. For the first time since the death of Alexander the Great, Egypt and Syria were united. However, Ptolemy had been wounded in the battle and he died three days later. By late 145, Demetrius II had expelled all Ptolemaic troops from Syria and reasserted Seleucid control by leading his own forces all the way down to the Egyptian border. Ptolemy VI seems to have intended for his seven-year-old son, also called Ptolemy, to succeed him, but instead the Alexandrians decided to invite Ptolemy VIII to assume the throne.
Like his predecessors, Ptolemy VI fully embraced his role as Egyptian Pharaoh and maintained a mutually beneficial relationship with the traditional Egyptian priesthood. In particular, he maintained close ties with the worship of Ptah and Apis at Memphis. Ptolemy and Cleopatra seem to have visited Memphis and stayed in the Serapeum there for the Egyptian New Year festival every year. During these visits, Ptolemy personally made the ritual temple offerings expected of the Pharaoh.
In summer 161 BC, Ptolemy VI and Cleopatra II gathered a synod of all the priests of Egypt in order to pass a decree granting tax relief and other benefactions to the priests in exchange for cultic honours in Egyptian temples - part of a series of decrees that had been issued under each of his predecessors, going back to Ptolemy III. The decree survives only on one fragmentary stele known as CG 22184.Other inscriptions record specific benefactions made at various points during the reign. In September 157 BC, Ptolemy affirmed the grant of all the tax revenue from the Dodecaschoenus region to the Temple of Isis at Philae, first made by his predecessor. The grant is recorded in the Dodecaschoenus decree. Around 145 BC, he granted the tribute from a Nubian leader to the priests of Mandulis at Philae.
The Jewish historian Josephus emphasises Ptolemy VI's personal interest in the Jews and their well being.There had been a Jewish community in Egypt since at least the fifth century BC and it had grown significantly since the establishment of Ptolemaic control over Jerusalem in 311 BC. By Ptolemy VI's reign, Jews had long been incorporated into the Ptolemaic army, and they enjoyed various privileges comparable to those possessed by Greeks and Macedonians in Egyp. A large group of new Jewish immigrants arrived in Egypt in the 160s BC, fleeing civil conflict with the Maccabees. This group was led by Onias IV, son of a former high priest who had been deposed by the Seleucids. Ptolemy VI permitted them to settle at Leontopolis, which became known as the Land of Onias, and to establish a temple with Onias as High Priest. The place is still known as Tell al-Jahudija (Hill of the Jews) today. Onias was also granted an important military position and his family became prominent members of the royal court. In Alexandria the Jews had their own quarter of the city with its own politeuma - a kind of self-governing community within the city, led by their own ethnarch. It is likely that this politeuma was established under Ptolemy VI.
Until the reign of Ptolemy IV, the Ptolemies had controlled the region south of Aswan to the second cataract, which was known as the Triacontaschoenus or Lower Nubia and included rich gold mines. Throughout the 160s and 150s BC, Ptolemy VI reasserted Ptolemaic control over the northern part of Nubia. This achievement is heavily advertised at the Temple of Isis at Philae, which was granted the tax revenues of the Dodecaschoenus region in 157 BC. Decorations on the first pylon of the Temple of Isis at Philae emphasise the Ptolemaic claim to rule the whole of Nubia. The aforementioned inscription regarding the priests of Mandulis shows that some Nubian leaders at least were paying tribute to the Ptolemaic treasury in this period. In order to secure the region, the strategos of Upper Egypt, Boethus, founded two new cities, named Philometris and Cleopatra in honour of the royal couple.
Ptolemy VI Philometor married his sister Cleopatra II in 173 BC, and they had the following issue:
|Ptolemy Eupator||15 October 166 BC||August 152 BC||Briefly co-regent with his father in 152 BC.|
|Cleopatra Thea||c. 164 BC||121/0 BC||Married in succession to the Seleucid kings Alexander I, Demetrius II, and Antiochus VII.|
|Cleopatra III||160-155 BC?||September 101 BC||Married her uncle Ptolemy VIII, ruled as senior co-regent with her sons Ptolemy IX and Ptolemy X from 116/5-101 BC.|
|Ptolemy||c. 152 BC||130 BC?||Sometimes identified with the shadowy Ptolemy Neos Philopator, who was briefly a juniorco-regent in the 130s BC.|
|Berenice||160s BC?||Before 133 BC||Briefly engaged to Attalus III of Pergamum, her parentage and even her membership of the Ptolemaic dynasty is entirely hypothetical.|
Alexander I Theopator Euergetes, surnamed Balas, was the ruler of the Greek Seleucid kingdom in 150/Summer 152 – August 145 BC. Alexander defeated Demetrius I Soter for the crown in 150 BC. Ruling briefly, he lost the crown to Demetrius II Nicator during his defeat at the Battle of Antioch in Syria, dying shortly after.
Ptolemy III Euergetes was the third king of the Ptolemaic dynasty in Egypt from 246 to 222 BC. The Ptolemaic Kingdom reached the height of its power during his reign.
Ptolemy IV Philopator, son of Ptolemy III and Berenice II, was the fourth Pharaoh of Ptolemaic Egypt from 221 to 204 BC.
Demetrius II, called Nicator, was one of the sons of Demetrius I Soter possibly by Laodice V, as was his brother Antiochus VII Sidetes. He ruled the Seleucid Empire for two periods, separated by a number of years of captivity in Hyrcania in Parthia: first from September 145 BC to July/August 138 BC and again from 129 BC until his death in 125 BC. His brother Antiochus VII ruled the Seleucid Empire in the interim between his two reigns.
Demetrius III Theos Philopator Soter Philometor Euergetes Callinicus was a Hellenistic Seleucid monarch who reigned as the King of Syria between 96 and 87 BC. He was a son of Antiochus VIII and, most likely, his Egyptian wife Tryphaena. Demetrius III's early life was spent in a period of civil war between his father and his uncle Antiochus IX, which ended with the assassination of Antiochus VIII in 96 BC. After the death of their father, Demetrius III took control of Damascus while his brother Seleucus VI prepared for war against Antiochus IX, who occupied the Syrian capital Antioch.
Cleopatra I Syra was a princess of the Seleucid Empire, Queen of Ptolemaic Egypt by marriage to Ptolemy V of Egypt, and regent of Egypt during the minority of their son, Ptolemy VI, from her husband’s death in 180 BC until her own death in 176 BC.
Cleopatra II was a queen of Ptolemaic Egypt who ruled from 175 to 116 BC with two successive brother-husbands and her daughter—often in rivalry with her brother Ptolemy VIII.
Diodotus was a king of the Hellenistic Seleucid Empire. Initially an official under King Alexander I Balas, he led a revolt against Alexander's successor Demetrius II Nicator in 144 BC. He rapidly gained control of most of Syria and the Levant. At first he acted as regent and tutor for Alexander's infant son Antiochus VI Dionysus, but after the death of his charge in 142/141 BC, Diodotus declared himself king. He took the royal name Tryphon Autocrator and distanced himself from the Seleucid dynasty. For a period between 139 and 138, he was the sole ruler of the Seleucid empire. However, in 138 BC Demetrius II's brother Antiochus VII Sidetes invaded Syria and brought his rule to an end.
Alexander II Theos Epiphanes Nikephoros was a Hellenistic Seleucid monarch who reigned as the King of Syria between 128 BC and 123 BC. His true parentage is debated; most ancient historians and the modern academic consensus maintain he was a pretender who claimed to be a Seleucid, either a son of Alexander I or an adopted son of Antiochus VII. His surname "Zabinas" is a Semitic name that is usually translated as "the bought one". It is possible, however, that Alexander II was a natural son of Alexander I, as the surname can also mean "bought from the god". The iconography of Alexander II's coinage indicates he based his claims to the throne on his descent from Antiochus IV, the father of Alexander I.
Antiochus X Eusebes Philopator was a Hellenistic Seleucid monarch who reigned as the King of Syria between 95 BC and 92 BC or 89/88 BC. He was the son of Antiochus IX and perhaps his Egyptian wife Cleopatra IV. He lived in a period during which there was a general disintegration of Seleucid Syria characterized by civil wars, foreign interference by Ptolemaic Egypt and incursions by the Parthians. Antiochus IX was killed in 95 BC at the hands of Seleucus VI, the son of his half-brother and rival Antiochus VIII. Antiochus X then went to the city of Aradus where he declared himself king. He avenged his father by defeating Seleucus VI, who was eventually killed.
Antiochus VIII Epiphanes/Callinicus/Philometor, nicknamed Grypus, was the ruler of the Syrian Seleucid Empire from 125 to 96 BC. He was the younger son of Demetrius II and Cleopatra Thea. He may have spent his early life in Athens and returned to Syria after the deaths of his father and brother Seleucus V. At first he was joint ruler with his mother. Fearing her influence, Antiochus VIII had Cleopatra Thea poisoned in 121 BC.
Cleopatra VI Tryphaena was an Egyptian Ptolemaic queen. She may be identical with Cleopatra V.
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 II, commonly nicknamed Lathyros, reigned twice as king of Ptolemaic Egypt. He took the throne after the death of his father Ptolemy VIII in 116 BC, in joint rule with his mother Cleopatra III.
Cleopatra Selene was the monarch of Syria as Cleopatra II Selene. She was the daughter of Ptolemy VIII of Egypt by Cleopatra III, in whose political manoeuvrers Cleopatra Selene, favoured by her mother, became a pawn. In 115 BC, Cleopatra III forced her son Ptolemy IX to divorce his sister-wife Cleopatra IV, and chose Cleopatra Selene as the new queen consort of Egypt. Tension between the king and his mother grew and ended with his expulsion from Egypt, leaving Cleopatra Selene behind; she probably then married the new king, her other brother Ptolemy X.
The Syrian Wars were a series of six wars between the Seleucid Empire and the Ptolemaic Kingdom of Egypt, successor states to Alexander the Great's empire, during the 3rd and 2nd centuries BC over the region then called Coele-Syria, one of the few avenues into Egypt. These conflicts drained the material and manpower of both parties and led to their eventual destruction and conquest by Rome and Parthia. They are briefly mentioned in the biblical Books of the Maccabees.
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.
Tryphaena was a Ptolemaic princess. She married the Seleucid king Antiochus VIII Grypus and was queen of Syria.
The Seleucid Dynastic Wars were a series of wars of succession that were fought between competing branches of the Seleucid Royal household for control of the Seleucid Empire. Beginning as a by-product of several succession crises that arose from the reigns of Seleucus IV Philopator and his brother Antiochus IV Epiphanes in the 170s and 160s, the wars typified the final years of the empire and were an important cause of its decline as a major power in the Near East and Hellenistic world. The last war ended with the collapse of the kingdom and its annexation by the Romans in 63 BC.
Ptolemy VI PhilometorBorn: c. 185 BC Died: 145 BC
Ptolemy V Epiphanes
| Ptolemaic King of Egypt |
with Cleopatra I
Ptolemy VIII Physcon
Ptolemy VIII Physcon
Ptolemy VIII Physcon
| Ptolemaic King of Egypt |
with Cleopatra II
Ptolemy VIII Physcon
Ptolemy VII Neos Philopator
Ptolemy VII Neos Philopator