Ptolemaic dynasty

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The Ptolemaic dynasty was a Hellenistic royal family which ruled over Egypt for nearly 300 years, from 305 BC to 30 BC.

Ptolemy, a Macedonian and one of Alexander the Great's generals, was appointed satrap of Egypt after Alexander's death in 323 BC. In 305 BC, he declared himself King Ptolemy I, later known as "Soter" (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.

All the male rulers of the dynasty took the name Ptolemy. Ptolemaic queens, some of whom were the sisters of their husbands, were usually 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 suicide at the conquest by Rome marked the end of Ptolemaic rule in Egypt.

Ptolemaic rulers and consorts

The dates in brackets are regnal dates for the kings. They frequently ruled jointly with their wives, who were often also their sisters. Several queens exercised regal authority, but the most famous and successful was Cleopatra VII (51 BC-30 BC), with her two brothers and her son as successive nominal co-rulers. Several systems exist for numbering the later rulers; the one used here is the one most widely used by modern scholars. Dates are years of reign.

Other members of the Ptolemaic dynasty

  • Ptolemy Keraunos (died 279 BC) - eldest son of Ptolemy I Soter. Eventually became king of Macedon.
  • Ptolemy Apion (died 96 BC) - son of Ptolemy VIII Physcon. Made king of Cyrenaica. Bequeathed Cyrenaica to Rome.
  • Ptolemy Philadelphus (born 36 BC) - son of Mark Antony and Cleopatra VII.
  • Ptolemy of Mauretania (died AD 40) - son of Juba II of Mauretania and Cleopatra Selene (II), daughter of Cleopatra VII and Mark Antony. King of Mauretania and an ally of Rome. He had a sister, whose name is unknown, and was probably the father of Drusilla, wife of Felix, procurator of Judea.

See also

External links

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