Sunday, September 11, 2011



305 -30 BC


Ptolemy I
(Soter I)
Ptolemy II
Ptolemy III
(Euergetes I)
Ptolemy IV
Ptolemy V
gold coin of Ptolemy I

305 - 282
statue of Ptolemy II
285 - 246
Ptolemy III
246 - 222
Ptolemy IV or V
222 - 205
Ptolemy V
205 - 180
Alexander had no heirs but Ptolemy I had acted as governor for Alexander. After several battles with his generals he married a daughter of Nectanebo II to secure his claim to the throne. As Pharaoh, he embelished many temples including Dendera, Philae and Edfu and laid the foundations of the Lighthouse of Alexandria. One of Ptolemy I's sons by Berenice. He had a successful reign with the expansion of the Ptolemaic empire around the mediterranean, whilst keeping stability in Egypt. Succeeded to the throne at the age of 30, married the daughter of his half uncle, king of Cyrenaica. After the poisoning of his sister and nephew in Antioch he sought revenge by was on Babylonia for the next 5 years. On his return he began building the Temple at Edfu dedicated to Horus. During his reign Egypt prospered and he was succeeded by his son. Ptolemy IV led a corrupt life aided and abetted by a Greek friend. he had his mother and brother killed. He married his sister who produced an heir 7 years later, then married another woman who encouraged his excesses, which probably led to his death at 41. His conspirators appointed themselves guardian of his 5 year old son Ptolemy V. Ptolemy V became king at the age of 12 after being rescued by a general Tlepolemus who held the eastern frontiers, and killed the connspirators. Decrees, grants and taxes from this time are recorded on the Rossetta stone. He married Cleopatra I, daughter of Antichus the great of Syria and had 2 sons and a daughter.

Ptolemy VI
Ptolemy VII
(Neos Philopater)
Ptolemy VIII
(Euergetes II)
Ptolemy IX
Ptolemy X
(Alexander I)
Ptolemy VI
180 -164
163 - 145
black diorite head of Ptolemy VIII
170 - 163
145 - 116
clay seal of Ptolemy IX
116 - 110
109 - 107
88 - 80
clay seal of Ptolemy X
110 - 109
107 - 88
Became king at around the same age as his father with his mother acting as regent who then declared war on Antiochus IV. Ptolemy was taken prisoner so the Egyptians declared his younger brother Ptolemy Euergetes and sister Cleopatra as king and queen. The Ptolemys asked for Rome's help to get rid of Antiochus and eventually they were successful and Ptolemy VI was reconfirmed as king and his brother Ptolemy VIII Euergetes, made king of Cyrenacia. After another 25 peaceful years Ptolemy VI went to war with Syria and was killed in battle. After Ptolemy VI's death, Cleopatra was left in Alexandria with the heir Ptolemy VII. Ptolemy Euergetes saw his chance to get back to Egypt and married his sister Cleopatra. As soon as she provided him with an heir he had his stepson, nephew Ptolemy VII killed. Euergetes now married his niece, also Cleopatra (III) who shared position of queen with Cleopatra II. He was disliked and fled to Cyprus with Cleopatra III. He had his son,Memphites, by Cleopatra II killed. He eventually returned to Egypt and Cleoopatra II fled. Cleopatra III inherited Egypt through Euergetes will and her 2 sons ruled with her. Ptolemy IX began building the temple of Hathor at Dendera. He was accused of plotting to murder his mother so fled to Cyprus.

On the death of Ptolemy X he returned to the throne but had no male heir. His daughter Berenice needed a male consort so she was married to a Nephew Ptolemy XI, Alexander II
The younger son of Cleopatra III took over the throne when his brother Ptolemy IX fled to Cyprus but he was not popular with the Egyptians and was killed at sea.

Ptolemy XI
(Alexander II)
Ptolemy XII
Neos Dionysos)
Queen Berenice IV
Queen Cleopatra VII
Ptolemy XV
Ptolemy XI Alexander II
80 - 58
55 - 51
Queen Berenice
58 - 55
coin from Cleopatra VII
51 - 30
Cleopatra presenting her son Caesarion to gods at Dendera
36 - 30
Ptolemy XI did not like his cousin, wife Berenice so decided to rule alone and had her murdered but she had been popular and the people lynched him after a 19 day reign. The only male descendant of Ptolemy I was an illegitimate son of Ptolemy IX so he was declared king. To legitimise his position he married his sister Tryphaena. He also sought Rome's approval but he was not popular with the Egyptians because of high taxes and was driven out of the country and exiled to Rome. The only heir left was daughter of Ptolemy XII, Berenice. Needing a male consort she was married to a cousin but she had him strangled within the week and married Archelaus. They ruled for 4 years but were plotted against by Ptolemy XII who had them killed and returned to Egypt, backed by Rome and ruled for 4 years. Records tell that he was neither courageous nor religious even though his reliefs were carved on the temples of Edfu and Philae. As Ptolemy's daughter Cleopatra, aged 17,was to succeed him providing she married her eldest brother Ptolemy XIII. He planned to murder her but she escaped in time and returned with an army, although they did not fight. Caesar arrived in Alexandria and chose Cleopatra to rule. Ptolemy unsuccessfully beseiged the Romans and was drowned in the attack. Cleopatra then married her younger brother, Ptolemy XIV and bore him a son, Ptolemy XV Caesarion, who Caesar claimed as his own. She used Caesar and Anthony to secure her rule of Egypt. After Caesar's assassination, Cleopatra fearing for her life in Rome, returned to Alexandria and claimed her 4 year old son Caesarian as her co-regent.
Cleopatra became Anthony's lover and bore him twins. He used her to gain the wealth of Egypt and proclaimed himself Dionysus to fulfill his dream of Greco-Roman rule. Anthony divorced his wife Octavia and his brother in law Octavian declared war on Anthony and Cleopatra. Anthony was defeated and committed suicide. Cleopatra was taken prisoner and she also committed suicide and her son Caesarian was murdered.

Cleopatra was the last Egyptian Pharaoh and Roman Emperors then came in to rule Egypt. Although the Ptolemies were Macedonian they ruled as Egyptians, following their laws and religious customs.

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