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CLA219H1 Lecture Notes - Diadochi, Antigonid Dynasty, Brindisi

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Regina Höschele

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Lecture 10 (11/26/12):
Greek - Egyptian Queens
- The sources of evidence for real historical women is very biased, the authors have an
ulterior motive and express male viewpoints
- Looking at the 4th - 1st century BC, the Ptolemaic pharaohs and the rule of Rome
- No direct heir to Alexander when he died, the generals split the kingdom among
- Diadochi: Greek for successors, the rival generals who took over Alexander's empire
when he died
- Ptolemies: The Greek rulers of Egypt, named after the general Ptolemy
- Ptolemaic: Of the Ptolemies
- Antigonids: The Greek rulers of the Macedon after Alexander's death, named after the
general Antigonus
- Seleucids: The Greek rulers of the Near East (Persia), named after the general
- During the rule of Ptolemies I - III Alexandria became the cultural centre of the world
(3rd century BC)
- The Library of Alexandria was built and the collection of Greek literature begins (start of
literary scholarship)
- Ptolemy Soter is the founder of the Ptolemaic line, ruled from 323 - 283 BC, he and his
second wife Berenike were deified after their death
- He had a son with Eurydice: Ptolemaios Kerounos
- His other children are Ptolemy II Philadelphus and Arsinoe II
- Ruled in the double nature of Egyptian pharaoh and Greek Basileus
- Ptolemaic games started in 282 BC, 279 BC started on the four year cycle, important
cultural event with sports, music, drama, etc
- Theocritus is a bucolic poet, wrote some poems without bucolic themes (Idyll 17 is a
panegyric poem)
- Bucolic: Poems about shepherds, simple and idealistic. Also called Pastoral
- Panegyric: A poem of praise
- Berenike is made a goddess under the patronage of Aphrodite because of her
faithfulness (Idyll 17)
- Ptolemy II Philadelphus (283 - 246 BC) is married to Arsinoe daughter of Lysimachus
and they have a son Ptolemy III Euergetes
- Later he is married to Arsinoe II, his sister and the former wife of both Lysimachus and
Ptolemaios Kerounos
- She flees after the death of Lysimachus to marry Kerounos her half brother, who
conspires against her so she flees to her brother Ptolemy II who kicks out Arsinoe I and
marries his full sister
- In Greece you could only marry half siblings if they were not related maternally but
Egyptians could marry siblings
- Arsinoe II is deified after her death in 270 BC, associated and eventually equivocated
with Aphrodite and portrayed with many gods
- Ptolemy III Euergetes (246 - 222 BC) married to Berenike II, a cousin but passed off as
a sister
- A lock of Berenike II hair was turned into a constellation
- A common theme of Hellenistic poetry is dealing with the unknown and things that
haven't been written about before
- Cleopatra VII Philopater (69 - 30 BC) daughter of Ptolemy XII Actetes
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