CLA219H1 Lecture Notes - Ptolemy Iii Euergetes, Berenice Ii Of Egypt, Seleucus I Nicator

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Published on 16 Oct 2011
School
UTSG
Department
Classics
Course
CLA219H1
November 25, 2010
Hellenistic Queens and Courtesans
The prohibition for mentioning the name of a respectable woman in public is ONLY in
effect in Athens in the Classical period (in the 4th and 5th centuries BC).
-It seemed to be an issue of her name being mentioned in specifically male spheres (like
in court, or in the assembly)
Exam tip: pay close attention to WHERE things are happening…as sometimes customs
and practices differ per location
Hellinistic – from Greek/by Greek/etc.
Many important changes occurred during the Hellenistic era
Many had direct effects on the status of women
Some of these changes were truly new, and a result of the new wealth and areas under
Greek control, and of the imposition of absolute monarchies on the Greeks
Some things that looked like changes (including an increase in the value of a private
life for men) were really the intensification of changes that had started in the Classical
era
Overall, in the Hellenistic era, there were more opportunities for women to act
independently, and have a role in the public life of their cities
For a few individual women in the Hellenistic era, there were opportunities to act
in the larger public and military life in the state level
Officially begins in 323 BCE with the death of Alexander the Great
The roots of many of the changes in this era occurred during his lifetime
Born the son of the king of Macedonia—Phillip—in the city of Pella in Northern
Greece
Claimed throne of Macedon after his father’s assassination in 336 BC
Over the next 13 years, expanded kingdom outwards: all of Greece, Egypt, former
Persian empire, along the Black Sea, and as far as Pakistan and India
Alexander’s conquests brought an unpresidented amount of territory under the rule of
a single man
Meant the imposition of a single monarchy over all of Greece, which previously had
been ruled by a number of small types of individual government, including some
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small types of monarchies, some democracies, some oligarchies (rule of a few,
aristocratic governments).
Established Greek cities everywhere he went—did not just conquer then leave
Through the foundation of cities, he spread Greek culture and Greek language
Probably most famous foundation was in EgyptAlexandria
»Later became the scientific, literary, and commercial centre of the Greek
world
Meaning the centre of the Greek world moved OUT of Greece, and to
Egypt
The spread of Greek culture and civic life, not to mention the spread of economic
opportunities for Greece, made them a more cosmopolitan people than ever before,
and opened them up to much more interaction from other cultures
The widespread movement of individuals after this was set up caused a certain
breakdown of traditional structures
People were no longer living their whole lives where they were born
Before this, a Greek`s life was based on their home, family and city; with more
movement going down, the ties that they had with their birth families and cities
were weakened, and new ties had to come up in their place
Some of these breakdowns of traditional structures are those that kept women in
the private sphere, and tied to their families
While there was much more change for men, there was also a certain amount of
change (and gain in freedom) for women
Alexander’s early death left the kingdom in shambles—there was no clear heir
His wife was pregnant at the time—but this child (son) couldn’t rule
Alexander had a half-brother, who was too mentally-challenged to rule.
Initially, there were regents set up for Alexander’s son and half-brother, but
neither of these ended up working out as both were killed in the ensuing conflicts
after Alex`s death
Eventually through negotiation, fighting, and takeover, 3 separate kingdoms
emerged
»Seleucid Kingdom
»Antigonid Kingdom
»Ptolemaic Kingdom
Names of the kingdoms come from the names of the founding rules of their
dynasty
All this was established by 281 BC
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Antigonid Dynasty
Centred in European possessions of Alexander
Antigonis—general of Alexander the Great
Was killed in battle, but his heir, Demetrius, continued the kingdom
Shortest-lasting of these dynasties, came into conflict with Rome in the second
century, in one of the Punic wars
Defeated by Romans and became a Roman province in 149 BCE
Seleucid Dynasty
Asian territories of Alexander, particularly the old Persian Empire
Founded by a general, Seleucis
Largest and most diverse of Hellenistic kingdoms
Plagued with invasions, revolts, and dynastic struggles throughout its existence
Defeated by Roman, Pompeii the Great, and became a Roman province
Followed Alexander`s practise of promoting the settlement of Greeks in new
cities, with all the features of a Greek city, including temples, gymnasiums, and
theatres
Many ruins of Greek cities in this area, even today
»Cities often populated by veteran soldiers (security)
»Promoted trade, and spread of Greek culture
Ptolemaic Dynasty/Kingdom (306 BCE – 30 BC)
Was longest-lasting of these
Egypt produced some of the most interesting, powerful, and sometimes deadly
Queens
Early Ptolemaic period was characterized by major changes and reforms in
Egyptian society
Growth of two Greek cities, Alexandria and Ptolemaius, were 2 most impressive
developments of the period.
Deification of the dynastic figure-heads
»The very first in the Ptolemaic dynasty, Ptolemy I and Berenice I were
honoured/worshipped as savour-gods
»Deification of the dynasty was begun by their son, Ptolemy II, who also began
a festival called the Ptolemaea
»Reinforcing the right of the ruling family to rule over Egypt by having them
worshipped in religion
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Document Summary

The prohibition for mentioning the name of a respectable woman in public is only in effect in athens in the classical period (in the 4th and 5th centuries bc). It seemed to be an issue of her name being mentioned in specifically male spheres (like in court, or in the assembly) Exam tip: pay close attention to where things are happening as sometimes customs and practices differ per location. Many important changes occurred during the hellenistic era. Many had direct effects on the status of women. Some of these changes were truly new, and a result of the new wealth and areas under. Greek control, and of the imposition of absolute monarchies on the greeks. Some things that looked like changes (including an increase in the value of a private life for men) were really the intensification of changes that had started in the classical era.

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