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Greek-Egyptian Queens.doc

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Regina Höschele

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 themselves - 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 Seleucus - 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 - 51 BC, becomes coregent with her little brother Ptolemy XIII when their father dies - 48 BC, becomes the lover of Julius Caesar and had a child, Caesarion - 46 - 44 BC, visits Rome with her child
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