Historical Women I: Ptolemaic Women from Berenial to Cleopatra
November 27 , 2012
Final Exam and Midterm:
Midterm marks will be given next week and discussion regarding it afterwards
- Final exam is cumulative!
- Similar to the midterms (definitions, short questions, and longer questions) but
with the addition of an essay at the end
- Essay very important chunk of the mark. Very open ended/broad. Bring in as
many aspects and important info you can to cover the topic.
- Choice of 3 topics to choose from (pick 1 from 3). Give yourself an hour to write
it. It is encouraged that you be creative with your style of essay, i.e. you can do a
dialogue discussing your thesis. However, you will NOT be downgraded if your
simply write a standard essay. So totally up to you!
1. Greek-Egyptian Queens
- 1 century BC
- Hellenistic time 236 BC
- Alexander the Great
o Real name: Alexander III of Macedon. Born in July 356 and died either
10/11 of June 323 BC
o Tutored by Aristotle until the age of 16
o By the age of thirty, he had created one of the largest empires of the ancient
worldstretching from the Ionian Sea to the Himalayas
o Invaded India
o *Image* Battle of Issus: 333BC
o Died very young (Alexander died in Babylon in 323 BC, without executing a
series of planned campaigns that would have begun with an invasion of
o He did not have an heir to take over his reign!
o In the years following his death, a series of civil wars tore his empire apart,
resulting in several states ruled by the Diadochi (pl; singular is Diadochus)
= Alexander's surviving generals and heirs.
Seleucids Near East
The Diadochi referred to themselves as kings in 306 BC
- Today’s Focus: Ptolemies
o *Image of the Ptolemy family tree (very large)* the family is unfortunately
(for us) not very creative in naming their offspring different names a lot of
For us, we only need to know 3 of the Ptolomies:
Ptolemy I Soter (323-283 BC) ―The saver‖
Ptolemy II Philadelphus (283-246 BC) ―The loving‖
1 Ptolemy III Euergetes (246-222 BC) ―the one who does good
- Musaeum: Greek Temple or "Place of the Muses", whence the term "museum"
o Located in Alexandria, Egypt
o It flourished under the patronage of the Ptolemaic dynasty and functioned
as a major center of scholarship (scholars would collect all the literature
they could attain) from its construction in the 3rd century BC until the
Roman conquest of Egypt in 30 BC.
o Plutarch (AD 46–120) wrote that during his visit to Alexandria in 48 BC
Julius Caesar accidentally burned the library down. As a result, we lost a lot
classical literature and works—thanks a lot Caesar!
- Ptolemy I Soter
o Founder of the Ptolemaic dynasty
o Ruled Egypt from 323 to 283 BC
o Deified together with his wife, Berenike, in 279 BC
Theoi Sotenes: god(theoi) savours (sotenes)
o Son from his previous marriage with Eurydice (daughter of Antipater):
o Children from his marriage with Berenike I: Ptolemy II Philadelphus and
o He was a mix of Egyptian Pharaoh and Basileus (Greek word for king)
o Greek poet
o Creator of bucolic (=Greek for pastor) poetry = pastoral poetry
o His collection of poems are called Idyll (derived from idyllia: forms)
o Idyll 17
panegyric = song of praise (usually for a person)
associated to Aphrodite
Acheron river in the Underworld ―she did not pass over
o Became a deity because she is faithful
- Ptolemy II Philadelphus
o Reigned from 283 to 246 BC
o Ptolemy's first married to Arsinoe I, daughter of Lysimachus (one of the
kings that ruled a part of the empire post Alexander the Great), was the
mother of his legitimate children:
Ptolemy III Euergetes, his successor *(you only need to know this
Berenice Phernopherus, married Antiochus II Theos, king of Syria.
2 o After her repudiation he married his full sister Arsinoe II, the widow of
Lysimachus, then of Ptolemaios Kerauros—this was an Egyptian custom—
which brought him her Aegean possessions.
o He and Arsinoe II came to be worshipped as the Theoi Adelphoi (=―sibling-
Incorporating Egyptian tradition of marrying siblings. In Greek culture,
half siblings could only marry if they had different mothers (okay if the