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Chapter X
This webpage reproduces part of
The House of Ptolemy

by E. R. Bevan

published by Methuen Publishing, London,
1927

The text is in the public domain.

This page has been carefully proofread
and I believe it to be free of errors.
If you find a mistake though,
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Chapter XII

p326 Chapter XI

Ptolemy VIII Soter II and Ptolemy IX Alexander I
(116‑80 B.C.)

Ptolemy VII Euergetes II left behind him the niece whom he had married, Cleopatra III, two sons, Ptolemy and Ptolemy Alexander, and three daughters, Cleopatra Tryphaena, the queen of Syria, a second Cleopatra, who was married to her brother the elder Ptolemy (Cleopatra IV) and Cleopatra Selene. He also left a natural son, probably by his concubine Irene, Ptolemy Apion. On the death of Euergetes a strange will was produced which showed that the old king had cared more to gratify the individuals made dear to him by his lusts than to safeguard the integrity of the great estate of the house of Ptolemy. He broke up again the unity of the realm by bequeathing the Cyrenaica to Ptolemy Apion, who was probably already installed there as viceroy, and he bequeathed the throne of Egypt to Cleopatra III, giving her the power to associate with herself as joint-sovereign whichever of her sons she preferred. Cleopatra III, officially styled Thea Euergetis so long as she was her uncle's queen,1 and now styled, as her mother had been, Thea Philometor Soteira — perhaps nicknamed by the Alexandrines Kokkē2 — now comes into the foreground. Whilst her mother lived, all that we can say of her is that she held her own, as her mother's rival, in the affections of her horrible uncle; now the third of the Cleopatras was to play a part in her turn as principal.

p327 The older son of Euergetes and Cleopatra III, a young man of twenty-five or so, was probably residing in Cyprus when his father died.3 It was the younger, Alexander, whom Cleopatra wished to make king, either because she cared for him more, or because she thought he would not, as king, be able to assert his will so effectively against hers. But in questions of succession to the throne in old Macedonia the national army seems to have had the determining power, and the people of Alexandria, who called themselves Macedonians, claimed a similar right in Egypt. Cleopatra found that her purpose to make Alexander king encountered vehement popular opposition, and she had to give way. The elder Ptolemy became king, as Ptolemy Philometor Soter, in conjunction with his mother, whose name was mentioned before his in official acts.4 From the time when Euergetes II assumed the same epithet as his ancestor Ptolemy III, the imagination of the Ptolemaic court in coining epithets seems to have run dry. Henceforward Ptolemaic kings and queens use only, in various combinations, the epithets already consecrated by previous use. When once the practice of using again the old epithets had been introduced by Euergetes II, the epithet of the great Founder of the dynasty could not fail soon to be reappropriated. The eighth Ptolemy is Soter II. His popular nickname was Lathyrus, "Chick-Pea"; what the point of the Alexandrine joke was we are never likely to know.

The young man was not at first in a position to withstand his mother. He could not resist even when she took away from him his sister-wife, Cleopatra IV, to whom, Justin says, he was very much attached, and compelled him to marry instead his younger sister Cleopatra Selene. The Aswan stele informs us that in the second year of his reign (September 20, 116 to September 19, 115 B.C.) Ptolemy visited Upper Egypt with his mother; in August they were at Elephantine and on the Ethiopian frontier. There is no mention of any queen-consort;5 if Cleopatra IV or Selene came with Ptolemy, she is, so far as we can tell by what remains p328of the inscription, ignored. The epistrategos of the Thebaïd at this moment is again a native Egyptian, Phommūs, who is mentioned in papyri of 111 B.C. as still holding this position.6

The queen-mother thought it prudent to get her younger son, Alexander, away from Egypt. He was installed as viceroy in Cyprus, and though he had officially the title of strategos of the island only, he seems to have regarded himself as, in effect, king: he reckoned later on as the first of his own regnal years the fourth year of his brother Soter II (114‑113) — the date presumably when his rule in Cyprus began. The ex‑queen-consort, Cleopatra IV, showed that she well deserved a place in the series of queens bearing that famous name. She was as ready to take a line against her mother as Cleopatra III had been to supplant Cleopatra II. She went off to Cyprus, to raise an army of her own there amongst the troops quartered in the island. What part Alexander took in the matter, whether Cleopatra intended (as Bouché-Leclercq supposes) to marry him and remain in Cyprus as an antagonist of her mother, whether Alexander encouraged her for a time and was then brought to heel once more by his mother, our sources do not allow us to say. In any case, Cleopatra IV did not stay in Cyprus. She departed with her army to Syria, to offer her hand and her troops to Antiochus IX, nicknamed Cyzicenus, who had driven out of Syria his cousin Antiochus VIII ("Grypus"), the husband of Cleopatra's elder sister Tryphaena. The war between the two Seleucid cousins now became a war also between the two Ptolemaic sisters. Cleopatra was in Antioch when the city was taken by Grypus, and she fled to the temple of Apollo at Daphne. Grypus, we are told, would have spared his sister-in‑law, but Tryphaena was implacable. As Cleopatra clung to the altar, her hands were hacked off, and she died calling curses on her sister's head (112 B.C.). A year later Tryphaena was captured by Cyzicenus and killed as a sacrifice to his wife's ghost (111 B.C.).7

An inscription from Paphos gives the copy of a letter, dated in the month Gorpiaeum, year 203 of the Seleucid era (August 109 B.C.), addressed by "king Antiochus" to "king p329Ptolemy Alexander," informing him that he has made Seleucia-in‑Pieria a free city.8 At that date Ptolemy Alexander seems, according to our other data, to have been still reigning in Cyprus. Which "king Antiochus" is the author of the letter is doubtful. Most modern authorities (including Dittenberger) take it to be Grypus; Bouché-Leclercq prefers Cyzicenus. Both at this time were fighting for the inheritance in Syria, and it is not known which was master of Seleucia.9

A papyrus of 112 B.C. shows us a Roman senator, Lucius Memmius, visiting Egypt, apparently for pleasure, to see the sights of the country.10 The papyrus consists of instructions issued by somebody — perhaps, as Wilcken thinks, the dioiketes — to a local official in the Fayûm, regarding the reception to be given to Memmius — a reception similar to that which would be given to a great dignitary of the kingdom — when he comes to see the Labyrinth, and the Lake, and the sacred crocodiles. Everything is to be got ready for his entertainment, including the food for the crocodiles. It is an incidental light upon the subservience to members of the Roman nobility which it was now thought politic to show in the kingdom of Ptolemy.

There are indications that, as time went on, Soter II managed to assert himself more against his mother. A papyrus of the year 6 (112‑111 B.C.)11 gives the queen-consort (Selene) in place of the queen-mother.

After 110 the head-dress of Isis disappears from the coinage of Cyrene, and the double cornucopiae from that of Egypt. In Soter's tenth year (autumn 108 to autumn 107 B.C.), Cleopatra tried to regain her power by a coup d'état. She accused Soter of trying to murder her, and so worked on the feelings of the Alexandrine mob that Soter fled overseas. Cleopatra summoned Ptolemy Alexander from Cyprus to take his place in Egypt. Soter's wife Selene and his two sons remained in Egypt in Cleopatra's hands. Cleopatra, with p330her second son, continued the official style of her joint-reign with her elder son: the couple were now "Queen Cleopatra and Ptolemy the son, called Alexander, Mother-loving Gods, Saviours" (theoi Philometores Soteres).

Cleopatra had not intended "Chick-Pea" to escape. She sent forces to Cyprus to capture him, but Soter found refuge in Seleucia-in‑Pieria. Thence he returned and established himself securely in Cyprus. It appeared that the forces sent from Egypt would not fight against the elder Ptolemy, and Cleopatra had to reconcile herself to seeing the son she hated king, beyond her power to dislodge, in a Ptolemaic dependency.

But the war between mother and son found a field of contact in Syria. Conditions in that distracted country were more confused than ever — Antiochus Grypus king in Damascus; Antiochus Cyzicenus king in Northern Syria; Palestine, for which the houses of Ptolemy and Seleucus had fought so long, now fallen almost entirely to the Jewish king, Alexander Jannaeus; the Greek and Philistine cities on the coast maintaining what independence they could by attaching themselves to one or other of the contending princes. To make a further complication, Soter plunged into Palestine from Cyprus, and Cleopatra III from Egypt — Soter as the ally of Cyzicenus, and Cleopatra as the ally of Grypus and of the Jewish king. Cleopatra, like her uncle Philometor and like her mother Cleopatra II, leant much upon the Jewish element in Egypt, and the army with which she entered Palestine was commanded by two Jewish generals, Chelkias and Ananias, sons of the high priest Onias, who had built the temple at Leontopolis. Cleopatra Selene, the ex‑wife of Soter, went, by her mother's orders, to take the place of her dead sister Tryphaena, as the wife of Antiochus Grypus. In view of contingencies Cleopatra deposited a quantity of treasure and "her grandchildren" in the sanctuary of Asklepios at Cos. One of these grandchildren was apparently the young Ptolemy Alexander, a son of Alexander I; who the others were we do not know (Bouché-Leclercq conjectures children of Soter and Selene). Of the vicissitudes of the war in Palestine we need not speak; it all ended in nothing, so far as the house of Ptolemy was concerned; Soter went back about 102 B.C. to Cyprus, and Cleopatra to Egypt. For a moment it appears that Cleopatra thought of overthrowing Alexander Jannaeus, and recovering Coele-Syria once more after all these years for the house of Ptolemy; but Ananias warned her that p331to attempt to do so would make all the Jews everywhere her enemies, and she did not dare to risk that.

Cleopatra did not live long after her futile operations in Palestine. She died some time between September 16 and October 31, 101 B.C.,12 not far short of sixty.

The Greek historical tradition (Justin, Pausanias, Athenaeus) alleged that Alexander had his mother killed, and Justin has a story about how the Alexandrine populace rose forthwith in indignation, drove out Alexander, and called back Soter. But as the expulsion of Alexander did not take place until twelve years later, Justin (or Trogus, whom he abbreviates) is once again aiming at dramatic effect in disregard of the facts. Whether Cleopatra III really died by the order of her son must remain doubtful.

The name of the queen-mother disappears from the dating of documents, and Ptolemy Alexander's name is now coupled with that of his queen-consort, Berenice III, the daughter of his brother, Ptolemy Soter. She has the style "Queen Berenice, Brother-loving Goddess" (Thea Philadelphus), though Alexander and Berenice, when coupled together, are "Mother-loving Gods." The first document, amongst those so far discovered, to give Berenice's name, is a papyrus of date, October 31, 101 B.C.13 If Berenice's mother was Cleopatra IV, she may have been as old as nineteen or twenty in 101; if, on the other hand, her mother was Selene, she cannot have been more than thirteen. At some later date, when Berenice had borne Ptolemy Alexander children, the royal family visited Upper Egypt and left a record of their homage to Isis in the great temple at Philae.14

p332 The reign of Ptolemy Alexander in Egypt after the death of his mother (101‑89 B.C.) is a blank for us. We have four Greek inscriptions from the Fayûm, belonging to these years.15 Two of them record the endowment of the temple of the Egyptian crocodile god Sebek (Sebek-en‑paï, "Sebek-of-the‑Island," transcribed by the Greeks as Sochnopaios) with an annual offering of cornº by officials (with Greek names) connected with the collection of the taxes in corn in one of the divisions (the "Meris of Heraclides") in the nome. They are dated 97‑96 and November 95 B.C. respectively. The other two record the dedication to Sebek, by Greeks who had been connected with some local gymnasium, of the meeting-place or practising-ground (topos) belonging to their band (hairesis). The students (ephēboi) of the same year at a gymnasium were organized in these bands, called after their leaders, which remained a bond of fellowship in after-life. Here men who had been epheboi of the same year together in 113‑112 B.C. dedicate their topos on March 27, 98 B.C. The other dedication is of April 3, 95 A.D.º

In 96 an event occurred which marked a stage in the disintegration of the Ptolemaic realm. Ptolemy Apion, king of Cyrene, died and bequeathed his kingdom to the Roman People. It was the first bit of inheritance of the house of Ptolemy to be swallowed up by Rome. Rome did not immediately assume the government of this region. The five Greek cities of the Cyrenaica were allowed to mismanage their affairs as they pleased, for a season. Only Rome claimed for herself the royal domains and the yield of a tax on the medicinal plant silphium — a chief product of the country. Then in 74 B.C. the Cyrenaica was definitely made a Roman province. A quaestor pro praetore took the place in Cyrene of a prince of the great Macedonian family which had ruled here for two hundred and twenty-six years. The Ptolemies who still reigned in Egypt had Rome for an inconvenient neighbour, 500 miles west of Alexandria.

By 89 B.C. Ptolemy Alexander had become exceedingly unpopular in Alexandria. We are told that, like his father, he was monstrously fat — unable to walk, when sober, except with an attendant on each side to support him, though when drunk, he could display extraordinary agility in indecent dances.16 The army turned against him. He fled to Syria p333and, in that still distracted country, raised a new force of mercenaries with which he re-entered Alexandria. In order to pay these new troops he took from the Sema the golden sarcophagus of the great Alexander, whose name he bore17 — an outrage calculated to exasperate the fury of the Alexandrines. Alexander was driven out again almost immediately, and fled this time to Lycia with queen Berenice and his p334daughter. In attempting to cross from there to Cyprus he was caught at sea by the Alexandrine admiral Chaereas, and was killed or perished in the encounter (88 B.C.).18

For the second time "Chick-Pea" came back from Cyprus to be king in Egypt, and Egypt and Cyprus were once more united under a single hand. Ptolemy Soter II was now about fifty-four, and had no legitimate issue living, except queen Berenice Philadelphus,19 who was brought back from Lycia to be associated with her father on the throne. Her style was communicated to him in this new period of his reign. Before, his mother and he had been together Theoi Philometores Sotēres; now he and his daughter were Theoi Philadelphoi Philometores Sotēres,20 "Chick-Pea" by himself was "the Great God, Mother-loving, Brother-loving Saviour." There was apparently no princess of the house of Ptolemy in existence whom he could have taken as his consort, had he wished to marry again. The daughter of his brother Alexander, besides being quite a child, was Soter's granddaughter, and although the marriage of father and daughter was quite regular in Persia (and presumably therefore also of grandfather and granddaughter), this form of incest had never been adopted by the Hellenistic dynasties, as brother-and‑sister marriage had been. Soter's sister and ex‑wife, Selene, was still alive in Syria. In 96, her second husband, Antiochus Grypus, had been assassinated, and Selene became the wife of his rival, Antiochus Cyzicenus. A year later Cyzicenus had been killed, and Selene passed to her fourth husband (if it is still the same Selene as our authorities allege), Antiochus Eusebes, the son of Cyzicenus by a former wife, and consequently Selene's stepson. By him, we are told, she had two sons somewhere about 90 B.C., one of whom became known as Antiochus Asiaticus.21 We never hear of her wanting to p335return to her brother in Egypt, or of Soter wanting to have her back.

The eight years during which Soter ruled Egypt after his return were years of agitation at home and abroad. Egyptian nationalism had flamed up once more. Before his return, while Alexander still ruled in Alexandria, new native leaders had arisen, who hoped to drive out the Greek and begin a new line of Pharaohs. The ancient town of Thebes, the centre of the national movement which had put an end to Hyksos' rule many centuries before, was again the centre of revolt.

Several letters have been found which throw a momentary light on the situation. The writer is Plato, presumably the epistrategos of the Thebaïd. The Thebaïd as a whole is in a state of rebellion, but the town of Pathyris is holding out for Ptolemy. The commandant in the town is a native Egyptian, Nechthyris, like Paōs in 130, serving under Ptolemy against his countrymen. The first letter is written on March 28, 88 B.C., when the return of Soter was not yet known in the Thebaïd; Plato dates by the years of Alexander.

"Plato to the inhabitants of Pathyris, greeting and health. Having marched out from Latopolis in order to grapple with the situation, as may be of advantage to the realm, I thought p336well to let you know, and exhort you to keep up a good courage yourselves, and rally to Nechthyris who has command over you, until I myself arrive, as I shall with all speed. Farewell. Year 26, Phamenoth 16."22

On the same day Plato writes to Nechthyris:23

Plato to Nechthyris, greeting. I have marched out from Latopolis in order to grapple with the situation, as may be of advantage to the realm, and I have written to the inhabitants, bidding them rally to you. You will do well to hold the place and exercise your command. Those who show a tendency to disobey you . . . until I come to join you, as I shall do with all speed."

The next letter is written two days later;24 only a fragment of it remains, but it seems to be instructions to Nechthyris regarding the rations with which the defenders of Pathyris are to provide themselves.

The fourth letter,25 addressed "To the priests and the others in Pathyris," is also fragmentary and undated, but, according to Wilcken's conjectural emendation in the Archiv, it closely corresponds with the first one.

"You will do well to rally [to Nechthyris] in order that the place may be kept safe for our lord the king. For if you do so, and maintain your loyalty to the realm . . . from those above us you will meet with the fitting gratitude . . ."

Finally the fifth letter,26 written seven months later than the first (November 1, 88 B.C.), shows the town still holding out. The return of Soter, by whose years Plato now dates, has made some difference to the situation.

"Plato, to the priests and others in Pathyris, greeting. Philoxenus my brother has informed me in a letter which Orses has brought me that the Greatest God King Soter has come to Memphis and that Hierax has been appointed to subjugate the Thebaïd with very large forces. In order that this news may keep up your courage, I have decided to communicate it to you. Year 30, Phaophi 19."

Wilcken tells us that the Russian scholar Krüger has p337promised further interesting information about Plato from papyri at Petrograd still unpublished.

Pausanias says that it took three years to get the rebellion under, and that Thebes was frightfully punished, remained a mere shadow of its former self, a place of ruins.27 An inscription28 put up by the priests and people of Thebes some forty odd years later in honour of a certain Callimachus mentions that the festivals of the Theban gods had been celebrated worthily "from the time when the grandfather of Callimachus" — Did what? The rest of the clause is broken away. Franz conjectured that the missing verb meant "died." Mahaffy thought there was some allusion to services which the grandfather had rendered to Thebes at the time of its punishment at the hands of Soter in 85, and that consequently "the privileges of the city had been spared more than our other sources admit"29 — a theory built on a fragile basis.

The traces which Soter has left of himself in Egyptian buildings seem to belong to his earlier reign (116‑107). "Perhaps the most interesting of all the remains he has left us is the underground work (foundations and crypt) of the great temple of Denderah (Tentyra), which was indeed built upon an ancient site and according to an old plan, but which is, as we see it, wholly due to late Ptolemaic and Roman munificence. . . . To build afresh this great temple from the ground was not a moderate undertaking, like the adding of a pylon or a gateway, but points both to wealth and leisure on the part of the government. At the same time Soter added (like his father) to the Pharaonic temple of Medamût, some miles north of Karnak, and rebuilt the pylon of Taharka at the small temple of Medinet Habu on the opposite bank. . . . At El‑Kab the rock temple commenced by Physkon ['Pot-belly,' i.e. Euergetes II] was completed by this king; and like all his predecessors, as far back as Ptolemy III, he worked at Edfu. But it was now only the surroundings which remained to be completed. Of these Soter II is specially credited with the great forecourt, with its surrounding thirty-two pillars and the high outer wall (which was completed by Ptolemy Alexander). This court is minutely described in the inscription. Its measurements are 155 feet by 138 feet, the surrounding wall is 34½ feet high by 8½ feet thick — truly a splendid piece of work for one of the p338degenerate and degraded Ptolemies!30 He added inscriptions and decorations to the great temple of Philae and even in far Talmis (Kalabsheh in Nubia),31 and in the great oasis of Khargeh we find traces of his activity" (M.)32

It is to be noted that about 100 B.C. Ethiopia, united since Ergamenesº under one government, seems again to have fallen apart into two kingdoms, with their two capitals at Napata and at Meroe — not toº be reunited till about 22 B.C., at which time Ptolemaic rule in Egypt would have given place to Rome.33

Abroad the time was one of collisions between great Powers, and the line of the king of Egypt was simply to play for safety — to avoid committing himself to any side till the issue of the giant struggle was decided. At the beginning of Soter's second reign, a new and alarming power had arisen in Mithridates Eupator of Pontus (Soter's second cousin, the mother of Mithridates having been a daughter of Antiochus Epiphanes). At the moment Alexandrine statesmen might well wonder whether it was Rome or the house of Mithridates which was the coming Power in the Nearer East. In 88 B.C. — the very year of Soter's return — Mithridates beat a Roman general in Asia Minor, overran the Roman province of Asia, and threw a force into Greece, where Athens declared against Rome. In the course of his operations Mithridates occupied Cos, and there seized the Egyptian treasure deposited some fourteen years before by Cleopatra III, and, together with the treasure, the person of the young Ptolemy Alexander, the son of Ptolemy Alexander I by his earlier wife.34 This boy p339was the only legitimate male of the house of Ptolemy now left besides old Soter II — unless the children of Tryphaena and of Selene in Syria could claim to represent the house of Ptolemy through their mothers as they represented the house of Seleucus through their fathers. It could not but cause concern at Alexandria to know that the sole heir of the Egyptian p340throne was in the hands of the Pontic king. Even when Roman armies capable of throwing back Mithridates appeared in the Eastern Mediterranean, it was still dangerous for Egypt to take sides, since Rome at this moment was divided against itself, and the Roman nobles who commanded these armies were at enmity with the popular party, which in 87 re-established itself under Marius in Rome. In the winter 87‑86, whilst Sulla was besieging Athens, his representative, Lucius Lucullus, appeared in Alexandria. Soter gave the p341great Roman aristocrat a royal reception, but evaded giving him any substantial help except a few vessels to escort him, when he left, as far as Cyprus. Lucullus, on his side, declined the king's presents, all except one magnificent emerald. This had engraved upon it the king's effigy, and Lucullus, when this was pointed out to him by the king, thought it prudent not to refuse it, lest Soter, mortified by the slight, should have him assassinated at sea — an indication of the estimate which Lucullus had formed of "Chick-Pea's" character. But at Athens this Ptolemy was always well spoken of, for he gave liberal help towards the restoration of the city after the fearful punishment inflicted upon it by Sulla. The statues of Ptolemy Soter II and of Berenice were seen by Pausanias, two hundred years later, at the entrance of the Odeum.35

Ptolemy Soter II died in 80 B.C., about sixty-two years old — apparently a somewhat weak man, capable of sanctioning cruelties,36 but without violent ambitions.


The Author's Notes:

1 She was sometimes Thea Euergetis even later, e.g. in an inscription whose date corresponds to August 7, 104 B.C. (OGI No. 175).

2 "Perhaps," because in the passage of Strabo which calls Ptolemy Alexander ὁ Κόκκης καὶ Παρείσακτος ἐπικλὴθειςº Πτολεμαῖος, Κόκκης may be a masculine nominative, not a feminine genitive. The Chronicon Paschale (p347, Bonn) says definitely that Ptolemy Alexander was a son "of Kokke," but it may be drawing an inference simply from this passage of Strabo. What "Kokke" or "Kokkes" meant in the Alexandrine slang of the day it is idle to conjecture.

3 Pausanias, I.9.1.

4 Βασίλισσα Κλεοπάτρα καὶ βασιλεὺς Πτολεμαῖος, θεοὶ μεγάλοι Φιλομητόρες καὶ Σωτῆρες (OGI No. 167).

5 OGI 168; Bouché-Leclercq, by an evident oversight, supposes that Κλεοπάτρα ἡ ἀδελφή of l. 23 is Selene. The line really refers to Cleopatra II in the previous reign.

6 Tor., 5, 6, 7; London, II p13. Phommūs has the rank of "Kinsman."

7 Eusebius gives 112‑111 as the date of Grypus' victory over Cyzicenus, and the capture of Tryphaena by Cyzicenus followed, according to Justin, XXXIX.3, 12, "not long after" (nec multo post).

8 OGI No. 257.

9 Bouché-Leclercq points out that when Soter II came to Syria in 106, as an ally of Cyzicenus, he took refuge in Seleucia (Histoire des Séleucides, p603).

10 Tebtunis, No. 33 = Chrest., No. 3.

11 Letronne, Recueil, I p60. The papyrus in question is given as Louvre liii, but the papyrus numbered 53 in Brunet de Presle's collection of Louvre papyri, published in Notices et Extraits, XVIII (1865), is plainly quite a different one. The papyrus referred to by Letronne does not seem to appear anywhere in that collection.

12 Grenfell, II No. 132; Tebtunis, I No. 106.

13 Tebtunis, I No. 106.

14 OGI No. 180. Bouché-Leclercq supposes that this was a "voyage de noces," and that the mention of the royal children is consequently an empty formula. But I know no instance of fictitious children being referred to in such a record; to refer to them in the case of a newly married king and queen would be, even as a fiction, un peu fort (unless they are Alexander's children by his former wife, officially adopted by Berenice).

15 OGI Nos. 176‑179.

16 Posidonius, in Athen. XII.550B.

17 In Strabo's day the golden sarcophagus had been replaced by one of glass or crystal (XVII. p794).

18 The inscription of Edfu says he fled to "the land of Punt," but this ancient name of a foreign country might probably be used in hieroglyphics at this time of any country overseas.

19 Pausanias, I.9.3. According to Justin he had had two sons by Selene (XXXIX.4.1); but, if so, they must have died early.

20 Cf. inscription published, Annales (1908), p240. Ὑπὲρ βασίλεως Πτολεμαίου τοῦ θεοῦ μεγάλου φιλομήτορος καὶ φιλαδελφοῦ καὶ σωτῆρος.

21 In my House of Seleucus (II p304) I expressed a doubt whether the Selene who married Antiochus Eusebes was not a younger princess of the same name. Bouché-Leclercq points out (II p106, note 3) that our sources definitely state that it was the same Selene. That I myself had made clear, but when our sources are so fragmentary and (p335)so questionable, it did not seem to me that we could trust them in the face of strong physical improbabilities. Bouché-Leclercq says that Selene might à la rigueur have been not more than thirty-five in 95 B.C. But that is to miss my point, that her children by Antiochus are called "pueros" in 75 B.C. (Cicero, in Verr. IV.26), and cannot, therefore, have been born much before 90, when Selene might à la rigueur have been forty. One must remember that women age more quickly in the south. It is not impossible that Selene might have borne children, when over forty, but highly improbable. Apparently Bouché-Leclercq feels now some doubt himself as to the statements of our authorities, since he appends a query to his footnote (Séleucides, p419). The difficulty, to my mind, in supposing that the wife of Antiochus Eusebes was another Selene, is not so much our wretched authorities, but the difficulty of seeing how another Selene can be got in. She would have to have been a daughter of either Ptolemy Soter or Ptolemy Alexander (unless the mysterious Philopator Neos lived long enough to leave a daughter). Pausanias says that Berenice was Soter's "only legitimate child." One cannot rely absolutely upon such a statement in Pausanias; Soter is said to have had two sons by Selene, and he may have had another daughter beside Berenice. Alexander had a son (Alexander II) by an earlier wife, and might conceivably have had a daughter as well.

22 London, 465. The text, with further emendations, is published by Collart in the Recueil d'Etudes Egyptologiques dedicated to Champollion (Paris, 1922), p276.

23 Bouriant Papyrus, 40, published by Collart in the collection referred to in the last note.

24 Bouriant Pap. 51; cf. Wilcken, Archiv, VII 298 ff.

25 Bilabel, Griech. Pap. (Heidelberg, 1923), pp22, 23 ff.

26 Bouriant Pap. 55 = Chrest., No. 12.

27 Pausanias, I.9.3.

28 OGI No. 194.

29 History, p246.

30 It was no doubt simply a question of the court giving an order. The work would have been designed by Egyptian priests and carried out by native workmen. To put his sign-manual to such an order, drawn up for him by his ministers, does not go beyond the powers of even a very degenerate and degraded king. [See also p186, note 1.]

31 This is doubtful. Gauthier attributes the building in question to Epiphanes, not to Soter II.

32 That exploration of the African interior was carried on under Ptolemy Soter II may be indicated by Pliny's statement that certain Ethiopian tribes did not know the usage of fire before his reign (VI § 188).

33 Reisner, "The Meroitic Kingdom of Ethiopia," Journ. of Egypt. Arch. IX (1923).

34 Who this earlier wife can have been is a mystery. She must have been of legitimate royal blood, since the legitimacy of Alexander II was never contested, and one would suppose that she was a princess of the house of Ptolemy. But where is there room for such a princess? Bouché-Leclercq conjectures that Cleopatra IV may have married her younger brother, Alexander I, for a moment, in the interval between her leaving Soter and her marrying Antiochus Cyzicenus.

35 Pausanias, I.9.3.

36 Joseph. Arch. XIII § 345; F. H. G. III p721.


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