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Ch. V § 3
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,
please let me know!


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Chapter VII

p189 CHAPTER VI

Ptolemy III, Euergetes I
(247‑221 B.C.)

According to the arrangement made between Ptolemy II and Antiochus II, the former queen of Antiochus, Laodice, was to be left with her two sons in a secondary position in Asia Minor, whilst Ptolemy's daughter, Berenice, reigned at Antioch and bore children for the Seleucid inheritance. But both Laodice and Berenice were Macedonian princesses true to type. Laodice induced Antiochus to come back to her at Ephesus, and then, after Antiochus suddenly died (in 246) (not without some suspicion falling on Laodice), she sent her emissaries to Antioch to murder Berenice and her infant son. Berenice fought, we are told, like a tigress, but in vain. The double murder was accomplished. Laodice's son, Seleucus II (Kallinikos), was proclaimed king of the Seleucid realm. The murder of the daughter and grandson of Ptolemy II was an outrage which could not but rouse Egypt to a new war. That was the situation which confronted the young king of Egypt, Ptolemy III, called afterwards Euergetes, soon after he took over the government from his father in 247. He was then something over thirty, a son by birth of Ptolemy II and the daughter of Lysimachus, a son by court fiction of Ptolemy and Arsinoe Philadelphus. It was soon seen that there was a strong man once again upon the Egyptian throne. By a kind of oscillation in heredity, just as the vigorous founder of the dynasty had been succeeded p190by the soft dilettante, the dilettante was succeeded in turn by a man in whom the warlike Macedonian stock showed itself still persistent in spite of the influences of a luxurious court and the climate of Egypt. In Ptolemy III we see less the son of Ptolemy "Philadelphus" than the grandson of Alexander's stalwart marshals, Ptolemy and Lysimachus.

According to Justin, Ptolemy III marched from Egypt at the head of his army, whilst Berenice was still alive, besieged at Daphne, near Antioch, but was too late to save her. Before leaving, he had established his own position in Egypt by accomplishing his marriage with Berenice of Cyrene, arranged years before. The Cyrenaica became once more an adjunct of the Ptolemaic realm. Ptolemy III had by his side a queen who had also given proof of Macedonian strength of will. Then he opened war upon the house of Seleucus — the "Third Syrian War" modern scholars call it; it seems p192to have been known at the time as the "Laodicean War,"1 the war against the murderess Laodice. Ptolemy himself went forth from Egypt at the head of his army to invade Northern Syria. On the eve of his setting out, the young queen dedicated a lock of her hair in the temple of Arsinoe Aphrodite at Alexandria. This lock the court astronomer, Conon, soon after professed that he had discovered in the sky, transformed into a constellation which, so Conon said, had never been there before. No doubt this was taken by the Alexandrine court as a charming poetical conceit, not as serious astronomy — just as such things were taken in the court of Louis XIV, a court in its artificial literary culture not unlike the Alexandrine. In any case the great poet of the day, Callimachus of Cyrene, wrote a pretty poem about it, which antiquity must have admired, since Catullus translated it two centuries later into Latin. Whilst the original has perished, it may still be read in the Roman poet's version — the Coma Berenices. In our dearth of data for the history of the time, this jeu d'esprit has come to have the value of a serious historical document; it yields, if pressed, a small quantum of fact.a

The expedition which Ptolemy III led into Asia was the greatest military triumph ever achieved by the house of Ptolemy. Unfortunately no detailed history of it has come down to us. All we can know of it has to be got by combining four very inadequate and summary accounts, a casual notice in Polyaenus, and a curious fragment of a papyrus letter or report, discovered at Gurob in the Fayûm. A translation in full of three of the accounts is given in Mahaffy's History, and one cannot do better than follow his example.

1. One account is taken from an inscription put up at Adulis (near Suakin), probably by some Ptolemaic officer who had been sent to these regions in connexion with the elephant-hunting. The original inscription we have no longer, and must trust to the copy of it made by the monk Cosmas ("Indicopleustes") in the 8th century A.D., or rather to the copy of Cosmas's copy which has come down to us in existing MSS. As we have it, it runs:

"The Great King2 Ptolemy, son of king Ptolemy and p193queen Arsinoe, Brother-and‑Sister Gods, children of king Ptolemy and queen Berenice, Saviour Gods, the descendant on the father's side of Herakles, son of Zeus, on the mother's side of Dionysos, son of Zeus,3 having inherited from his father the kingdom of Egypt and Libya and Syria4 and Phoenicia and Cyprus and Lycia and Caria and the Cyclades, set out on a campaign into Asia with infantry and cavalry forces and a naval armament and elephants both Trogodyte and Ethiopic,5 which his father and he himself first captured from these places and, bringing them to Egypt, trained them to military use. But having become master of all the country this side of the Euphrates and of Cilicia and Pamphylia and Ionia and the Hellespont and Thrace, and of all the military forces in these countries and of Indian elephants,6 and having made the local dynasts (τοὺς μονάρχους) in all these regions his vassals, he crossed the river Euphrates, and having brought under him Mesopotamia and Babylonia and Susiana and Persis and Media, and all the rest as far as Bactria, and having sought out whatever sacred things had been carried off by the Persians from Egypt, and having brought them back with the other treasure from these countries to Egypt, he sent forces through the canals —" Here the inscription, as Cosmas found it, was broken off.

2. A second account is contained in three verses of the Book of Daniel, written some eighty years after the event:

"But out of a branch of her root7 shall one stand up in his estate, which shall come with an army, and shall enter into the fortress of the king of the north,8 and shall deal with them, and shall prevail: and shall also carry captives into p194Egypt their gods, with their princes, and with their precious vessels of silver and gold; and he shall continue more years than the king of the north. So the king of the south9 shall come into his kingdom, and shall return into his own land."10

3. The third account is the commentary on this passage of Daniel written by Saint Jerome, taken from an older work in which Porphyry had treated of the Book of Daniel and explained its historical background; Porphyry had had before him Greek historians now lost. Saint Jerome's commentary is as follows:

"Berenice being murdered, and her father Ptolemy Philadelphus having died in Egypt, her brother, himself also a Ptolemy called Euergetes, succeeded as the third king, of the stock of that root, in that he was her brother; and he came with a great army, and entered into the province of the king of the north, i.e. of Seleucus called Callinicus, who with his mother Laodice was reigning in Syria, and dealt masterfully with them and obtained so much as to take Syria and Cilicia, and the upper parts across the Euphrates, and almost all Asia. And when he heard that in Egypt a sedition was in progress, he, plundering the kingdom of Seleucus, carried away 40,000 talents of silver, and precious cups and images of the gods, 2500, among which were those also which Cambyses, when he took Egypt, had brought to the country of the Persians. Finally the Egyptian race, being given to idolatry, because he had brought back their gods after many years, called him Euergetes. And Syria he himself retained; but Cilicia he handed over to his friend Antiochus to govern, and to Xanthippus, another general, the provinces beyond the Euphrates."

4. Fourthly, there is Justin's account, abridged from the Latin history of Trogus Pompeius:

"When it was announced to the cities of Asia (Asiae civitatibus) that she [Berenice] and her infant son were besieged [in Antioch], in consideration of her ancestral dignity they felt pity at so undeserved a misfortune, and all dispatched succour. Her brother too, Ptolemy, alarmed at his sister's danger, hurried from his kingdom with all his forces. But before the arrival of help, Berenice, who could not be captured by force, was deceived by treachery and murdered. Universal indignation ensued. And so, when all the cities p195which had revolted could have prepared a great fleet, forthwith alarmed at this specimen of [Laodice's] cruelty, and in order to avenge her whom they had meant to protect, they went over to Ptolemy, who, unless he had been called home by a domestic sedition, would have taken possession of all the kingdom of Seleucus."11

5. Polyaenus, after telling the story of Berenice's murder in Antioch, says that her women concealed the body and induced the people of Antioch to believe that she was still alive "until Ptolemy the father (sic) of the murdered queen arrived, in answer to their summons, and by sending out letters as in the name of the murdered boy and of Berenice, as if they were still alive, made himself master of the whole realm from the Taurus as far as India, without war or battle."12 The element of unhistorical romance here, at any rate, is obvious.

From these imperfect accounts one thing is plain, that the army of Ptolemy III carried all before it in Asia. It is certain that it must have effectively beaten down any opposition it may have met in Northern Syria, since till Northern Syria was subjugated and garrisoned the Egyptian army cannot have moved on across the Euphrates into Mesopotamia. But the accounts leave many questions unanswered: (1) How far eastwards did Ptolemy go? Did he cross the Tigris too and climb with his army up the rough roads to the tableland of Irân? Did he really carry his arms, as Polyaenus says he did, "as far as India"? (2) What was the cause which compelled Ptolemy to return prematurely to Egypt? Jerome and Justin say it was a rebellion of some sort in the Ptolemaic kingdom. What can this mean? (3) Did Ptolemy ever intend to hold permanently the countries he conquered, to make himself king of the Seleucid realm, as well as of Egypt? That would have been to conceive in his turn the ambition which Perdiccas and Antigonus and Seleucus had perished in pursuing — the ambition of becoming lord of the whole inheritance of Alexander — now when the rival dynasties had firmer territorial hold than in the times of confusion after Alexander' death. Can we credit the grandson of Ptolemy Soter with such grandiose schemes?

With regard to the first set of questions there seems no absolute impossibility in the supposition that the Egyptian army penetrated as far as Bactria and the Hindu-kush. One must remember that an army in those days travelled lighter p196than in the days of guns, and could move with less difficulty over great spaces. It might represent a larger aggregate of organized power than any local force which could be set against it in the regions to which it came, and so dominate each region successively so long as it stayed there. What Alexander accomplished in Nearer Asia three generations before Ptolemy III, and what Antiochus III accomplished in the same regions one generation later, show that the Egyptian army, supposing the Seleucid king could not get together an army capable of beating it, might quite well move right through the vast Seleucid realm unchecked. Of course, it was a different matter if conquests were to be retained, when the moving camp had passed on elsewhere. Even Alexander had difficulty about that; the reassertion of Seleucid supremacy in the Eastern provinces by Antiochus III proved ephemeral; and even if Ptolemy III had not been called home prematurely by the "domestic sedition," a good deal more would have been needed before his march into the East could have been counted a real conquest of Media and Persis. In the north and east of Irân Ptolemy would have found at this time new Powers in possession — in one region the Parthians under their Arsacid king, in Bactria the Greek Diodotus, who had recently broken away from the Seleucid and declared himself an independent king. We never hear of these young Powers suffering any interference from the king of Egypt. It seems unlikely that Ptolemy went far into Irân, that he would have remained for so long at such a distance from his base in Egypt. It is probable enough that at one of the old royal cities of the Persian kings, at Ecbatana or Persepolis or Susa, he held some kind of durbar, to which envoys came from the dynasts of Parthia and Bactria and the Hindu-kush with messages of homage. That would have been enough to warrant courtiers in Egypt describing the king's operations as a conquest of the East as far as Bactria and India. Ptolemy evidently never penetrated far into Asia Minor, where Seleucus II and his mother still held a force together; thus, whilst humiliating the Seleucid power, he left the nucleus of it intact, ready to expand again, so soon as the Egyptian army withdrew.

With regard to the question, what the trouble at home was which compelled Ptolemy to return, we can only speculate. Droysen thought it must have been another revolt in the Cyrenaica — a hypothesis which Mahaffy emphatically p197rejected. Mahaffy himself conjectured that it was trouble in Egypt consequent upon a defective rise of the Nile and threatened famine. There are indications13 that a scarcity of cornº in Egypt did occur at some moment during the reign of Ptolemy III.

With regard to the third question whether Ptolemy ever intended to retain his Eastern conquests, we have no documentary data except the statement of Saint Jerome, that he left his general Xanthippus in command of the provinces beyond the Euphrates, and appointed his "friend" Antiochus governor of Cilicia. Certainly, if he ever intended to hold regions beyond the Euphrates as provinces of his empire, he must have soon abandoned the idea. The Xanthippus in question may quite well be the Spartan condottiere who had been employed by the Carthaginians in 256 B.C. The "friend" Antiochus was identified by Niebuhr (followed by Droysen and others) with the younger brother of Seleucus II, Antiochus Hierax, then a boy of about fourteen, who later on is his brother's enemy. But Bouché-Leclercq is almost certainly right in maintaining that this Antiochus was a "friend" in the well-known sense of the term, i.e. some one attached to the court, a Macedonian or Greek who had taken service in Egypt, and by accident had the name of Antiochus. He is mentioned in an inscription simply as a governor appointed by king Ptolemy in Asia Minor.14

It is noteworthy how the statement occurs that Ptolemy brought back to Egypt the images of Egyptian gods and other sacred objects carried off in former times by the Persians. It is found in the decree of Canopus, presently to be given in translation. If it were only found in documents drawn up by Egyptian priests or scribes little importance would be attached to it, because it happens to be one of the conventional formularies habitually used, according to the hieratic tradition, in describing the victorious return of a Pharaoh from an invasion of Asia. The odd thing in this case is that we find prominence given to the statement in the inscription of Adulis and in the commentary of Saint Jerome. The Book of Daniel also speaks of Ptolemy bringing back captive to Egypt gods belonging to the conquered peoples and precious things. The inscription of Adulis seems to have been drawn up by a Greek; it insists upon the descent of Ptolemy from p198Greek gods and used no specially Egyptian formularies. Yet it singles out, in connexion with Ptolemy's conquests, the feature that he brought back to Egypt the sacred things carried off by the Persians — a feature which would normally be without any interest to a Greek. We can only suppose that the Egyptian priesthood had put before Ptolemy what was expected of a king of Egypt who invaded Asia, if he were to be true to the Pharaonic pattern, and that Ptolemy determined, as a matter of policy, to fulfil the prescribed rôle in this point with a certain ostentation. Egyptian idols and other objects discovered in Babylon or Ecbatana or Susa he must have restored to the Egyptian priesthood with such pomp and circumstance on his return that it was talked about at court, that Greek courtiers and Greek historians noted the action as significant and interesting, and that Jews in Jerusalem eighty years later could remember hearing their fathers describe how the army of the king of Egypt had come home through Palestine, triumphantly escorting the idols which they had taken away from the countries of the king of the north.

Whilst the Egyptian land army invaded Northern Syria and Mesopotamia, the Egyptian fleet was busy on the coasts of Syria and Asia Minor and wherever Seleucid possessions were assailable from the sea. It is one moment of the story of those days which is strangely and vividly illuminated for us in the Gurob papyrus already spoken of. The first column of the piece of the roll discovered describes how some town or other was captured by a Ptolemaic force, but it is too tattered for a continuous account to be reconstructed from it. Then the roll becomes more coherent:

"Meanwhile Pythagoras and Aristocles, [having made ready] 15 boats, since the Sister had sent a message to them, . . . to add to their good services by performing zealously what yet remained to be done, sailed along the coast to Soli (?) in Cilicia (?), where they collected the money which had been seized and deposited there and conveyed it to Seleucia. It amounted to 1500 talents of silver. (This money Aribazus the strategos in Cilicia15 had intended to send to Ephesus, to Laodice, but the citizens of Soli (?) had conspired with the soldiers of the place, Pythagoras and Aristocles had come in strength to their assistance, and all had given a brave account of themselves, with the result that this money had been seized p199and both the town and the citadel had fallen into our possession. Aribazus slipped out and got away as far as the pass over the Taurus; there certain of the natives cut off his head and brought it to Antioch.) For our part, when we had got everything in readiness on board, at the beginning of the first watch we embarked in as many ships as the harbour in Seleucia would hold, and sailed along the coast to the fortress called Posideon and anchored there about the eighth hour of the day. Thence at dawn we set sail again and reached Seleucia. The priests, the magistrates, the rest of the citizens, the officers, and the soldiers met us on the road leading to the harbour, crowned with garlands and . . . of goodwill towards us and . . . to the city . . . the sacrificial victims stationed beside . . . on the altars prepared by them . . . [When they had outdone (?)] in the bazaar (ἐν τῷ ἐμπρορίῳ) the honours [already paid to us] they . . . So this day they . . ., and the next day . . . as . . . possible . . . [the ships . . .], into which we took up all those who had sailed with us, and the satraps who were there and the generals and the p200other officers, except those appointed [to garrison duty] in the city [Seleucia] and the citadel, whom we left behind. . . . For they were wonderful.16 . . . [We reached] Antioch . . . such preparations . . . we found as to strike us with amazement. For [there came to meet us] outside the gate the . . . satraps and the other officers and the soldiers and the priests and the colleges of magistrates and all the young men from the gymnasium and a great multitude beside, crowned with garlands, and they carried out all the holy things17 into the road before the gate, and some greeted us with the right hand and others . . . us with shouting and applause . . . [Twelve lines wanting] . . . beside every house . . . they continued to . . . Though there were so many things [calculated to gratify us] nothing gave us so much pleasure as the intense loyalty (ἐκτένεια) of these people. When then we had sacrificed the victims presented to us by officers (?) and by private persons, the sun now verging to its decline, we immediately visited the Sister, and after that attended to various matters which required our diligence, giving audience to the officers and the soldiers and to other people belonging to the place, and holding council on the general conduct of our affairs. Beside this, for some days . . ."

No more of the roll remains. It is certainly a document of extraordinary human interest — a bit of ancient history which comes to us still alive, in which the events narrated are not told by some historian at second, or third, or tenth, hand, but by some one who writes of what he himself saw and did, the actual scrap of torn papyrus being, if not the handwriting of the narrator, at any rate a copy made at a date not far from that of the original. Yet while its human interest is great, its value as a historical document is diminished by our inability to say after certain who the writer was, or who "the Sister" was, or what the places were in which the events described happened. The document certainly speaks plainly about a Seleucia and an Antioch, but whilst in Northern Syria there was the great Antioch, the chief residence of the Seleucid kings, and the strong city of Seleucia-in‑Pieria which guarded the approach to Antioch at the mouth of the Orontes, there was also an Antioch and a p201Seleucia on the opposite Cilician coast, and some scholars have thought that it was these lesser cities to which the document refers. Again, in order to read the name "Soli in Cilicia," we have to suppose that the scribe in writing left out by mistake one of two sigmas which came together, and "Cilicia," is simply a conjecture filling in the place of a lost word. Instead of "Soli in Cilicia," Holleaux reads "all the places."18 Further on again, where our translation gives "the citizens of Soli," Holleaux reads "the citizens of Seleucia," though Wilcken affirms that the photographic facsimile of the papyrus proves "Soli" to be right. And then, who was the writer? An officer from one of the soldier-settlements in the Fayûm, Mahaffy at first thought. A naval commander, Wilcken held when he brought out his Chrestomathie. The king Ptolemy III himself, Mahaffy thought, after column IV of the papyrus came to light, and this view has been accepted by Holleaux, Wilhelm, Bouché-Leclercq, Wilamowitz-Moellendorff, and now by Wilcken.19 Lastly, there is the problem — Who was "the Sister"? Before the discovery of column IV, the Sister was thought to be Laodice; that column made it evident that she was some one of the Egyptian side, resident at Antioch after it had been occupied by the Egyptian forces. She is now commonly held to have been Berenice, the queen of Syria, Ptolemy III's sister, not yet murdered, it is supposed, at this date.

It can, I think, now be hardly questioned that the Seleucia and Antioch in question are the great Antioch and Seleucia. In Antioch the writer found a large number of magnates and military chiefs gathered together, which is much more natural in the chief city of Syria than in the comparatively obscure city on the Cilician coast. That the narrator is the king himself may also be taken as established. The way he speaks of giving audience to the magnates at the end of the scrap can hardly be reconciled with any other hypothesis. In this case the papyrus would not, of course, be his original dispatch, but a copy of it in the possession of some veteran in the Fayûm. The original would have been a royal "memorandum" (ὑπόμνημα) somewhat analogous to the "commentaries" of Julius Caesar — the summary account of a campaign p202by the commander of it. But the hypothesis that "the Sister" was Berenice, queen of Syria, seems to me to have insuperable difficulties against it. Justin, it is true, indicates that Berenice was still alive when Ptolemy set out from Egypt, but he says that Ptolemy was too late to save her. That Berenice should have been still alive and in Antioch at this stage of the campaign, when Antioch had been securely occupied for some time by the Egyptian forces, and that she should after that have been murdered by Laodice's agents in Antioch, is surely incredible. It makes nonsense of every other account we have of the war — that it was waged to avenge Berenice's murder. My own conviction — though no one, so far as I know, has yet put forward the suggestion — is that "the Sister" is the other Berenice, the queen of Egypt. She was, of course, not Ptolemy's sister, but his first cousin; yet the queens of Egypt were officially called "Sisters" of the king, and the king himself, in speaking of the queen, might quite well call her simply "the Sister." From the poem of Callimachus, it is true, we gather that when Ptolemy set out on his campaign, Berenice remained in Egypt. But this would not rule out the supposition that, at a stage of the campaign when Northern Syria had been occupied by Ptolemy's forces, queen Berenice should have made the comparatively easy journey from Egypt to Antioch to see her husband and the front — a woman of Berenice's spirit! That two commanders in the Egyptian army should receive a special message from the queen of Egypt, encouraging them to do their utmost, is quite consistent with the part played by queens in Ptolemaic history.20 Lastly, if "the Sister" was Berenice, queen of Egypt, the objections which Wilcken raised, on the ground of the language of the document, to the supposition that the writer was the king, fall. It would, as Wilcken rightly said, have been more natural, if the king were referring to his real sister, that he should write ἡ ἀδελφή μου, and not simply ἡ ἀδελφή. And Wilcken with perfect justice felt it incredible that the meeting of brother and sister at Antioch, supposing Ptolemy were arriving just in time to save his sister from imminent death, should have been dismissed in a colourless phrase. On the other hand, it was a difficulty in the view then held by Wilcken that a mere naval commander, narrating his visit of respect to the queen of Syria, should have written p203εἰσέλθομεν εὐθέως πρὸς τὴν ἀδελφὴν καὶ μετὰ ταῦτα κτλ.21 If, however, "the Sister" was Berenice, queen of Egypt, and the writer was Ptolemy, everything becomes natural.

With regard to further operations of the Egyptian fleet in the Aegean, we can discern only an indefinite number of local struggles. Each city of the seaboard would fall to one side or other as Seleucus II could bring pressure to bear by his land-forces from the interior, or by naval squadrons got together in some port still under his control, or as the Egyptian fleet could bring pressure to bear from the sea, or as the citizens themselves threw their weight, from interest or sympathy, in one scale or the other. Ephesus seems to have been delivered up to the Ptolemaic forces by Sophron, who commanded there for king Seleucus. Some regions on the Thracian coast, including the cities of Aenos and Maronea, belonged to the Seleucid realm; even these were reached and conquered by the Egyptian fleet. Ptolemy became master of the peninsula now called Gallipoli.

If there had been at the time of the sea-battle off Ephesus a breach between the house of Ptolemy and Rhodes, it cannot have lasted long, since when, towards the end of Ptolemy's reign, Rhodes was visited by a severe earthquake, Ptolemy came forward, as well as Antigonus and Seleucus, to help to repair the damage. Ptolemy promised the Rhodians "300 talents of silver, a million artabae of corn, ship-timber for 10 quinqueremes and 10 triremes, consisting of 40,000 cubits of squared pine planking, 1000 talents of bronze coinage, 180,000 pounds of tow (for ropes), 3000 pieces of sailcloth, 3000 talents (of copper?) for the repair of the Colossus, 100 master-builders with 350 workmen, and 14 talents yearly to pay their wages. Beside this, he gave 12,000 artabae of corn for their public games and sacrifices, and 20,000 artabae for victualling 10 triremes. The greater part of these goods were delivered at once, as well as one-third of the money named."22

p204 After Ptolemy had returned to Egypt the war went on. Seleucus recovered Northern Syria with his capital, Antioch, although Seleucia-in‑Pieria remained in the hands of an Egyptian garrison — cutting off Seleucid Antioch from its communication with the sea. The loss of Northern Syria meant, of course, the loss of all the Eastern provinces also. In 242‑241 the Seleucid counter-attack had apparently reached so far south that the Seleucus was able to deliver Damascus and Orthosia (on the Phoenician coast), which were being besieged by Egyptian forces. But an attempt of Seleucus to penetrate farther south into Palestine itself led to his meeting with a disastrous defeat. Soon after this the two Powers signed a peace (about 240 B.C.). For the remaining years of his life, nearly twenty in number, Ptolemy Euergetes rested on his laurels. The Alexandrine court still had its hand in the politics and conflicts of the Mediterranean world. In Crete the possession of Itanus continued to give Ptolemy a hold upon the island.23 In Greece, after Antigonus Doson had become king of Macedonia (229), there was a three-cornered contest between Macedonia, the Achaean League, and Sparta. Egypt at first gave support to the Achaeans, then Ptolemy made promises to the Socialist king of Sparta, Cleomenes, and induced him to send his mother and his children to Alexandria as hostages. But in the end Ptolemy allowed the Spartans to be crushed by Antigonus at the battle of Sellasia (222). Cleomenes took refuge at Alexandria — a strange lion-like figure amongst the courtiers. According to one questionable text, Antigonus at the beginning of his reign had "subjugated Caria,"24 that is, had driven the Ptolemaic garrisons out of that country and substituted garrisons of his own.

But if there were these occasional sputters of war between Egyptian forces in some part of the world and the forces of some other Power, Ptolemy III no more himself went out to war. Perhaps after the energy of his younger days, he had grown fat and easy-going. The neck on his coins looks like that of a fat man. According to some later sources25 he was given the nickname of Tryphon ("luxurious," "soft-living"), which seems odd in the case of a king who appears, at any rate, sober and vigorous in contrast with the voluptuary p205who preceded, and the voluptuary who succeeded, him. Bouché-Leclercq thought, with great plausibility, that a surname belonging to Ptolemy IV or the other Ptolemy Euergetes (Ptolemy VII) had been wrongly attached to Ptolemy III by some muddle-headed abbreviator or scribe; but the surname has received curious confirmation from a demotic inscription, which speaks of "Ptlumis who is also Trupn." The inscription seems to belong to the days when Ptolemy III was still only co-king with his father. If so, one might conjecture that Tryphon was not a depreciatory nickname given to a king at the end of his reign, but the personal name of the boy before he acquired the dynastic name of Ptolemy.26 From the fact that no scandalous stories are told about the court of Ptolemy III by the writers who dealt in such things it is inferred that his life offered a singular example of domestic virtue amongst the kings of his house. We never hear of his having any mistresses. Perhaps the high-spirited Berenice of Cyrene was a woman of force enough to keep her husband to herself. He died in October 221, but little over sixty — a natural death, Polybius expressly says.27 The crime of hastening his father's end, which later scandal charged upon Ptolemy IV,28 is probably one of which that wretched creature was not guilty. Ptolemy III left two sons — the Ptolemy who succeeded him and a son called Magas — also a daughter, Arsinoe. Another daughter, Berenice, died as a child. Queen Berenice and his brother Lysimachus survived him. The two brothers seem to have lived in mutual confidence. A hieroglyphic inscription from Coptos shows Lysimachus to have been governor of a province in Upper Egypt in the year 241‑240: "Lady of Asher, grant life to Lysimachus, the brother of the sovereigns, strategos."

When we look at the interior of Egypt during the reign of Ptolemy III we can see that the glory of the Alexandrine Museum as a chief centre of Hellenic culture was undiminished. Those were the days when the great savant Eratosthenes had charge both of the Library and of the education of the boy Ptolemy, the heir to the throne.

In the Fayûm the population of soldier-colonists received p206a considerable accession in consequence of Ptolemy's great expedition into Asia. There were not only veterans to be rewarded with allotments, but large numbers of soldiers who had been fighting in the armies of Seleucus were brought back to Egypt as prisoners, and settled on the land.29 These were, no doubt, for the most part men of Greek or Macedonian stock who would make a home for themselves as happily in Egypt as in Asia; but there were also Jews amongst them, who would swell the Jewish element, by this time considerable, in Egypt. We find traces of it here and there under Ptolemy III in inscriptions and papyri. On an Egyptian temple in the desert near Redesieh in Upper Egypt, amongst the Greek votive inscriptions written up on the walls by travellers and visitors, we find: "Ptolemy the son of Dionysius, a Jew, blesses God," "Blessing to God: Theudotus son of Dorion, a Jew, saved from the sea."30 An inscription found in the Delta runs: "On behalf of king Ptolemy and queen Berenice, the Sister and Wife, and their children, the Jews dedicated this house of prayer."31

There are indications that the Alexandrine court under Ptolemy III was ready to correct existing institutions with a large and enlightened scientific interest. We see this in the attempt to reform the calendar. A double attempt was made (1) to establish a fixed era from which years could be reckoned, instead of their being described simply as the such-and‑such year of the reigning king — an unscientific mode of dating which, as time went on, and the number of reigns increased, was bound to become more and more inconvenient; (2) to have a year constant to the seasons. Hitherto the year ordinarily in use, both for Greeks and Egyptians, was the Egyptian year of 365 days, beginning with Thoth 1, though the Greeks commonly put the Macedonian month as well in dating documents. As there was no leap-year with an extra day, the Egyptian year slipped one day ahead of the season every four years and would move round the whole natural year in a period of 1460 years. A feast celebrated on a certain date of the artificial year would at one time be a midwinter festival, and 730 years later have become a midsummer one.

To remedy the first inconvenience, the year 311 was taken p207as a fixed era — the year of the death of the boy Alexander. This year was already used as a fixed era in Phoenicia and by the Babylonians, and later on, years were reckoned generally in the Seleucid realm from 312 — a slight modification of the earlier practice, taking the return of Seleucus to Babylon, not the death of the young Alexander, as the starting-point. The coins of Ptolemy III give the year as reckoned from 311, not the regnal year of Ptolemy III. From the fact that the era chosen is one already in use in Greek Asia, we may see a design on the part of the Alexandrine court to establish a system of dating to be valid all over the Hellenistic world. But it was to be many centuries yet before the peoples of European culture had this rational convenience — not till the general acceptance of A.D. 1 as the starting-point of universal chronology.

To remedy the other inconvenience, the shifting relation between the Egyptian year and the natural year, Greek science at Alexandria was quite advanced enough to know that what was wanted was an extra day intercalated every fourth year. An attempt was made under Ptolemy III to carry this, too, into effect. We know of it, because the decree of the Egyptian priesthood establishing the new system for their sacred year has been preserved for us. It is improbable that the Egyptian priesthood by themselves would ever have thought of instituting this rational change. We may, I think, believe that it came from a Greek brain at Alexandria and was supported by the royal will.32 Yet in this particular, too, Ptolemy III, owing to the unworthiness of his successors, was before his time. To get a reformed calendar, the world would have to wait for Julius Caesar.

The state-cult at Alexandria received further development after Ptolemy's return from the East. Ptolemy III and Berenice were now associated as the "Benefactor Gods" p208(Θεοὶ Εὐεργέται) with Alexander and the "Brother-and‑Sister Gods." An official document of the year 240‑239 is dated: "In the reign of Ptolemy, the son of Ptolemy and Arsinoe, Brother-and‑Sister Gods, in the 8th year, Onomastus son of Pyrgon being Priest of Alexander and of the Brother-and‑Sister Gods and of the Benefactor Gods, Archestrate daughter of Ctesides being Kanephoros of Arsinoe Philadelphus. . . ."33 The cult of the Saviour Gods (Ptolemy Soter and Berenice I) remained still distinct, its priest not being mentioned in the dating of documents.

Perhaps under the third Ptolemy more systematic attempts were made to win or confirm the loyalty of the natives, to persuade them that the foreign king was as good as a Pharaoh. At least there are signs of the court trying to attach the Egyptian priesthood to their interests. The great document in this connexion is the Decree of Canopus, of which three copies inscribed on stone are extant. One was found in 1866 amongst the remains of the ancient town of Tanis; the hieroglyphic text of the decree stands above, and the Greek text below; the demotic text is engraved round the edge: this stone is now in Cairo. A second copy, also with hieroglyphic, Greek, and demotic texts, was found in 1881, which is also in Cairo. A third and very damaged copy, found at Cairo, is now in the Louvre. The decree is one passed by a synod of Egyptian priests from all Egypt gathered at Canopus in March 237.34

As in Mahaffy's History, a complete translation of the document follows:

"In the reign of Ptolemy, son of Ptolemy and Arsinoe, Brother-and‑Sister Gods, year 9, Apollonides son of Moschion being priest of Alexander and the Brother-and‑Sister Gods and the Benefactor Gods, Menecrateia daughter of Philammon being Kanephoros of Arsinoe Philadelphos, on the 7th of (the month) Apellaios, but of the Egyptians the 17th of Tybi.35 Decree. The chief priests and the prophets and those who enter the inner shrine for the robing of the gods and the feather-bearers and the sacred scribes and the rest of the priests who came together from the temples throughout the land for the 5th of Dios, on which the birth-feasts of the king are celebrated, and for the 25th of the same month, on which he received the sovereignty from his father, in formal p209assembly on this day in the temple of the Benefactor Gods in Canopus36 declared:— Since king Ptolemy son of Ptolemy and Arsinoe, Brother-and‑Sister Gods, and Berenice, his sister and wife, Benefactor Gods, are continually performing many great benefits to the national temples, and increasing the honours of the gods, and in every respect take good care of Apis and Mnevis and the other renowned sacred animals with great expense and good appointments; and the sacred images carried off from the land by the Persians, the king, having made a foreign campaign, recovered into Egypt, and restored to the temples from which each of them had been carried away; and has kept the land in peace, defending it with arms against many nations and their sovereigns; and afford37 (sic) good government to all that dwell in the land and to all others who are subject to their sovereignty; and when the river once failed to rise sufficiently and all in the land were in despair at what had occurred, and called to mind the disasters which had occurred under some of the former kings, when it happened that the inhabitants of the land suffered from want of inundation; (they) protecting with care both those that dwelt in the temples and the other inhabitants, with much forethought, and foregoing not a little of their revenue for the sake of saving life, sending for corn for the country from Syria, Phoenicia, Cyprus, and many other lands at high prices, saved the dwellers in Egypt, thus bequeathing an immortal benefaction, and the greatest record of their own merit both to this and future generations, in requital for which the gods have given them their royalty well established,38 and will give them all other good things for all time. With the favour of fortune: It is decreed by the priests throughout the country: to increase the pre-existing honours paid in the temples to king Ptolemy and queen Berenice, Benefactor Gods, and to their parents the Gods Adelphoi, and to their grandparents the Saviour Gods, and that the priests in each of the temples throughout the country shall be entitled in addition Priests of the Benefactor Gods, and that there be inserted on all their documents, and added p210to the engraving of the rings which they wear, the priesthood of the Benefactor Gods, and that there be constituted in addition to the now existing 4 tribes of the community of the priests in each temple another, to be entitled the fifth tribe of the Benefactor Gods, since it also happened with good fortune that the birth of king Ptolemy, son of the Brother-and‑Sister Gods, took place on the fifth of Dios, which was the beginning of many good things for all mankind; and that into this tribe be enrolled the priests born39 since the first year and those to be entered among them up to the month Mesore in the 9th year, and their offspring for ever, but that the pre-existing priests up to the first year shall remain in the tribes in which they were, and likewise that their children shall henceforth be enrolled in the tribes of their fathers; and that instead of the 20 Councillor priests chosen each year from the pre-existing 4 tribes, of whom 5 are taken from each tribe, the Councillor priests shall be 25, an additional 5 being chosen from the 5th tribe of the Benefactor Gods; and that the members of the 5th tribe of the Benefactor Gods shall share in the holy offices and everything else in the temples, and that there shall be a phylarch thereof, as is the case with the other tribes. And since there are celebrated every month in the temples feasts of the Benefactor Gods according to the previous decree, viz. the 1st and 9th and 25th, and to the other supreme gods are performed yearly national feasts and solemn assemblies, there shall be kept yearly a national solemn assembly both in the temples and throughout all the land to king Ptolemy and queen Berenice, Benefactor Gods, on the day when the star of Isis rises, which is held in the sacred books to be the new year, and is now in this 9th year kept on the 1st of the month Payni, on which the little Bubastia and the great Bubastia are celebrated, and the gathering of the crops and the rise of the river takes place; but if it happen that the rising of the star changes to another day in 4 years, the feast shall not be changed, but shall still be kept on the 1st of Payni, on which it was originally held in the 9th year, and it shall last for 5 days with wearing of crowns and sacrifices and libations and the other suitable observances; And in order that the seasons p211may correspond regularly according to the establishment of the world, and in order that it may not occur that some of the national feasts kept in winter may come to be kept in the summer, the sun changing one day in every four years, and that other feasts now kept in summer may come to be kept in winter in future times, as has formerly happened, and now would happen if the arrangement of the year remained of 360 days, and the five additional days added; from now onward one day, a feast of the Benefactor Gods, shall be added every four years to the five additional days before the new year, in order that all may know that the former defect in the arrangement of the seasons and the year and the received opinions concerning the whole arrangement of the heavens has been corrected and made good by the Benefactor Gods.

"And since it happened that the daughter born of king Ptolemy and queen Berenice, Benefactor Gods, and called Berenice, who was also forthwith declared Basilissa,40 being yet a virgin, passed away suddenly into the everlasting world,41 while the priests who came together to the king every year from the country were yet with him, who forthwith made great lamentation at the occurrence, and having petitioned the king and queen, persuaded them to settle the goddess with Osiris in the temple in Canopus, which is not only among the temples of first rank, but is among those most honoured by the king and all in the country42 — and the procession of the sacred boat of Osiris to this temple takes place yearly from the temple in the Heracleion on the 29th of Choiach, when all those of the first-class temples contribute sacrifices upon the altars established by them on both sides of the way — and after this they performed the ceremonies of her deification and the conclusion of the mourning with pomp and circumstance, as is the custom in the case of Apis and Mnevis. It is decreed: to perform everlasting honours to queen p212Berenice, daughter of the Benefactor Gods, in all the temples of the land; and since she passed away to the gods in the month Tybi, in which also the daughter of the Sun43 in the beginning departed this life, whom her loving father sometimes called his diadem, sometimes his sight, and they celebrate to her a feast and a boat-procession in most of the first-rank temples in this month, in which her apotheosis originally took place — [it is decreed] to perform to queen Berenice also, daughter of the Benefactor Gods, in all the temples of the land in the month Tybi a feast, a boat-procession for four days from the 17th, in which the procession and concluding of the mourning originally took place; also to fashion a sacred image of her, gold and jewelled, in each of the first and second rank temples, and set it up in the (inner) shrine, which the prophet or those of the priests who enter the adytum for the robing of the gods shall bear in his arms, when the going abroad and feasts of the other gods take place, in order that being seen by all it may be honoured and worshipped as that of Berenice, Lady of Virgins; and that the royal headgear placed upon her image, differing from that set upon the head of her mother queen Berenice, shall consist of two ears of corn, in the midst of which shall be the asp-shaped crown, and behind this a suitable papyrus-shaped sceptre, such as goddesses are wont to hold in their hands, about which also the tail of the asp-crown shall be wound, so that the sign marking the name of Berenice, according to the symbolic system of the sacred script, shall be taken from the design of her royal headgear; and when the Kikellia44 are celebrated in the month Choiach before the second cruise of Osiris, the maidens and the priests shall prepare another image of Berenice, Lady of Virgins, to which they shall perform likewise a sacrifice and the other observances performed at this feast, and it shall be lawful in the same way for any other maidens that choose to perform the customary observances to the goddess;45 and that she shall be hymned p213also by the chosen sacred maidens who are in service to the gods, and they shall put on them the several royal headgears of the gods whose priestesses they are wont to be; and when the early46 harvest is at hand, the sacred maidens shall carry up47 ears of corn which are to be set before the image of the goddess; and that the singing men and the women shall sing to her by day, in the feasts and assemblies of the remaining gods also, whatever hymns the sacred scribes, having composed, may hand over to the teacher of choirs, of which also copies shall be entered in the sacred boats; and seeing that the rations (of corn) are given to the priests out of the sacred property, when they are brought to the whole caste, there shall be given to the daughters of the priests from the sacred revenues, (counting) from whatever day they may be born, the maintenance determined by the councillor priests in each of the temples; in proportion to the sacred revenues; and the bread served out to the wives of the priests shall have a peculiar shape, and be called the bread of Berenice. The person appointed overseer and high priest in each of the temples and the scribes of the temple shall copy this decree on a stone or bronze stele in hieroglyphics, in Egyptian,48 and in Greek, and shall set it up in the most conspicuous place p214in the first, second, and third rank temples, in order that the priests throughout the land may show that they honour the Benefactor Gods and their children, as is just."

It would be an important point, if the view of some scholars could be proved, that, whilst in the case of the Rosetta Decree (forty-three years later) the Egyptian text is the original and the Greek text is a translation, the Canopic Decree, on the other hand, was originally drawn up in Greek, and the Egyptian text is a translation. This would show a notable increase of the authority of the Egyptian priesthood in the interval. But the question of which text is original, and which translation, will perhaps never be capable of a sure answer. Mahaffy held that the Canopic Decree, too, had originally been drawn up in Egyptian. It is conceivable, of course, that the texts might have been prepared by Egyptian priests and Greek officials working together, in which case one phrase might have been first suggested by the Greeks and another phrase by the Egyptians; it is also possible that a draft of what the court wanted said was supplied to the priests in Greek and expanded by them into a fuller form in Egyptian, which was retranslated into Greek; or the other way round, that the priests first submitted to the court a rough draft, which was expanded by Greek court secretaries, and retranslated into Egyptian. In fact, when so many suppositions are possible, to discuss the question as if we knew for certain that it was a plain case of one side drawing up the document as it is, and the other side translating it, is academic unreality.

The second Ptolemy, as was said, has left few traces of himself as a builder or restorer of Egyptian temples. His son has left more. He must have built a new temple of Osiris in Canopus — the temple, probably, in which the Synod of priests met; and he must have founded it early in his reign, if the Synod met there in 237. A gold plate laid, according to a frequent practice, between some of the foundation stones, has come to light again. It is inscribed in Greek, "King Ptolemy, son of Ptolemy and Arsinoe, Brother-and‑Sister Gods, and queen Berenice, his Sister and Wife, dedicate the precinct to Osiris."49 The naos of the temple of Isis at philae, which had been very nearly finished by Ptolemy II, was completed by Ptolemy III. Its big northern pylon has over it an inscription in Greek stating that king Ptolemy, queen Berenice, and their children dedicate the naos to Isis and p215Harpocrates.50 On the neighbouring island of Biggeh there are temple ruins on which the name of Ptolemy III is found associated with that of the old native kings. At Aswan the façade of a small temple dedicated to Isis-Sothis shows p216two Pharaonic figures which the hieroglyphs declare to represent Ptolemy and Berenice. Another small temple put up by Ptolemy III at Esneh would have been particularly interesting, because its walls contained the ecclesiastical scribe's account of the king's campaigns in Asia — an Egyptian parallel to the Greek monument of Adulis; the little temple, however, was "destroyed in this [i.e. the 19th] century by an enterprising pasha" (M.). On the great remaining pylon at Karnak, Ptolemy III is portrayed, and in this case the priestly artist, by an unusual departure from sacred tradition, shows him dressed, not as an ancient Pharaoh, but in a costume evidently intended to represent the Greek robe which he really wore. But the most imposing monument which remains of the third Ptolemy as a temple-builder is the vast temple of Apollinopolis Magna (Edfu), the most perfectly preserved of all Egyptian temples. It was dedicated to the local god, Horus, whom the Greeks identified with their Apollo, and the foundation of it was laid on the 7th of Epiph in the tenth year of the king (August 23, 237) in the presence of the king himself. But a work planned on this scale could not be carried out in a single reign. It was not till the reign of the twelfth Ptolemy, some hundred and eighty years later, that the temple of Edfu received its final additions.


The Author's Notes:

1 CIG 2905; Inscr. in Brit. Mus. 403, l. 135.

2 The title of "Great King" seems to have been given specially to kings who had conquered Babylonia, the old imperial seat of government for Asia.

3 The reference is not to Ptolemy's father and mother, but to the parents of his ancestor, Hyllus, whose father was Herakles, and whose mother was Deianira, a daughter of Dionysos.

4 That is, of course, Coele-Syria (Palestine), not Syria north of the Lebanon.

5 See p175.

6 The elephants in the Seleucid army were Indian elephants.

7 "Her" is the murdered Berenice of Egypt, queen of Syria; "her root" is the stock out of which the house of Ptolemy sprang; the "branch of her root" is her father, Ptolemy II; the one who stands up out of the branch is her brother, Ptolemy III.

8 The king of the north is the king of Syria, Seleucus II; his "fortress" some strong place of the Seleucid realm, possibly Seleucia-in‑Pieria, or perhaps a generic term, meaning the fortified cities of the Seleucid realm generally. In that case, "them" would mean the fortresses in the plural.

9 Ptolemy III.

10 Daniel xi.7‑9.

11 Just. XXVII.1, 5 ff.

12 VIII.50.

13 Inscription of Canopus, ll. 27‑36; Athen. V.209B.

14 CIG 2905, l. 155.

15 Evidently a Persian nobleman in the Seleucid service.

16 The journey by ship from Seleucia up the Orontes to Antioch goes through a valley of extraordinary beauty, celebrated in antiquity.

17 Images of gods, etc.

18 εἰς ὅλους τοὺς τόπους. The use of ὅλοι instead of πάντες for "all" is, of course, according to modern Greek idiom, no doubt familiar to Holleaux's ear, but is hardly credible in a document of this kind.

19 Archiv, VII p73, note 2.

20 One may compare the appeal made to the army before Raphia by queen Arsinoe (Polyb. V.83.3).

21 A. G. Roos (Mnemosyne,º Nov. Ser. LI, 1923, pp262 f.) is surely right in questioning whether any mere commander would speak of a queen as ἡ ἀδελφή at all; and taking the ordinary hypothesis that the queen is Berenice of Syria, he conjectures that the writer is her younger brother Lysimachus. But col. IV ll. 20 to 25 seem to me to prove that the writer is Ptolemy himself, and the assassination of Berenice of Syria after the situation revealed in the papyrus would still, I think, be incredible, even on the theory of Roos.

22 Polyb. V.88.

23 A. J. Reinach, Rev. des Et. Gr., 1911 (p392).

24 Trogus, Prol. xxviii.

25 Trogus, Prol. xxvii and xxx; Euseb. I p251, Schoene.

26 Spiegelberg, Catalogue Généralº du Mus. du Caire, Die demot. Denkmäler, I No. 31110. Cf. Ernst Meyer, Untersuch. p56.

27 Πτολεμαίου νόσῳ τὸν βιὸν μεταλλάξαντος (Polyb. II.71.3).

28 Justin, XXIX.1.5.

29 αἰχμάλωτοι ἀπὸ τῆς Ἀσίας (Petrie, II p99).

30 OGI Nos. 73, 74.

31 Bull. Alex. 4th fasc. (1902), pp48 ff.

32 Strack, G. G. A. for 1900, No. 8, p648, and Wilcken, Ostr. I p783, incline to believe that the Egyptian priests should have credit for initiating the reform. It is true that the astronomical knowledge handed down in the Egyptian priesthood was, if less scientific than the Greek, at any rate sufficient for them to have hit on the plan of a leap-year. It is rather the conservatism characteristic of all priesthoods in regard to the established religious institutions, and of the Egyptian priesthood pre-eminently, which makes it more likely that they decreed the reform owing to a royal order than of their own motion. The decree itself represents the reform as having been made by the Benefactor Gods.

33 Hibeh, 89.

34 Ernst Meyer, Untersuch. z. Chron. p69.

35 March 6, 237 B.C.

36 Probably the temple of Osiris, built by Ptolemy III and Berenice, in which they would be σύνναοι. See p214.

37 "The plural nom. (king and queen) is here silently resumed." —M.

38 "The order of the words makes ευσταθουσαν a second predicate, so that it may mean 'have granted that their royalty be well established,' perhaps an indication that the reverse case was a threatening possibility." —M.

39 Krall (Studien, etc., II.49) points out that the hieroglyphic text of this word γεγενημενους reads: [the priests] 'whom the king has inducted into the temples,' thus confessing the supremacy of the crown." —M.

40 Whilst the title basileus is never given in Ptolemaic Egypt to any one but a reigning king, the title basilissa is given by special favour to princesses who are not, in our sense of the word, queens, e.g. to Philotera (Dittenberger, OGI No. 35).

41 "The form of the sentence would led us to think that she died in her earliest infancy, but this seems not to be the case, for there is a green vase extant with the inscription θεων ευεργετων Βερενικης βασιλισσης αγαθης τυχης (Strack, No. 48), which is referred to this princess." —M.

42 See p214.

43 The Egyptian goddess Tafne.

44 The Kikellia are mentioned by Epiphanius (II p482, Dindorf) as the feast at Alexandria corresponding with the Saturnalia at Rome.

45 "It seems to me probable that there were some duties established for maidens coming of age to this deified princess — at least, if my restoration of the Grenfell Papyri I.xvii l. 11 be correct,

ενηλικοι δε

[ημεις γενομεναι] τα καθηκοντα τελη θεαι Βερενικι κυρι

[αι παρθενων] εδωκαμεν εν τωι λ L, etc.

It is an objection, but not a strong one, that if so, κυρια is substituted for ανασσα, the term in the decree." —M.

46 Our two texts have respectively (A) προωριμος, (B) πρωιμος. In neither case is the meaning clear.

47 "Carry up," because the temples in Egypt are on higher ground above the cornfields.

48 "Egyptian," that is, demotic.

49 OGI No. 60.

50 The fact that Ptolemy and Berenice do not call themselves "Benefactor Gods" makes it likely that the inscription belongs to the earlier years of their reign.


Thayer's Note:

a For a complementary account, see Allen's Star Names, p169.

Page updated: 9 Oct 12