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Ptolemy, one of Alexander the Great's generals, was appointed satrap of Egypt after Alexander's death in 323 BC. In 305 BC he declared himself King Ptolemy I, later known as "Soter" (saviour). The Egyptians soon accepted the Ptolemies as the successors to the pharaohs of independent Egypt. Ptolemy's family ruled Egypt until the Roman conquest of 30 BC.
The dynastic history of Ptolemaic Egypt is very confusing, because all the male rulers of the dynasty took the name Ptolemy, and because many of them married their sisters, who were often called Cleopatra. The most famous member of the line was the last Ptolemaic queen, Cleopatra VII.
Ptolemaic rulers and consorts
The dates in brackets are regnal dates for the kings. They frequently ruled jointly with their wives, who were often also their sisters. Several queens exercised regal authority, but the most famous and successful was Cleopatra VII (51 BC-30 BC), with her two brothers and her son as successive nominal co-rulers. Several systems exist for numbering the later rulers; the one used here is the one most widely used by modern scholars.
- Ptolemy I Soter (305 BC-282 BC) married Eurydice , then Berenice I
- Ptolemy II Philadelphos (284 BC-246 BC) married Arsinoe I , then Arsinoe II Philadelphos; ruled jointly with Ptolemy the Son (267 BC-259 BC)
- Ptolemy III Euergetes I (246 BC-222 BC) married Berenice II
- Ptolemy IV Philopator (222 BC-204 BC) married Arsinoe III
- Ptolemy V Epiphanes (204 BC-180 BC) married Cleopatra I
- Ptolemy VI Philometor (180 BC-164 BC, 163 BC-145 BC) married Cleopatra II
- Ptolemy VII Neos Philopator (never reigned)
- Ptolemy VIII (170 BC-163 BC, 145 BC-116 BC) Euergetes II (Physcon) married Cleopatra II then Cleopatra III (Kokke)
- Cleopatra II (132 BC-124 BC) Philometora Soteira, in opposition to Ptolemy VIII
- Ptolemy IX Philometor Soter II (Lathyros) (116 BC-107 BC, 88 BC-81 BC) married Cleopatra IV then Cleopatra Selene; ruled jointly with Cleopatra III in his first reign
- Ptolemy X Alexander I (107 BC-88 BC) married Cleopatra Selene then Berenice III ; ruled jointly with Cleopatra III till 101 BC
- Berenice III Philopator (81 BC-80 BC)
- Ptolemy XI Alexander II (80 BC) married and ruled jointly with Berenice III then alone for 18/19 days
- Ptolemy XII Neos Dionysos (Auletes) (80 BC-58 BC, 55 BC-51 BC) and Cleopatra V
- Cleopatra V Tryphaena (58 BC-57 BC) ruled jointly with Berenice IV Epiphaneia (58 BC-55 BC)
- Cleopatra VII Thea Neotera (51 BC-30 BC) ruled jointly with Ptolemy XIII (51 BC-47 BC)
- Arsinoe IV (48 BC-47 BC) in opposition to Cleopatra VII
- Ptolemy XIV (47 BC-44 BC) jointly with Cleopatra VII then
- Ptolemy XV Caesarion (44 BC-30 BC) jointly with Cleopatra VII
Simplified Ptolemaic family tree
Many of the relationships shown in this tree are controversial. The issues are fully discussed in the external links.
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