Arsinoe IV


Arsinoe IV1, daughter of Ptolemy XII2 probably by Cleopatra V3, birthdate between 69 and 60, usually estimated between 68 and 65 but estimated here as c. 63-614, probably not declared coregent with Ptolemy XIII in late 505 or early 495.1, declared joint ruler of Cyprus with her brother Ptolemy XIV by Caesar c. Kal.-a.d. VIII Id. Nov. AUC 706 = c. 25-30 August 486, declared queen of Egypt in opposition to Ptolemy XIII and Cleopatra VII7 mid November AUC 706 = early September 488, coregent with Ptolemy XIII in opposition to Cleopatra VII mid December AUC 706 = early October 489, captured by Julius Caesar probably a.d. VI Kal. Apr. AUC 707 = 13 January 4710, and marched in triumph in Rome mid September AUC 708 = mid July 4611, then exiled to Ephesus12, possibly granted joint rule of Cyprus with Cleopatra VII by Antony in 4413, executed by Antony allegedly at the request of Cleopatra VII in late 4114, probably buried in Ephesus15.

No Egyptian titulary is known for her.

[1] PP VI 14493. Gr: Arsinoh. Ý

[2] pseudo-Caesar, Alexandrian Wars 4. Ý

[3] See discussion under Ptolemy XII.

H. Thür, JOAI 60, 43 has suggested that the skeletal remains of a young female aristocrat found in the Octagon tomb in Ephesus are those of Arsinoe. The skull was photographed and measured in detail in the 1920s. It has since been lost, but a recent reconstruction based on the original measurements has led the forensic anthropologist Caroline Wilkinson to conclude that, while the skull "looked more white European" its longheadedness "could suggest" some partly ethnic Egyptian descent. While this is a long way from the claims of "proof" of Egyptian ancestry which have been touted in the media, if it were correct, and if the skull was actually that of Arsinoe, then either the maternity suggested here for Arsinoe, or that of Cleopatra V, or that of Ptolemy XII, or of all of them, cannot be correct.

However, the details have not yet been published or subject to expert review. Personally I am very doubtful of the validity of such conclusions, especially in cases of mixed ethnic origin, the reported basis of this conclusions -- that the skull was somewhat long-headed -- seems pretty flimsy, and, as best I can determine, Wilkinson does not actually make the claim of mixed ancestry attributed to her. Indeed there is evidence of circular reasoning: the reconstruction is reportedly partly based on "the historical background ... suggest[ing] a mixed ancestry". Ý

[4] Terminus post quem: Youngest daughter of Ptolemy XII (ps-Caesar, Alexandrian Wars 4) therefore younger than Cleopatra VII, born in 69. Terminus ante quem: There is no explicit statement that she was older than Ptolemy XIV, who was born in 60 or 59. However, Dio Cassius 42.35.5, describes Caesar's award of Cyprus as being to Arsinoe and Ptolemy XIV in that order, implying that she was the older of the two. This datum is not as strong as the terminus post quem, but it does suggest that she was born before 60.

Almost all English language scholars who have commented on Arsinoe's age, at least since E R Bevan, The House of Ptolemy 356, follow him, either directly or indirectly, in estimating her age as 1-4 years younger than Cleopatra VII, i.e. a birth year in the range 68-65. None of them cite their source, let alone any ancient evidence for it; nor do they give any indication of any analysis behind this estimate. The same estimate is given by A. Bouché-Leclercq, Histoire des Lagides II 179 n. 1, who finally cites a source: M. L. Strack, Die Dynastie der Ptolemäer 210 n. 46. Strack's argument is given below. Some variations occur: E R Bevan, The House of Ptolemy 365, alternately estimates her age at the start of the Alexandrian war as about 15, i.e. a birth year of 63; again, no reasoning is given. E. Ludwig, Cleopatra: The Story of a Queen, 28, makes her 13 at the time of Cleopatra VII's accession, i.e. a birth in c. 65. P. Green, From Alexander to Actium, 650, makes her "barely adolescent" in 58/7, implying a birthdate in late 69 or early 68, again without explanation, but probably by misplaced association with Cleopatra VII, who certainly was "barely adolescent" in 58/7.

At the other extreme, H. Thür, JOAI 60, 43 at 52 makes her 16-18 at death, i.e. born between 59 and 57, citing U. Wilcken, RE II.1 1288, F. Stähelin, RE XI.1 753 and H. Volkmann, RE XXIII.2 1754 as making her the youngest child of Ptolemy XII. This estimate has been the basis for comparison with the skeletal remains found in the Octagon in Ephesus (F. Kanz et al. (forthcoming) 216). However, none of these authorities actually make that claim. Wilcken describes her as the youngest daughter of Ptolemy XII. Stähelin describes her as the younger sister of Cleopatra VII. Volkmann lists her last among the children of Ptolemy XII, but merely describes her as his youngest daughter. It is true that there is no explicit statement making her older than Ptolemy XIV, but, as discussed above, it does seem to be implied by Dio Cassius 42.35.5. Thür's estimate places her birth as probably during the period of her father's exile.

In the absence of explicit evidence one can only refine the estimate on circumstantial grounds. She is said to have had the authority to order the execution of the commander of the Alexandrian army Achillas in about December 48 (ps-Caesar, Alexandrian Wars 4, Dio Cassius 42.40.1), and Caesar felt it necessary to banish her from Egypt in case she became a focus of resistance (ps-Caesar, Alexandrian Wars 33). While the day-to-day leadership under her rule was exercised by the eunuch Ganymede, she was, if this narrative is correct, an actor, not a cipher, and therefore most likely rather older than 12 at the time. For this reason I originally estimated her date of birth at the top end of the possible range, i.e. about 68 or 67, making her about 19 or 20 at the time of the war. M. L. Strack, Die Dynastie der Ptolemäer 210 n. 46, following the same line of reasoning, felt she could not have been younger than 17 to have exercised such authority, and therefore placed her birth between 68 and 65; this has become the standard estimate. H. Heinen, Rom und Ägypten von 51 bis 47 v. Chr., 107 n. 2, comments on Strack's argument that Ptolemy XIII was also an active player in the Alexandrian war when he was certainly only 13 or 14. On the one hand, Arsinoe is reported as showing much more initiative than he did; on the other, one can reasonably argue that in fact she was only and always Ganymede's puppet.

There is one item of literary evidence in favour of a younger age which I have previously overlooked. When the Alexandrians complained to Caesar about her rule they described her as a girl (confectam taedio puellae -- ps-Caesar, Alexandrian Wars 23, mistranslated as "weary of subjection to a woman"). Although this could be a Latin translation of parqenoV, i.e. a young unmarried woman, it is more likely to indicate that she was still young enough to be considered a child, which in ordinary Greek usage would make her not older than 14/15, i.e. born no earlier than the end of 63 or the beginning of 62. In describing her appearance in Caesar's triumph of July 46, Dio Cassius 43.19.3 calls her a "woman" (gunh). If one takes the chronological implications of both these descriptions at face value, she was born between 63/2 and mid 61, and probably closer to the earlier date, making her probably slightly older than Ptolemy XIII or possibly his twin. This matches Bevan's alternate estimate.

On the other hand, the remark reported in ps-Caesar, Alexandrian Wars 23 was clearly derogatory, which might allow her to be a little older, and Dio Cassius 42.42.1, reporting the same story, though at greater remove, describes the Alexandrians as being weary of "the rule of a woman" (gunaikoV arch). Hence, my original estimate of a birth year of c. 67, based on the same perception of her apparent authority as Strack's, cannot be excluded by this literary evidence.

On a birthdate between late 63 and mid 61, which seems to me to be the youngest age consistent with her reported actions, she was between 20 and 22 at the time of her death in late summer 41. H. Thür, JOAI 60, 43 has suggested that the skeletal remains of a young female aristocrat found in the Octagon tomb in Ephesus are those of Arsinoe. The original examination of these remains in 1926 (H. Thür, JOAI 60, 43 at 50-51) estimated the age at death as about 20, which matches this estimate quite well. However, a recent reexamination (F. Kanz et al. (forthcoming) 216) estimates the age at death as 15-17 or possibly 18. Kanz does not see a problem with this because it is consistent with the age at death of 16-18 which Thür assigns to her. But this makes her 8-10 or 11 at the time of the Alexandrian war, nearly 7 years earlier, which seems far too young to me. Either the remains are not in fact those of Arsinoe, or there is a flaw in forensic analysis of some type, or she was much more of a figurehead than she appears to have been at the time of the war. Unfortunately the skull has been lost, and with it the possibility of estimating age from dental remains.

In view of the description of Arsinoe as a "puella" at the end of 48, I now estimate her date of birth as being about 63-61. In my opinion, the circumstantial case for the Octagon tomb being Arsinoe's is quite reasonable, though certainly not conclusive. This means we must consider the possibliity that the skeleton is in fact hers. However, for reasons given above, I think the published estimate is a couple of years too low, and that the original estimate of c. 20 is more likely to be correct if the skeleton is in fact Arsinoe's.  Ý

[5] The argument for a coregency on this date rests on BGU 8.1730, a prostagma from "the king and queen" dated 23 Phaophi year 3 that prohibits cargos of wheat and pulse from Middle Egypt from being shipped to the delta or the Thebaid and diverting them to Alexandria, on pain of death. The rulers to which this document should be assigned is unclear, except that it must be one of the last Ptolemies on paleographical grounds. It is a palimpsest above an earlier document which W. Schubart, the editor of BGU VIII, interpreted as naming Heliodorus, strategos of Heracleopolis in the 20s of Ptolemy XII. If this is correct then, on the basis of the year 3 date, it must either be in the reign of Berenice IV or Ptolemy XIII. However, the legibility of the name "Heliodorus" has been challenged by W. Müller in a later reading (E. Bloedow, Beiträge zur Geschichte des Ptolemaios XII 23 n. 1), so Ptolemy XII remains a theoretical possibility, depending on the judgement of which papyrologist one is most prepared to trust. Berenice IV is not even considered as a candidate, presumably because such an interpretation would require that her husband Archelaus was given priority as king, a doubtful but not impossible proposal, though there is as yet no clear evidence that Archelaus was ever king.

The most benign interpretation of the prostagma is that it represents official response to a food supply crisis in Alexandria in time of drought (G. Hölbl, The Empire of the Ptolemies 231). If the document belongs to Ptolemy XII or even to Berenice IV, then that is the end of the matter. However, if it belongs to Ptolemy XIII, then the fact that it is issued in the name of the "king and the queen" is significant, since this would be the first time in the reign that Ptolemy XIII is clearly named first. It would therefore represent a weakening in the power of Cleopatra VII, which eventually led to her expulsion from the throne. The question is when did this occur. The most definite statement is Caesar, Civil Wars 3.103, who tells us that Cleopatra VII was dethroned by Ptolemy XIII and expelled from the kingdom "a few months" before the murder of Pompey, i.e. early 48, late in year 4. Plutarch, Antony 25.3, mentions in passing that Cleopatra VII had been the lover of Cn. Pompey the younger, who had come to Alexandria to raise a fleet in mid 49; but this has every appearance of being scandalous gossip. Appian, Civil Wars 2.71, casually notes that Ptolemy XIII and Cleopatra VII had contributed ships to Pompey at Pharsalus, which if correct could mean that they were still ruling jointly in early 48.

T. C. Skeat, JEA 48 (1962) 100, 105 n. 1, noting that Malalas 9.217 states that Ptolemy XIII banished Cleopatra VII to the Thebaid and Malalas 9.279 states that Caesar summoned Cleopatra VII from the Thebaid, suggests that she first took refuge there after she left Alexandria, noting in support the papyri dated year 1 = year 3 discussed below. This would imply that her departure from Alexandria occurred a year earlier than Caesar suggests, and would make the aim of this decree to cut off her support in the chora. One can reconcile this position with Caesar's account by noting that Caesar doesn't refer to an expulsion from Alexandria but to an expulsion from Egypt. In other words, she may first have fled to the Thebaid as suggested by Malalas, and then been expelled and escaped to Palestine a year later.

If this is correct, then the queen mentioned in the decree cannot be Cleopatra VII, and must, by default, be Arsinoe IV. Nevertheless, Malalas is a very late and very questionable source, and what he actually says in 9.279, that Caesar summoned Cleopatra VII not from Palestine but from the Thebaid, is certainly wrong.

M. Grant, Cleopatra 51, is inclined to accept the view that the prostagma is aimed at reducing Cleopatra VII's support in the chora but nevertheless proposes that she is the queen of the document. His view is that she was out of power but formally still in government and still in Alexandria. I find this view hard to understand. It requires the regents of Ptolemy XIII, believing that they have Cleopatra VII under control, neverthless taking active steps in advance against the possibility that she would escape to raise opposition in the chora. It would be far simpler, accepting the prostagma as dating from this reign, to take the reverse view: to interpret it as simple drought relief for Alexandria, coincidentally at a time when Cleopatra VII's power has been diminished, and to suppose that she left Alexandria at a later time, possibly to arouse support in areas of the country which had been penalised by the prostagma.

In view of the doubt that the underlying document names Heliodorus, my own inclination at this point is to assign this document to Ptolemy XII. Ý

[5.1] The argument for a coregency at this time depends on a new interpretation of three papyri dated in year 1 = year 3: SB 8.9764 (Payni year 1 = year 3 (= June 49)), BGU 8.1839 (Mesore year 1 = ye[ar 3] (= August 49)), and SB 6.9065 (year 1 = year 3). SB 6.9065 names queen Cleopatra first; the second name is lost. The interpretation of these dates is again controversial. T. C. Skeat, JEA 48 (1962) 100 interprets these papyri as indicating that Cleopatra VII has taken on Ptolemy XIV as a coruler, with a new year count, and as having temporarily deposed Ptolemy XIII, while retaining year 3 under her own year count. But there is no other indication of such events. H. Heinen, Rom und Ägypten von 51 bis 47 v. Chr. 30ff., 185ff. and L. M. Ricketts, BASP 16 (1979) 213, take the contrary view that they represent year 1 of an era of Ptolemy XIII equated with year 3 of the ongoing reign of Cleopatra VII, and interpret the papyri as indicating that she had had to subordinate herself to him as a coruler.

M. Chauveau, Akten des 21. Internationalen Papyrologenkongresses Berlin 1995 I 163, 168f., argues that Ptolemy XIII never changed his era, and that the dates must therefore be read as year 1 of Cleopatra VII = year 3 of Ptolemy XIII. As proof he notes that gr Medinet Habu 44, naming the strategos Pamonthes son of Monkores, is dated to 14 Thoth year 5 of king Ptolemy and queen Cleopatra the father-loving gods; the date is equated to the 20th day of a lunar month. This was assigned by H. J. Thissen, ZPE 27 (1977) 181, to Ptolemy XII and Cleopatra V, i.e. dated to 24 September 77, but Chauveau noted that the queen is not called Tryphaena, and that the rulers are not called sibling-loving (Philadelphoi), as is normal for this royal couple.

Further, the lunar date requires the lunar month to start on 30 Mesore of the previous year. This is the case in the 9th year of the Carlsberg cycle according to the table on A. E. Samuel, Ptolemaic Chronology 57. Moreover, since the equivalence is explicitly given in pCarlsberg 9, it remains true even though, as noted by A. Jones, ZPE 119 (1997) 157, there are multiple solutions to the pCarlsberg 9 equations. Since year 1 of a Carlsberg cycle started in AD 44, the most recent year 9 in the Ptolemaic era is 49/8 BC, which is also year 4 for a ruler acceding in 52/1. This equation dates the graffito to Ptolemy XIII, i.e. 17 September 48, a date which, as Chauveau notes, is right at the start of the Alexandrian war.

Chauveau further identified pdemCairo 30616 a and b, dated to 13 Phamenoth year 3, as having the same royal dating formula, and therefore reassigned them from Ptolemy XII to Ptolemy XIII, redating them from 23 March 78 to 15 March 49. In Chauveau's view, this shows that Heinen and Ricketts are wrong, in that Ptolemy XIII did not change his year count. Chauveau concluded that the year 1 = year 3 double dates must therefore represent a year 1 of Cleopatra VII independent of the era established in 52/1.

This conclusion seems to me likely to be correct. It has the advantage of assigning the era of Cleopatra VII as the first of the two eras, just as she is the first of the two rulers named in SB 6.9065. For the same reason, another alternative suggested by B. P. Grenfell & A. S. Hunt, New Classical Fragments and Other Greek and Latin Papyri 63 -- that these papyri belong to an era of Archelaus and Berenice IV (calling herself Cleopatra) -- can be ruled out, since, if this were correct, the "year 1" would have to belong to Archelaus. Chauveau's proposal fits rather well with Skeat's proposed reconstruction of the sequence of events with respect to Cleopatra, if not with his views on Ptolemy XIV.

Regardless of the true date of BGU 8.1730, this scenario implies that Cleopatra VII left Alexandria before June 49, the date of SB 8.9764. But her partner in the dual-dated papyri, on Chauveau's proposal, can only be Ptolemy XIII, not Ptolemy XIV. Therefore we have to interpret the double dates from Cleopatra VII's perspective, as indicating her independence from Ptolemy XIII's regency council, but not a rupture between Cleopatra VII and Ptolemy XIII himself. This would also fit the evidence of pOxy 19.2222, a fragmentary kinglist, which says that Ptolemy the brother of Cleopatra (i.e. Ptolemy XIII) reigned together with her for 3 years and alone for 1.

Howrever, it is unlikely that this view was reciprocated by Ptolemy XIII's regency council. Certainly by July 48, in late year 4, the two sides had been at war for some months, with Cleopatra VII expelled from the country. In these circumstances, the "queen Cleopatra Philopator" of gr Medinet Habu 44 could only be Cleopatra VII if the graffito actually reflects news of the Caesarian settlement. Otherwise, she can only be Arsinoe IV. The most likely moment for Arsinoe's installation, on this interpretation, would be at the time that Cleopatra VII left Alexandria, presumably (on this reconstruction) in early 49.

There is one piece of evidence against this proposal: Strabo 17.1.11, who says that Cleopatra VII went to Syria with her sister, i.e. Arsinoe IV. However, we do not know when Arsinoe IV returned to Alexandria. In view of the apparent difficulty Cleopatra VII had in returning with safety, it appears that she returned alone. But she is unlikely to have left Arsinoe IV alone with her army, so it would appear that Arsinoe IV had returned earlier, possibly in order to become Ptolemy XIII's queen, or that Strabo was in error. Alternatively, the "queen Cleopatra Philopator" of the graffito could be a placeholder for a queenship that was, at that instant in time, in fact vacant.

There is perhaps one additional piece of evidence. Caesar's reported decision to award Cyprus, then a Roman province, to Ptolemy XIV and Arsinoe IV, cannot have been in fulfilment of the will of Ptolemy XII as Caesar claimed. It is much easier to understand if he did so to compensate the two, particularly Arsinoe IV, for loss of position in Egypt, i.e. for replacing her as queen by reinstating Cleopatra VII.

Having laid out out this argument, however, my inclination is to interpret gr Medinet Habu 44 as reflecting the Caesarian setlement, and therefore not as an indication of a coregency for Arsinoe IV. Ý

[6] Dio Cassius 42.35. Caesar does not mention the award of Cyprus, and the accuracy of the report has been doubted, e.g. A. Bouché-Leclercq, Histoire des Lagides, II 193 n. 1. But Cleopatra VII was certainly in possession of it in 43, so Caesar must have transferred it back to Egypt at some point, and the story seems an odd one for Dio to invent. For the date, see discussion under Ptolemy XIII. Ý

[7] Dio Cassius 42.39; pseudo-Caesar, Alexandrian Wars 4. Only Dio Cassius says she was declared queen, although she was clearly accepted as leader of the army. As P. Graindor, La guerre d'Alexandrie 79 points out, her presence, particularly as queen, provided legitimacy to the actions of the army in prolonging the war after peace had nominally been made between Ptolemy XIII and Cleopatra VII. If she was not formally declared queen, perhaps this is because because in the eyes of the army she already was the queen. Ý

[8] The date is estimated by dead reckoning. The two bounds are the settlement of Caesar probably at the start of November and the arrival of the 37th legion probably at the start of December. In this time, the forces of Achillas arrived in Alexandria to place Caesar under siege; Arsinoe IV escaped to them with her tutor Ganymede and was recognised as the leader of the army if not queen; Arsinoe and Achillas began to contend for control and each made at least one distribution of money to the troops; Arsinoe had Achillas executed and Ganymede placed in command; and Ganymede was able to poison the water supply of Caesar's forces. This last must have taken a while, so Arsinoe's escape should be placed near the start of the period, c. Non - a.d. IV Id. Nov. Ý

[9] For the release of Ptolemy XIII to Egyptian forces see Dio Cassius 42.42; pseudo-Caesar, Alexandrian Wars 23-24. Although it was said to Caesar that the Egyptian army was fed up with being ruled by a girl and with the cruelty of Ganymede, there is no particular reason to believe that this was true, and no indication of conflict between them, hence it may be assumed that she became his queen at this point. For the date, see discussion under Ptolemy XIII. Ý

[10] Inferred from Caesar's decision, given in pseudo-Caesar, Alexandrian Wars 33, to exile Arsinoe IV in the settlement he imposed after defeating the Egyptian army. Date is assumed to be the date of the battle of the Nile in which the Egyptian army was defeated. See discussion under Ptolemy XIII. Ý

[11] Dio Cassius 43.19, 43.20; Appian, Civil Wars 2.101-2. She was displayed in the second of four triumphs held on separate days, over Gaul, Egypt, Pontus and Africa. They are frequently said to have been consecutive, but Suetonius, Caesar 37 is clear that each of these triumphs were celebrated a few days apart. The year of the triumph is determined by context: it follows the conclusion of Caesar's campaigns.

The exact date is not certain. However, we may note that Dio Cassius 43.22 states that Caesar dedicated the Temple of Venus Genetrix immediately after his last triumph, over Africa, apparently in the evening of that day. This event is dated to a.d. VI Kal. Oct in the Fasti Pinciani. Suetonius, Augustus 8, supports this date for the African triumph when he notes that Augustus took part in it after taking his toga virilis, an event that would normally have occurred on his 17th birthday, a.d. IX Kal. Oct. A.U.C. 708. Since he apparently had no role in the earlier triumphs, one may perhaps infer that the Pontic triumph was held on the same day or before, and that the Egyptian triumph was held a few days earlier.

M. Grant, Cleopatra 85 says that the triumphs were held between a.d. XI Kal. Oct. and Kal. Oct. 708 A.U.C. I have yet to locate the source for this statement. It does not seem possible to square this range with Suetonius' statement that they were held a few days apart and with the date of the dedication of the temple of Venus Genetrix.

46 = 708 AUC was the transitional year between the old Roman calendar and the Julian calendar. For the early Julian calendar see here. Since 709 AUC was not accounted a leap year, September, November and December of 708 AUC each had 29 days, and 67 intercalary days were inserted between November and December, we arrive at the equation Kal. Sept. 708 AUC = 29 June 46. Ý

[12] Josephus, Antiquities of the Jews 15.4.1. Appian, Civil Wars 5.9 says Miletus; this is generally regarded as an error. Ý

[13] Strabo 14.6.6. This is usually regarded as an error. However, P. J. Bicknell, Latomus 36 (1977) 325, 331 takes it seriously. He considers that the only time Antony could have done this was in 44, shortly after Caesar's murder. Since we know from Appian, Civil Wars 4.61, that Serapion, strategus of Cyprus in 43, owed allegiance to Cleopatra VII, Bicknell proposes that Cleopatra had sent him to disposses Arsinoe, who then fled to Ephesus where she attempted to link up with the Republicans under Cassius, thereby explaining the notice of Appian, Civil Wars 5.9 that the priest of Artemis at Ephesus had greeted her as queen. Maybe, maybe not. Ý

[14] Josephus, Antiquities of the Jews 15.4.1; Josephus, Contra Apionem 2.5, though Josephus is very hostile to Cleopatra VII. P. Green, From Alexander to Actium 671, argues that the decision was Antony's alone, based on considerations of realpolitik. The date is determined from Appian, Civil Wars 5.9, who says that it followed very shortly after the meeting of Antony and Cleopatra at Tarsus (though he also misplaces the temple in Miletus not Ephesus). Dio Cassius 48.24.2 also dates the event to after the meeting in Tarsus, though curiously he says it was Cleopatra's brothers, not her sister, who was killed. Ý

[15] H. Thür, JOAI 60 (1990) 43, has proposed that Arsinoe IV was buried in the Octagon, a large tomb in the centre of Ephesus which is dated to the period c. 50-20 by the style of the decoration of the mausoleum; associated pottery remains were dated to the 20s, indicating that the building was completed at about that time. The grave inscription, if there was one, has not been found, and the tomb was plundered in antiquity, but the skeletal remains were found in the original sarcophagus and are those of a young woman originally estimated to be around 20 but most recently 15-17.

The position of the tomb is very prominent, indicating that the owner was of very high status, Evidently she was a very prominent aristocrat of the period, and Arsinoe IV is the only one known who was resident in Ephesus. In further support of this identification, Thür notes that decorative elements of the tomb such as the papyrus columns are well-known in Alexandria, and that the octagonal form of the mausoleum recalls what we know of the Pharos in Alexandria, a model of which was carried in Caesar's triumph in 46.

This identification seems quite plausible, though it is certainly not conclusively proved. If correct, and if the skeleton is also that of Arsinoe IV, she would be the only member of the dynasty whose remains have survived till modern times. An examination of the skeletal remains announced in 2009 (F. Kanz et al. (forthcoming) 216) has led to conclusions about the age, condition and ethnic origin of the occupant, discussed above. Kanz also concluded that there were no signs of violence on the skeleton. While these results do not, and inherently cannot, prove that the occupant was Arsinoe IV, they appear to be somewhat consistent with this view. However, the age estimate seems to me to be too young, and the lack of signs of violence, whiile not critical, is not what one would expect. Additionally, the tomb seems to have been completed nearly two decades after her death. None of this is decisive evidence against the claim (indeed one might argue that the mausoleum is more likely to have been built by Cleopatra's successful opponents than by herself or her partner, or by the city at the time of their rule), but the case for it is not as strong as one would like. The strongest arguments remain the Egyptian elements of the tomb decoration and the apparently very high status of the occupant. Ý

Update Notes:

11 Feb 2002: Added individual trees
17 Feb 2002: Strengthened discussion of possible coregencies in year 3 to make clear that I doubt it.
26 Feb 2002: Split into separate entry.
14 April 2002: Added Bicknell's theory of Arsinoe IV as queen of Cyprus in 44/3.
12 May 2002: Corrected Roman and Egyptian date equations as necessary
30 June 2002: Corrected Roman and Egyptian date equations again as necessary
18 May 2003: Changed Plutarch Xrefs to the Lacus Curtius edition
18 June 2003: Udated Xrefs to translations of Caesar
23 Oct 2003: Added Xrefs to online translations of Appian
24 Feb 2004: Added Xref to online Strabo
25 June 2004: Cleaned up discussion on the date of Caesar's Egyptian triumph
25 June 2004: Separated the discussions of two proposals for Arsinoe ruling in coregency
2 Nov 2004: Downgrade judgement on coregency with Ptolemy XIII from "possibly" to "probably not" to avoid misinterpretation
19 Jan 2005: Updated Xref on Alexandrian Wars to ForumRomanum edition
11 Mar 2005: Added Greek transcription and link to image of pOxy 19.2222
28 May 2007: Added Xref to BASP paper
14 Oct 2007: "Crassus" => Cassius (n. 13) thanks to John Gilbert
28 Mar 2009: Revise age estimate; add commentary on examination of skeletal remains and (lost) skull which may be those of Arsinoe.
7 Dec 2010: Fix broken Perseus & DDbDP links

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