The Cadet Lines


There are several cases of younger sons or stepsons becoming rulers of part of the Ptolemaic Empire. None of these led to the creation of a cadet line.

After Magas of Cyrene, only one Ptolemaic prince is known to have married: Ptolemy IX, who married Cleopatra IV before his accession. Only two others -- the later Ptolemy VIII, and a son of Ptolemy II, probably Ptolemy Andromachou -- are recorded as having mistresses. One illegitimate son is known for Ptolemy VIII (Ptolemy Apion) and another is postulated for Ptolemy II (Ptolemy Andromachou), but neither of these had any known children.

The only two families I know that could reasonably called cadet lines are the descendants of Theoxena, probable step-daughter of Ptolemy I, and of Ptolemy of Telmessos, step-son of Ptolemy II and probably to be identified with his coregent Ptolemy "the Son". The first family probably lasted as a leading family in Alexandria till the time of Ptolemy V, ending with the regent Agathocles and his sister Agathoclea. The second line can be traced for three generations beyond Ptolemy of Telmessos, the last known representative being Berenice, a priestess in the Seleucid dynastic cult, but during this time they existed as minor provincial magnates in Anatolia with no observable connection to the Alexandrian court.

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