Berenice I1, probably daughter of Magas2 and certainly daughter of Antigone, cousin of Eurydice3, born c. 3404, first married Philip5, by whom she had at least two children6, Magas7 and Antigone8, and probably a third, Theoxena9. After the death of Philip she went to Egypt in the entourage of Eurydice10, and began a liaison or marriage with Ptolemy I c. 317-31411, by whom she had three more children, Ptolemy II12, Arsinoe II13 and Philotera14. She was victor in the chariot races in the Olympic Games of an unknown Olympiad14.1. Her date of death is unknown, possibly between spring 279 and spring 274, but certainly before 26815. She was incorporated in the dynastic cult with Ptolemy I by Ptolemy IV in 215/4 as the Saviour Gods, Qeoi SwthreV16.
 PP VI 14497. Gr: Berenikh. Ý
 Scol. Theocritus 17.34 gives her father's name (in the genitive) as Gamou (fr. Vaticanus) or Bagou (fr. Ambrosianus). This scholium is clearly corrupt, and the name requires emendation. The correction to Magou is straightforward for both sources, and results in her having children named after each of her parents.
It is sometimes argued that the name should be amended to Lagou, making Berenice a daughter of Lagus, i.e. a half-sister of Ptolemy I. However, while marriage to non-uterine half-siblings was certainly permissible in Macedon, there was no necessity for it, and the theory is clearly anachronistic, being influenced by the later Ptolemaic custom of incestuous marriages. See G. H. Macurdy, Hellenistic Queens 104, F. Sandberger, Prosopographie zur Geschichte des Pyrrhos 56 n. 1.
 Scol. Theocritus 17.61 names her mother as Antigone daughter of Cassander brother (adelfoV) of Antipater. Ý
 By dead-reckoning, given that she had at least two children before her union with Ptolemy I. This is usually dated c. 317, e.g. K. J. Beloch, Griechische Geschichte IV.2 180, which in turn is based on the usual estimate for 316 as the birth date of Arsinoe II. However, Arsinoe II could have been born maybe a couple of years later, which would correspondingly lower the likely birth date of her mother. Ý
 Pausanias 1.7.1, Plutarch Pyrrhus 4.4. Pausanias describes him as "a Macedonian but of no note and of lowly origin". Since we are told nothing else about him, there is no evidence against this, though I am a little sceptical that he had no social status, since Berenice herself was closely related to the regent Antipater. Ý
It is remotely possible, though not very likely, that she was also the mother of Argaeus, brother of Ptolemy II. If so then, given that Ptolemy II was the youngest son of Ptolemy I but bore his name, it is more likely that Argaeus was a son of Berenice's by Philip than by Ptolemy I. Ý
 The relationship started after Eurydice had children (Pausanias 1.6.8), i.e. c317 or later. The birth of Arsinoe II is usually dated c. 316, which would narrow the date to c. 317. However, since it is possible that she was born a couple of years later, the start of the relationship between Berenice and Ptolemy I can only safely be restricted to the range c. 317-314.
The nature of the relationship is also controversial. It is often supposed that Berenice was originally a mistress, and only later became a wife, after Ptolemy I divorced Eurydice. However, Plutarch Pyrrhus 4.4 describes her (c299) as "in greatest power, and of all Ptolemy's wives highest in esteem for virtue and understanding", implying both that she was married by this time and that Ptolemy had other official wives at that time. Since Arsinoe II was clearly regarded as legitimate at the time of her marriage to Lysimachus, it seems reasonable to suppose that Berenice had full status as a wife from the beginning. If so, there is not sufficient time between the marriages of Eurydice and Berenice for all of Eurydice's known children to have been born. Finally, Ptolemy I was perfectly willing to entertain a marriage to Alexander's sister Cleopatra in 308. Since Cleopatra was almost certainly too old to bear children by this time, such a marriage could have had no effect on the status of Ptolemy's other children, hence on the status of his existing wives. Ý
 The universally agreed terminus ante quem is given by Theocritus, Idyll 17.124 in which Berenice is described as immortal during the lifetime of Arsinoe II, who died in 270 or 268. The latest certain terminus post quem is c. 299, when her daughter Antigone married Pyrrhus of Epirus. If her Olympic victory were certainly datable to 284, as Bing suggests, this would lower it considerably. It seems very likely that she was still alive when her rival Eurydice was in Miletus, some time around 287. Pliny, NH 37.32, describes her as the mother of Ptolemy II when discussing a gift of topazes from the Red Sea made to her by Philon, which strongly implies, but does not absolutely require, that she was still alive after his accession.
K. J. Beloch, Griechische Geschichte IV.2 181, argued that her death could be limited to the period between the institution of the Ptolemaieia recorded in the Decree of the League of Islands (SIG3 1.390 = IG XII 7.506, M. M. Austin, The Hellenistic World from Alexander to the Roman Conquest 359f (218)), and the pentaeteric Grand Procession in the reign of Ptolemy II described by Kallixeinos of Rhodes (Athenaeus 5.197Dff.), which was almost certainly a Ptolemaieia. In SIG3 1.390, she was, in Beloch's view, still alive, since the decree only mentions awarding divine honours to Ptolemy I, not Berenice. By the time of the pentaeteris of Kallixeinos, she had certainly died, since she is described there as a deity, being honoured with precincts at Dodona.
In order to assess this argument, and to set actual limits, we must determine the date of the Grand Procession described by Kallixeinos and the date of the Decree of the League of Islands. Unfortunately, these are two of the most complex problems in Ptolemaic chronology.
The Grand Procession described by Kallixeinos is not explicitly dated. R. A. Hazzard & M. P. V. Fitzgerald, JRASC 85 (1991) 6, and V. Foertmeyer, Historia 37 (1988) 90, have both tried to date it on astronomical grounds, but in both cases the argument relies on a demonstrable anachronism in Kallixeinos' text. Other analyses try to date it based on circumstantial details in the description which are presumed to reflect the original records.
The most striking of these is that Arsinoe II is not named in any form, notably not as a deity. E. E. Rice, The Grand Procession of Ptolemy Philadelphus, 184, concludes that this indicates it took place before the marriage of Arsinoe II to Ptolemy II. While the date of this marriage is uncertain, it was almost certainly before c. 272.
There is a reference to "the sovereigns" (oi basileiV) in a section of the procession concerned with royal ancestors. While this could in isolation refer to Ptolemy II and Arsinoe II, one would expect to see some explicit sign of her in the rest of the description. The only possible sign is a double cornucopia (dikeraV) mentioned at Athenaeus 5.202Cff, which became the special symbol of Arsinoe II. However, E. E. Rice, The Grand Procession of Ptolemy Philadelphus, 202ff. correctly notes that no special attention is drawn to this object, which comes at the end of a list of spectacular religious objects in the procession. The others are larger and specified to be of gold: comparatively speaking, the double cornucopia is not impressive. Most likely its presence in the procession is independent of its (later) association with Arsinoe II.
If the procession predates their marriage, an alternate identity is needed for the other sovereign. The obvious suggestion is Arsinoe I. However, E. E. Rice, The Grand Procession of Ptolemy Philadelphus, 40, correctly notes that she was only a consort, not a co-sovereign. The other, more likely, possibility (E. E. Rice, The Grand Procession of Ptolemy Philadelphus, 42) is Ptolemy I, who is well-represented in the procession.
On the other hand, R. A. Hazzard, Imagination of a Monarchy, 31, who supposes that the festival can be dated to 262 on astronomical grounds, suggests that "the sovereigns" are Ptolemy II and Ptolemy "the Son", who were coregents at this time. Since, however, he accepts that Arsinoe II's cult was otherwise very prominent in the years after her death, this date still requires an explanation of the absence of her cult figures in the Grand Procession. He supposes instead (R. A. Hazzard, Imagination of a Monarchy, 67) that Ptolemy II was using the occasion to build up a grand alliance against Antigonus II (an alliance that in the event was never formed), and that he suppressed Arsinoe II on this one occasion because the scandalous nature of their marriage had lowered the king's prestige throughout the Greek world, and he did not wish to remind potential allies of the affair.
As if they would forget, or care. The weak and speculative nature of this argument is self-evident. Moreover, the same objection applies to Ptolemy "the Son" as applied to Arsinoe II: where are the other signs of Ptolemy "the Son"?
V. Foertmeyer, Historia 37 (1988) 90 at 91 notes that the appearance of the figure of Corinth (Athenaeus 5.201D) in a section of the parade devoted to the glories of Alexander and of Ptolemy I, who had brought the city under Ptolemaic rule in 308, only makes sense at a time when Corinth was still a center of Ptolemaic influence in Greece. Since Corinth was lost to Antigonus II during the Chremonidean War of the early 260s, this again shows that the procession must be dated to the 270s or late 280s.
This seems to me to be a strong point, although it is not generally mentioned as a terminus ante quem. Hazzard does not address it. One might conjecture, according to his general theory of the motivation of the procession as part of an attempt to form an anti-Antigonid alliance, that one goal of the proposed alliance was the recovery of Corinth. But in this case, one would expect to see some sign of the distress of the city (or Greece) under Antigonid rule. Instead, the figure is described as "standing by the side of Ptolemaeus, and that also wore a golden diadem; and by all these lay a large golden stand full of articles of gold plate, and a golden goblet containing five measures".
R. A. Hazzard, Imagination of a Monarchy, 64ff., notes a point which in his view supports a later date: a throne described at Athenaeus 5.202B is said to be a throne of "Ptolemy Soter". Even though Kallixeinos anachronistically calls Ptolemy II "Philadelphus", and also names Ptolemy IV (Philopator), Hazzard argues that the use of "Soter" must here represent the original term used in the official Records of the Penteterides that Kallixeinos claimed was his source. Since Ptolemy I was only recognised as "Soter" in coins in 263 and in dating formulae after 259, Hazzard holds that he would have been referred to under another description in this source if the procession had predated 263. He notes that the Athenian decree for Kallias of Sphettos (SEG 28.60 = SEG 29.102) referred to Ptolemy I as "King Ptolemy" and Ptolemy II as "King Ptolemy the Younger" in the archonship of Sosistratus (270/69), while another mid third century Athenian inscription (SIG 1.409 = IG II2 682), a decree honouring Kallias' brother Phaedros of Sphettos, referred to Ptolemy I as "King Ptolemy the Elder". He implies that the same terms would have been used in Egypt, and holds that Kallixeinos would not have known whether "King Ptolemy the Elder" was Ptolemy I or Ptolemy II, nor whether "King Ptolemy the Younger" was Ptolemy II or Ptolemy "the Son".
First, the fact that coins and dating formulae do not use the term till 263 is not proof that the term "Soter" was not applied to the king at earlier times. Second, we have no evidence that these Athenian terms were applied to either king in Alexandrian sources; for example Ptolemy "the Son" was never called called "King Ptolemy the Younger". Thirdly, even if this scenario was correct, we have no reason to suppose that Kallixeinos did not know the date of the procession, which would have told him which king was which, just as it does us. Evidently Hazzard has a low estimate of Kallixeinos' abilities.
It seems to me that the absence of Arsinoe II in any form is sufficient to date the procession before 272. Since the Ptolemaieia was penteteric, and since it was almost certainly celebrated in year 35 (Mac.) of Ptolemy II = 251/0 (Mac.), the latest possible date for the Ptolemaiea of Kallixeinos is therefore year 12 (Mac.) = 274/3 (Mac.). We can therefore use the Grand Procession as a terminus ante quem for the death of Berenice I.
In order to refine the estimate further, we need to establish the possible dates of the Ptolemaieia being described.
SIG3 1.390 = IG XII 7.506 is a well-known inscription recording a decree passed at a meeting of the League of Islands establishing the participation of the League in the Ptolemaieia. It is not explicitly dated. The major indicators of its date are as follows:
a) The Decree was passed at an assembly held on Samos
b) The assembly was held at the invitation of Philokles king of Sidon and Bakchon the Nesiarch
c) The games are decreed to be isolympic, i.e. held every four years and equal in status to the Olympics
d) Ptolemy I is identified as "Soter" and is treated with divine honours
e) Ptolemy II is now king, having received the crown from his father, but not divine
f) The finances to support the delegation of the League attending the games were to be collected by Bakchon's agents
Since the Ptolemaieia is isolympic, and since it was almost certainly celebrated in year 35 (Mac.) of Ptolemy II = 251/0 (Mac.), probably at the end of Daisios 251, which is near the start of year 2 of the 4 year Olympic cycle, the earliest possible year for this Ptolemaieia is year 4 (Mac.) of Ptolemy II = 282/1 (Mac.), when Daisios fell near the end of year 2 of the cycle. In principle, however, the Ptolemaieia could have been established on any fourth Olympic year thereafter.
J. Delamarre, RPh 20 (1896) 103, noted that Samos was controlled by Lysimachus until his defeat at Corupedium in early 281. This datum is given by OGIS 13, recording an award to the Samians by Lysimachus in 283/2. The date is given by a later Prienian inscription, iPriene 162, referring to the same award, as the year following the 14th year after the (Prienian) stephanephorate of Lycus, in which year Hieron, tyrant for three years after the battle of Ipsos, had been overthrown = 301/0 - 3 - 14 - 1 = 283/2 (see T. L. Shear, Kallias of Sphettos and the Revolt of Athens in 286, 37 n. 92 and P. M. Fraser, BCH 78 (1954) 49 at 55 n. 2).
This argument was accepted as decisive until L. A. Nerwinski, The Foundation Date of the Panhellenic Ptolemaea 30ff., concluded that SEG 28.60 = SEG 29.102 shows that the first Ptolemaieia was held in 282. In order to reconcile this date with SIG3 1.390, Nerwinski supposed that Samos had become the headquarters of the Ptolemaic fleet at the invitation of Lysimachus, because the two kings were allies in preparing to defend Anatolia and the Aegean against the anticipated Seleucid invasion of 282/1, the invasion which would eventually lead to the destruction of Lysimachus' realm. He suggested that the meeting of the League was called in Samos because Philokles of Sidon was a senior naval commander who could not leave his post in view of an imminent Seleucid invasion.
Against Nerwinski, H. Hauben, Anc. Soc. 34 (2004) 27 at 39 n. 72, notes that the invitation to meet on Samos was issued jointly by Philokles and Bakchon, implying that Bakchon was also based on Samos. While Philokles was certainly in command of an Aegean fleet, Bakchon, the Nesiarch, was effectively administering a Ptolemaic protectorate. Hauben also notes that the subjects of the meeting were internal Ptolemaic civic and religious matters, hardly appropriate for discussion on Lysimachean territory. These features seem to require that the meeting took place after Samos formally became a Ptolemaic territory.
Evidently, Nerwinski's conjecture is an attempt to reconcile his main thesis with an inconvenient datum.
Delamarre's argument sets the earliest possible date for a Ptolemaieia voted on by a Ptolemaic assembly on Samos at Daisios(?) year 4 = 278/7 (Mac.), but it does not fix that as the date of the first Ptolemaieia. However, from point (f), the decree of the League was probably passed shortly before that first occurrence.
The Grand Procession described by Kallixeinos, if correctly identified as a Ptolemaieia, and if correctly dated before 272, would establish a terminus ante quem for the decree. However, its date is also controversial, and so we should seek to date the decree without invoking it.
Several considerations have been advanced to argue that its date must be restricted to the decade after Corupedium:
Against this, R. A. Hazzard, Imagination of a Monarchy, 50, noted that Arsinoe II could also be absent if the decree had been passed after her death.
We have seen above that Hazzard made the same point to argue that her absence could not be used to argue an early date for the Grand Procession. At that point I objected that her cult status was also missing, which one would not expect in Alexandria after her death. However, this objection does not have force here: the League of Islands was outside Egypt, and we have no evidence that the cult of Arsinoe was operating there. Hazzard has a fair point, as far as it goes.
P. M. Fraser, BCH 78 (1954) 49 at 56, 59f, notes that the description of Ptolemy II having received the crown from his father includes the word nun (now), and argues that this implies that his accession was a recent event.
Against this, J. Bousquet, BCH 82 (1958) 77 at 81, noted that the syntax of the text does not require that Ptolemy II's accession happened in the immediate past. The test immediately before this describes the benefits received from Ptolemy I. The nun only indicates a change of timeframe ("Now, Ptolemy II having received the crown...."). Fraser accepted this critique in P. M. Fraser, HThR 54 (1961) 141 at 143f. n. 11.
It is conceded by all that Fraser's grammatical argument is not valid. Nevertheless, H. Hauben, Anc. Soc. 34 (2004) 27 at 41 n. 81 argues that the fact that the transfer of power is mentioned at all is evidence that it was fairly recent. I am inclined to agree, but it is not a conclusive dating criterion.
P. M. Fraser, HThR 54 (1961) 141 at 144, noted that Ptolemy I receives divine honours but Ptolemy II only receives those of a king, while in IG XI, 4, 1038, another Nesiotic document honoring Sostratus, a high official early his reign (who negotiated peace with Demetrius in 278 according to SEG 28.60), he was worshipped alongside his father, though without the title of god. He concluded that the decree was passed before he, along with Arsinoe II, was declared divine in year 14 = 273/2, as documented by pHibeh 1.99.
Against this, L. A. Nerwinski, The Foundation Date of the Panhellenic Ptolemaea 17f. (citing P. M. Fraser, Ptolemaic Alexandria I 214 (!)), notes that cults of Hellenistic kings were not of a uniform nature and that the dynastic cult under Ptolemy II is not documented outside Egypt. Therefore, pHibeh 1.99 cannot be used to set a terminus ante quem for his treatment as divine figure in the Islands.
Which is fine as far as it goes, but ignores the fact that IG XI, 4, 1038 also mentions Bakchon the Nesiarch. The apparent change in cult status for Ptolemy II in the Islands happened while Bakchon was in office. In effect, this argument is equivalent to the next.
Philokles and Bakchon are both known from other inscriptions, but none of these postdate 276. Considering the two officers individually:
K. J. Rigsby, AJP 101 (1980) 194, showed that the latest known evidence for Bakchon is IG XI 2.164, an inventory of the possession of the temple of Apollo on Delos in the year of the Delian archon Sosimachos = 276, which showed that Bakchon had dedicated a second bowl to the shrine since his previous offering, which had been offered before the inventory of the archon Hypsokles = 279, recorded in IG XI 2.161. Later datable inventories from Delos, from 274 and c. 240, showed no further activity of his part.
I. L. Merker, Historia 19 (1970) 141 at 150ff., reviewed the evidence for two other Nesiarchs. An offering of Apollodorus son of Apollonius of Kyzikus is recorded in the accounts of 279 (and in a later account, iDelos 338B, which gives him the title of Nesiarch). Interest he owed on a debt incurred in the late fourth century (IG XI 2.142) was paid up to 279, but not thereafter. Merker concluded he was Bakchon's predecessor. The only other known Nesiarch, Hermias, set up a festival in honour of Arsinoe II and dedicated a vase recorded in the inventory of the archon Meilichides II = 267 (iDelos 297); in Merker's view he was a successor of Bakchon.
Against this straightforward analysis, R. A. Hazzard, Imagination of a Monarchy, 169, objected that we have no evidence that there was only one Nesiarch at a time. Since he believes that SIG3 1.390 should be dated in the late 260s, he suggests that Bakchon and Hermias held that office at the same time. He cites some other examples of dual officer holders in Ptolemaic Egypt.
Against Hazzard, H. Hauben, Anc. Soc. 34 (2004) 27 at 41, argued that Hazzard's parallels are unconvincing since the Nesiarch appears to have acted as a proconsul for a Ptolemaic protectorate, a role which seems inherently to requre a single office holder.
While I am sure Hauben is right, and Hazzard has certainly not proved that there was more than one holder of the title at any given time, it is not currently possible to disprove his conjecture. It does seem unnecessarily complicated.
I. L. Merker, Historia 19 (1970) 141 at 143ff, also reviewed the evidence for Philokles. The earliest datable document naming him is IG VII 2419, a list of donors to the restoration of (Greek) Thebes begun by Cassander. Merker accepts Holleaux's original dating of this document to the end of the fourth century (M. Holleaux, REG 8 (1895) 7), though without noting the specific date of 310 proposed by Holleaux. Holleaux's argument was circumstantial: this is the date fitting with Ptolemy I's known actvities in the Aegean. To this argument, Merker added a second, noting that Philokles' contribution of 100 talents was paid in coinage of Alexander, proving it predated the introduction of Ptolemaic coinage in c. 305 (B. Emmons, ANSMN 5 (1954) 69).
The latest datable reference to Philokles is SEG 1.363 from Samos, which must be dated after 279/8 since it mentions representatives from Miletus, which fell to Ptolemy II in 279/8. Hence his career covers the period c. 305 to 278, consistent with a date of c. 279 for SIG3 1.390.
R. A. Hazzard, Imagination of a Monarchy, 174, argued that we do not have enough prosopographical data from the inscriptions to preclude a longer career for Philokles stretching into the late 260s. He dates his earliest appearance to c. 296, ignoring Merker's and Holleaux's arguments that Philokles was active in the early part of the last decade of the fourth century.
Against Hazzard, H. Hauben, Anc. Soc. 34 (2004) 27 at 41f., notes that all the datable people associated with Philokles are known from documents of the late fourth century or the first couple of decades of the third, without exception, and that none are known from the late 260s. In particular, as a senior naval commander, we would expect to see him involved in the Chremonidean war, but there is no trace of him. He also stresses that Philokles' donation in IG VII 2419 dates from 310, so that Hazzard's argument would give him an improbably long active career of 50 years.
Again, I am sure Hauben is right. Hazzard's only evidence of Philokles after 278 is his dating of SIG3 1.390 to c. 263, and he has certainly downdated the date of the start of his career by at least a decade, even though the evidence for earlier dates is clearly spelled out in Merker's paper. (It is rather surprising that Hazzard, a numismatist, has ignored Merker's numismatic argument for an early date for Philokles' Theban donation.) However, while implausible, it is not impossible that Philokles was active for 50 years.
In short, while the circumstantial evidence around the internal data of the decree is very strongly consistent with a date of c. 279, it does not absolutely exclude a later date. The strongest arguments for an early date, in my view (with Hauben), are (a) the very long career that would otherwise be required for Philokles and (b) the a priori high likelihood that there was only one Nersiarch at a time -- but neither can yet be conclusively demonstrated.
The other date for SIG3 1.390 in the literature, forcefully argued by R. A. Hazzard, Imagination of a Monarchy, 47ff., is c. 263. If this date is correct, the absence of Berenice I from the inscription has no bearing on the date of her death, since she was certainly long dead by this time.
In addition to his arguments refuting the necessity of dating SIG3 1.390 to c. 280/79, discussed above, Hazzard gives the following positive arguments for a later date:
He accepts Delamarre's argument that SIG3 1.390 must postdate the battle of Corupedium in February 281. However, he holds that the first Ptolemaieia must have occurred in 282, since SEG 28.1224 = iTelm. 1043, dated Dios year 4 (Mac.) = c. Sept 282 mentions that the Telmessans had previously awarded Ptolemy II a golden crown (R. A. Hazzard, Phoenix 41 (1987) 140 at 150 n. 34). Therefore SIG3 1.390 cannot refer to the initial establishment of the Ptolemaieia, and must refer to some later reorganisation of that festival.
Even ignoring the evidence of the decree honouring Kallias of Sphettos (SEG 28.60 = SEG 29.102), discussed below, which very likely indicates that the first Ptolemaieia was held in 278, Hazzard's argument is overstated.
First, SEG 28.1224 does not state what the crown (stefanon) was made of, unlike SIG3 1.390, which not only specifies it is to be of gold (cru[swi] stefanwi) but even gives its value (1000 staters). While the Telmessan crown may well have been golden, it need not. Second, while the decree does not explicitly state why the Telmessans sent the crown, it is not hard to infer reasons for doing so directly connected to the decree. The decree states that the crown was sent to Ptolemy II along with a letter arguing against a proposal to make Telmessos a dorea -- essentially, an estate for a favoured individual. The Telmessans were successful, although at a later date Telmessos became a dorea for Ptolemy of Telmessos, the son of king Lysimachus and Arsinoe II, almost certainly to be identified with Ptolemy "the Son"; and the decree records Ptolemy II's letter saying so, as well as their subsequent declaration that Telemessos would not become a dorea "for any king, queen or member of a dynasty". It seems to me that the most natural interpretation of the crown is that it was a symbol of the sovereignty that the Telmessans wished to award to Ptolemy II.
The interesting question is: who did the Telemessans think was about to become their overlord? It seems clear that it was for a "king, queen or member of a dynasty", not some high official. When first published, M. Wörrle, Chiron 8 (1978) 201 at 213ff, dated the inscription to 279/8, since it was then believed that Ptolemy II dated his regnal years from his accession at this time, and suggested that the intended holder of the dorea was Arsinoe II, following her flight to Samothrace. However, R. A. Hazzard, Phoenix 41 (1987) 140, subsequently established that Ptolemy II dated his regnal years from his coregency almost immediately after his accession, which invalidates this suggestion. This result also makes this decree the earliest dated inscription of his sole reign, dating it within months of his accession. H. Hauben, Anc. Soc. 34 (2004) 27 at 36f., plausibly suggests that Ptolemy I had intended Telmessos for one of Ptolemy II's half-brothers by Eurydice. If so, it was an easy decision for Ptolemy II to cancel the award, since he quickly moved against his half-brothers (Pausanias 1.7.1) -- but we will probably never know for sure.
Hazzard holds that his astronomical analysis of the figures of the morning and evening star in the festival described by Kallixeinos proves that this festival was held on 25 January 262, and he accepts that this festival was the Ptolemaieia. In light of this and other considerations (the alleged "Soter Era" in Ptolemaic coinage, the date of composition of the Parian Marble etc.) he argues that there was a reorganisation of the Ptolemaieia at this time, and that the festival described by Kallixeinos was the first of these reorganised festvals. This reorganisation would have necessitated re-establishing the festival with its participants, explaining why SIG3 1.390 would be issued at this time.
Notwithstanding the weak foundations of Hazzard's analysis of the calendar date of the Ptolemaieia, and of his arguments for the existence of a numismatic Soter Era, I think it is likely that there was a reform in the late 260s. Biennial intercalation in the Macedonian calendar started about year 21 (Mac.) = 265/4 or shortly after. This will rapidly have had the effect of retarding the Ptolemaieia against the solar year. Also, there is no doubt that the Ptolemaieia was moved from the spring of the end of the second year of the Olympic quadrennium to the summer and autumn of its beginning some time before 251, as detailed by L. A. Nerwinski, The Foundation Date of the Panhellenic Ptolemaea 123f. This means that its phase in both a Julian quadrennium and in a quadrennium of Ptolemaic Macedonian years was changed: it was advanced by a year at some point. While it is impossible on current data to know exactly when this occurred, a date in the late 260s is a very reasonable candidate.
This limited form of Hazzard's hypothesis seems to me to be sustainable on circumstantial grounds. However, there is no obvious reason, in either form, why it would have amounted to a re-establishment of the Ptolemaieia. The Olympic year was unchanged and so was the purpose of the festival. At most it would have been necessary to notify foreign participants that the date had moved from the end to the beginning of the second Olympic year.
While not noting these particular considerations, H. Hauben, Anc. Soc. 34 (2004) 27 at 40, does note that the language of the decree is much more consistent with a fairly recent assumption of power by Ptolemy II and the initial establishment of a Ptolemaieia to honour his newly-deceased father than with a reform of a long-established festival by a king who had been in power for over 20 years. It is hard to disagree.
The dangerous military circumstances of the Chremonidean War explain why the meeting was held on Samos rather than on Delos, the normal meeting place for the League, which was more exposed to the risk of hostile military action from Antigonid forces.
H. Hauben, Anc. Soc. 34 (2004) 27 at 41 n. 84 questions whether Samos would have been any safer than Delos in the Chremonidean War. Perhaps so, perhaps not. Without more detailed knowledge of the military actions of both periods, one can speculate at will. At least we know that Samos in 279 was a recent Ptolemaic acquisition, which needed to be bound into the domain at large.
The absence of datable references to the epiklesis "Soter" in official Ptolemaic documents before 263, and its use in SIG3 1.390, shows that SIG3 1.390 must be dated around this time.
H. Hauben, Anc. Soc. 34 (2004) 27 at 40 n. 78, argued that Hazzard's own theory requires that the epiklesis was recognised at least 4 years before it was adopted in official terminology in 259, but he overlooked Hazzard's argument that coinage proved it was first used in 263, not 259. If Hazzard is also correct that a Delphic version of the decree was adopted under the archonship of Peithon, discussed next, then the decree would date to 265 -- 2 years before "Soter" appears in coinage. But in any case there is indirect evidence, which Hazzard does not discuss, that the title was used during the reign of Ptolemy I.
FD III 4.357, a Delphic decree for the establishment of the Ptolemaieia which clearly refers to the same event as SIG3 1.390, is certainly dated to the late 260s from the eponymous Delphic archon Pleiston named in the prescript to the decee.
This issue requires an extended discussion. FD III 4.357, was published by P. M. Fraser, BCH 78 (1954) 49. At that time, no dating formula was associated with it. Fraser, assuming a date of c. 281-279 for SIG3 1.390, and supposing the two decrees to have been passed at the same time, proposed to use the Delphic decree to date SIG3 1.390 on circumstantial grounds specifically to 280. He argued that the assembly would not have been held on Samos until the Ptolemaic takeover was secure, precluding a date before late 281, and that the Gallic invasion of Greece in 279 (Ol. 125.2 = Athenian archonship of Anaxicrates = 279/8 (Pausanias 10.23.14), immediately following the death of Ceraunus at the beginning of 279 (Pausanias 10.19.7)) was a terminus ante quem for the Delphic decree and so for both decrees. Fraser held that the Delphic Amphictyony could not have passed the decree in that year, when Delphi itself was under severe threat, and that a decree passed in 278 or thereafter would have included some reference to the defeat of the Gauls. In any case, spring 278 would have been too late for the Amphictyony to have participated in a Ptolemaieia that took place in that year. Fraser concluded that FD III 4.357 and SIG3 1.390 must both have been passed in 280.
After Fraser published his article, J. Bousquet, BCH 82 (1958) 61 at 77 identified the top of the stela containing the prescript with the dating formula for the decree, through an analysis of the rock, the lettering and the surface finishing; this analysis is universally accepted. The formula dated the decree to the spring (second) semester of the Delphic archon Pleiston. , in a year of the Pythian games, which is most likely either 265 or 261, or just possibly 269.
R. A. Hazzard, Imagination of a Monarchy, 49, is disingenuously vague on Pleiston's date, saying merely that his term of office "fell during the 260s". Hazzard accepts Fraser's premise that the two decrees were passed in the same year. Since he dates SIG3 1.390 to 263, he dates both decrees to 263, implying that Pleiston's year was 264/3.
Evidently, a date of Pleiston in either 265 or 261 (let alone 269) is a serious problem for this view:
265 would imply that arrangements to attend the Ptolemaieia of 262 had to be made 2.5 years in advance (and 269 would imply 6.5!). L. A. Nerwinski, The Foundation Date of the Panhellenic Ptolemaea 12, briefly summarised studies on this point which showed that no extensive planning was required and that such notice would have been highly abnormal. In any case, this date would move Hazzard's date for SIG3 1.390, together with its mention of "Soter", back by two years, violating Hazzard's theory that the title "Soter" was first adopted in 263.
261 would imply that the Amphictyony accepted the invitation to attend the first Ptolemaieia over a year after the event.
It is therefore necessary to go briefly into the issue of Pleiston's date.
We do not possess a canonical list of Delphic archons. The state of the art for the third century as of 1995 is summarised in F. Lefèvre, BCH 119 (1995) 161, but it is still evolving. A useful English summary as of 2000 is given in J. B. Scholten, The Politics of Plunder 235ff. The key dating technique for this period is to trace the ethnics of the delegates to the Amphictyonic council, the hieromnemons, who are usually named in decrees of the Amphictyony. The Council met twice a year, in autumn and spring. In a complete prescript, the text states whether it is an autumn or spring council. If the autumn council falls in a year when the Pythian games were held -- year 3 of the Olympic quadrennium -- it is often dated by this event.
In the period following the Gallic invasion of Greece, Phocians were readmitted to the council (Pausanias 10.8.3), and Aitolians joined the council, replacing the Macedonians. As the Aitolian League expanded to include states that were already part of the council, their representation increased from an initial 2 members up to 7. Additionally, Athenian membership lapsed after the city was captured by Antigonus II at the end of the Chremonidean War, in the Athenian archonship of Antipatros -- whose year is uncertain. Hence, in addition to whatever other proposgraphical data might be usable, Delphic archons can be dated within these boundaries if the associated Amphictyonic councils have Phocian and Athenian members, and their position in the sequence can be estimated by counting the number of Aitolians on the conncil. Clearly, this technique should not be applied too rigidly. For example, the total number of delegates to the concil fluctuated according to political and other circumstances not clear to us, which might, for example, lead to a temporary reduction in the number of Aitolian delegates, which in turn could mislead us into dating an archon earlier than he should be.
J. Bousquet, BCH 82 (1958) 61 at 74, also published FD III 4.458, a decree giving virtually the complete dating formula for Pleiston's autumn semester. The council included 6 Aitolians, 3 Phocians and an Athenian, and the semester was held in a Pythian year. Since there are at least 7 years with fewer than 6 Aitolians, the earliest possible Pythian year is 270/69, and this is usually assigned to Straton. For this reason, and because it was then believed that the Athenian archonship of Antipater = 263/2, Bousquet assigned Pleiston to 266/5.
However, H. Heinen, Untersuchungen zur hellenische Geschichte des 3. Jahrhunderts v. Chr. 182ff. subsequently argued that Athens fell to Antigonus II in 261, which opened up 262/1 as a second possibility for Pleiston. R. Étienne & M. Pérart, BCH 99 (1975) 51, argued that this possibility was in fact correct, because it allowed the archons Damaios and Damosthenes to be placed before Pleiston and after Athambos, allowing a similar progression: Under Straton there were 5 Aitolians in autumn and 6 in spring; under Athambos there were 6 Aitolians and 2 Phocians but the secretary was not Aitolian; under Damosthenes there were 6 Aitolians and 3 Phocians and the secretary was Aitolian. This argument seems to be preferred by Delphic and Aitolian scholars, but both Lefèvre and Scholten have noted that the date of the Athenian archonship of Antipatros -- and the end of the Chremonidean war -- remains a subject of debate.
Whichever year is correct for Pleiston, it is clear that 263 is not an attractive option for the date of a decree including acceptance of the invitation to send delegates to the Ptolemaieia.
Nevertheless, it is indisputable that the Amphictyony passed a decree concerned with the Ptolemaieia in the late 260's. J. Bousquet, BCH 82 (1958) 61 at 81, suggested two alternatives: That the Amphictyony only now decided to accept an invitation that had been issued well over a decade earlier; or that the invitation was not issued to the Amphictyony until this time. P. M. Fraser, HThR 54 (1961) 141 argued that the language of the decree required an early date, so concluded that the first alternative must be correct, although he accepted that it was unsatisfactory to suppose that the Amphictyony had delayed acceptance for such a long time -- a delay of nearly 20 years, if the invitation was issued in c. 279 and Pleiston is correctly dated to 261.
Fraser's conclusion seems to have been generally accepted, e.g. J. B. Scholten, The Politics of Plunder 77 n 59. To my mind it is hardly likely that such an action would have been taken at the height of the Chremonidean War (265), or at its conclusion (261). If the Amphictyony had not taken part in the Ptolemaieia before this time, such an action would have amounted to a declaration of support for the Ptolemaic cause, at a time when the the Ptolemies were losing (265) or had lost (261) the war. As stressed by J. B. Scholten, The Politics of Plunder 70ff., the evidence suggests that the Aitolian League remained neutral during the war, using the opportunity to exact concessions from Antigonus II, and the Amphictyony, under Aitolian domination, would certainly have followed suit.
L. A. Nerwinski, The Foundation Date of the Panhellenic Ptolemaea 13, proposed an alternative solution: that the decree we have was passed at the time of the first Ptolemaieia, and that it was merely quoted in a second decree passed under Pleiston. He notes that there is no physical connection between the prescript and the text of the decree, so we have no way to know the distance between them; also that is not unusual for Greek decrees to include the text of earlier decrees. I find this entirely plausible. It has two implications:
We may legitimately reconsider Fraser's original arguments for dating the Amphictyonic Decree to precisely 280. However, I cannot accept his argument that 279 must be excluded because of the Gallic invasion. Pausanias' account makes it clear that the threat to Delphi, though very serious, was also relatively brief. Also, SIG3 1.404, a grant of promanteia (priority right to access the Delphic oracle) by the people of Delphi to the city of Alexandria, passed under the Delphic archon Aristagoros, who is dated c. 277/6, shows that relationships between Alexandria and Delphi, and therefore presumably the Amphictyony, were good at this time, even though Egypt had made no contribution to defending Delphi against the Gauls. Thus, there seems no reason to object to passage of the decree in 279 on the basis of FD III 4.357, and we cannot use it to refine the date of SIG3 1.390.
We have no direct information about the decree that was actually passed under Pleiston. However, we know that it was concerned with the Ptolemaieia and believe that it did not mark the point at which the Amphictyony began to participate in that event. Since the decree for joining the Ptolemaieia is quoted in full, we may also infer that it was not concerned with cancelling participation in that event. One possibility, which cannot be confirmed, is that it was concerned with the change in timing of the Ptolemaieia, resulting from the decision to intercalate biennially in the Macedonian calendar in Egypt, that was necessary to keep the Ptolemaieia in the same Olympic year.
From the discussion to this point, we may draw the following conclusions:
SIG3 1.390 applies to the first occurrence of the isolympic Ptolemaieia, not to any subsequent reform
The earliest possible date for this Ptolemaieia is Daisios year 8 (Mac.) of Ptolemy II = c. June 278
The first isolympic Ptolemaieia most likely occurred in the 270s
Additional data for the actual year of the first Ptolemaieia is given by the decree honouring Kallias of Sphettos (SEG 28.60 = SEG 29.102, M. M. Austin, The Hellenistic World from Alexander to the Roman Conquest 80f (44)), dated to the archonship of Sosistratus (270/269 (Ath.)). This states that, on receiving the news of the accession of Ptolemy II, Kallias, who was then in Athens, went to Cyprus, where Ptolemy II then was, to obtain aid for the city. Kallias also attended the first Ptolemaieia and returned from Alexandria with ropes for the peplos of Athena donated by Ptolemy II, to be used in the celebration of the [first] Panathenaia for Athena Archegetis held after the liberation of Athens from Demetrius Poliorcetes, shortly after Kallias' return to Athens. Although the text does not specify whether this is the penteteric Great Panathenaia or the Lesser Panathenaia, celebrated annually, T. L. Shear, Kallias of Sphettos and the Revolt of Athens in 286, 36 n. 89, noted that the role of the peplos of Athena indicates that it must be the Great Panathenaia, which was held on 28 Hekatombaion in the Athenian year corresponding to the third Olympic year; this argument seems to be generally accepted.
T. L. Shear, Kallias of Sphettos and the Revolt of Athens in 286, 35ff., argued that the restoration [prwto]n (first) fit the lacuna perfectly and seemed to be required by the general context of the text, meaning that the Panathenaia involved was the first since liberation from Demetrius. He held that the revolution occurred in spring 286, immediately before the beginning of the archon year of Diokles = 286/5 (Ath.), which would normally have been a year of the Great Panathenaia. In order to reconcile the chronology, he supposed that the revolutionary crisis prevented the festival from being held in 286/5 (Ath.). He found it more difficult to explain why the Panathenaia of archon year of Nikias II = 282/1 (Ath.) was also not held. Other evidence shows that there were, unusually, two officials in charge of festivals in that year, implying that it was a major festival year. However, Shear supposed that he had found evidence in SEG 28.60 = SEG 29.102 that there was a major financial crisis that year which, he suggested, had led to the cancellation of the Panathenaia. Accordingly, he concluded that the first Ptolemaieia must have been held in year 8 of Ptolemy II (Mac.) = 278/7 (Mac.), and the first Panathenaia after liberation from Demetrius at the start of the archon year of Demokles = 278/7 (Ath.).
M. J. Osborne, ZPE 35 (1979) 181, revised the date of the revolt from spring 286 to spring 287, at the end of the archon year of Kimon = 288/7. This dating has been universally accepted since. However, Osborne did not explore the consequences of this revision for the date of the Panathenaia. L. A. Nerwinski, The Foundation Date of the Panhellenic Ptolemaea 30ff., accepted that the Panathenaia of the archon year of Diokles = 286/5 (Ath.) still might not have been held due to longer-term repercussions of the revolution, but, noting, with Shear, that there were two officials in charge of festivals in archon year of Nikias II = 282/1 (Ath.), insisted, against Shear, that the Panathenaia of that year must have occurred. One of these officials was Kallias' brother Phaedros (IG II2 682). Nerwinski notes that this reconstruction would imply that Kallias is supplying equipment for his brother's festival. In further support of this date, Nerwinski argued that the available evidence for the date of death of Ptolemy I is consistent with a festival before late Hekatombaion in the archon year of Nikias II = mid August 282. He concluded that the first Ptolemaieia had occurred in year 4 of Ptolemy II (Mac.) = 282/1. However, as discussed above, this date was difficult for Nerwinski to reconcile with the Samian location of the meeting held to announce the Ptolemaieia to the League of Islanders.
C. Habicht, CA 11 (1992) 68 at 70 n. 10, endorsing Nerwinski's objections to a date of 278, but unwilling to accept his proposed explanation for a meeting held on Samos in 283, suggested a simple way to reconcile the data without requiring either the omission of the Panathenaia of 282/1 or major domestic Ptolemaic political activity on Samos at a time that it was not Ptolemaic territory: that the Ptolemaieia was not initially an isolympic event. He proposed an initial Ptolemaieia, held in 282 and reported in SEG 28.60, that was just the funeral games for Ptolemy I, and that only later did Ptolemy II decide to make the event isolympic.
B. Dreyer, ZPE 111 (1996) 45, argued, against Habicht and Nerwinski, that there is no reason to believe that the Panathenaieia on 286 was not held, since the record shows that city was flooded with Ptolemaic aid immediately after it was liberated from Antigonus II, as well as aid from other sources. He also held that there was insufficient time between the death of Ptolemy I and the spring of 282 for all the necessary events (news to reach Athens, arranging aid for Athens, Ptolemy II to travel to Cyprus etc) to be accommodated. He considered the possibility that the accession announcement that reached Athens did not mark the death of Ptolemy I but the coregency of Ptolemy II, which would buy some time, but dismissed it on circumstantial grounds. On this dating, Ptolemy II's presence in Cyprus would be connected to its recovery from the Antigonids, a time when the situation there was still uncertain. Why would Kallias seek aid for Athens from Ptolemy II rather than the still living Ptolemy I? Finally, he noted that a funeral games is not a regularly occurring event, and not accurately described by calling it the "first" Ptolemaieia.
However, he pointed out another simple way to reconcile the data. The lacuna which Shear had restored as [prwto]n (first) can, epigraphically, be restored equally well as [tritw]n (third), and Osborne's dating of the revolt easily accommodates a first Panathenaia in the archon year of Diokles = 286/5 (Ath.). On this reconstruction, the third Panathenaia was in late Hekatombaion of the archon year of Demokles = late July or August 278, shortly after late Daisios year 8 of Ptolemy II.
Although Dreyer's proposed apposition of the first Ptolemaieia to the third Panathenaea seems a little odd, his approach seems to me to be the simplest way to reconcile the data at this point. His arguments on the tight schedule required for the events to take place in 282 seem to me to be compelling. However, it might be possible to accommodate them all if one supposes that Ptolemy I died in late summer of 283 (which would in turn require his regnal year to be based on Dios rather than Diasios), and would explain the appointment of two agonothetes in that year as compensation for the cancellation of a Panathenaea in 286.
Whether the first Ptolemaieia was in 282 or 278, however, all lines of evidence are consistent with, and most easily explained, by interpreting SIG3 1.390 as decreeing the participation of the League of Islanders in an isolympic event that started in 278. The Great Panathenaia was held on 28 Hekatombaion (Ath.), and was held at least a few weeks after the first Ptolemaieia, the first Ptolemaieia must have been held no later than late June 278. The sailing season is generally reckoned as lasting from March to September. Time must be allowed for the order to go out from Alexandria to Philokles and Bakchon (and Ptolemaic representatives in the rest of Greece), for them to summon the meeting at Samos, for the meeting to be held, for Bakchon's agents to collect the finances from the various islands, for the golden crown to be made, and for the delegation to sail to Alexandria in good time for the Ptolemaieia. It seems very difficult, though perhaps not absolutely impossible, to do this between March and June 278. Thus, the latest likely date for SIG3 1.390 is c. September 279. While P. M. Fraser, BCH 78 (1954) 49 argued for 280, this argument is weak, as noted above. As reviewed by L. A. Nerwinski, The Foundation Date of the Panhellenic Ptolemaea 12f, the comparative evidence suggests there is no need to allow more than a year for foreign representation to be organised. Hence we may date SIG3 1.390 to spring/summer of 279.
This serves as the terminus post quem for Berenice I's death under Beloch's conjecture. Combining this with the terminus ante quem argued above for the procession of Kallixeinos, we may therefore reasonably place her death between spring 279 and spring 274. Indeed, if the parade of astronomical figures in the procession of Kallixeinos is meant to advertise the timing of the festival, as many have suggested, this would suggest that Kallixeinos is in fact describing the first Ptolemaieia, in which case we could narrow her death to the interval spring 279 to spring 278.
Nevertless, while the data is certainly consistent with Beloch's conjecture, it remains true that it is entirely based on an argument from silence. It may be that she was not mentioned in SIG3 1.309 simply because the Ptolemaieia was a festival for Ptolemy I. Ý
8-9 Feb 2002: Added individual trees
17 Feb 2002: Split out into separate entry
12 April 2002: Noted that Berenice I had more than one daughter by Philip but only Antigone is certainly known.
18 May 2003: Changed Plutarch Xrefs to the Lacus Curtius edition
24 Feb 2004: Added Xref to online Strabo
27 Nov 2004: Added Posidippos epigram mentioning her Olympic victory.
11 Mar 2005: Added Greek transcription
26 June 2007: Add discussion of possible bounds on her death date set by Ptolemaieia data
3 June 2007: Tweak discussion of date of first Ptolemaieia to take note of Habicht's arguments in CA 11 and Dreyer's response
17 Nov 2010: Fix broken Peseus & DDBDP links
9 Jan 2011: Note that Berenice came from Eordeaea, like Ptolemy I
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