Berenice III Cleopatra Philopator1, queen of Egypt, daughter of Ptolemy IX2 probably by Cleopatra Selene3, probably born late 115/early 1144, coregent with her husband and uncle Ptolemy X October 1015, incorporated in the dynastic cult during this period as the Brother-loving Goddess Qea FiladelfoV6, fled Alexandria with Ptolemy X in 887, returned before 81/08, possibly joined her father Ptolemy IX as coregent shortly before 28 Epeiphi year 36 = 5 August 819, succeeded him as sole ruler c. December 8110, incorporated in the dynastic cult as the Father-loving Goddess Qea Filopatwr11, coregent with Ptolemy XI probably shortly before 13 Pharmouthi year 2 = 22 April 8012, killed by him probably before 13 Pharmouthi year 2 = 22 April 8013 and was succeeded by Ptolemy XI14.
No Egyptian titulary is known for her.
Berenice III married twice15.
Berenice III first married her uncle Ptolemy X16, before October 10117, by whom she probably had one daughter18, here identified with Cleopatra V19, and possibly one or more other children20; she fled Alexandria with Ptolemy X on his expulsion by Ptolemy IX21, marriage terminated by the death of Ptolemy X in 8722.
Berenice III second married Ptolemy XI in early 8023; the marriage was terminated by her murder probably before 13 Pharmouthi year 2 = 22 April 8024.
 PP VI 14522. Gr: Kleopatra Berenikh Filopatwr. She is called "Cleopatra" by Porphyry in Eusebius, Chronicorum I (ed. Schoene) 165. In the texts from her joint reign with Ptolemy X she is usually called "Berenice" before year 24 = 91/0 and "Cleopatra" thereafer, but the identity is assured by pdemTurin 6085 (year 14 = 101/0) and pdem Berlin 3107 (year 16 = 99/8), wherein she is called "Cleopatra, known as Berenice". She is occasionally also numbered as "Cleopatra V" see e.g. D. Ogden, Polygamy, Prostitutes and Death 105 n. 1; this numbering is also assigned to Cleopatra Selene, but more usually (as here) to Cleopatra V. W. Huss, Ägypten in hellenistischer Zeit 332-30 v. Chr. 11, who makes Cleopatra Selene "Cleopatra V", calls Berenice III "Cleopatra VI".
Unless iGFayum 205 and PSI 10.1098 belong to her reign, as proposed by M. Chauveau, Cléopâtre: au-delà du mythe 27, we do not have any contemporary evidence for the epithet Philopator from her reign. But she was so remembered in the dynastic cult, so presumably this is the title she chose. On Chauveau's proposal, see discussion under Cleopatra VII. Ý
 Pausanias 1.9.3, who calls her the only legitimate child of Ptolemy IX, and Porphyry in Eusebius, Chronicorum I (ed. Schoene) 165, who notes that she was the daughter of the elder brother (Ptolemy IX) and the wife of the younger (Ptolemy X). In the texts from her joint reign with Ptolemy X, e.g. pAdler 12, she is called his sister, but this description has no genealogical significance -- see the examples of Berenice II and Cleopatra I. Ý
 From Pausanias 1.9.3, who calls her the only legitimate child of Ptolemy IX, we know her mother must be either Cleopatra IV or Cleopatra Selene. OGIS 174 names her mother as "Cleopatra", which confirms Pausanias but doesn't advance the decision between them. Most older writers (e.g. E. R. Bevan, The House of Ptolemy 331, G. H. Macurdy, Hellenistic Queens 173) simply leave the question open. More recent writers (e.g. G. Hölbl, A History of the Ptolemaic Empire 210, R. D. Sullivan, Near Eastern Royalty and Rome 100-30 B.C. 88, P. Green, From Alexander to Actium 737) flatly assert that she was a daughter of Cleopatra IV without giving any justification. A. Bouché-Leclercq, Histoire des Lagides II 91 n. 2, advances the peculiar argument that the fact that Pausanias mentions her legitimacy suggests that it had been questioned, which is only possible if she was the daughter of Cleopatra IV and hence born before her father's accession. He states (Histoire des Lagides II 116f. n. 2) that it is probable that she was a daughter of Cleopatra IV, but gives no other reason for making this choice. The only other piece of reasoning I have seen on the point is M. Chauveau, In Memoriam Quaegebeur 1263, 1265 n. 10 who argues that OGIS 174, in which she is named as queen, must be dated before 107, which in turn, by making her the wife of Ptolemy X by that date, would mean that she must have been born before 115, i.e. that her mother was Cleopatra IV; however, this inscription could well be dated from her sole reign. It seems to me that Pausanias' statement is contrasting the certain legitimacy of Berenice III with the uncertain legitimacy of other children of Ptolemy IX. Only if she was a daughter of Cleopatra Selene could there be no doubt about her legitimacy, since Cleopatra IV, unique amongst Ptolemaic queens, was married to Ptolemy IX before his accession, and her divorce was a condition imposed by Cleopatra III for accepting him (Justin 39.3). Ý
 On the assumption that her mother was Cleopatra Selene, who cannot have married Ptolemy IX before the end of 116. This date maximises her age and her child-bearing potential at the time of her marriage to Ptolemy X; she might be a year or two younger. A. Bouché-Leclercq, Histoire des Lagides II 116f. n. 2, in preferring Cleopatra IV as her mother, notes that Berenice III could then have been born as early as 120, making her as old as 40 on her accession. This suggestion has become accepted fact for recent writers (e.g. G. Hölbl, A History of the Ptolemaic Empire 210, R. D. Sullivan, Near Eastern Royalty and Rome 100-30 B.C. 88, J. E. G. Whitehorne, Cleopatras 224 n. 8, A. Bernand ZPE 89 (1991) 145), for no reason that I can determine. The supposed large difference in age between her and Ptolemy XI then becomes one of his motives for murdering her. In fact it is quite possible that she was less than 10 years older than him. Ý
 pAdler 12. See discussion under Cleopatra III. Ý
 pAdler 12. The title evidently refers to her marriage to her "brother" Ptolemy X. L. Criscuolo, Aegyptus 70 (1990) 89, has argued that Ptolemy IX had given the title to all his children in order to promote harmony amongst them, but there is no apparent evidence that Ptolemy of Cyprus ever bore the title. Ý
 Porphyry in Eusebius, Chronicorum I (ed. Schoene) 165. Ý
 Since she was immediately available to act as the successor of Ptolemy IX. At what point she returned is unknown, though I would guess it was soon after the collapse of Ptolemy X's efforts to regain the throne. Ý
 See discussion under Ptolemy IX. Ý
 Porphyry in Eusebius, Chronicorum I (ed. Schoene) 165. On the date see discussion under Ptolemy IX. Ý
 BGU 8.1736, pBerlin 16241, naming her in a cult list. See W. Müller, ZÄS 93 (1966) 93. She is also given this name in a cult list at Kom Ombo -- C. R. Lepsius, Denkmäler aus Aegypten und Aethiopien IV 49a, Text 102 = J. de Morgan et. al. Catalogue des monuments et inscriptions de l'Egypte antique Kom Ombos I 141 no 183, 152 no 200, discussion in M. Chauveau, In Memoriam Quaegebeur 1263, 1269. Ý
 Porphyry in Eusebius, Chronicorum I (ed. Schoene) 165, Appian, Civil Wars I 102. According to Porphyry, Ptolemy XI murdered her 19 days after the marriage. We possess two documents which have been supposed to date from this period. pdemCairo 30752 is read as naming "[Bere]nice his mother, his wife"), and a reconstructed inscription from Alexandria, Breccia 13 = SEG XLI 1608, is reconstructed as naming queen Berenice and her husband king [Ptolemy] (A. Bernand ZPE 89 (1991) 145). If both assignments were correct, one might suppose that Ptolemy XI had actually reigned for longer than 18/9 days, for example that he had in fact murdered Berenice III after a few months of marriage and then reigned 18/9 days alone. But the reading of pdemCairo 30752 is disputed: K.-T. Zauzich, Die Agyptische Schreibertradition in Aufbau I 224 argues that the reading "mother" (mwt) should in fact be "sister" (snt), i.e. that the papyrus dates to Ptolemy X not Ptolemy XI. Moreover, SEG XLI 1608 has been firmly dated, on paleographical grounds, to the mid 3rd century BC (J. Bingen, REG 105 (1992), 532 (no 564)), and nothing in the inscription, even on the doubtful restoration proposed by Bernand, prevents it from being assigned to Berenice II, as Breccia originally proposed.
If pGrenf 2.38 is correctly assigned to the reign of Ptolemy XII, it gives us a terminus ante quem for the coregency of 13 Pharmouthi year 2. Ý
 Porphyry in Eusebius, Chronicorum I (ed. Schoene) 165. The terminus ante quem is set by pGrenf II 38 = 13 Phar?[mo]u?(thi) year 2 = year 1, assuming this belongs to Ptolemy XII. Ý
 Porphyry in Eusebius, Chronicorum I (ed. Schoene) 165. Ý
 It is often asserted that she married her father Ptolemy IX during his second reign. There is no evidence for this. It is a consequence of the theory that she was his coregent, although some of those who assert the coregency also recognise that there is no evidence of marriage. In fact there is no evidence of either coregency or marriage. Ý
 Porphyry in Eusebius, Chronicorum I (ed. Schoene) 165. Ý
 First mentioned: pAdler 12 dated to 10 Phaophi year 14 = 26 October 101, a few days after the last mention of Cleopatra III. If we have correctly analysed the birth date of Berenice III, then she cannot have been married much earlier. However, M. Chauveau, In Memoriam Quaegebeur 1263, 1265 n. 10, cites OGIS 174 as proof that she was married to Ptolemy X before 107. This is an undated and fragmentary Cypriote inscription naming a queen Berenice and the Theoi Philometores. The inscription is usually reconstructed as naming Berenice as daughter of king Ptolemy and queen Cleopatra, Philometores. This genealogy only matches Berenice III, daughter of Ptolemy IX and Cleopatra (Selene?).
Chauveau points that Ptolemy IX did not call himself Philometor after his first Egyptian reign, and infers that the inscription must therefore date before 107, but since Berenice is called a queen and since the inscription is from Cyprus this must mean that she was married to Ptolemy X, king in Cyprus at that time. However, such a scenario is incredible: it requires that Ptolemy IX recognised his brother as king of Cyprus, and that Ptolemy X recognised his brother as king of Egypt, between 114 and 107. Rather, on this reconstruction the inscription should be dated to Berenice III's reign as queen, at which time she was almost certainly recognised in Cyprus; the choice of title represents her view of her parents. I argued this position in C. J. Bennett, Anc Soc. 28 (1997) 39, and sustained it in C. J. Bennett, ZPE 139 (2002) 143.
Against this view is the fact that the Philometores are named before Berenice. This might suggest that they were living dedicants. Further, J. Pouilloux et al. Testimonia Salaminia 2 -- Corpus épigraphique 34 no 70, reconstructed the inscription as naming Berenice III as wife rather than daughter of king Ptolemy Philometor, and as daughter of the Theos Soter (i.e. Ptolemy IX). On this reading, it was dedicated to Ptolemy X, Cleopatra III and Berenice III as wife of Ptolemy X during the period before Ptolemy IX reconquered Cyprus, i.e. between 107 and 105. While this reconstruction no longer requires Ptolemy IX to recognise Ptolemy X as king, it is not clear to me that this leaves us any better off, since it leaves Ptolemy X without his usual name of "Alexander", and still requires Ptolemy X to recognise Berenice III as daughter of Ptolemy IX as king, and dates her marriage to Ptolemy X several years before she is otherwise known as queen. Ý
 Porphyry in Eusebius, Chronicorum I (ed. Schoene) 165 records that Ptolemy X was accompanied by his wife and daughter when they fled Alexandria. Her mother is unnamed. She is usually assumed to be Berenice III without comment, and the assumption seems reasonable, but she could conceivably be a daughter of his first wife, here identified as Cleopatra Selene. See further discussion under Cleopatra V. Ý
 See discussion under Cleopatra V. Ý
 There are proposals for other children of Ptolemy X by Berenice III.
i) For Pestman's suggestion that Ptolemy XI was her son, see discussion under Ptolemy XI.
ii) OGIS 180 = iGPhilae 35 is plausibly restored as an act of adoration for the "king [Ptolemy] called A[lexander]" (i.e. Ptolemy X) and "for hi[s queen] / and th[eir children]", made by a person whose name is lost. Since the queen is referred to second, she must be Berenice III rather than his mother, Cleopatra III, who would have been referred to first. The restoration "children" rather than "child" is certain since the second letter of the Greek adjective tw[n] (their) is clearly present, even if only partly so, and the adjective is plural. Since the inscription is an act of adoration of Isis, it is usually assumed (e.g. G. H. Macurdy, Hellenistic Queens 173) that it reflects a visit to Philae by the royal family. Hence, if OGIS 180 = iGPhilae 35 is to be taken literally, as is usually done, Berenice III must have had at least two children by Ptolemy X, only one of whom is known from a literary source.
Against this analysis is the possibility that Berenice III acted as official mother to any children Ptolemy X may have had by his first wife, here identified as Cleopatra Selene. This possibility may be supported by pdemTurin Botti 34, 36, 37, if these are correctly read as explicitly calling Ptolemy (XI) Alexander her son; but see above. Even though Ptolemy XI was on Cos throughout the period of his father's marriage to Berenice III, he was surely still regarded as a royal son, and probably as the king's heir. While it is possible that the references in pdemTurin Botti are a formulaic error, the examples of the children of Ptolemy II by Arsinoe I posthumously adopted by Arsinoe II, Cleopatra III as "daughter" of Ptolemy VIII, and the sons of Ptolemy IX probably by Cleopatra IV and adopted by Cleopatra Selene suggest that the possibility of adoption is real.
Even so, if OGIS 180 implies the physical presence of the royal family at Philae then Ptolemy XI cannot be one of the children present, since he was on Cos throughout the period of his father's marriage to Berenice III. But the dedication was not made by Ptolemy X and his family, it was made on their behalf by a person whose name is lost. By comparison, iGPhilae 4 was dedicated by Ptolemy III and his family, iGPhilae 17 by Ptolemy VIII and Cleopatra III, which clearly indicates their physical presence. Therefore, we cannot conclude that OGIS 180 actually reflects a royal visit to Philae.
Thus, since OGIS 180 need not indicate the physical presence of the royal family, and since the term tekna could include stepchildren, the "children" could be Ptolemy XI and the daughter of Ptolemy X in absentia, and no extra children need be assumed to exist.
Finally, the fact that Ptolemy X fled Alexandria in 88 with a single daughter indicates that there were no other children by Berenice III present at that time. It is possible that additional children had died before 88, or that any sons had been sent for safe-keeping to Cos with Ptolemy XI, but the simplest scenario is that, if OGIS 180 does signal the existence of additional children, then they are probably female and probably not children of Berenice III.
iii) Appian, Civil Wars 1.102, records that the "women of the royal household wanted a man of the same lineage" as one of the reasons Sulla sent Ptolemy XI to Alexandria. A. Bernand, in his commentary on iGPhilae 35, identifies these women as both the "children" of iGPhilae 35 and daughters of Berenice. This explanation seems most unlikely, since (a) any such daughters were at most in their mid-teens at this time, and (b) it implies that Sulla was responding to pressure being placed on Berenice, rather than to a request made by Berenice.
The identity of these women is unclear, and it is certainly possible, even likely, that that there are Ptolemaic princesses unknown to us. However, it is perhaps noteworthy that Appian's account omits all explicit mention of Berenice III, and it seems highly unlikely that such a solicitation should come to Sulla without her name being attached to it. One other Ptolemaic princess is known to have been present in Alexandria at this time, i.e. the daughter of Ptolemy X. Appian's comment could well reflect a supposed "plea" from a widowed queen and her orphaned daughter.
Thus, there is no strong evidence that Berenice III had more than one child. Ý
 Porphyry in Eusebius, Chronicorum I (ed. Schoene) 165. Ý
 Porphyry in Eusebius, Chronicorum I (ed. Schoene) 163, 165. See discussion under Ptolemy X. Ý
 Presumably at the time he became coregent. Ý
 See discussion above for the murder and the date. Ý
11 Feb 2002: Added individual trees
26 Feb 2002: Split into separate entry.
26 Feb 2002: Added discussion of the children of OGIS 180
26 Feb 2002: Added discussion of the "women" of the royal family in Appian Bell. Civ. I 102
14 May 2002: Corrected Egyptian date equations as necessary
23 Aug 2003: Added Xref to online Justin
23 Oct 2003: Added Xref to online Appian
13 Sep 2004: Added Xref to online Eusebius
18 Jan 2005: Added link to Bernand ZPE paper
11 Mar 2005: Added Greek transcription, link to Bevan
22 April 2006: Note Pouilloux reconstruction of OGIS 174, and the problems with it
16 Sep 2006: Add links to Packard Humanties DB
5 Dec 2010: Fix broken Perseus & DDbDP links
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