Ptolemy I Soter1, king of Egypt, son of Arsinoe2 by an unknown father, possibly Lagus3, born in Eordaea, Macedon, c369/8 or c360/3564, member of the Royal Bodyguards of Alexander III, king of Macedon and Great King, 3305, Satrap of Egypt within 7 days of the death of Alexander on 28 Daisios (Mac.) = 29 Ayyaru (Bab.) = 11 June 3236, which probably became the basis of his regnal year6.1; took up the post a few months later 6.2; King of Egypt between 1 Thoth year 1 (Eg.) = 7 November 305 and 30 Skirophorion archonship of Euxenippus (Ath.) = c. 10 July 304, most probably in spring 304, possibly 29 Daisios year 19 (Mac.) = c. 4 June 3047; victor in the pair for foals in the 69th Pythian Games of 3147.1 and in the chariot races in the Olympic Games of an unknown Olympiad7.2; made Ptolemy II coregent c. 25 Dystros year 39 (Mac.) = c. 28 March 2848, died probably Artemisios / Daisios year 41 (Mac.) = c. April-June 2829, probably of illness in old age10, incorporated in the dynastic cult with Berenice I by Ptolemy IV in 215/14 as the Saviour Gods, Qeoi SwthreV11.
Ptolemy I's titles as king of Egypt were:12
Horus wr-pHt j nsw on j13
Two Ladies jT j-m-sxm HoA Tl14
Golden Horus <unknown>
Throne Name (1) stp-n-Ra mrj-Jmn15
(2) xpr-kA-Ra stp-n-Jmn16
Son of Re ptlmjs
Ptolemy I had four, possibly five, known marriages or liaisons:17
Ptolemy I first conducted a liaison, then marriage, with Thais, an Athenian hetera of unknown parentage, by whom he had Lagus, Leontiscus and Eirene18;
Ptolemy I second married Artakama, daughter of Artabazus, by whom he had no known children19;
Ptolemy I third married Eurydice, daughter of Antipater, regent of Macedon20, by whom he had Ptolemy Ceraunus21, an unknown son22, Ptolemais23 and Lysandra24, probably Meleager25 and possibly Argaeus26;
Ptolemy I fourth married as her second husband Berenice I, daughter of Antigone, a cousin of Eurydice, probably by Magas27, by whom he had Ptolemy II28, Arsinoe II29 and Philotera30.
In addition the children of Berenice I by her first marriage to Philip, Magas31, Antigone32 and probably Theoxena33, became members of the royal family; and
Ptolemy I fifth probably conducted a liaison with Lamia, an Athenian hetera34, daughter of Cleanor35, by whom he had no known children.
Ptolemy I was probably not the father of Ptolemy son of Ptolemy, bodyguard to Philip III.36
In addition, it was agreed in 308 that he would marry Cleopatra, daughter of Philip II of Macedon and Olympias and full sister of Alexander III, but she was murdered before the marriage could take place by agents of Antigonus Monophthalmos.37
 PP VI 14538. Gr: PtolemaioV Swthr. The epithet Soter ("Saviour") was explained in two ways in the ancient literature. According to Pausanias 1.8.6, it was awarded to Ptolemy by Rhodes after he lifted the siege of Demetrius Poliorcetes in 305/4. While this explanation is widely accepted by modern scholars, R. A. Hazzard (ZPE 93 (1992) 52) points out that (a) Pausanias is provably inaccurate on other points related to the Ptolemies (b) the title is not mentioned by Diodorus in connection with Rhodian events, even though he describes them in detail and is drawing on lost Rhodian sources favourable to the Ptolemies, and (c) contemporary Rhodian inscriptions related to the cult of king Ptolemy do not use the title. The second ancient explanation was that it was given to Ptolemy after he saved the life of Alexander from the Oxydrakai. This explanation was mentioned by both Arrian (Anabasis 6.11.3) and Curtius (9.5.21) to be dismissed by both since Ptolemy's own memoirs placed him elsewhere at the time.
R. A. Hazzard, ZPE 93 (1992) 52 at 56 n. 35, claims that the first dated use of the title for Ptolemy I occurs on silver tetradrachms tetradrachms from Gaza dated to year 23, which J. N. Svoronos, Die Münzen der Ptolemäer No. 821 (pl. 24.2) assigned to Ptolemy II (263/2). He further notes that Ptolemy II first describes himself as a son of Ptolemy Soter in 259, after the rupture with Ptolemy "the Son", in pRev I.1; before this he is invariably king Ptolemy son of Ptolemy. Hazzard explains all this, including the Oxydrakai story (R. A. Hazzard, Imagination of a Monarchy: Studies in Ptolemaic Propaganda 3ff.), as part of a propaganda effort by Ptolemy II to relaunch the prestige of the monarchy after defeats in the second Syrian war and the Chremonidean war. He supposes that the title was officially assigned to Ptolemy I at this time.
This is not quite correct. The coin in question was reassigned to Ptolemy III (year 23=225/4) by O. Mørkholm, INJ 4 (1980) 4 on solid stylistic grounds. This leaves the earliest dated coins with the Soter legend as year 25 of Ptolemy II = 261/0, e.g. Svoronos No. 650 (pl. 19.20) from Tyre. Since Svoronos published Tyrian coins from the previous 5 years which did not use the title, it is clear that it was not introduced into Phoenician coinage before 261/0. Table 1 in R. A. Hazzard, Imagination of a Monarchy 18f. accepts Mørkholm's redating.
Against this analysis, and in favour of the traditional one, C. Johnson (AHB 14.3 (2000) 102) argues that (a), (b) and (c) prove nothing, and that there are two inscriptions contemporary with Ptolemy I using the title: OGIS 19, a statue dedicated to king Ptolemy Soter, and O. Rubensohn, AfP 5 (1905) 156 no 1, a dedication to king Ptolemy and queen Berenice, Qeoi SwthreV. But Johnson agrees that the first could be a reference to Ptolemy IX Soter II, and the last is problematic since the title is assigned jointly to Ptolemy I and to Berenice I, not to Ptolemy I alone.
The deification is also a difficulty. P. M. Fraser (Ptolemaic Alexandria II 367 n. 229), who discusses the same inscription, notes that there are no references to Qeoi SwthreV in the reign of Ptolemy II, and the title is otherwise unknown in the dynastic cult until Ptolemy IV; he explains its presence here as due to special circumstances related to the content of the inscription.
In light of Fraser's note, which Hazzard cites (Imagination of a Monarchy 6 n. 15), it is especially curious that he repeatedly states that a cult of the Qeoi SwthreV was established by Ptolemy II on his accession (e.g. Phoenix 41 (1987) 140 at 150; Imagination of a Monarchy 3, 15, 31, 43 etc.). He nowhere adduces any proof of this that I can find. His assertion that the title appears in SEG 27.1114 is simply wrong. He amends the text of Callimachus (Imagination of a Monarchy 43) to insert the divinity. The only possible occurrence I know is the purported dedication inscription of the Pharos lighthouse to the Qeoi SwthreV by the architect and courtier Sostratus (Lucian, Hist. Conscr. 62) -- but, as noted in P. M. Fraser, Ptolemaic Alexandria I 18, these gods could equally well (and, in the circumstances of the story, more likely in my opinion) be the Dioscouroi, Castor and Pollux.
I think Hazzard has demonstrated that the epithet did not become part of the official dynastic formulary until 261. However, this is insufficient to prove that the title was first applied to Ptolemy I at that time. There is abundant evidence that Ptolemy I and Berenice I were jointly referred to as SwthreV well before 261, as Hazzard himself notes (see above). P. M. Fraser, BSAA 41 (1956) 49 at 50 n. 2 and P. M. Fraser, Ptolemaic Alexandria II 367 n. 229, noted undated examples of the SwthreV which were certainly well before 261: OGIS 22 from Cyrene, before the revolt of Magas; SEG 18.636, the dedication of Archagathus; and OGIS 724, under Ptolemy II and Arsinoe II. To these, Hazzard added SEG 27.1114, dated 12 Dystros year 18 = c. 9 March 267. Fraser cites other examples under Ptolemy II but these are less clearly datable before 261.
While O. Rubensohn, AfP 5 (1905) 156 no 1, does not show Ptolemy I using the epithet in his lifetime, it does show the royal couple using it jointly in his lifetime. Since Berenice I certainly had no claim to it in her own right, it is hard to avoid the conclusion that it was actually used to identify Ptolemy I in his lifetime.
Chronologically, the issue is important for establishing the date of SIG3 1.390 = IG XII 7.506, the decree of the League of Islanders recognising the Ptolemaieia, which plays a role in setting limits to the date of death of Berenice I. Ý
 Arrian, who drew on Ptolemy's memoirs, and most other ancient sources, simply call Ptolemy "son of Lagus". However, Pausanias 1.6.2 and Curtius (9.8.22) both record a story that his father was Philip II of Macedon. N. L. Collins (Mnemosyne 50 (1997) 436) notes that this claim is not consistent with Curtius' description of Philip III Arrhidaeus as the closest in blood to Alexander, nor does Diodorus refer to this relationship even when discussing Ptolemy's engagement to Cleopatra, who would be his half-sister if it were true; nor do the names of Ptolemy's children by Thais hint at any connection to the Argaead line.
One might also note that Pausanias 8.7.6 tells us that Philip II was assassinated at the age of 46. Since the date of this event is well-established as 336, he was born in 383 or 382. If Ptolemy was born in 369/8 as Lucian claims, then Philip II was 13 or 14 at the time of his conception -- possible but rather unlikely. Moreover, Pausanias 1.6.2 claims that Philip married Ptolemy's mother Arsinoe off to Lagus while she was pregnant. As a 14-year old prince, during the reign or regency of his brother's murderer Ptolemy of Alorus, and who was sent as a hostage to Thebes very shortly after (Plutarch, Pelopidas 26.4), it also seems unlikely that he was in a position to do so.
Concerning his relationship to Lagus, Collins notes that Ptolemy is never referred to as the son of Lagus in contemporary records, but only as "king Ptolemy" or "Ptolemy of Macedon", and further notes that the Talmudic commentary on the translation of the Septuagint, which most likely occurred late in Ptolemy's reign, replaced the Greek term for 'hare' (lagoV) by a euphemism, since it was derogatory to Ptolemy's wife, or rather, in Collins' view, his mother (Talmud Babli, Megilla 9A).
Now, Curtius (loc. cit.) does not endorse the claim of Philip II, merely noting that Ptolemy's mother Arsinoe was one of his concubines, and Aelian (fr 285.17-20 in Suda, LagoV) is explicit that Ptolemy was not the son of Lagus, while Plutarch (Moralia 458A-B) refers to the "dubious" birth of the king. Further, Pausanias (1.6.2) describes the claim of Philip II only as a Macedonian belief. Collins also cites a statement by Porphyry (as quoted in Eusebius, Chronicorum I (ed. Schoene) 235) noting that the successor of Ptolemy Ceraunus and his brother Meleager, Antipater Etesias, was chosen as king of Macedon because of his lack of royal (Macedonian) descent, implying that Ceraunus and his brother, by contrast, were of royal descent. Since Antipater was Cassander's nephew, the alleged royal descent of Ptolemy Ceraunus and Meleager must come from the Argead line. On these grounds Collins proposes that the story that Philip II was Ptolemy's father was propaganda of Ptolemy Ceraunus, designed to justify his claim to the Macedonian throne by showing that he was a male-line if distaff member of the Argaead dynasty.
Collins concludes, I think correctly, that Arsinoe was married off to Lagus while pregnant with Ptolemy, as stated by Pausanias, but that his true father was unknown. The description of Ptolemy as "son of Lagus" therefore refers to Lagus as his official or adoptive father, the husband of his mother, rather than to his biological father.
There is one possible piece of evidence against this analysis. W. W. Tarn, JHS 53 (1933) 57 cited a story told by a certain Euphantus, that a certain Callicrates was a flatterer of Ptolemy III who "was so clever that he not only wore a ring with the figure of Odysseus engraved on it, but also named his children Telegonus and Anticleia." He argues that the point of the story is that Anticleia, mother of Odysseus, is said to have given herself to Sisyphus, the cleverest man known, before her marriage to Laertes, so that her son might be the son of the cleverest man alive. [He was unable to explain the significance of Telegonus, son of Odysseus by Circe.] He concludes that this is a reference to the story that Ptolemy I was really a son of Philip II, and therefore that the story should really be attributed to Ptolemy I, not Ptolemy III, showing that it was in fact current in Ptolemy I's lifetime.
N. L. Collins, Mnemosyne 50 (1997) 436 at 436 n. 1 says that her analysis, showing that the story originated in Macedonia after Ptolemy I's death, disproves Tarn's argument. However, she then leaves Euphantus' story hanging. Tarn's explanation of the significance of Odysseus and Anticleia, it seems to me, is perfectly reasonable. However, his conclusion that the story should therefore be assigned to Ptolemy I does not follow, because it assumes that Ptolemy III would not be flattered by the implication that he was descended from Philip II. By his time, the political significance of the story was as dead as Ceraunus, but the story itself would certainly be circulating. So there seems no reason to reattribute the king based on Tarn's analysis. Ý
 Birthplace: Arrian, Anabasis 6.28. Stephanus of Byzantium names his birth town as Orestia, the exact location of which is uncertain. Age: Lucian, Makrobioi 12, states that Ptolemy abdicated at age 84, two years before his death. However, Plutarch, Alexander 10.5, shows Ptolemy as a close contemporary of Alexander, who was born 356, which would have Ptolemy born perhaps a couple of years earlier. If Lucian is correct, he may have been named after the ruling Macedonian king at the time of his birth Ptolemy Alorus (368-365). Ý
The problem of the exact Julian date of Alexander's death has most recently been examined in L. Depuydt, WO 27 (1997) 117. The primary source is now BM 45962, a fragment of a Babylonian astronomical diary for 323/2. It includes a note for 29 Ayyaru that "the king died". The dating of the tablet to 323 is a result of retrocalculating the various surviving observations. The Babylonian day started at sunset, and we know from BM 34075 that Ayyaru had 29 days that year, so 29 Ayyaru covers the evening of 10 June and the daylight of 11 June 323, and the king must be Alexander. Because daily observations were structured into two parts, with night observations first, indicated by "night of <date>", and this phrase is missing from the date associated with Alexander's death, he must have died in the daylight half of 29 Ayyaru, i.e. on 11 June 323.
The royal Diaries (Plutarch, Alexander 76.9) give the time of day he died as deikh. This term was commonly translated as "evening", which initially led to the assumption that Alexander actually died on 10 June 323. This would be the nighttime part of 29 Ayyaru, which contradicts BM 45962. However, Depuydt quoted clear examples, first assembled by Bilfinger in 1888, that place deikh before sunset, i.e. it should actually be understood to mean "late afternoon", specifically (at least in Attica) between the 9th and 10th hour of the day. Given that the actual duration of the daylight hours was about 14 hours by modern reckoning, Depuydt estimates the time of Alexander's death as 4-5 PM.
A variety of dates are given in the literary sources. These may be explained as follows:
30 Daisios (Plutarch, Alexander 75.6, quoting the memoirs of Aristoboulos, a close companion of Alexander, who was present). This is most likely explained by a convention that the last day of the month was the 30th, regardless of whether there were actually 29 or 30 days in the month; on this basis the date is fully consistent with the Astronomical Diary. However, as will be seen below, there are grounds to doubt that Aristoboulos intended the date to be perfectly precise.
There is an extensive debate on the authenticity and accuracy of the Diaries as quoted by Plutarch and Arrian, which I intend to review at a later time. For the moment, my own view is that they are most likely authentic, and that Plutarch's quotations are essentially accurate, but even if they are not authentic they were forged so soon after the event that we may safely assume that their format reflects that of an authentic set of Diaries and that the date given by Plutarch for the death of Alexander is therefore correct.
It is at first sight rather odd that two direct witnesses to the event who apparently used the same calendar should apparently differ by 2 days in their dating of it. E. Grzybek, Du calendrier macedonien au calendrier ptolémaïque 34, noted that at the siege of Tyre in 332 Alexander had redefined the last day of the month to be the 28th, i.e. that he had delayed the end of the month most likely by 1 day (Plutarch, Alexander 25.1-3). Grzybek suggests, and Depuydt accepts, that the court Diaries honored the retardation permanently. While this would certainly explain the discrepancy, it is, to my mind, a rather bizarre suggestion. One would expect that a single intercalated day would have been compensated for rather quickly in a lunar calendar, simply by making the next 30-day month a 29-day month instead.
A second possibility is that Aristoboulos and the Diaries used a different convention for the start of the day (and therefore the month) because their authors came from different regions of Greece and Macedon. Aristoboulos is said to have come from, or settled in, (the later) Cassandraeia, on the coast of Macedon; the Diaries are said by Athenaeus, Deipnosophistae 10.434b, to have been kept by Eumenes of Cardia, a city in the Thracian Chersonese, and Diodotus of Erythrae, a city in Ionia. In particular, Diodotus, an Ionian, may well have used a non-Macedonian system.
The Diaries use a dawn-based day. Plutarch describes the events of the day before those of the night when he groups them together (e.g. for 19 Daisios: Plutarch, Alexander 76.2 and for 24 Daisios: Plutarch, Alexander 76.6. This is a little less clear in Arrian's account, since it is undated, but again there is at least one instance (which C. A. Robinson, The Ephemerides of Alexander's Expedition, 67.26, aligns with 26 Daisios) where he lists the day and night in that order in relation to the deterioration in Alexander's condition.)
A. E. Samuel, Ptolemaic Chronology 43, argued that the internal evidence of the Diary extracts supports the view that the Diaries and Aristoboulos used different days, based on the method used to number days.
Aristoboulous gives the date of Alexanders death as the "30th" using a regular forward count (triakadi Daisiou mhnoV). However, Plutarch quotes the dates from the Diaries after the 20th in a decad format, which counts backwards down towards the end of the month (e.g. the 28th is th de trith fqinontoV -- the third day from the end of the month).
If this accurately represents the original document, it is contrary to ordinary Macedonian practice, as later documented from Egyptian papyri. A. E. Samuel, Ptolemaic Chronology 44, further cites Macedonian inscriptions showing a numeric, and therefore forward, count, as proof that the backwards count was also not Macedonian practice in Macedon itself:
SEG 12.373, dated 19 Gorpaios (Gorpaiou enathi epi deka) year 41 of Antigonos II = 242 (Amphipolis, found on Cos)
- IG X,2 1.3, dated 15 Daisios (Daisiou ie) year 35 of Philip V = 187 (Thessalonike)
- SEG 13.403, dated Audnaios (Audnaiou) <nn> year 42 of Philip V = 181 (Eordaea)
On this basis, A. E. Samuel, Ptolemaic Chronology 43 argued that the format is proof that the Diary does not represent Macedonian practice in counting days, and therefore cannot be trusted to represent Macedonian practice in marking the start of the day.
I have found the following additions to Samuel's Macedonian database which support his case:
SEG 48.782, dated 12 Embolimos(!) (Embolimou ib) year 16 of (Antigonus II?) = 269(?) (Dion)
- SEG 39.596, dated 15 Xandikos (Xa[ndikou pem]pthi [epi deka]) under Antigonus II(?) (Cassandreia)
- SEG 37.595, dated 15 Hyperberetaios (Uperbereta[i]ou pempthi epi d[e]ka) under Antigonus II(?) (Cassandreia)
- SEG 39.558, dated 15 Hyperberetaios ([Uperbere]taiou pempthi epi [deka]) (Cassandreia)
- Meletemata 22, Ep. Ap 19, dated 25? Appellaios (Appelliaou ke?) year 8 of (Philip V?) = 215(?) (Deriopus)
- SEG 45.764 = IG X 2, 2.1, dated 19 Panemos (Panhmo[u] qi) year 16 of Philip V(?) = 206 (Olivenos)
- SEG 39.606, dated 17 Hyperberetaios (Uperberetaiou iz), c. 204? (Crestonia)
- SEG 43.469, dated 7 Panemos (Panhmou z) year 39 of Philip V = 189 (Amphipolis).
However, there are at least two known examples of decad counting from Egypt which do use the same method used in the Diaries.
pLondon 7.1986, found in the Fayyum, is dated year 34 of Ptolemy II Daisiou trith fqinontoV (28 Daisios). H. I Bell, AfP 7 (1924) 17, who first published this papyrus, suggested that the unusual dating technique implied that the papyrus was from a geographic source not well represented in the papyri, specifically Alexandria. A. E. Samuel, Ptolemaic Chronology 43, who notes only this counterexample, argues that the method of counting days is connected with the fact that the witness list contains three probable Cyrenaicians (and a Roman), and concludes that the papyrus may therefore represent both non-Egyptian and non-Macedonian practice.
E. Breccia, Iscrizione greche e latine 164, not noted by Samuel, records a fragment of an Alexandrian inscription dated [thi pemp]thi fqinontoV. P. M. Fraser, CR ns 14 (1964) 316 at 317 n. 1, notes that its Alexandrian origin supports Bell's original proposal.
There are also Macedonian inscriptions, not known to Samuel, showing count of days apiontoV:
EAM 74, dated Gorpaiou [<lost> apionto]V, c. 4th/3rd century (Amphipolis)
- IG X,2 1.2, dated Olwiou enathi apiontoV (22 Loios) in year 7 of Antigonus III(?) (223) (Thessalonike),
- IG X,2 1.4, dated [Up]erberetaiou dekathi apiontoV (21 Hyperberetaios) year 53 of the provincial era (95) (Thessalonike).
A decad count of days apiontoV ("departing") is the most common form of backwards counting in Greek calendars, e.g. the Boeotian and Achaean calendars (A. E. Samuel, Greek and Roman Calendars, 69, 92), though the fqinontoV count is better known, due to its use in Attica (and almost nowhere else in Greece). That the apiontoV count is a backward count is clear from its name, but is also proven by ASAtene 41/42 161.6, a Coan inscription dated Hyacinthus 4 apiontoV and referring internally to Hyacinthus 6 and 5 apiontoV in that order.
Most importantly, the fqinontoV backwards count used in the Diaries is now documented in Macedon itself:
SEG 41.563, dated Dustrou ogdoh fqinon[toV] (23 Dystros), second half of the 4th century (Amphipolis)
This form was becoming obsolete in Athens in the late fourth century (W. K. Pritchett, CP 54 (1959) 151). It could even have been a court affectation under Alexander, reflecting his education under Aristotle, since Aelian, Varia Historia 3.23, records the date of a Diary entry on 28 Dios as trith met 'eikadoV, which was the incoming form in Athens.
On balance, it seems to me from this evidence most likely that Samuel is wrong, and that the backwards count used in the Diaries very probably did reflect a Macedonian practice, though possibly a rare one. Supposing nevertheless, for the sake of argument, that it is used in the Diaries because the court secretaries were not Macedonian, Samuel's further inference that the day is also non-Macedonian is more credible if the diary is a forgery than if it were genuine. It seems hard to believe that an authentic court diarist would not follow court practice on marking the start of the day, even if he used his native convention for counting days.
A dusk/dawn phase mismatch between the days of Diaries and Aristoboulos is in fact how K. J. Beloch, Griechische Geschichte IV.2 27, followed by A. E. Samuel, Ptolemaic Chronology, 42f., explained the discrepancy. If Alexander had died shortly after sunset of 10 June, the 28 Daisios of the Diaries would have began at dawn on 10 June while that of Aristoboulous would have begun at the previous dusk, so that his 29th (="30th"), aligned with the Babylonian day, was starting in the evening of the 28th of the Diaries. In effect, the two calendars are only 12 hours out of phase on this reconstruction. On this basis, the correct Macedonian date for Alexander's death was actually 29 Daisios, as was pointed out by A. E. Samuel, Ptolemaic Chronology, 42f.
However, with Alexander dying shortly before sunset on 11 June, this explanation becomes impossible, since the dates of the Diaries must be slipped by 1 day against the Julian and Babylonian calendars:
This solution retains the alignment of Aristoboulos' calendar against the Babylonian one. The apparent difficulty with it is that it means that the Daisios of the Diaries began 36 hours after the observation of the first crescent moon in Ayyaru and by Aristoboulos. Only 12 of these could be accounted for by a difference in the definition of the start of the day. However, the remaining 24 are within the normal range of difference for two observationally based lunar calendars. The calculated lunar phase at Babylon on 13 May 323, the start of Ayyaru, is 1.9%, while that on 14 May 323, the evening before the start of Daisios, is 5.6%. This difference is perhaps enough to explain a difference between the Macedonian and Babylonian day numbers, since the two were very probably based on lunar observations made by different observers, with the Babylonian observer being a professional astronomer at the temple of E-Sagila.
This explanation allows us to reconcile the 28 Daisios of the Diaries with the Babylonian 29 Ayyaru, and to retain 28 Daisios as the correct Macedonian date of Alexander's death. The difficulty remains of explaining the discrepancy between the Diaries and Aristoboulos. These are apparently both Macedonian dates, and so we would expect them to be based on the same observation of the new crescent moon, even if they did use different conventions for the start of the day. (For this reason, Depuydt's suggestion (WO 28 (1997) 117 at 127) that Aristoboulos, who was at the centre of court life, was using the Babylonian day numbers because he was in Babylon, strikes me as quite unlikely.) Given the 36-hour difference, the reason for it can no longer be a simple matter of a difference in the convention used for the start of the day.
There is perhaps one possibility, suggested by A. B. Bosworth, From Arrian to Alexander, 167. Aristoboulos is said to have written his memoirs at the age of 84 (Lucian, Makrobioi 22). While his dates are unknown, this must certainly have been several decades after the event. He may well simply have been writing from a slightly faulty memory, or, in an age that did not value precision about dates, he may simply have meant to indicate that Alexander died at the end of Daisios. It is notable that Plutarch gives both dates close together without commenting on the discrepancy, and that Arrian regards Aristoboulos as confirming the Diary account.
4 Pharmouthi (Eg.) = 13 June (ps. Callisthenes Codex A, and Armenian version). This was the generally accepted date before the Babylonian data became available. However, it cannot be directly reconciled with the lunar date.
E. Grzybek, Du calendrier macedonien au calendrier ptolémaïque 33 n. 42, supposing that Alexander had died in the evening of 10 June, suggested an MS corruption of "d" for "a" -- i.e. 1 Pharmouthi = 10 June.
However this would not explain a date of 11 June = 2 Pharmouthi.
A. J. Spalinger, Fs Kákósy 527, also accepting a date of 1 Pharmouthi = 10 June, proposed to explain the date of 4 Pharmouthi by marching through the hemerologies of the eastern calendars. He noted that 1 Pharmouthi = 27 March on the Alexandrian calendar, and that on the reformed Macedonian calendar used in Asia 27 March = 4 Artemisios, which, on the "Parthian" alignment between the Macedonian and Babylonian calendars prevailing at that time, corresponded to 4 Ayyaru. However in the earlier alignment between the Macedonian and Babylonian calendars Ayyaru = Daisios, which was then mapped back to Pharmouthi. Hence he proposes a sequence of conversions as follows:
1 Pharmouthi (Alexandria) => 4 Artemisios (Asia) => 4 Ayyaru (Babylon?) => 4 Daisios => 4 Pharmouthi
Spalinger himself is concerned that this proposal "may appear too convoluted for some" (!). It also fails because the correct date was 2 Pharmouthi not 1 Pharmouthi. (It might be thought that 27 March is 5 Artemisios on the Asian calendar, not 4 Artemisios, but the first day of a 31-day month was "Sebaste", with the following day accounted as the 1st).
L. Depuydt, WO 27 (1997) 117, proposes an explanation along somewhat similar lines, but one which has fewer conversions and is somewhat more plausible. Noting that Alexander died around the time of the new moon, Depuydt suggests that the translation to Pharmouthi is early, as the "new moon in Pharmouthi", but that the number "4" comes after the creation of the Alexandrian calendar. By that time Pharmouthi was roughly equivalent to April rather than July, so its new moon was the fourth of the Roman year. In support of this he notes that Codex B' has Alexander being born at the new moon of January (at sunrise) while the Armenian text has him born on 1 Tybi; in the Alexandrian calendar, Tybi aproximates to January.
"New moon" in Aprilis (ps. Callisthenes Codex B').
A. J. Spalinger, Fs Kákósy 527, supposing the date is 1 Aprilis, suggests a second series of multiple conversions paralleling the conversions he used to explain a transformation to 4 Pharmouthi:
1 Pharmouthi (Alexandria) => 1 Xanthikos (Gaza) => 1 Xanthikos (Antioch) => 1 Aprilis (Rome).
Again this fails if the correct original date was 2 Pharmouthi; also the correlation is to the "new moon" of Aprilis, not to 1 Aprilis.
For Depuydt, this is a result of exactly the same process used to explain the date of 4 Pharmouthi, but translates Pharmouthi to its Roman equivalent in the Alexandrian calendar.
6 Thargelion (Ath.) (Aelian, Varia Historia 2.25). This is part of a collage of events said to have happened on this date, including Alexander's birth and death, and his defeat and capture of Darius III at an unspecified battle, probably Issus.
Depuydt feels that the events are being forced onto the date, and that it does not have any actual historicity. While Aelian's account is certainly not completely accurate -- Alexander never captured Darius, though he did his household at Issus -- I'm not entirely happy with leaving the date at that point. Its really not an explanation, rather an excuse to avoid admitting a failure to find one. The Athenian date of Alexander's birth is well-documented to be 6 Hekatombaion (Plutarch, Alexander 3.1), so I wonder whether some other explanation isn't possible for associating 6 Thargelion with his death.
On the standard mapping of Athenian to Macedonian months as it appears to be applied by, say, Arrian, Thargelion corresponds to Daisios, which is correct. Moreover this Athenian year should not have been intercalary. As is well known, Greek festival calendars, including the Athenian calendar, could intercalate days, which would be compensated for by shortening months later. However, 6 Thargelion = 28/30 Daisios would be some 22-24 days late, which is a very late alignment for Daisios, requiring at least 22 days to be removed from Thargelion and Skirophorion if the archon year was to end on the correct new moon for Hekatombaion. It is hard to see how this would be possible.
Another possibility is that the date was originally 25 Thargelion = 6 days from the end of Thargelion, since the Athenians counted down the last decad of the month. On this scenario, the count down was lost before Aelian got the date. In that case, Thargelion was only running about 4 or 5 days late, which is relatively easy to compensate for.
In either case, and whatever its calendrical value may be, the date as we have it is not convertible to a specific Julian date. The datum underscores the difficulty of relying uncritically on Greek dates in the literary record.
While the Julian and Babylonian dates of Alexander's death can be regarded as certain, the Macedonian one is perhaps a little less so. Nevertheless, the view taken here is that the dates in Plutarch's version of the Diaries represent the contemporary record, and therefore that the Macedonian date of his death was 28 Daisios.
As to the date of Ptolemy's appointment, all we can say with certainty is that it was unlikely to have been later than c. 6 Panemos = 18 June 323. Ý
He antedated his years to 1 Dios of his accession year, in which case his year 1 began in Dios 324.
- He postdated his years to 1 Dios of the year after his accession year, in which case his year 1 began in Dios 323.
- He used anniversary-based dating, in which case his year 1 began on 28 Daisios (i.e. the day of Alexander's death) or a few days later. Conventionally, this anniversary is dated as 29 Daisios.
Samuel believes that 29 Daisios was the actual Macedonian date of Alexander's death, although it is now clear that it really was 28 Daisios. But, supposing Ptolemy I used an anniversarial system of dating, it may well be that he dated the epoch of his regnal years from his appointment as satrap, which may well have occurred the following day; failing that, the date would be in early Panemos. Alternately he may have used the anniversary of his arrival in Egypt a few weeks later (which could explain the allocation of a year of Philip III in Porphyry).
Even if the anniversary date was the day after Alexander's death, however, it is unlikely that Ptolemy I accounted it as "29" Daisios. Since the Babylonian month Ayyaru 323 was a 29-day month, it is very likely that Daisios 323 was also a 29-day month, in which case the day after Alexander's death was not 29 Daisios but "30" Daisios. Even if Daisios 323 was for some reason a 30-day month, the date "29 Daisios" is still problematic since this date did not exist in 29-day Macedonian months. Supposing he dated his regnal years on this anniversary, the date he would have actually used is much more likely to have been 30 Daisios, in order to guarantee a fixed date for the new year in every year.
However, until evidence emerges to give a more precise date, Samuel's date may still be taken as a notional estimate, i.e. it should be understood to mean "28 Daisios or a little later".
Babylonian evidence allows us to rule out the second of these alternatives. The normal Babylonian convention was to postdate, by accounting the interval between the death of a king and the next 1 Nisanu as a tuppu year. This convention was changed in Babylonian texts of this period: year 1 of Philip III and Alexander IV began from the instant of their accession. This change can only reflect an adaptation to Macedonian practice. It follows that Macedonian regnal years were either antedated (option 1) or anniversarial (option 3).
The standard discussion is still A. E. Samuel, Ptolemaic Chronology 15ff. Samuel argued that Ptolemy I's regnal years were based on 29 Daisios. He presented arguments based on two data items: IG 14.1184 and two Elephantine papyri.
IG 14.1184 and the Death of Menander
IG 14.1184, an inscription (now lost) that dates the death of the Attic dramatist Menander, states: "Menander, son of Diopeithes of Cephissia, was born in the archonship of Sosigenes and died aged fifty-two in that of Philip in the 32nd year of the reign of Ptolemy Soter." Chronographically, the death of Menander is dated to his 32nd "Alexandrian" year in the Armenian edition of Eusebius, Chronicorum II (ed. Schoene) 118, and to his 33rd "Alexandrian" year in Jerome's adaptation of this chronicle. Samuel concluded that the archon year must have straddled Ptolemy I's 32nd and 33rd Macedonian year. The only way to reconcile this data is to suppose that year 1 = 323/2, so that year 32 = 292/1, starting somewhat in advance of the Athenian year = 292/1; Menander died either near the beginning or near the end of the archonship of Philip. If year 1 = 323/2, it must be based on a date of 29 Daisios.
First, there is no reason to suppose that the date of Ptolemy I given by the inscription reflects his own regnal years. The inscription came from Rome, where it was the base of a herm with a portrait bust of Menander. It is dated to the early imperial period. It is perfectly possible, even likely, that the date given for Ptolemy I is a chronographic year, no different from those given by Eusebius.
Second, the inscription contains internal problems, not mentioned by Samuel. The archonship of Sosigenes fell in 342/1. The date of the archonship of Philip was uncertain at the time Samuel wrote, with different authorities arguing for 293/2 or 292/1; current opinion is 292/1, which is the date required by Samuel's analysis. Neither date is consistent with the age of Menander given as 52 years. Whatever the resolution of this difficulty, it does not inspire confidence in the inscription's strength as a synchronism.
Third, the difference of one Alexandrian year between the Armenian Eusebius and Jerome's transcription is not obviously an artefact of ambiguity in the relationship between Alexandrian years and archon years. The natural alternative, which Samuel does not consider, is that the discrepancy is due to corruption in the different MS tradition of the Jerome and the Armenian texts.
A. A. Mosshammer, The Chronicle of Eusebius and the Greek Chronographic Tradition, 24f., 39f. and 44 ff., emphasises that there are two distinct methods of organising the data in the MSS tradition. In what is now agreed to be the older tradition, represented in this transcription, the year numbers in various systems (Abrahamic, Olympic, Alexandrian etc.) are given in the left and right margins; Olympiads are listed before the first year of a tetrad, and only every tenth Abrahamic year is listed. The historical notices are placed in the main text, aligned to that the text falls after the year in which the event occurs. In the Armenian text, as in the more recent MSS of Jerome, the years are listed in a table that runs down the middle of the page, every Abrahamic year is given, and Olympiads are aligned with other years. The historical notices are placed to the left and the right, with the text of an extended notice apparently covering several years.
It is evident that the Armenian system is more prone to transcription errors that would change the chronology than that of Jerome, in that a historical notice can very easily become attached to the wrong year. In addition, there is a clear systematic error which has occured in the alignment of Olympiads. In Jerome's table, the start of a new Olympiad is proclaimed between two Alexandrian (or other) years, and applies to the following year. However, in the Armenian edition, the start of the Oympiad is given its own column, and is explicitly aligned with the preceding year, which was originally intended to be the last year of an Olympiad.
It is all too likely that the mismatch which is the basis for Samuel's argument is an artefact of such errors in the transmission of Eusebius' tables. If so, it cannot legitimately be used to infer the relationship of Ptolemy's Macedonian years to the systems used by his chronographers, and could not even if the date in IG 14.1184 was a Macedonian regnal year.
If Samuel's thesis is correct, then the mislaignment is due to a particular error in relating Athenian archon years to Alexandrian years. We would expect that the Alexandrian dates for other events in Greek and Ptolemaic history which are listed in both Jeromes' and the Armenian Eusebian tables should show a consistent relationship: they should either have the same Alexandrian dates or, occasionally, the date given in Jerome should be a year later than the date in the Armenian Eusebius.
The following table gives Alexandrian years according to both Jerome and the Armenian Eusebius for Greek and Ptolemaic events listed in both sources listed under the reigns of Ptolemy I and Ptolemy II, following the Schoene-Petermann edition (Eusebi Chronicorum II 114-119).
5 Ptolemy I
4 Ptolemy I
39 (= 3 Lysimachus)
3 Ptolemy II
2 Ptolemy II
It is evident that there is no consistent relationship between dates in the two chronicles. Even clearly Ptolemaic events that one would expect to be dated by Alexandrian years in the ultimate source, such as the date of the building of the Pharos lighthouse, are different in the two chronicles. This being the case, there is no support in the chronicles for Samuel's proposed explanation of the discrepancy in the date of Menander's death.
Contemporary data for the start of the regnal year are given by two Greek papyri from year 41 (pEleph 3 (Artemisios) and pEleph 4 (Hyperberetaios) -- translations here). These two papyri concern transactions involving the same individuals, which gives us an opportunity to determine which one was written first. This would tell us whether Artemisios was before Hyperberetaios (favouring a Dios-based year) or Hyperberetaios was before Artemisios (favouring a Daisios-based year).
The details of the transactions in both cases involve a Syrian woman Elaphion, with a man described as her kurioV (guardian). She pays a third party a sum of money as trofeia (support) for herself. The third party is then enjoined from claiming trofeia again, or to reduce her to slavery (katadouloumenon), under penalty of a large fine.
The roles of the kurioV and the third party are assigned as follows:
pEleph 3 (Artemisios): kurioV: Pantarkes; payee: Antipator;
sum: 300 drachmae; penalty: 3,000 drachmae
pEleph 4 (Hyperberetaios): kurioV: Dion; payee: Pantarkes
sum: 400 drachmae; penalty: 10,000 drachmae
The nature of the transaction is not clear. Samuel notes that several interpretations have been proposed, and the question has been discussed subsequently by Grzybek and Scholl. These interpretations affect the relative order of the papyri. The significant ones are:
O. Rubensohn, Elephantine-Papyri 27ff., supposes that Elaphion was a slave, or prostitute, and that the kurioV was effectively her owner or pimp. Each contract then marks purchase of control, first by Pantarkes from Antipator and then by Dion from Pantarkes -- and pEleph 3 predates pEleph 4.
Against this, A. E. Samuel, Ptolemaic Chronology 21, notes (a) that a slave cannot be a party to a contract (b) if she is being sold then why is she named as the payer? one would expect the new owner (apparently the kurioV) to be the payer (c) the nature of the "support" is very unclear in this scenario (d) the price is very high.
(a) and (b) seem to be valid and sufficient objections to me. (c) is the key issue to deciding the correct meaning (and sequence) and is discussed below.
(d) is a much weaker argument. In support, Samuel cites pCairZen 1.59003 dating from year 27 of Ptolemy II = 259/8 which records the purchase of an 8 year old girl for 50 drachma. W. L. Westermann, Upon Slavery in Ptolemaic Egypt 60f., lists all slave prices recorded in the Zenon papyri. In addition to Samuel's girl, we have: 112 drachmae for the purchase of a child (pCairZen 1.59010), 150 (sale price) for a man and 300 (purchase) for a woman (PSI 4.406), 133 drachmae 2 obol as valuation for a mother and daughter (pCairZen 3.59355). He also notes that pGrad 1 imposes sales tax of 20, 40 and 60 drachmae in an apparently special sale. Since pCol inv 480 = pCol 1.1 imposes taxes at a rate of approximately 20 drachmae per mina, he infers sales prices of 1, 2 or 3 mina = 100, 200 or 300 drachmae, though this last document is admittedly somewhat later, dated to 198/7. However the net conclusion is clear: the individual sums named in the Elephantine papyri are not out of line for Ptolemaic slave prices, although they are on the high side.
These are a limited number of data points and they show high variance. A statistically significant database is provided by approximately 1,000 manumission decrees recorded at Delphi in the last two centuries, analysed by K. Hopkins & P. J. Roscoe, in K. Hopkins, Conquerors and Slaves 158ff. (a promised study on Thessalian manumission decrees by the same authors appears never to have materialised). Unfortunately Hopkins & Roscoe only give mean price data, variance is not considered.
In the early second century, the mean manumission price of a female slave at Delphi was 376 drachmae. The Delphic prices increased by about 25% per century, which suggests that at the beginning of third century an adult female slave cost about 300 Delphic drachmae. K. Hopkins & P. J. Roscoe, in K. Hopkins, Conquerors and Slaves 160 n. 48, estimate the Delphic drachma at about 70% of the Athenian drachma, however they have it backwards. A drachma was 0.01 silver mina. Delphi used the Aeginitan mina of c. 628 grams, while the Attic mina weighed only 430 grams (E. Babelon, Traité des monnaies grecque et romains, I 491f.)), i.e. 1 Delphic drachma = 1.4 Attic drachma, making the estimated female slave price = c. 420 Attic drachmae. G. le Rider & F. de Callataÿ, Les Seleucides et les Ptolemées 143, note that Attic drachmae were exchanged for Ptolemaic drachmae at par, but that the Ptolemaic drachmae weighed only 81% of an Attic drachma. Assuming this differential was reflected in prices, the Attic equivalent of 300 Ptolemaic drachmae is c. 240 Attic drachmae = c. 170 Delphic drachmae.
Also, iBeroia 45 = SEG XII 314, a Macedonian manumission decree dated year 27 Demetrius (probably Demetrius I, i.e. c. 290 (E. Grzybek, Arch. Mak. 5 (1993) 521), though Demetrius II, i.e. c. 235, is also argued), values a female slave at 25 gold staters. Since IG XII 7.69, from about this period, equates Alexandrian, Demetrian and Attic drachmae, this can safely be equated to 500 Attic and Alexandrian drachmae.
On this basis, Elaphion's trofeia was cheap compared to slave prices. However, if one exchanges Delphic drachmae with Ptolemaic drachmae at par, the prices are comparable.
In short, Samuel's argument that 300 or 400 drachmae is a high valuation for a female slave does not seem to be correct.
J. Partsch, Greichisches Bürgerschaftsrecht I 351 n. 5., supposes that that Elaphion had been freed on condition that she give support ("trofeia") to her previous owners, and that the purchase quits her of this obligation. He assumes Rubensohn's ordering.
Against this, A. E. Samuel, Ptolemaic Chronology 21, notes (a) that the contracts contain no indication that Elaphion had ever been a slave (b) that the theory does not explain why Pantarkes is the kurioV in pEleph 3 but payee in pEleph 4 (c) how Elaphion was able to raise 700 drachmae, 300 or 400 of which were raised in 6 months.
The most recent commentary I have found, R. Scholl, Corpus der ptolemäischen Sklaventexte 141f., returns to Partsch's theory. In support of Elaphion's slave status, he notes that trofeia is well-documented as a term for buying manumission, that "Syrian" was almost synonymous with "slave" in documents of this date, to the extent that the majority of imported slaves were Syrian, and that "Elaphion" is documented as a slave-name (pCairZen 3.59333). A contract in which Elaphion is buying her freedom well explains the katadouloumenon provisions. On this explanation, pEleph 3 is the earlier of the two papyri, since Pantarkes is her kurioV (who here must be "joint owner") and is not paid off till pEleph 4. Scholl suggests that, alternatively, she was considered free after the first payment but had to make the payment in two parts -- the large amount of money involved (700 drachmae) being simply the high price of freedom. He notes that the signature of Nikagoras, the suggrafofylax, is only affixed to pEleph 4, which he supposes indicates that the transaction was concluded by that contract. Again, it would follow that pEleph 3 predates pEleph 4.
While neither Grzybek nor Scholl mention Samuel's objections, Scholl makes a reasonable circumstantial case against his objection (a): the contract does contain indications that could (but need not) be indications of former slave slave status for Elaphion. He is less successful in overcoming objection (b). On Scholl's theory, Pantarkes is kurioV in pEleph 3 because he still maintained rights over Elaphion, rights which were acquitted in pEleph 4. But the contract wording does not require this interpretation, and more importantly it leaves the role of Dion completely unexplained, as Scholl himself recognises, since pEleph 4 is supposed to mark Elaphion's final transition to free status, yet Dion plays exactly the same role in pEleph 4 that Pantarkes played in pEleph 3. Finally, he does not address (c) at all: Samuel's question is not why the sum is so large but how a slave -- a female slave -- could raise so much money.
Scholl raises an important point by noting that only pEleph 4 is signed by Nikagoras, the keeper of the contract. But I think he has it backwards. Contracts are normally signed and sealed when they are entered into, not when their execution is concluded. The fact that Nikagoras' signature and seal is placed on pEleph 4, not pEleph 3, is (to my mind) sufficient evidence in and of itself that pEleph 4 is the primary contract and therefore the earlier one. It was not necessary for him to sign pEleph 3 since he was already the contract keeper for Elaphion.
A. E. Samuel, Ptolemaic Chronology 23, notes that Elaphion is the payer, that the sums of money are large, and that there is no sign of a husband or relative. He also noted that in Ptolemaic peregrine law, a woman required the assistance of a kurioV when she was a party to a formal contract drawn up by a suggrafofylax (R. Taubenschlag, The Law of Greco-Roman Egypt in the Light of the Papyri, 175). In theory, the kurioV is acting as her guardian, though in practice he would be her agent in such a context. He concludes that Elaphion is a wealthy woman, possibly running a business connected with the Elephantine garrison. Finally, he notes that Pantarkes appears in both documents, once as kurioV and once as payee. Thus, Pantarkes' relationship to Elaphion certainly changed between the two contracts and it is most likely that the contracts are themselves the instruments of that change.
Samuel concludes that the trofeia acquired by the transactions must be understood as including the services of a kurioV. Even when acquiring or discharging such services, Elaphion must be still assisted in such transaction by a kurioV, who must then be the outgoing kurioV who is, therefore, discharged by the same transaction. On this interpretation, pEleph 4 must be the earlier of the 2 papyri, in which she is engaging the services of Pantarkes, paying him in advance, and discharging Dion. In pEleph 3 she is then similarly engaging the services of Antipator and discharging Pantarkes.
Against this, E. Grzybek, ZPE 76 (1989) 206, notes (a) that it is highly unlikely in Hellenistic society that a woman would be able to engage in commerce at such a level of cashflow and (b) Samuel's interpretation of trofeia is equally unlikely. Scholl ignores Samuel's discussion.
I don't find either objection to be more than prejudice. In medieval Islamic society both slaves and women with sufficient strength of character and the right connections were able to make their way in the world, even if they were unusual. Contract law would have to be adapted to them, and Taubenschlag's comments indicate that in fact it was. The notion of trofeia as "service" as an extension of "support" seems not unreasonable; a crux of Grzybek's own proposal is that it could represent a dowry, which purchased the support of the family a woman married into. Indeed, it may be that Elaphion was wealthy not because she was engaged in commerce but by inheritance; Samuel's reconstruction would be just as viable.
M. Passehl, pers. comm., has proposed that Samuel is essentially correct in his understanding of the formal role of the kurioV, but that the contracts are not simultaneously engaging a new kurioV and discharging an old one. Rather, they are paying off an old kurioV in arrears for services rendered after the new kurioV has already been hired. This would allow pEleph 3 to be the earlier of the two contracts.
However, the contracts are formally concerned with payment of trofeia, which usually refers to support that will be rendered in the future. Moreover, on this explanation we would expect to see two separate contracts on essentially the same date, one for engagement of the new kurioV followed by one for discharge of the old kurioV, and we would still expect to see an earlier contract engaging the old kurioV. In other words, Passehl's scenario postulates the existence of documents not in evidence.
E. Grzybek, ZPE 76 (1989) 206, sees the trofeia as a form of dowry, and regards Pantarkes as having literally been Elaphion's guardian. In effect, the payment to Antipator was made from the 400 drachmae that had been paid to Pantarkes, who made 100 drachmae by acting as Elaphion's guardian for 6 or 7 months. However, he stresses that this explanation preserves Samuel's chronological interpretation of the data. This interpretation is followed in the most recent publication of these papyri by J. J. Farber in B. Porten et al., The Elephantine Papyri in English, 414 (D4) n. 1.
Against this, R. Scholl, Corpus der ptolemäischen Sklaventexte 141f. notes (a) that the papyri give no hint that the 300 drachmae paid to Antipator comes out of the 400 previously paid to Pantarkes, and (b) that Grzybek ignores, and his explanation cannot explain, the provisions against claiming trofeia in the future.
While I think objection (a) is rather weak, (b) seems to me to be decisive. In essence, Grzybek's theory implies that the contract is a receipt with a built-in penalty for challenging its authenticity. The notion that a concubine-in-waiting was transferred between at least three successive guardians also seems to me (though apparently not to Farber) rather farfetched. One must wonder what was taking her eventual partner so long.
I am hardly an expert in Ptolemaic contract law. Nevertheless, Samuel's explanation seems easily the most reasonable to me of the ones offered to date. Except in Grzybek's explanation, Elaphion must have access to large funds, regardless of whether or not she was formally a slave. But I doubt that she was, despite Scholl's point that the contract uses terminology found in other manumission contracts. The fact that Pantarkes and Dion both play the role of kurioV indicates to me that they had the same relationship to her, which is difficult to explain if the contracts were partly about the purchase of her freedom from Pantarkes. Whatever the nature of the transactions, Elaphion is equally free (or unfree) in both of them.
The key question is the temporal implication of purchasing trofeia. A detailed discussion is presented in W. L. Westermann, CP 40 (1945) 1. In manumission decrees, a freed slave often remains an indentured servant to the former master, in return for trofeia -- support -- meaning, essentially, food and board, the purchase of which is covered by the manumission price. Similarly, it was provided as support for wetnurses, as sustenance compensation for support for detained runaway slaves before they could be returned to their owners. Westermann notes a set of Claudian papyri from Tebtunis which are contracts for trofeia, distinguishing between simple maintenance and slave maintenance; he notes that the former is for free men (or women); the payments are prepayments.
In short, while the exact significance of trofeia depends on context, it is generally maintenance support that is paid for in advance. Thus in pEleph 4 Elaphion is paying for trofeia to be supplied by Pantarkes, and in pEleph 3 she is paying for trofeia to be supplied by Antipator. The provisions against reduction to slavery suggest that she is a servant, possibly a freedwoman, but they do not indicate that her status is changing as a result of these transactions. Samuel's temporal analysis is essentially correct, even if his view of Elaphion's status is probably wrong.
The net result of all this is that Hyperberetaios in year 41 (pEleph 4) was most likely, though not certainly, before Artemisios of year 41 (pEleph 3). Therefore the start of Ptolemy I's Macedonian years was between Artemisios and Hyperberetaios, which excludes any scenario in which his years started in Dios. Samuel concludes that they started on the anniversary of Alexander's death, i.e. (for him) on 29 Daisios.
The Macedonian date of the Ptolemaieia
L. A. Nerwinski, The Foundation Date of the Panhellenic Ptolemaea 104ff., introduced a new line of argument on this question. While Nerwinski's analysis of the date of the Ptolemaieia assumed Samuel's conclusion that the regnal year of Ptolemy I was based on 29 Daisios, his argument is largely independent of that assumption.
C. C. Edgar, Mélanges Maspero II 53, had noted that several of the Zenon papyri referred to a pentaeteris -- a quadrennial festival -- in Alexandria. PRyl 4.562, dated 26 Payni year 35 (Eg.) = 16 August 251 = c. 22 Daisios (Mac.), is concerned with finding a billet for some cavalrymen who are apparently en route to Alexandria for the pentaeteris. PSI 4.364, dated 8 Loios year 35 (Mac.) = c. 30 September 251, refers to a victory of Zenon's brother Dionysos in the Ptolemaieia held at the town of Hiera Nesos, in the Fayum. Equating the Alexandrian pentaeteris with the Ptolemaieia, and assuming that its celebration was governed by the Macedonian calendar, Edgar concluded that the Ptolemaieia fell on a date between 22 Daisios and 8 Loios. Nerwinski extended this argument by noting that the only known date which is significant for Ptolemy I that fell in this range is 29 Daisios, and, since the festival is a Ptolemaieia it is unlikely that the significance of this date is merely as an anniversary of the death of Alexander. Accordingly, he holds that the date of the Ptolemaieia is based on the regnal years of Ptolemy I, and these were based on 29 Daisios.
He spends several pages justifying the assumptions given above. To summarise these justifications briefly:
With the possible exception of the Arsinoeia (but see here), all known Alexandrian festivals were governed by the Macedonian calendar, therefore the Ptolemaieia was also celebrated on the Macedonian calendar.
Further, SEG 28.60 = SEG 29.102, the Athenian decree of honour of Kallias of Sphettos (T. L. Shear, Kallias of Sphettos and the Revolt of Athens in 286), shows that the first Ptolemaieia, in the late 280s or early 270s, was celebrated shortly before the date of the Panathenia, which was celebrated on 28 Hekatombaion (Ath.) (c. July/August). The pentaeteris of 251/0 was celebrated 1-2 months later. This matches the drift in the Macedonian calendar over this period.
This view is disputed by R A Hazzard, who agrees that the Ptolemaieia was initially regulated according to the Macedonian calendar, but supposes that starting in 262 it was regulated by the achronycal rising of Canopus on 25 January, i.e. that it was effectively regulated according to a Julian calendar. On this thory see below.
The Ptolemaieia was defined as isolympic (=pentaeteric) in the Decree of the Islanders (SIG3 390 = IG XII.7.506). All other known Alexandrian festivals can be shown to be annual, or probably so.
This view is disputed by P. M. Fraser and E. E. Rice. both of whom claim that there is evidence of a second pentaeteric festival. P. M. Fraser, Ptolemaic Alexandria II 380 n. 326, draws attention to pHal 1 ll. 262-3, which lists three Alexandrian festivals, the [name lost] festival, the Basilea and the Ptolemaieia. The original editors had restored a festival of Alexander, but this is otherwise undocumented and doesn't fit syntactically in the most natural form ("Alexandreia"). Fraser suggests instead "the [pentaeteric] festival", thus distinguishing it from the Ptolemaieia.
L. A. Nerwinski, The Foundation Date of the Panhellenic Ptolemaea 110ff. raised the same objections to an "Alexandreia" but noted (p 115) that pOxy 27.2645, a fragment of a work of Satyrus on the Demes of Alexandria, describes an annual festival in the suburb of Eleusis. Nerwinski shows that the lacuna can reasonably be restored as "the [Eleusinian] festival".
The other arguments for a second pentaeteric festival depend on an extract (Athenaeus 5.197Dff.) from a lost work of Kallixeinos of Rhodes which describes a spectacular grand procession for a pentaeteric festival under Ptolemy II. Neither Kallixeinos nor Athenaeus names the festival. Most modern scholars believe it is an account of a Ptolemaieia. The following arguments are presented against this view:
P. M. Fraser, BCH 78 (1954) 49 at 57-8 n. 3, and Ptolemaic Alexandria II 379 n. 321 and 381 n. 335 notes that Kallixeinos refers to the "records of the pentaeterides", and argues that this phrase is most reasonably interpreted as records of different pentaeteric festivals.
However, he himself admits (Ptolemaic Alexandria II 379 n. 321) the possibility that these records could have been records of successive instances of the pentaeteris.
P. M. Fraser, Ptolemaic Alexandria I 231, notes that the figure of "Pentaeteris" in Kallixeinos' account appears in the Dionysiac segment of the procession, implying that the pentaeteric festival reported by Kallixeinos is a Dionysiac festival, not the Ptolemaieia.
Theocritus, Idylls 17.112-4, attests that there was a Dionysia in Alexandria distinct from the Ptolemaieia. However, L. A. Nerwinski, The Foundation Date of the Panhellenic Ptolemaea 10f., correctly notes that the figure of "Eniatous" (year) which appears in the same segment of the procession as the figure of "Pentaeteris", is much more clearly identifiable as a Dionysiac figure, implying that the Dionysia was an annual festival.
Further, it is unclear to me why the Ptolemaieia could not have been a Dionysiac festival, since OGIS 54 attests that Ptolemy I was supposedly descended from Dionysos on his mother's side. In particular, the Ptolemaieia could have been a greater Dionysia, analogous to the annual and the pentaeteric Panathenaieias. This would explain the presence of figures of both an Eniatous and a Pentaeteris in the procession.
E. E. Rice, The Grand Procession of Ptolemy Philadelphus 185f., argues that the grand procession cannot be the Ptolemaieia because Kallixeinos' account, which addresses the highlights of the procession (e.g. Athenaeus 5.201B, F), does not include "any particularly marvellous honours given to Soter", which is hard to believe if the festival was in his honour.
This is disputable on two grounds. First, R. A. Hazzard, Imagination of a Monarchy 67ff., notes that there were significant honours for Ptolemy I: a division of the parade was named for the Theoi Soteres, they were honoured with precincts at Dodona and statues in gilt chariots, and a crown worth 10,000 gold pieces was carried in the thone of Ptolemy I. Second, Hazzard reasonably argues that the procession reported by Kallixeinos is as much propaganda for the Ptolemaic dynasty as it is a celebration specifically in honour of Ptolemy I. Certainly we would expect the Ptolemaieia to have this aspect.
All in all, the arguments for evidence of a second paentaeteric festival seem to me to be less than convincing. While the hypothesis cannot be positively excluded, it seems unnecessary to explain the data we have.
While the Alexandrian pentaeteric festival is never referred to explicitly as the Ptolemaieia in the Zenon papyri, Nerwinski argues that this can be explained by the need to distinguish it from the local Ptolemaieias such as that at Hiera Nesos, which may have occurred at a different rate, e.g. annually, and possibly not at precisely the same time, due to the difficulty of synchronising the Macedonian calendar thoughout the country. However, in the year of the pentaeteric Ptolemaieia, we can expect local celebrations to have been held at almost or exactly the same time. Thus, even if there is a distinction between the local and Alexandrian festivals, the existence of the Ptolemaieia at Hiera Nesos indicates that the (near) concurrent Alexandrian festival was the pentaeteric Ptolemaieia.
The major apparent problem with Nerwinski's analysis is Kallixeinos' comment that the festival he describes took place in winter (Athenaeus 5.196D). If this is correct, then there must have been a second pentaeteric festival, which is either the festival described by Kallixeinos itself or the pentaeteric festival whose dates were limited by the bounds which Nerwinski established.
L. A. Nerwinski, The Foundation Date of the Panhellenic Ptolemaea 131ff., notes that the comment is part of an explanation of the availability of a large variety of flowers, and so is a comment made by Kallixeinos, not a quote from the Records of the Penteterides. Further, Kallixeinos says that the festival took place in winter tote ("at that time"), meaning that its date did not fall in winter in his own day. Nerwinski argues that the comment can be explained if Kallixeinos wrote in the late second century or in the first century BC, at which time 29 Daisios = 29 Pharmouthi, a date in mid May. At this time his knowledge of the relationship between the Macedonian and Egyptian calendar would most likely reflect the alignment under the middle Ptolemies, for whom 29 Daisios = 29 Choaik, a date in mid January, rather than an accurate knowledge of the solar alignment of the Macedonian calendar under Ptolemy II.
Two other recent analyses of the date of the Ptolemaieia, neither taking notice of Nerwinski's thesis, have taken an entirely different approach. Both assume that the grand procession is the Ptolemaieia, and that it did indeed take place in winter. Both are based on the assumption that the mention of the figures of the morning star, which opened the procession, and the evening star, which closed it (Athenaeus 5.197D), have astronomical significance, and therefore indicate the Julian date of the Ptolemaieia.
V. Foertmeyer, Historia 37 (1988) 90, argues on circumstantial grounds that the festival concerned must have taken place in the 270s and was the first Ptolemaieia. She further argues that the figures of the morning and evening stars imply that the procession lasted from the last appearance of Venus as morning star to its first as evening star -- a period of around two months. She argues that in view of the size and magnificence of the festival, such a prolonged celebration is not impossible. Her calculations show that the only year in the 270s which meets these conditions in winter is 275/4 -- a year on which a Ptolemaieia should have occurred. Hence she concludes that the Ptolemaieia described by Kallixeinos is that of 275/4.
R. A. Hazzard & M. P. V. Fitzgerald, JRASC 85 (1991) 6, with additional commentary in R. A. Hazzard, Imagination of a Monarchy 28ff., interpreted the same data in a different way. Hazzard supposes that the figure of the morning star shows the morning star as patron of the current Ptolemaieia, while the figure of the evening star, closing the procession, is looking forward to the next Ptolemaieia. His view is that this symbolism exploits the 8-year cycle of Venus, which has the property that Venus will appear as morning and evening stars on most dates four years apart. As to the specific date, Hazzard adduces late evidence that the star Canopus was renamed after Ptolemy I, and supposes that the start was used to set the date of the Ptolemaieia in order to counteract the draft of the Macedonian calendar. On various circumstantial grounds, Hazzard argues that this alignment was first used for the Ptolemaieia of 262. Fitzgerald's calculations showed that the acronychal rising of Canopus at Alexandria occurred on 25 January (Julian) every four years, and that in 262 it coincided with the first rising of Venus as the morning star. Hence Hazzard concluded that the Ptolemaieia was held on 25 January (Julian) from 262 onwards, and proposed that it had previously marked the death of Ptolemy I on or around 25 Dystros, except for the first occurrence in 282.
Hazzard cheekily remarks (Imagination of a Monarchy, 4 and n. 8): "No one has challenged this new dating. [Because refutation would require a knowledge of astrophysics, no classical scholar has made the attempt.]" But this is not true. The problem with his argument, as with Foertmeyer's, is not the astrophysics, which is unarguable in both cases. The problem is the papyrological and literary analysis.
Both authors accept that the winter date comes from the contemporary source of the Records of Pentaeterides. Neither considered the possibility, argued by Nerwinski, that it is a comment by Kallixeinos himself reflecting the circumstances of his own times. In Hazzard's case, this is despite the fact that he also argues at some length (R. A. Hazzard, Imagination of a Monarchy, 62ff), that Kallixeinos lived in the late second century or even later, noting:
- He refers to Ptolemy II as Philadelphus (Athenaeus 5.203B and Athenaeus 5.203C). This title is not documented in the papyri before 165.
- His description of the Dionysiac shrine on the river barge mentioned portrait statues of the rulers' relatives (oi twn basileiV suggeneiaV -- Athenaeus 5.205F). This is a formal Ptolemaic court title of the late second and first centuries BC, and the replacement of the phrase basileuV kai basilissa by basileiV is only attested after Cleopatra III was made coruler in 140/39.
Earlier analyses, most recently E. E. Rice, The Grand Procession of Ptolemy Philadelphus, 164ff, had noted only the first point, and had then become entangled in esoteric and ultimately indeterminable arguments about whether or not the grammatical structure and style of Kallixeinos' descriptions of the parade implied that he had personally witnessed it and was writing as an old man. It seems to me that Hazzard's arguments are based on hard comparative data, and his conclusion is sound.
Evidently, this result is entirely consistent with Nerwinski's view that Kallixeinos wrote after the final Macedonian calendar reform in Egypt, which is first documented in 118. However, Hazzard in R. A. Hazzard & M. P. V. Fitzgerald, in JRASC 85 (1991) 6 at 20 n. 5 chooses to interpret Kallixeinos' statement that the festival was held in winter tote ("at that time") as meaning that the festival had previously been held on a different time.
This accepts that the word is in fact a comment by Kallixeinos, but it overreads its meaning to suit Hazzard's theory, and supposes that Kallixeinos, well over a century after the event, had some means of knowing what season the festival actually occured in its various instances.
F. W. Walbank, SCI 15 (1996) 119 at 121f. n. 16, notes that Athenaeus 5.204D does not specify that the festival started at the time that the morning star appeared (i.e. a specific sychronism), but that it started at the time that the morning star appears (i.e. a general statement), and similarly that the appearance of the figure of the evening star was timed for the time when the evening star would appear in the sky -- i.e. twilight. He cites the analagous example of Polybius 30.25.15, describing the figures of night, day, and dawn and midday in the great procession of Antiochus IV at Daphne in 166. He concludes that the figures were simply meant to dramatically open and close the procession at dawn and dusk, and had no special astronomical significance.
The argument seems fair enough to me.
Only Hazzard (Imagination of a Monarchy, 32f.) considers the papyrological evidence cited by Edgar and Nerwinski. Although he reviews Edgar's argument in detail, he only notes that PSI 4.364, which had provided Edgar with a terminus ante quem of 8 Loios year 35 (Mac.) = c. 30 September 251 for the Ptolemaieia of that year, was used by Edgar to identify the Pentaeteris with the Ptolemaieia. However, he accepts Edgar's terminus post quem of pRyl 4.562, 26 Payni year 35 (Eg.) = 16 August 251 = c. 22 Daisios (Mac.). In order to reconcile this with his view that the Ptolemaieia was held on the acronychal rising of Canopus = 25 January 250, he supposes that the billeting order for some travelling cavalrymen reported in pRyl 4.562 had to be made weeks or months ahead of the planned travel, because travel was slow and arduous. Edgar's view was that the papyrus indicated an imminent departure from the Fayyum, and he found it incredible that they would stay in Alexandria very long before the start of the Ptolemaieia.
I agree with Edgar. Zenon was in regular contact with Alexandria. There is no way it would take 5 months for the necessary travel, and no reason to believe that billets had to be arranged so long in advance. Hazzard's apparent suppression of the critical evidence of the date of PSI 4.364 is a baffling omission.
Hazzard adduces another item not known to Edgar or Nerwinski: pHeid 6.362, which includes a directive dated 21 Choiak year 21 (Ptolemy III, on prosopographical grounds) = 6 February 226 forbidding further export of calves from a nome since they were needed for the Pentaeteris. He supposes that the Ptolemaieia concerned was already in progress or just about to commence, sliding over the fact that the achronycal Canopic rising of 226 was already nearly two weeks in the past. But it seems more reasonable to interpret this as advance planning for an event due to occur some time later, since the cattle involved would also have to be brought to Alexandria.
This datum is also apparently a problem for Nerwinski's interpretation of the pentaeteric cycle, since the expected occurrence is between 22 Daisios and 8 Loios 227/6 = c. 18 October 227 - c. 2 January 226. From pGurob 2, we have 16 Dystros year 21 = 19 Payni = 2 August 226, corresponding to the new moon of 20 July. Working backwards this gives us 22 Daisios - 8 Loios year 21 (Mac.) = c. 18 November 227 - c. 2 January 226, with no intercalations before Dystros, or c. 20 October - 3 December 227, with an intercalation before Dystros. One possibility is that Ptolemy III changed the date of the Ptolemaieia to suit his own purposes. His own accession date of 25 Dios fell c. 16 April 226 in year 21, which is a little over 2 months after the date of the order.
Notwithstanding the difficulty raised by pHeid 6.362, and whatever the uncertain significance of the Morning and Evening star figures in the procession reported by Kalleixenos, or the actual year of this particular procession, Nerwinski has much the better case for determining its calendar date, as far as I can see. I therefore concur with him that the Ptolemaieia was indeed held between late Daisios and early Loios under Ptolemy II.
The weakness in using this result to establish the epoch of Ptolemy I's regnal year is Nerwinski's assumption that the only possible date of significance to Ptolemy I between 22 Daisios and 8 Loios was 29 Daisios.
Since he also thinks that the first Ptolemaieia was held on 29 Daisios = 10 May 282, he concludes, with Hazzard, that Ptolemy I must have died several months earlier, possibly as early as 25 Dystros, as proposed by L. Koenen, Eine agonistiche Inschrift aus Ägypten und frühptolemäische Königsfeste, 52. If this were correct then his conclusion that the Ptolemaieia was held on the start of Ptolemy I's regnal year could well follow. But it is more likely that if the first Ptolemaieia was held in 282, before the Panathenea on 28 Hekatombaion (Ath.), this would favour a death date in late summer of 283, which in turn would require a Dios-based regnal year.
Alternatively, if Samuel has correctly interpreted the evidence of pEleph 3 and pEleph 4, and the first Ptolemaieia was held in 278, as is held here, this would suggest that Ptolemy I died between Artemisios (or perhaps slightly before) and the end of that regnal year. In this case, the Ptolemaieia could well have been held on the anniversary of his death, except possibly the first Ptolemaieia, if indeed that was held in 282. On the other hand, the same argument supports the view that his regnal year began on 29 Daisios, so even if the Ptolemaieia was held on the anniversary of his death rather than that of his accession, it would still follow that his regnal year began on 29 Daisios -- but the date of the Ptolemaieia would no longer be an independent argument for this result.
However, there are other possibilities than the regnal year or the anniversary of the date of death. It may be that the Ptolemaieia marked the birthday of Ptolemy I, which is not (yet) known, or the anniversary of his adoption of the title of basileuV (e.g. after the siege of Rhodes). In these cases, the date of the Ptolemaieia need not have any relationship at all to the start of his regnal year. So, Nerwinski's analysis, while both suggestive of, and consistent with, a date of 29 Daisios, does not prove it correct.
The Macedonian Regnal Years of Ptolemy I and Alexander IV
It remains to consider the only contemporary Macedonian synchronism we have, pEleph 1 (translated here), which is dated to Dios year 7 (Alexander IV) = year 14 (Ptolemy I as satrap). This tells us that Dios year 1 (Alexander IV) = year 8 (Ptolemy I as satrap). If the satrapal year was indeed based on 29 Daisios in 323, this in turn requires that Dios year 1 of Alexander IV fell in 316. However, if the Macedonian year was already fixed at 1 Dios then Dios year 1 of Alexander IV fell in 317.
We can test this synchronism against the evidence for the date of death of Philip III and the accession of Alexander IV as sole king. Diodorus 19.11.5 gives 6 years 4 months for Philip III. Since he succeeded on 29 Daisios = 11 June 323, this dates the end of his reign to 29 Hyperberetaios-28 Dios in 317, assuming the count is exclusive. This dates Alexander IV's accession to some time in Dios in 317, or earlier, which appears to contradict the above analysis requiring Dios of year 1 to fall in 316. On the other hand, if Ptolemy I and Alexander IV both dated their reigns from 1 Dios, either by antedating to 1 Dios of their accession year or, less likely, postdating to 1 Dios of the following year, the equation of pEleph 1 would follow naturally. Since the Babylonian evidence on Macedonian regnal years appears to forbid a post-dated solution, we would again arrive at Dios year 1 of Alexander IV in Egypt in 317.
However, if Samuel's analysis of pEleph 3 and pEleph 4 given above is correct, then both these options are closed since Ptolemy dated his reign from Daisios. We must seek some other way to reconcile these dates with pEleph 1. There seems to be grounds for doing so.
From the position of the death of Philiip III in the sequence of events given by Diodorus, he must have died in late summer 317. However, it does not appear that the accession of Alexander IV was dated from this point. The regnal dates of Philip III continued to be used in both Egypt and Babylon for some time after summer 317.
The latest Egyptian text dated to Philip III is pdem Bib. Nat. 219, dated to Hathyr year 8 = 9 January - 7 February 316; the earliest date of Alexander IV is pdem Loeb 27 dated 2 Mecheir year 1 = 10 April 316.
The Babylonian situation is more complex -- see T. Boiy, JCS 52 (2000) 115. The relationship between the Babylonian regnal years of Philip III, Antigonus Monophthalmus and Alexander IV is determined from two astronomical tables, the "Saros Canon" (LBAT 1428) and the "Solar Saros" (BM 36754: A. Aaboe et al., TAPS 81 (1991) 1 at 24; T. Boiy, ZPE 138 (2002) 249). From the Saros Canon, we have that the 6 years of Antigonus cover the 6 years immediately preceding SEB 1 = 311/0. From the "Solar Saros" we have that Philip III year 8 = 316/5 is followed by Antigonus year 3 = 315/4 and that Antigonus year 6 = 312/1 is followed by Alexander IV year 6 = 311/0.
The available contemporary dates tell an even more complex story. A colophon to a Babylonian lunar eclipse table LBAT *1414 = A. J. Sachs & H. Hunger, Astronomical Diaries and Related Texts from Babylonia V, no. 2, covers his 7th Babylonian year = 317/6, and notes an important event related to him on 27 Kislimu year 7 = 25/6 December 317. The actual event is lost, but based on precedent and the available space it could well be an announcement of his death; this also lines up fairly well with the Egyptian data. That it cannot be the actual date of his death is clear from Diodorus' account, regardless of whether the reignlength in Diodorus is completely accurate. Notwithstanding this, the latest dated contemporary Babylonian text of Philip III is BM 79012, dated 18 Tashritu year 8 = 9 October 316, nearly a year later.
The earliest Babylonian record certainly dated to Alexander IV is BM 22022, dated Ayyaru 10/9 year 6 = May 11/20 311. However, T. Boiy, JCS 52 (2000) 115 at 119 and NABU 134 (1998), argues that two ration lists dated to years 1 and 2, BM 78948 and CT 49 13, must be dated to Alexander IV, in 316/5 and 315/4. The two tablets lie between two other ration lists: 1982.A.1853, from year 9 of Alexander IV, and HSM 1893.5.6 from year 2 of Philip III, since they include many of the same personnel and the number of named sons of some increase from HSM 1893.5.6. While the years of Antigonus start with year 1 = year 7 of Philip, we have as yet no contemporary dated text of Antigonus before CT 49 34, dated Kislimu year 3 = 9 Dec 315 - 6 Jan 314 (the colophon of LBAT *1414 refers to year 2 of Antigonus but is not contemporary), and, as noted, contemporary texts of Philip III are dated in year 8 (= year 2 Antigonus). Boiy concludes that these tablets of years 1 and 2 must date to Alexander IV and suggests (JCS 52 (2000) 115 at 118) that Antigonus' regnal years are antedated, and that Alexander IV was recognised in Babylon between c. October 316 and December 315, indeed before 1 Nisan year 2 = April 315.
These Babylonian dates appear to be a byproduct of a complex political situation where Antigonus and Seleucus, who were using different regnal year systems, were contending for power. Similarly, in Macedon itself, it is clear from Diodorus' account that Philip III was murdered in the midst of a power struggle between Cassander and Olympias which was not resolved until the spring of the following year, when Cassander captured the beseiged Pydna and executed Olympias. During this period, Olympias was in physical control of Alexander IV, while Cassander was mostly in control of Macedon itself. There may well have been some uncertainty as to whether Alexander IV still survived in early 316.
The comparison of Diodorus to the Egyptian and Babylonian data supports the view that the actual transition point from years of Philip III to those of Alexander IV was not defined by Philip's death. The Macedonian evidence of pEleph 1 could therefore be reconciled with an accession date of 29 Daisios for Ptolemy I and with the evidence for the end of the reign of Philip III in several ways, such as:
- Alexander IV's regnal year began after Dios 317 in Egypt because the end of Philip III's reign was not recognised there until some time after his death, and Alexander IV was using an anniversary-based or post-dated regnal year separate from Ptolemy's satrapal year.
- Alexander IV's regnal year began after Dios 317 in Egypt because Ptolemy I postdated his regnal year so that it was aligned with his own satrapal year, starting on 29 Daisios. However, while not a conclusive objection, this scenario requires Alexander IV to be recognised in the Egyptian calendar for several months before he was recognised in the Macedonian one.
- Alexander IV's regnal year began after Dios 317 in Egypt because the months in the Egyptian Macedonian calendar were lagging behind those in the Macedonian Macedonian calendar, due to a different intercalation algorithm.
Whatever the solution to this problem, it does not appear to be a fatal objection to the proposition that Ptolemy I used an anniversary-based satrapal and regnal years based on 29 Daisios = 11 June 323, or perhaps a few days later. Ý
[6.2] As pointed out by A. E. Samuel, Ptolemaic Chronology, 15ff, later chronographic evidence is contradictory about whether Ptolemy's regnal years were accounted from his appointment as satrap or at a later date, after a year of Philip III. Ptolemy's satrapy effective in the same Athenian year as Alexander's death, 324/3: Parian Marble 110 (archonship of Hegesias); Ptolemy did not reach Egypt till several months later, in the next Athenian year 323/2: (pOxy 1.12 = FGrH 255.9, archonship of Cephisodoros).
Given the date of Alexander's death it would have been almost physically impossible for Ptolemy I to have reached Egypt in time to take up his post in the same Athenian year. Whether or not Porphyry's source is Athenian, as Samuel supposes, this difference presumably explains why he states in Eusebius, Chronicorum I (ed. Schoene) 161, that Ptolemy took up the satrapy in the year after Philip III became king.
 The Greek literary evidence consistently dates his assumption of kingship to summer/autumn 306. Diodorus 22.53 places the event in the archonship of Anaxicrates (306/5), as a response to the assumption of kingship by Antigonus I and Demetrius I immediately following their conquest of Cyprus from Ptolemy I at the Battle of Salamis in summer 306. This is followed by Plutarch, Demetrius 18.2, Appian, Syriaca 54 and Justin 15.2. A. E. Samuel, Ptolemaic Chronology 8, argues that these accounts all reflect a single source and that we cannot tell whether Diodorus actually intended the reader to infer that Ptolemy I assumed kingship in the same Olympian year as Antigonus I. However, G. A. Lehmann, ZPE 72 (1988) 1, notes that Diodorus is supported by pKöln 6.247, a fragment of a Rhodian history of the late second or early first century, which explicitly states that the assumption of kingship by Ptolemy I was an immediate response to Antigonus I's action.
A. E. Samuel, Ptolemaic Chronology 5, argues that Porphyry, in Eusebius, Chronicorum I (ed. Schoene) 161, supports a date of 305/4 for the accession of Ptolemy I, which would imply an alternate historiographical tradition. Porphyry assigns Ptolemy I 40 years following a year of Philip III. The first 17 are as satrap and the last 23 as king; the last two as a coregency with Ptolemy II. In Samuel's view, Porphyry's years are Olympic and represent a post-dated system. Since Alexander III died in Ol. 114.1 = 324/3, Philip III's year is Ol. 114.2 = 323/2, and Ptolemy's satrapy begins in Ol. 114.3 = 322/1.
If Ptolemy's Olympic years thereafter are also postdated then we have:
Year 1 = Ol. 114.4 = 321/0
- Year 17, in which he became king = Ol. 118.4 = 305/4
- Year 38, in which Ptolemy II became coregent = Ol. 124.1 = 284/3
- Year 40, in which he died = Ol. 124.3 = 282/1.
If Ptolemy's Olympic years are antedated then we have:
Year 1 = Ol. 114.3 = 322/1
- Year 18, in which he became king = Ol. 118.4 = 305/4
- Year 39, in which Ptolemy II became coregent = Ol. 124.1 = 284/3
- Year 41, in which he died = Ol. 124.3 = 282/1.
He further states (A. E. Samuel, Ptolemaic Chronology 10) that the data of Porphyry shows that the accession occurred before 1 February 304. As far as I can see, he does not present any argument for this, and since Olympic years ran from summer to summer I am unable to figure it out.
Be that as it may, these dates for the coregency and death are a year late compared to other sources. Further, he himself (A. E. Samuel, Ptolemaic Chronology 14) later argues, in connection with his analysis of the length of the reign, that Porphyry's assignment of a year to Philip III is an error, precisely on the grounds that it would place Ptolemy's assumption of the satrapy in a different Macedonian year from that of Alexander's death! This would completely invalidate the above analysis, moving the date of kingship a year earlier, to 306/5, in line with the other Greek literary sources, or possibly even two.
Not only does Samuel's reasoning change according to context, but it is faulty on its own terms. On Samuel's theory, Porphyry's dates are not given in Macedonian years but in Olympic years, and more directly they probably reflect an Athenian source at this time.
Moreover, Samuel is only prepared to postdate Philip III's years, but is willing to consider both postdating and antedating the years of Ptolemy I. At first glance, this is not unreasonable, since Porphyry explicitly dates the first year of Philip III to Ol. 114.2 = 323/2 in several places, including in the paragraph immediately preceding the discussion of Ptolemy's regnal years. However, in his Egyptian account this statement only appears in the Armenian version; the Greek version simply states that Alexander died in Ol. 114.1 = 324/3. Moreover, his summary of the duration of the dynasty, while corrupt, appears to have originally stated that Philip III became king in Ol. 114.1 = 324/3. Finally, the statement that Ptolemy I succeeded "after a year of Philip" appears specifically with reference to Ptolemy I's regnal years, so we may therefore assume that in this context Porphyry was drawing on a source that used the same dating system for both Philip III and Ptolemy I.
Therefore, if we can consider an antedated system for Ptolemy I, we should also consider the possibility that this source also antedated Philip III. In direct support of this, we may note that Athenian sources do date Ptolemy's arrival in Egypt to the (Athenian) year following the death of Alexander and the accession of Philip III.
The following interpretation of Porphyry's chronology assumes that it is following the Athenian data by interpreting this as meaning Ptolemy's years start a year after Philip III's. It further assumes that, in this discussion, he is antedating throughout:
Year 1 of Philip III = Ol. 114.1 = 324/3
- Year 1 of Ptolemy I = Ol. 114.2 = 323/2 (based on arrival in Egypt in this year)
- Year 18, in which he became king = Ol. 118.3 = 306/5
- Year 39, in which Ptolemy II became coregent = Ol. 123.4 = 285/4
- Year 41, in which he died = Ol. 124.2 = 283/2
This interpretation is consistent with the Athenian data for Ptolemy's accession, and with other data for the dates of coregency and death. It is internally consistent, not requiring us to accept the year of Philip III in one context and reject it in another, and it consistently uses an antedated interpretation of Porphyry's dates, an interpretation which is required on other occasions, such as the 22 years which Porphyry assigns to Cleopatra VII. And it is also consistent with the general Greek literary tradition on the assumption of kingship, which is what one would expect. Thus, it seems to me most likely that Porphyry's source also dated Ptolemy I's accession to 306/5.
For the purposes of the present discussion, this demonstration of antedating in Porphyry is sufficient. However, it is not the end of the story. It is argued here, on considering Porphyry's Egyptian chronology in its entirety, that Porpyhry's system actually reflects an Alexandrian source, so that his regnal years reflect Macedonian years down to the accession of Ptolemy VIII and Egyptian years thereafter, with year 1 being antedated to the last (incomplete) regnal year of a king's predecessor. Year 1 of Philip III then becomes a complete year 13 of Alexander III and year 1 of Ptolemy becomes the actual year 1 of Philip III. This system is indistinguishable from the Olympic system over the period under consideration, since the regnal years of Ptolemy I are closely aligned to both Athenian and Olympic years, and leads to the same conclusion.
However, other chronographic evidence gives a different picture. The Parian Marble 124, which dates from the early third century and was erected while Paros was under Ptolemaic control, dates the accession to the archonship of [Euxenippus], i.e. between c. 23 July 305 and c. 11 July 304. The archonship is reconstructed, but certain, since it is at least two years after the entry for the fall of Cyprus in the archonship of Anaxacrites = 307/6, also covers the siege of Rhodes, and the following entry, for the archonship of Pherecles = 304/3, is explicitly three years after that of Anaxacrites.
This date is supported by the Ptolemaic Canon, which recognises Philip III (7 years), Alexander IV (12 years) and Ptolemy I (20 years) in regular succession. These numbers are consistent with the regnal dates found in Egyptian papyri. Since we know Alexander III died on 11 June 323, we have the following Egyptian regnal years for these three kings:
Philip III: 12 November 324 - 9 November 317
Alexander IV: 10 November 317 - 6 November 305
Ptolemy I: 7 November 305 - 1 November 284
These regnal years are all antedated in the Egyptian fashion, so that the king came to the throne some time in their first Egyptian year. That is, according to this system Ptolemy I became king in year 1 (Eg.) = 7 November 305 - 6 November 304.
Combining the Canon with the Parian Marble, Ptolemy I became king between 7 November 305 and c. 11 July 304.
Clearly, this data conflicts with the Hellenistic historiographical tradition. G. A. Lehmann, ZPE 72 (1988) 1, proposed to reconcile them by arguing that they reflect two different events, i.e. that Ptolemy I took the Greek title of BasileuV in summer or autumn 306, and separately took the Egyptian title of pharaoh the following year. This position is also held by G. Hölbl, A History of the Ptolemaic Empire 20. In this case, only the latter event had a chronological impact. However, it is unclear why the Parian Marble, a Greek source on a Greek island, should record the assumption of pharaonic titles rather that those of BasileuV.
Most Hellenistic historians simply reject the Hellenistic historiographical tradition as an error. A detailed study is given by E. S. Gruen, in J. W. Eadie & J. Ober, the Craft of the Ancient Historian, 253. Three arguments support this view. First, on circumstantial grounds, it seems highly unlikely that Ptolemy I would assume kingship after so devastating a defeat as Salamis: it would have had no meaning. Second, when Ptolemy I wrote to the other Diadochi, Seleucus I, Lysimachus and Cassander, to announce his defeat of Antigonus' invasion of Egypt following Salamis (Diodorus 20.76.6), he did not address them as a king. Thirdly, the same tradition also has the other diadochi assuming kingship at the same time. However, the latest known Babylonian record of Alexander IV is dated to 27 February 305, and the earliest of Seleucus I as king is dated to 3 Nisan year 8 = 16 April 304 (T. Boiy, [forthcoming] 22) showing that Seleucus I assumed the kingship at least a year after Salamis. Further, even after the other diadochi had assumed the title, Cassander did not use it in his correspondence with them (Plutarch, Demetrius 18.2), even though they gave it to him.
According to this view, the other diadochi assumed kingship on the first opportunity after Salamis where they had demonstrated the validity of a claim to kingship.
A. E. Samuel, Ptolemaic Chronology 8f., argues that for Ptolemy I the occasion was his defeat of the attempt of Antiochus I and Demetrius I to invade Egypt in the winter of 306 (Diodorus 20.73-76). Even though defeat was assured by c. December 306, Samuel argues that the military actions related to this event continued to the following spring, because the sources do not indicate any other events in this part of the world. He supposes that Ptolemy waited till the start of the following Egyptian year to assume the title since this was the best date for the Egyptians.
Against this one can argue (a) as noted above, Ptolemy I's announcement of his victory, as reported by Diodorus 20.76.6, did not use the title of king (b) no matter how Samuel spins it, there is at least the better part of a year between the victory and the assumption of kingship and (c) Ptolemy I's prime audience was the Greek world, not the Egyptian one. It is unbelievable that he would wait till the start of an Egyptian year to take this step.
E. S. Gruen, in J. W. Eadie & J. Ober, The Craft of the Ancient Historian, 253 at 258 & 267 n. 37, suggests that Ptolemy assumed the kingship in spring 304, following the defeat of Demetrius I at the siege of Rhodes. (Contrary to Gruen's claim, he was not the first to come up with this solution, Tarn had already suggested it to Glanville in the 1930s. See S. R. K. Glanville, Catalogue of Demotic Papyri in the British Museum I, xvi n. 2.) He notes (a) the decisive nature of the victory (b) the association of the event with the assumption of kingship in the Parian Marble. Against it, this date would be after the assumption of kingship by Seleucus I, while literary tradition has it that Ptolemy I was the first to assume the diadem after Antiochus I, but Gruen correctly notes there is no reason to believe that this tradition is any more accurate than the tradition that places the event immediately after the battle of Salamis.
The objections to the literary date of 306/5 seem to me to be overwhelming, and they also apply to the theory that a Greek kingship was assumed separately from the Egyptian one. As to the occasion of kingship, I think Gruen's proposal is much more plausible than Samuel's, although not proven.
The exact date in 305/4 cannot be refined much from the available papyri. The latest known demotic texts for Alexander IV are p dem. Louvre 2427 and 2440, both dated to Hathyr of year 13 (= 6 Jan - 4 Feb 304). The actual date may be earlier due to timelags between Alexandria and Thebes. A. E. Samuel (Ptolemaic Chronology 9) argues that it could have taken as long as 3 months for the news to reach Thebes, allowing an accession as early as 1 Thoth.
E. Grzybek, Du calendrier macédonien au calendrier ptolémaïque: problèmes de chronologie hellénistique 69ff., presents an interesting and highly controversial analysis of the donations made by Ptolemy II to the god Atum recorded on the Pithom stele (CCG 22183) for 7 (or 4) Hathyr year 6, 30 Hathyr year 16, and Pharmouthi year 21. Based on the very high number of references to Atum as the father of Ptolemy II, on the use of the royal determinative rather than the divine one, and an iconographic analysis of his representations, some of which are wearing the double crown of Egypt, he argues that "Atum" here represents Ptolemy I. He then notes that Egyptian years 6, 16 and 21 of Ptolemy II, if based on his coregency with his father, are the 25th, 35th and 40th anniversary of Ptolemy I's accession to the throne, and suggests (inter alia) that 7 Hathyr 305/304 is the date of Ptolemy I's accession.
Based on his own analysis of the lunar cycle recorded in pCarlsberg 9, dating to early Roman times, and projecting the biennial intercalation scheme used by Ptolemy II backwards in time, he obtains a Macedonian date of 28 Artemisios of this date. However, since Ptolemy II intercalated after Peritios while Ptolemy I (on this scheme) intercalated after Artemisios, there must have been a transition between them. Grzybek supposes the transition occurred in such a way that he can claim the interpolation of an extra intercalary lunar month. As a result, he argues that the correct equation is 7 Hathyr = 28 Daisios, i.e. the Ptolemy I succeeded on the Macedonian anniversary of Alexander's death under this scheme.
This analysis has not been accepted by Egyptologists.
M. Minas, in Fs Winter 203, notes that Atum is shown elsewhere wearing the double crown, that the use of the royal determinative in the Pithom stele is not consistent but is sometimes replaced by the divine determinative, and that (despite the frequency of the title here) it is standard for an Egyptian king to be called a son of the god.
This criticism seems very well founded to me. A cult of a dead king was very familiar to the Egyptians. There is no obvious reason to disguise it by apotheosis to Atum. The date of 7 Hathyr year 6 Ptolemy II, which is the centerpiece of Grzybek's calendrical calculations, is obviously significant: it is described as the anniversary of the appearance of the God upon earth. However, what it means is completely unclear. In the past the God involved has been interpreted as Ptolemy II rather than Atum, and therefore the date has been interpreted as being equivalent to Ptolemy II's Macedonian birthday or the anniversary of his accession (cf. J. Bingen, CdE 18 (1942) 138). I suspect we will not really be able to resolve its significance until the operation of the Macedonian calendar at this time has been determined by other means.
Grzybek's analysis of pCarlsberg 9 (along with those of Samuel and Koenen) have been attacked by A. J. Spalinger (BiOr 51 (1994) 6) for assuming its questionable validity in the early Ptolemaic period, and Grzybek in particular for ignoring evidence that the Macedonian day started in the evening not in the morning.
This is rather to miss the forest for the trees. The important calendrical issue is not whether or exactly how the alignment of the month was determined by the Carlsberg cycle -- a day's variance either way in the alignment of a lunar month is neither here nor there -- but the intercalary scheme of the Macedonian year. Grzybek supposes that Ptolemy I intercalated biennially as Ptolemy II did. However, it is impossible to project this scheme from 29 Daisios = 11 June 323 to meet the synchronisms we have from the later part of Ptolemy II's reign, and so we must suppose that a different scheme operated at some point between them. Grzybek supposes that there were no intercalations between year 6 of Philip III and the accession of Ptolemy I. The only justification for doing this is that it allows him to arrive at the target synchronism 7 Hathyr year 1 = 12 January 304 = 28 Daisios in 305/4.
Since pHibeh 1.84a establishes that Panemos year 41 (Mac.) fell at the time of harvest = c. July 282, it is virtually certain that the Macedonian calendar under Ptolemy I was a lunisolar calendar. If we assume that intercalation was similar to that in the Babylonian calendar, 7 Hathyr year 1 = 12 January 304 = c. 26 Peritios, a date of no special significance.
A point that I have not seen made arises from R. A. Hazzard's analysis of the date of the marriage of Arsinoe II. The Pithom stele refers to the royal couple in year 12 of Ptolemy II. Hazzard's argument requires that this must be counted from the date of Ptolemy II's ascension to the throne, not the date of his coregency with his father. But if this is so then the earlier reference to events of year 6 should also be based on the date of Ptolemy II's accession, i.e. year 6 is not the 25th anniversary of the accession of Ptolemy I but the 27th. This destroys any value that the stele may have as a commemorative record.
Accepting Gruen's argument for dating the assumption of kingship to the conclusion of the siege of Rhodes in spring 304, perhaps the most likely date is 29 Daisios of that year, the first day of his year 19 (Mac.). On the model of the Macedonian calendar of Ptolemy I proposed here, that date corresponds to c. 4 June 304. Ý
[7.2] Posidippos, Hippika AB 78, 88. For Bing's suggestion of the Olympics of 284, see discussion under Ptolemy II. There may have been more than one, since Pausanias 6.16.9 mentions a statue of Ptolemy mounted on a horse, suggesting a victory in a horse race, although this is not certainly Ptolemy the king, and a second statue of Ptolemy I with boys in Pausanias 6.15.10, possibly commemorating a victory of his sons in boys' events; their identities are unclear. Ý
For the year: Canon of Claudius Ptolemy (reign length of 20 completed Egyptian years); Porphyry in Eusebius, Chronicorum I (ed. Schoene) 161 (40 years total less two under Ptolemy II). According to various Greek authors (e.g. Pausanias 1.6.8), he abdicated; Justin 16.2 even reports the unlikely story that he took a position in the royal guard. However, his (Macedonian) regnal dates continued to be used in Greek documents, e.g. pHibeh 1.84(a) and pHibeh 1.84(b) (Year 40 -- associated through being found in the same mummy cartonnage), pEleph 2 (Gorpaios (c. June) Year 40), pEleph 3 (Artemisios Year 41 = c March/April 282) and pEleph 4 (Hyperberetaios (c. September) Year 41 = c August/September 283). Further, Porphyry states (FGrH 260 2 (3)) that Ptolemy II completed two years of his reign while his father still lived, i.e. that Ptolemy I died in the third year of Ptolemy II. From this data, we can conclude that the abdication occurred in year 21 (Eg.) = 285/4.
However, we do not know a priori whether the completed two years of coregency described by Porphyry represent two antedated or postdated Olympic years in Porphyry's chronology, two regnal years of Ptolemy I, two regnal years of Ptolemy II based on the start of the coregency, or simply two elapsed years, which might be accounted from the start of a coregency whose date did not mark of the start of the regnal year of Ptolemy II.
Although the evidence is indirect, the regnal year of Ptolemy I almost certainly began on 29 Daisios. That of Ptolemy II began on c. 25 Dystros. The evidence for this date is also indirect. It comes from the Zenon papyri, a large archive from the Fayum which includes much correspondence between the dioiketes Apollonius, a senior government minister, and Zenon, manager of an estate in the Fayum. pColZen 1.8, dated 23 Dystros year 28 of Ptolemy II and docketed 2 Xandikos year 29 is proof that the accession date is between 23 Dystros 23 and 2 Xandikos. At the end of year 28 and the start of year 29, Zenon was in Memphis. pColZen 1.9 and pCairZen 1.59056, sent thence by him, were docketed as being received on 24 Dystros of year 28. Hence the year started on or after 24 Dystros. pLondon 7.1930, an extract of Zenon's accounts showing distributions of wine made by him between 27 Audnaios year 26 and 9 Xandikos year 27 show a large distribution made on 27 Dystros. On this basis E. Grzybek, Du calendrier macédonien au calendrier ptolémaïque: problèmes de chronologie hellénistique 157ff. proposes 27 Dystros as the New Year's Day for Ptolemy II.
A. E. Samuel, Ptolemaic Chronology 61ff. argued for 24 Dystros based on Egyptian double dates. Three letters from Apollonius to Zenon were written on the same (Egyptian) day, 30 Phamenoth equated to 23 Dystros year 31. They are accompanied by dockets as follows: pCairZen 2.59202 (1 Pharmouthi year 31), pCairZen 2.59204 (1 Pharmouthi Year 31), pCairZen 2.59203 (1 Pharmouthi Year 32). Samuel argued that the Egyptian day began in the morning while the Macedonian day began in the evening, and concluded that the letters must have been written on the evening of 30 Phamenoth (Eg.) = 23 Dystros year 31 and docketed the next daytime (1 Phamenoth (Eg.) still = 23 Dystros year 31 (Mac.)), with pCairZen 2.59203 being docketed in the evening, i.e. 1 Phamenoth (Eg.), now = 24 Dystros year 32 (Mac.), the start of the next Macedonian day. He concluded that 24 Dystros must therefore be the accession day of Ptolemy II. He held that this dating is supported by pCairZen 2.59209 (3 Pharmouthi = 26 Dystros year 32).
L. Koenen, Eine agonistiche Inschrift aus Ägypten und frühptolemäische Königsfeste 40, noted that a second solution was possible for the same data: that the letters were written on the morning of 30 Phamenoth (Eg.) = 23 Dystros year 31 and docketed the next daytime (1 Phamenoth (Eg.) now = 24 Dystros year 31 (Mac.)), with pCairZen 2.59203 being docketed in the evening, i.e. 1 Phamenoth (Eg.), now = 25 Dystros year 32 (Mac.), the start of the next Macedonian day. Koenen accepted Samuel's theory that the start of Macedonian months was (theoretically) regulated according to the Carlsberg cycle, but believed that the month started a day earlier against the moon than Samuel did; hence he viewed the 25 Dystros solution as the correct one.
In both cases, the Macedonian new year began at sunset on 1 Pharmouthi, but in Samuel's solution this marked the start of 24 Dystros while in Koenen's it is the start of 25 Dystros. The two solutions are shown in the following figure:
However, Samuel also notes (Greek and Roman Chronology 147f.) that pCairZen 1.59139, dated year 29, 26 Dystros = 26 Phamenoth, had to fall at the end of the year by the established correspondences between Egyptian and Macedonian dates for this period, and that the date is unlikely to be an error since the papyrus falls in a sequence relating to events at the end of the year. But the other two papyri in the sequence are dated year 29, 18 Dystros = 18 Phamenoth (pCairZen 1.59137) and year 29, 21 Dystros = 21 Phamenoth (pCairZen 1.59138). He supposes, rather unhappily, that either the scribe of pCairZen 1.59139 made an error in the year number or that he was using the Egyptian regnal year (which seems unlikely). Concerning the same papyri, L. Koenen, Eine agonistiche Inschrift aus Ägypten und frühptolemäische Königsfeste 42, proposed a similar but more specific solution. Noting that the format of these papyri is virtually identical, he supposed that there was a mechanical copying error.
E. Grzybek, Du calendrier macédonien au calendrier ptolémaïque: problèmes de chronologie hellénistique 157ff., makes an important point on these analyses. Noting that around the time Zenon took up his post, in year 29, the start of the Egyptian month was on the same day as, or one off from, the start of the Macedonian month, he suggested that since the local scribes didn't have a correct table of concordance after a while, they kept to this equation for some purposes even when they knew it was no longer valid. As a side-effect, they took 1 Pharmouthi as a reasonable estimate of the start of the Macedonian New Year, whatever the actual Macedonian date.
The same argument applies to the papyri that Samuel used to support a date of 24 Dystros and Koenen 25 Dystros. Throughout the double-dated years in the Zenon archive, we can see evidence that the Fayum scribes managing Zenon's archive were having great trouble keeping the alignment straight between the Egyptian and Macedonian calendars, and indeed in the later papyri they gave up altogether. A classic example is pCairZen 2.59177, a letter from Apollonius dated 18 Pachon = 2 Daisios year 31, which surely reflects the correct calendrical alignment in Alexandria, but which is docketed on receipt with the date 24 Pachons = 4 Daisios year 31, apparently either 6 days later or only 2 days later, depending on which calendar you think is correct. One must conclude from this that the alignment between the Macedonian and Egyptian calendars given by the Zenon dockets is simply an unreliable basis for concluding anything about the precise Macedonian dates of important events. Rather, it seems that the Egyptians marked the start of the Macedonian regnal year according to the start of the nearest month (or perhaps the nearest decad in the month) that was likely to be correct.
Accordingly we can only estimate the turn of Ptolemy II's regnal year based on Macedonian data, and we can only certainly restrict this date to the range 23 Dystros - 2 Xandikos. Grzybek's argument for 27 Dystros seems reasonable to me, but not conclusive. Current, an estimate of c. 25 Dystros seems to be about as good as we can do.
If 25 Dystros is not the date of the start of the coregency, another date must be found, and another explanation of the significance of 25 Dystros must be proposed. L. Koenen, Eine agonistiche Inschrift aus Ägypten und frühptolemäische Königsfeste 51-55, proposed that the coregency began on 12 Dystros. This date was later marked as the official birthday of Ptolemy II and by the feast of the Basileia, and appears to have been the subject of greater festivities than the New Year Day. Supposing this to be so, 25 Dystros marks the date of Ptolemy I's death, but this date is difficult (though not impossible) to reconcile with the evidence. We may therefore take 25 Dystros as the date of coregency.
The next difficulty arises from the fact that at some point Ptolemy II began counting both his Macedonian and Egyptian years from his coregency rather than the date of his accession. Exactly when and how this happened is a difficult and controversial question. The Egyptian side is discussed in connection with the date of the death of Arsinoe II. The date of the transition on the Macedonian side was settled by R. A. Hazzard (Phoenix 41 (1987) 140). Hazzard noted the existence of coins for Macedonian year 1 but the absence of Macedonian year dates 2 and 3 for Ptolemy II in both inscriptions and coins, and noted that, once coin data is taken into consideration, we have a complete series of attestations for him thereafter in official or semi-official documents in the Macedonian calendar, with no 2 year gap. Thus we see year 1 (Mac.) followed by year 4 (Mac.).
It is not immediately obvious whether the accession year was renumbered from 1 to 4, or whether it ran to completion and was then followed by year 4 (Mac.), or whether the coregency notionally began in 286/5 (= year 38 (Mac.) Ptolemy I), or in 285/4 (=year 39 (Mac.) Ptolemy I). The chronology of Porphyry supports a date of Ol 123.4 = 285/4.
One additional item that has not, so far as I can tell, been taken into account in recent discussions is the astronomical Era of Dionysios. This Era began on 1 Karkinon year 1 = 26 June 285, and one factor in the date was clearly that it marked the rise of Ptolemy II. This again indicates that the coregency began in 285/4.
This question ties into another issue: the year numbers in the double dates of Ptolemy II consistently show that his Macedonian regnal year changed before the Egyptian regnal year. But, Egyptian regnal years were antedated, while Macedonian regnal years (for Ptolemy II at least) were based on the anniversary of accession to the coregency, so one would expect the Egyptian regnal year to change first. This should be true for either solution to the Macedonian system.
I have seen three other explanations proposed for this:
T. C. Skeat, Reigns of the Ptolemies 30, who supposed that Ptolemy II year 1 (Mac.) = 286/5 = Ptolemy I year 38 (Mac.), explained the mismatch by saying that "it was a matter of indifference" to the Egyptians whether the Egyptian regnal years began before or after the start of the Macedonian years.
If the coregency did indeed start on 25 Dystros Ptolemy I year 38 (Mac.), it is hard to imagine another explanation. But this is so completely contrary to normal Egyptian practice that another solution should be preferred if it can be found. Rather, the difficulty of finding it on Skeat's chronology is an indicator that he has the wrong year: the coregency began in year 39, not year 38.
A. E. Samuel, Ptolemaic Chronology 66, supposed that it resulted from a miscalculation made at the time that the basis of Ptolemy II's regnal years was changed from his accession to the start of his coregency. He supposed that the change happened at the same time in both Egyptian and Macedonian calendars, some time around year 16. Up to this time he supposed that the two systems were aligned so that the Egyptian year started first. He supposed that the coregency started in Ptolemy I year 39 (Mac.), and was accounted as covering years 39-41, hence that these 3 years were added to the Macedonian reign count. However, on the Egyptian side it was known that the coregency started in Ptolemy I year 21 while the reign change occurred in year 23, hence only 2 were added, which caused the Macedonian year count to get ahead of the Egyptian count. The flaw in the procedure lay in the fact that year 41 was not a full year.
As noted above, L. Koenen, Eine agonistiche Inschrift aus Ägypten und frühptolemäische Königsfeste 51-55, proposed that the coregency began on 12 Dystros year 39 of Ptolemy I. As a result, the coregency-based Macedonian years 1-3 of Ptolemy II in his model were retroactively accounted from 25 Dystros year 38, but year 1 was very short, actually starting in year 39 and lasting only 13 days. Although Koenen regarded the change in year count to have occurred before year 16 (L. Koenen, Eine agonistiche Inschrift aus Ägypten und frühptolemäische Königsfeste 43-45), this does not affect the principle of Samuel's argument, and allows essentially the same result to apply.
E. Grzybek, Du calendrier macédonien au calendrier ptolémaïque: problèmes de chronologie hellénistique 124ff., adopts a model in which the transition in the Macedonian calendar happened in two stages. He independently derived Hazzard's result that the change in base for Macedonian regnal years occurred in year 1=4 based on Greek documents, but supposed that the year remained based on 29 Daisios until the reform in which the Egyptian calendar was aligned and the financial year introduced, in c. year 16=18 (Eg.). Only at that time did Ptolemy II move the start of his regnal year from 29 Daisios to c. 25 Dystros (in Grzybek's view, 27 Dystros), so that year 20 (Mac.) was short. However, this decoupling does not affect the principle of Samuel's argument, and allows essentially the same result to apply.
Actually, according to Samuel's own arguments, which are accepted here, year 41 was very close to being a full year, and the same is true for year 20 in Grzybek's model. Rather, if Samuel's analysis were correct, the problem would arise because the regnal years of Ptolemy I were not aligned to those of Ptolemy II: 25 Dystros falls only 3 months before 29 Daisios. Thus, the supposed error would arise because only 3 months of Ptolemy I year 39 belonged to Ptolemy II year 1, both on Samuel's and Koenen's model.
As noted above, Hazzard established that the Macedonian side of the changeover occurred very shortly after the accession of Ptolemy II. On Samuel's and Koenen's models, this occurred at a time when the misalignment between regnal years should have been fresh in the memory. The same is even more true on Grzybek's model, which requires that the renumbering of Egyptian years took place at the same time as the realignment if the Macedonian year. It seems hard to explain how the short year could have been overlooked as Samuel supposed.
While not agreeing with Samuel's specific solution of a miscalculation, I think the essence of his explanation is correct: Ptolemy II's Macedonian year was ahead of his Egyptian year because his count included one or more short Macedonian years. The same thing seems to have happened with the first regnal year of Ptolemy III. The question is whether we can account for this without assuming an error in the renumbering process. I think that the key to doing so lies in the observation, which is surely correct, that those years of Ptolemy II which fell in the coregency must have been aligned with the regnal years of Ptolemy I.
The following model appears to me to accommodate all the available data without requiring an assumption of error in calculating the renumbering of the Egyptian year:
On this model, Ptolemy II's coregency-based year 1-3 (at least) were aligned to the Daisios-based years of Ptolemy I, but his year 1 = Ptolemy I year 39 was short, starting between 1 Thoth year 1 (Eg.) = 2 November 285 and 1 Karkinon year 2 (Dionysios) = 26 June 284. Ptolemy I died in late year 41, after 25 Dystros, probably in Artemisios or Daisios, thus completing two years under the coregency but only 40 years of reign, in accordance with Porphyry's chronology. At this time Ptolemy II had almost completed his third Daisios-based year of coregency, but he now began his accession-based year 1. Accounting this as the year following his third year, he renumbered it as his fourth, some time before Dios, and before the end of that Egyptian year.
The above figure supposes that he realigned his regnal year at the same time, which I think is the most likely course of events, but the model would work just as well if the realignment happened at a later time, as Grzybek supposed. Note also that the argument is independent of whether 25 Dystros fell in late 285 or early 284, a point which is discussed next. The Julian boundary is only included in this figure to establish a familiar frame of reference.
Having concluded that the coregency started on c. 25 Dystros in year 39 of Ptolemy I, the next question is to decide the Julian equivalent of this date. In order to establish a precise date, we would have to know the exact alignment of the Macedonian lunar month to the moon. Much ink has been spilled on this complicated topic, which in fact is unanswerable if the month were managed in the usual loose Greek fashion. In any case, however, it is fundamentally unimportant since it only affects the date to within a couple of days. Rather, the discussion here accepts that we can only be precise to within a few days, and estimates the possible dates by regarding the Macedonian months as approximately equivalent to the Babylonian months for the same lunations.
As noted above we also know that it fell between 1 Thoth year 1 (Eg.) = 2 November 285 and 1 Karkinon year 2 (Dionysios) = 26 June 284. Hence there are 7 candidate lunar dates, with two remote possibilities that approximately match the bounds set by the Egyptian and Dionysian years. The candidate dates, all approximate to within a couple of days, are:
[3 November 285], 1 December 285, 31 December 285, 30 January 284, 28 February 284,
30 March 284, 29 April 284, 28 May 284 [and, possibly, c. 30 June 284]
The apparent difficulty in choosing the correct date is that we don't know the intercalary scheme of Ptolemy I. We can bracket 25 Dystros year 39 with two secure double dates: 28 Daisios Ptolemy I year 1 (Mac.) = 29 Ayyaru Alexander III year 14 (Bab.) = 11 June 323 (the death of Alexander), and 19 Loios Ptolemy II year 22 (Mac.) = 12 Epeiph year 21 (Eg.) = 4 September 264 (pdem Phil. 14). Additionally, attempts have been made to infer a synchronism of 4 (or 7) Hathyr = 12 (or 25) Dystros Ptolemy II year 6 (Eg. -- coregency or accession based) from the Pithom stele (CCG 22183; trans. E. Naville, ZÄS 40 (1902) 66), but these are uncertain. We also know that from at least year 22 (Mac.) Ptolemy II consistently intercalated a Peritios Embolimos at the end of his odd Macedonian years. The difficulty is that this model does not match the death of Alexander if projected backwards: it requires at least 8 intercalations too many. Hence it is clear that there was at least one change in intercalary policy between these two dates.
The candidates proposed in the recent literature are as follows:
In Samuel's model, biennial intercalations occurred under Ptolemy II (after Dystros) at the end of the odd years of his reign from its beginning. Samuel did not venture to model the reign of Ptolemy I, and supposed only that one intercalation occurred during the period of the coregency, which he modelled as Artemisios embolimos of year 41. On this model there was a total of 10 intercalations between 25 Dystros year 39 of Ptolemy I and 19 Loios year 22 of Ptolemy II, so that the coregency started on c. 30 January 284.
In Koenen's model, biennial intercalations occurred under both Ptolemy I (after Artemisios) and Ptolemy II (after Peritios) at the end of the odd years of those reigns. On this model there was a total of 11 intercalations between 25 Dystros year 39 of Ptolemy I and 19 Loios year 22 of Ptolemy II, so that the coregency started on c. 31 December 285.
In Grzybek's model, the Pithom stele synchronism was accepted, which required the insertion of an extra intercalary month between year 6 (Eg.) and year 22 (Mac.). Grzybek modelled this by supposing that the shift from Daisios-based years to Dystros-based years occurred in year 20 of Ptolemy II (coregency-based), and that year 20 was extended to almost normal length by including an extraordinary Peritios embolimos in that year. The net effect is impose 12 intercalations between 25 Dystros year 39 of Ptolemy I and 19 Loios year 22 of Ptolemy II, so that the coregency started on c. 1 December 285.
It has apparently gone unremarked, and perhaps even unnoticed, that all these solutions place 25 Dystros year 39 in the Egyptian Macedonian calendar before 25 Dystros SE 28 = 28 February 284. In other words, the implication of all three solutions is that the Macedonian calendar in Egypt was allowed slip backwards against the solar year under Ptolemy I. Only Grzybek has ventured a speculation on how this might have occurred. He supposed that intercalations normally occurred biennially under Ptolemy I, but that they were suspended entirely during the reign of Alexander IV and in the year before the start of his reign. No evidence or motivation is provided for this extraordinary proposal, which on the face of it appears to be totally arbitrary. It also requires not one but two changes of intercalary policy, both under Ptolemy I, in addition to the phase shift in biennial intercalations between Ptolemy I and Ptolemy II.
It is not yet possible to resolve this issue using Egyptian dates. Greek sources from Egypt use a Macedonian calendrical system in which all the years of the rule of Ptolemy I as both satrap and king are allocated to him, with Macedonian dates as high as year 41 being known. Egyptian papyri, by contrast, recognise the rule of Philip III, Alexander IV and Ptolemy I in turn. However, papyri from this reign, both Egyptian and Greek, are quite rare, and there is not, to date, a single Egyptian/Macedonian double date from it.
However, there are now three other indications that the Macedonian calendar was lunisolar at this time:
pHibeh 1.84a, dated to Dios in a lost year of Ptolemy I, is a contract for sale of wheat, which was to be executed the following Panemos from the new crops on the threshing floor. Thus, at this time Panemos fell in c. June-August, most likely in July, which is close to the alignment in 323. The eponymous priest was Menelaus son of Lagus for the fifth time. From pEleph 2 (translated here), this corresponds to year 40 of year Ptolemy I = 284/3, giving us that following Panemos, presumably of year 41 = c. July 283.
This synchronism was first noted by B. P. Grenfell & A. S. Hunt, Hibeh Papyri I 339, and accepted by E. Meyer, Untersuchungen zur Chronologie der ersten Ptolemäer auf Grund der Papyri 15. However, C. C. Edgar, ASAE 17 (1918) 209 at 220, dismissed this evidence on the grounds that harvest dates were known as early as Mecheir = c. April and, as far as I can tell, the papyrus has been ignored in all subsequent discussions of the Macedonian calendar.
Edgar's argument misstates the significance of the date. First, the synchronism of the contract concerns the time of threshing, not harvest. Second, the contract was made nine months in advance of execution, and therefore reflected the expected time of threshing. R. Krauss, in E. Hornung et al, Ancient Egyptian Chronology, 369 at 374, notes that harvest was normally in March-May, with threshing after harvest between June and September. Thus Panemos year 41 was indeed no earlier than June/July 283, just as Grenfell and Hunt concluded.
A bilingual ostracon from Khirbet el-Kom in Edom (L. Geraghty, BASOR 220 (1975) 55) gives the double date 12 Panemos year 6 = 12 Tammuz (Duzu) year 6. Geraghty concluded on circumstantial grounds that this date is a regnal year of Ptolemy II, giving the synchronism 12 Panemos year 6 = 12 Tammuz year 6 = c. 22 July 280.
The arguments are spelled out in most detail in his thesis, Third Century B.C. Ostraca from Khirbet el Kom. The ostracon is no. 3 in an archive of loan receipts for a moneylender Qoysada son of Hanna. Most are in Aramaic. The pottery fragments forming the basis of the ostraca are from early Hellenistic-era greyware, and paleographical comparisons to other datable texts, both Aramaic and Greek, show use of letter forms that are a natural development from those used in the late fourth century. SE 6 can be ruled out on historical grounds, leaving year 6 of Ptolemy II as the only viable candidate.
While I am generally sceptical of the precision that can be achieved with either paleographical dating or ceramic stylistic dating in isolation, the fact that two different scripts result in the same date as each other and with that suggested by the ceramics lends this argument considerable plausibility. The next most recent date is year 6 of Antigonus = 309/8 (E. Anson, JAOS 125 (2005) 263), 30 years earlier.
Most likely Tammuz (Edom) = Duzu (Babylon), since this calendar was Babylonian in origin, and was used administratively throughout the former Achaemenid empire; presumably the Babylonian Metonic cycle was followed throughout the former Achaemenid empire at least in the decades immediately after its fall. If so, Panemos has slipped by a month against the Babylonian calendar since Alexander's death in 323.
However, this cannot be absolutely guaranteed on the data currently available, since the assumption that intercalation on the Edomite calendar was synchronised to the Babylonian calendar, while likely, is not certain. It may be that Edom was a month out of sync with Babylon at this time. One possible indication of this is that Edomite ostraca dated to Alexander and Antigonus do not appear to use the same epoch for their regnal years as the Babylonian sources (E. Anson, JAOS 125 (2005) 263). In this case, we may have Tammuz 280 (Edom) = Simanu (Babylon), which gives Panemos the alignment prevailing in 323.
In any event, this synchronism shows that it is very unlikely that the Ptolemaic Macedonian calendar was more than a month out of alignment with the Babylonian one in 280.
Taxation receipts for the first two decades of the reign of Ptolemy II, together with two that are probably from the last decade of Ptolemy I, indicate that the tax year was already fixed at c. Mecheir, and also that the taxation year was based on the Macedonian regnal year. This indicates that the Macedonian regnal year was roughly fixed against the Egyptian calendar, i.e. that it was lunisolar.
It appears that Ptolemy I maintained approximate solar alignment for the Macedonian calendar as it was at the death of Alexander, or one month ahead, either through a regular scheme such as a Metonic cycle or an octaeteris, or through a pragmatic (observation-driven) approximation to the two. It turns out that the biennial intercalations of Ptolemy II coincide with the solar alignment implied by the synchronism of the Khirbet-el Kom ostracon between about years 18 and 24 (Mac.) of Ptolemy II. In other words, this data suggests that the biennial scheme was introduced under Ptolemy II.
Since Dystros year 39 of Ptolemy I fell in the year following the completion of 2 19-year Metonic cycles from Daisios year 1, 14 or, just possibly, 15 intercalations will have occurred in that time on this scheme. On an octaeteris scheme, year 39 is the second last year of the 5th 8-year cycle since 29 Daisios year 1 -- again, either 14 or 15 intercalations will have occurred, depending on the phase of the regnal years against the 8-year cycle. Hence we may estimate the coregency as having started on c. 28 February or c. 28 March 284. Since the Khirbet-el Kom ostracon shows that the Macedonian calendar advanced by a month against the Babylonian in the interval Daisios = Ayyaru 323, to Panemos = Duzu 280. Since Dystros 284 is closer to the last date, it is the date preferred here. Ý
 The latest date of Ptolemy I is Artemisios year 41 (pEleph 3) or Hyperberetaios year 41 (pEleph 4), and the earliest of Ptolemy II is Dios year 4(=1) (SEG 28.1224). Porphyry in Eusebius, Chronicorum I (ed. Schoene) 161 gives him 40 years total less two under Ptolemy II, suggesting he did not complete his 41st year. This suggests that he died between Artemios and Daisios year 41 (Mac.) = c. April - June 282 on the Julian alignment used here.
A. E. Samuel, Ptolemaic Chronology 27ff., arrives at essentially this result. However, since he regards Porphyry's Olympic years as existing independently of the calendar system used by his source, and as being based on a post-dated system of accounting regnal years, he allows for the possibility that Ptolemy I could have survived into his year 42 (Mac.), so long as he died by the summer of 282. At this site, Porphyry's years are held to be a direct assimilation of his source data, and therefore inherently antedated. If correct, it follows that Porphyry's "Olympic" years correspond directly to Ptolemy's regnal years, and so that year 41 (Mac.) could not have been completed.
Samuel also noted that the Artemisios date could be shortly after the actual date of death. He regarded the anniversary of the coregency (here c. 25 Dystros, for him 24 Dystros) as the firm terminus post quem. On Samuel's chronology, 25 Dystros year 41 = 7 January 282; on the system used here, c. 25 Dystros year 41 = c. 8 March 282.
This ambiguity has been exploited by Koenen and Grzybek. L. Koenen, Eine agonistiche Inschrift aus Ägypten und frühptolemäische Königsfeste, 51ff, 101 argued that the New Year of Ptolemy II, c. 25 Dystros, actually marked the death date of Ptolemy I. E. Grzybek, Du calendrier macédonien au calendrier ptolémaïque: problèmes de chronologie hellénistique 99, proposed that the festival which the Pithom stele records was created by Ptolemy II for Atum (= Ptolemy I in his view) on 30 Hathyr year 21, corresponding to a date of 10 Dystros (Mac.) by his reckoning, represents the death of Ptolemy I. He believes the same event is loosely reflected in the record of the Basileia celebrated on Ptolemy II's Geneqlia (birthday) of 12 Dystros year 18.
On either scenario, pEleph 3 is dated by Ptolemy I at least 6 weeks after his death, which seems at or beyond the upper limit of the amount of time it would take for the news to travel from Alexandria to Elephantine. Presumably in order to get around this objection, Grzybek suggests that the contract was prepared in advance of the date. I suppose this is possible, but it looks like special pleading, and one has to wonder why the date wasn't left blank until it was known for certain, or why it wasn't changed if it had become known in the meantime that the king had died. As to Grzybek's suggested death date of 10 Dystros, H. Hauben, in an otherwise very favourable review of Grzybek's book (CdE 67 (1992) 143, 159), correctly noted that a birthday is not "around" another date.
R. A. Hazzard, Phoenix 41 (1987) 140 at 146, presented an argument that aimed to establish a Julian date directly. He noted that the festival of the Ptolemaieia was established to honour the memory of Ptolemy I, and argued (R. A. Hazzard & M. P. V. Fitzgerald, JRASC 85 (1991) 6) that the date was set by the achronycal rising of Canopus, corresponding to 25 January, at least after 262. Assuming that the festival was held on the anniversary of Ptolemy I's death, he concluded that he had died in mid-winter, and, accepting Samuel's Julian alignment for the Macedonian calendar at this time, he supposed that this corresponded to a date in Dystros or Xandikos.
For reasons given above, I think it is quite likely that Samuel's alignment is two monthz too early, and that Hazzard's proposed date corresponds to Audnaois rather than Dystros. This is hard to reconcile with Porphyry, and it suffers from the same problem that affects Koenen's and Grzybek's proposals, that it requires a very long time for news of the death of Ptolemy I to reach Elephantine. But further, Hazzard's proposal also assumes without proof that the Ptolemaieia actually was intended to be celebrated on the anniversary of the death of Ptolemy I.
While agreeing that the death of Ptolemy I could have occurred shortly before the start of Artemisios, 25 Dystros seems to be too early. My view remains that Samuel's analysis of the most likely period of his death is essentially correct, even if his alignment of the Macedonian calendar to the Julian calendar may not be. Ý
 Illness: Justin 16.2; Murdered by Ptolemy II: Nepos 21.3. The latter seems very unlikely, the charge would surely have been noted by authors such as Pausanias who were not friendly to that king. Bouché-Leclercq, Histoire des Lagides IV 302 note on p 101 suggests that the story is transposed from Justin's account of the death of Ptolemy III. Ý
 Transliterations follow J. von Beckerath, Handbuch der ägyptischen Königsnamen (2nd edition) 234 (1) unless otherwise noted. Ý
 "Whose might is great, the valorous ruler". E. Naville, The Mound of the Jew and the City of Onias (London, 1890) 62 = H. Gauthier, Livre des Rois d'Égypte IV 218 (XI). Remains of a Ptolemaic temple at Kom abu Billah containing blocks attributable to Ptolemy I (by throne name) and to Ptolemy II. The block containing the Horus and Two Ladies names is not specifically attached to a king. They are assigned to Ptolemy I because that of Ptolemy II was already known. Ý
 "Who is chosen by Re, beloved of Amun". Stele Vienna 153 = H. Gauthier, Livre des Rois d'Égypte IV 216 (V) and n.1. This records the death of the High Priest of Ptah Amenhor II on 26 Pharmouthi Year 5 = 8 June 217 at the age of 72 years 1 month and 23 days, and his birth on 3 Phamenoth year 16 of king Setepentre-meriamun Ptolemy. Therefore he was born on 4 May 289 and king Setepenre-meriamun Ptolemy is Ptolemy I. Ý
 "In whom the Ka of Re is manifest, chosen by Amun." Not in J. von Beckerath, Handbuch der ägyptischen Königsnamen (2nd edition). Speos of the temple of Ay at Akhmim (as "Kheperkare"); sandstone fragment JE 43610 (K. P. Kuhlmann, Fs Stadelmann 469).
The inscription on the speos of the temple of Ay was originally interpreted by Lepsius as showing that Ptolemy I had the throne name Kheperkare, an interpretation followed by A. Bouché-Leclercq (Histoire des Lagides III 88 n. 1). However, once his throne name was established as Setepenre-meriamun, and until the publication of JE 43610, this inscription was widely reinterpeted as referring to a king's wife ....n.... daughter (or descendant) of a "king Kheperkare" and a "queen Ptolemais", because all the major Ptolemaic kings were otherwise known to have had different throne names.
"Queen Ptolemais" (PP VI 14564) was identified variously as:
ii) A daughter of Ptolemy I by an Egyptian princess descended from Nectanebo I, or the Greek name of an Egyptian princess, daughter of Nectanebo I, who married Ptolemy I (W. W. Tarn, CQ 23 (1929) 138);
iii) A Greek woman Ptolemais, possibly the daughter of the Athenian admiral Chabrias, married to Nectanebo I (K. P. Kuhlmann (MDAIK 37 (1981) 267);
iv) The well-known princess Ptolemais, daughter of Ptolemy I and Eurydice and wife of Demetrius Poliorcetes, who had first married an Egyptian prince Kheperkare, otherwise unknown, but possibly descended from Nectanebo I (W. Huss, Anc. Soc. 25 (1994) 111);
v) The Greek name of an Egyptian princess descended from Nectanebo I, affiliated with the High Priests of Memphis, who married Ptolemy IX, becoming the mother of Ptolemy XII (D. H. Kelley, JAMS 12 (1995) 25).
However, JE 43610 makes it clear that "queen Ptolemais" does not exist: Kheperkare really is the throne name of a king Ptolemy, making the daughter's name almost certainly [Arsi]n[oe] or [Bere]n[ice]. Either a king Ptolemy took a second throne name, or a throne name of one of the kings was incompletely known.
Given the presence of a nearby inscription of Ptolemy II, it seems to me most likely, as Kuhlmann proposes, that Lepsius and Bouché-Leclercq were correct: the inscription was dedicated to Ptolemy I by his daughter Arsinoe II. Phonetically, Ptolemy III/Arsinoe III, Ptolemy IX/Berenice III and Ptolemy XII/Berenice IV are also possible pairings, but of these only Ptolemy III makes any historical sense as an alternate candidate, since he claimed (Adulis inscription = OGIS 54) to be a conqueror of Asia, like the legendary Sesostris, who was modelled in part on Kheperkare Senusert I.
The reason why Ptolemy I would change his throne name is unknown. However, given that only two examples are known of its use, and one of these is certainly posthumous, it may be that the name is the throne-name he used after he associated Ptolemy II in the throne. Ý
 Arrian, Successors 1.38, known only in an epitome by the 9th century Patriarch Photios, names this man as one of four bodyguards appointed for Philip III by Antipater at the conference of Triparadeisos in 321. This is his only mention in history and nothing else is known about him under that name. The other three are named as Autodikos son of Agathocles, Amyntas son of Alexander and brother of Peukestas, and Alexander son of Polyperchon.
W. Heckel, The Marshals of Alexander's Empire, 279ff., notes that only one of the four bodyguards (Amyntas) is given any further identifying information, which suggests that the identities of the other three (including Ptolemy) were thought to be clear enough. In fact this is the case for all except Ptolemy. All three were closely connected to very senior generals. Autodikos was brother to Lysimachus, a former bodyguard of Alexander III, at that time satrap and later king of Thrace; Amyntas was the brother of Peukestas, another former bodyguard of Alexander III, at that time satrap of Persis; and Alexander was the son of Polyperchon, commander in Macedon at that time and future regent after Antipater's death.
Ptolemy therefore must have had very close and very senior connections, and Ptolemy I, as satrap of Egypt, would appear to fit the bill. Moreover, there is no chronological objection to the possibility that Ptolemy's father was Ptolemy I, since he could, for example, have had a son born in the late 340s who died shortly before or after the birth of Ptolemy Ceraunus, not long after Triparadeisos.
However, by the same token, such a son has no other reason to appear in the record, and therefore Arrian (and Photios) might be expected to have included some explanation of his existence on this scenario. Also, while Ptolemy I's interests were certainly represented at Triparadeisos, which confirmed him in his satrapy, he himself was not an active participant.
R. A. Billows, Antigonos the One-Eyed and the Creation of the Hellenistic State 425ff., notes that we have a well-documented nephew of Antigonus I "Ptolemaios" or "Polemaios". He is consistently called "Ptolemaios" in literary sources (e.g. Plutarch, Eumenes 10; Memnon, F 4.6), and one epigraphic source (OGIS 5), but the spelling "Polemaios" is known from others, e.g. IG ii2 469. His father is not given in the literary sources, but is given in iIassos 2 as another Polemaios. A "Ptolemaios son of Philip", quite probably the same man (since Antigonus' father was also a "Philip"), is known from Arrian (Anabasis 1.14.6) and Diodorus 19.68.5, who records his death in 313. If the bodyguard "Ptolemaios son of Ptolemaios" were the "Polemaios son of Polemaios" of iIassos 2, this would give Antigonus, who was, after the regent Antipater, the leading participant at Triparadeisos, and at the time probably the most powerful and aggressive of the Diadochoi, representation in the protection of Philip III.
In the absence of good evidence to the contrary, I concur with Heckel that this is the most likely identification for Philip III's bodyguard. Ý
8-9 Feb 2002: Added individual trees
17 Feb 2002: Split out into separate entry
5 March 2002: Expanded and corrected discussion on the death date of Alexander.
13 July 2002: Corrected latest date of Alexander IV from "year 7" to "year 13".
29 April 2003: Restructured discussion of "queen Ptolemais"
18 May 2003: Changed Plutarch Xrefs to the Lacus Curtius edition; kill dead AHB link; add links to HPMs
18 June 2003: Added Xrefs to online (Latin) text of Curtius
23 August 2003: Added Xrefs to online Justin
8 Oct 2003: Added Xref to Arrian for Artakama marriage
24 Feb 2004: Xrefs to online texts of Appian, Athenaeus, Nepos, Strabo, Parian Marble, OGIS 54, birthday decree of Ptolemy II, pKöln 6.247
6 Apr 2004: Added discussion of Tarn's argument that the story that Ptolemy I was son of Philip II was current in his lifetime.
13 Sep 2004: Added Xref to online Eusebius
16 Sep 2004: Added Xref to online Suda
27 Nov 2004: Added Posidippos epigram mentioning his Olympic victory.
18 Dec 2004: Added his Pythian victory of 286
18 Jan 2005: Added Xref to Hazzard ZPE paper
19 Jan 2005: Added Xref to online Talmud Babli & Sethe Urkunden
11 Mar 2005: Added Greek transcription
2 Aug 2005: Rewrote and expanded discussion of Alexander's death date to make it more intelligible.
11 Aug 2005: Added discussion of the conjecture that Ptolemy son of Ptolemy somatophylax of Philip III was a son of Ptolemy I.
23 Aug 2005: Rewrote and expanded discussions of epoch for regnal years and the date of assumption of the throne (change from 306 to 304)
3 Sep 2005: Added figures on Alexander's death and discussion of Spalinger's analyis of ps-Callisthenes
6 Dec 2005: Extend discussion of pEleph 3 & 4 to cover Grzybek's and Scholl's interpretations
13 Dec 2005: Reworked and rewrote discussion of dates of coregency and death, accepting 25 Dystros as the date.
5 Jan 2006: Flesh out analysis of event dates in the Armenian and Jerome versions of Eusebian chronicles
17 Feb 2006: Note synchronism of pHibeh 1.84(a), giving Panemos year 41 = July 283, and its consequences for the accession of Ptolemy II.
27 May 2006: Add Xref to Paul Swarney's translations of pEleph 1-4; minor correction to discussion of the role of Nikagoras
6 Sep 2006: Revamp discussion of paternity
12 Sep 2006: Link to Packhard Humanities epigraphical database, Canon at Attalus
17 Sep 2006: Update discussion on death of Alexander to analyse format of dates in the royal Diaries
18 Oct 2006: Add evidence of backwards counts in Macedon (thanks to Mark Passehl) -- both apiontoV and fqinontoV
24 Nov 2006: Backout idea that Philip III died in Dec 317, Diodorus clearly shows this cannot be right.
25 Nov 2006: Expand discussion of the Babylonian data on the transition from Philip III to Alexander IV in Babylon; note fuller Porphyry discussion.
5 March 2007: Some reorganization of chronology; finally complete addition of Ptolemaieia discussion to regnal year section
15 April 2007: Add further notes to synchrnisms of pHibeh 1.84(a) and Khirbet el-Kom ostracon no 3.
21 April 2007: Note Walbank's comments on the significance of the morning and evening stars for the Ptolemaieia.
20 June 2007: Correct discussion of "4 Artemisios" in Spalinger's explanation of 4 Pharmouthi for Alexander's death
20 June 2007: Note that Mac Cal may not have been based on observation at time of Alexander's death.
21 June 2007: Expand Soter discussion to cover Soteres, and to connect it to the Ptolemaieia
3 July 2007: Refine discussion of the relationship of the date of the first Ptolemaieia to Soter's regnal year
4 Nov 2007: Add discussion of Delphic/Macedonian slave prices re pEleph 3-4 (thanks to Catharine Lorber for monetary advice)
4 Nov 2007: Add discussion ofWestermann's analysis on use of trofeia.
22 Nov 2007: Add Westermann's data on Ptolemaic slave prices
4 Mar 2008: Corrected date of 69th Pythia -- thanks to Sofie Remijsen
18 Jan 2010: Add Xref to Arrian and Diodorus
6 Sep 2010: Fix numerous broken Perseus links; add Xrefs to Lucian Makrobioi
8 Sep 2010: Note Stephanus statement that he was born is Orestia -- thanks to Branko van Oppen
17 Nov 2010: Fix innumerable broken links to DDBDP and Perseus
20 Oct 2012: Correct discussion of year 23 tetradrachm and the date at which "Soter" first appears on coins -- thanks to Catharine Lorber
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