Ptolemy III Euergetes Tryphon1 king of Egypt, son of Ptolemy II by Arsinoe I2, born c. 285-2753, official birthday Dios 5 (Mac.)4, very probably raised on Thera4.1, succeeded Ptolemy II probably Dios 25 (Mac.) = 28 January 2465, possibly briefly Great King of Babylon early 2456, incorporated in the dynastic cult with Berenice II between Artemisios year 4 (Mac.) = 7 July 244 and 30 Epheiph year 5 (Eg.) = 17 September 243 as the Benefactor Gods, Qeoi Euerghtai7, died of natural causes8 between 1 Thoth (Eg.) = 18 October and 15 Hathyr (Eg.) = 31 December 2229 and was succeeded9.1 by Ptolemy IV10.
Ptolemy III's titles as king of Egypt were:11
Horus (1) Hkn-nTrw-rmT-Hr.f m-Szp.f-nsyt-m-a-jt.f12
(2) wr-pHtj jrj-aDt-m-bTnw.f13
Two Ladies onw nDtj-nTrw jnb-mnx-n-TAmrj14
Golden Horus wr-pHtj jrj-Axt nb-HAbw-sd-mj-PtH-TATnn jty-mj-Ra15
Throne Name jwa-n-nTrwj-snwj stp-(n)-Ra sxm-anx-n-Jmn16
Son of Re ptwlmjs anx-Dt mrj-PtH17
Ptolemy III had one marriage and no known liaisons18. He married Berenice II, daughter of Magas, king of Cyrene and Arsinoe/Apama19, by whom he had Ptolemy IV, Magas, Arsinoe III20 and Berenice21, and is presumed to have had an unknown son, here restored as Lysimachus, and Alexander22.
 PP VI 14543. Gr: PtolemaioV EuegethV. He is usually known as Euergetes ("Beneficient") The epithet Tryphon ("Magnificient") is attested in Prol. Trogus 27, 30, Porphyry in Eusebius, Chronicorum I (ed. Schoene) 251. As far as I can determine, there are no contemporary attestions of the name. It is suggested by E. R. Bevan, The House of Ptolemy 205 that Tryphon was his original name, based on CCG 31110, dated to 7? Hathyr year 39, naming "Ptolemy son of Ptolemy, also called Tryphon, Euergetes". This document was dated by him (following W. Spiegelberg, the original editor) to an alleged brief coregency between Ptolemy II and Ptolemy III, hence to 29? December 247. But the coregency is non-existent, and other evidence suggests the document belongs to Ptolemy VIII not Ptolemy III. It is possible that its occurrences in Trogus and Porphyry are anachronisms, as suggested by A. Bouché-Leclercq, Histoire des Lagides I 283 n. 2. However, W. Otto & H. Bengtson, Zur Geschichte des Niederganges des Ptolemäerreiches 49 n. 3 insist on the general reliability of Porphyry as a source and see no reason to doubt him. This view is generally accepted today, see e.g. G. Hölbl, History of the Ptolemaic Empire 285. Ý
 Schol. Theocritus 17.128. On official documents, e.g. the Decree of Canopus (OGIS 56) he is called the son of the Sibling gods, i.e. of Ptolemy II and Arsinoe II. This reflects not only his posthumous adoption by Arsinoe II but also maturation of the theological position of the royal cult that the king and queen were children of the preceding royal couple; thus almost all subsequent queens are described as the sisters of their husbands even though in many cases it is provable that this was not so. Ý
 Date of birth from the Decree of Canopus (OGIS 56, trans. E. Bevan, The House of Ptolemy 208ff.). According to A. E. Samuel's calculations (Ptolemaic Chronology, 161f) 5 Dios Year 1 corresponds to 7/8 January 246. L. Koenen, Eine agonistiche Inschrift aus Ägypten und frühptolemäische Königsfeste 72, accepts this date and notes that this is almost exactly the Julian date for 25 Dystros in 282 (6/7 January), which he calculates to be the accession date of Ptolemy II, and 6 January 304, which he calculates to be the accession date of Ptolemy I. On this basis he supposes that 5 Dios is an official birthday, not a natural one, and represents the formal date of Ptolemy III's accession, with the 25th being his crowning. However, this implies that the Macedonian court had a solar calendar which is not otherwise known.
In my opinion, the date is most likely to be a natural birthday. In favour of its being an official date is pCairZen 3.59358, which refers to the "birthday of the king and queen". I think this most likely represents the adoption of the king's birthday by the queen. Ý
[4.1] IG XII,3 464. This inscription is an affirmation of loyalty to a king Ptolemy, who had recently succeeded, by Artemidoros of Perge, who had served his father and grandfather, and the Therans, among whom a prince Ptolemy had been raised. This remarkable statement was noted in 1904 by F. Hiller von Gaertringen & P. Wilski, Die Stadtgeschichte von Thera, 100, but has received very little attention in Ptolemaicist literature.
The inscription does not explicitly identify which Ptolemy was raised on Thera. Since the king's father and grandfather had both been kings, the earliest possible candidate is Ptolemy III. The Ptolemaic naval base on Thera was abandoned by Ptolemy VIII, and Ptolemy V and Ptolemy VI both succeeded to the throne at a very young age. Hence the only two possible candidates are Ptolemy III and Ptolemy IV. F. Hiller von Gaertringen, Fs Hirschfeld 87 at 89, initially identified the prince as Ptolemy III before his accession, but was uncertain of the overall interpretation of the inscription. He subsequently (IG XII,3 Supplement 87) identified the prince not as the king but as his son Ptolemy IV, dating the inscription c. 235. This identification has been accepted by the few scholars who have noticed the inscription, e.g. W. Huß, Ägypten in hellenisticher Zeit, 436, and most recently S. L. Ager, Labyrinth 80. It is, however, diffiicult to reconcile it with the apparently recent succession implied by the nun on line 4.
Artemidoros of Perge is well-documented on Thera, where he created a religious sanctuary to Artemis Pergaia, the patron goddess of Artemidoros' home city, much of which survives because it was carved out of living rock. His dates are uncertain. According to IG XII,3 1350, he lived to the age of 93. IG XII,3 463/1388, although heavily reconstructed, clearly shows that he served in the cult of Ptolemy III as king. There is no similarly direct evidence of any association with Ptolemy IV. F. Hiller von Gaetringen & P. Wilski, Die Stadtgeschichte von Thera, 100, regarded a portrait medallion of Artemidoros cut into the rock at the sanctuary, as resembling coin portraits of Ptolemy I. This would clearly support the view that he served that king, and hence that the king raised on Thera was Ptolemy III. However, O. Palagia in J. M. Sanders (ed.), FILOLAKWN 171, argued that the portrait is actually one of Artemis Pergaia, despite the encircling inscription naming Artemidoros. Thus, although the Theran evidence appears to favour associating Artemidoros with the first three Ptolemies, it is not conclusive.
In my view, the circumstantial evidence for the childhoods of Ptolemy III and Ptolemy IV strongly favours identifying the Theran prince with Ptolemy III. As king, Ptolemy III actively promoted the image of a united royal family, for example through the statuary groups of the royal family erected on exedra at Thermon and Delphi, and there is no evidence of internal tensions which would justify raising a royal prince in secure naval base on a remote Aegean island far from Alexandria. By contrast, Ptolemy III's mother Arsinoe I was exiled for plotting against Ptolemy II, presumably on her son's behalf, and in the ensuing years Ptolemy II associated a coregent, Ptolemy "the Son", who was almost certainly not Ptolemy III. In these circumstances, a Theran childhood for Ptolemy III seems to me to make perfect sense. Ý
 The Adulis inscription (OGIS 54, trans. E. R. Bevan, The House of Ptolemy 192f., M. M. Austin, The Hellenistic World from Alexander to the Roman Conquest 365 (221)). The title "Great King" given to him in this inscription is often interpreted rhetorically but there seems no reason it couldn't be literal, since the inscription also claims domain over most of Persia.
The date of this event has been inferred indirectly. Ptolemy captured Antioch in late autumn 246, so his capture of Babylon must have been later. That he was personally involved is given by Appian, Syriaca 11.65. His Eastern expedition was aborted because he was forced to return to Egypt by domestic sedition (Justin 27.1). His power in the region was sufficiently strong to allow him to leave Xanthippus as governor (Jerome, Commentary on Daniel 11.7-9), and to arrange for the return to Egypt of Egyptian gods captured by the Persians (ibid., OGIS 54, OGIS 55).
Unfortunately, there is a gap in the Babylonian astronomical diaries between Abu 66 SE (Bab.) = August 246 and Shabatu 69 SE (Bab.) = February 242, which would cover the period of a Ptolemaic occupation of Babylon. However, this gap has now partly been filled by BM 34428 = BCHP 11, which shows the Egyptian troops besiging and partially occupying Babylon and Seleucia between Kislimu and Addaru 66 SE (Bab.) = November 246 - March 245. At this point the narrative breaks off, so it is unclear whether the Egyptian forces eventually succeeded.
Seleucus II was recognised at Uruk on 22 Simanu 67 SE (Bab.) = 11 July 245 (A. T. Clay, Babylonian Records in the Library of J. Pierpont Morgan II no. 17). This may imply that Ptolemy III had quit the region by then, but R. Wallenfels in W. W. Hallo & I. J. Winter, Seals and Seal Impressions II (Yale, 2001) 215-238 at 222, notes that legal contracts issued at Uruk specified payment in staters of Antiochus II, or did not specify a royal name, until 71 SE = 241/0, even though the documets themselves named seleucus II. This suggests that control may have been contested for a while longer. See the discussion of the chronology of this phase of the Third Syrian War in H. Hauben, AfP 36 (1990) 29. Ý
 Terminus post quem: pRoss. Georg. II 1.6ff + pJena 1007 = SB 12.11059; terminus ante quem: PSI 4.389. According to Jerome, Commentary on Daniel 11.7-9, he was awarded the title by the Egyptians for returning captured Egyptian gods to them. J. Bingen, in Akten des 21. Internationalen Papyrologenkongresses Berlin, 13.-19.8.1995 I 88, 94 n. 25, suggests that the title was assumed at the start of Macedonian year 5 with the induction of the eponymous priest for that year, i.e. c. May/June 243. Ý
 Polybius 2.71.3. Justin 29.1 says that he was put to death by Ptolemy IV, which is why the latter was called Philopator, but this seems unlikely, since Philopator was his official title, and since Polybius' account, which is certainly hostile to Ptolemy IV, does not accuse him of this crime. Ý
 Reign-length from the Canon of Claudius Ptolemy: 25 full years, placing his death between 18 October 222 and 16 October 221.
Until the 1960's, his death was widely dated on the basis of Polybius 2.70.4. Polybius notes that Antigonus III Doson, king of Macedon, attended the Nemean games shortly after defeating Cleomenes king of Sparta at the battle of Selassia, and Plutarch, Cleomenes 31, notes that Cleomenes immediately fled to Egypt, where he met with Ptolemy III, but that the king died shortly after he arrived. This narrative dates the death of Ptolemy III shortly after the Nemean games, and since these were normally held in odd numbered years, this dates his death to 221. The exact date of the Nemean games is a matter of controversy, but it seems to me that the best solution places the games about 18 days after the first new moon following the summer solstice; in this year about 13 July 221. Allowing Cleomenes a few weeks to reach Egypt and hold an audience with Ptolemy III, the king died no earlier than late August 221.
The Macedonian date of the regnal year of Ptolemy IV comes from BGU 6.1275 and BGU 6.1278. The first records a loan dated 16 Artemisios year 8 to be repaid in Peritios of year 8; the second a loan dated in Artemisios year 8 to be repaid in Dystros of year 9. Hence his regnal year changed in Dystros. This can be refined from BGU 6.1274, which can be dated to year 5 on the basis of the canephore named in the text, records a loan on 20 Dystros [year 5] to be prepaid in Peritios of year 5; hence it started between 1 and 20 Dystros, most like on 1 Dystros. The synchronistic evidence for this period suggests that the Macedonian year continued to advance against the Egyptian year at the same rate as it had under Ptolemy II, i.e. at an average rate of 4 days a year. On this basis, we may estimate that 1 Dystros year 1 fell on c. 21 August 221 (cf. W. Clarysse & G. van der Veken, The Eponymous Priests of Ptolemaic Egypt 14). This date is clearly compatible with Polybius' account if Ptolemy III died in Dystros very shortly before the end of his 26th Macedonian year.
An alternate analysis may be based on Egyptian data, notably a series of petitions published in O. Guéraud, Enteuxeis: Requêtes et plaintes adressées au roi d'Égypte au IIIe siècle avant J.-C. The king is not explicitly identified in these documents other than as "king Ptolemy", but several considerations (not explicitly called out by Guéraud) argue that they refer to Ptolemy III and Ptolemy IV:
(ii) several of the epistates named in these documents are attested in both high numbered and low numbered years, e.g. Deinias (years 25 and 1); Dioscurides (years 25 and 4); Herodotos (years 25 and 1); Meleagros (years 25 and 1); Menadros (years 25 and 1-4); Moschion (years 25 and 1).
(iii) those documents which contain both Macedonian and Egyptian dates are also limited to high and low numbered years: years 24-26 and 1-4.
A. E. Samuel, Ptolemaic Chronology 107, notes that the latest dated document of Ptolemy III is pEnt 97, dated 23 Daisios (recte 7 Panemos) (Mac.) = 20+x Phaophi (Eg.) year 26?. The epistates Ptolemaios is also named in pEnt 25, dated 23 Daisios (Mac.) = 5 Phaophi (Eg.) year 26, which confirms the assignment to year 26. Thus the date corresponds to 6-15 December 222. From pEnt 25 we would appear to have 7 Panemos (Mac.) = 18 or 19 Phaophi (Eg.), depending on whether Daisios was a 29 or 30 day month, but since the Macedonian day started in the evening, the two can be reconciled by supposing a 30-day Daisios, giving the exact date of pEnt 97 as 20 Phaophi = 6 December 222. However, Samuel is prepared to allow as long as 7 weeks for the news to travel to the Fayum (though this seems excessive to me), so he takes the Canon as establishing the terminus post quem.
Dates for Ptolemy III that are apparently later are known, lying between 25 Mecheir year 26 (pdem Lille 1) and 4 Mesore year 26 (pSorb. 1.49). However, these are certainly dates in financial year 26, corresponding to regnal year 25 (Eg.) at this time. If the date of pSorb 49 were in the Egyptian regnal year, it would fall after the start of year 27 (Mac.) for which there is absolutely no evidence.
Samuel argues that the earliest known document of Ptolemy IV is pEnt. 83, which is dated to 12 Tybi (Eg.) = 28 Gorpiaios (Mac.) year 1 but contains a reference to Hathyr year 1 (Eg.). This must be assigned to Ptolemy IV since it names the epistates Moschion, who is also named in pEnt. 58, dated to 26 Loios (Mac.) = 13 Choiak (Eg.) year 25. Assuming 30 Hathyr, and assuming it took a minimum of 2 weeks for news to travel from Alexandria to the Fayum (which again seems excessive to me, though less so), Samuel estimates that the latest possible terminus ante quem is 15 Hathyr = 31 Dec 222. Assuming minimum and maximum travel times of 1-3 weeks for news of this type to travel to well-settled regions such as the Fayum, the date range for his death would shift to 15 Nov - 22 Dec.
T. C. Skeat, The Reigns of the Ptolemies, 31 n. 6, argued for a slightly later death date, based on pTebt. 3.1.815, which contains a reference to a date in Gorpiaios (Mac.) = 21 Choiak when Dositheos son of Drimulos was eponymous priest, i.e. in year 25 (Mac.) of Ptolemy III. Skeat equates this to Choiak in year 26 (Eg.), hence to 5 February 221. However, this assumes that Ptolemy III's year 1 (Mac.) was of normal length, placing his Egyptian year ahead of his Macedonian year. In fact it was probably short, placing his Macedonian year number ahead of the Egyptian year number, so that Gorpiaios year 25 (Mac.) actually fell in Choiak of Egyptian year 25, and the reference in pTebt. 3.1.815 equates to 5 February 222 not 221.
Samuel's date range, October-December 222, clearly contradicts the range of August-October 221 apparently implied by the classical evidence. The argument therefore requires closer analysis.
If Samuel is correct, then it is necessary to reconcile his date with the evidence of Plutarch, Polybius and the Macedonian year of Ptolemy IV.
The phase of the Macedonian year is perhaps the simplest. In the view of A. E. Samuel, Ptolemaic Chronology 126, the use of Dystros under Ptolemy IV simply represents a continuation of the practice of Ptolemy II and III, and does not represent an actual date of accession -- that is, the Macedonian new year had become institutionalised as occurring in Dystros. There is a clear precedent for this: Ptolemy III certainly succeeded in Dios but appears to have had a short year 1 ending the following Dystros -- see discussion under Ptolemy II.
As to the literary evidence, it seems to be generally accepted (e.g. P. Perlman, Athenaeum 67 (1989) 57 at 80) that a date of 222 is acceptable if the date of the Nemean Games can be explained away. F. W. Walbank, A Commentary on Polybius I 289, citing Polybius 5.106.2-3 as evidence of interruption of the normal sequence of ritual events, proposes that the Nemean Games at this time were held out of phase in 222, probably as a postponement of the Games of 223.
However, there are papyrological counter arguments to be made. Samuel's analysis requires the docket date, 12 Tybi (Eg.) = 28 Gorpiaios (Mac.) year 1, to fall early in the Macedonian year. If it fell at the end of the year, i.e. if there had been a Gorpiaios in year 26 (Mac.) of Ptolemy III, then it would correspond to Egyptian year 2, and the retrospective reference to Hathyr could be a Macedonian year number. If this is true, then pEnt. 83 cannot be used as a terminus ante quem. In A. E. Samuel, Ptolemaic Chronology 83-85, he makes exactly this argument to establish that the Magdola Enteuxeis papyri are dated by the Macedonian regnal year.
pEnt 47: This document records a complaint by an Arab, Parates, concerning pay. This mentions the completion of year 26, which therefore cannot be the Egyptian civil year. If, as seems most likely, this refers to the financial year then it implies that Ptolemy IV succeeded after 1 Mecheir year 26, which requires that 28 Gorpiaios year 1 (Mac.) = 12 Tybi year 2 (Eg.) = financial year 1. Samuel argues that the only way to place these two dates in the same civil year is to suppose that the year 26 is Macedonian and the year 1 Egyptian, but points out that the Enteuxeis office was otherwise scrupulously using the Macedonian year, and dismisses the possibility as "perverse".
But the two dates could fall within the same Egyptian year 1 equally well if both were dated by the Macedonian calendar. Further, while I agree that year 26 is more likely to be the financial year, the statements can still be reconciled within Egyptian year 1 if the death of the king immediately caused the closure of accounts for the financial year. In short, this document is moot.
pEnt 65: This document records a complaint by a certain Marres that his workers had been thrown out of a vineyard on 4 Tybi year 2. This would appear to show that the Egyptian year had advanced against the Macedonian year, and so that 28 Gorpiaios year 1 (Mac.) = 12 Tybi year 2 (Eg.), regardless of whether the Egyptian date is in the civil or the financial year.
At first sight, this is the more serious problem. The only way to reconcile this data with a death around Hathyr year 26 (Eg.) is to suppose that the reference to year 2 is an error of some type. The most likely error is anticipation of the incoming financial year 2 after a very short financial year 1. This hypothesis is also suggested by J. Bingen, CdE 50 (1975) 239. He noted that other Enteuxeis papyri from the Magdola archive included complaints dated to 6 Tybi year 2, docketed on Tybi 12, restored as equal to 28 Gorpiaios year 1 (pEnt 77), and to 7, 10 and 11 Tybi year 1 (pEnt 82 (docketed on Tybi 12 = 28 Gorpiaios year 1), pEnt 81 (docketed on Tybi 13 = 30 Gorpaios of (restored) year 1) and pEnt 31 (undocketed) respectively).
However, the argument is not conclusive. If Ptolemy IV succeeded in Dystros (= Mesore) then Tybi financial year 1 would fall in Egyptian regnal year 2, which would allow all these dates to be consistent, without error. Hence, again the document is moot.
The ambiguities in the evidence cited by Samuel seem to me to be sufficient to require that an alternate test be found. Four come to mind.
a) Papyri or ostraca clearly dated before Epeiph Egyptian year 1 of Ptolemy IV.
While a few such items are claimed, I have not found one that is unambiguous in this regard.
b) Evidence of Macedonian year 18 of Ptolemy IV. If Samuel is correct then it implies that year 1 (Mac.) Ptolemy IV, like that of Ptolemy III, was short, lasting from the death of Ptolemy III to the following Dystros and Dystros in 221 marked the beginning of Macedonian year 2, and that the final Macedonian year of Ptolemy IV was year 18. By contrast, if Ptolemy III actually died in Dystros, then Dystros in 221 marked the beginning of Macedonian year 1, and the final Macedonian year of Ptolemy IV was year 17.
The evidence is inconclusive (see W. Clarysse & G. van der Veken, The Eponymous Priests of Ptolemaic Egypt 18). The last dated year for which we have eponyms (i.e. an unambiguous Macedonian year number) is year 15. While we probably have the eponyms for his last year in pdem Köln ägypt 7, by Bell's Law (i.e. because the athlophore was also the canephore for year 2 of Ptolemy V), the year number is lost.
c) Independent evidence that the Macedonian year of Ptolemy IV was ahead of or behind his Egyptian civil year.
According to J. Bingen, CdE 50 (1975) 239 at 241 n. 5, pdem Hausw. 25 [non. vid.] is dated Mesore year 7 (Eg.) = year 8 (Mac.). [Bingen's statement on the same page that Samuel proved that BGU 6.1275 and BGU 6.1278 (discussed above) showed that the Macedonian year was ahead of the Egyptian year is mistaken -- Samuel only showed that the Macedonian year began in Dystros.]
Additional evidence comes from pMich inv. 6957+6961+6979 = SB 20.14999+SB 20.15000+SB 20.15001, discussed in T. Caulfield et al. ZPE 76 (1989) 241, which cover a set of events docketed on 4 Audnaios = 4 Payni year 5 (Mac.). The papyri are assigned to Ptolemy IV on prosopographical grounds -- references to an oikonomos Poseidonios (PP 1079) and a strategos Poseidion (PP 308) who are otherwise known at this time. The papyri date the events leading to the complaint on 1 Payni year 6, and on 1 Payni of a financial year [lost], both in statements made by the plaintiff Peteuris. Evidently, 1 Payni falls in financial year 6, which was ahead of the Macedonian year. This in turn implies that the financial year was ahead of the civil year, and that the Macedonian year was ahead of the civil year. QED.
d) Lunar alignment of 28/30 Gorpiaios year 1 = 12/13 Tybi. Supposing the Macedonian month to be notionally lunar, based on first visibility, we can use pCarlsberg 9 to estimate the approximate date of the new moon for the two possible years.
The next Macedonian month starts on 14 Tybi, so the corresponding entry in pCarlsberg 9 should be a few days earlier, ideally around 12 Tybi. Egyptian year 26/1 is cycle year 11, year 2 cycle year 12; the respective lunar months start in 11 Tybi and 30 Choiak/30 Tybi. Clearly, year 26/1 is the better match. QED.
Points (c) and (d) seem to me conclusive. In summary, while the papyrological argument is more subtle and complex than is apparent from Samuel's presentation of it, his conclusion seems to be essentially correct. Thus, Ptolemy III died between c. Hathyr (Eg.) = c. Loios (Mac.) year 26 = c. Nov/Dec. 222. Ý
[9.1] Some early Ptolemaicists suggested that Ptolemy IV succeeded his father before his death, either by abdication or by association in a coregency.
M. Strack, Die Dynastie der Ptolemäer 30, suggested that an epigram of Eratosthenes included a preview of such an event: (Anth. Gr. App.. 25: "Happy art thou, Ptolemy, in that, as a father the equal of his son in youthful vigour, thou hast thyself given him all that is dear to Muses and Kings, and may he in the future, O Zeus, god of heaven, also receive the sceptre at thy hands. ... ") A. Bouché-Leclercq, Histore des Lagides III 96 n. 3, correctly notes that this is no more than a courtier's expression of a wish for a smooth succession to the king's recognised heir.
A. Bouché-Leclercq, Histore des Lagides III 96 n. 3 and IV 317 n. 285, notes that U. Wilcken, AfP 3 (1904) 308/319, proposed to interpret a petition (pMagd 14 = pEnt 49) dated year 1 Gorpiaios 30 = 13 Tybi of Ptolemy IV as being submitted (l. 13) to the king and his father, implying that the king's father was still alive but no longer king. However, he had misread a past tense (pareschmenos) as a present tense (parecomenos), as he himself acknowledged almost immdiately.
A. Bouché-Leclercq, Histore des Lagides I 285 n. 3, noting that the Canon of Claudius Ptolemy gave Ptolemy III 25 years, and that we had documents dated to year 26 which were apparently later than documents dated to year 1 of Ptolemy IV, supposed that Ptolemy III had associated his son in a coregency shortly before his death. He wrote before the identification of the financial year. These documents are now understood to be dated accordng to the financial year. See discussion under the date of death of Ptolemy III. Ý
 Transliterations follow J. von Beckerath, Handbuch der ägyptischen Königsnamen (2nd edition) 234 (3). Ý
 "Who pleases Gods and men for receiving the kingdom from his father". H. Brugsch, Receuil des monuments égyptiens II 85 and LXXV(4) = H. Gauthier, Livre des Rois IV 254 (XXXVIII). This inscription is inside the temple of Philae, on the opposite side of a door naming Berenice (II), sister and wife of king Ptolemy. The association with Berenice II, together with the first element of his throne name, ensures that the titles are those of Ptolemy III. Ý
 "Whose might is great, who massacres his enemies". E. Winter, Untersuchungen zu den ägyptischen Tempelreliefs der grieschich-römischen Zeit 28 = P. Clère, La Porte d'Evergète à Karnak, 2e partie (MIFAO 84) pl 62. The reason for a second Horus name for Ptolemy III is unknown. Given the changes in meaning, it may reflect his successes in the Third Syrian War. Ý
 "Whose might is great, doing that which is useful, Lord of the years of Jubilee like Ptah-Tennen, a ruler like Re". For the reasoning associating this name with Ptolemy III, see discussion above. Ý
 Plutarch Moralia 753D describes how "Oenanthe with her tambourine and Agathoclea have trampled on the crown of kings." It's a bit of a stretch to conclude from this that because Agathoclea was a mistress of Ptolemy IV her mother Oenanthe must have been a mistress of Ptolemy III. The statements of F. W. Walbank, Commentary on Polybius II 438 and S. B. Pomeroy, Women in Hellenistic Egypt 50 to this effect are, as far as I can tell, a misunderstanding of the statement by A. Raubitschek, RE 15, 2189 that she came to Egypt in his reign possibly as a hetera.
There is, however, one indication that he was not monogamous. Plutarch, Cleomenes 31.3, in a speech put in the mouth of the Spartan Therycion urging that Cleomenes meet defeat by suicide, refers to the "wives" of Ptolemy III. Ý
 Exedra of Thermos: IG IX, I, I2, 56f, g. While Berenice II is not explicitly named as their mother she is the only option known to us, and the presence of these two sons in the exedra in association with her tends to support this view. Ý
10 Feb 2002: Added individual trees
21 Feb 2002: Split into separate entry
20 May 2002: Corrected Egyptian date equations as necessary
18 May 2003: Added Xrefs to the Lacus Curtius edition of Polybius
9 June 2003: Added mention of the gap in the Babylonian astronomical diaries for the period of Ptolemaic occupation of Babylon
18 June 2003: Added missed Xref to the Lacus Curtius edition of Polybius
23 Aug 2003: Added Xrefs to online Justin
23 Oct 2003: Added Xref to online translation of Canopus Decree
23 Oct 2003: Added mention of the coinage evidence for the period of Ptolemaic occupation of Babylon (thanks to Ron Wallenfels)
24 Feb 2004: Added Xref to online translations of Appian, Prol. Trogus and Commentary on Daniel
19 Nov 2004: Reworked discussion of the death date to address Polybius and the ambiguities in the papyrological evidence.
1 March 2005: Added notice of Babylonian chronicle BM 34428 of the Ptolemaic occupation of Iraq.
5 March 2005: Corrected summary of Wallenfels datum -- not actual coinage but contract specifications of coinage (thanks to Oliver Hoover)
11 Mar 2005: Added Greek transcription, links to Bevan
13 Sep 2006: Added links to Packard Humanities DB, Canon at Attalus
10 May 2007: Added discussion of Ptolemy III's Theran childhood (thanks to Edward Loring and Aayko Eyma)
7 June 2007: Added discussion of old proposals that Ptolemy IV succeeded before the death of Ptolemy III.
25 June 2007: Deepened discussion of IG XII,3 464 (thanks to Sheila Ager for discusion)
26 Nov 2010: Fix broken Perseus+DDbDP links
2 Jan 2011: Note Plutarch's mention of the "wives" of Ptolemy III.
Website © Chris Bennett, 2001-2011 -- All rights reserved