Ptolemy XV Caesarion
Ptolemy XV Caesar Philopator Philometor1 also known as Caesarion2, son of Cleopatra VII3 probably by Julius Caesar4, probably born in summer 47, probably not on 23 Payni year 5 = 23 June 475, probably made coregent under Cleopatra VII 1 Thoth year 9 = 2 September 446, probably not attested as a victor at the Basileia in Lebadaeia6.1, declared "king of kings" at the Donations of Alexandria in autumn 347, executed by Octavian probably late August 308.
Ptolemy XV's titles as king of Egypt were9:
Horus (1) Hwnw-nfr bnr-mrwt 10
(2) kA-nxt jAxw-stwt-Ra-JaH11
Two Ladies <unknown>
Golden Horus <unknown>
Throne Name jwa-(n)-pA-nTr-nHm stp-n-PtH jrj-MAat-Ra sxm-(anx)-n-Jmn12
Son of Re (1) ptwlmjs Dd.tw-n.f kjsrs anx-Dt mrj-PtH-Ast13
(2) ptwlmjs pA Wynn14
 PP VI 14562. Gr: Ptolemaios Kaisar Filopatwr Filomhtwr. He is well attested under this name and these titles, see e.g. PSI 5.549 and other sources listed in H. Heinen, Rom und Ägypten von 51 bis 47 v. Chr 183 n. 1. The numbering as Ptolemy XV follows the convention of RE and is today standard. He is sometimes numbered as "Ptolemy XIV" or "Ptolemy XVI" in older works. The cult titles Philopator and Philometor, father-loving and mother-loving, emphasise his claim to be the son of Caesar and Cleopatra VII. Ý
 Plutarch, Caesar 49.10, Antony 54.4. However, doubts were expressed about his paternity in ancient times, and also by some modern scholars. Dio Cassius 47.31.5 says that Cleopatra VII "pretended" that Caesar was his father. Suetonius, Caesar 52, is carefully neutral. He notes that he was said to closely resemble Caesar, but also that Caesar's secretary G. Oppius wrote a book proving that Caesar could not be Caesarion's father. He also says that Caesar "allowed" Cleopatra VII to name the child after him, implying that he did not in fact acknowledge him as his, but then notes that Antony had declared to the Senate that Caesar did acknowledge the boy as his. Nicolaus of Damascus, in his Life of Augustus 20, claims that Caesar explicitly repudiated him in his will. But it is completely clear that the question was a major political issue after Caesar's death, because it was necessary for Octavian to establish beyond doubt that he was Caesar's true heir, even though only his great-nephew, while it was just as necessary for Octavian's opponents to show that he was not, so none of these statements can be completely trusted.
Outside the polemic of the classical authors, two considerations have been argued. One is stele Louvre 335 = IM 8 which is usually read as giving 23 Payni year 5 as the birthday of "the pharaoh Caesar." Assuming this dates the birth of Caesarion to 23 June 47, it places his conception in September 48 = November AUC 706, which is precisely the period when Cleopatra VII and Caesar were in closest contact in Alexandria under the siege of the forces of Achillas. At this time, it is very difficult to imagine how anyone else could be Caesarion's father. Against this, it has plausibly been argued that Louvre 335 is open to other interpretations and that other evidence suggests that Caesarion was in fact born in 44. J. Carpocino, Passion et politique chez les Césars (1958) 37 specifically argued for April 44, a date that excludes Caesar as his father, since Caesar was campaigning in Spain in July 45. Instead, Carpocino proposed Antony as the father, arguing that the glamour of the meeting at Tarsus implies an earlier attraction, and noting that Appian, Civil Wars 5.8, claims that Antony was smitten in their first meeting in 55. While it is unlikely that any such thing actually occurred -- Cleopatra VII was 14 at the time -- Carcopino suggests that the story is a cover for a real earlier affair, during Cleopatra's stay in Rome in 46-44. All this is entirely speculative, and Carcopino's own argument shows that Caesarion cannot have been born in April 44, since it would not then have been possible even to claim Caesar as his father.
The second argument (J. P. V. D. Balsdon, Historia 7 (1958) 80, 86) is that Caesar's track-record for conceiving children is poor, and therefore he was possibly sterile at this time of his life. Only one child is certainly acknowledged, his daughter Julia, and the assassin Marcus Brutus, who is sometimes claimed as a son, can be excluded on chronological grounds. This is in spite of his having had three wives and numerous affairs. But R. Syme, Historia 29 (1980) 422, correctly points out that this means nothing. Low birth rates among the Roman aristocracy were a matter of official concern, whether this was due to lead in the pipes or the increasing independence of aristocratic Roman women in that time. Short-lived children were more common than not, and rarely noticed. And "Adultery in high society is more amply documented than any consequences"; although Cicero makes many scandalous charges against his opponents he never once accuses an opponent of not being his father's son. In illustration of the point, Syme constructs suggestive arguments that Decimus Brutus and P. Cornelius Dolabella may have been unacknowledged sons of Caesar. A Gaul, Julius Sabinus, claimed descent from Caesar through his great-grandmother in 70 AD (Tacitus, Histories 4.55). This has been generally disbelieved from Tacitus' day onwards, though, with H Heinen (Historia 18 (1969) 181, 202), I see no particular reason to doubt the story.
I see no reason to doubt Caesar's paternity. A birthdate of summer 47 only admits Caesar as the father. On a birthdate of 44, accepting another father implies that Cleopatra VII slept with someone behind Caesar's back while esconced in Rome as Caesar's guest, which would have been most unwise of her. The rest is obfuscation and propaganda; the only surprise to me is that there are modern scholars who are prepared to take it seriously. Ý
i) Plutarch, Caesar 49.10 states that Caesarion was born shortly after Caesar left Egypt, i.e. in summer 47. Plutarch, Antony 54.4, states that Caesar "had left Cleopatra with child". J. Carcopino, Passion et politique chez les Césars 32f., followed by J. P. V. D. Balsdon, CR 10 (1960) 68, interpret this to mean that Caesarion was born after Caesar's death, though I see no necessary contradiction here with the statement in Plutarch, Caesar 49.10.
ii) Suetonius, Caesar 52, while being guarded on the question of Caesarion's paternity, notes that Caesar "allowed her [scil. Cleopatra VII] to give his name to the child which she bore", and Nicolaus of Damascus, in his Life of Augustus 20, claims that Caesar explicitly repudiated him in his will. While both statements cast aspersion on his paternity, they both require the child to have been alive in September 45, when Caesar drew up his will.
iii) There is no mention of Caesarion in Cicero until Cicero, Ad Atticum 14.20.2, writing to Atticus on a.d. V Id. Mai. A.U.C. 710 = 10 May 44, after expressing sorrow at hearing of a miscarriage, says that he hopes or wishes that "it may be true" about the queen (Cleopatra) and "that Caesar of hers". J. P. V. D. Balsdon, Historia 7 (1958) 80, 86 n. 37, noting that there is no mention of a child before Caesar's assassination, suggested that this is in fact a reference to Caesarion, and that it implies he was born in 44. J. Carcopino, Passion et politique chez les Césars 37, goes further and interprets Cicero's comment as a reaction to the news of Caesarion's birth, which he therefore dates to late April 44. He then points out that in July 45 Caesar was campaigning in Spain, not returning to Rome till mid September, and therefore could not possibly be the father of a child born in April 44.
But this very point in fact demolishes the theory. The Romans, unlike us, knew very well whether Caesarion was born in 47 or 44, and had he actually been born in April or May 44 no-one would have attempted to propose that Caesar was his father. A much more plausible interpretation of Cicero's comment is that of G. H. Macurdy, Hellenistic Queens 191f., who takes it only as evidence that Cleopatra was pregnant with a second child when Caesar was assassinated. Macurdy supposes that Cicero got his wish.
iv) Plutarch, Antony 71.2 and Dio Cassius 51.6 state that Caesarion was enrolled amongst the youths (ephebes) of the city in the period following Actium, i.e. in 30. J. Carcopino, Passion et politique chez les Césars 37 notes that this was normally done at age 14 for Greek youths, and therefore supports his view that Caesarion was born in 44. H Heinen, Historia 18 (1969) 181, stresses that there were exceptions, and that exceptions are particularly likely in the case of princes, so that this ceremony cannot be used by itself as proof of age.
There is also numismatic evidence on the matter.
Svoronos 1874 (imaged here) is a bronze coin showing a woman suckling a child, usually interpreted as Cleopatra VII suckling the infant Caesarion. The monogram on the coin is composed of the letters KUPR, i.e. "Cyprus". Thus the coin appears to prove that Caesarion was an infant when Cleopatra VII ruled Cyprus. Therefore the date when Cleopatra VII gained control of Cyprus gives the terminus post quem for the coin.
P. J. Bicknell, Latomus 36 (1977) 325, 330ff., argued that the literary sources show that she did not control the island before 44/3. He noted in particular that Caesar never mentioned his abortive bestowal of Cyprus on Arsinoe IV and Ptolemy XIV in 48, and that all sources discussing Caesar's settlement after the Alexandrian War say only that he granted Egypt to Cleopatra VII and Ptolemy XIII; nothing is said about Cyprus. Further, Bicknell notes the statement of Strabo 14.6.6 that Antony handed Cyprus over to Cleopatra VII and her sister Arsinoe IV. Finally, it is certain that Cleopatra VII controlled Cyprus in 43 because Appian, Civil Wars 4.61 records that her strategos Serapion had given support to Cassius against Dolabella without her consent in that year. Bicknell concludes (a) that Caesar would not have granted a recently acquired province to Cleopatra VII and (b) that the only time Antony could have done so is in the interval immediately following Caesar's death, in mid-44. On this basis, Bicknell concludes that the coin must have been struck in 44/3.
However, he refuses to draw the conclusion that Caesarion must therefore have been an infant in 44. Rather, he points to the iconographic associations of the image, noting that Isis, who Cleopatra VII assimilated herself with, was often shown suckling the infant Horus, and that a relief at Hermonthis shows two images of Hathor, respectively suckling Horus and Caesarion. M. Grant, Cleopatra 100, in discussing this relief notes that Horus was the avenger of his father Osiris, and so proposed that Caesarion was being shown in a similar role avenging his father Caesar. Thus, even though the image of the coin was strictly anachronistic, there is an iconographic argument that biological accuracy was not the point.
T. Schrapel, Das Reich der Kleopatra 109ff., argues that the numismatic record considered as a whole shows that Cyprus must have been under Cleopatra VII's rule continuously since 47. He disputes Bicknell's iconographic interpretation of Svoronos 1874, and is inclined to place it shortly after a birth in 47, but allows that it could be as late as 44.
It seems to me that, regardless of the date at which Cleopatra VII acquired Cyprus, the political circumstances of 44/3 make much more sense than 47 as background to this coin. According to Dio Cassius 47.31.5, Cleopatra VII obtained recognition for Caesarion from the triumvirs at about this time, and it was only after Caesar's death that it made sense to promote his position as Caesar's son and implied heir. If the infant on the coin is to be taken as a literal representation of Caesarion, this would imply that he was indeed born posthumously in 44. However, Bicknell's point is well taken -- and even Schrapel is careful to note that the image is of the type of Aphrodite and Eros. The coin is clearly conveying a propaganda message, and for that purpose its literal accuracy is not important. Thus, although suggestive of a birthdate of 44, I think that in the end the coin is inconclusve.
Finally, there is the Egyptian evidence.
Stele Louvre 335 (= IM 8) has for a long time been dated to 23 Payni year 5, and read as naming this date as the birthday of "pharoah Caesar". This inscription is therefore widely held to mark the exact birthdate of Caesarion. The stele is agreed to be late Ptolemaic or early Roman on paleographic grounds. The usual interpretation of the date is that the year is that of Cleopatra VII, so the date translates to 23 June 47. Nevertheless, the reference to "pharaoh Caesar" makes it virtually certain that the stele was erected after 44, since it implies that the subject was king or coregent, and Cleopatra VII's coregent at this point in her year 5 was Ptolemy XIV.
J. P. V. D. Balsdon, CR 10 (1960) 68, 71, notes two other possible interpretations that were suggested to him:
i) that "year 5" refers to an era of Caesarion. But no such era is otherwise known, and there are no instances of a date in the dual era started in year 16 = 37/6 that is not also associated with the primary era of Cleopatra VII.
ii) that the stele refers to the birthday of a Roman emperor. J. Carcopino, Passion et politique chez les Césars 47 also raised this possibility, arguing that Caesarion was always called "Ptolemy called Caesar" in Egyptian texts. But H Heinen, Historia 18 (1969) 181 refuted this, noting that the inscription cited in H. Gauthier, Livre des Rois IV 413 (VII) refers to "Cleopatra and her son Caesar". Nevertheless, the possibility that the stele marks an imperial birthday remains. Balsdon suggested no candidate, and Heinen argued that Augustus, born on a.d. IX Kal. Oct. (Suetonius, Augustus 5) = 23 September, can be ruled out. J. Carcopino, Passion et politique chez les Césars 55ff., proposed that it is a reference to the birthday of Caesar himself, noting that in 100/101, when Caesar was born (on a.d. III Quin. = 13 July), 23 Payni fell on July 6, essentially arguing that this is "close enough" to 13 July given the imprecision with which we understand the operation of intercalary months in the pre-Julian Roman calendar. Heinen pointed out that it was highly unlikely that anyone in 47 would go through the complicated calculations necessary to establish such an equivalence. Since the stele is agreed to be late Ptolemaic or early Roman on paleographic grounds, it seemed that Caesarion was the only reasonable candidate.
A more plausible variant of this argument was proposed by E. Grzybek, Museum Helveticum 35 (1978) 149, who argued that the inscription refers to the feast of the birthdate of pharaoh Caesar, not to his actual birthday. Since in Egypt such feasts took place on the monthly anniversary of the birthday of the king, it refers to a Caesar who was born on the 23rd of a month, and Augustus, with a birthday on September 23, fits the bill. While Grzybek recognised that the 23rd of Roman months did not correspond exactly to the 23rd of Egyptian months, he felt that the match was close, and management of the monthly festival in Egypt would have been simplified by using the Egyptian calendar.
G. Geraci, ZPE 65 (1986) 195, raises three objections to Grzybek's argument. First, neither Augustus nor any other Roman emperor is attested in the demotic literature with the title "pharaoh". Second, the proposed use of the 23rd of Egyptian months to celebrate Augustus' birthday was nonsense because it would have created continuous dislocation between the Egyptian and Roman celebrations of the festival. And finally, he pointed to SB 18.13849 published by R. S. Bagnall, YCS 28 (1985) 85, dated in Phaophi of a lost year, referring to the prefect P. Petronius and recording the 25th of a month apparently in connection with a birthday festival. Bagnall pointed out that in the Alexandrian calendar Augustus' birthday (on the Julian calendar) fell on 26 Thoth, except in a leap-year, when it fell on 25 Thoth. Since the papyrus was early Roman on paleographic grounds, the prefect could be identified with the third prefect of Egypt, Petronius, who administered the country in the late 20s. Therefore Bagnall proposed to identify the festival as the birthday of Augustus celebrated on 25 [Thoth year 9] = 23 September 22, dating the papyrus itself to some time in October of 22. In Geraci's view this provides conclusive proof that the birthday festival of Augustus was not celebrated on the 23rd of the Egyptian month, and therefore Louvre 335 = IM 8 must be interpreted as referring to Caesarion.
The calendrical equations are not nearly as straightforward as either Bagnall or Geraci suppose. The official Roman calendar was not operating correctly according to Julian rules at this time, and the Egyptian civil calendar itself did not adopt the fixed-year Alexandrian model until year 5 = 26/5. Nevertheless, a solution exists that supports Bagnall's interpretation, dating the birthday celebration to 23 September 24, which if correct implies that after year 5 the birthday of Augustus was celebrated on the 26th or 25th of Thoth, as Bagnall assumed. But if, as it appears, the Alexandrian calendrical reform was introduced in year 5, there is no good reason to suppose that his birthday was celebrated on that date in the first 4 years of his reign. Hence Grzybek's interpretation of Louvre 335 = IM 8 as the monthly birthday feast of Augustus, possibly celebrated on the old calendar before his first official birthday on the Alexandrian calendar and at worst only a few months later, remains possible. The suggestion that it dates the birth of Augustus removes the difficulty of explaining the attribution of the date to "Caesar" as "pharaoh", which must be regarded as retrospective if the reference is to Caesarion. Geraci's objection that no emperor is recorded as pharaoh is perhaps less forceful than it may first appear. During the early 20s, Augustus' rule may well have been seen by many Egyptians as following traditional forms, and it was only as time passed that it became clear that Roman government was to be very different.
The debate on this topic is not over. D. Devauchelle, EVO 17 (1994) 95, 98 n. 19, signalled that the Serapeum stele IM 8 (= Louvre 335) records the birth date of Caesarion as 25 Payni (=II Shomu) year 5, not 23 Payni. In his final publication (and the first formal publication ever of this stele), D. Devauchelle, Enchoria 27 (2001) 41 at 56(27), he corrected the date to 25 Phaophi (= II Akhet). For the reading "25" he cited the same number written on another line in connection with the festival of Sokar. The correction to the season is not discussed, but Dr Devauchelle has confirmed to me (pers. comm. 2/25/04) that this is his best judgement, though Shomu is possible. If the correction of the number were the only adjustment it would support Geraci's idea by showing that the Alexandrian calendar was used to determine monthly birthdate festival of Augustus even in the first year of its use. The correction to the month rules out Caesarion as a subject: 25 Phaophi year 5 of Cleopatra VII = 28 October 48 is impossibly early.
However, Devauchelle had another and much more surprising correction to make. The name of the pharoah, previously read as Osrs (Caesar), should be read as &sre -- that is, the date is the birthday, not of "pharaoh Caesar" but of "pharaoh Djoser". While the only comparative demotic reading he cited, from CCG 31099, was admittedly hard to read, the cults of long-dead pharaohs, including Djoser, are well attested in this period. Djoser himself was invoked in the well-known famine inscription from Sehel Island, which is of Ptolemaic date. Still, this is the first known example of a birthday for such a pharaoh. I suspect that this reading will be a subject of controversy among demoticists.
And as predicted Devauchelle's reading has been challenged. E. Grzybek, in Y. Perrin (ed.) Neronia VII 145 at 152 f., argues (a) that the reading Osrs is still sustainable and preferable, and (b) that there is no evidence of a birthday celebration in the cult of Djoser or any other long-dead ruler who had an active cult in Ptolemaic times. However, Grzybek agrees with Devauchelle's reading of the date. Grzybek made the point noted above, that the date is sufficiently early in the reign that continuation of Ptolemaic practice of calling the ruler a pharaoh is not surprising. He has also revived his earlier proposal that the birthday is a monthly birthday of Augustus, for which a date of 25 Phaophi would appear to be a better match. The consequences of this discussion are pursued in the chronological pages, under the discussion of the history of the Alexandrian reform.
In summary, no matter whether all of Devauchelle's arguments are accepted or not, it seems to me very doubtful that the Egyptian evidence applies to Caesarion and the numismatic evidence is inconclusive. While the literary evidence is arguable, it does seem to me to give more support to the view that Caesarion was born in 47 than to the view of Carcopino and Balsdon that he was born in 44. The strongest argument in favour of 44 is the point about his age on enrollment amongst the ephebes; Heinen's response, while valid, is a little weak. In favour of 47 are the following (a) there is no explicit statement anywhere, even from his enemies, that Caesarion was born after Caesar's death, and (b) the statements from those enemies that Caesar repudiated him imply that he was born well before Caesar's death. Whatever the date of his birth, the claim that he was Caesar's son must have been at least credible, which makes a birth date in April or May 44 very unlikely.
However, it is quite likely, from Cicero, that Cleopatra was pregnant in late 45 or early 44. If this pregnancy was not Caesarion, then it presumably miscarried or resulted in a child who did not long survive birth. Ý
 I.e. on 1 Thoth of the year following the death of Ptolemy XIV. P. W. Pestman, Chronologie Égyptienne d'après les textes démotiques 82, 83, proposes to assign pdem Loeb 63 to a coregency of Cleopatra VII and Caesarion in year 8 = 45/4, but this papyrus has since been joined to pdem Loeb 87 and been shown to belong to the reign of Ptolemy XII (see H. J. Thissen, ZPE 38 (1980) 244 and discussion under Ptolemy XIV).
The earliest dated reference to him is almost certainly Stele UCL 14357, the funerary stele of Kheredankh, daughter of Psherenptah III, High Priest of Memphis, which dates her burial to 15 Mecheir year 9 of Cleopatra and Ptolemy Caesar = 14 February 43. E. A. E. Reymond, From the Records of a Priestly Family of Memphis 307, noted that Kheredankh was born in year 7 of Ptolemy XII, while Taimhotep, the wife of Psherentpah III, was only born in his year 9. She proposes that Kheredankh's dates should be emended to year 7 and year <1>9. However, D. Devauchelle, CdE 58, 135 at 140 notes that the birth year traces allow a reading of year 17 and not 27, and at CdE 58, 135 at 144 [IV], he notes that Taimhotep is not named as Kheredankh's mother on UCL 14357, and so the biological objection can be overcome by supposing Kheredankh to be the daughter of an unknown first wife. (Moreover, a date of year <1>9 should have been double-dated: year 19=4.) An unpublished demotic stele, Turin 1764, and a controversial inscription OGIS 194 have been argued as showing a coregency in year 10 = 43/2. The next securely dated reference to him as coregent is SB 7337, dated 14 Pharmouthi year 11 = 13 April 41. Dio Cassius 47.31.5 states that he was recognised as coregent by the triumvirs after the death of Dolabella in July 43.
A. E. Samuel, EP 9 (1971) 7, argues that the dual dating sytem established by Cleopatra VII in year 16 = year 1 = 37/6 marks the formal start of a coregency with Caesarion, but does not explain why the coregency should be restarted, given the clear evidence it existed in 41; he refers to this as an "attempt" to make him coregent, but given Cleopatra VII's clear control, how could it have failed? Besides, the explanation given by Porphyry, in Eusebius, Chronicorum I (ed. Schoene) 169, that the second date represents her rule in the territories restored to the Ptolemaic Empire by Antony at Antioch, is perfectly plausible. Ý
 Dio Cassius 49.41. Plutarch, Antony 54.4 only has him declared coruler of Egypt, Cyprus, Coele-Syria and Libya with Cleopatra. An inscription fragment CIL III.7232 from Delos can be completed in such a way that the title "king of kings, son of Cleopatra" is named, showing that Dio Cassius is correct -- see G. Hölbl, History of the Ptolemaic Empire 255 n. 107. On the date see discussion under Cleopatra VII. Ý
 Transliterations follow J. von Beckerath, Handbuch der ägyptischen Königsnamen (2nd edition) 246 (13 c). Minor variations recorded by von Beckerath are omitted. Ý
 "The perfect youth, pleasant in his popularity". C. R. Lepsius, Denkmäler aus Aegypten und Aethiopien IV 61a = H. Gauthier, Livre des rois d'Égypte IV 419 (XXVIIAb). This name is given in scenes at the temple of Hermonthis south of Thebes, showing the birth of Ptolemy XV. Ý
 "The strong bull, shining like the beams of Re and Iah". C. R. Lepsius, Denkmäler aus Aegypten und Aethiopien IV 53a. Not in H. Gauthier, Livre des rois d'Égypte IV. I have been unable to obtain a copy of this work, and so am unable to comment on the reasoning for associating this Horus name with Caesarion. Ý
 "The heir of the saviour gods, who is the chosen of Ptah, who brings forth the order of Re, the living image of Amun". R. Weill, ASAE 11 (1910), 133 = H. Gauthier, Livre des rois d'Égypte IV 420 (XXVIICa). The name is essentially identical to the throne name of Ptolemy XII. Its assignment to Ptolemy XV was proved by a block from the chapel of Cleopatra VII and Ptolemy XV at Coptos associating it directly with Ptolemy XV by his Son of Re name. Ý
 "Ptolemy called Caesar, living forever, beloved of Ptah and Isis". H. Gauthier, Livre des rois d'Égypte IV 419 (XXVIIAe). This name is given in scenes at the temple of Hermonthis south of Thebes, showing the birth of Ptolemy XV. Ý
 "Ptolemy the Greek". Iseum stele 1970/52 = H. S. Smith, RdE 24 (1972) 176, 186 n. 20. Ptolemy is named as sole king; this is the only attestation of a king Ptolemy under this title. The stele is dated to year 11 and names the Mother of Apis &A-nt-Lby (reading of C. A. R. Andrews reported in D. J. Thompson, Memphis Under the Ptolemies 296). This Mother of Apis is otherwise known only from Iseum stele H.5-1887, dated year 11 in the name of queen Cleopatra. Smith notes that the paleography is late Ptolemaic. The only possibilities for this queen are Cleopatra III, Cleopatra V and Cleopatra VII. In both the first two cases, the names of the mothers of Apis in their respective year 11 are otherwise known to be Mwt-ijti and &A-nt-Bstt respectively (D. J. Thompson, Memphis Under the Ptolemies 292, 296), so Cleopatra must be Cleopatra VII.
The most natural identity for Ptolemy "the Greek" is Caesarion. Smith suggests that the epithet reflects his foreign paternity, and that he was named without her because she was in Syria at the time. However, Caesarion is otherwise almost universally called "Ptolemy Caesar", and is included in dating formulae under this name at least as early as year 9. If Smith's reading is correct, I wonder if "Ptolemy the Greek" isn't in fact Mark Antony. At this time, Cleopatra VII was not simply "in Syria", she was sailing into Tarsus in order to seduce Antony, and she was successful in doing so. Perhaps Iseum stele 1970/52 is evidence of rumours reaching Egypt of a marriage between Antony and Cleopatra VII. Ý
11 Feb 2002: Added individual trees.
28 Feb 2002: Split into individual entry.
10 April 2002: Added discussion of Bagnall/Geraci on Octavian's birthday, and notice of changed date of IM 8, re Egytian evidence for birth in 47.
14 April 2002: Added discussion of Svoronos 1874 re evidence for birth in 44.
4-11 May 2002: Expanded and corrected discussion of the relationship between dates in the Alexandrian calendar and the Roman and civil calendars in the 20s BC.
12 May 2002: Corrected Roman and Egyptian date equations as necessary
30 June 2002: Moved discussion of calendrical implications of SB 18.13849 to a more appropriate place. Corrected Roman and Egyptian date equations as necessary
15 Jan 2003: Added discussion of Caesarion as "Ptolemy the Greek".
18 May 2003: Changed Plutarch Xrefs to the Lacus Curtius edition.
23 Oct 2003: Added Xrefs to online Appian
3 Feb 2004: Didier Devauchelle's article on IM 8 finally published -- my thanks to him for alerting me it was forthcoming
24 Feb 2004: Changed Suetonius Xrefs to the Lacus Curtius edition; added Xref to online Strabo
25 Feb 2004: Adjusted comments on Devauchelle's new reading of IM 8 to reflect his comments to me.
10 Jan 2005: Added link to online copy of Bagnall paper
13 Jan 2005: Add Xref to discussion of the "King Ptolemy Philopator" who was a victor at the Basileia.
11 Mar 2005: Added Greek transcription
25 Mar 2006: Note reference to Caesarion in year 9
3 June 2006: Add speculation that Ptolemy "the Greek" is a rumour of Antony.
16 Sep 2006: Add link to Packard Humanities DB
4 Sep 2007: Add Grzybek's response to Devauchelle, adjust some links
9 Dec 2010: Fix broken Perseus & DDbDP links
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