Berenice1, daughter of Ptolemy III and Berenice II2, probably born January/February 2393, declared princess (basilissa) at birth4, died between 1 and 13 Tybi year 9 (Mac.) = 19 February to 3 March 2385, deified 7 Apellaios year 9 (Mac.) = 17 Tybi year 9 (Eg.) = 7 March 2386.

[1] PP VI 14500. Gr: Berenikh. Ý

[2] Paternity: Exedra of Thermos: IG IX, I, I2, 56e. Decree of Canopus (OGIS 56, trans. E. R. Bevan, The House of Ptolemy 208ff.) gives both paternity and maternity. Ý

[3] See discussion under Magas. Ý

[4] Decree of Canopus (OGIS 56). Ý

[5] The Decree of Canopus (OGIS 56) states that 17 Tybi marked the end of the (usually) 4-day period of mourning for her. Ý

[6] Decree of Canopus (OGIS 56).

The Decree gives the year number followed by both the Macedonian and Egyptian dates, so it is not immediately obvious whether the year is the Macedonian or Egyptian regnal year. The date given for the rising of Sothis, 1 Payni year 9, must be anticipatory if it is in the Egyptian year. It can only refer to the last observed Sothis rising if (a) the year number is Macedonian (i.e. if the rising were in year 8 (Eg.)) and (b) the Macedonian year number was ahead of the Egyptian year number. For this reason, the year number is generally regarded as Macedonian. However, A. J. Spalinger in idem, Three Studies on Egyptian Feasts and the Chronological Implications 31, 43 notes that the Sothic date is given without a Greek equivalent, and in the Greek text a form of the passive aorist tense is used which Spalinger argues is prospective. While a straightfoward application of the quadrennial Sothic cycle would place the rising of Sothis at Alexandria on 1 Payni in 242-239, the actual cycle has occasional triennia, so a Sothic rising on 1 Payni in 238 is also possible. He therefore regards it as moot as to whether the rising is past or anticipated, i.e. whether the year reference is Egyptian or Macedonian.

Personally, it makes more sense to me to suppose it is Macedonian. That being said, if the year is Egyptian then the date equation follows immediately. It can be shown from other data that the first Macedonian year of Ptolemy III was short, and that his Macedonian year numbers were ahead of his Egyptian year numbers. Hence it follows that the scenario described above, wherein the Sothic rising is in the past, reflects the behaviour of the Macedonian year, and that the events of Tybi fall into the later part of Macedonian year 9, i.e. the part in which year 9 (Mac.) = year 9 (Eg.). While the choice makes a difference for wider chronological issues, it makes no difference to the death-date of Berenice. See further discussion on the Canopic reform.

E. R. Bevan, The House of Ptolemy 208, equates 17 Tybi year 9 to 6 March 237 based on a calculational error by E. Meyer, Untersuchungen zur Chronologie der ersten Ptolemäer auf Grund der Papyri, 69. Ý

Update Notes:

10 Feb 2002: Added individual trees
20 Feb 2002: Split into separate entry
20 May 2002: Corrected Egyptian date equations as necessary
3 Feb 2003: Discussed the regnal year used in the Canopus Decree and its implications for Berenice
23 Oct 2003: Added Xref to online translation of Canopus Decree
11 Mar 2005: Added Greek transcription, links to Bevan
14 sep 2006: Add links to Packard Humanities DB, Canopic page

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