Berenice IV



Berenice IV Cleopatra Epiphaneia1, queen of Egypt, daughter of Ptolemy XII2 presumably by Cleopatra V3, here estimated to have been born c79-754, queen with Cleopatra VI, here identified with Cleopatra V5 in c. June 586, possibly coregent with Archelaus7 in summer 568, deposed by Ptolemy XII in January/February 559, executed by him shortly thereafter10. Berenice IV was posthumously expunged from the dynastic cult11.

No Egyptian titulary is known for her.

Berenice IV married twice. Additionally, marriage negotiations were conducted, probably between the two marriages12, with a former Seleucid king, Philip II Barypus, which were terminated by order of A. Gabinius, governor of Syria13.

Berenice IV first married on an unknown date Seleucus Kybiosaktes14, here identified as most likely the second son of Antiochus X and Cleopatra Selene15. The marriage was dissolved by his murder shortly after the wedding16.

Berenice IV second married, in mid 5617, as his second wife18, Archelaus, high priest of Bellona at Comana in Cappadocia19. The marriage was terminated by his death in battle against the forces of A. Gabinius, governor of Syria, in January/February 5520.

There were no known children by either marriage.

[1] PP VI 14504. Gr: Kleopatra Berenikh Epifaneia. The royal name Cleopatra is attested in gr Medinet Habu 43; the reasons for assigning this graffito to Berenice IV rather than Cleopatra V are discussed under Ptolemy XII. As far as I know, no one has yet tried to assign her an ordinal number amongst the Cleopatras on this basis. The cult title Qea Epifaneia (the manifest goddess) is attested in pOxy 55.3777. Ý

[2] Porphyry, in Eusebius, Chronicorum I (ed. Schoene) 167, Strabo 12.3.34, 17.1.11, Dio Cassius 39.13. Ý

[3] Strabo, 17.1.11 calls her his only legitimate daughter. However, since this information is suspect with respect to the other daughters, it is not particularly strong evidence. Better evidence is the date of her birth -- well before the deposition of Cleopatra V -- and the fact that the Alexandrians accepted her as their queen. Ý

[4] No specific information survives, except that Strabo 12.3.34 describes her as his eldest daughter, dating her birth before that of Cleopatra VII in 70/69. We also know that her parents were married no later than January 79. In order to be old enough to head a revolutionary regime in 58, and to be marriageable, she must have been born in the early 70s. Ý

[5] Porphyry, in Eusebius, Chronicorum I (ed. Schoene) 167, who however calls Cleopatra (VI) Tryphaena another daughter of Ptolemy XII. The reasons for identifying her with his wife are discussed under Cleopatra V. Ý

[6] For this date see discussion under Ptolemy XII. Ý

[7] Strabo, 17.1.11. There is as yet no clear support in contemporary evidence for a coregency. In the past this has been argued on the basis of pGrenf 2.38, which contains the dating formula 13 Phar?[mo]u?(thi) year 2 = year 1. That the dating is not a scribal error of some type is proved by odem Berlin 6197, dated 11 Epeiph year 2 = year 1. This date was attributed by the original editors to the reign of Berenice III and Ptolemy XI, but this did not seem possible since the Canon of Ptolemy shows that Berenice III did not reach a second independent year, and Ptolemy IX did reach his 37th year. Also, the months involved are too far into the year to allow the possibility of local uncertainty about the change of reign. L. M. Ricketts, BASP 16 (1979) 213, proposed instead that it reflected an association between Cleopatra VII and Ptolemy XIV in her second year, in an attempt to displace Ptolemy XIII, a solution that has not found much favour and is discussed here. T. C. Skeat, Reigns of the Ptolemies 39, proposed the equation year 2 of Berenice IV = year 1 of Archelaus, based on the belief that Berenice IV only reached her third year. However, M. Chauveau showed that the evidence proved that Berenice IV reached a fourth year, and since Strabo 12.3.34 says that Archelaus reigned for only 6 months he must have acceded (if at all) in the third year of Berenice IV, not the second. Moreover, pOxy 55.3777, dated to Mesore, must be year 2 or 3, since it names Berenice IV as sole ruler without Cleopatra V, which absolutely rules out a coregency with Archelaus in Pharmouthi, Phamenoth or Epeiph of year 2. Therefore Chauveau argues that this era cannot belong to Berenice IV. I think this is correct. Further, the possibility that the era actually represents the marriage with Seleucus Kybiosaktes can be ruled out since the two records are at least three months apart and the marriage is said (Strabo, 17.1.11) to have lasted less than a week. For a possible explanation of the date of pGrenf 2.38, see discussion under Ptolemy IX.

One possibility opened up by Chauveau's analysis is that certain papyri dated year 1 = year 3 could belong to Berenice IV and Archelaus. However, the traditional assignment to Cleopatra VII and Ptolemy XIII is probably correct, for reasons discussed here. Ý

[8] Strabo 12.3.34 says that he only reigned for 6 months, hence his accession must be in the summer preceding the restoration of Ptolemy XII. Ý

[9] For this date see discussion under Ptolemy XII. Ý

[10] Strabo, 17.1.11 Ý

[11] The cult title Epifaneia given her in pOxy 55.3777 proves that she was incorporated into the dynastic cult, even though there are no surviving eponymous listings from her reign. There are no eponymous attestations of her at all. Ý

[12] Porphyry in Eusebius, Chronicorum I (ed. Schoene) 261. This mentions another candidate, unnamed, who is said to have died of a serious illness. This candidate is here identified with Seleucus Kybiosaktes. The candidate is named before Philip. Also, if the identification were correct, he might be preferable to Philip as being genealogically more closely related to Berenice, being allegedly the son of a Ptolemaic princess rather than the grandson of one. Ý

[13] Porphyry in Eusebius, Chronicorum I (ed. Schoene) 261. The text as we have it identifies him as the son of Antiochus VIII and Tryphaena, i.e. Philip I, who was a subject of the previous paragraph. However Philip I was dead by this time and it is universally agreed that his son Philip II is meant. The term "Barypus" means "heavy foot"; whether it refers to his gait or his style of rule (as in "heavy-handed") is unclear. His dates of reign are uncertain. They are most recently estimated, in O. D. Hoover, Historia 56 (2007), 280 at 301, at 67/6-66/5. Ý

[14] PP VI 14567. Dio Cassius, 39.57 calls him "Seleucus", Strabo, 17.1.11 "Kybiosaktes" ("salt fish seller"). Both describe the brevity of the marriage and how he met his end, so no one doubts that these names identify the same man. The epithet describes his "coarseness and vulgarity", which is apparently the reason Berenice had him killed. Ý

[15] Dio Cassius, 39.57 says that he "claimed" to be a Seleucid, but was killed because he was seen to be held in low esteem; he does not actually express an opinion as to the truth of this claim. Strabo, 17.1.11 more explicitly says that he "pretended" to be a Seleucid but was not one. Presumably, the proof of this was his "coarseness and vulgarity". Whether or not he was a pretender, it is unknown who he actually claimed to be -- no author states how he claimed to be connected to the Seleucid line. While he may indeed have been a pretender, it is hard to believe that his credentials were not verified in advance, and easy to believe that they were blackened after his death, so it is reasonable to proceed by supposing that he was in fact a Seleucid and then to try to connect him to that line.

The passage of Porphyry in Eusebius, Chronicorum I (ed. Schoene) 261, mentions two Seleucid candidates for Berenice's hand, one of whom is anonymous. Since the previous paragraph describes the conflicts of Antiochus X and Philip I, and the two paragraphs are connected by a plural pronoun, Porphyry's text appears to suggest that this candidate was Antiochus X, just as the other candidate is said, rather more clearly, to have been Philip I; but Antiochus X, like Philip I, was certainly dead by this time. It is generally accepted that the passage is in origin part of an account of the deeds of the sons of Antiochus X and Philip I. The known ones were two sons of Antiochus X, i.e. Antiochus XIII and his brother mentioned by Cicero, In C. Verrem 2.4.61, and Philip II son of Philip I. But since Antiochus XIII also was already dead by this time, the only candidate available is his brother. An Antiochene tetradrachm (E. R. Newell, The Seleucid Mint of Antioch 126 no. 460, 461, pl. XIII) is assigned by Newell on plausible stylistic grounds to Antiochus XIII and calls him "Philadelphus", evidence which strongly suggests that this brother was still alive in the early 60s.

The name of the brother of Antiochus XIII was unknown until recently, and a recent proposal to identify him as "Seleucus VII Philometor" is uncertain. A. Bouché-Leclercq, Histoire des Lagides II 160 n. 1, noting the confusion between Philip I and Philip II, assumes that the anonymous candidate was victim of a similar onomastic confusion, and that therefore proposes that his name was "Antiochus". But since Antiochus XIII also was already dead by this time, there must have been a second prince "Antiochus", i.e. his brother. Therefore, in Bouché-Leclercq's opinion, which has been widely followed since, he cannot have been Seleucus Kybiosaktes, who he suggested might be some illegitimate scion. But H. Heinen in Antidorum Peremans 105 points out that we do not know what was in Porphyry's original text and cannot therefore estimate how much is missing or corrupt. Therefore, while it is agreed that the text is talking about the sons of Antiochus X and Philip I, there is no reason to assume that the name of the son of Antiochus X under discussion was also "Antiochus", and "Seleucus" is a natural name for a member of the Seleucid house (rather more so than "Philip", one might add). This conjecture was apparently strikingly confirmed by the publication of a coin minted in the names of queen Cleopatra Selene and king Seleucus Philometor; however O. D. Hoover, ZPE 151 (2005) 95, has strongly challenged this reading and interprets Selene's partner on the coin to be Antiochus XIII.

Although the argument for identitying Kybiosaktes as Selene's second son remains circumstantial, it all seems very reasonable to me. While it cannot be proved that Porphyry intended Seleucus Kybiosaktes, it seems to be the simplest conclusion. Whether or not Kybiosaktes was in truth Seleucus (VII?) the brother of Antiochus XIII, it is likely that that is who he claimed to be, and the circumstantial arguments suggest that the claim, even though it may later have been repudiated by Berenice IV, is more likely to be correct than not. Ý

[16] Dio Cassius 39.57, Strabo 17.1.11. If he is the anonymous candidate mentioned in Porphyry in Eusebius, Chronicorum I (ed. Schoene) 261, then the official story was that he died of a sudden illness -- see H. Heinen in Antidorum Peremans 105, 111. In my view, it might even be the truth -- Strabo is clearly repeating anti-Berenicean propaganda. Heinen notes that A. Bouché-Leclercq, Histoire des Lagides II 160, says that the candidate died before the project could move ahead, which if correct would rule out the possibility that he was Kybiosaktes, but in fact what Porphyry says is that he was invited to Egypt and that he died of a serious illness -- he does not specify whether before or after his arrival in Egypt. In Heinen's view -- and I agree with him -- this would admit a brief stay in Egypt before death. Ý

[17] Strabo 12.3.34 says that he only reigned for 6 months, hence the marriage must be in the summer preceding the restoration of Ptolemy XII. Ý

[18] Strabo 12.3.35 says that his son (another Archelaus) succeeded him in the priesthood, therefore he must have had an earlier wife. His son's wife, Glaphyra, had an affair with Mark Antony. His grandson (yet another Archelaus) became king of Cappadocia. The daughter of this Archelaus, another Glaphyra, married Alexander of Judea; descendants of this marriage include Tigranes V and Tigranes VI, kings of Armenia. She also married Juba II king of Mauretania, whose first wife was Cleopatra Selene, daughter of Cleopatra VII and Mark Antony. Ý

[19] PP VI 14496. Strabo 12.3.34. He was appointed to the priesthood at Comana by Pompey: Appian, Mith. 17.114.

According to Strabo 12.3.34, his father was the Archelaus honoured by Sulla and the Senate. He is mentioned extensively in Appian, Mith. and in Plutarch, Sulla, as a leading general of Mithridates; his defection to Rome at the start of the second Mithridatic war is given in Appian, Mith. 9.64.

His mother is not mentioned anywhere. Strabo, 17.1.11 says that Archelaus claimed to be a son of Mithridates VI. It should have been fairly easy for Berenice IV to verify such a claim, which suggests that there was something to it. If the actual claim was that he was descended from Mithridates VI, then chronologically he is most likely to have been a grandson. R. D. Sullivan, Near Eastern Royalty and Rome 100-30 B.C. 42 suggests that his father, the general Archelaus, was a son of Mithridates, but this seems unlikely to me. Aside from the frequency with which this Archelaus is mentioned in Appian, without this connection once being made, Plutarch, Sulla 22.4, specifically calls him a Cappadocian, and a Friend (FiloV) of Mithridates -- a court title. Therefore, I do not think he was one of Mithridates' sons, and any such descent for his son Archelaus must be through the mother. It is perfectly likely that such a high-ranking general would have married one of the king's daughters. Ý

[20] Strabo 12.3.34, Plutarch, Antony 3.6. Antony gained notice by burying Archelaus with royal honors. For the date see discussion under Ptolemy XII. Ý

Update Notes:

11 Feb 2002: Added individual trees
28 Feb 2002: Combined marriage descriptions into single entry
28 Feb 2002: Added numismatic evidence that the younger son of Selene was still alive in the reign of Antiochus XIII
4 April 2002: Added numismatc evidence that the younger son of Selene was Seleucus VII
13 April 2003: Removed unwarranted references to Seleucus VII as the "younger" brother of Antiochus XIII.
18 May 2003: Changed Plutarch Xrefs to the Lacus Curtius edition
23 Oct 2003: Added Xref to online Arrian and (partial) Porphyry
24 Feb 2004: Added Xrefs to online Strabo
13 Sep 2004: Add Xref to online Eusebius
11 Mar 2005: Added Greek transcription, links to image of pOxy 55.3777
19 Mar 2005: Added notice of Hoover objection to the Kritt coin (thanks to Oliver Hoover for a copy of his article)
16 Sep 2006: Added link to Canon at Attalus
28 May 2007: Added Xref to BASP papers
23 Oct 2007: Corrected reference to Philip II as king of Damascus -- thanks to Petr Vesely
7 June 2008: Add Hoover's estimate of the regnal years of Philip II.
8 Dec 2010: Fix broken Perseus & DDbDP links

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