Ptolemy Ceraunus1, king of Macedon, son of Ptolemy I and Eurydice2, born c. 319/18 or a little later3, passed over as heir to the throne of Egypt c287/54, fled first to the court of Lysimachus king of Thrace and Macedon, and then (c283/2) to the court of Seleucus I5, who he murdered at Lysimicheia while he was en route to Macedon in Ululu SEB 31 = Sept. 2816. He then took the Macedonian throne, was wounded and captured in battle against an invasion of the Gauls and was beheaded by them7, and was succeeded in the fifth month of Ol. 125.1 = c. Jan/Feb 279 by his brother Meleager8.
Ptolemy Ceraunus was married at least once and probably twice:
Ptolemy Ceraunus probably first married Unknown, possibly a daughter of Lysimachus, king of Thrace, by whom there was one daughter9.
Ptolemy Ceraunus certainly married Arsinoe II, his half-sister, at Cassandrea in the winter of 281/280 as her second husband. There were no children of this marriage10.
 PP VI 14539. Gr: PtolemaioV o KeraunoV. The epithet means "thunderbolt" and refers to his impetuous nature. Ý
 Undoubtedly the eldest son in view of his prominence in both Egypt and Macedon, so likely to have been born early in the marriage. Ý
 The presence of his mother Eurydice at the marriage of Demetrius to Ptolemais in Miletus in 287 may suggest that she was no longer married to Ptolemy I at this time. However as noted by R. A. Hazzard (Phoenix 41 (1987) 140), the absence of Ceraunus himself suggests that he had not yet lost the inheritance of Egypt to Ptolemy II. Presumably the accession of Ptolemy II as co-ruler in 285/4 represents Ceraunus' final defeat in this struggle. Ý
 Appian Syriaca 10.62, and Nepos 21.3, state that he left through fear, or was expelled, from Egypt after the selection of Ptolemy II and that Seleucus had welcomed him to his court, but they do not say that he went directly from Alexandria to Seleucus. Pausanias 1.16.2, noting that he was the brother of Lysandra, says that he fled to Seleucus from Lysimachus, therefore presumably at the same time as she did and because of the execution of Agathocles. However, it may be a little earlier, as a result of the rapprochement between Lysimachus and Ptolemy II signified by his marriage to Lysimachus' daughter Arsinoe I. Ý
 Justin 17.2, Appian Syriaca 10.62, Memnon 8.3 (FGrH 434 F 8.3). The death of Seleucus is dated to Ululu SEB 31 (= 26 August - 25 Sep 281) in BM 35603, a Babylonian chronicle published in A. J. Sachs & D. J. Wiseman, Iraq 16 (1954) 202. Ý
Memnon 8.8 (FGrH 434 F 8.8) gives him two years. This may be adding the 7 months between the death of Lysimachus at Corupedium and the death of Seleucus (Justin 17.2), which appear to be omitted in Porphyry's chronology, to the 1 year 5 months given there, as suggested in K. J. Beloch, Griechische Geschichte IV.2 109, or it may simply be counting each Olympic year as a full year (Ol. 124.4 = 281/0 and Ol. 125.1 = 280/79). In my view the latter is more likely since Memnon skips over the ensuing period of anarchy and proceeds directly to the reign of Antigonus Gonatas.
Polybius 2.41.2, when dating the formation of the Achaean League, includes the death of Ceraunus in the 124th Olympiad, i.e. before summer 280. This is impossible given the Babylonian data and his reignlength, and is inconsistent with Polybius 1.6.5, which notes that Pyrrhus invaded Italy in the year before the Gallic invasion. Plutarch, Pyrrhus 16.3, dates that event to the consulship of P. Valerius Laevinius = AUC 474 = 280 = Ol. 124.4, and notes (Pyrrhus 22.1) that Pyrrhus learned of the death of Ceraunus after the battle of Asculum, the archetypal Pyrrhic victory, which took place the following year. See the discussion in N. G. L. Hammond and F. W. Walbank, A History of Macedonia III (1988) 580. Ý
8-9 Feb 2002: Added individual trees
17 Feb 2002: Split out into separate entry
23 August 2003: Added Xrefs to online Justin and Polybius
23 Oct 2003: Added Xrefs to online Appian
24 Feb 2004: Added Xref to online Nepos and Memnon.
13 Sep 2004: Add Xref to online Eusebius
11 Mar 2005: Added Greek transcription
1 Jan 2005: Added Xref to online Babylonian chonicle; extend discussion of chronology
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