Eirene1, daughter of Ptolemy I and Thais2, dates of birth and death unknown3, married to Eunostos king of Soli in Cyprus4 here estimated in c. 320-3155.

[1] PP VI 14507. Gr: Eirhnh. Ý

[2] Athenaeus 13.576e. Ý

[3] Assuming she was c. 15 at the time of her marriage, she was probably born in the late 330s or early 320s. Ý

[4] Athenaeus 13.576e. Ý

[5] Based on the statement that in Athenaeus 13.576e that Ptolemy married Thais after the death of Alexander, A. Schiff (RE VI (1907) 1138f.) inferred that Eirene must have been born after 323, and that her marriage to Eunostos must therefore have taken place after 307. But there is no necessity to assume that Eirene was born after Thais' marriage. Moreover, Ptolemy seized Cyprus in 312 (Parian Marble 118 (archonship of Simonides) (FGrH 239 B.17, M. M. Austin, The Hellenistic World from Alexander to the Roman Conquest 40 (21.17)), and dissolved most if not all of the Cypriot kingdoms, placing them firstly under control of Nicocreon king of Salamis, then, after the latter's death a year later, his brother Menelaus, and in 306 losing control of the island altogether to Demetrius Poliorcetes (Parian Marble 122 (archonship of Anaxicrates) (FGrH 239 B.21, M. M. Austin, The Hellenistic World from Alexander to the Roman Conquest 40 (21.21)).

Schiff's scenario suggests, therefore, that Eunostos' title is unrelated to the reason for the marriage and is presumanbly only a residual courtesy. This is perhaps not impossible. The Solian family had long had close connections to the Macedonian court: Eunostos' predecessor Pasicrates (probably his father) had assisted Alexander at the seige of Tyre; Nicanor, his son, accompanied the expedition to India; and the diadoch who became strategos of Bactria, Stasanor, was a Solian who was probably a member of the family, possibly Pasicrates' brother. See the discussion of the dynasty here. Hence Eunostos may have been well-known to Ptolemy long before he became involved in Cypriot affairs. It nevertheless seems far more likely that the marriage was connected to Cypriot power politics in the 310s.

The record can be constructed in outline from Arrian, Diodorus and the Parian Marble. Some time before the death of Perdiccas in c. 321/0, Ptolemy entered into an alliance with Nicocreon king of Salamis and three other kings, who, according to Arrian (FrGH 156.10.6), were his vassals: Nicocles of Paphos, Androcles of Amathus, and Pasicrates of Soli, Eunostos' probable father. A few years later, c. 315, Ptolemy was contending with Antigonus for control of Cyprus. Some Cypriot kings were allied to Ptolemy, Nicocreon chief among them, while others were allied to Antigonus (Diodorus 19.59.1). Soli is not included in the list of Antigonus' allies, so was presumably still allied to Ptolemy. Ptolemy sent active force to Cyprus at this time, under the command of his brother Menelaus, to suppress Antigonus' allies (Diodorus 19.62.3). After Ptolemy suppressed Antigonus' allies in 313, he appointed Nicocreon of Salamis as strategos of the island (Diodorus 19.79.5). Shortly after the death of Nicocreon, however, all the Cyriot kingdoms were suppressed. While Soli is not explicitly named as a suppressed kingdom in the literary sources, the coins which can be reasonably attributed to Eunostos all appear to have been made before 310, since they are of Attic weight, which was displaced by the Rhodian standard at that date (G. F. Hill, The History of Cyprus I 165 n. 2, 180 n. 3). This supports the natural inference that Soli was effectively dissolved along with the other kingdoms in 311.

It is clear from this record that Nicocreon was the leading king in the Ptolemaic alliance throughout, and very probably that Soli was at all times a committed member of that alliance. It might be supposed that the marriage was intended to promote Soli's standing within it, but there is no indication that Ptolemy saw anyone but Nicocreon as the leading Cypriot king. Indeed, the whole tenor of Ptolemaic policy as it evolved was to favour unification, first under Nicocreon and then under direct Ptolemaic control, based at Salamis. Hence the point in this record where it appears, to me, to make most sense for Ptolemy to marry his daughter to a king of Soli is soon after the death of Pasicrates, Eunostos' predecessor and probable father. It was clearly desirable to ensure that the new king of a leading Cypriot kingdom remain committed to the alliance.

Unfortunately we cannot date the death of Pasicrates; we only know he was still alive in 321/0. It seems to me that it is very unlikely that the loyalty of Soli should have been in question once the war with Antigonus began in 315. Accordingly, it is most probable that the marriage took place some time between c. 320 and 315.


Update Notes:

8-9 Feb 2002: Added individual trees
12 Feb 2002: Split out into separate entry
24 Feb 2004: Added Xref to online Parian Marble
11 Mar 2005: Added Greek transcription
18 Sep. 2010: Further notes on chronology and the circumstances of the marriage.
15 Jan 2010: Revise discussion on the circumstances of the marriage, respond to Ogden's comments.

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