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Eirene

 

 

Eirene1, mistress of Ptolemy VIII2 around the years of his accession in 1453. Nothing is known of her ancestry4. No children are known from this liaison5. She is not otherwise known.

[1] PP VI 14722. Gr: Eirhnh. Josephus, Contra Apionem 2.5, suggests she was also known as Ithaca, but it seems more likely that Ithaca was a different woman. Ý

[2] Diodorus 33.13. Ý

[3] Diodorus 33.13 names her when discussing the coronation of Ptolemy VIII in Memphis. Ý

[4] Modern literature often describes Eirene as Cyrenean, e.g. A. Laronde, Cyrène et la Libye hellénistique 444. While this is perfectly possible, there is no evidence for it. Diodorus 33.13 states that Ptolemy VIII ordered the execution of the Cyreneans who had accompanied him on his return to Egypt because of "certain frank and honest statements about his concubine Eirene". But this could just as easily mean that she had only recently become his concubine. Ý

[4] It is often asserted that Ptolemy Apion was a child of Eirene. This is actually rather unlikely. Ý

Update Notes:

10 Feb 2002: Added individual trees
23 Feb 2002: Split into separate entry
11 Mar 2005: Added Greek transcription

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