Points of Interest

This page lists a number of items discussed in the Ptolemaic genealogy that are controversial, or where reconstructions are presented here that are, so far as I know, unique to this reconstruction. The conclusions are stated here without qualifications. In order to see the fuller discussion, just click on the text of the point of interest.


The official ancestry of the Ptolemaic dynasty is reviewed.

Ptolemy I

Ptolemy II

Ptolemy III

Ptolemy III was probably raised on Thera

The name of the son of Ptolemy III whose name is lost on the exedra of Thermos was "Lysimachus"

The exedra of Thermos allows us to estimate the birthdates of all of Ptolemy III's children.

Ptolemy IV

On the charge that Arsinoe III was murdered by Agathocles and Sosibius, the case for the defence is explored.

Arsinoe III was named "basilissa" at birth.

Ptolemy IV had a child by his mistress Agathoclea, who could even have been Ptolemy V.

Ptolemy V & Cleopatra I

A recent proposal that Ptolemy VI was made coregent with Ptolemy V as an infant is critiqued.

Cleopatra I's date of birth is estimated to be between 219 and 210/9, possibly before 212.

Ptolemy VI & Cleopatra II

The chronological significance of Ptolemy VI's Horus name is reviewed.

The existence of a Ptolemy VII reigning between Ptolemy VI and Ptolemy VIII is reviewed.

The basis for synchronising the chronology of Cleopatra II's rebellion with the reign of Ptolemy VIII is reviewed.

Cleopatra II may have been restored in 124 because she controlled the heirs to the throne.

The existence of a younger Ptolemy, son of Ptolemy VI, who became the first heir of Ptolemy VIII is confirmed by a recently published papyrus.

The possibility is discussed that Berenice, fiancee of Attalus III of Pergamum, was a daughter of Ptolemy VI and Cleopatra II.

The number of children that Cleopatra Thea had by Demetrius II and Antiochus VII is reviewed and their paternity assigned.

Ptolemy Memphites was never a coregent of Ptolemy VIII.

Ptolemy VIII & Cleopatra III

Two mistresses of Ptolemy VIII, Ithaca and Eirene, are distinguished from each other.

A descent from Antiochus VIII and Tryphaena, daughter of Ptolemy VIII, through the kings of Commagene to the later Arsacids of Parthia and Armenia may be traceable.

Berenice, wife of the High Priest of Ptah Psherenptah II, was probably not a daughter of Ptolemy VIII.

If we suppose that Berenice, wife of Psherenptah II, was a daughter of Ptolemy VIII and Cleopatra III then she must have been born c. 137/6.

Ptolemy Apion became king of Cyrene between 105 and 101, not in 116.

Ptolemy IX

Ptolemy IX may have been ex officio a son of Cleopatra II though biologically a son of Cleopatra III.

Ptolemy IX was strategos in Cyprus from 118 to 116.

Ptolemy IX had two sets of Egyptian royal names reflecting his two separate reigns.

Berenice III was only coregent with Ptolemy IX during the last year of his second reign.

Ptolemy IX did not marry Berenice III.

If we suppose that Berenice, wife of Psherenptah II, was a daughter of Ptolemy VIII and Cleopatra III then Cleopatra IV must have been born c. 139/8.

Ptolemy IX married Cleopatra IV in c. 119/8.

Ptolemy of Cyprus was a son of Ptolemy IX and Cleopatra IV.

Ptolemy of Cyprus was born in late 116 or early 115.

Cleopatra IV was probably the mother of Antiochus X.

The marriage of Cleopatra Selene to Ptolemy IX occurred in 115.

The name of the younger son of Cleopatra Selene and Antiochus X has been proposed from coinage to be Seleucus VII Philometor.

Ptolemy X

Ptolemy X was born in 140/39.

The first wife of Ptolemy X was Cleopatra Selene, from both circumstantial and literary evidence.

There is no evidence that suggests that Ptolemy X had more than two children.

Berenice III & Ptolemy XI

Berenice III was the daughter of Ptolemy IX and Cleopatra Selene.

Berenice III was born in late 115 or early 114.

Ptolemy XI was the son of Ptolemy X and Cleopatra Selene.

Ptolemy XII & Cleopatra V

Ptolemy XII's bastardy is due to his birth before his father's accession to the throne.

Ptolemy XII was the son of Ptolemy IX by Cleopatra IV.

Ptolemy XII was born in late 117.

The titles of Ptolemy XII and Cleopatra V, Philopator kai Philadelphos, honour their respective parents (Ptolemy IX and X) and siblings (Berenice III and Ptolemy XI).

Ptolemy XII was deposed by Cleopatra V and Berenice IV in mid-summer of 58, not late summer of 58.

The possibility that Ptolemy XII had a second marriage is reviewed.

Cleopatra V is identified with the daughter of Ptolemy X and Berenice III.

The possibility that Arsinoe IV was a coregent of Ptolemy XIII in 50 or 49 is reviewed.

The body of Arsinoe IV may have been found at Ephesus.

Berenice IV

There is no evidence that Archelaus was a coregent of Berenice IV.

Seleucus Kybiosaktes is accepted as a son of Antiochus X and Cleopatra Selene.

The mother of Archelaus was probably a daughter of Mithridates VI.

Cleopatra VII & Ptolemy XIII

Cleopatra VII was the daughter of Ptolemy XII by Cleopatra V.

Caesarion is affirmed as a son of Cleopatra VII by Caesar.

Caesarion's birthdate is probably not given on an Egyptian stele; the question of the management of the Alexandrian calendar is discussed.

Julius Caesar was assasinated on 14 March 44, not 15 March 44.

Cleopatra Selene, daughter of Cleopatra VII, probably had a daughter who dedicated in an Athenian inscription, most likely called Cleopatra.

Julia Urania, probable wife of Ptolemy of Mauretania, son of Cleopatra Selene, most likely came from the Emesan royal family.

Drusilla, probable daughter of Ptolemy of Mauretania, son of Cleopatra Selene, may have married Sohaemus king of Emesa after being divorced by M. Antonius Felix.

The claim of Zenobia, queen of Palmyra, to be descended from Cleopatra is highly plausible.

Horwennefer & Ankhwennefer

These two names probably belong to one rebel king who changed his name at the start of year 7


This king may not be the "enemy of the gods" who raided the Theban bank in 131

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