Cleopatra Thea Eueteria1, daughter of Ptolemy VI and Cleopatra II2, probably born in or before 1643, probably engaged to her uncle Ptolemy VIII king of Cyrene in 1544, sole queen of the Phoenician portion of Syria after the death of Demetrius II in 187 SE = 1265 then in coregency with her son Antiochus VIII Grypus6, poisoned by him7 in 192 SE = 121/08, married thrice.
Cleopatra Thea first married Alexander I Balas, king of Syria9, in 162 SE = Ol. 157.3 = 15010, by whom she had one son, Antiochus VI11, marriage dissolved by her father12 in 165 SE = 148/713.
Cleopatra Thea second married, as his first wife, Demetrius II Nicator, king of Syria14, in c.165 SE = 148/715, by whom she had children: Seleucus V16, Antiochus VIII Grypus17 and presumably an unnamed daughter, possibly called Laodice18; marriage dissolved by the capture of Demetrius in battle by Mithridates I king of Parthia in Du'uzu 174 SE (Bab.) = c. July 13819, possibly returned to the marriage after he was released from captivity by Phraates II probably in Ol. 162.4 = 12920, finally terminated by his murder at Tyre in Ol. 164.1 = 12521.
Cleopatra Thea third married Antiochus VII Sidetes, king of Syria, brother of Demetrius II22, in 174 SE = Ol. 160.4 = probably 13723, marriage dissolved by his death in battle in Babylonia fighting Phraates II of Parthia in spring of Ol. 162.4 = 12824, by whom she had children: presumably one or two daughters Laodice25, and sons Antiochus26 and possibly Seleucus27, and certainly Antiochus IX Cyzicenus28.
 PP VI 14518: Gr: Kleopatra Qea Eueteria = Cleopatra the Goddess of Plenty, normally known simply as Cleopatra Thea. Ý
 Paternity: Josephus, Antiquities of the Jews 13.4.1. Maternity: Justin 39.1. Ý
 She was of marriageable age in 150 when married to Alexander I Balas. UPZ 1.110 dated 24 Mesore year 6 = 21 September 164, refers to the "children" of Ptolemy VI, which presumably includes her. Assuming Ptolemy Eupator, born probably September 166, to be the oldest child, the next child was most likely born in early-mid 164. Ý
 Polybius 39.7.6 states that Ptolemy VI had promised Ptolemy VIII his daughter in marriage. This immediately follows his description of the generous treatment Ptolemy VI accorded his brother after the battle of Lapethos, and is usually interpreted to be part of that description, not least because it is linked to it by the word "and" (kai). If this is the correct interpretation then the daughter involved is almost certainly Cleopatra Thea, since the evidence suggests that Cleopatra III was not born till the early 150s, and so is unlikely to have been more than 5 years old at this time, whereas Cleopatra Thea may have been as old as 15. For the remote possibility that Ptolemy VI had another daughter of marriageable age at this time, see discussion under Cleopatra II.
M. Chauveau, BIFAO 90 (1990) 135, 166 n. 114, argues that the statement should rather be understood in the wider context of the general point being made by Polybius in this section, i.e. as one more proof of Ptolemy VI's good nature. He proposes instead that the engagement took place towards the end of the reign of Ptolemy VI, and that Cleopatra III was the fiancée. On balance I favour the traditional interpretation, though Chauveau's is not at all implausible. Ý
 Tetradrachms minted in her name at Ake-Ptolemais and dated to 187 SE = 126/5 (E. T. Newell, Late Seleucid Mints in Ake-Ptolemais and Damascus 10 (7)). The attempt at sole rule was apparently unaccepted. According to Justin 39.1 she made her son Antiochus VIII Grypus king in name while retaining actual sovereignty. Their joint coins, which start in the same year (E. T. Newell, Late Seleucid Mints in Ake-Ptolemais and Damascus 14 (9)), still give her prominence. Ý
 Justin 39.1. Ý
 Justin 39.2 and Appian, Syriaca 11.69, say she was forced to drink a cup of poisoned wine she had supposedly intended for her son. As J. E. G. Whitehorne, Cleopatras 162, notes, "it is always the survivor, and never the victim, who controls the media". Pliny, Historia Naturalis 20.100, notes an antidote against venomous animals devised by a king Antiochus, and Galen, De Antidotis 2.14, quotes some verses written by an Antiochus on the subject of poisons and their antidotes. Whitehorne attributes these to Grypus (though Pliny attributes the recipe to Antiochus III). According to Justin 39.2, Grypus forced Alexander II Zabinas to drink poison, and later attempted to poison his half-brother Antiochus IX Cyzicenus. With this track record it may well be that Cleopatra Thea was simply murdered by him. Ý
 Justin 39.2 states that Antiochus VIII reigned for 8 years after the death of his mother before the rebellion of Antiochus IX Cyzicenus, an event which Porphyry in Eusebius, Chronicorum I (ed. Schoene) 259 dates to Ol. 166.4 = 113/2, hence she died in 121/20 = 192 SE which is also the date of the last of her joint coins with Antiochus VIII and the first of his sole coinage (E. T. Newell, Late Seleucid Mints in Ake-Ptolemais and Damascus 17 (20), 23f. (22)). Ý
 Josephus, Antiquities of the Jews 13.4.1. Ý
 Seleucid date: I Maccabees 10.57. J. C. Dancy, I Maccabees: A Commentary 51 notes that this statement reflects an official Seleucid source, so is to reckoned to be according to the Macedonian version of the Seleucid era, starting in Dios (Mac.). Thus it corresponds to c. October 151 - September 150. The Olympiad date is per Porphyry in Eusebius, Chronicorum I (ed. Schoene) 255 = 150/49. The confluence gives summer 150. Ý
 Appian, Syriaca 11.68. Reigned 145-142 under the tutelage of Diodotus Tryphon (Josephus, Antiquities of the Jews 13.5.1) who allegedly murdered him (Justin 36.1, Josephus, Antiquities of the Jews 13.6.1). Appian calls him Alexander, evidently in confusion with Alexander II Zabinas. Ý
 Diodorus 32.9c, I Maccabees 11.12, Josephus, Antiquities of the Jews 13.4.7. Ý
 I Maccabees 10.67, Josephus, Antiquities of the Jews 13.4.3. J. C. Dancy, I Maccabees: A Commentary 51 notes that this statement reflects an official Seleucid source, so is to reckoned to be according to the Macedonian version of the Seleucid era, starting in Dios (Mac.). Thus it corresponds to c. October 148 - September 147. Ý
 I Maccabees 11.12, Josephus, Antiquities of the Jews 13.4.8. Ý
 Inferred from the general description of events between the movement of Ptolemy VI into Syria in 165 SE, the alleged attempt on his life by Balas following shortly thereafter, and his immediate decision to side with Demetrius and to transfer Cleopatra Thea to him. Ý
 Appian, Syriaca 11.68. He took the throne on the death of Demetrius II without his mother's permission. She is said to have killed him by shooting him with a bow and arrow -- Appian, Syriaca 11.69, Justin 39.1; dated to Ol. 164.2 = 123/2 by Porphyry in Eusebius Chronicorum I (ed. Schoene) 257. Ý
 Josephus, Antiquities of the Jews 13.10.1, 13.13.4. According to the latter he died aged 45 after a reign of 29 years. Porphyry in Eusebius, Chronicorum I (ed. Schoene) 259 gives his death in Ol. 170.4 = 97/96, hence he was born c. 142/1. However, Porphyry only gives him 26 years of reign, not 29, so Josephus' figures may not be trustworthy. Ý
 Justin 38.10 gives her paternity. Cleopatra Thea is not explicitly named as mother. She accompanied Antiochus VII on his Parthian expedition, was captured by Phraates II, and married him. She is identified by A. Bouché-Leclercq, Histoire des Séleucides 599f. as one of the two Laodices said by Porphyry in Eusebius Chronicorum I (ed. Schoene) 257 to be daughters of Antiochus VII, even though Porphyry stresses not only that these girls had the same name but also that they both died young of disease along with their brother Antiochus, although a bit later in the same passage he only mentions one as dying with him. J. D. Grainger, A Seleukid Prosopography and Gazeteer 49f. calls her Laodice (9), and distinguishes her from the two daughter of Antiochus VII who he terms Laodice (6) and (7), but gives no other source for her name. P. Green, Alexander to Actium 735, shows one Laodice as daughter of Demetrius II and the other as daughter of Antiochus VII, which follows Bouché-Leclercq. However, Green does not accept Bouché-Leclercq's other suggestion, that the prince Seleucus, described by Porphyry as a son of Antiochus VII and captured by Phraates II, was in fact Seleucus V. Bouché-Leclercq suggests that Antiochus had taken the eldest son and daughter of Demetrius II with him on the expedition as leverage to assure the cooperation of Demetrius should he succeed in freeing him from Parthian captivity, which was the nominal aim of the expedition. If this scenario is correct, then the daughter (whether her name be Laodice or not) is indeed most likely to be a daughter of Cleopatra Thea. But see further under the discussion of the captive prince Seleucus. Ý
 BM 45709 Rev (A. J. Sachs & H. Hunger, Astronomical Diaries and Related Texts from Babylonia III, 161, no -137A rev.; see also E. Dabrowa, Parthica 1 (1999) 9, 12). The date of this tablet is lost but is inferred from the reference to the capture of Demetrius (which fixes it approximately) and from the astronomical observations. The identity of the month following the capture is determined to be month 5 (Abu) from the astronomical obsevations.
Before the publication of this tablet, the Seleucid date was inferred from I Maccabees 14.1, which says he started his campaign in 172 SE. J. C. Dancy, I Maccabees: A Commentary 51 argued that this statement reflects an official Seleucid source, so is to reckoned to be according to the Macedonian version of the Seleucid era, starting in Dios (Mac.), corresponding to c. October 141 - September 140. Porphyry in Eusebius Chronicorum I (ed. Schoene) 255 gives the Olympian date Ol. 160.3 = 139/8. Porphyry states that he began the campaign in year 2 = 140/39 and was captured in year 3 = 139/38. The confluence gives summer 140 for the start of the campaign, with has capture being a year later.
Evidently Dancy misinterpreted the calendar in I Maccabees. Supposing it to be according to the Bablyonian Seleucid calendar, the campaign started at the end of 172 SE (Bab) = c. April 140 to March 139, or summer 140 - summer 139 according to Porphyry, i. e. most likely in spring of 139. His capture was then at the end of Ol. 160.3 = summer 139-summer 138. See the discussion of Dabrowa, loc. cit. Ý
 Justin 38.10 describes his return. Porphyry in Eusebius Chronicorum I (ed. Schoene) 257 for the date. Porphyry's evidence on the date is somewhat contradictory. Eusebius actually says Ol. 162.2 = 131/0, but this is before the campaign of Antiochus VII which was nominally intended to release him. Schoene emends the Olympiad to the 163rd, giving a date of Ol. 163.2 = 127/6. But Porphyry later says that he died in Ol. 164.1 = 124/3 after reigning 4 years after his return from captivity. Assuming this to mean 4 completed years, it implies a return date of Ol. 162.4 = 129/8 or Ol. 163.1 = 128/7. Porphyry also says that he was released after 10 years in captivity, which should be Ol. 162.3 or 162.4 = 130/29 or 129/8. His coinage resumes in Tyre in 183 SE = 130/29 (E. Rogers, The Second and Third Seleucid Coinage of Tyre (New York, 1928) 26). The confluence, together with the chronology of the invasion of Antiochus VII, suggests a return in the autumn of 129.
The resumption of marital status by Cleopatra Thea is implied in the sources but likely. Justin 39.1 refers to his final abandonment by his wife and children, implying that Cleopatra Thea had resumed her status as his wife. The same text discusses his alliance with Cleopatra II, called his mother-in-law, on terms that seem unlikely to apply if, at that time, there was hostility between him and her daughter. Appian Syriaca 11.68, states that "his wife" was responsible for his murder. Ý
 Justin 39.1; Appian Syriaca 11.68, who alleges that Cleopatra Thea was responsible. Porphyry in Eusebius, Chronicorum I (ed. Schoene) 257 for the date; see also the discussion above on the date of his release from captivity. His last dated tetradrachms are 187 SE = 127/6 (E. T. Newell, Late Seleucid Mints in Ake-Ptolemais and Damascus 6 (5)) . Ý
 Justin 36.1. Ý
 1 Maccabees 15.10 for the date of the accession of Antiochus. J. C. Dancy, I Maccabees: A Commentary 51 notes that this statement reflects an official Seleucid source, so is to reckoned to be according to the Macedonian version of the Seleucid era, starting in Dios (Mac.). Thus it corresponds to c. October 138 - September 137. Porphyry in Eusebius, Chronicorum I (ed. Schoene) 255 for the Olympian date, also = 138/7. The overlap covers the period roughly September 138 to June 137. According to Justin 36.1 the marriage happened soon after the accession, so early 137 seems like the best bet. Ý
 Justin 38.10; Porphyry in Eusebius Chronicorum I (ed. Schoene) 257, dated to Ol. 162.4 = 129/8. The whole campaign, involving a winter stayover in Babylonia, took place in this year, hence the final defeat occurred in the spring of 128. Ý
 Porphyry in Eusebius Chronicorum I (ed. Schoene) 257. Cleopatra Thea is not explicitly named as mother. Porphyry stresses they had the same name, and states that they died of disease, though in another phrase a few lines later only one is said to have died this way. A. Bouché-Leclercq, Histoire des Séleucides 599, suggested that the other was in fact the daughter of Demetrius II who married Phraates II of Parthia, a proposal which would certainly explain the dual names. Ý
 Porphyry in Eusebius Chronicorum I (ed. Schoene) 257. Cleopatra Thea is not explicitly named as mother. Porphyry says that he died of the same disease as his sisters. Ý
 Porphyry in Eusebius Chronicorum I (ed. Schoene) 257. Cleopatra Thea is not explicitly named as mother. Antiochus VII took him on his expedition against Parthia. He was captured by Phraates II and remained in captivity for a long time. A. Bouché-Leclercq, Histoire des Séleucides 599f., noting that Athenaeus 4.153a refers to a king Seleucus held in captivity for many years, proposes to identify him with this prince and with the later Seleucus V, son of Cleopatra Thea by Demetrius II. However, it is not obvious why Athenaeus' statement does not refer to Demetrius II himself, misnamed, since this "king" Seleucus, like Demetrius but unlike this prince, is also said to have fought the Parthians; and Demetrius was certainly held in captivity for a decade, while (if Bouché-Leclercq is correct) the prince Seleucus was in captivity for at most three years. Ý
 Appian, Syriaca 11.68; Josephus, Antiquities of the Jews 13.10.1. Porphyry in Eusebius Chronicorum I (ed. Schoene) 259 says that he was 50 years old when he died in Ol. 171.1 = 96/5, which would place his birth in 146/5. Since Cleopatra Thea was not married to his father for another 8 or 9 years, this is obvious impossible. A. Bouché-Leclercq, Histoire des Séleucides 604, suggests that the number 50 (n) is an error for 40 (m), making his birth in 136/5. Since Antiochus IX Cyzicenus was the youngest child of Antiochus VII, according to Porphyry in Eusebius Chronicorum I (ed. Schoene) 257, this emendation forces Bouché-Leclercq's reconstruction that Cleopatra Thea had only three children by Antiochus VII, not the five reported by Porphyry, who confused two of the children of Demetrius II by Cleopatra Thea (i.e. one of the Laodices and Seleucus) as children of his brother. While this argument is very attractive, and (like most scholars) I am inclined to accept it, the proposed emendation is only the simplest one possible. Ý
10 Feb 2002: Added individual trees
22 Feb 2002: Split into separate entry
11 Nov 2002: Corrected the date of the capture of Demetrius II based on Babylonian sources.
26 March 2002: Noted that Ptolemy VI could have had a second daughter of marriageable age in 154, with Xref.
18 May 2003: Added Xrefs to the Lacus Curtius edition of Polybius
23 Aug 2003: Added Xrefs to online Justin
23 Oct 2003: Added Xrefs to online Appian and (partial) online Porphyry
24 Feb 2004: Added Xref to online Appian that I missed
13 Sep 2004: Add Xref to online Eusebius
11 Mar 2005: Added Greek transcription
19 May 2006: Correct Grypus poison refs -- thanks to Petr Vesely
28 Nov 2010: Fixbroken Perseus links
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