Ptolemy III-XV


Ptolemy III–XV

(r. 246–30 BC) Macedonian kings of the Ptolemaic dynasty in Egypt. Ptolemy III Euergetes (“Benefactor”) (fl. 246–221) defeated the ruler of the Seleucid dynasty in the Third Syrian War (245–241). Ptolemy IV Philopator (“Father-loving”) (r. 221–205) allowed Egypt to decline under his debauched rule. Ptolemy IX Soter II ruled with his mother (116–110, 109–107), until she expelled him and installed his brother Ptolemy X Alexander (r. 107–88). Alexander's unpopularity resulted in his expulsion, and he died at sea in 88. Soter II assumed sole rule (88–81), installing his brother's widow, his own daughter, with him. Ptolemy XI Alexander II (r. 80) was the last fully legitimate Ptolemaic king of Egypt. On the orders of Sulla, whose hostage he had been, he took Ptolemy IX Soter II's widow as wife and attempted to rule with her. This being unacceptable to the queen, Ptolemy murdered her and took sole power, for which the people of Alexandria killed him; his rule lasted 19 days. Of the remaining Ptolemies, Ptolemy XIV Theos Philopator II shared power (47–44) with his sister Cleopatra; it was probably she who had him assassinated, to make way for her son by Julius Caesar. Ptolemy XV Caesar, or Caesarion, shared power with his mother from 44; he was killed by Octavian (later Augustus) after Cleopatra's suicide in 30. His death marked the Roman conquest of Egypt and the dynasty's end.

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