WITH THAïS (MISTRESS):
WITH BERENICE I:
* Ptolemy Philadelphus
Philip II of Macedon
C. 367 BC
283/2 BC (aged 84)
PTOLEMY I SOTER I (
Ancient Greek : Πτολεμαῖος Σωτήρ,
Ptolemaĩos Sōtḗr, i.e. "Ptolemy (pronounced /ˈtɒləmi/ ) the
Savior"), also known as PTOLEMY LAGIDES (c. 367 BC – 283/2 BC), was
a Macedonian Greek general under
Alexander the Great , one of
Diadochi who succeeded to his empire . Ptolemy became ruler
Egypt (323–283/2 BC) and founded a dynasty which ruled it for the
next three centuries, turning
Egypt into a Hellenistic kingdom and
Alexandria into a center of
Greek culture . He assimilated some
Egyptian culture , however, assuming the traditional title
pharaoh in 305/4 BC. The use of the title of pharaoh was often
situational: pharaoh was used for an Egyptian audience, and Basileus
for a Greek audience, as exemplified by Egyptian coinage.
Like all Macedonian nobles,
Ptolemy I Soter
Ptolemy I Soter claimed descent from
Heracles , the mythical founder of the
Argead dynasty that ruled
Macedon. Ptolemy's mother was
Arsinoe of Macedon , and, while his
father is unknown, ancient sources variously describe him either as
the son of
Lagus , a Macedonian nobleman, or as an illegitimate son of
Philip II of Macedon (which, if true, would have made Ptolemy the
half-brother of Alexander), but it is possible that this is a later
myth fabricated to glorify the Ptolemaic dynasty. Ptolemy was one of
Alexander's most trusted generals, and was among the seven
somatophylakes (bodyguards) attached to his person. He was a few years
older than Alexander and had been his intimate friend since childhood.
He was succeeded by his son
Ptolemy II Philadelphus
Ptolemy II Philadelphus .
* 1 Early career
* 2 Successor of Alexander
* 3 Rivalry and wars
* 4 Successor
* 5 Lost history of Alexander\'s campaigns
* 7 Fictional portrayals
* 8 Gallery
* 9 See also
* 10 References
* 11 Bibliography
* 12 External links
Ptolemy served with Alexander from his first campaigns, and played a
principal part in the later campaigns in
India . He
participated in the
Battle of Issus
Battle of Issus commanding troops on the left wing
under the authority of Parmenion, later he accompanied Alexander
during his journey to the
Oracle in the
Siwa Oasis where he was
proclaimed a son of
Zeus . Ptolemy had his first independent command
during the campaign against the rebel
Bessus whom Ptolemy captured and
handed over to Alexander for execution. During Alexander's campaign
Indian subcontinent Ptolemy was in command of the advance guard
at the siege of
Aornos and fought at the Battle of the Hydaspes River
SUCCESSOR OF ALEXANDER
Tetradrachm with portrait of Ptolemy I,
British Museum , London.
When Alexander died in 323 BC, Ptolemy is said to have instigated the
resettlement of the empire made at
Babylon . Through the Partition of
Babylon , he was appointed satrap of
Egypt , under the nominal kings
Philip III Arrhidaeus and the infant Alexander IV ; the former satrap,
the Greek Cleomenes , stayed on as his deputy. Ptolemy quickly moved,
without authorization, to subjugate
By custom, kings in Macedonia asserted their right to the throne by
burying their predecessor. Probably because he wanted to pre-empt
Perdiccas , the imperial regent, from staking his claim in this way,
Ptolemy took great pains in acquiring the body of Alexander the Great,
placing it temporarily in Memphis,
Egypt . Ptolemy then openly joined
the coalition against Perdiccas.
Perdiccas appears to have suspected Ptolemy of aiming for the throne
himself, and may have decided that Ptolemy was his most dangerous
rival. Ptolemy executed Cleomenes for spying on behalf of Perdiccas
— this removed the chief check on his authority, and allowed Ptolemy
to obtain the huge sum that Cleomenes had accumulated.
RIVALRY AND WARS
Ptolemy I Soter
Ptolemy I Soter Other diadochi Kingdom of
Cassander Kingdom of
Lysimachus Kingdom of
Seleucus I Nicator
Seleucus I Nicator
In 321 BC,
Perdiccas attempted to invade
Egypt only to fall at the
hands of his own men. Ptolemy's decision to defend the
Perdiccas's attempt to force it ended in fiasco for Perdiccas, with
the loss of 2000 men. This failure was a fatal blow to Perdiccas'
reputation, and he was murdered in his tent by two of his
subordinates. Ptolemy immediately crossed the Nile, to provide
supplies to what had the day before been an enemy army. Ptolemy was
offered the regency in place of Perdiccas; but he declined. Ptolemy
was consistent in his policy of securing a power base, while never
succumbing to the temptation of risking all to succeed Alexander.
In the long wars that followed between the different
Ptolemy's first goal was to hold
Egypt securely, and his second was to
secure control in the outlying areas:
Cyprus , as well
Syria , including the province of
Judea . His first occupation of
Syria was in 318, and he established at the same time a protectorate
over the petty kings of Cyprus. When Antigonus One-Eye , master of
Asia in 315, showed dangerous ambitions, Ptolemy joined the coalition
against him, and on the outbreak of war, evacuated Syria. In Cyprus,
he fought the partisans of Antigonus, and re-conquered the island
(313). A revolt in Cyrene was crushed the same year.
In 312, Ptolemy and Seleucus , the fugitive satrap of Babylonia, both
invaded Syria, and defeated Demetrius Poliorcetes ("besieger of
cities"), the son of Antigonus, in the
Battle of Gaza . Again he
occupied Syria, and again—after only a few months, when Demetrius
had won a battle over his general, and Antigonus entered
force—he evacuated it. In 311, a peace was concluded between the
combatants. Soon after this, the surviving 13-year-old king, Alexander
IV, was murdered in Macedonia on the orders of Cassander, leaving the
Egypt absolutely his own master.
The peace did not last long, and in 309 Ptolemy personally commanded
a fleet that detached the coastal towns of
Antigonus, then crossed into Greece, where he took possession of
Megara (308 BC). In 306, a great fleet under
Demetrius attacked Cyprus, and Ptolemy's brother Menelaus was defeated
and captured in another decisive Battle of Salamis . Ptolemy's
complete loss of
Cyprus followed. Ptolemy as
Pharaoh of Egypt,
The satraps Antigonus and Demetrius now each assumed the title of
king; Ptolemy, as well as
Lysimachus and Seleucus I
Nicator , responded by doing the same. In the winter of 306 BC,
Antigonus tried to follow up his victory in
Cyprus by invading Egypt;
but Ptolemy was strongest there, and successfully held the frontier
against him. Ptolemy led no further overseas expeditions against
Antigonus. However, he did send great assistance to
Rhodes when it was
besieged by Demetrius (305/304). Pausanias reports that the grateful
Rhodians bestowed the name Soter ("saviour") upon him as a result of
lifting the siege. This account is generally accepted by modern
scholars , although the earliest datable mention of it is from coins
issued by Ptolemy II in 263 BC.
When the coalition against Antigonus was renewed in 302, Ptolemy
joined it, and invaded
Syria a third time, while Antigonus was engaged
Asia Minor . On hearing a report that Antigonus had
won a decisive victory there, he once again evacuated Syria. But when
the news came that Antigonus had been defeated and slain by Lysimachus
and Seleucus at the
Battle of Ipsus
Battle of Ipsus in 301, he occupied
Syria a fourth
time. The taking of Jerusalem by Ptolemy Soter ca. 320 BC, by
Jean Fouquet .
The other members of the coalition had assigned all
Seleucus, after what they regarded as Ptolemy's desertion, and for the
next hundred years, the question of the ownership of southern Syria
(i.e., Judea) produced recurring warfare between the Seleucid and
Ptolemaic dynasties. Henceforth, Ptolemy seems to have mingled as
little as possible in the rivalries between
Asia Minor and
Greece ; he
lost what he held in Greece, but reconquered
Cyprus in 295/294. Cyrene
, after a series of rebellions, was finally subjugated about 300 and
placed under his stepson Magas .
Ptolemy I and his third wife Berenice I .
In 289, Ptolemy made his son by Berenice —Ptolemy II Philadelphus
—his co-regent. His eldest (legitimate) son,
Ptolemy Keraunos ,
whose mother, Eurydice , the daughter of
Antipater , had been
repudiated, fled to the court of Lysimachus. Ptolemy also had a
Thaïs , the Athenian hetaera and one of Alexander's
companions in his conquest of the ancient world.
Ptolemy I Soter
Ptolemy I Soter died
in winter 283 or spring 282 at the age of 84. Shrewd and cautious, he
had a compact and well-ordered realm to show at the end of forty years
of war. His reputation for bonhomie and liberality attached the
floating soldier-class of Macedonians and other Greeks to his service,
and was not insignificant; nor did he wholly neglect conciliation of
the natives. He was a ready patron of letters, founding the Great
LOST HISTORY OF ALEXANDER\'S CAMPAIGNS
Ptolemy himself wrote an eye-witness history of Alexander's campaigns
(now lost). In the second century AD, Ptolemy's history was used by
Arrian of Nicomedia as one of his two main primary sources (alongside
the history of
Aristobulus of Cassandreia ) for his own extant
Anabasis of Alexander, and hence large parts of Ptolemy's history can
be assumed to survive in paraphrase or précis in Arrian's work.
Arrian cites Ptolemy by name on only a few occasions, but it is likely
enough that large stretches of Arrian's Anabasis ultimately reflect
Ptolemy's version of events.
Arrian once names Ptolemy as the author
"whom I chiefly follow" (Anabasis 6.2.4), and in his Preface claims
that Ptolemy seemed to him to be a particularly trustworthy source,
"not only because he was present with Alexander on campaign, but also
because he was himself a king, and hence lying would be more
dishonourable for him than for anyone else" (Anabasis, Prologue).
Ptolemy's lost history was long considered an objective work,
distinguished by its straightforward honesty and sobriety, but more
recent work has called this assessment into question. R. M. Errington
argued that Ptolemy's history was characterised by persistent bias and
self-aggrandisement, and by systematic blackening of the reputation of
Perdiccas , one of Ptolemy's chief dynastic rivals after Alexander's
death. For example, Arrian's account of the fall of Thebes in 335 BC
(Anabasis 1.8.1-1.8.8, a rare section of narrative explicitly
attributed to Ptolemy by Arrian) shows several significant variations
from the parallel account preserved in
Diodorus Siculus (17.11-12),
most notably in attributing a distinctly unheroic role in proceedings
to Perdiccas. More recently, J. Roisman has argued that the case for
Ptolemy's blackening of
Perdiccas and others has been much
Ptolemy personally sponsored the great mathematician
Euclid , but
found Euclid's seminal work, the Elements , too difficult to study, so
he asked if there were an easier way to master it. According to
Euclid famously quipped: "Sire, there is no
Royal Road to
* Ptolemy was played by Virgilio Teixeira in the film Alexander the
Great (1956) and by Robert Earley,
Elliot Cowan , and Anthony Hopkins
Oliver Stone film Alexander (2004).
A rare coin of Ptolemy I, a reminder of his successful campaigns with
Alexander in India. OBV: Ptolemy in profile at the beginning of his
reign.REV: Alexander triumphantly riding a chariot drawn by elephants.
Ptolemy coin with Alexander wearing an elephant scalp, symbol of his
conquest of India.
Ptolemy I gold stater with elephant quadriga ,
Media related to Ptolemy I at Wikimedia Commons
* History of
Serapis Greco-Egyptian political appeasement god for the Greek and
Egyptian masses, ordered into existence by Ptolemy I
* ^ The decree of Ptolemy Lagides
* ^ Jones, Prudence J. (2006). Cleopatra: A Sourcebook. University
of Oklahoma Press. p. 14. They were members of the Ptolemaic dynasty
of Macedonian Greeks, who ruled
Egypt after the death of its
conqueror, Alexander the Great.
* ^ Pomeroy, Sarah B. (1990). Women in Hellenistic Egypt. Wayne
State University Press. p. 16. while
Ptolemaic Egypt was a monarchy
with a Greek ruling class.
* ^ Redford, Donald B., ed. (2000). The Oxford Encyclopedia of
Ancient Egypt. Oxford University Press.
Cleopatra VII was born to
Ptolemy XII Auletes (80–57 BCE, ruled 55–51 BCE) and Cleopatra,
both parents being Macedonian Greeks.
* ^ Bard, Kathryn A., ed. (1999). Encyclopedia of the Archaeology
of Ancient Egypt. Routledge. p. 488. Ptolemaic kings were still
crowned at Memphis and the city was popularly regarded as the Egyptian
rival to Alexandria, founded by the Macedonian Greeks.
* ^ Bard, Kathryn A., ed. (1999). Encyclopedia of the Archaeology
of Ancient Egypt. Routledge. p. 687. During the Ptolemaic period, when
Egypt was governed by rulers of Greek descent...
* ^ Grimal 1992 , p. 382
Arrian 1976 , III, 30
* ^ A B Peter Green, Alexander to Actium, 1990, pp 13-14
* ^ Anson, Edward M (Summer 1986). "Diodorus and the Date of
Triparadeisus". The American Journal of Philology (The Johns Hopkins
University Press) 107 (2): 208–217. doi :10.2307/294603 . JSTOR
* ^ Peter Green p14
* ^ Peter Green pp 119
* ^ "Ptolemy I". www.tyndalehouse.com. Retrieved 2016-04-01.
* ^ Phillips, Heather A., "The Great Library of Alexandria?".
Library Philosophy and Practice, August 2010
* ^ Jacoby, Felix (1926). Die Fragmente der griechischen
Historiker, Teil 2, Zeitgeschichte. - B. Spezialgeschichten,
Autobiographien und Memoiren, Zeittafeln . Berlin: Weidmann. pp.
752–769, no. 138, "Ptolemaios Lagu".
* ^ Bosworth, A. B. (1988). From
Arrian to Alexander: Studies in
Historical Interpretation. Oxford: Oxford University Press. pp.
13–14. ISBN 0198148631 .
* ^ Errington, R. M. (1969-01-01). "Bias in Ptolemy's History of
Alexander". The Classical Quarterly. 19 (2): 233–242.
JSTOR 637545 .
* ^ Roisman, Joseph (1984-01-01). "Ptolemy and His Rivals in His
History of Alexander". The Classical Quarterly. 34 (2): 373–385.
JSTOR 638295 .
* ^ Robinson, Victor (2005). The Story of Medicine. Kessinger
Publishing. p. 80. ISBN 978-1-4191-5431-7 .
* This article incorporates text from a publication now in the
public domain : Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "article name needed".
Encyclopædia Britannica (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press.
* Walter M. Ellis: Ptolemy of Egypt,
* Christian A. Caroli: Ptolemaios I. Soter - Herrscher zweier
Kulturen, Konstanz 2007.
* Waterfield, Robin (2011). Dividing the Spoils - The War for
Alexander the Great’s Empire (hardback). New York: Oxford University
Press. pp. 273 pages. ISBN 978-0-19-957392-9 .
* Ptolemy Soter I at LacusCurtius —