Bronze Bust of Ptolemy II Philadelphus


  • Carol C. Mattusch and Henry Lie. "Bronze Statues and Heads." The Villa dei Papiri at Herculaneum : life and afterlife of a sculpture collection, edited by Carol C. Los Angeles, Getty Publications, 2005, 264-266.

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The very first translation of the Hebrew Bible was made into Greek, probably as early as the third century BC. This, the so-called Septuagint translation of the Hebrew Bible into Greek, is traditionally dated to the reign of Ptolemy II Philadelphus of Egypt (285-246 BC).

The Origins of the Septuagint

The very first translation of the Hebrew Bible was made into Greek, probably as early as the third century BC. This, the so-called Septuagint translation of the Hebrew Bible into Greek, is traditionally dated to the reign of Ptolemy II Philadelphus of Egypt (285-246 BC).

It is commonly called the 'Septuagint' version (from the Latin for 'seventy') because according to the traditional account of its origin, preserved in the so-called Letter of Aristeas, it had seventy-two translators. This letter tells how King Ptolemy II commissioned the royal librarian, Demetrius of Phaleron, to collect by purchase or by copying all the books in the world. He wrote a letter to Eleazar, the high priest at Jerusalem, requesting six elders of each tribe, in total seventy-two men, of exemplary life and learned in the Torah, to translate it into Greek.

On arrival at Alexandria, the translators were greeted by the king and given a sumptuous banquet. They were then closeted in a secluded house on the island of Pharos close to the seashore, where the celebrated 110 m. high lighthouse, one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, had just been finished.

According to the Letter of Aristeas, the translation, made under the direction of Demetrius, was completed in seventy-two days. When the Alexandrian Jewish community assembled to hear a reading of the new version, the translators and Demetrius received lavish praise, and a curse was pronounced on anyone who should alter the text by addition, transposition or omission. The work was then read to the king who, according to the Letter of Aristeas, marveled at the mind of the lawgiver. The translators were then sent back to Jerusalem, endowed with gifts for themselves and the high priest Eleazar.

Later generations embellished the story. Philo of Alexandria, writing in the first century AD, says that each of the seventy-two translators were shut in a separate cell, and miraculously all the texts were said to agree exactly with one another, thus proving that their version was directly inspired by God.

Origins in Retrospect

It is difficult to know how much credence to give to these accounts. There are several known historical inaccuracies in the Letter of Aristeas. It is known that on the assumption of his throne, Ptolemy II banished Demetrius of Phaleron. One of those credited as being present at the banquet, a certain Menodemus of Eritria, is known to have died two years before Ptolemy II succeeded to the throne. But even if the stories relating to the origin of the Septuagint are not true, at least not in all the details, it seems likely that Ptolemy II at least instigated a translation of the Torah, the first five books of the Hebrew Bible.

The Significance of the Septuagint

The significance of the Septuagint translation can hardly be overestimated. Following the conquests of Alexander the Great (336-323 BC), Greek became the official language of Egypt, Syria and the eastern end of the Mediterranean Sea. The Septuagint translation made the Hebrew scriptures available both to the Jews who no longer spoke their ancestral language and to the entire Greek-speaking world. The Septuagint was later to become the Bible of the Greek-speaking early Church, and is frequently quoted in the New Testament.

Hints of the Egyptian Origin of the Septuagint

Does the Septuagint translation itself give any hints of its supposed Egyptian origins? In Leviticus 11 and Deuteronomy 14 are given a list of unclean animals and birds, that is, creatures that the Israelites were prohibited from eating. The precise identification of many of the birds in the list of unclean birds remains uncertain. The list is an ornithologist's delight but a translator's nightmare. The detailed identification of the birds need not concern us here. Even the accuracy of the Septuagint's translation here need not concern us either.

In Lev.11:22 we encounter a bird called yanshuph. The Septuagint translates this ibis, a bird that the Egyptians knew as hbj. The Septuagint's translation 'ibis' is followed by the Revised Standard Version. Yanshuph, however, is rendered as a kind of owl by the majority of English versions.

The Hebrew bird qa'a of Lev. 11:18 is rendered 'pelican' by some English versions. Here they are following the Septuagint's pelekan. However, a number of English translations do not follow the Septuagint, and opt for another type of owl.

Earlier in the chapter is a list of unclean animals. Arnebet is clearly the 'rabbit' or 'hare.' Yet in both versions of the list it is not translated by lagos, the normal Greek word for 'rabbit' or 'hare.' Lev. 11:6 has the word choirogryllion meaning a 'young pig,' and Dt. 14:7 has a euphemism, dasypous, 'rough foot.' Another Greek translation, that of Aquila, uses lagos. The reason for avoiding lagos appears to be that Ptolemy II's grandfather was nicknamed 'Lagos,' apparently because of his large ears!

A more famous and ultimately more significant example concerns the term 'Red Sea.' In Hebrew it is yam suph meaning 'reed sea,' a term which was used most famously to describe the body of water that the Israelites crossed as they escaped from Egypt. This body of water is often thought to be the lakes or salt water marshes at the northern end of the Gulf of Aqaba. The Septuagint, however, renders it Erythra thalassa meaning 'Red Sea,' and it is this translation that is used by the New Testament in Acts 7:36 and Hebrews 11:39. All English versions apart from the Jerusalem Bible stick with this tradition.

But where did the term 'Red Sea' come from? It may be significant that the Hebrew term Edom means 'red,' and the Edomites occupied the area south of Israel towards the Gulf of Aqaba. This sea may have been popularly known as the Edomite or Red Sea. Another explanation is that it was named 'red' from the predominant color of the Edomite and Arabian mountains which border the Gulf of Aqaba.

Distinctive Features of the Septuagint Translation

A number of the special distinctive features of the Septuagint should be pointed out. In Proverbs 6:8b, after the Hebrew proverb of the ant, the Septuagint adds a Greek proverb of the bee. 'Or go to the bee and learn how diligent she is, and how earnestly she is engaged in her work whose labors kings and private men use for health, and she is desired and respected by all, though weak in body she is advanced by honoring wisdom.'

The original Septuagint translation of Daniel was thought to be too much of a paraphrase. It was replaced by another translation whose origins would seem to lie in Asia Minor, that ascribed to Theodotion at the end of the second century AD. Indeed, only one manuscript of the Septuagint of Daniel has survived - a tenth-century manuscript from the Chigi collection in the Vatican.

In the long passage in Daniel 11 about the kings of the north and the kings of the south, the original Septuagint of Daniel consistently translates the term 'king of the south' by 'king of Egypt.' The version of Theodotion, which largely superseded it, has 'king of the south' throughout.

More significantly, the four letters YHWH that form the personal name of God in the Hebrew Text are rendered ho Kyrios throughout the Septuagint. This is the usage, traditionally rendered 'the LORD' in English versions, which is adopted by writers of the New Testament and is still by far the most common nomenclature for the divine name.

There are numerous examples where the writers of the New Testament follow the Septuagint translation rather than the Hebrew text. Four examples will suffice:

1) For Genesis 47:31, where the Hebrew text says 'Israel worshipped as he leaned on top of his bed,' it is rendered 'on top of his staff' in the Septuagint and Hebrews 11:21.
2) Where the Hebrew text of Ps.8:5 has 'You made him a little lower than God and crowned him with glory and honor,' the Septuagint and Hebrews 2:7 have
'You made him a little lower than the angels and crowned him with glory and honor.'
3) In Ps.16:10, where the Hebrew text has 'Because you will not abandon me to Sheol, nor let your Holy One see the pit,' the Septuagint and Acts 2:27 have
'Because you will not abandon me to Hades, nor will you let your Holy One see decay.'
4) 'Sacrifice and offering you did not desire, but my ears you have pierced' in Ps. 40:6 becomes 'Sacrifice and offering you did not desire, but a body you have prepared for me' in the Septuagint and Hebrews 10:5. Here the Septuagint translators are explaining the metaphor, not just in terms of the ear, but in terms of the whole body of the LORD's servant listening and obeying the LORD's command.

Limitations of the Septuagint

The Orthodox Church argues that the Septuagint is more accurate than the Hebrew Bible and should be used in Bible translation. However, it is good to be aware of some of the Septuagint's limitations.

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Ptolemy II Philadelphus transformed his bronze coinage in the mid- to late-260s BC by introducing. more Ptolemy II Philadelphus transformed his bronze coinage in the mid- to late-260s BC by introducing new designs, very large sizes and weights, new denominations and new manufacturing technology . These changes took place in parallel at Alexandria and at least three of Egypt's provincial mints on the Phoenician coast. The coinage changes and their geographical span define the Bronze Coinage Reform of Ptolemy II (the Reform), long known to scholars of Ptolemaic coinage .

The Reform is especially interesting because it apparently was isolated to bronze, independent of the precious metal coinage. The Reform has long been a topic of interest to students of Ptolemaic coinage but its full scope and rationale have only been partly understood. Metrological analyses and new insight into their geographic multiplicity may help us better understand the substantial changes to Philadelphus's bronze coinage.

The Bronze Coinage Reform of Ptolemy II Philadelphus - XV INC 2015 by D. Wolf The bronze coinage. more The Bronze Coinage Reform of Ptolemy II Philadelphus - XV INC 2015
by D. Wolf

The bronze coinage reform of Ptolemy II describes a group of monetary changes ca. 265BC, about mid-way through his reign. Students of Ptolemaic coinage have long recognized many of these apparently coincident changes to: quantity and span of denominations, manufacturing technology, design elements, mint locations, and the relationship between weights and values.

It is accepted that a transformative bronze coinage reform took place, but much about it remains enigmatic including its manifold specific changes, precise timing, and, in light of its isolation with respect to precious metal coinage, its very purpose.

This study intends to improve understanding of the bronze coinage reform's structure and function. The method is to synthesize physical and quantitative data with information about the empire's contemporary economic, military and political processes. This study benefits from new data on metrology, production technology, and value structures of Ptolemaic and other Hellenistic bronze coins, recently discovered coin types and mint locations, and a novel interpretation of the new weight standard. This study's wide analytical scope yields a fresh view of the reform's structure, timing and raison d'etre.

Ptolemy II Philadelphus

Ptolemy II Philadelphus (Greek: Πτολεμαῖος Φιλάδελφος , Ptolemaios Philadelphos "Ptolemy, friend of his siblings" 309/8 – 28 January 246 BC) was the pharaoh of Ptolemaic Egypt from 283 to 246 BC. He was the son of Ptolemy I Soter, the Macedonian Greek general of Alexander the Great who founded the Ptolemaic Kingdom after the death of Alexander, and queen Berenice I, originally from Macedon in northern Greece.

During Ptolemy II's reign, the material and literary splendour of the Alexandrian court was at its height. He promoted the Museum and Library of Alexandria. In addition to Egypt, Ptolemy's empire encompassed much of the Aegean and Levant. He pursued an aggressive and expansionist foreign policy with mixed success. From 275-271 BC, he led the Ptolemaic Kingdom against the rival Seleucid Empire in the First Syrian War and extended Ptolemaic power into Cilicia and Caria, but lost control of Cyrenaica after the defection of his half-brother Magas. In the Chremonidean War (c. 267-261 BC), Ptolemy confronted Antigonid Macedonia for control of the Aegean and suffered serious setbacks. This was followed by a Second Syrian War (260-253 BC) against the Seleucid empire, in which many of the gains from the first war were lost.

Early life

Ptolemy II was the son of Ptolemy I Soter and his third wife Berenice I. He was born on the island of Kos in 309/308 BC, during his father's invasion of the Aegean in the Fourth Diadoch War. He had two full sisters, Arsinoe II and Philotera. [2] [3] Ptolemy was educated by a number of the most distinguished intellectuals of the age, including Philitas of Cos and Strato of Lampsacus. [4] [5]

Ptolemy II had numerous half-siblings. [6] Two of his father's sons by his previous marriage to Eurydice, Ptolemy Keraunos and Meleager, became kings of Macedonia. [7] The children of his mother Berenice's first marriage to Philip included Magas of Cyrene and Antigone, the wife of Pyrrhus of Epirus. [3]

At Ptolemy II's birth, his older half-brother Ptolemy Keraunos was the heir presumptive. As Ptolemy II grew older a struggle for the succession developed between them, which culminated in Ptolemy Keraunos' departure from Egypt around 287 BC. On 28 March 284 BC, Ptolemy I had Ptolemy II declared king, formally elevating him to the status of co-regent. [8] [9] In contemporary documents, Ptolemy is usually referred to as 'King Ptolemy son of Ptolemy' to distinguish him from his father. The co-regency between Ptolemy II and his father continued until the latter's death in April–June 282 BC. One ancient account claims that Ptolemy II murdered his father, but other sources say that he died of old age, which is more likely given that he was in his mid-eighties. [10] [9] [notes 1]


Arsinoe I and Arsinoe II

The fall-out from the succession conflict between Ptolemy II and Ptolemy Keraunos continued even after Ptolemy II's accession. The conflict was probably the reason why Ptolemy executed two of his brothers, probably full brothers of Keraunos, in 281 BC. [11] [12] [13] Keraunos himself had gone to the court of Lysimachus, who ruled Thrace and western Asia Minor following his expulsion from Egypt. Lysimachus’ court was divided on the question of supporting Keraunos. On the one hand, Lysimachus himself had been married to Ptolemy II's full sister, Arsinoe II, since 300 BC. On the other hand, Lysimachus' heir, Agathocles, was married to Keraunos' full sister Lysandra. Lysimachus chose to support Ptolemy II and sealed that decision at some point between 284 and 281 BC by marrying his daughter Arsinoe I to Ptolemy II. [14]

Continued conflict over the issue within his kingdom led to the execution of Agathocles and the collapse of Lysimachus' kingdom in 281 BC. Around 279 BC, Arsinoe II returned to Egypt, where she clashed with her sister-in-law Arsinoe I. Some time after 275 BC, Arsinoe I was charged with conspiracy and exiled to Coptos. Probably in 273/2 BC, Ptolemy married his older sister, Arsinoe II. As a result, both were given the epithet "Philadelphoi" (Koinē Greek: Φιλάδελφοι "Sibling-lovers"). While sibling-marriage conformed to the traditional practice of the Egyptian pharaohs, it was shocking to the Greeks who considered it incestuous. A poet, Sotades, who mocked the marriage was exiled and assassinated. [15] The marriage may not have been consummated, since it produced no children. [16] Another poet Theocritus defended the marriage by comparing it to the marriage of the gods Zeus and his older sister Hera. [17] The marriage provided a model which was followed by most subsequent Ptolemaic monarchs. [13]

The three children of Arsinoe I, who included the future Ptolemy III, seem to have been removed from the succession after their mother's fall. [18] Ptolemy II seems to have adopted Arsinoe II's son by Lysimachus, also named Ptolemy, as his heir, eventually promoting him to co-regent in 267 BC, the year after Arsinoe II's death. He retained that position until his rebellion in 259 BC. [19] [notes 2] Around the time of the rebellion, Ptolemy II legitimised the children of Arsinoe I by having them posthumously adopted by Arsinoe II. [18]

Conflict with Seleucids and Cyrene (281-275 BC)

Ptolemy I had originally supported the establishment of his friend Seleucus I as ruler of Mesopotamia, but relations had cooled after the Battle of Ipsos in 301 BC, when both kings claimed Syria. At that time, Ptolemy I had occupied the southern portion of the region, Coele Syria, up to the Eleutherus river, while Seleucus established control over the territory north of that point. As long as the two kings lived, this dispute did not lead to war, but with the death of Ptolemy I in 282 and of Seleucus I in 281 BC that changed.

The son of Seleucus, Antiochus I, spent several years fighting to re-establish control over his father's empire. Ptolemy II took advantage of this to expand his realm at Seleucid expense. The acquisitions of the Ptolemaic kingdom at this time can be traced in epigraphic sources and seem to include Samos, Miletus, Caria, Lycia, Pamphylia, and perhaps Cilicia. Antiochus I acquiesced to these losses in 279 BC, but began to build up his forces for a rematch. [20]

Antiochus did this by pursuing ties with Ptolemy II's maternal half-brother, Magas who had been governor of Cyrenaica since around 300 BC had declared himself king of Cyrene sometime after Ptolemy I's death. Around 275 BC Antiochus entered into an alliance with Magas by marrying his daughter Apama to him. [21] Shortly thereafter, Magas invaded Egypt, marching on Alexandria, but he was forced to turn back when the Libyan nomads launched an attack on Cyrene. At this same moment, Ptolemy's own forces were hamstrung. He had hired 4,000 Gallic mercenaries, but soon after their arrival the Gauls mutinied and so Ptolemy marooned them on a deserted island in the Nile where “they perished at one another’s hands or by famine.” [22] This victory was celebrated on a grand scale. Several of Ptolemy's contemporary kings had fought serious wars against Gallic invasions in Greece and Asia Minor, and Ptolemy presented his own victory as equivalent to theirs. [23] [24] [25]

Invasion of Nubia (c. 275 BC)

Ptolemy clashed with the kingdom of Nubia, located to the south of Egypt, over the territory known as the Triakontaschoinos ('thirty-mile land'). This was the stretch of the Nile river between the First Cataract at Syene and the Second Cataract at Wadi Halfa (the whole area is now submerged under Lake Nasser). The region may have been used by the Nubians as a base for raids on southern Egypt. [26] Around 275 BC, Ptolemaic forces invaded Nubia and annexed the northern twelve miles of this territory, subsequently known as the Dodekaschoinos ('twelve-mile land'). [27] The conquest was publicly celebrated in the panegyric court poetry of Theocritus and by the erection of a long list of Nubian districts at the Temple of Isis at Philae, near Syene. [28] [29] The conquered territory included the rich gold mines at Wadi Allaqi, where Ptolemy founded a city called Berenice Panchrysus and instituted a large-scale mining programme. [30] The region's gold production was a key contributor to the prosperity and power of the Ptolemaic empire in the third century BC. [29]

First Syrian war (274-271 BC)

Probably in response to the alliance with Magas, Ptolemy declared war on Antiochus I in 274 BC by invading Seleucid Syria. After some initial success, Ptolemy's forces were defeated in battle by Antiochus and forced to retreat back to Egypt. Invasion was imminent and Ptolemy and Arsinoe spent the winter of 274/3 BC reinforcing the defences in the eastern Nile Delta. However, the expected Seleucid invasion never took place. The Seleucid forces were afflicted by economic problems and an outbreak of plague. In 271 BC, Antiochus abandoned the war and agreed to peace, with a return to the status quo ante bellum. This was celebrated in Egypt as a great victory, both in Greek poetry, such as Theocritus' Idyll 17 and by the Egyptian priesthood in the Pithom stele . [31]

Colonisation of the Red Sea

Ptolemy revived earlier Egyptian programmes to access the Red Sea. A canal from the Nile near Bubastis to the Gulf of Suez - via Pithom, Lake Timsah and the Bitter Lakes - had been dug by Darius I in the sixth century BC. However, by Ptolemy's time it had silted up. He had it cleared and restored to operation in 270/269 BC - an act which is commemorated in the Pithom Stele. The city of Arsinoe was established at the mouth of the canal on the Gulf of Suez. From there, two exploratory missions were sent down the east and west coasts of the Red Sea all the way down to the Bab-el-Mandeb. The leaders of these missions established a chain of 270 harbour bases along the coasts, some of which grew to be important commercial centres. [32]

Along the Egyptian coast, Philotera, Myos Hormos, and Berenice Troglodytica would become important termini of caravan routes running through the Egyptian desert and key ports for the Indian Ocean trade which began to develop over the next three centuries. Even further south was Ptolemais Theron (possibly located near the modern Port Sudan), which was used as a base for capturing elephants. The adults were killed for their ivory, the children were captured in order to be trained as war elephants. [33] [34]

On the east coast of the sea, the key settlements were Berenice (modern Aqaba/Eilat) [35] and Ampelone (near modern Jeddah). These settlements allowed the Ptolemies access to the western end of the caravan routes of the incense trade, run by the Nabataeans, who became close allies of the Ptolemaic empire. [32]

Chremonidean war (267-261 BC)

Throughout the early period of Ptolemy II's reign, Egypt was the preeminent naval power in the eastern Mediterranean. The Ptolemaic sphere of power extended over the Cyclades to Samothrace in the northern Aegean. Ptolemaic naval forces even entered the Black Sea, waging a campaign in support of the free city of Byzantion. [36] Ptolemy was able to pursue this interventionist policy without any challenge because a long-running civil war in Macedon had left a power vacuum in the northern Aegean. This vacuum was threatened after Antigonus II Gonatas firmly established himself as king of Macedon in 272 BC. As Antigonus expanded his power through mainland Greece, Ptolemy II and Arsinoe II positioned themselves as defenders of 'Greek freedom' from Macedonian aggression. Ptolemy forged alliances with the two most powerful Greek cities, Athens and Sparta. [37]

The Athenian politician Chremonides forged a further alliance with Sparta in 269 BC. [38] In late 268 BC, Chremonides declared war on Antigonus II. The Ptolemaic admiral Patroclus sailed into the Aegean in 267 BC and established a base on the island of Keos. From there, he sailed to Attica in 266 BC. The plan seems to have been for him to rendezvous with the Spartan army and then use their combined forces to isolate and expel the Antigonid garrisons at Sounion and Piraeus which held the Athenians in check. However, the Spartan army was unable to break through to Attica and the plan failed. [39] [40] In 265/4 BC, Areus once again tried to cross the Isthmus of Corinth and aid the beleaguered Athenians, but Antigonus II concentrated his forces against him and defeated the Spartans, with Areus himself among the dead. [41] After a prolonged siege, the Athenians were forced to surrender to Antigonus in early 261 BC. Chremonides and his brother Glaucon, who were responsible for the Athenian participation in the war, fled to Alexandria, where Ptolemy welcomed them into his court. [42]

Despite the presence of Patroclus and his fleet, it appears that Ptolemy II hesitated to fully commit himself to the conflict in mainland Greece. The reasons for this reluctance are unclear, but it appears that, especially in the last years of the war, Ptolemaic involvement was limited to financial support for the Greek city-states and naval assistance. [43] [44] Gunther Hölb argues that the Ptolemaic focus was on the eastern Aegean, where naval forces under the command of the co-regent Ptolemy the Son , took control of Ephesus and perhaps Lesbos in 262 BC. [37] The end of Ptolemaic involvement may be related to the Battle of Kos, whose chronology is much disputed by modern scholars. Almost nothing is known about the events of the battle, except that Antigonus II Gonatas, although outnumbered, led his fleet to defeat Ptolemy's unnamed commanders. Some scholars, such as Hans Hauben, argue that Kos belongs to the Chremonidean War and was fought around 262/1 BC, with Patroclus in command of the Ptolemaic fleet. Others, however, place the battle around 255 BC, at the time of the Second Syrian War. [45] [46] [47]

The Chremonidean War and the Battle of Kos marked the end of absolute Ptolemaic thalassocracy in the Aegean. [46] The League of the Islanders, which had been controlled by the Ptolemies and used by them to manage the Cycladic islands seems to have dissolved in the aftermath of the war. However, the conflict did not mean the complete end of the Ptolemaic presence in the Aegean. On the contrary, the naval bases established during the war at Keos and Methana endured until the end of the third century BC, while those at Thera, and Itanos in Crete remained bulwarks of Ptolemaic sea power until 145 BC. [48]

Second Syrian war (260-253 BC)

Around 260 BC, war broke out once more between Ptolemy II and the Seleucid realm, now ruled by Antiochus II Theos. The cause of this war seems to have been the two kings' competing claims to the cities of western Asia Minor, particularly Miletus and Ephesus. Its outbreak seems to be connected to the revolt of the co-regent Ptolemy 'the son' who had been leading the Ptolemaic naval forces against Antigonus II. Ptolemy "the son" and an associate took control of the Ptolemaic territories in western Asia Minor and the Aegean. Antiochus II took advantage of this upset to declare war on Ptolemy II and he was joined by the Rhodians. [49]

The course of this war is very unclear, with the chronological and causal relationship of events attested at different times and in different theatres being open to debate. [50]

  • Between 259 and 255 BC, the Ptolemaic navy, commanded by Chremonides, was defeated in a sea battle at Ephesus. Antiochus II then took control of the Ptolemaic cities in Ionia: Ephesus, Miletus, and Samos. Epigraphic evidence shows that this was complete by 254/3 BC. [50]
  • Ptolemy II himself invaded Syria in 257 BC. We do not know what the outcome of this invasion was. At the end of the war, Ptolemy had lost sections of Pamphylia and Cilicia, but none of the Syrian territory south of the Eleutheros River. [50]
  • It is possible, but not certain, that Antigonus was still at war with Ptolemy II during this period and that his great naval victory over Ptolemy at the Battle of Kos (mentioned above) took place in 255 BC within the context of the Second Syrian War. [50]

In 253 BC, Ptolemy negotiated a peace treaty, in which he conceded large amounts of territory in Asia Minor to Antiochus. The peace was sealed by Antiochus' marriage to Ptolemy's daughter Berenice Phernopherus, which took place in 252 BC. Large indemnity payments to the Seleucids were presented by Ptolemy II as the dowry connected to this wedding. [51] [50]

After the war was over, in July 253 BC Ptolemy travelled to Memphis. There he rewarded his soldiers by distributing large plots of land that had been reclaimed from Lake Moeris in the Fayyum to them as estates ( kleroi ). The area was established as a new nome, named the Arsinoite nome, in honour of the long-dead Arsinoe II. [52]

Later reign and death (252-246 BC)

After the Second Syrian War, Ptolemy refocused his attention on the Aegean and mainland Greece. Some time around 250 BC, his forces defeated Antigonus in a naval battle at an uncertain location. [53] In Delos, Ptolemy established a festival, called the Ptolemaia in 249 BC, which advertised continued Ptolemaic investment and involvement in the Cyclades,even though political control seems to have been lost by this time. Around the same time, Ptolemy was convinced to pay large subsidies to the Achaean League by their envoy Aratus of Sicyon. The Achaean League was a relatively small collection of minor city-states in the northwestern Peloponnese at this date, but with the help of Ptolemy's money, over the next forty years Aratus would expand the League to encompass nearly the whole of the Peloponnese and transform it into a serous threat to Antigonid power in mainland Greece. [54]

Also in the late 250s BC, Ptolemy renewed his efforts to reach a settlement with Magas of Cyrene. It was agreed that Ptolemy's heir Ptolemy III would marry Magas' sole child, Berenice. [55] On Magas' death in 250 BC, however, Berenice's mother Apame refused to honour the agreement and invited an Antigonid prince, Demetrius the Fair to Cyrene to marry Berenice instead. With Apame's help, Demetrius seized control of the city, but he was assassinated by Berenice. [56] A republican government, led by two Cyrenaeans named Ecdelus and Demophanes controlled Cyrene until Berenice's actual wedding to Ptolemy III in 246 BC after his accession to the throne. [54]

Ptolemy died on 28 January 246 BC and was succeeded by Ptolemy III without incident. [54] [57]


Ruler cult

Ptolemy II was responsible for the transformation of the cult of Alexander the Great which had been established by Ptolemy I into a state cult of the Ptolemaic dynasty. At the start of his sole reign, Ptolemy II deified his father and he deified his mother Berenice I as well after her death in the 270s. The couple were worshipped as a pair, the Theoi Soteres (Saviour Gods). Around 272 BC, Ptolemy II promoted himself and his sister-wife Arsinoe II to divine status as the Theoi Adelphoi (Sibling Gods). The eponymous priest of the deified Alexander, who served annually and whose name was used to date all official documents, became the 'Priest of Alexander and the Theoi Adelphoi.' Each subsequent royal couple would be added to the priest's title until the late second century BC. In artistic depictions, Ptolemy II was often depicted with divine attributes, namely the club of Heracles and the elephant-scalp headdress associated with Alexander the Great, while Arsinoe was shown carrying a pair of cornucopiae with a small ram's horn behind her ear. [58] Ptolemy also instituted cults for a number of relatives. Following her death around 269 BC, Arsinoe II was honoured with a separate cult in her own right, with every temple in Egypt required to include a statue of her as a 'temple-sharing deity' alongside the sanctuary's main god. Her cult would prove extremely popular in Egypt throughout the Ptolemaic period. Ptolemy's other sister Philotera also received a cult. Even Ptolemy's mistress Bilistiche received sanctuaries in which she was identified with the goddess Aphrodite. [59] [58]

A festival, called the Ptolemaia, was held in Ptolemy I's honour at Alexandria every four years from 279/278 BC. The festival provided an opportunity for Ptolemy II to showcase the splendour, wealth, and reach of the Ptolemaic empire. One of the Ptolemaia festivals from the 270s BC was described by the historian Callixenus of Rhodes and part of his account survives, giving a sense of the enormous scale of the event. The festival included a feast for 130 people in a vast royal pavilion and athletic competitions. The highlight was a Grand Procession, composed on a number of individual processions in honour of each of the gods, beginning with the Morning Star, followed by the Theoi Soteres, and culminating with the Evening Star. The procession for Dionysus alone contained dozens of festival floats, each pulled by hundreds of people, including a four-metre high statue of Dionysus himself, several vast wine-sacks and wine krateres, a range of tableaux of mythological or allegorical scenes, many with automata, and hundreds of people dressed in costume as satyrs, sileni, and maenads. Twenty-four chariots drawn by elephants were followed by a procession of lions, leopards, panthers, camels, antelopes, wild asses, ostriches, a bear, a giraffe and a rhinoceros. [60] Most of the animals were in pairs - as many as eight pairs of ostriches - and although the ordinary chariots were likely led by a single elephant, others which carried a 7-foot-tall (2.1 m) golden statue may have been led by four. [61] At the end of the whole procession marched a military force numbering 57,600 infantry and 23,200 cavalry. Over 2,000 talents were distributed to attendees as largesse.

Although this ruler cult was centred on Alexandria, it was propagated throughout the Ptolemaic empire. The Nesiotic League, which contained the Aegean islands under Ptolemaic control, held its own Ptolemaia festival at Delos from the early 270s BC. Priests and festivals are also attested on Cyprus at Lapethos, at Methymna on Lesbos, on Thera, and possibly at Limyra in Lycia.

Pharaonic ideology and Egyptian religion

Ptolemy II followed the example of his father in making an effort to present himself in the guise of a traditional Egyptian Pharaoh and to support the Egyptian priestly elite. Two hieroglyphic stelae commemorate Ptolemy's activities in this context. The Mendes stele celebrates Ptolemy's performance of rituals in honour of the ram god Banebdjedet at Mendes, shortly after his accession. The Pithom stele records the inauguration of a temple at Pithom by Ptolemy, in 279 BC on his royal jubilee. Both stelae record his achievements in terms of traditional Pharaonic virtues. Particularly stressed is the recovery of religious statuary from the Seleucids through military action in 274 BC - a rhetorical claim which cast the Seleucids in the role of earlier national enemies like the Hyksos, Assyrians, and Persians. [62]

As part of his patronage of Egyptian religion and the priestly elite, Ptolemy II financed large-scale building works at temples throughout Egypt. Ptolemy ordered the erection of the core of the Temple of Isis at Philae was erected in his reign and assigned the tax income from the newly conquered Dodekaschoinos region to the temple. Although the temple had existed since the sixth century BC, it was Ptolemy's sponsorship that converted it into one of the most important in Egypt. [63]

In addition, Ptolemy initiated work at a number of other sites, including (from north to south):

  • Decorative work on the Temple of Anhur-Shu at Sebennytos and the nearby Temple of Isis at Behbeit El Hagar [64][65]
  • Temple of Horus at Tanis [66]
  • Temple of Arsinoe at Pithom [67]
  • Anubeion in the Serapeum at Saqqara [64]
  • Restoration of the Temple of Min at Akhmin [68] at Koptos [64][69]
  • Expansion of the birth house of the Dendera Temple complex [64]
  • Decorative work on the Temple of Opet at Karnak and the north pylon of the Precinct of Mut at Karnak, Thebes. [64][70]


Ptolemaic Egypt was administered by a complicated bureaucratic structure. It is possible that much of the structure had already been developed in the reign of Ptolemy I, but evidence for it - chiefly in the form of documentary papyri - only exists from the reign of Ptolemy II. At the top of the hierarchy, in Alexandria, there were a small group of officials, drawn from the king's philoi (friends). These included the epistolographos ('letter-writer', responsible for diplomacy), the hypomnematographos ('memo-writer' or the chief secretary), the epi ton prostagmaton ('in charge of commands', who produced the drafts of royal edicts), the key generals, and the dioiketes ('household manager', who was in charge of taxation and provincial administration). The dioiketes for most of Ptolemy II's reign was Apollonius (262-245 BC). The enormous archive of his personal secretary, Zenon of Kaunos, happens to have survived. As a result, it is the administration of the countryside that is best known to modern scholarship. [71] [72]

The whole of Egypt was divided into thirty-nine districts, called nomes (portions), whose names and borders had remained roughly the same since early Pharaonic times. Within each nome, there were three officials: the nomarch (nome-leader) who was in charge of agricultural production, the oikonomos (household steward) who was in charge of finances, and the basilikos grammateus (royal secretary), who was in charge of land surveying and record-keeping. All three of these officials answered to the dioiketes and held equal rank, the idea being that each would act as a check on the others and thus prevent officials from developing regional power bases that might threaten the power of the king. Each village had a komarch (village-leader) and a komogrammateus (village-secretary), who reported to the nomarch and the basilikos grammateus respectively. Through this system, a chain of command was created which ran from the king all the way down to each of the three thousand villages of Egypt. Each nome also had its own strategos (general), who was in charge of the troops settled in the nome and answered directly to the king. [71] [72]

A key goal of this administrative system was to extract as much wealth as possible from the land, so that it could be deployed for royal purposes, particularly war. It achieved this goal with greatest efficiency under Ptolemy II. Particular measures to increase efficiency and income are attested from the start of the Second Syrian War. A decree, known as the Revenue Laws Papyrus was issued in 259 BC in order to increase tax yields. It is one of our key pieces of evidence for the intended operation of the Ptolemaic tax system. The papyrus establishes a regime of tax farming (telonia) for wine, fruit, and castor oil. Private individuals paid the king a lump sum up front for the right to oversee the collection of the taxes (though the actual collection was carried out by royal officials). The tax farmers received any excess from the collected taxes as profit. [73] This decree was followed in 258 BC by a 'General Inventory' in which the whole of Egypt was surveyed in order to determine the quantity of different types of land, irrigation, canals, and forests within the kingdom and the amount of income that could be levied from it. [73] Efforts were made to increase the amount of arable land in Egypt, particularly by reclaiming large amounts of land from Lake Moeris in the Fayyum. Ptolemy distributed this land to the Ptolemaic soldiers as agricultural estates in 253 BC. [73] The Zenon papyri also record experiments by the dioiketes Apollonius to establish cash crop regimes, particularly growing castor oil, with mixed success. In addition to these measures focused on agriculture, Ptolemy II also established extensive gold mining operations, in Nubia at Wadi Allaqi and in the eastern desert at Abu Zawal .

Scholarship and culture

Ptolemy II was an eager patron of scholarship, funding the expansion of the Library of Alexandria and patronising scientific research. Poets like Callimachus, Theocritus, Apollonius of Rhodes, Posidippus were provided with stipends and produced masterpieces of Hellenistic poetry, including panegyrics in honour of the Ptolemaic family. Other scholars operating under Ptolemy's aegis included the mathematician Euclid and the astronomer Aristarchus. Ptolemy is thought to have commissioned Manetho to compose his Aegyptiaca, an account of Egyptian history, perhaps intended to make Egyptian culture intelligible to its new rulers. [74]

A tradition preserved in the pseudepigraphical Letter of Aristeas presents Ptolemy as the driving force behind the translation of the Hebrew Bible into Greek as the Septuagint. This account contains several anachronisms and is unlikely to be true. The Greek translation of the Hebrew Bible is likely to have taken place among the Jews of Alexandria, but was probably a protracted process rather than a single moment of translation.

Relations with the western Mediterranean

Ptolemy II and King Hiero II of Syracuse are regularly referred to as having enjoyed particularly close relations. There is substantial evidence for the exchange of goods and ideas between Syracuse and Alexandria. Hiero seems to have modelled various aspects of his royal self-representation and perhaps his tax system, the Lex Hieronica on Ptolemaic models. Two of the luminaries of Ptolemy II's court, the poet Theocritus and the mathematician and engineer Archimedes came from and eventually returned to Syracuse. [75] Numismatic evidence seems to indicate that Ptolemy II funded Hiero II's original rise to power - a series of Ptolemaic bronze coins known as the 'Galatian shield without Sigma' minted between 271 and 265 BC, have been shown to have been minted in Sicily itself, on the basis of their style, flan shape, die axes, weight and find spots. The first set seem to have been minted by a Ptolemaic mint, perhaps left there in 276 BC after Pyrrhus of Epirus' withdrawal from Sicily. They are succeeded by a series that seems to have been minted by the regular Syracusan mint, perhaps on the outbreak of the First Punic War in 265 BC. [76]

Ptolemy II cultivated good relations with Carthage, in contrast to his father, who seems to have gone to war with them at least once. One reason for this may have been the desire to outflank Magas of Cyrene, who shared a border with the Carthaginian empire at the Altars of Philaeni. [77] Ptolemy was also the first Egyptian ruler to enter into formal relations with the Roman Republic. An embassy from Ptolemy visited the city of Rome in 273 BC and established a relationship of friendship (Latin: amicitia). [78] These two friendships were tested in 264 BC, when the First Punic War broke out between Carthage and Rome, but Ptolemy II remained studiously neutral in the conflict, refusing a direct Carthaginian request for financial assistance. [79] [77]

Relations with India

Ptolemy is recorded by Pliny the Elder as having sent an ambassador named Dionysius to the Mauryan court at Pataliputra in India, [80] probably to Emperor Ashoka:

"But [India] has been treated of by several other Greek writers who resided at the courts of Indian kings, such, for instance, as Megasthenes, and by Dionysius, who was sent thither by Philadelphus, expressly for the purpose: all of whom have enlarged upon the power and vast resources of these nations." Pliny the Elder, "The Natural History", Chap. 21 [81]

He is also mentioned in the Edicts of Ashoka as a recipient of the Buddhist proselytism of Ashoka:

Now it is conquest by Dhamma that Beloved-Servant-of-the-Gods considers to be the best conquest. And it [conquest by Dhamma] has been won here, on the borders, even six hundred yojanas away, where the Greek king Antiochos rules, beyond there where the four kings named Ptolemy, Antigonos, Magas and Alexander rule, likewise in the south among the Cholas, the Pandyas, and as far as Tamraparni. Rock Edict Nb13 (S. Dhammika)

Marriages and issue

Ptolemy married his first wife, Arsinoe I, daughter of Lysimachus, between 284 and 281 BC. She was the mother of his legitimate children: [82] [57]

Name Image Birth Death Notes
Ptolemy III Euergetes c. 285-275 BC October/December 222 BC Succeeded his father as king in 246 BC.
Lysimachus 221 BC
Berenice Phernopherus c. 275 BC? September/October 246 BC Married the Seleucid king Antiochus II Theos.

Ptolemy II repudiated Arsinoe in the 270s BC. Probably in 273 BC, he married his full-blooded, older sister Arsinoe II, widow of Lysimachus, father or Arsinoe I. They had no offspring, but in the 260s BC, the children of Arsinoe I were legally declared to be her children. [83]

Ptolemy II also had several concubines. With a woman named Bilistiche he is said to have had an (illegitimate) son named Ptolemy Andromachou. [84] He had many mistresses, including Agathoclea (?), Aglais (?) daughter of Megacles, the cup-bearer Cleino, Didyme, the Chian harp player Glauce, the flautist Mnesis, the actress Myrtion, the flautist Pothine and Stratonice. [57]

Bronze Bust of Ptolemy II Philadelphus - History

These coins all have a laureate Zeus obverse and an open-winged eagle on the reverse, standing upon a thunderbolt. Svoronos catalogued well over a hundred varieties sharing the same iconography but with different letters, monograms, and symbols in the reverse left field and/or between the eagle's legs, beneath its tail, or to the right of its tail. Considered together, these coins are thought to have been issued over a period of 30-40 years (from perhaps as early as the 290s BC to the time of the coinage reform of the late 260s BC), spanning parts of the reigns of two monarchs, Ptolemy I Soter and Ptolemy II Philadelphus. They comprise the principal bronze denomination of the pre-reform period, a long-running and consistent coinage whose sheer numbers point to an important role in the monetary system. One subgroup of these coins stands apart stylistically. Its properties merit a focused analysis.

We refer to one series of bronze diobols of Ptolemy II that have a reverse with a Galatian shield in the left field and a control letter or monogram below the shield, between the eagle's legs, or near its tail. In addition one coin has come to light with monogram above the shield. This group comprises twelve issues with various letters or monograms on the reverse:


  1. With control letter near the eagle's tail
    • Svoronos 615 - ALPHA (possibly LAMDA)
    • Svoronos 617 - DELTA
    • Svoronos 619 - NU
    • Svoronos 622 - SIGMA
    • Svoronos 623 - PHI
  2. With monogram or control letter under the shield
    • Svoronos 612 - NK monogram
    • Svoronos 616 - ALPHA
    • Svoronos 620 - NU
    • Svoronos 624 - PHI
  3. With monogram above the shield
    • Private Collection - NK monogram
  4. With control letter between the eagle's legs
    • SNG Copenhagen 115 - GAMMA
    • ANS inv. 1944.100.76064 - DELTA

Some of these types are shown in Illustration 4.

These types have distinguishing properties that imply origin outside Alexandria. We believe that additional observations not previously reported allow us to attribute these as imitative Ptolemaic bronze diobols issued at Syracuse under the reign of Hieron II (275-215 BC). These observations also lead us to a separate analysis and classification of Svoronos 610 (similar to above, with Galatian shield but lacking other controls).

Svoronos catalogued a single specimen of 616 (British Museum: BMC 26,23). Recent examination of this specimen reveals a letter NU (thus Svoronos 620). Svoronos also recorded a single specimen of 617 and its illustration (Plate XII #19) shows a NU control letter (thus Svoronos 619). A Svoronos 617 specimen reported in the ANS collection (see Table II.) merits examination. Svoronos sole recorded specimen of 622 (Plate XII #20) shows a coin with PHI control (thus Svoronos 623).

Wolfram Weiser has taken the first step along the path we wish to pursue, tentatively attributing one type (Svoronos 612, Weiser 1995, pp. 29-30, Illustration D) to Hieron II of Syracuse. We characterize this as a tentative step because Weiser places a question mark (?) in the regnal and mint attributions [HIERON II. VON SYRAKUS(?), 275/269. AE Obolos, Syrakus(?)]. Weiser also notes that the mint of Köln 18 (Svoronos 610) is unknown [unbekannte Münzstätte] and its date of issue was likely prior to 265. Köln 18 is then followed by discussion distinguishing "Alexandrian" and "Magna Graecia" styles that apparently coexist in Svoronos' corpus under number 610. Weiser considers Svoronos 610 specimen psi (= SNG Milano 42) to be "schon in grossgriechischem Stil" [already in Magna Graecia style]. He says of Köln 18 (Svoronos 610) that it corresponds to the only example illustrated by Svoronos showing "Alexandrian rather than Magna Graecia" style and contrasts this with the style of Illustration D (Svoronos 612). In these comments Weiser reiterates his tentative attribution of the type represented by Illustration D, using the tantalizing adjective "Sicilian" with a question mark [sizilischen(?)]. A Hieron II portrait bronze (Weiser 1995, Illustration E) is subsequently described in the text but without comment on its relation to the two preceding entries and illustrations (Köln 18 and D).

Clearly Weiser has noticed the issues of style and origin that this series presents. The tentative attribution to Syracuse and Hieron II (for Svoronos 612, Weiser 1995, pp. 29-30) is noteworthy though, alas, the presentation is enigmatically truncated.

We shall now present five types of evidence that support Syracusan origin for the types listed in Table I, tentatively suggested by Weiser for Svoronos 612:

I. Comparative Stylistic Evidence
II. Reverse Border Typology
III. Die Axis Variety
IV. Find Locations
V. Metrology, Manufacturing Technique, and Control Links to Portrait Bronzes of Hieron II

I. Stylistic Comparisons of Early Ptolemaic Bronze Diobols

Differences of style are best illustrated by comparing bronzes of related series. There are four series of late Ptolemy I and early Ptolemy II diobols. These series share a number of features:

  • 1. Obverse: Laureate Zeus
  • 2. Reverse: Open-winged eagle standing on thunderbolt with head facing to the left and the typical PTOLEMAIOY BASILEWS inscription
  • 3. Nominal 28mm diameter and 18gm weight
  • 4. No central depressions
  • A. Series with only letters and/or monograms in the left reverse field and no controls between the eagle's legs. These comprise some 40 different varieties of field monograms including Svoronos 184, 193, 206, 213, 219, 230, 269-303 and others. See Illustration 1.
  • B. Series with SIGMA over a Galatian Shield in the left field and (usually) a letter or monogram between the eagle's legs. These types comprise many issues including Svoronos 553-554, 556, 560, 563-564, 568, 576, 580, 586, 593, 598, 600 and others. See Illustration 2.
  • C. Similar to B, with ALPHA/CHI/RHO monogram added below the SIGMA and shield, usually with a control letter between the eagle's legs. These comprise a smaller range of issues than Series A or Series B, including Svoronos 557, 561, 572, 577, 581, 587, 589, 594 and others. See Illustration 3.
  • D. Series with the Galatian Shield but without the SIGMA above and with a letter or monogram behind the eagle's tail, below the shield, or between the eagle's legs. This group comprises a small number of issues presented above in Table I that are the focus of our presentation. See Illustration 4. Svoronos 610, which has the Galatian Shield but no control letter, is here treated separately from Series D.

Consistent styles of Series A, B, and C contrast significantly with Series D, which we believe is a separate category of issues originating in Syracuse.

Half-denomination coins (obols) with similar control symbols and locations are also known that correspond to Series A, B, and C, while no such coins have been reported corresponding to Svoronos 610 and Series D. The obols related to Series A, B, and C are likewise consistent in style. For example, Series A diobols are matched by obols of (nominally) 9 grams which depict Alexander with an elephant skin headdress on the obverse, an open-winged eagle on thunderbolt on the reverse, and control letters, monograms, and symbols analogous to those seen on the diobols of Series A (e.g. Svoronos 225). We also know of obols of analogous main design features which are congruent on their reverses to to Series B (e.g. Svoronos 565, with SIGMA over SHIELD and control letter in the eagle's legs) and Series C (e.g Svoronos 582, with SIGMA over SHIELD over ALPHA/CHI/RHO monogram and control letter in the eagle's legs). No coins have been reported or catalogued in reference works which are the obol analogues of Svoronos 610 or Series D, which sets those diobols further apart as a distinct family of issues.

I a. Style Continuity of Series A, B, and C

Obverse renderings of these three series, with some die variations, share several stylistic features:

  • 1. Hair at the back of the head behind the laurel wreath is tousled and curls about in various directions not fully enwreathed.
  • 2. Zeus's mustache curls from the upper lip vertically down at the corner of the mouth.
  • 3. The beard and hair are long and flow down vertically onto the neck with the beard as long or longer than the hair at the back of the neck. The hair and beard also appear somewhat stringy.
  • 4. A lock of hair hangs down over the forehead in front of the laurel wreath.
  • 5. The eye is small, round, and deeply set beneath a prominently arched brow ridge that protrudes above the outer corner of the eye. The eye is wide open and eyelids are almost indistinct. On those examples that show an upper eyelid, it is a tiny arch beneath the highly arched brow. These eye and brow styles are similar to those seen on many silver tetradrachm portraits of Ptolemy of this period.
  • 6. The overall appearance is the face of a mature or aged male figure.

Reverses of these three series are also remarkably similar:

  • 1. The upper part of the eagle's wing is neatly divided from the extended longer feathers with tips and consists of a neatly defined field of round or slightly oval raised dots.
  • 2. Extended wing feathers are invariably pointed at the tips.
  • 3. The eagle's tail is a trapezoidal shape that ends parallel (or nearly so) to the thunderbolt on which the eagle stands, without defined tail feather tips.
  • 4. The eagle's tail has cross-hatched horizontal markings between the longitudinal tail feather shafts.

I b. Style Features that Distinguish Series D

The style of Series D coins is easily contrasted with the preceding series.

Obverses of this series are markedly varied and clearly differ from those of Series A, B, and C. Students of Ptolemaic bronzes easily notice that types such as Svoronos 619, 615, etc. present a laureate Zeus that is, as Weiser notes, of "Magna Graecia" (South Italian/Sicilian) style.

  • 1. The hair at the back of the head is more finely textured and neatly constrained in parallel narrow rows leading to the wreath and almost fully enwreathed.
  • 2. The mustache usually curves back from the corner of the mouth and curls upward.
  • 3. There is no hanging lock of hair over the forehead in front of the laurel wreath, rather the hair is swept back away from the top of the forehead or curls upward.
  • 4. Zeus's eye is large and triangular. The brow ridge arches softly. The bony protuberance is understated or replaced by a more delicate eye socket with a narrow eyebrow arching above. Many examples show the eye partly closed and with distinct linear eyelids that meet at an acute angle at the corner of the eye.
  • 5. Zeus has a more youthful, almost feminine, appearance.

Reverses of Series D also present several stylistic differences from the others:

  • 1. The upper part of the eagle's wing merges smoothly with the longer feathers and is rendered in a style of small feathers oriented in the same direction as the extended feathers.
  • 2. Many examples show the extended wing feathers with rounded tips.
  • 3. The eagle's tail is a sheaf of parallel feathers that ends at an angle to the thunderbolt on which the eagle stands.
  • 4. The eagle's tail lacks the cross-hatching tail feathers are solid and the tail feather tips are distinguishable.

The eagles of Series D are similar to those seen on third century BC bronze coins of Italian and Sicilian origin. Illustration 6 shows some examples of eagle renderings on other bronzes of Sicily and Italy. The obverse and reverse styles set Series D apart from Series A, B, and C and suggest a different origin of the dies and artistic designs.

We now draw attention to two additional aspects of the manufacturing technology that have not been discussed by others. We believe they are important and further the argument that these coins were not made in Egypt.

II. Reverse Border Typology

II a. Dotted Reverse Borders in Series A-C

All the coins that belong to Series A-C have dotted borders on both obverse and reverse. The dotted reverse border is a universal characteristic of Ptolemaic bronzes issued by Alexandrian and provincial mints of Tyre, Cyprus, and others.

II b. Continuous Circle Reverse Borders in Series D

Series D is also distinguished from the products of known Ptolemaic mints by circlular, rather than dotted, reverse borders on almost all examples on which a reverse border is visible, Illustration 5. The exceptions (dotted reverse borders) are three Svoronos 619 from the same dies, Illustration 10. The obverse border of Series D is the usual dotted type. The circular reverse border is so unusual that it would alone suffice to distingish Series D. Circular reverse borders are also found on Syracusan bronzes of Agathocles, Hicetas, Pyrrhus, and Hieron II. Illustration 7 shows circular borders of some third century BC Syracusan bronzes.

III. Die Axis Variations of Svoronos 610 and Series D

Egyptian and provincial bronze coins of Ptolemy II Philadelphus are nearly uniform in their die axis of 12h (0 degrees) with only slight deviations (Callataÿ 1996, p. 88). SNG Copenhagen notes the die axis of many third century BC Ptolemaic bronzes and it is easy to see from this reference and from examining numerous specimens that this is the case. In contrast, Series D was struck from loose dies, yielding varying die axes. Varying die axes of Series D coins are recorded in SNG Copenhagen, SNG Milano (including a number of issues misattributed by Svoronos and listed under his no. 610), and other publications. The die axes of specimens in the American Numismatic Society are available through the society's online database. One of the authors (Daniel Wolf) has examined some specimens of Series D coins in commerce and in private collections, providing further support of this observation.


  • 12h
    • ANS 1944.100.76066 (Svoronos 623)
    • ANS 1944.100.76064 (DELTA between legs)
    • British Museum Collection 20 (Svoronos 610)
    • British Museum Collection 21 (Svoronos 610)
    • British Museum Collection 22 (Svoronos 610)
    • Cambridge University (Svoronos 610)
    • Commerce (Svoronos 610)
    • Commerce (Svoronos 610)
    • Commerce (Svoronos 610)
    • Commerce (Svoronos 615)
    • German Collector (Svoronos 610)
    • Köln 18 (Svoronos 610)
    • PtolemAE Collection GAE233 (Svoronos 610)
    • PtolemAE Collection GAE273 (Svoronos 610)
    • PtolemAE Collection GAE279 (Svoronos 610)
    • PtolemAE Collection GAE333 (Svoronos 610)
    • PtolemAE Collection GAE419 (Svoronos 610)
    • PtolemAE Collection GAE422 (Svoronos 610)
    • PtolemAE Collection GAE426 (Svoronos 610)
    • PtolemAE Collection GAE435 (Svoronos 610)
    • PtolemAE Collection GAE486 (Svoronos 610)
    • PtolemAE Collection GAE506 (Svoronos 610)
    • SNG Copenhagen 114 (= Svoronos 610 alpha)
    • SNG Copenhagen 116 (Svoronos 619)
    • SNG Copenhagen 118 (Svoronos 623)
    • UK Collector #4 (Svoronos 610)
    • UK Collector #5 (Svoronos 610)
    • UK Collector #6 (Svoronos 610)
    • UK Collector #7 (Svoronos 610)
    • UK Collector #13 (Svoronos 610)
    • SNG Milano 47 (= Svoronos 610 epsilon)
    • British Museum Collection 24 (Svoronos 612)
    • British Museum Collection 26 (Svoronos 624)
    • Commerce (Svoronos 619)
    • UK Collector #1 (Indeterminate Series D)
    • UK Collector #2 (Indeterminate Series D)
    • Yale University (Svoronos 612)
    • British Museum Collection 25 (Svoronos 612)
    • British Museum Collection 29 (Svoronos 619)
    • PtolemAE Collection GAE404 (Svoronos 619)
    • PtolemAE Collection GAE458 (Indeterminate Series D)
    • European Collector (Svoronos 619)
    • PtolemAE Collection GAE362 (Svoronos 623)
    • PtolemAE Collection GAE371 (Svoronos 610)
    • SNG Milano 42 (= Svoronos 610 psi)
    • SNG Milano 53 (= Svoronos 610 eta)
    • UK Collector #8 (Svoronos 610)
    • UK Collector #9 (Svoronos 612)
    • British Museum Collection 23 (Svoronos 620)
    • British Museum Collection 27 (Svoronos 615)
    • PtolemAE Collection GAE228 (Svoronos 615)
    • SNG Milano 43 (= Svoronos 610 delta)
    • UK Collector #10 (Svoronos 623)
    • Commerce (Svoronos 615)
    • PtolemAE Collection GAE474(Svoronos 619)
    • ANS 1957.172.2022 (Svoronos 615)
    • Noeske 2000, no. 56 (erroneously identified as Svoronos 610, but with PHI behind the eagle's tail, thus Svoronos 623)
    • PtolemAE Collection GAE347 (Svoronos 615)
    • UK Collector #3 (Svoronos 615)
    • ANS 1944.100.76061 (Svoronos 612)
    • British Museum Collection 30 (Svoronos 619)
    • PtolemAE Collection GAE420 (Indeterminate Series D)
    • PtolemAE Collection GAE521 (Svoronos 619)
    • UK Collector #15 (Svoronos 620)
    • SNG Copenhagen 117 (= Svoronos 620 beta)
    • ANS 1944.100.76063 (Svoronos 615)
    • British Museum Collection 31 (Svoronos 623)
    • PtolemAE Collection GAE325 (Svoronos 623)
    • PtolemAE Collection GAE563 (Svoronos 620)
    • Commerce (Svoronos 615)
    • PtolemAE Collection GAE348 (Svoronos 619)
    • UK Collector #11 (Svoronos 623)
    • UK Collector #12 (Svoronos 623)
    • British Museum Collection 28 (Svoronos 619)
    • PtolemAE Collection GAE361 (Svoronos 615)
    • SNG Milano 44 (= Svoronos 615 delta)
    • USA Collector (N over Shield - Series D uncatalogued type)
    • SNG Copenhagen 115 (GAMMA between legs)
    • ANS 1925.176.150 (Svoronos 617)
    • ANS 1944.100.76065 (Svoronos 619)
    • Köln Illustration D (Svoronos 612)
    • PtolemAE Collection GAE301 (Svoronos 610)
    • PtolemAE Collection GAE368 (Svoronos 619)
    • PtolemAE Collection GAE390 (Svoronos 615)
    • PtolemAE Collection GAE421 (Indeterminate Series D)
    • SNG Milano 45 (= Svoronos 619 alpha)
    • UK Collector #14 (Svoronos 610)


    • 1h 2h 3h 4h 5h 6h 7h 8h 9h 10h 11h 12h
    • Svoronos 610 2 1 21
    • Svoronos 612 2 1 1
    • SVoronos 615 2 1 2 1 1 1 1
    • Svoronos 619 1 2 1 1 2 1 1 1
    • Svoronos 620 1 1
    • Svoronos 623 1 1 1 2 2
    • Svoronos 624 1
    • Indeterminate D 2 1 1 1 1

    The variable die axes that distinguish Series D from Series A-C have been overlooked. As minting practices for Ptolemaic bronzes appear to have been well controlled for orientation on other issues, the variable die orientation virtually assures that Series D originated outside the control of Egyptian mint administration. The use of loose dies is consistent with the practice of Syracuse, among many other mints. Specifically, the Hieron II portrait bronzes with which we associate Series D coins exhibit varying die axes. Of 67 pieces (Svoronos 610 and Series D) in collections or commerce for which die axes are reported, the entire range of angles is represented. The die axes of Svoronos 610 coins are highly concentrated on vertical (11h and 12h, 25 of 27 specimens), contrasting with the wider angular distribution of Series D.

    IV. Sicilian Finds of Ptolemaic Diobols

    Giacomo Manganaro has provided a limited corpus of Ptolemaic coins found in Sicily, including hoard coins, specimens that reside in museums and private collections, and a few examples recorded from commerce (Manganaro 1989). More than half of these coins are bronze diobols of Ptolemy II (nominally 28mm, 18gm), predominantly with a shield in left field. Of those coins that can be identified more precisely, nearly two thirds are examples of Svoronos 610 and most of the rest belong to our Series D. These same varieties are entirely lacking from hoards found in Egypt, Cyprus, or Coele Syria, and they have not been reported from excavated sites in Ptolemaic territory, with the sole exception of Ras Ibn Hani in Syria (Augé 2000, pp. 62-63). (The Ras Ibn Hani excavation coins are not catalogued or illustrated, but Augé lists Svoronos 610, 615, 617, 620, and 622 among the varieties represented in the excavations, without specifying quantities.)


    Location Collection/source "Ptolemy II" Sv. 610 Series D Manganaro reference Palermo Museum Private Collection 5 with shield . . . Gangi Monte Alburchia archaeological zone . . 1 p. 530, p. 549, 75 Museo Civico di Messina Grosso Cacopardo 16 with shield 2 1 p. 531, p. 549, 80-81 Museo Civico di Messina Collezione Civica 6 with shield . . p. 531 Patti (near Messina) In trade with Armando Marino 1 . . p. 530 Randazzo Vagliasindi coll. 1 . Sv. 617 p. 528, p. 545, 42 Troina . 1 . . p. 529, p. 546, 44 Bronte . 1 . . p. 528, p. 545, 40 . Meli collection 1 . . p. 528, p. 545, 43 Biancavilla Canon Portrale 3 . Sv. 619 p. 528, p. 545, 36-39 Centuripae Dr. Scarlata . 1 . p. 528, p. 544, 29 Morgantina Morgantina hoard, 1975 . 1 . p. 527, p. 543, 22 Aidone (near Morgantina) Collection of an attorney . 1 . p. 529, p. 546, 45 Syracuse Museum Casale excavations, Piazza Armerina . 1 . p. 529, p. 546, 49 Herbessus Montagna di Marzo hoard, 1929 (IGCH 2242) 2 . . p. 527 Zelanea (Acireale) Can. S. De Maria . 2 . p. 528, p. 544, 24-25 Acireale Private collection . 1 . . Catania Private collection . 1 . p. 528, p. 544, 28 Catania Rag. V. De Simone . 1 . p. 528, p. 544, 31 Megara Sambataro coll. . 1 1 p. 529, p. 546, 50-51 Syracuse Museum Marchese Corrado Castelluccio (Noto) . 4 . p. 530, p. 547, 55, 59, 61-62 Syracuse Museum Marchese Corrado Castelluccio (Noto) . . Sv. 619 (2) p. 530, p. 548, 63-64 Syracuse Museum Marchese Corrado Castelluccio (Noto) . . Sv. 623 (3) p. 530, p. 547, 56-58 Syracuse Museum Marchese Corrado Castelluccio (Noto) . . 1 p. 530, p. 547, 60 Syracuse Museum From Noto . . Sv. 620 (2) p. 530, p. 548, 65-66 Syracuse Museum . . . Sv. 624 p. 530, p. 548, 67 Avola . . 1 . p. 529, p. 546, 52 Avola Avola hoard, 1915 (IGCH 2249) . . 1 p. 528, p. 543, 23 (*) Modica Prof. A. Maltese 1 . . p. 529, p. 547, 53 Agrigento Museum . 4 1 . p. 531, p. 550, 86 Totals . 32 (27 with shield) (*) The coin is attributed to Ptolemy I by Manganaro, but the illustration seems to show a shield in the left field and stylistic features of our Series D.

    The above table leaves us with the impression that the Ptolemaic bronze diobols of particular interest to us, Series D and Svoronos 610, are found almost exclusively in eastern Sicily. Manganaro's cautious statement that his inquiries yielded very limited results for the west leaves open the possibility that a different methodology might have located more Ptolemaic coins in western Sicily (Manganaro 1989, p. 551). For the material actually reported, however, it is noteworthy that there is a concentration of examples in Messina, perhaps predominantly examples of Svoronos 610, whereas most examples belonging to Series D repose in the Syracuse Museum (and all but one of these came from Noto). This different pattern of circulation, if confirmed, would support the distinction already made between Svoronos 610 and Series D on the basis of style, reverse border, and die axes.

    The three hoards cited by Manganaro all associate diobols of Ptolemy II with bronze coins of Hieron II, the Mamertines, and Rome: Montagna di Marzo (Herbessos), 1929 (IGCH 2242) Avola, 1915 (IGCH 2249) and Morgantina, 1975(?). The last of these contained some bronzes of Hieron II with the Dioscuros reverse overstruck on diobols of Ptolemy II.

    In his interpretation of the Ptolemaic coins found in Sicily, Manganaro did not emphasize the strange preponderance of bronze diobols of Ptolemy II, nor did he recognize that these particular types represent a rather narrow sample from the abundant bronze varieties of Philadelphus' reign. Manganaro submitted that the importation of Ptolemaic bronze coins into Sicily should be associated specifically with the trade in Rhodian wine in exchange for Sicilian grain, a trade that was centered above all in Delos (Manganaro 1989, p. 517). To support this interpretation, he pointed to the presence of stamped Rhodian amphora handles in Sicily, which indicate that the period of greatest importation fell in the years c. 240-108 BC (Manganaro 1989, p. 518). Manganaro ultimately argued that the Ptolemaic coins were introduced to Sicily by Sicilians who served temporarily in Egypt, or who frequented international trade centers like Delos, Alexandria, and the Piraeus (Manganaro 1989, p. 521). Such Sicilians would have brought Ptolemaic coins back with them either as souvenirs, or to use in the course of their next trip. Manganaro raised the possibility that Ptolemaic coins may have exchanged at par with the coinage of Hieron II in market centers like Syracuse (Manganaro 1989, p. 521).

    Manganaro's ideas do not adequately explain the peculiarities of the record he assembled. There is a chronological mismatch between the predominance of coins of Ptolemy II and the peak of Rhodian wine importation beginning in the reign of his successor. If Ptolemaic coins really served as the exchange medium for this trade, we would expect to see more coins of the later Ptolemies in Sicily, reflecting the growth of this import trade. Manganaro's other proposal, that Ptolemaic coins were carried back by Sicilians who served temporarily in Egypt, is vague enough that it could perhaps be consistent with the Sicilian assemblage. But the Sicilians he associated with Ptolemy II-the court poet Theocritus, two court ladies from Syracuse, and Hieron, son of Timocrates, who served as epistates of Arsinoe-Koresia on the island of Ceos after 266 (Manganaro 1989, p. 514)-would more likely have returned home laden with fortunes in gold and silver, rather than bringing back bronze diobols. More modest Sicilian adventurers might indeed have trafficked in bronze coins, but the specific evidence cited for Syracusan mercenaries in the Arsinoite nome dates from the reign of Ptolemy III, and the Syracusan cleruchs mentioned by Manganaro were presumably permanent settlers (Manganaro 1989, p. 514). The fuller evidence collected in the Prosopographia Ptolemaica also fails to document an important presence of Syracusans or Sicilians in Egypt during the reign of Ptolemy Philadelphus (La'da 2002, pp. 212, 284-285, 289-291).

    The chronological framework for Svoronos 610 and Series D can be narrowed somewhat. The Galatian shield that appears on these bronzes, on Series B and C, and also on some precious metal coins is thought to allude to an episode in the mid 270s when Ptolemy II destroyed a band of rebellious Gallic mercenaries and was credited with saving Egypt from chaos in the great pharaonic tradition (Paus. 1.7.2 Callim. Hymn IV.185-187). Bronzes of Series B and C have been found in numbers in excavations in Attica and are believed to have been introduced there during the Chremonidean War (268?-262 BC) (Chryssanthaki 2005, pp. 165-167). The failure of these excavations to yield later bronze types of Ptolemy II (which lack the shield symbol and have a different fabric, with central cavities) is one of the arguments cited in favor of dating his bronze currency reform c. 261/0 (Varoucha-Christodoulopoulou 1965, pp. 225-226 Mørkholm 1991, p. 105 Hazzard 1995, pp. 59-60 Lorber 2005, p. 137 n.15 Le Rider and de Callataÿ 2006, pp. 155-156). However Olivier Picard has suggested that the currency reform should be dated a bit earlier, to 264 or 263, because the Revenue Laws of that date imply a need for the large bronze denominations, especially the bronze drachm, that were introduced via the currency reform (Picard 2003, pp. 30-32). In either case, the hoard record indicates that all shield bronzes were withdrawn from Egyptian circulation in favor of the reformed coinage (Lorber 2000, p. 70 Davesne 1998, p. 57 Lorber 2005, p. 138). Svoronos 610 and Series D, if products of an official Ptolemaic mint, would have to be dated c. 275-264/260 BC. Imitative issues produced at Syracuse could not be dated earlier than their Ptolemaic prototypes, i.e., no earlier than c. 275. On the other hand, their production may not have ended at the time of the Ptolemaic currency reform.

    The time frame for the introduction of Ptolemaic shield bronzes to Sicily overlaps the rise of Hieron II and his assumption of the royal title (see Section VII below).

    V. Metrology, Manufacturing Technique, And Control Links To Portrait Bronzes of Hieron II

    Table IV juxtaposes the control letters and monogram of the Series D bronzes with the control letters, letter groups, and monograms of the major bronze coinages of Hieron II, as recorded by Romolo Calciati (Calciati 1986). (The minor series Calciati 199-202 could not be included for reasons of space, but do not deviate in any important way.) Although Hieron's coinage usually employed symbols in combination with these letters and monograms, the table clearly demonstrates the existence of a single control system throughout his reign, making repeated use of certain letters and consistently excluding others (Beta, Gamma, Kappa, Pi, Rho, Psi). The single letters most consistently used are Alpha, Delta, Nu, Sigma, and Phi. accounting for five of the six letters that appear on the Series D bronzes. The letter Lambda (a possible control of the Series D bronzes) and the NK monogram also appear on Hieronian bronzes. The only inconsistency is the letter Gamma, which is among the letters excluded from Hieron's control system yet is recorded for a single specimen of Series D in Copenhagen (perhaps a doubtful reading?). The affinity of the control system of Series D to the Hieronian system is remarkable and supports the attribution of Series D to Hieron II.

    Hieron's portrait bronze coinage (nominally 28mm, 18gm) has been described as breaking with the metrology of earlier Sicilian currency (Caltabiano, Carroccio, and Oteri 1995, p. 211 and Tables 1-4, pp. 263-266). His principal denomination closely resembled the Ptolemaic bronze diobol in size and weight, inspiring the suggestion that it was designed to fit in with Ptolemaic coinage already circulating in Sicily (Van Driessche 1988, pp. 70-71 with n.50 Caltabiano, Carroccio, and Oteri 1995, p. 217 Kinkaid 1985, p. 128) (Kinkaid erred in claiming that Syracusan coinage was reciprocally acceptable in Alexandria.) A close correspondence is underlined by Hieron's overstriking of Ptolemaic diobols to produce his own coinage, observed in the Morgantina hoard of 1975. Veronique van Driessche pointed out that the bronze coinage of the Mamertines with the types Ares/eagle and Ares/bull also conforms to this metrological system.

    The Hieronian portrait bronze issues in question have a left-facing portrait of Hieron II on the obverse and a right-facing rearing horse with armed rider and the name of Hieron in exergue on the reverse. These bronzes come with two portrait types. One, relatively scarce today, shows Hieron laureate and is considered the earlier (Bell 1995, p. 291) the other, more common, shows him diademed. Illustration 8 shows examples of the two portrait types. The horseman bronzes do not always have a letter or monogram control, but when it is present it is placed under the front legs of the horse. This position on the right side of the coin matches the placement of the control letter on many issues of Series D. Illustration 9 shows examples of some reverses of the Series D coins and Hieron II portrait bronzes that share control marks.

    Series D Ptolemaic bronzes exhibit a pronounced concave reverse surface that is easily distinguished from the flat surface of most Ptolemaic bronzes. Hieron portrait bronzes, like many Syracusan bronzes of Agathocles and Hicetas, exhibit the concave reverse surface and their resemblance to the Series D types is easily apparent. The manufacturing technique leading to the nearly ubiquitous concave surface on both Hieron and Ptolemaic types is noteworthy evidence the Ptolemaic were produced at mints that also made Hieron portrait bronzes, and not at Alexandria. Many examples of Svoronos 610 (especially those with dotted reverse borders), which we also believe are Syracusan issues, have the flat reverse surfaces usually seen on Alexandrian Ptolemaic bronzes, however the concave reverse on most Series D pieces is shared by some specimens of Svoronos 610 that have the circular reverse borders.

    The absolute chronology of Hieron portrait bronzes is uncertain. A statistical calculation based on the specimens found in the Morgantina excavations estimated that the variety with laureate portrait was produced for six years, from 275 to 269, and that the variety with diademed portrait was struck for the remainder of Hieron's reign (Bell 1983). However, the number of control combinations recorded in Table IV for the laureate variant (55 as against 62 for the diademed variant) suggests that the original coinages were similar in volume, and that the present scarcity of the laureate type reflects a poor survival rate, perhaps the result of recoining by Hieron himself. Maria Caccamo Caltabiano, followed by Caroline Lehmler, has proposed a starting date of about 263 BC for the horseman bronzes (Caltabiano, Carroccio, and Oteri 1995, pp. 209-210 Lehmler 2005, p. 85). This date is based on historical reasoning: Caltabiano regards Hieron's introduction of his portrait bronze coinage as part of a currency reform that also involved the abandonment of precious metal coinage. In her view, this reform could not have occurred before 263 or 261 and was necessitated by economic difficulties that befell Hieron after a military confrontation with Rome in 264, resulting in the loss of some cities and the imposition of a war indemnity. She reasons that the change from laureate to diademed portrait was probably correlated with some important institutional change, likely the elevation of Hieron's son Gelon as coregent in 240 (Caltabiano, Carroccio, and Oteri 1995, p. 217). Production of this coinage then continued through 218 BC.

    Harold Mattingly has argued for a later chronology, citing archaeological contexts, hoards, and comparisons with other West Greek and Roman coinages (Mattingly 2000, pp. 42-46). He places great emphasis on the ratio of laureate and diademed horseman bronzes found in the Morgantina excavations (25 : 252) to arrive at a relatively late date, c. 242, for introduction of the laureate horseman bronzes. But as we have seen, the modern rate of recovery for the laureate bronzes is almost certainly not indicative of the volume of the original coinage, which may have lasted as long in production as the diademed horsemen. Mattingly dates the introduction of the latter c. 227, based in part on scanty coin finds in the House of Ganymede and the House of the Official at Morgantina, and in part on an historical argument, that the inauguration of a Roman governorship in western Sicily in that year could have inspired Hieron to advertise his royal status.

    As for the supposed revolutionary metrology of the horsemen bronzes, we note that their weight of c. 18 grams is approximately triple the weight of the Kore/bull bronzes with SYRAKOSION on the obverse Caltabiano and her colleagues found modes of 17-17.4 grams and 5.7 grams, respectively (Caltabiano, Carroccio, and Oteri 1995, Tables 1, 3-4, pp. 263, 255-266). A weight of c. 18 grams stands in a 3 : 2 ratio with the Kore/Pegasus bronzes (11.34 grams, according to Mattingly 2000, p. 42). The Ptolemaic diobols, too, could have circulated alongside these coins with a face value triple that of the Kore/bull bronzes and one and a half times that of the Kore/Pegasus bronzes. It is very unlikely that either Ptolemaic diobols (whether Alexandrian or Syracusan imitations) or Hieron's horseman bronzes had the face value of diobols in the Syracusan system.

    VI. The Special Case of Svoronos 610 - Two Reverse Border Types

    Svoronos 610, lacking a control letter or monogram on the reverse, also exhibits style characteristics of both Series A-C and Series D. Weiser considered Svoronos 610 to be "Alexandrian" in style. The texture of Zeus's hair, arched brow, and the conformation of his mustache indeed follow the Alexandrian model. Yet the youthful portrait, with hair swept back above the forehead and large laurel leaves, resembles or foreshadows the portraits of Series D. The reverse eagle is portrayed in the purely Alexandrian style of Series A-C. Die axes published in SNG Copenhagen and SNG Milano and those of specimens examined in commerce and private collections are 12h. The majority of identifiable Ptolemaic bronze diobol finds in Sicily reported by Manganaro (see Table III, above) are Svoronos 610.

    Svoronos 610, however, has two different types of reverse border, an observation not previously reported (see Table V). Illustration 5 shows examples of Svoronos 610 with both types of reverse border. The only examples seen to date of Series D with dotted reverse border are three recently noted specimens of Svoronos 619 from a single reverse die.


    • Type 1 - Dotted reverse border ("Egyptian" border)
    • Type 2 - Circular reverse border ("Sicilian" border)

    As we first report here the two types of Svoronos 610 reverse borders, future analyses must determine their relative prevalence, distribution, and die axis distinctions (if any). Svoronos 610 shows a mix of features we classify with Series A-C along with some of Series D. In light of the youthful face with hair swept back from the forehead, extensive Sicilian finds, and duality of reverse borders, we favor the classification of both types of Svoronos 610 as Syracusan along with Series D. The mixed or transitional features of Svoronos 610 argue that it was the first of the Sicilian bronze issues imitating Ptolemaic diobols, the variant with the dotted reverse border preceding the variant with the circular reverse border. This interpretation is further supported by the die axis distribution (Table II. above) in which we see a strong association between Svoronos 610 coins and the 12h 'Alexandrian' die axis. Some examples of Svoronos 610 which have die axes far from 12h are also of style (both obverse and reverse) associated with Series D that is different from the transitional 'Alexandrian' style of most other examples of Svoronos 610.

    Almost all examples of Svoronos 610 exhibit a stylistic kinship to the reformed bronze coinage of Ptolemy II. On the reformed bronze coinage, the heads of Zeus and Zeus-Ammon are rejuvenated and idealized, very much as on Svoronos 610, but they retain the small lock of hair that falls forward above the forehead, an iconographic detail characteristic of all Zeus portraits on Ptolemaic bronze issues from Egypt and from official provincial mints. The stylistic kinship may be merely coincidental, but perhaps it reflects some current of influence running between Syracuse and Alexandria.

    VII. The Rise of Hieron II and his Production of Imitative Bronze Diobols

    As Svoronos 610 and Series D are now identified as coinages of Hieron II of Syracuse, the events of his early career provide the essential context for interpreting these imitative issues. The ancient sources are unfortunately fragmentary and contradictory, so that there is substantial disagreement among scholars about key events and their dates (Hoyos 1998, pp. 31-46).

    Hieron was an officer in the army of Pyrrhus of Epirus. As a condottiere in the employ of Syracuse, Pyrrhus brought his forces from Italy and drove the Carthaginians almost entirely from Sicily, leaving only their stronghold at Lilybaeum. He also defeated the Mamertines, a lawless body of discharged Campanian mercenaries who in 289 had seized control of the strategic city of Messana and used it as a base to prey on the towns of Sicily (Diod. 21.18.1-3, 22.1.3). After three years of campaigning in Sicily, Pyrrhus decamped for Italy in 275, leaving a contingent of his army behind. His departure allowed the Carthaginians to reoccupy much of Sicily. The remnant of Pyrrhus' army, at the time estranged from the city of Syracuse, elected two leaders, Hieron and a certain Artemidoros (Polyb. 1.8.3). Hieron gained admittance to Syracuse through the help of kinsmen, overpowered the political opposition, and was accepted by the Syracusans as strategos of the city (Polyb. 1.8.4). This was apparently accomplished by summer of 274 (Paus. 6.12.2). In order to protect his position when away in the field, Hieron formed an alliance with an influential citizen named Leptines, whose daughter he married (Polyb. 1.9.1-3). Next he determined to rid his forces of disaffected veteran mercenaries and, in an odd echo of Ptolemy II purging his armies of mutinous Galatian mercenaries, threw them into battle at the River Cyamosorus near Centuripae and then abandoned them to be slaughtered by the Mamertines while he returned to Syracuse with the citizen units of his army (Polyb. 1.9.3-6). Hieron subsequently restocked his army with newly hired mercenaries loyal to himself (Polyb. 1.9.6).

    Around 280, during Pyrrhus' earlier Italian campaigns, the city of Rhegium, opposite Messana, had fallen under the control of a different outlaw band of Campanian mercenaries (Diod. 22.1.2-3). In 270 Rome determined to liberate the city. Hieron aided Rome in its siege by sending ships with grain and perhaps soldiers (Zon. 8.6.14 Dio Cass. fr. 43, 1 De Sensi Sestito 1995, pp. 29-30 Hoyos 1998, p. 31).

    Hieron, commanding citizen levies, won his first major victory over the Mamertines at the River Longanus (Polyb. 1.9.7-8 Diod. 22.13.1-6). In the aftermath he was acclaimed king by the Syracusans and their allies (Polyb. 1.9.8). Many scholars date these events to 270 or 269 BC (e.g., De Sensi Sestito 1995, p. 30 with others cited in n.58 Kincaid 1985, p. 108-9). Others, relying on the narratives of Diodorus and Polybius, place the battle of the Longanus in 264 as the beginning of a chain of events that led to the outbreak of the First Punic War (e.g., Hoyos 1998, p. 39).

    In 264 a confusing situation arose at Messana. Hieron besieged the city, either following up on his victory at the Longanus or making a new and belated attempt to dislodge the Mamertines for good. The Mamertines were on the point of surrender when a Carthaginian fleet arrived from Lipara. Its commander, Hannibal, tricked Hieron into lifting the siege, then introduced Carthaginian troops into Messana, whereupon Hieron returned to Syracuse (Diod. 22.13.1-8). But the Mamertines apparently tired of their rescuers and sought an alliance with Rome (Polyb. 1.10.1-2). After much hesitation and deliberation Rome dispatched an expeditionary force under the command of the consul Appius Claudius Caudex (Polyb. 1.10.3-11.3). The Mamertines expelled the Carthaginian garrison and invited Appius into the city (Polyb. 1.11.4). The Carthaginians crucified the garrison commander for his failure and blockaded Messana by sea and by land (Polyb.1.11.5-6). Seeing an opportunity to finish off the Mamertines, Hieron reversed centuries of Syracusan policy, allied with the Carthaginians, and laid siege to Messana from a second direction (Polyb. 1.11.7-8 Diod. 23.1.2-3). Appius Claudius attacked and defeated Hieron, who withdrew to Syracuse (Polyb. 1.11.12-15). After driving back the Carthaginians, Appius devastated Syracusan territory and attempted a siege of Syracuse, but eventually gave up and returned to Messana (Polyb. 1.12.4 Hoyos 1998, pp. 100-103).

    In 263 two consular armies invaded Sicily under the command of Mn. Valerius Maximus and Mn. Otacilius Crassus, with the evident intention of conquering the island for Rome. After overwhelming Hadranum they received the surrender of numerous other Sicilian towns (Diod. 23.4). The combined forces advanced on Syracuse, but the unease of his subjects caused Hieron to open negotiations. The resulting treaty established a fifteen-year peace and recognized Hieron as king of a truncated kingdom, a narrow strip of coastal Sicily extending only as far north as Leontini, with an additional enclave at Tauromenium, in exchange for a war indemnity of 100 (or perhaps only 25) talents (Diod. 23.4). For this achievement Valerius Maximus celebrated a triumph in 262 and assumed the surname Messalla. The treaty of 263 deprived Hieron of many of the cities he had recently acquired and assured that the Mamertines remained unmolested in Messana (Hoyos 1998, p. 107). Hieron probably did not achieve the status of a formal ally of Rome until 248, the date of his last indemnity payment (Zon. 8.16.2). He remained a loyal friend of Rome for the remainder of his long reign.

    Hieron's loss of his territories north of Leontini, considered against the particular distribution of the coins recorded in Table III, makes it very likely that the Ptolemaic diobols "with shield" found near Messina were introduced there in the course of Hieron's military campaigns, thus before 263. This is perhaps also true for the examples of Svoronos 610 found inland around Centuripae, Morgantina, and Herbessus. In contrast, the majority of Series D diobols appear to have been found within the borders of Hieron's diminished kingdom, a clue that they were probably issued after 263. If the movements of the imitative diobols were due primarily to economic activity, we would not expect to find different populations in different parts of Sicily.

    The various similarities between the coinages of Ptolemaic Egypt and Hieron II have become a topos of Sicilian numismatics. They follow a tradition of echoes and possible links dating back to the reign of Agathocles, who married a stepdaughter of Ptolemy I, and continuing under Pyrrhus, a protégé of both Ptolemy Soter and Ptolemy Philadelphus. The comparisons involve coin types, legends, metrology, and gold : silver exchange rates (Garraffo 1995 Consolo Langher 1995 Caltabiano, Carroccio, and Oteri 1995, pp. 217, 223, 236-237, 245 Lehmler 2005, pp. 70-71, 84-96).

    But iconographic and metrological affinities are not sufficient to explain as the production by a Hellenistic ruler of coinage pretending to be (or perhaps indeed) authorized by a different king. A similar phenomenon was recently discovered in the Cappadocian kingdom, where a series of monarchs, spanning the latter years of the second century to the early first century BC, produced coinage imitating the types of Antiochus VII of Syria and bearing his name as issuing authority (Lorber and Houghton 2006). The Hellenistic period affords other examples of imitative coinages, mainly the ongoing production of gold staters and tetradrachms of Alexander the Great and Lysimachus by various minting authorities. As an example of civic type we cite the Rhodian imitations struck in Thessaly c. 170 BC (Price 1989, pp. 241-242). Other imitative coinages of the Hellenistic period include staters of Corinthian type issued by Agathocles and Hieron II in Syracuse (Castrizio 1995) tetradrachms of Thasos with the types Dionysus/Heracles (Lucanc 1996) and tetradrachms of Side signed by the magistrate KLEYX, perhaps a "frozen" type, rather than an imitation (Arslan and Lightfoot 1999, pp. 34-36).

    Except for the widespread production of posthumous Alexanders and Lysimachi, these imitations are highly specific in time and place. The conventional explanation is that they were struck in times of war to pay mercenaries who demanded their compensation in a currency familiar to them. In all instances this interpretation remains a plausible supposition rather than a proven fact. In the case of Hieron II there is one bit of evidence that supports the hypothesis that the imitative bronze diobols were struck for military pay: the reported presence of Syracusan imitative bronzes at Ras Ibn Hani, a Ptolemaic garrison town of coastal northern Syria. Absent other provenances, it is hard to imagine how these coins moved directly from Sicily to Ras Ibn Hani unless they were carried there by Ptolemaic soldiers or by a body of mercenaries who changed employers.

    In seeking an explanation for the pseudo-Ptolemaic bronzes of Syracuse, we are hampered by the poverty of the ancient sources relating to Hieron II. The literary record contains no mention of Ptolemaic military aid to Hieron or to mercenaries from Lagid territories in his service. Nevertheless Ptolemaic involvement is not implausible, given Ptolemy Philadelphus' interest in the west and his inherited friendship with Hieron's mentor Pyrrhus. The former interest is attested by Philadelphus' initiative in negotiating a treaty of friendship with Rome in 273 and by the approximately contemporary survey of the harbors and coasts of the western Mediterranean, as far west as the Atlantic, by a Ptolemaic fleet under the command of Timosthenes of Rhodes (Fraser 1972, Vol. I, pp. 152, 522). Early in the third century Pyrrhus spent a year in Alexandria as a hostage. During that year he formed a deep friendship with the first Ptolemy, who honored him with a marriage alliance and in 297 sent him home with ships loaded with troops, food, and money so that he could reclaim his kingdom in Molossia (Plu. Pyrr. 5.1). When Pyrrhus left to campaign in Italy, Ptolemy II stationed troops in Epirus to protect the Molossian kingdom (Hammond 1988). Given the long careers of Hellenistic soldiers, it is possible that some of the original Ptolemaic troops accompanied Pyrrhus to Italy, though Diodorus mentions only Epirotes, who suffered heavy losses in the battle of Heraclea (Diod. 22.6.1-2). In any case, the Ptolemaic coin finds in Italy do not suggest that Pyrrhus was using Lagid currency for military pay (Travaglini 1995).

    We can propose several hypothetical situations that might have induced Hieron to issue his pseudo-Ptolemaic bronze diobols.

    A. When Pyrrhus left Sicily for Italy in 275, Ptolemy II may have seen an opportunity to cultivate a new protégé in Sicily. Philadelphus could have provided a cash stipend, or have sent troops and provided for their pay. If at some point the subsidy was discontinued, it may have made sense for Hieron to issue coins of Ptolemaic appearance to pay those who had come to expect this coinage. The distribution of the bronze diobols as recorded in Table III may not be consistent with this hypothesis. The coins found inland around Centuripae and Morgantina are examples of the first Syracusan imitative issue, Svoronos 610. Arguably they are to be associated with Hieron's earliest recorded campaign, providing a terminus ante quem for the subsidy from Alexandria. The diobols "with shield" found at Messana are perhaps genuine Ptolemaic issues of Series B-C, or perhaps further examples of Svoronos 610. If the former is the case, it would imply that Hieron was issuing imitative Ptolemaic coinage before receiving subsidies of authentic Egyptian coins, not a very plausible sequence of events. If the varieties at Messana are indeed examples of Svoronos 610, there would be no inconsistency.

    B. Hieron's position may have been relatively precarious in the early stages of his career. His issue of imitative Ptolemaic bronze coins could have been intended to advertise the fact that he enjoyed the support of Ptolemy Philadelphus, the wealthiest and most powerful monarch of the day. Hieron's choice of a bronze coinage to carry this propaganda would indicate that the message was targeted at the troops on his payroll, who would have been the first to receive these coins before they entered into general circulation. Messages aimed at the Syracusan political elite would have reached them more effectively if carried on precious metal coinage, or by means of honorary inscriptions, displays of valuable gifts, erection of statues and the other usual means by which Hellenistic Greeks advertised their status and their attachments to powerful benefactors.

    C. Hieron may have struck the imitative coins to trick his mercenaries into believing that they were on the payroll of Ptolemy II. If the veteran soldiers distrusted their commander, they would probably have demanded their pay in precious metal currency. The ruse of pseudo-Ptolemaic bronze coins perhaps enabled Hieron to pay his mercenaries in a fiduciary coinage they would not otherwise have accepted. An attraction of this hypothesis is that Hieron is known to have had problems with rebellious mercenaries and to have disposed of them through a devious stratagem. The hypothesis receives a degree of support from the finds of Svoronos 610 at Centuripae and other sites in the same general region. The hypothesis implies that production of the imitative bronzes began before the battle of the River Cyamosorus, but it does not explain why they continued to be issued afterward.

    D. The new generation of mercenaries that replaced those who perished at the Cyamosorus perhaps hailed from Ptolemaic territory. Coming from a closed economy where foreign coinages did not circulate, they would naturally have been suspicious of local bronze coinage and may have demanded to be paid in a coinage that looked more familiar to them. On this hypothesis we would not expect to find the imitative diobols in the region of Centuripae. But the recorded finds there are few in number and could conceivably reflect economic circulation rather than military campaigns.

    E. Giovanna de Sensi Sestito has suggested that Alexandria had an interest, shared by Syracuse and by Rome, in preventing Carthaginian control of Messana and the straits (De Sensi Sestito 1995, p. 30). According to her reconstruction of events, the Carthaginian garrison was introduced to Messana after the battle of the River Longanus in 269. Ptolemy II might then have helped to finance Hieron's initial attack on Messana in 264, much as he provided aid to Chremonides in Greece to oppose the power of the Macedonian kingdom. Ptolemy's assistance would probably have ceased when Hieron fell afoul of Rome, for the friendship between Ptolemy and Rome would have precluded aiding an enemy of Rome. A sudden withdrawal of Ptolemaic financial support in 264 could have been the specific trigger for Hieron's imitative coin issues. This hypothesis is consistent with the cluster of Ptolemaic diobols "with shield" at Messana, the trail of examples of Svoronos 610 down the east Sicilian coast, and the second cluster of Series D imitations in the south. It does not explain the finds of Svoronos 610 inland, but as noted above, it is not clear whether these should really be associated with the battle of the Cyamosorus.

    F. As a variant of the last, we can omit the alleged Alexandrian concern about the Carthaginian garrison at Messana and postulate that Ptolemy simply supported Hieron's effort to expel the Mamertines. The hypothesis is then compatible with dating the battle of the Longanus and Hieron's kingship to either 269 or 264.

    All of these hypotheses are speculative. Still, we emphasize that the Syracusan imitations of Ptolemaic diobols are primary documents that can add to our sketchy knowledge of the career of Hieron II, even if their correct interpretation is not presently apparent.

    VIII. Conclusion

    Series D coins are distinguished from other types of Ptolemaic bronze diobols by artistic style, anomalous (variable) die axes, and (almost always) circular reverse borders. They are found almost exclusively in Sicily. They also share size, weight, die axis variability, and control marks with some bronze portrait coins of Hieron II. These lines of evidence converge to a conclusion that Series D is an imitative Ptolemaic coinage minted by Hieron II in Syracuse. Based on some stylistic characteristics and find locations we also include Svoronos 610 among the Syracusan issues. We identify Svoronos 610 as the earliest Sicilian imitation of the bronze diobols of Ptolemy II.

    Svoronos 610 and Series D cannot be earlier than 275 BC, the approximate date for the appearance of the shield symbol on Ptolemaic coinage (Series B and C). The distribution of these varieties as reported by Giacomo Manganaro suggests that Svoronos 610 was in production by or before 264, and that the transition to Series D should be dated no earlier than the siege of Syracuse by Appius Claudius Caudex (later in 264). The distribution of Series D is also consistent with a date of issue after 263, when Hieron's kingdom was reduced in size. The current consensus of the Italian school is that Hieron II introduced his portrait bronzes c. 263. If that date is correct, Hieron's portrait bronzes may have replaced the imitative Ptolemaic diobols of Series D, or the two series may have been produced concurrently for a time. The concluding date of the Series D coinage is uncertain. We have the impression that this is a relatively small coinage, probably confined to just a few years, but its true scope can only be established by a die study.

    The attribution of Series D and Svoronos 610 to Hieron II is both justified and provocative. Important questions remain unanswered: Did Hieron II have an actual link to Ptolemy II? If so, what was its nature? Precisely when and why did Hieron begin to issue his imitative Ptolemaic bronze coins? When did their production end? Can we infer the sequence of issues from styles, die axis distributions, and reverse border types? A larger and more detailed record of the finds in Sicily is essential for testing the hypothetical answers to these questions. Careful reporting of new hoards and reanalysis of older hoards in light of our conclusions may help to pinpoint the dating and clarify the purpose of the Syracusan imitations. A die study would give us a better understanding of the scale and structure of the imitative Ptolemaic coinage of Hieron II. Readers who own such coins are invited to submit digital images with weights and die axes for inclusion in a die study.

    A Granite Relief of Ptolemy II

    THE portion of granite bas-relief on exhibition on the east wall of the Lower Hall of the Egyptian wing shows Ptolemy Philadelphus presenting a band of linen to the goddess Isis. This king reigned from 285 to 246 B.C. It was in c. 250-B.C. that a colony of Greek soldiers founded the Egyptian Philadelphia in the Faiyûm. The power of Egypt abroad was at this time at its zenith and the country was on excellent terms of friendship with Rome.

    Plate IX — Granite Relief of Ptolemy II
    Maximum Dimensions: H. 1.2 m W. 1.7 8 m
    Museum Object Number: E15728
    Image Number: 31315

    This relief was acquired by purchase from D. G. Kelekian in 1926 and is said to have come from Samannud, in the Delta on the Damietta arm of the Nile, which is the site of the ancient Sebennytos, the birthplace of Manetho, who wrote a history of Egypt during Ptolemy II’s reign. Publication of blocks from the ruins of the Temple of Isis at Bahbit el-Higara in the vicinity, which bear reliefs similar to ours leads one to believe that our relief came from this temple, which was built by Nectanebis II, 358-341 B.C. and Ptolemy II. 1 The blocks in these ruins are, like ours, of granite, which must have been transported a great distance, for there are no granite quarries in the vicinity.

    The goddess holds in the right hand a sceptre with a head representing the head of a stem of papyrus, and in the left the symbol of life. The crowns are missing but from the other reliefs published we may conjecture that the King wore the Double Crown of Upper and Lower Egypt, and the goddess a vulture cap, (a part of which is showing), with the head of the vulture protruding from the forehead, surmounted by a cluster of uraeii upon which was set the sun disk within cow’s horns.

    The inscription, although not complete, may be translated, with one or two restorations, thus:

    First column (beginning-from left): “Giving a band of linen to his mother that he may be given life.”
    Second column: “I give to thee the accession of Horus upon his throne forever.”
    Third column: ” . . . We increase thy might in all lands, that thou mayest rule (as King of Upper Egypt) Egypt on the four (sides) of the land (i.e. the whole land) that thou mayest rule (as King of Lower Egypt) that which the sun encircles, upon the Horus throne of the living.”
    Fourth column: “. . . clothing his mistress in the dress of Ernutet: the King of Upper and Lower Egypt, Weserkarē-merenamūn the son of Re, Ptolemy . . . “

    Thus we perceive that we have here a part of a relief which depicts the religious ceremonies in which the King dedicates offerings to the gods. Such scenes, together with processions at religious festivals and scenes from the King’s campaigns, decorated the walls and columns of temples. Upon other blocks found on this site, the King is shown presenting such offerings as wine, incense, oil, food, and clothing. In our relief it is probably a piece of fine white linen. The Egyptians took great pride in their linen and used all their skill in preparing the finest and whitest, which was worn by men of exalted rank. It was to them the highest conception of personal cleanliness and purity, and as such what could be more appropriate to offer to the gods?

    The name Ernutet may bear explanation. This was the goddess of harvest and divine nurse. She is depicted sometimes as a woman with the head of a uraeus serpent, or as a large uraeus serpent wearing the solar disk and cow’s horns of Hathor upon its head.

    The nature of the art displayed in this relief is typical of the period and may be seen in the temples of the time, such as those at Edfu, Kon Ombo, Medinet Habu, and particularly in the Temple of Hathor at Dendereh. It displays a roundness and plumpness of form which may be called almost swollen. While remaining essentially Egyptian it is thought by some Egyptologists to be greatly influenced by Greek art, which had attained its highest perfection in the 4th century B.C. This is also the feeling of the writer, but there are others who would see no outside influence and believe this art entirely Egyptian despite the establishment of the Greeks in the Nile valley for centuries. Certain it is that this art differs from the beautiful works attained by the Egyptian during the high points of development in the Old and Middle Kingdoms.

    Art similar to this in the Museum may be seen on the three slabs from a temple built by Ptolemy Soter about 300 B.C., on the southwest wall of the Upper Egyptian wing. For undisputed Greek influence compare the statue of an unknown man from Koptos in the southern end of the same wing. 2

    1 Naville, Détails relevés dans les ruines de quelques temples Égyptiens. Paris, 1930. Pls. 1-17.
    Roeder. Zeitschrift für Aegyptische Sprache, 46 p. 62-73.
    Edgar & Roeder, Recueil de Travaux 35. p. 89-116.

    2 American Journal of Archaeology, vol. 10, pp. 347 ff. Petrie-Koptos, p. 22.

    Cite This Article

    M., P.. "A Granite Relief of Ptolemy II." Museum Bulletin VII, no. 1 (November, 1937): 25-26. Accessed June 20, 2021.

    This digitized article is presented here as a historical reference and may not reflect the current views of the Penn Museum.

    The Egyptian Lotus

    Alter with Egyptian Lotus from Philae (left) Faience Bowl with Pool and Lotus Motifs (1450 BC) British Museum (right)

    The pedestal in the lower left portion of both reliefs is an altar topped with Egyptian sacred lotus flowers (actually water lilies), a gift to the gods. To the ancient Egyptians, the image of a pool with lotus flowers was symbolic of rebirth and new life. The Egyptians saw that the blue water lily opened up each morning, seeing the intense golden center set against the blue petals, seemingly an imitation of the sky that would greet the sun, releasing sweet perfume. Each afternoon, they would close again only to open again each day. The flower was therefore firmly linked with the rising and the setting of the sun, and thus to the sun god and the story of creation. The religious significance of the flower inspired the many columns of the Egyptian temples with water lily capitals crowning them. Homes were frequently graced with arrangements of flowers, including the favored lotus. Flower bowls were often shaped to accommodate the floating of cut lotus flowers as seen above. The sacred Egyptian blue lily (Nymphaea caerulea) has been used to produce perfumes since ancient times and is used in aromatherapy even today.

    Ptolemy - in ancient sources @

    This is part of the index of names on the attalus website. The names occur either in lists of events (arranged by year, from the 4th to the 1st century B.C.) or in translations of sources. There are many other sources available in translation online - for a fuller but less precise search, Search Ancient Texts.
    On each line there is a link to the page where the name can be found.

    Ptolemy I Soter - king of Egypt, 305-282 B.C.
    &rarr Wikipedia entry
    323/53 Ptolemy establishes himself as satrap of Egypt - counted as the begin
    322/13a Ptolemy kills Cleomenes, the previous governor of Egypt.
    322/14 Ophellas, the general of Ptolemy, defeats Thibron and gains contro
    321/14 Ptolemy diverts the procession carrying Alexander's body, and brin
    321/21 Theopompus travels to Egypt, but Ptolemy refuses to receive him.
    320/2 nsults with his advisers, and decides to attack Ptolemy in Egypt.
    320/9 Ptolemy fights off an attack by Perdiccas on the "Fort of the Came
    320/28 Ptolemy visits Cyrene, and brings the city under his control.
    319/1 Ptolemy marries Eurydice, the daughter of Antipater.
    318/4 Ptolemy gains control of Syria after expelling the satrap Laomedon
    318/5 Ptolemy captures Jerusalem.
    318/22 of mercenaries, despite the opposition of Ptolemy and Antigonus.
    316/19a Ptolemy gives 50 talents to pay for the burial of an Apis bull.
    316/20 Berenice becomes the mistress and then the wife of Ptolemy.
    315/4 Seleucus takes refuge with Ptolemy, in anticipation of an attack
    315/12 gonus rejects an ultimatum from Ptolemy, Seleucus, and Cassander.
    315/14 Antigonus expels Ptolemy' garrisons from Joppa and Gaza.
    315/26 Ptolemy sends out Myrmidon, Polycleitus, Menelaus, and Seleucus
    314/10 Ptolemy wins the prize at the Pythian Games in the race for chario
    313/6 Agis, the general of Ptolemy, suppresses a revolt at Cyrene.
    313/22 Ptolemy gains control of Cyprus and makes Nicocreon king of the
    313/25 marches to Mallus, but arrives after Ptolemy has left the area.
    312/3 Ptolemy suppresses a revolt by Telesphorus.
    312/13 Ptolemy defeats Demetrius at the battle of Gaza.
    312/14 Ptolemy gains control of Phoenicia.
    311/2 Demetrius defeats Cilles, the general of Ptolemy.
    311/3 Ptolemy sends Seleucus with a small force to reoccupy Babylonia.
    311/4 Ptolemy retreats back to Egypt.
    311/5 Ptolemy settles some of the Jews in Egypt.
    311/22 agrees to a peace treaty with Cassander, Lysimachus, and Ptolemy.
    311/31a the restoration of the rights of the temple at Buto by Ptolemy.
    310/8 us, Phaon, Philotas, Propis, Ptolemy, Satyrus, Telephanes, Zethus
    310/11 Ptolemy forces Nicocles, the king of Paphos, to commit suicide.
    310/19 Demetrius defeats the generals of Ptolemy in Cilicia.
    310/32 Chaerephon, Gnome, Phyromachus, Polyctor, Ptolemy, and others.
    309/9 Ptolemy attacks Lycia and Caria.
    309/17 nephew of Antigonus joins Ptolemy at Cos, but is later put
    308/15 Ptolemy sails to Greece and captures Corinth, but leaves again aft
    308/16 Ptolemy asks the philosopher Stilpon to leave Megara and come
    308/20 Ptolemy holds a feast to celebrate his return to Egypt.
    306/12 Demetrius heavily defeats Ptolemy in a naval battle off Salamis.
    305/11 dream, and advises the Rhodians to appeal to Ptolemy for help.
    305/20a nscr_12, a treaty between the city of Iasus, Ptolemy and others.
    305/21 receive reinforcements from Ptolemy and from the city of Cnossus.
    305/22 Ptolemy proclaims himself king.
    305/29 courtesan Thais lives with Ptolemy and bears him three children.
    304/5 Supplies from Ptolemy, Cassander, and Lysimachus reach Rhodes.
    304/18 The Rhodians honour Ptolemy as a god, and give him the title "Sote
    303/6 Ptolemy makes a dedication to the temple of Athena at Lindus.
    302/16 Ptolemy retreats from Sidon to Egypt, after hearing a false rumour
    301/27 Ptolemy seizes control of Palestine and Coele Syria, and Seleucus
    301/28 Ptolemy captures Jerusalem.
    300/11 refuses to sell his picture of the Visit to the Dead to Ptolemy.
    299/3b Lysimachus marries Arsinoe, daughter of Ptolemy.
    298/5 Demetrius marries the daughter of Ptolemy.
    298/8 Demetrius sends Pyrrhus to Ptolemy "as a hostage".
    297/20 alereus leaves Greece, and goes to the court of Ptolemy in Egypt.
    295/25 Ptolemy sends 150 ships in an attempt to break Demetrius' blockade
    294/17 Coalition of Lysimachus, Seleucus, and Ptolemy against Demetrius.
    292/4 hocles the son of Lysimachus to Lysandra the daughter of Ptolemy.
    290/1 "Calumny" is a retort to his opponents in the court of Ptolemy.
    288/1 Ptolemy, Lysimachus, and Pyrrhus form a coalition against Demetriu
    286/16a 67, an Athenian decree in honour of Zenon, an officer of Ptolemy.
    282/1 The Athenians put up a statue of Ptolemy at Delphi.
    282/2 a dedication by Arsinoe the daughter of Ptolemy at Samothrace.
    282/10 Demetrius persuades Ptolemy I to start collecting books for a libr
    282/11 Menedemus is sent as an ambassador to Ptolemy.
    282/14 Galetes, a favourite of Ptolemy, persuades him to save some men
    282/15 Ptolemy declines to punish an insolent grammarian.
    282/16 Ptolemy displays a camel along with a two-coloured man at a public
    282/18 The character of Ptolemy, and his queen Berenice.
    282/19 The condition of the kingdom of Egypt under Ptolemy.
    282/20 The death of Ptolemy I, and accession of Ptolemy II.
    278/14 The deification of Ptolemy I and Berenice, and the first celebrati

    Ptolemy 2 II Philadelphus - king of Egypt, 282-246 B.C.
    &rarr Wikipedia entry
    + Philadelphus
    308/4 The birth of Ptolemy II, on the island of Cos.
    285/20 etas of Cos and Straton of Lampsacus act as tutors of Ptolemy II.
    285/21 Ptolemy II becomes co-regent with his father.
    282/3 who is sent on an embassy by Ptolemy, ignores the threats made aga
    282/6 Ptolemy avoids the normal format of a letter, when writing to Sele
    282/7 Demetrius Phalereus helps Ptolemy to draw up laws.
    282/8 Ptolemy builds a warship with twelve banks of oars.
    282/20 The death of Ptolemy I, and accession of Ptolemy II.
    282/20a Ptolemy goes to Mendes, to celebrate a festival for his accession.
    282/21 Demetrius Phalereus is put under arrest by Ptolemy II.
    282/33a a decree of Telmessos in response to a letter from Ptolemy II.
    281/4 Sotades attacks both Lysimachus and Ptolemy Philadelphus.
    281/26 Seleucus enters into a treaty of friendship with Ptolemy (II ?).
    281/42 Ptolemy II frees Jewish slaves.
    280/3 Ptolemy II authorises the translation of the Jewish Bible into Gre
    280/5 Jewish scholars to assist Ptolemy, who holds a banquet in their
    280/21 Dedications made by Ptolemy, Polycleitus, Philocles, Iomilcus, and
    279/16 Ptolemy punishes Zoilus for his outspoken criticism of Homer's poe
    279/30 Philocles captures Caunus for Ptolemy.
    278/15 Ptolemy II makes a gift of land to Miletus.
    278/16 Athenians celebrate the Panathenaea, with help from Ptolemy II.
    277/7 decree of Delos in honour of Philocles, the admiral of Ptolemy.
    276/4a Ptolemy obtains the original manuscripts of Greek tragedies from
    276/10 Ptolemy II sends an expedition to Ethiopia.
    275/5 The wedding of Ptolemy II and his sister Arsinoe.
    275/7 punished for insults against Ptolemy II and Arsinoe, either by emp
    274/16 Ptolemy leads a military expedition to (?) Palestine.
    274/21a Ptolemy and Arsinoe visit the Nile Delta, and discuss the defence
    273/1 Ptolemy' navy mounts a counter-attack against the territory of Ant
    273/4 Antigonus is defeated by Ptolemy the son of Pyrrhus in a second
    271/3 oc_15 & 17, two poems by Theocritus written in praise of Ptolemy.
    271/6 Antiochus recovers Damascus from the garrison of Ptolemy.
    270/12 Ptolemy stages an elaborate procession through Alexandria.
    270/13 The death of Arsinoe, sister and wife of Ptolemy II.
    270/18c OGIS_26 & 27, statues of Ptolemy and Arsinoē, dedicated by
    269/4 Ptolemy constructs a canal between the delta of the river Nil
    269/5 Ptolemy sends out elephant-hunters, who found the cities of Philot
    265/19b Syll_434, a statue of Areus, dedicated by Ptolemy at Olympia.
    264/4 Belistiche, the concubine of Ptolemy, wins the Olympic prize in
    264/18a cording the participation of Ptolemy in religious ceremonies at
    264/18b cording the support given by Ptolemy to both the traditional Egypt
    261/4 Bagnall_21, a letter from Ptolemy II to the city of Miletus, and
    260/1 Bagnall_53, regulations of Ptolemy II concerning Syria and Phoeni
    259/10 Philochorus is put to death by Antigonus for supporting Ptolemy.
    259/15 archus the tyrant of Miletus lead a rebellion against Ptolemy II.
    259/19 PRev_38-56, the regulations for the oil monopoly of Ptolemy II.
    259/21 PAmh_33'28+, a letter from Ptolemy II to Apollonius.
    257/15 Ptolemy founds the city of Berenice on the Red Sea coast, and
    253/10 Antiochus and Ptolemy II Rhodes is reconciled with Ptolemy.
    252/10 Antiochus marries Berenice, the daughter of Ptolemy Philadelphus.
    247/14 haginians send an embassy to Ptolemy II, but fail to get any pract
    246/4 Ptolemy rewards the doctor Cleombrotus for saving the life of Anti
    246/7 pher Hegesias is silenced by Ptolemy, because his lectures are too
    246/8 Ptolemy ridicules the far-fetched grammatical explanations of Sosi
    246/11 Ptolemy launches a ship with 30 banks of oars.
    246/12 elephant falls in love with Menander, a soldier in Ptolemy' army.
    246/14 Ptolemy dedicates a temple to his concubine Belistiche.
    246/15 Ptolemy erects statues in honour of Cleino, his wine-pourer.
    246/17 Ptolemy transports the obelisk of Necthebis down the Nile and erec
    246/18 Ptolemy erects many statues of Arsinoe, who is depicted holding
    246/19 Ptolemy rebuilds Patara in Lycia, and calls it Arsinoe.
    246/20 Ptolemy pays for a new temple of Heracles at Heracleia.
    246/22 ers capture a giant snake in Ethiopia, and present it to Ptolemy.
    246/24 Pythagoras, an officer of Ptolemy, extracts a huge piece of rock-c
    246/25 Ptolemy sends Dionysius as ambassador to the court of the king of
    246/26 crocodile predicts the death of Ptolemy.
    246/27 Ptolemy keeps a pet elephant.
    246/28 The prosperous reign of Ptolemy, who is a great patron of the arts
    246/29 The death of Ptolemy II, and accession of Ptolemy III.

    Ptolemy 3 III Euergetes - king of Egypt, 246-222 B.C.
    &rarr Wikipedia entry
    + Benefactor , Euergetae , Euergetes
    246/29 The death of Ptolemy II, and accession of Ptolemy III.
    246/40 Ptolemy leaves Egypt for Syria his wife Berenice dedicates a lock
    246/41 Ptolemy invades Syria.
    246/44 Ptolemy reaches Mesopotamia, and his army besieges the palace
    245/3 Ptolemy returns to Egypt.
    245/8 eracleia writes a history down to the reign of the third Ptolemy.
    245/13 FGrH_160, an account of Ptolemy's invasion of Syria.
    245/14 summoned to Alexandria by Ptolemy, who makes him director of
    244/2 attack from the forces of Ptolemy, but remains loyal to Seleucu
    244/3 Syll_463, a decree of Itonus in honour of Ptolemy III.
    244/3a PHib_54, a letter from Demophon to Ptolemy.
    243/4 Ptolemy gains possession of Thrace.
    242/6 Ptolemy III is proclaimed to be leader of the Achaean League.
    242/7a SEG_36.1218, a letter from Ptolemy III to the city of Xanthus.
    242/11 _25-28, letters of Ziaelas, Ptolemy and other kings concerning
    241/25 PCZen_59832, a petition from Zenon to Ptolemy III.
    241/29 Peace between Ptolemy III and Seleucus II: the end of the Third
    240/30a Ptolemy appoints Hippomedon of Sparta to be governor of Thrace.
    240/44 Roman embassy offers to help Ptolemy against Syria.
    238/2 cree of the Egyptian priests at Canopus in honour of Ptolemy III.
    231/2 hilosopher Sphaerus goes to Egypt at the request of king Ptolemy.
    223/6a Ptolemy sends his son Magas to lead Egyptian forces in Asia Minor.
    222/11 King Ptolemy withdraws his subsidy to Cleomenes.
    222/27 refuge in Alexandria, where Ptolemy gives him a state pension.
    221/16 Ptolemy III defeats and kills Adaeus.
    221/18 Ptolemy III introduces the cult of Sarapis at Alexandria.
    221/19 Berenice rebukes Ptolemy for playing dice while sentencing crimina
    221/20 Ptolemy III is a keen collector of rare wild animals, and sends
    221/21 Callicrates and Panaretus are favourites of Ptolemy.
    221/22 The death of Ptolemy III, and accession of Ptolemy IV.
    (205)SEG_38.1476 was priest of the gods Euergetai and of king Ptolema
    (145)OGIS_111 delphoi and] of the gods Euergetai [and of the gods] P
    Aelian:NA_16.39 teen and in the time of Ptolemy Euergetes three were brou
    Athen_5.209 as a present to Alexandria to Ptolemy the king of Egyp
    Athen_6.251 rates was a flatterer of Ptolemy, the third king of Egy
    Athen_12.552 he was a companion of Ptolemy Euergetes, receiving
    Callim:Epigr_52 & On Berenice, the wife of Ptolemy Euergetes. Four
    ChronPasc_429 429'A] [Ol. 131.2] Ptolemy Euergetes, who was also call
    ChronPasc_432 alled Gallus, the son of Ptolemy Euergetes called Tryph
    ChronSynt_91 Alexander for 38 years Ptolemy Alexas for 25 years
    ChronSynt_100 hiladelphus for 27 years Ptolemy Euergetes for 24 years
    Euseb]:Chron_127 Philadelphus - for 38 years 3. Ptolemy Euergetes - for
    Euseb]:Chron_161 ter him, the third Ptolemy, called Euergetes, reigned
    Euseb]:Chron_169 ladelphus - for 38 years Ptolemy Euergetes - for 24 yea
    Euseb]:Chron_251 or Ephesus, which was held by Ptolemy. Then Seleucus
    ExcBarb_35B fter Philadelphus, Ptolemy Euergetes was king in Egypt
    ExcBarb_46B maeus Lagus for 20 years Ptolemy Euergetes for 38 years
    Hieron:Chron_1771 acid dynasty. 133.3 * . [1771] Ptolemy Euergetes [becam
    Joseph:AJ_12.159 Philopator. [159] Euergetes sent an ambassador to Jerusal
    Just_* 27.1-3 * Berenice, the sister of Ptolemy, king of Egypt, togeth
    Just_28.4 and children to Egypt to Ptolemy, by whom he was honour
    Malal_196 him the fourth king was Ptolemy Euergetes [197] for
    OGIS_131 (136/5) he] sister, the gods Euergetai, [and their children
    OGIS_152 (142-131) ra the wife, the gods Euergetai, [and his] kindness
    OGIS_153 (142-131) a the wife, [the gods Euergetai], and their childre
    OGIS_155 (142-131) a [the wife, the gods Euergetai, and] their childre
    OGIS_156 (c. 124) a the wife], the gods Euergetai, and [their] childr
    OGIS_168 (115) hoi, and of the gods Euergetai, and of the gods Phi
    OGIS_20 (246-221) ter and] wife of king Ptolemaios [son of Ptolema
    OGIS_54 (c. 246) The Great King Ptolemaios, son of king Ptolemaio
    OGIS_55 (240) year of the reign of Ptolemaios, the son of Ptolema
    OGIS_65 (c. 245) behalf of king Ptolemaios, son of Ptolemaios and
    OGIS_726 (245-221) sp On behalf of king Ptolemaios the son of Ptolema
    OGIS_86 (c. 210-204) res, the offspring of Ptolemaios and Berenike the g
    PHaun_6 &alpha) . . . Ptolemy & his wife [25] & &tau
    Phylarch_58 olyb_2.63'1-3 & &# Ptolemy withdraws his financial supp
    Phylarch_T1 and takes it as far as Ptolemy Euergetes, and the dea
    Plut:Agis_7 laves of the stewards of Ptolemy and Seleucus, are rich
    Plut:Arat_4 his hopes from Egypt and Ptolemy were too remote, he
    Plut:Arat_* 12-15 * ept in the generosity of Ptolemy, and therefore determi
    Plut:Arat_24 onians. He brought Ptolemy likewise into the Achaean
    Plut:Arat_41 yearly allowance he had from Ptolemy. For this, he
    Plut:Cleom_19 double the pension he had from Ptolemy, king of Egypt.
    Plut:Cleom_22 oncerns of state. Ptolemy, king of Egypt, agreed to
    Plut:Cleom_* 31-33 * bability, as much excels Ptolemy as the Macedonians do
    Polyaen_5.18.1 engaged in a war with Ptolemy, whose fleet then lay
    Polyaen_8.50.1 subjects of this, until Ptolemy, the father of the dec
    Porph:Fr_43 gypt, Berenice's brother Ptolemy Euergetes became the
    Porph:Fr_44 Philopator the son of Euergetes, who was the fourth kin
    RC_27 (c. 240) igned this letter to Ptolemaios III: see the com
    RC_28 (c. 240) alos I. > [King Ptolemaios to the council] and pe
    SEG_20.467 (c. 217) ator, the son of king Ptolemaios and queen Berenike
    SEG_38.1476 (206/5) Ptolemaios, son of Ptolemaios and Berenike, the
    SEG_39.1596 (217-204) lopator, son of king Ptolemaios and queen Berenike
    THI_128 (210-205) lemaios, son of king Ptolemaios, and queen Arsino&#
    THI_259 (217) ies, offspring of the Benefactor Gods, one whom
    AET_8.13 (c. 90) esty the Son of Ra, Ptolemy Euergetes, was the
    THI_65 (c. 238) [A] King Ptolemaios of Macedonia, the son
    Vit:ApRhod_1 the time of the third Ptolemy [246-222 B.C.], and

    Ptolemy 4 IV Philopator - king of Egypt, 222-205 B.C.
    &rarr Wikipedia entry
    + Philopator , Philopatores
    221/1a Austin_318, a petition from Aristomachus to Ptolemy IV.
    221/22 The death of Ptolemy III, and accession of Ptolemy IV.
    220/13 Ptolemy is dominated by his concubine Agathocleia, and gives himse
    220/16 murder of Magas, the brother of Ptolemy, and his mother Berenice.
    219/4 Ptolemy puts Cleomenes under house arrest, at the instigation
    218/8 Inconclusive negotiations between Antiochus and Ptolemy.
    217/34 Ptolemy visits Jerusalem, and attempts to enter the temple.
    217/46a n_276, a decree of the Egyptian priests in honour of Ptolemy IV.
    216/14d SEG_20.467, a statue of Ptolemy IV at Joppa.
    216/21 Ptolemy uses elephants to attack the Egyptian Jews, but the Jews
    215/14 ieron builds a huge ship, which he gives as a present to Ptolemy.
    214/13 Hieronymus sends Zoippus on an embassy to Ptolemy.
    210/22 send an embassy to Syphax in Numidia, and to Ptolemy in Egypt.
    206/6a etters from kings Antiochus, Ptolemy, and Attalus recognising the
    204/8 Ptolemy IV dedicates a temple to Homer.
    204/9 Ptolemy launches a huge warship, 280 cubits long, with 40 banks
    204/10 Ptolemy begins to build walls around Gortyn in Crete, but does not
    204/11 Arsinoe disapproves of a festival instituted by Ptolemy.
    204/12b RC_30, part of a letter of Ptolemy concerning Soli in Cilicia.
    204/13a Ptolemy IV constructs two enormous ships, one for the sea and one
    204/14 The indolent lifestyle of Ptolemy IV.
    204/15 The death of Ptolemy IV Philopator.
    204/20 The murder of Arsinoe, the widow of Ptolemy IV.
    204/7 THI_128, a donation of Ptolemy IV to Thespiae in Boeotia.
    170/19a _107, a dedication on behalf of Ptolemy VI at Parembole in Nubia.
      Within translations:
    3Macc_1 theca Augustana [1] When Philopator learned from those who
    3Macc_3 against them: 12 "King Ptolemy Philopator to his gene
    3Macc_7 his concern: [7] "King Ptolemy Philopator to the gene
    Aelian:NA_7.44 of the god. Let Ptolemy Philopator be a trustworthy wit
    Athen_5.203 which were built also by Ptolemy Philopator, which are
    Athen_5.204 ross-beams. [38.] "Philopator also built a vessel for the
    Athen_6.246 book of his history of Philopator, says that men to dine
    Athen_6.251 and the companion of the king Ptolemy Philopator. And
    Athen_8.354 to Alexandria by king Ptolemy, when on one occasion
    Athen_10.425 third book of his History of Philopator. But Polybius,
    Athen_13.577 great power over king Ptolemy Philopator? in fact,
    ChronPasc_432 prime. [Ol. 139.3] Ptolemy Philopator, who was also cal
    ChronPasc_433 Epiphanes, the son of Ptolemy Philopator called Gall
    ChronSynt_91 aeus Alexas for 25 years Ptolemy Philopator for 17 year
    ChronSynt_100 Euergetes for 24 years Ptolemy Philopator for 21 year
    DiogLaert_7.177 Alexandria, to the court of Ptolemy Philopater. And
    Euseb]:Chron_127 Euergetes - for 24 years 4. Ptolemy Philopator - for
    Euseb]:Chron_161 him, the fourth Ptolemy, called Philopator, reigned
    Euseb]:Chron_169 Euergetes - for 24 years Ptolemy Philopator - for 21
    ExcBarb_35B Euergetes, his son Ptolemy Philopator was king for 17
    ExcBarb_46B Euergetes for 38 years Ptolemy Philopator for 17 year
    Hieron:Chron_1797 220-217 B.C.] 140.1 * . [1797] Ptolemy Philopator [beca
    Hieron:Chron_1807 king of Syria defeated Ptolemy Philopator and gained
    Joseph:AJ_12.130 while he was at war with Ptolemy Philopator, and with
    Joseph:AJ_12.131 upon Judaea and when Philopator was dead, his son sent
    Joseph:AJ_12.158 anger, who was the father of Philopator. [159]
    Just_29.1 to him. Of Egypt Ptolemy had made himself master, aft
    Just_30.1 acedonia, the conduct of Ptolemy in Egypt was of an opp
    Just_31.1 BOOK 31 [31.1] Ptolemy Philopator, king of
    Malal_197 him the fifth king was Ptolemy Philopator for 17 year
    OGIS_111 (152-145) tai [and of the gods] Philopatores and of the gods
    OGIS_168 (115) getai, and of the gods Philopatores, and of the god
    OGIS_730 (c. 217/6) as an envoy to king Ptolemaios, on his return has r
    OGIS_81 (221-205) is a friend of king Ptolemaios, had continually
    OGIS_82 (217-208) icated to king Ptolemaios and queen Arsinoē
    OGIS_84 (217-210) lly has towards king Ptolemaios and [his] sister qu
    OGIS_86 (c. 210-204) On behalf of king Ptolemaios and queen Arsinoē
    OGIS_91 (205-181) iphanes, the son of Ptolemaios and Arsinoē [th
    PHaun_6 &tau&upsilon&theta Ptolemy, fearing that he might
    Plut:Cleom_* 33-39 * made of Cleomenes for Ptolemy, being afraid of his
    Plut:Demetr_43 fterwards, indeed, Ptolemy Philopator built one of 40
    Porph:Fr_44 lected an army and made war on Ptolemy Philopator. Sele
    Porph:Fr_45 mpt the worthlessness of Ptolemy Philopator, because
    RC_38 (203) hts in the [? decree] of Ptolemaios . . . being
    SEG_20.467 (c. 217) atue of the great king Ptolemaios the god Philopato
    SEG_38.1476 (206/5) the reign of Ptolemaios, son of Ptolemaios and
    SEG_39.1596 (217-204) s statue of Ptolemaios the god Philopa
    THI_128 (210-205) on] was archon, king Ptolemaios, son of king Ptolem
    THI_261 (185/4) lphus and of the Gods Philopatores, as being burden
    AET_8.13 (c. 90) er Egypt, Son of Ra Ptolemy Philopator, after a
    THI_65 (c. 238) olemaios [B] Ptolemaios of Macedonia, the so
    THI_82 (217-209) re dedicated to king Ptolemaios Philopator and quee
    THI_85 (late 3rd century) n], having come back safe to Ptolemaios (?) . . . a
    Zenob_3.94 plies even more to Ptolemy Philopator: for he confined
    Zenob_4.92 Magas, the brother of Philopator, in his bath, by pouri

    Ptolemy 6 VI Philometor - king of Egypt, 180-145 B.C.
    &rarr Wikipedia entry
    + Philometor , Philometores
    180/13 The death of Ptolemy V, and accession of Ptolemy VI.
    175/4 The death of Cleopatra, mother of Ptolemy.
    170/30 Embassies from Antiochus and Ptolemy arrive at Rome.
    169/1 The coming of age (anacleteria) of Ptolemy VI.
    169/8 The armies of Antiochus and Ptolemy advance to meet each other.
    169/17 Ptolemy VI attempts to escape to Samothrace.
    169/23 Ptolemy VI joins Antiochus, who promises to support him against
    169/35 Reconciliation between Ptolemy VI and his brother Ptolemy VII.
    168/8b of Chalcis in response to a consignment of grain from Ptolemy VI.
    168/52 Embassies from Antiochus, Ptolemy, Eumenes and Masinissa, and from
    165/9 Dionysius Petosarapis rebels against Ptolemy, but is defeated.
    164/3 Ptolemy suppresses a rebellion in the Thebaid and captures Panonpo
    164/5 Ptolemy VI is expelled from Egypt by his brother.
    163/2 Ptolemy VI goes to Rome to get support for his restoration to Egyp
    163/14 Ptolemy VI is restored to the throne of Egypt.
    163/20 kingdom are divided up between Ptolemy VI and Ptolemy VIII.
    163/25 OGIS_59, a letter from Ptolemy VI to Apollonius.
    154/11 Ptolemy VI captures his brother, but spares his life and restores
    150/9 and Cleopatra, daughter of Ptolemy VI Alexander summons Jonatha
    146/14 Ptolemy VI transfers his support from Alexander Balas to Demetrius
    145/10 Ptolemy VI supports the Jews of Alexandria against the Samaritans.
    145/11 Ptolemy VI enters Antioch.
    145/17 General comments on the mild character of Ptolemy VI.
    145/18 Ptolemy dies of wounds sustained at the battle of Oenoparus.
    145/19 Ptolemy' army returns to Egypt, and Demetrius II gains control of
      Within translations:
    1Macc_1 fleet. 18 He engaged Ptolemy king of Egypt in battle,
    1Macc_10 nder sent ambassadors to Ptolemy king of Egypt with the
    1Macc_11 ather-in-law. But when Ptolemy entered the cities he sta
    2Macc_1 nted priests, teacher of Ptolemy the king, and to the Jews
    2Macc_4 for the coronation of Philometor as king, Antiochus lea
    2Macc_9 us, he betook himself to Ptolemy Philometor in Egypt. [10
    2Macc_10 abandoned Cyprus, which Philometor had entrusted to him,
    4Macc_4 he was warring against Ptolemy in Egypt, he heard tha
    Athen_5.195 Egypt, having plundered Ptolemy Philometor the king
    Athen_6.252 him, as also he had with Ptolemy Philometor, though he
    ChronPasc_437 years. [Ol. 149.4] Ptolemy Philometor, the son of Ptole
    ChronPasc_441 puted in the presence of Ptolemy Philopator about the
    ChronSynt_100 Epiphanes for 22 years Ptolemy Philometor for 34 year
    Diod_33.6 Physcon, the brother of Philometor, began his reign most
    Diod_33.12 ompared with his brother Philometor's for his brother was
    Diod_33.20 was a friend of Ptolemy Philometor, and commanded
    Euseb]:Chron_127 for 22 years 6. Ptolemy Philometor - for 34 years
    Euseb]:Chron_161 sons, the elder called Philometor and the younger called
    Euseb]:Chron_163 instead, and after that Philometor ruled as sole king of
    Euseb]:Chron_169 Epiphanes - for 24 years Ptolemy Philometor - for 31
    Euseb]:Chron_255 with the assistance of Ptolemy and Attalus, and he
    ExcBarb_35B maeus Epiphanes, his son Ptolemy Philometor was king
    ExcBarb_36A Syria. [36A] After Ptolemy Philometor, his son the seco
    ExcBarb_46B Epiphanes for [24] years Ptolemy Philometor for 35 year
    Hieron:Chron_1838 180-177 B.C.] 150.2 * . [1838] Ptolemy Philometor [beca
    Hieron:Chron_1841 ries on the works of Moses for Ptolemy Philometor. 151.
    Hieron:Chron_1869 respective temples, and Ptolemy decided in favour of
    Joseph:AJ_12.235 the elder of which was called Philometor, and the younges
    Joseph:AJ_12.242 he contemned the son of Ptolemy, as now weak, and not
    Joseph:AJ_12.243 lusium, and circumvented Ptolemy Philometor by treacher
    Joseph:AJ_12.387 nother house, he fled to Ptolemy, king of Egypt [388]
    Joseph:AJ_* 13.62-64 * er, and who fled to king Ptolemy, who was called Philom
    Joseph:AJ_13.69 was what Onias wrote to king Ptolemy. Now any one may
    Joseph:AJ_13.70 their reply: [70] "King Ptolemy and queen Cleopatra
    Joseph:AJ_13.74 out their temples before Ptolemy himself the Jews sayi
    Joseph:AJ_13.76 law and they desired of Ptolemy, that whomsoever he
    Joseph:AJ_* 13.79-82 * at Alexandria in the days of Ptolemy Philometor. [4.]
    Joseph:AJ_* 13.103-113 * time it was that king Ptolemy, who was called Philom
    Joseph:AJ_* 13.116-120 * pillaged it whereupon Ptolemy, and his son-in-law
    Joseph:AJ_20.236 into the friendship of Ptolemy Philometor, and Cleopa
    Joseph:BJ_* 01.31-33 * quarrel with the sixth Ptolemy about his right to the
    Just_34.2 of Syria, made war upon Ptolemy king of Egypt, his eld
    Just_35.1 but receiving aid from Ptolemy king of Egypt, Attalus
    Just_38.8 anwhile, on the death of Ptolemy, the throne, with the
    Malal_197 after him the seventh king was Ptolemy Philometor for
    Malal_205 Epiphanes was angry with Ptolemy, the king of Egypt,
    Malal_206 of Egypt, [206] because Ptolemy demanded taxes from
    OGIS_102 (c. 155) as dedicated to king Ptolemaios and the other gods,
    OGIS_104 (167-145) the kinsman of king Ptolemaios and exegetes and sup
    OGIS_106 (174-172) dedicated to king Ptolemaios and queen Kleopatra,
    OGIS_107 (172-170) r] and wife, the gods Philometores, [this gateway]
    OGIS_111 (152-145) icated to king Ptolemaios and queen Kleopatra
    OGIS_116 (c. 154) s the allies of king Ptolemaios in Cyprus, and had
    OGIS_150 (157/6) o were sent to king Ptolemaios - Astyochos and Euag
    OGIS_168 (115) opatra's] name, [gods Philometores Soteres], should
    OGIS_59 (163) [A] King Ptolemaios to Apollonios,
    OGIS_82 (217-208) inoē, the gods Philometores, and to Sarapis
    Porph:Fr_38 out of the ten horns are Ptolemy VI Philometor, Ptolema
    Porph:Fr_50 again gathered an army against Ptolemy, and invaded the
    Porph:Fr_55 ught against his sister's son, Ptolemy Philometor. When
    Porph:Fr_49a honour of royalty" by Ptolemy' supporters in Syria,
    Porph:Fr_49b ched with a large army against Ptolemy, his sister's
    POxy_1241 os. 4. A mistake for (?) "Philometor". 5. Greek:
    Syll_685 (112/1) ver of their islands, Ptolemaios the late king of Egyp
    THI_113 (195-168) ferred this to [king] Ptolemaios as arbitrator, [so
    THI_150 (163-146) bitrators came from king] Ptolemaios. Concerning th
    AET_8.13 (c. 90) opatra Berenice, the two Philometores, beloved of

    Ptolemy 7 VII Neos Philopator - son of Ptolemy VI
    &rarr Wikipedia entry

    Bronze Bust of Ptolemy II Philadelphus - History

    Lorber Catharine C. Royal Coinage in Hellenistic Phoenicia : Expressions of Continuity, Agents of Change. In: Topoi. Orient-Occident. Supplément 13, 2015. La Phénicie hellénistique. Actes du colloque international de Toulouse (18-20 février 2013)

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    Royal Coinage in Hellenistic Phoenicia Expressions of Continuity , Agents of Change

    Royal Hellenistic coins struck at famous old cities sometimes bear a mintmark or a symbol of local significance . This was not a systematic practice , however , except in Phoenicia , where royal Hellenistic coinages developed a strong tradition of identifying their mint cities . They also retained or revived a distinctly Phoenician monetary practice , actually a Phoenician invention , the display of the year of issue 1 . The several Macedonian dynasties that ruled Phoenicia deployed these elements in different ways and sometimes for different purposes . The Macedonian and Seleucid coinages have both been more thoroughly studied than the coinage of Ptolemaic Phoenicia . The Phoenician survivals on early Macedonian issues have drawn interest as evidence for the fate of local kings . The marks of local and civic identity on coins of Seleucid Phoenicia have been interpreted as expressing negotiated power relationships between the cities and the king . But mintmarks and symbols are not , in fact , very informative sources and their interpretation must necessarily draw on the general historical context . For this reason the following survey of mintmarks , dates , and imagery also provides an overview of the intermittent pattern of coin production in Hellenistic Phoenicia and of the royal policies , mainly Lagid , that demonetized existing coinages , imposed the use of particular currencies , restricted monetary circulation , and limited money supply . Such policies affected the economic lives of Phoenicians and contributed to their experience of cultural change , probably more powerfully than did coin design .

    Royal Macedonian coinages

    conquest the mints of the major Phoenician cities – Aradus , Byblus , Sidon , and Tyre – were coopted to produce coinage of Alexander type . The new coinage proclaimed the authority of the Macedonian conqueror .

    The Grand Procession of Ptolemy Philadelphus: Part One

    In or around 278 BCE, another spectacular event was held in Egypt, this time in ancient Alexandria. Not long after he came to power, Ptolemy II, the son of Ptolemy I (a general and close friend of Alexander the Great), staged a monumental procession the likes of which had never been seen before in the ancient world. Indeed, it still may not have a match in sheer grandeur and expense even today.

    At that time, Egypt was enmeshed in a series of struggles amongst the diadochi, the generals from Alexander's army and their successors who were competing for the remains of the gigantic empire that had been carved out across western Asia and northern Africa. Ptolemy and his son were part of this group of competitors. Egypt was rich in raw materials, precious gems, and food. It was one of the most sought-after regions of the empire.

    This was not only a period of almost continuous war, it was also a fascinating time in history. Ptolemy I had claimed the body of Alexander after his death - rather he had forcibly "kidnapped" it - and taken it to Memphis, the then-capital of Egypt near modern-day Cairo. Supposedly, the thought was that possession of the body was tantamount to a final claim on the empire's crown. At some point it was decided either by Ptolemy I or by him and his son jointly, that the body should be repatriated to Alexandria, the city that Alexander founded. When and how this occured has never been confirmed. However, I believe it is possible that the body was returned as part of the massive celebration held by Ptolemy II about 278 BCE.

    So that is the first interesting aspect to this event. Another is the sheer intrigue and mix of personalities involved. They include: Ptolemy I, the seasoned, battle-hardened general Ptolemy II, a voluptuary and dilettante and the son of Ptolemy I and Arsinoe II, a strong-willed beauty thirsting for political power, and a woman easily the intellectulal equivalent of her future more famous relative, Cleopatra VII. She was the daughter of Ptolemy I and, if history is to be believed, eventually the wife of her brother, Ptolemy II. It was this marriage that later resulted in Ptolemy II being forever known as "Philadelphus" or "loving one's sister."

    Finally, all this takes place in Alexandria, the most beautiful, advanced city in the world at that time, thanks to the ingenuity of these same Ptolemies. For want of comparison, it was in those days a contemporary mixture of the debauchery of a Las Vegas and the sophistication of a Paris, London, or New York.

    Watch the video: Ptolemy I and Ptolemy II - The Ptolemaic Period of Ancient Egypt (January 2022).