Ptolemaic dynasty

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This article is about the royal family. For the territorial state over which it ruled, see Ptolemaic Kingdom.

The Ptolemaic dynasty /ˌtɒləˈm.ɨk/ (Ancient Greek: Πτολεμαῖοι, Ptolemaioi), sometimes also known as the Lagids /ˈlæɨdz/ or Lagidae /ˈlæɨˌd/ (Ancient Greek: Λαγίδαι, Lagidai, after Lagus, Ptolemy I's father), was a Macedonian Greek[1][2][3][4][5] royal family which ruled the Ptolemaic Empire in Egypt during the Hellenistic period. Their rule lasted for 275 years, from 305 BC to 30 BC. They were the last dynasty of ancient Egypt.

Ptolemy, one of the six somatophylakes (bodyguards) who served as Alexander the Great's generals and deputies, was appointed satrap of Egypt after Alexander's death in 323 BC. In 305 BC, he declared himself King Ptolemy I, later known as "Soter" (saviour). The Egyptians soon accepted the Ptolemies as the successors to the pharaohs of independent Egypt. Ptolemy's family ruled Egypt until the Roman conquest of 30 BC.

All the male rulers of the dynasty took the name Ptolemy. Ptolemaic queens, some of whom were the sisters of their husbands, were usually called Cleopatra, Arsinoe or Berenice. The most famous member of the line was the last queen, Cleopatra VII, known for her role in the Roman political battles between Julius Caesar and Pompey, and later between Octavian and Mark Antony. Her apparent suicide at the conquest by Rome marked the end of Ptolemaic rule in Egypt.

Ptolemaic rulers and consorts[edit]

Dates in brackets represent the regnal dates of the Ptolemaic pharaohs. They frequently ruled jointly with their wives, who were often also their sisters. Several queens exercised regal authority, but the most famous and successful was Cleopatra VII (51–30 BC), with her two brothers and her son as successive nominal co-rulers. Several systems exist for numbering the later rulers; the one used here is the one most widely used by modern scholars. Dates are years of reign.

Ptolemaic family tree[edit]

 
 
 
 
 
Ptolemy I Soter
 
Berenice I of Egypt
 
Philip
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Arsinoe II of Egypt
 
 
 
Ptolemy II Philadelphus
 
 
 
Arsinoe I of Egypt
 
 
Magas of Cyrene
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Ptolemy III Euergetes
 
 
 
 
 
Berenice II of Egypt
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Ptolemy IV Philopator
 
 
 
 
 
Arsinoe III of Egypt
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Ptolemy V Epiphanes
 
 
 
Cleopatra I of Egypt
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Ptolemy VI Philometor
 
 
 
Cleopatra II of Egypt
 
 
 
Ptolemy VIII Physcon
 
Eirene
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Ptolemy VII Neos Philopator
 
 
 
 
Cleopatra III of Egypt
 
Ptolemy Memphites
 
 
 
Ptolemy Apion
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Cleopatra IV of Egypt
 
 
 
Ptolemy IX Lathyros
 
 
 
Cleopatra Selene I
 
 
 
Ptolemy X Alexander I
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Berenice III of Egypt
 
 
 
Ptolemy XI Alexander II
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Ptolemy XII Auletes
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Cleopatra V of Egypt
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Cleopatra VI of Egypt
 
Berenice IV of Egypt
 
Julius Caesar
 
 
Ptolemy XIII Theos Philopator
 
Cleopatra VII Thea Philopator
 
Ptolemy XIV
 
 
Mark Antony
 
Arsinoe IV of Egypt
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Ptolemy XV Caesarion
 
Alexander Helios
 
Ptolemy XVI Philadelphus
 
Cleopatra Selene II

Other members of the Ptolemaic dynasty[edit]

Medical analysis[edit]

Contemporaries describe a number of the Ptolemaic dynasty as extremely obese, whilst sculptures and coins reveal prominent eyes and swollen necks. Familial Graves' disease could explain the swollen necks and eye prominence (exophthalmos), although this is unlikely to occur in the presence of morbid obesity.

In view of the familial nature of these findings, members of this dynasty likely suffered from a multi-organ fibrotic condition such as Erdheim–Chester disease or a familial multifocal fibrosclerosis where thyroiditis, obesity and ocular proptosis may have all occurred concurrently.[6]

Gallery of images[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Jones, Prudence J. (2006). Cleopatra: A Sourcebook. University of Oklahoma Press. p. 14. "They were members of the Ptolemaic dynasty of Macedonian Greeks, who ruled Egypt after the death of its conqueror, Alexander the Great." 
  2. ^ Pomeroy, Sarah B. (1990). Women in Hellenistic Egypt. Wayne State University Press. p. 16. "while Ptolemaic Egypt was a monarchy with a Greek ruling class." 
  3. ^ Redford, Donald B., ed. (2000). The Oxford Encyclopedia of Ancient Egypt. Oxford University Press. "Cleopatra VII was born to Ptolemy XII Auletes (80–57 BCE, ruled 55–51 BCE) and Cleopatra, both parents being Macedonian Greeks." 
  4. ^ Bard, Kathryn A., ed. (1999). Encyclopedia of the Archaeology of Ancient Egypt. Routledge. p. 488. "Ptolemaic kings were still crowned at Memphis and the city was popularly regarded as the Egyptian rival to Alexandria, founded by the Macedonian Greeks." 
  5. ^ Bard, Kathryn A., ed. (1999). Encyclopedia of the Archaeology of Ancient Egypt. Routledge. p. 687. "During the Ptolemaic period, when Egypt was governed by rulers of Greek descent..." 
  6. ^ Ashrafian, Hutan (2005). "Familial proptosis and obesity in the Ptolemies". J. R. Soc. Med. 98 (2): 85–86. 

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]