Revised 21/12/2014




Ptolemaic Regnal numbers were a much later retrospective invention to avoid confusion, as during they lifetime they were only distinguished by their epithet names, e.g. Soter, Philadelphus, etc. The genealogy is clouded with a succession of kings all named Ptolemy, and daughters named Cleopatra, with much incestuous behaviour


cleo-patra=glory of her father
epiphanes =illustrious one
phila-delphus =brother-loving
philo-metor =mother-loving
philo-pator =father-loving
physcon =pot-belly
soter =saviour
theo =goddess
tryphaena =dainty

Lagus of Macedonia had a concubine Arsinoe of Macedonia (given to him by [MACA231] King Philip II of Macedonia, allegedly whilst she was pregnant). The Macedonians therefore regarded (rightly or wrongly) her son Ptolemaeus being the son of Philip.

In the following Table, wives who intermarried with close relatives are deliberately
 not tabulated and the generation reckoning ignores such relationships.
This mean not all the Kings will appear in the Table, when their positions
have been arrived at rather bigamously

[PTOL101] unknown bodyguard of Alexander the Great m. Arsinoe
. [PTOL111] King Ptolemy I Soter of Egypt m4. Berenice I
. . [PTOL121] King Ptolemy II Philadelphus of Egypt m1. [LYSA132] Arsinoe I
. . . [PTOL131] King Ptolemy III Euergetes of Egypt m. [CYRE132] Princess Berenice II of Cyrene
. . . . [PTOL142] Princess Arsinoe III of Egypt m. [PTOL141] King Ptolemy IV Philopator of Egypt
. . . . [PTOL141] King Ptolemy IV Philopator of Egypt m. [PTOL142] Princess Arsinoe III of Egypt
. . . . . [PTOL151] King Ptolemy V epiphanes of Egypt m. [SYRI143] Princess Cleopatra I of Syria
. . . . . . [PTOL166] Queen Cleopatra II thea of Egypt m3. [SYRI162] King Demetrius II nicator of Syria
. . . . . . [PTOL163] King Ptolemy VIII Euergetes physcon of Egypt m2. Princess Cleopatra III of Egypt
. . . . . . . [PTOL182] Princess Cleopatra tryphaena of Egypt m. [SYRI171] King Antiochus VIII epiphanes of Syria
. . . . . . . [PTOL181] Ptolemy IX m2. Cleopatra Selene
. . . . . . . . [PTOL191] Ptolemy XII m. Cleopatra VI
. . . . . . . . . [PTOL202] Queen Cleopatra VII of Egypt m. [ROME382] Marcus Antonius Triumvir

[PTOL119] Ptolemaeus (ptolemaios [=war-like]) (born c.367BCE, illegitimate son of [PTOL101] --- & Arsinoe), a somatophylax [one of seven bodyguards who served as Alexander the Great's generals and deputies]. He married 1. Thais; then 2. (324BCE) Princess Atakama of Persia, whilst at the same time had as his consort Hataera of Athens; then 3. Eurydice; then 4. Berenice I (see ANTIPATRID DYNASTY, died 277 BCE). Alexander died 323BCE and had no male issue and left his Empire divided between his four generals. Seleucus received Mesopotamia (see SYRIA KINGDOM), Syria and Eastern Anatolia; Lysimachus received Southern and Western Anatolia; Cassandra received Macedonia and Greece; and Ptolemaeus received Egypt, Libya and Northern Anatolia. Ptolemaeus became Satrap of Egypt (323BCE), then King of Egypt (305-282-BCE), known as Ptolemy I soter. He died at the age of 84 (282BCE), having previously appointed a younger son (by his 4th wife) as co-Regent.

[PTOL122] Arsinoe ([born c.330BCE], daughter of Ptolemy I, presumably by Thais) married 1. [LYSA121] General Lysimachus (see LYSIMACHUS); then 2. her half-brother King Ptolemy II.

[PTOL121] Ptolemy II philadelphus (born c.309BCE, son of Ptolemy I and Berenice) was co-Regent of Egypt (284-282BCE) and King of Egypt (282-246BCE). He married 1. [LYSA132] Arsinoe I (daughter of General Lysimachus, see LYSIMACHUS); then 2. his full-sister Princess Arsinoe (widow of the said Lysimachus, following Egyptian custom, abhorrent to Greek morality, but expedient for political reasons). She died in 276BCE, and Ptolemy deified her as philadelphus. This feminine epithet was afterwards used (incorrectly) for this Ptolemy himself solely to distinguish him from the other Ptolemy's. He died 246BCE.

[PTOL131] Ptolemy III euergetes I (eldest son of Ptolemy II philadelphus & Arsinoe, believed to be his 1st wife), King of Egypt (246-222BCE), married (244BCE) [CYRE132] Princess Berenice of Cyrene (see CYRENE KINGDOM).

Ptolemy III began the construction of the Temple of the hawk-headed god Horus at Edfu in Upper Egypt in 237BCE, but work was not completed until six generations later by Ptolemy XIII in 57BCE. The temple abounds with dedications to the various Ptolemies, though only an Egyptologist could say which cartouche (of which there are numerous examples) belong to which Ptolemy.


Maurice Boddy inspects a granite statue of the god Horus at Edfu, Egypt
(24 May 1986)


From a relief on a wall at the Temple of Horus. Ptolemy is depicted on the left. His cartouche appears above his head and a little to the right.


Enlargement of his cartouche.





  Ptolemy cartouche explained in "How to read Hieroglyphics" (K. Lambelet, Cairo, 1974)

Copyright of Lehert & Landruck Succ., Cairo, Egypt, 1974

Ptolemy III died 222BCE, and about this time Berenice was murdered by her son, Ptolemy IV.

[PYLO142] Arsinoe III (daughter of Ptolemy III euergetes) married her brother [PTOL141] King Ptolemy IV.

[PTOL141] Ptolemy IV philopator, King of Egypt (222-204BCE), married (220BCE) his sister [PTOL142] Princess Arsinoe III, but continued to be ruled by his mistress Agathoclea, sister of Agathocles. He died 205BCE, and Arsinoe was murdered shortly afterwards by Agathocles to prevent her assuming the Regency (their son was only 5 years old).

[PTOL151] Ptolemy V epiphanes (born c.210BCE, son of Ptolemy & sister-wife Arsonie) was King of Egypt (204-180BCE). Two years after becoming king, and still a young child, he was persuaded by his General to quell a revolt by consenting to the death warrant of his mother's murderers. This being agreed, Agathocles and several of his supporters were killed. He married (193BCE) [SYRI143] Princess Cleopatra I (daughter of King Antiochus III of Syria, see SYRIA KINGDOM). He died 180BCE, and Cleopatra I became Regent of Egypt.

[PTOL161] Ptolemy VI philometor (born c.186BCE, eldest son of Ptolemy V epiphanes), King of Egypt & Cyprus (180-164 & 163-145BCE), married his sister [PTOL168] Princess Cleopatra II thea. He was driven out of Egypt (164BCE) and went to Rome for support from Cato, and was restored the following year. He also had a male lover, Galestes. He died fighting in Syria (146BCE) against Alexander Balas (who is mentioned under SYRIA KINGDOM). Afterwards Cleopatra II married 2. her brother King Ptolemy VIII; then 3. [SYRI161] King Demetrius II; then 4. his younger brother [SYRI163] King Antiochus VII (see SYRIA KINGDOM).

[PTOL173] Cleopatra III (daughter of Ptolemy VI philometor & Cleopatra II thea) married bigamously her uncle [PTLO163] King Ptolemy VIII euergetes II.

[PTOL168] Cleopatra II thea (daughter of Ptolemy V epiphanes) married 1. her brother (173BCE) [PTLO161] King Ptolemy VI philometor). They were co-rulers of Egypt & Cyprus (171-164BCE). After her husband died, she married 2. (145BCE) her other brother King Ptolemy VIII euergetes, but was Regent of Egypt instead for Ptolemy VI Philometor's son Prince Ptolemy VII neos philopator (145-144BCE). Cleopatra II thea later left her second husband after he had married bigamously her daughter, and she later led a rebellion against him (131BCE) and drove him out, proclaiming her son Prince Ptolemy Memphitis as King. But Ptolemy VIII euergetes had Memphitis killed and the pieces sent back to Cleopatra. Cleopatra remained sole Queen of Egypt (131-127BCE), then left for Syria. Here she killed Prince Seleucus V and then married 3. his younger brother [SYRI161] King Demetrius II, and later 4. his younger brother King Antiochus VII (see SYRIA KINGDOM). A public reconciliation was declared (124BCE) and Queen Cleopatra II thea and King Ptolemy VIII euergetes afterwards jointly ruled Egypt until his death (116BCE), leaving Cleopatra II thea once again sole Queen of Egypt for a very short time.

[PTOL163] Ptolemy VIII euergetes II physcon (youngest son of Ptolemy V epiphanes), co-Regent of Egypt (170-164), King of Egypt (164-163 & 145-131 & 127-116 BCE), married 1. (146BCE) his sister Princess Cleopatra II; then 2. bigamously (without divorcing his first wife) his wife's daughter [PTOL173] Princess Cleopatra III. He died 26th June 116BCE.

[PTOL182] Cleopatra tryphaena (daughter of [PTOL163] Ptolemy VIII euergetes & 2nd wife [PTOL173] Cleopatra III) married [SYRI171] King Antiochus VIII grypus of Syria (see SYRIA KINGDOM).

[PTOL183] Ptolemy X Alexander philometor (born c.140BCE, son of [PTOL163] Ptolemy VIII euergetes & 2nd wife [PTOL173] Cleopatra III), King of Egypt (107-88BCE), married 1. [PTOL193] Berenice III (daughter of [PTOL181] Ptolemy IX & [PTOL194] Cleopatra Selene); then 2. Cleopatra Selene.

[PTOL192] Cleopatra VI tryphaina (born c.100BCE, daughter of [PTOL183] Ptolemy X & [PTOL193] Berenice III) married [PTOL181] Ptolemy XII Alexander philometer.

[PTOL181] Ptolemy IX Soter philometer Soter (born c.143BCE, son of [PTOL163] Ptolemy VIII euergetes & 2nd wife [PTOL173] Cleopatra III), King of Egypt (116-107 & 88-80), married 1. Cleopatra IV; then 2. [PTOL194] Cleopatra Selene.

[PTLOL193] Berenice III (born 115BCE, daughter of [PTOL181] Ptolemy IX & [PTOL194] Cleopatra Selene), married 1. Ptolemy X; then 2. Ptolemy XI.

[PTOL194] Cleopatra Selene [=goddess of the moon] (born c.135BCE, daughter of [PTOL163] Ptolemy VIII euergetes & [PTOL173] Cleopatra III), married 1. Ptolemy X Alexander philometor; then 2. [PTOL181] Ptolemy IX philometor Soter; then 3. King Antiochos VIII of Syria; then 4. King Antiochos IX of Syria; then 5. King Antiochos X of Syria.

[PTLO191] Ptolemy XII Neos Dionysus Auletes (born 117BCE, son of [PTOL181] Ptolemy IX & Cleopatra III), King of Egypt (80-51BCE, in exile 58-55), married [PTOL192] Cleopatra VI (born c.100BCE, daughter of [PTOL183] Ptolemy X & [PTOL193] Berenice III). He died 51BCE.

[PTOL202] Cleopatra VII thea philopator (born January 69, daughter of [PTOL191] Ptolemy XII & [PTOL192] Cleopatra VI tryphaina), married 1. Gaius Julius Caesar; then 2. Ptolemy XIII; then 3. Ptolemy XIV; then 4. [ROME389] Mark Antony (see ROME).