39 Facts About Ptolemaic Egypt


Roman Ptolemaic Egypt became one of Rome's richest provinces and a center of Macedonian culture, with Greek remaining the main language of government until the Muslim conquest in 641 AD.

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Ptolemaic reign in Egypt is one of the best-documented time periods of the Hellenistic era, due to the discovery of a wealth of papyri and ostraca written in Koine Greek and Egyptian.

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In 332 BC, Alexander the Great, King of Macedon, invaded Ptolemaic Egypt, which at the time was a satrapy of the Achaemenid Empire known as the Thirty-first Dynasty under Emperor Artaxerxes III.

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Ptolemaic Egypt visited Memphis, and travelled to the oracle of Amun at the Siwa Oasis.

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Ptolemaic Egypt had instead taken the opportunity to secure Coele-Syria and Palestine, in breach of the agreement assigning it to Seleucus, thereby setting the scene for the future Syrian Wars.

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Ptolemy II Philadelphus, who succeeded his father as pharaoh of Ptolemaic Egypt in 283 BC, was a peaceful and cultured pharaoh, though unlike his father was no great warrior.

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Ptolemaic Egypt abandoned his predecessors' policy of keeping out of the wars of the other Macedonian successor kingdoms, and plunged into the Third Syrian War with the Seleucid Empire of Syria, when his sister, Queen Berenice, and her son were murdered in a dynastic dispute.

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Ptolemaic Egypt was said to have had every book unloaded in the Alexandria docks seized and copied, returning the copies to their owners and keeping the originals for the Library.

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Ptolemaic Egypt's reign was inaugurated by the murder of his mother, and he was always under the influence of royal favourites, who controlled the government.

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Ptolemaic Egypt married his sister Arsinoe, but was ruled by his mistress Agathoclea.

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Ptolemaic Egypt proclaimed himself Pharaoh in 205 BC, and ruled upper Egypt until his death in 199 BC.

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Ptolemaic Egypt was succeeded by his son Ankhmakis, whose forces nearly drove the Ptolemies out of the country.

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Ptolemaic Egypt was succeeded by his infant son Ptolemy VI Philometor.

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In 170 BC, Antiochus IV Epiphanes invaded Ptolemaic Egypt and captured Philometor, installing him at Memphis as a puppet king.

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Ptolemaic Egypt was succeeded by Ptolemy XI Alexander II, the son of Ptolemy X Ptolemaic Egypt was lynched by the Alexandrian mob after murdering his stepmother, who was his cousin, aunt and wife.

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These sordid dynastic quarrels left Ptolemaic Egypt so weakened that the country became a de facto protectorate of Rome, which had by now absorbed most of the Greek world.

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Ptolemaic Egypt died in 51 BC, leaving the kingdom to his ten-year-old son and seventeen-year-old daughter, Ptolemy XIII Theos Philopator and Cleopatra VII, who reigned jointly as husband and wife.

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Ptolemaic Egypt's reigned as queen "philopator" and pharaoh with various male co-regents from 51 to 30 BC.

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Ptolemaic Egypt had paid vast sums of Egyptian wealth and resources in tribute to the Romans in order to regain and secure his throne following the rebellion and brief coup led by his older daughters, Tryphaena and Berenice IV.

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Julius Caesar left Rome for Alexandria in 48 BC in order to quell the looming civil war, as war in Ptolemaic Egypt, which was one of Rome's greatest suppliers of grain and other expensive goods, would have had a detrimental effect on trade with Rome, especially on Rome's working-class citizens.

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Ptolemaic Egypt arrived in Alexandria and easily defeated Mark Antony's remaining forces outside the city.

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Ptolemaic Egypt was taken by his remaining soldiers to Cleopatra, who had barricaded herself in her mausoleum, where he died soon after.

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Under Roman rule, Ptolemaic Egypt was governed by a prefect selected by the emperor from the Equestrian class and not a governor from the Senatorial order, to prevent interference by the Roman Senate.

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The main Roman interest in Ptolemaic Egypt was always the reliable delivery of grain to the city of Rome.

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Serapis was the patron god of Ptolemaic Egypt, combining the Egyptian gods Apis and Osiris with the Greek deities Zeus, Hades, Asklepios, Dionysos, and Helios; he had powers over fertility, the sun, funerary rites, and medicine.

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Cleopatra VII, the last of the Ptolemaic Egypt line, was often depicted with characteristics of the goddess Isis; she usually had either a small throne as her headdress or the more traditional sun disk between two horns.

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Common stele that appears during the Ptolemaic Egypt Dynasty is the cippus, a type of religious object produced for the purpose of protecting individuals.

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Ptolemaic Egypt was highly stratified in terms of both class and language.

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Ptolemaic Egypt produced extensive series of coinage in gold, silver and bronze.

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Military of Ptolemaic Egypt is considered to have been one of the best of the Hellenistic period, benefiting from the kingdom's vast resources and its ability to adapt to changing circumstances.

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The multiethnic nature of the Ptolemaic Egypt army was an official organizational principle: soldiers were evidently trained and utilized based on their national origin; Cretans generally served as archers, Libyans as heavy infantry, and Thracians as cavalry.

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Ptolemaic Egypt Kingdom was considered a major naval power in the eastern Mediterranean.

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The Ptolemaic Egypt navy protected the kingdom's lucrative maritime trade and engaged in antipiracy measures, including along the Nile.

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Notwithstanding an early crushing defeat at the Battle of Salamis in 306 BC, the Ptolemaic Egypt navy became the dominant maritime force in the Aegean and eastern Mediterranean for the next several decades.

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Ptolemy II maintained his father's policy of making Egypt the preeminent naval power in the region; during his reign, the Ptolemaic navy became the largest in the Hellenistic world and had some of the largest warships ever built in antiquity.

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Ptolemaic Egypt had only three main Greek cities—Alexandria, Naucratis, and Ptolemais.

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Over time, the Greeks in Ptolemaic Egypt became somewhat homogenized and the cultural distinctions between immigrants from different regions of Greece became blurred.

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Generally, the Greeks of Ptolemaic Egypt felt like representatives of a higher civilization but were curious about the native culture of Egypt.

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Jews who lived in Ptolemaic Egypt had originally immigrated from the Southern Levant.

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