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Ptolemy Philadelphus (Cleopatra)

Ptolemy Philadelphus (Cleopatra)

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Ptolemy Philadelphus was a Ptolemaic
Ptolemaic dynasty
The Ptolemaic dynasty, was a Macedonian Greek 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...

 prince and was the youngest and fourth child of Greek
Greeks
The Greeks, also known as the Hellenes , are a nation and ethnic group native to Greece, Cyprus and neighboring regions. They also form a significant diaspora, with Greek communities established around the world....

 Ptolemaic Queen Cleopatra VII of Egypt
Egypt
Egypt , officially the Arab Republic of Egypt, Arabic: , is a country mainly in North Africa, with the Sinai Peninsula forming a land bridge in Southwest Asia. Egypt is thus a transcontinental country, and a major power in Africa, the Mediterranean Basin, the Middle East and the Muslim world...

, and her third with Roman
Roman Republic
The Roman Republic was the period of the ancient Roman civilization where the government operated as a republic. It began with the overthrow of the Roman monarchy, traditionally dated around 508 BC, and its replacement by a government headed by two consuls, elected annually by the citizens and...

 Triumvir Mark Antony
Mark Antony
Marcus Antonius , known in English as Mark Antony, was a Roman politician and general. As a military commander and administrator, he was an important supporter and loyal friend of his mother's cousin Julius Caesar...

. Ptolemy was of Greek and Roman heritage. He was born in Antioch
Antioch
Antioch on the Orontes was an ancient city on the eastern side of the Orontes River. It is near the modern city of Antakya, Turkey.Founded near the end of the 4th century BC by Seleucus I Nicator, one of Alexander the Great's generals, Antioch eventually rivaled Alexandria as the chief city of the...

, Syria (this part of ancient Syria, is now a part of modern Turkey
Turkey
Turkey , known officially as the Republic of Turkey , is a Eurasian country located in Western Asia and in East Thrace in Southeastern Europe...

). Ptolemy was named after the original Ptolemy II Philadelphus
Ptolemy II Philadelphus
Ptolemy II Philadelphus was the king of Ptolemaic Egypt from 283 BCE to 246 BCE. He was the son of the founder of the Ptolemaic kingdom Ptolemy I Soter and Berenice, and was educated by Philitas of Cos...

 (the second Pharaoh
Pharaoh
Pharaoh is a title used in many modern discussions of the ancient Egyptian rulers of all periods. The title originates in the term "pr-aa" which means "great house" and describes the royal palace...

 of the Ptolemaic dynasty
Ptolemaic dynasty
The Ptolemaic dynasty, was a Macedonian Greek 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...

) and Cleopatra’s intention was recreating the former Ptolemaic Kingdom. In late 34 BC, at the Donations of Alexandria
Donations of Alexandria
The Donations of Alexandria were a religio-political statement by Cleopatra VII and Mark Antony in which they distributed lands held by Rome and Parthia amongst Cleopatra's children, and granted them many titles, especially for Caesarion, son of Julius Caesar...

, Ptolemy was made ruler of Syria
Syria
Syria , officially the Syrian Arab Republic , is a country in Western Asia, bordering Lebanon and the Mediterranean Sea to the West, Turkey to the north, Iraq to the east, Jordan to the south, and Israel to the southwest....

, Phoenicia
Phoenicia
Phoenicia , was an ancient civilization in Canaan which covered most of the western, coastal part of the Fertile Crescent. Several major Phoenician cities were built on the coastline of the Mediterranean. It was an enterprising maritime trading culture that spread across the Mediterranean from 1550...

 and Cilicia
Cilicia
In antiquity, Cilicia was the south coastal region of Asia Minor, south of the central Anatolian plateau. It existed as a political entity from Hittite times into the Byzantine empire...

.

His parents
were defeated by Octavian (future Roman Emperor Augustus
Augustus
Augustus ;23 September 63 BC – 19 August AD 14) is considered the first emperor of the Roman Empire, which he ruled alone from 27 BC until his death in 14 AD.The dates of his rule are contemporary dates; Augustus lived under two calendars, the Roman Republican until 45 BC, and the Julian...

) during the naval battle at Actium
Actium
Actium was the ancient name of a promontory of western Greece in northwestern Acarnania, at the mouth of the Sinus Ambracius opposite Nicopolis, built by Augustus on the north side of the strait....

, Greece
Greece
Greece , officially the Hellenic Republic , and historically Hellas or the Republic of Greece in English, is a country in southeastern Europe....

 in 31 BC. The next year, his parents committed suicide as Octavian and his army invaded Egypt.

Octavian took him and elder siblings Alexander Helios
Alexander Helios
Alexander Helios was a Ptolemaic prince and was the eldest son of Greek Ptolemaic queen Cleopatra VII of Egypt and Roman triumvir Mark Antony. His twin was Cleopatra Selene II. He was of Greek and Roman heritage. Cleopatra named him Alexander in honour of her Macedonian heritage, and after her...

 and Cleopatra Selene II from Egypt to Italy
Italy
Italy , officially the Italian Republic languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Italy's official name is as follows:;;;;;;;;), is a unitary parliamentary republic in South-Central Europe. To the north it borders France, Switzerland, Austria and...

. Octavian celebrated his military triumph in Rome
Rome
Rome is the capital of Italy and the country's largest and most populated city and comune, with over 2.7 million residents in . The city is located in the central-western portion of the Italian Peninsula, on the Tiber River within the Lazio region of Italy.Rome's history spans two and a half...

, by parading the three orphans in heavy golden chains in the streets of Rome. The chains were so heavy they could not walk, prompting reactions of sympathy from the Romans. The three siblings were taken by Octavian and given to Octavia Minor
Octavia Minor
Octavia the Younger , also known as Octavia Minor or simply Octavia, was the sister of the first Roman Emperor, Augustus , half-sister of Octavia the Elder, and fourth wife of Mark Antony...

, Octavian’s second elder sister and their father’s former wife.

The fate of Ptolemy Philadelphus is unknown. Plutarch
Plutarch
Plutarch then named, on his becoming a Roman citizen, Lucius Mestrius Plutarchus , c. 46 – 120 AD, was a Greek historian, biographer, essayist, and Middle Platonist known primarily for his Parallel Lives and Moralia...

 states that the only child that Octavian killed out of Antony’s children was Marcus Antonius Antyllus
Marcus Antonius Antyllus
Marcus Antonius Antyllus was known as Marcus Antonius Minor to distinguish him from his famous father, the Roman Triumvir Marc Antony . He was also called Antyllus — a nickname given to him by his father...

. The ancient sources do not mention any military service or political career, if he was involved in any scandals, any marriage plans or any descendants, and if he survived to adulthood, it would have been mentioned. Ptolemy probably died from illness in the winter of 29 BC, but this is not verified.

Sources

  • Plutarch's Antony
    Parallel Lives
    Plutarch's Lives of the Noble Greeks and Romans, commonly called Parallel Lives or Plutarch's Lives, is a series of biographies of famous men, arranged in tandem to illuminate their common moral virtues or failings, written in the late 1st century...

  • Cleopatra Selene II and Juba II