Ptolemy, one of Alexander the Great's generals, 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.
The dynastic history of Ptolemaic Egypt is very confusing, because all the male rulers of the dynasty took the name Ptolemy, and because many of them married their sisters, who were often called Cleopatra. The most famous member of the line was the last Ptolemaic queen, Cleopatra VII.
Ptolemaic rulers and consorts
The dates in brackets are regnal dates for the kings. 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 BC-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.
Ptolemy VII Neos Philopator (never reigned)
Ptolemy VIII (170 BC-163 BC, 145 BC-116 BC) Euergetes II (Physcon) married Cleopatra II then Cleopatra III (Kokke)
Cleopatra II (132 BC-124 BC) Philometora Soteira, in opposition to Ptolemy VIII
Ptolemy IX Philometor Soter II (Lathyros) (116 BC-107 BC, 88 BC-81 BC) married Cleopatra IV then Cleopatra Selene; ruled jointly with Cleopatra III in his first reign
Ptolemy X Alexander I (107 BC-88 BC) married Cleopatra Selene then Berenice III; ruled jointly with Cleopatra III till 101 BC
Berenice III Philopator (81 BC-80 BC)
Ptolemy XI Alexander II (80 BC) married and ruled jointly with Berenice III then alone for 18/19 days
Cleopatra V Tryphaena (58 BC-57 BC) ruled jointly with Berenice IV Epiphaneia (58 BC-55 BC)
Arsinoe IV (48 BC-47 BC) in opposition to Cleopatra VII
Ptolemy XIV (47 BC-44 BC) jointly with Cleopatra VII then
Simplified Ptolemaic family tree
Many of the relationships shown in this tree are controversial. The issues are fully discussed in the external links.
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