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Arsinoe II


Little bust of Arsinoe II. British Museum, London (Britain). Photo Jona Lendering.
Arsinoe II (British Museum)
Arsinoe II (c.316-268): second wife of Ptolemy II Philadelphus, queen in the Ptolemaic Empire.

Relatives:

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Coin of Arsinoe II. Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York (United States). Photo Marco Prins.
Arsinoe II (Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York)



Little bust of Arsinoe II. British Museum, London (Britain). Photo Jona Lendering.
Arsinoe II (British Museum)

Main deeds:

  • c.316: Born
  • c.299: Marriage to Lysimachus
  • 298/297: Birth of Ptolemy
  • 297: Birth of Philip
  • 294: Birth of Lysimachus Junior
  • 293: Ephesus is renamed Arsinoea
  • 282: Arsinoe accuses Agathocles, a son of Lysimachus from his earlier marriage to Nicaea), of treason. Agathocles is executed
  • Agathocles' wife Lysandra flees to Babylon to Seleucus, who sees an opportunity to expand his dominions
  • Agathocles' wife Lysandra flees to Babylon to Seleucus, who sees an opportunity to expand his dominions
  • 281: In the battle of Corupedium, Seleucus defeats Lysimachus, who is killed. Seleucus adds Lysimachus' realm to his own empire, but is killed almost immediately after by Ptolemy Keraunos (a half-brother of Arsinoe who had left Egypt)
  • Ptolemy Keraunos becomes king of Lysimachus' empire in the Aegean world; he marries Arsinoe and kills her sons
  • Arsinoe flees to Samothrace and, later, to Egypt
  • Here, she marries her brother, king Ptolemy II, who is from now on surnamed Philadelphus, 'man who loves his sister', which is a more or less neutral expression without incestuous connotations. To an Egyptian, it would be a reference to the divine marriages of gods like Isis and Osiris.
  • Arsinoe adopts the children of her husband.
  • 268: Death

Arsinoe II and Ptolemy II Philadelphus on a stela from the British Museum, London (Britain). Photo Marco Prins.
Arsinoe II and Ptolemy II Philadelphus on a stela from the British Museum.

Literature

  • S.M. Burstein, "Arsinoe II Philadelphos: A Revisionist View", in W.L. Adams and E.N. Borza (eds.), Philip II, Alexander the Great and the Macedonian Heritage (1982 Washington), pages 197-212
  • E.D. Carney, "Arsinoe before she was Philadelphos", Ancient History Bulletin 8 (1994), pages 123-131
  • H. Hauben, "Arsinoé II et la politique extérieure de l' Égypte", in E. Van 't Dack and P. van Dessel (eds.), Egypt and the Hellenistic World (1983 Leuven)


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© Jona Lendering for
Livius.Org, 2006
Revision: 29 May 2006
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