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Ptolemy II Philadelphus

Bust of Ptolemy II Philadelphus from the Villa of the Papyri, Herculaneum. National Archaeological Museum, Naples (Italy). Photo Marco Prins.
Ptolemy II Philadelphus (National Archaeological Museum, Naples)
Ptolemy II Philadelphus (308-246): second ruler of the Ptolemaic Empire, ruled from 282 to 246.

Relatives:, the online home of Ancient Warfare magazine
Statuette of Ptolemy II Philadelphus wearing an elephant's scalp. British museum, London (Britain). Photo Jona Lendering
Ptolemy II Philadelphus (British Museum, London)

Main deeds:

  • 308: Born on the isle of Kos
  • 285: Marries Arsinoe I
  • 284: Birth of Ptolemy III Euergetes
  • 27 January 282: Crowned as pharaoh; counts his regnal years from 285
  • 280-279: Brief but successful war against Antiochus I Soter (First Syrian War, first part): Ptolemy conquers Ionia, Caria, Lycia, Pamphylia, and parts of Cilicia.
  • 279: Arsinoe I is accused of a conspiracy and exiled to southern Egypt. Ptolemy III is from now on officially regarded as son of his sister Arsinoe II
  • Between 279 and 274: Ptolemy II marries Arsinoe II and is called Philadelphos, 'man who loves his sister'; they are both venerated as theoi adelphoi; the royal cult is connected with the cult of Alexander the Great
  • 278-274: Expansion in Arabia
  • 275: Expedition to Nubia; founding of Berenice, a new port on the Red Sea; insurrection of Magas of Cyrene, who allies himself to Antiochus
  • 275/274: Ptolemaic festival
  • 274-271: Continued war against Antiochus I Soter (First Syrian War, second part); no territorial changes
  • 273: Treaty with Rome (Livy, Periochae, 11)
  • 268/267: Beginning of co-regency of Ptolemy the Son
  • 267-261: Ptolemy supports Athens and Sparta in the Chremonidian War, against the Macedonian king Antigonus II Gonatas
  • 260: Outbreak of the Second Syrian War; with his ally Eumenes I of Pergamon, Ptolemy achieves some successes against Antiochus II Theos
  • 259: Ptolemy the Son revolts; Antiochus finds an ally in Antigonus II
  • 259/258: New fiscal laws for Egypt
  • 255: Antigonus defeats Ptolemy near Kos
  • 254: Peace between Egypt and Macedonia
  • 253: Peace with Antiochus II Theos, who repudiates his wife Laodice and marries Ptolemy's daughter Berenice Phernephorus
  • 251?: Peace with Magas of Cyrene; Magas' daughter Berenice will marry Ptolemy III
  • 250 or 249: Death of Magas, who is succeeded by Demetrius the Fair, the son of Demetrius Poliorcetes
  • Demetrius the Fair is assassinated; Cyrene recovered for the Ptolemaic empire
  • 28 January 246: Death

Ptolemy II Philadelphus. Louvre, Paris (France). Photo Jona Lendering.
Ptolemy II Philadelphus (Louvre, Paris)

Egyptian title: Userkaenre Meryamun ('Mighty Ka of Ra, beloved by Amun')

Succeeded by: Ptolemy III Euergetes

Information on the web:

This page was prepared to offer background information to the real articles on Livius.Org. One day, it will be improved. A list of completed articles can be found here.
Jona Lendering for
Livius.Org, 2006
Revision: 21 July 2006
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