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Ptolemy III Euergetes


Bust of Ptolemy III Euergetes from the Villa of the Papyri, Herculaneum. National Archaeological Museum, Naples (Italy). Photo Marco Prins.
Bust of Ptolemy III Euergetes from the Villa of the Papyri, Herculaneum (National Archaeological Museum, Naples)
Ptolemy III Euergetes ('the benefactor'): king of the Ptolemaic Empire, ruled from 246 to 222.

Relatives:

Main deeds:

  • 284: Birth
  • 279: His mother Arsinoe is accused of a conspiracy and exiled to southern Egypt. Ptolemy III is from now on officially regarded as son of Arsinoe II
  • 251: Engaged to Berenice, daughter of Magas of Cyrene
  • 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
  • January 246: marries Berenice; succeeds his father Ptolemy II Philadelphus
  • Early July 246: in the Seleucid empire, king Antiochus II Theos dies, leaving a confused dynastic situation.
    • From his first marriage, with Laodice, he has a son Seleucus II Callinicus, who is immediately recognized as king and lives in Ephesus
    • From his second marriage, with Berenice (sister of Ptolemy III), he has a five-year old son Antiochus; they live in Antioch
  • Late summer 246: the child Antiochus is killed by partisans of Laodice
  • September 246: Ptolemy III Euergetes decides to avenge his relative: outbreak of the Laodicean War or Third Syrian War.
  • Ptolemy captures Seleucia and Antioch, but cannot prevent that Berenice is killed by the populace
  • December 246: Ptolemy proceeds to Babylon; he is still there in February 245 (Invasion of Ptolemy III chronicle = BCHP 11)
  • Summer 245: Ptolemy is forced to return when the Macedonian king Antigonus II Gonatas is intervening in Egypt's Aegean possessions (naval battle of Andros)
  • Birth of Ptolemy IV Philopator
  • 243: Anti-Macedonian alliance between Ptolemy III and Aratus, leader of the Achaean League
  • 242/241: Unsuccesful Seleucid attack on Egypt
  • 241: End of the war
  • February 238: Death of a little daughter named Berenice
  • 229/228-222: Supports the Greeks in their war against Macedonia, but is unable to keep out of the internal quarrels of the Greeks
  • 5 February 222: Death
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Bust of Ptolemy III Euergetes. Louvre, Paris (France). Photo Marco Prins.
Bust of Ptolemy III Euergetes (Louvre, Paris)

Main deeds:

  • 284: Birth
  • 279: His mother Arsinoe is accused of a conspiracy and exiled to southern Egypt. Ptolemy III is from now on officially regarded as son of Arsinoe II
  • 251: Engaged to Berenice, daughter of Magas of Cyrene
  • 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
  • January 246: marries Berenice; succeeds his father Ptolemy II Philadelphus
  • Early July 246: in the Seleucid empire, king Antiochus II Theos dies, leaving a confused dynastic situation.
    • From his first marriage, with Laodice, he has a son Seleucus II Callinicus, who is immediately recognized as king and lives in Ephesus
    • From his second marriage, with Berenice (sister of Ptolemy III), he has a five-year old son Antiochus; they live in Antioch
  • Late summer 246: the child Antiochus is killed by partisans of Laodice
  • September 246: Ptolemy III Euergetes decides to avenge his relative: outbreak of the Laodicean War or Third Syrian War.
  • Ptolemy captures Seleucia and Antioch, but cannot prevent that Berenice is killed by the populace
  • December 246: Ptolemy proceeds to Babylon; he is still there in February 245 (Invasion of Ptolemy III chronicle = BCHP 11)
  • Summer 245: Ptolemy is forced to return when the Macedonian king Antigonus II Gonatas is intervening in Egypt's Aegean possessions (naval battle of Andros)
  • Birth of Ptolemy IV Philopator
  • 243: Anti-Macedonian alliance between Ptolemy III and Aratus, leader of the Achaean League
  • 242/241: Unsuccesful Seleucid attack on Egypt
  • 241: End of the war
  • February 238: Death of a little daughter named Berenice
  • 229/228-222: Supports the Greeks in their war against Macedonia, but is unable to keep out of the internal quarrels of the Greeks
  • 5 February 222: Death

Coin of Ptolemy III Euergetes. British Museum, London (Britain). Photo Jona Lendering.
Ptolemy III Euergetes
(British Museum)
Egyptian title: Iwaennetjerwysenw Sekhemankhra Setepamun ('Son of the divine brother and sister, Living power of Ra, chosen by Amun'; the divine brother and sister are Ptolemy II Philadelphus and Arsinoe)

Succeeded by: Ptolemy IV Philopator 

Information on the web:

Other:

  • Pogrom? (described in 3 Maccabees)


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 March 2007
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