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Ptolemy IX Soter

Coin of Ptolemy IX Soter Lathyros. From S. Walker & P. Higgs, Cleopatra of Egypt. From history to myth (2001).
Ptolemy IX Soter. From S. Walker & P. Higgs, Cleopatra of Egypt (2001).
Ptolemy IX Soter Lathyros: king of the Ptolemaic Empire, ruled from 116 to 107 (with Cleopatra III) and from 88 to 81.


Main deeds:

  • 140/139: Birth
  • 132-127: During the civil war between Ptolemy VIII and his mother Cleopatra II, Ptolemy's wife Cleopatra III and Ptolemy IX live on Cyprus.
  • Marriage to his sister Cleopatra IV
  • Later, Ptolemy IX is made governor of Cyprus.
  • 28 June 116: Death of Ptolemy VIII, who is succeeded by Cleopatra III. She wants to rule with Ptolemy X Alexander, but the Alexandrines force her to accept Ptolemy IX Soter, who is fourteen years old, as co-ruler.
  • March 115: he divorces Cleopatra IV and marries Cleopatra V Selene
  • October 110-February 109: Ptolemy X replaces Ptolemy IX as co-ruler
  • March 108: Ptolemy X briefly replaces Ptolemy IX (who flees to Cyrene), but this second attempt is a failure too, and Ptolemy IX returns
  • October 107: Ptolemy IX flees to Cyprus, leaving Cleopatra V Selene and his children behind; Ptolemy X Alexander becomes co-ruler of Cleopatra III.
  • A naval expedition from Alexandria forces Ptolemy to flee to Seleucia, but he soon returns.
  • Cleopatra V Selene marries to the Seleucid king Antiochus VIII Grypus
  • 103: Antiochus IX Cyzicenus supports the Samarians against the Hasmonaean king John Hyrcanus of Judaea; Ptolemy IX supports Antiochus, hoping that Judaea will be a first step to a return to Egypt.
  • Ptolemy X Alexander invades Judaea, reaches Damascus, and returns
  • 20 February 102: Cleopatra III defeats Ptolemy IX Soter near Pelusium
  • 26 October 101: Ptolemy X Alexander orders the killing of Cleopatra and continues as sole ruler
  • The Seleucid civil war has by now become intertwined with the conflict in the Ptolemaic Empire:
    • Antiochus VIII Grypus, son of Demetrius II Nicator and Cleopatra Thea, and married to Cleopatra V Selene, is in control of the northern part of the Seleucid Empire and is supported by Ptolemy X Alexander
    • Antiochus IX Cyzicenus, son of Antiochus VII Sidetes and Cleopatra Thea, is supported by Ptolemy IX Soter Lathyros; they control the southern part of the empire
  • 96: Death of Antiochus VIII; Cleopatra V Selene marries to Antiochus IX Cyzicenus
  • A son of Antiochus VIII, Seleucus VI Epiphanes Nicator, defeats Antiochus IX, who is killed; Cleopatra V Selene -again widow- marries Antiochus X Eusebes Philopator, who defeats Seleucus VI.
  • 94: In this chaos, Ptolemy IX supports relatives of Seleucus VI, the brothers Demetrius III Eucaerus and Philip I Philadelphus, who establish a realm in Damascus.
  • 91: Revolt in the Thebaid
  • 88: Ptolemy X Alexander expelled from Alexandria; Ptolemy IX returns (May), defeats Ptolemy X (October), and visits Memphis (November); restores order in the Thebaid. He marries his daughter Cleopatra Berenice III
  • December 81: death
Succeeded by: Ptolemy XI Alexander

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Revision: 7 April 2006
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