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Ptolemies: name of the last dynasty of independent Egypt. In 332, the Macedonian king Alexander the Great conquered Egypt and gave a new capital to the old kingdom along the Nile, Alexandria. After his death (11 June 323), his friend Ptolemy became satrap of Egypt, and started to behave himself rather independently. When Perdiccas, the regent of Alexander's mentally unfit successor Philip Arridaeus arrived in 320, he was defeated. This marked the beginning of Egypt's independence under a new dynasty, the Ptolemies (or Lagids). Ptolemy accepted the royal title in 306.

The fourteen kings of this dynasty were all called Ptolemy and are numbered by modern historians I to XV (Ptolemy VII never reigned). A remarkable aspect of the Ptolemaic monarchy was the prominence of women (seven queens named Cleopatra and four Berenices), who rose to power when their sons or brothers were too young. This was almost unique in Antiquity. Another intriguing aspect was the willingness of the Ptolemies to present themselves to the Egyptians as native pharaohs (cf. the pictures below, some of which are in Egyptian style). This was less unique: the Seleucid dynasty that reigned the Asian parts of Alexander's empire did the same.

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Ptolemies: name of the last dynasty of independent Egypt. In 332, the Macedonian king Alexander the Great conquered Egypt and gave a new capital to the old kingdom along the Nile, Alexandria. After his death (11 June 323), his friend Ptolemy became satrap of Egypt, and started to behave himself rather independently. When Perdiccas, the regent of Alexander's mentally unfit successor Philip Arridaeus arrived in 320, he was defeated. This marked the beginning of Egypt's independence under a new dynasty, the Ptolemies (or Lagids). Ptolemy accepted the royal title in 306.

The fourteen kings of this dynasty were all called Ptolemy and are numbered by modern historians I to XV (Ptolemy VII never reigned). A remarkable aspect of the Ptolemaic monarchy was the prominence of women (seven queens named Cleopatra and four Berenices), who rose to power when their sons or brothers were too young. This was almost unique in Antiquity. Another intriguing aspect was the willingness of the Ptolemies to present themselves to the Egyptians as native pharaohs (cf. the pictures below, some of which are in Egyptian style). This was less unique: the Seleucid dynasty that reigned the Asian parts of Alexander's empire did the same. More

 
    Ptolemy I, Founder Ptolemaic Dynasty
  Ptolemy I, Founder Ptolemaic Dynasty
Ptolemy I Soter I, was a Greek Macedonian general under Alexander the Great, who became ruler of Egypt (323283 BC) and founder of both the Ptolemaic Kingdom and the Ptolemaic Dynasty. In 305/4 BC he demanded the title of pharaoh. His mother was A...
 
    Alexander the Great, Macedonian Empire
  Alexander the Great, Macedonian Empire
Alexander III of Macedon, commonly known as Alexander the Great, was a king of Macedon, a state in the north eastern region of Greece, and by the age of thirty was the creator of one of the largest empires in ancient history, stretching from the Ioni...
 
    Cleopatra VII, the Last Pharaoh
  Cleopatra VII, the Last Pharaoh
Cleopatra was the last active pharaoh of Ptolemaic Egypt, briefly survived as pharaoh by her son Caesarion. After her reign, Egypt became a province of the recently established Roman Empire. Cleopatra was a member of the Ptolemaic dynasty, a famil...
 
    Ptolemy, Astronomer / Mathematician
  Ptolemy, Astronomer / Mathematician
Claudius Ptolemy was a Greco-Egyptian writer of Alexandria, known as a mathematician, astronomer, geographer, astrologer, and poet of a single epigram in the Greek Anthology. He lived in the city of Alexandria in the Roman province of Egypt, wrote in...
 
       
 
         
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