Berenice III of Egypt

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Berenice III
Berenice und Selene.jpg
Ptolemaic Queen of Egypt
Reign with Uncle & Step-father Ptolemy X Alexander I (First Reign)
with Half-brother & Cousin Ptolemy XI Alexander II
Born Late 115 or early 114 BC
Died 80 BC
Spouse Ptolemy X (Uncle & Step-father)
Ptolemy XI Alexander II (Cousin & Half-brother)
Issue Cleopatra V of Egypt
Dynasty Ptolemaic
Father Ptolemy IX Lathyros
Mother Cleopatra Selene I

Berenice III (Greek: Βερενίκη; 120–80 BC), sometimes called Cleopatra Berenice, ruled as queen of Egypt from 81 to 80 BC, and possibly from 101 to 88 BC jointly with her uncle/husband Ptolemy X Alexander I.[1] She was born in 120 BC, the daughter of Ptolemy IX Lathyros and Cleopatra Selene I. She married Ptolemy X Alexander I in 101 BC, after he took the throne from Lathyros and had his mother (and her grandmother) Cleopatra III killed. When Lathyros reclaimed the throne, Berenice lost her own rule. However, when Lathyros died at the end of 81 BC, Berenice took over the throne and ruled for six months, during which time she gained the love of the people.[1]

She was forced to marry Ptolemy XI Alexander II in 80 BC. He had her killed 19 days later, which moved the people to revolt and kill him a few days later.[2]

Berenice is the subject of Berenice, an opera by Handel.


  1. ^ a b Berenice III Archived July 16, 2011, at the Wayback Machine. by Chris Bennett
  2. ^ Ptolemy XI Archived July 16, 2011, at the Wayback Machine. by Chris Bennett
Berenice III of Egypt
Born: ca. 115 – 114 BC Died: 80 BC
Regnal titles
Preceded by
Ptolemy X and Cleopatra III
Queen of Egypt
101 BC-88 BC
with Ptolemy X
Succeeded by
Ptolemy IX
Preceded by
Ptolemy IX
Queen of Egypt
81 BC-80 BC
with Ptolemy XI
Succeeded by
Ptolemy XI