The Ptolemaic Kingdom was a Hellenistic kingdom based in ancient Egypt. It was ruled by the Ptolemaic dynasty, which started with Ptolemy I Soter's accession after the death of Alexander the Great in 323 BC and which ended with the death of Cleopatra and the Roman conquest in 30 BC; the Ptolemaic Kingdom was founded in 305 BC by Ptolemy I Soter, a diadochus from Macedon in northern Greece who declared himself pharaoh of Egypt and created a powerful Macedonian Greek dynasty that ruled an area stretching from southern Syria to Cyrene and south to Nubia. Scholars argue that the kingdom was founded in 304 BC because of different use of calendars: Ptolemy crowned himself in 304 BC on the ancient Egyptian calendar, but in 305 BC on the ancient Macedonian calendar. Alexandria, a Greek polis founded by Alexander the Great, became the capital city and a major center of Greek culture and trade. To gain recognition by the native Egyptian populace, the Ptolemies named themselves as pharaohs; the Ptolemies took on Egyptian traditions by marrying their siblings per the Osiris myth, had themselves portrayed on public monuments in Egyptian style and dress, participated in Egyptian religious life.
The Ptolemies were involved in foreign and civil wars that led to the decline of the kingdom and its final conquest by Rome. Their rivalry with the neighboring Seleucid Empire of West Asia led to a series of Syrian Wars in which both powers jockeyed for control of the Levant. Hellenistic culture continued to thrive in Egypt throughout the Roman and Byzantine periods until the Muslim conquest; the era of Ptolemaic reign in Egypt is one of the best-documented time periods of the Hellenistic period. In 332 BC, Alexander the Great, King of Macedon, invaded Egypt, which at the time was a satrapy of the Achaemenid Empire known as the Thirty-first Dynasty under Emperor Artaxerxes III, he visited Memphis, traveled to the oracle of Amun at the Siwa Oasis. The oracle declared him to be the son of Amun. Alexander conciliated the Egyptians by the respect he showed for their religion, but he appointed Macedonians to all the senior posts in the country, founded a new Greek city, Alexandria, to be the new capital.
The wealth of Egypt could now be harnessed for Alexander's conquest of the rest of the Achaemenid Empire. Early in 331 BC he was ready to depart, led his forces away to Phoenicia, he left Cleomenes of Naucratis. Alexander never returned to Egypt. Following Alexander's death in Babylon in 323 BC, a succession crisis erupted among his generals. Perdiccas ruled the empire as regent for Alexander's half-brother Arrhidaeus, who became Philip III of Macedon, as regent for both Philip III and Alexander's infant son Alexander IV of Macedon, who had not been born at the time of his father's death. Perdiccas appointed one of Alexander's closest companions, to be satrap of Egypt. Ptolemy ruled Egypt from 323 BC, nominally in the name of the joint kings Philip III and Alexander IV. However, as Alexander the Great's empire disintegrated, Ptolemy soon established himself as ruler in his own right. Ptolemy defended Egypt against an invasion by Perdiccas in 321 BC, consolidated his position in Egypt and the surrounding areas during the Wars of the Diadochi.
In 305 BC, Ptolemy took the title of King. As Ptolemy I Soter, he founded the Ptolemaic dynasty, to rule Egypt for nearly 300 years. All the male rulers of the dynasty took the name Ptolemy, while princesses and queens preferred the names Cleopatra, Arsinoë and Berenice; because the Ptolemaic kings adopted the Egyptian custom of marrying their sisters, many of the kings ruled jointly with their spouses, who were of the royal house. This custom made Ptolemaic politics confusingly incestuous, the Ptolemies were feeble; the only Ptolemaic Queens to rule on their own were Berenice III and Berenice IV. Cleopatra V did co-rule, but it was with another female, Berenice IV. Cleopatra VII co-ruled with Ptolemy XIII Theos Philopator, Ptolemy XIV, Ptolemy XV, but she ruled Egypt alone; the early Ptolemies did not disturb the customs of the Egyptians. They built magnificent new temples for the Egyptian gods and soon adopted the outward display of the Pharaohs of old. During the reign of Ptolemies II and III, thousands of Macedonian veterans were rewarded with grants of farm lands, Macedonians were planted in colonies and garrisons or settled themselves in the villages throughout the country.
Upper Egypt, farthest from the centre of government, was less affected though Ptolemy I established the Greek colony of Ptolemais Hermiou to be its capital. But within a century, Greek influence had spread through the country and intermarriage had produced a large Greco-Egyptian educated class; the Greeks always remained a privileged minority in Ptolemaic Egypt. They lived under Greek law, received a Greek education, were tried in Greek courts, were citizens of Greek cities; the first part of Ptolemy I's reign was dominated by the Wars of the Diadochi between the various successor states to the empire of Alexander. His first objective was to hold his position in Egypt securely, secondly to increase his domain. Within a few years he had gained control of Libya, Coele-Syria, Cyprus; when Antigonus, ruler of Syria, tried to reunite Alexander's empire, Ptolemy joined the coalition against him. In 312 BC, allied with Seleucus, th
Antiochus III the Great
Antiochus III the Great was a Hellenistic Greek king and the 6th ruler of the Seleucid Empire. He ruled over the region of Syria and large parts of the rest of western Asia towards the end of the 3rd century BC. Rising to the throne at the age of eighteen in 222 BC, his early campaigns against the Ptolemaic Kingdom were unsuccessful, but in the following years Antiochus gained several military victories and expanded the empire's territory, his traditional designation, the Great, reflects an epithet. He assumed the title Basileus Megas, the traditional title of the Persian kings. A militarily active ruler, Antiochus restored much of the territory of the Seleucid Empire, before suffering a serious setback, towards the end of his reign, in his war against Rome. Declaring himself the "champion of Greek freedom against Roman domination", Antiochus III waged a four-year war against the Roman Republic beginning in mainland Greece in the autumn of 192 BC before being decisively defeated at the Battle of Magnesia.
He died three years on campaign in the east. Antiochus III was a member of the Hellenistic Greek Seleucid dynasty, he was the son of king Seleucus II Callinicus and Laodice II and was born around 242 BC near Susa in Persia. He may have borne a non-dynastic name, according to a Babylonian chronicle, he succeeded, under the name Antiochus, his brother Seleucus III Ceraunus, upon the latter's murder in Anatolia. Antiochus III inherited a disorganized state. Not only had Asia Minor become detached, but the easternmost provinces had broken away, Bactria under the Greek Diodotus of Bactria, Parthia under the rebel satrap Andragoras in 247–245 BC, himself vanquished by the nomad chieftain Arsaces. In 222 BC, soon after Antiochus's accession and Persis revolted under their governors, the brothers Molon and Alexander; the young king, under the influence of the minister Hermeias, headed an attack on Ptolemaic Syria instead of going in person to face the rebels. The attack against the Ptolemaic empire proved a fiasco, the generals sent against Molon and Alexander met with disaster.
Only in Asia Minor, where the king's cousin, represented the Seleucid cause, did its prestige recover, driving the Pergamene power back to its earlier limits. In 221 BC Antiochus at last went east, the rebellion of Molon and Alexander collapsed which Polybios attributes in part to his following the advice of Zeuxis rather than Hermeias; the submission of Lesser Media, which had asserted its independence under Artabazanes, followed. Antiochus returned to Syria. Meanwhile, Achaeus himself had assumed the title of king in Asia Minor. Since, his power was not well enough grounded to allow an attack on Syria, Antiochus considered that he might leave Achaeus for the present and renew his attempt on Ptolemaic Syria; the campaigns of 219 BC and 218 BC carried the Seleucid armies to the confines of the Ptolemaic Kingdom, but in 217 BC Ptolemy IV defeated Antiochus at the Battle of Raphia. This defeat compelled him to withdraw north of Lebanon. In 216 BC his army marched into western Anatolia to suppress the local rebellion led by Antiochus' own cousin Achaeus, had by 214 BC driven him from the field into Sardis.
Capturing Achaeus, Antiochus had him executed. The citadel managed to hold out until 213 BC under Achaeus' widow Laodice. Having thus recovered the central part of Asia Minor, Antiochus turned to recovering the outlying provinces of the north and east, he obliged Xerxes of Armenia to acknowledge his supremacy in 212 BC. In 209 BC Antiochus invaded Parthia, occupied the capital Hecatompylos and pushed forward into Hyrcania; the Parthian king Arsaces II successfully sued for peace. The year 209 BC saw Antiochus in Bactria, where the Greco-Bactrian king Euthydemus I had supplanted the original rebel. Antiochus again met with success. Euthydemus was defeated by Antiochus at the Battle of the Arius but after sustaining a famous siege in his capital Bactra, he obtained an honourable peace by which Antiochus promised Euthydemus' son Demetrius the hand of one of his daughters. Antiochus next, following in the steps of Alexander, crossed into the Kabul valley, reaching the realm of Indian king Sophagasenus and returned west by way of Seistan and Kerman.
According to Polybius: He crossed the Caucasus and descended into India, renewed his friendship with Sophagasenus, king of the Indians, received more elephants, raising their number to a total of one hundred and fifty, provisioned his army once more on the spot. He himself broke camp with his troops, leaving behind Androsthenes of Cyzicus to bring back the treasure which this king had agreed to give him. From Seleucia on the Tigris he led a short expedition down the Persian Gulf against the Gerrhaeans of the Arabian coast. Antiochus seemed to have restored the Seleucid empire in the east, which earned him the title of "the Great". In 205/204 BC the infant Ptolemy V Epiphanes succeeded to the Egyptian throne, Antiochus is said to have concluded a secret pact with Philip V of Macedon for the partition of the Ptolemaic possessions. Under the terms of this pact, Macedon was to receive the Ptolemaic possessions around the Aegean Sea and Cyrene, while Antiochus would annex Cyprus and Egypt. Once more Antiochus attacked the Ptolemaic province of Coele Syria and Phoenicia, by 199 BC he seems to
The Altes Museum is a museum building on Museum Island in Berlin, Germany. Since restoration work in 2010–11, it houses the Antikensammlung of the Berlin State Museums; the museum building was built between 1823 and 1830 by the architect Karl Friedrich Schinkel in the neoclassical style to house the Prussian royal family's art collection. The historic, protected building counts among the most distinguished in neoclassicism and is a high point of Schinkel's career; until 1845, it was called the Königliches Museum. Along with the other museums and historic buildings on Museum Island, the Altes Museum was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1999. In the early nineteenth century, Germany's bourgeoisie had become self-aware and self-confident; this growing class began to embrace new ideas regarding the relationship between itself and art, the concepts that art should be open to the public and that citizens should be able to have access to a comprehensive cultural education began to pervade society.
King Friedrich Wilhelm III of Prussia was a strong proponent of this humboldtian ideal for education and charged Karl Friedrich Schinkel with planning a public museum for the royal art collection. Schinkel's plans for the Königliches Museum, as it was known, were influenced by drafts of the crown prince King Friedrich Wilhelm IV, who desired a building, influenced by antiquity; the crown prince sent Schinkel a pencil sketch of a large hall adorned with a classical portico. Schinkel's plans incorporated the Königliches Museum into an ensemble of buildings, which surround the Berliner Lustgarten; the Stadtschloss in the south was a symbol of worldly power, the Zeughaus in the west represented military might, the Berliner Dom in the east was the embodiment of divine authority. The museum to the north of the garden, to provide for the education of the people, stood as a symbol for science and art—and not least for their torchbearer: the self-aware bourgeoisie. Schinkel had developed plans for the Königliches Museum as early as 1822/23, but construction did not begin until 1825.
Construction was completed in 1828 and the museum was inaugurated on 3 August 1830. Schinkel was responsible for the renovation of the Berliner Dom in the neo-classical style, he exercised considerable influence on Peter Joseph Lenné's renovation of the Lustgarten, which coincided with the construction of the museum, resulting in a harmonized and integrated ensemble. In 1841, King Friedrich Wilhelm IV announced in a royal decree, that the entire northern part of the Spree Island "be transformed into a sanctuary for art and science." In 1845, with the completion of the Neues Museum, the "New Museum", the Königliches Museum was renamed the Altes Museum, the name it holds to this day. The royally appointed commission, responsible for the conception of the museum, decided to display only "High Art" in the proposed building which included Old Master paintings and prints and drawings on the upper floor, as well as Classical sculpture from ancient Greece and Rome on the ground floor; this precluded the incorporation of ethnography and the excavated treasures of the ancient Near East from Assyria and Persia.
With the completion of the Neues Museum by Friedrich August Stüler in 1855, Museum Island began to take form. This was followed by the Nationalgalerie by Johann Heinrich Strack, the Kaiser-Friedrich-Museum by Ernst von Ihne after plans by Stüler, the Pergamonmuseum by Alfred Messel and Ludwig Hoffmann, thus Museum Island evolved into the institution. Julius Carl Raschdorff's 1894–1905 reconstruction of the Berliner Dom into a neo-Renaissance cathedral disrupted the classical ensemble since the new cathedral has larger dimensions than its predecessor. During National Socialism, the Altes Museum was used as the backdrop for propaganda, both in the museum itself and upon the parade grounds of the redesigned Lustgarten. Just before the end of Second World War, the museum was badly damaged when a tank truck exploded in front of the museum, the frescoes designed by Schinkel and Peter Cornelius, which adorned the vestibule and the back wall of the portico, were lost. Under General Director Ludwig Justi, the building was the first museum of Museum Island to undergo reconstruction and restoration, carried out from 1951 to 1966 by Hans Erich Bogatzky and Theodor Voissen.
Following Schinkel's designs, the murals of the rotunda were restored in 1982. However, neither the ornate ceilings of the ground floor exhibition rooms nor the pairs of columns under the girders were reconstructed; the former connection to the Neues Museum has not been rebuilt. The Altes Museum was constructed to house all of the city's collections of fine arts, including Old Master paintings, prints and drawings. However, since 1904, the museum has housed the Antikensammlung. Since 1998, the Collection of Classical Antiquities has displayed its Greek collection, including the treasury, on the ground floor of the Altes Museum. Special exhibitions are displayed on the second floor of the museum. List of art museums List of museums in Berlin List of museums in Germany Michael S. Cullen, Tilmann von Stockhausen: Das Alte Museum
Basileus is a Greek term and title that has signified various types of monarchs in history. In the English-speaking world it is most understood to mean "king" or "emperor"; the title was used by sovereigns and other persons of authority in ancient Greece, the Byzantine emperors, the kings of modern Greece. The feminine forms are basileia, basilissa, or the archaic basilinna, meaning "queen" or "empress"; the etymology of basileus is unclear. The Mycenaean form was *gʷasileus, denoting some sort of court official or local chieftain, but not an actual king, its hypothetical earlier Proto-Greek form would be *gʷatileus. Most linguists assume that it is a non-Greek word, adopted by Bronze Age Greeks from a pre-existing linguistic Pre-Greek substrate of the Eastern Mediterranean. Schindler argues for an inner-Greek innovation of the -eus inflection type from Indo-European material rather than a Mediterranean loan; the first written instance of this word is found on the baked clay tablets discovered in excavations of Mycenaean palaces destroyed by fire.
The tablets are dated from the 15th century BC to the 11th century BC and are inscribed with the Linear B script, deciphered by Michael Ventris in 1952 and corresponds to a early form of Greek. The word basileus is written as qa-si-re-u and its original meaning was "chieftain". Here the initial letter q- represents the PIE labiovelar consonant */gʷ/, transformed in Greek into /b/. Linear B uses the same glyph for /l/ and /r/, now uniformly written with a Latin "r" by convention. Linear B only depicts syllables of single vowel or consonant-vowel form, therefore the final -s is dropped altogether; the word can be contrasted with wanax, another word used more for "king" and meaning "High King" or "overlord". With the collapse of Mycenaean society, the position of wanax ceases to be mentioned, the basileis appear the topmost potentates in Greek society. In the works of Homer wanax appears, in the form ánax in descriptions of Zeus and of few human monarchs, most notably Agamemnon. Otherwise the term survived exclusively as a component in compound personal names and is still in use in Modern Greek in the description of the anáktoron/anáktora, i.e. of the royal palace.
The latter is the same word as wa-na-ka-te-ro, wanákteros, "of the wanax/king" or "belonging to the wanax/king", used in Linear B tablets to refer to various craftsmen serving the king, to things belonging or offered to the king. Most of the Greek leaders in Homer's works are described as basileís, conventionally rendered in English as "kings". However, a more accurate translation may be "princes" or "chieftains", which would better reflect conditions in Greek society in Homer's time, the roles ascribed to Homer's characters. Agamemnon tries to give orders to Achilles among many others, while another basileus serves as his charioteer, his will, however, is not to be automatically obeyed. In Homer the wanax is expected to rule over the other basileis by consensus rather than by coercion, why Achilles proudly and furiously rebels when he perceives that Agamemnon is unjustly bossing him around. A study by Robert Drews has demonstrated that at the apex of Geometric and Archaic Greek society, basileus does not automatically translate to "king".
In a number of places authority was exercised by a college of basileis drawn from a particular clan or group, the office had term limits. However, basileus could be applied to the hereditary leaders of "tribal" states, like those of the Arcadians and the Messenians, in which cases the term approximated the meaning of "king". According to pseudo-Archytas's treatise "On justice and law", quoted by Giorgio Agamben in State of Exception, Basileus is more adequately translated into "Sovereign" than into "king"; the reason for this is that it designates more the person of king than the office of king: the power of magistrates derives from their social functions or offices, whereas the sovereign derives his power from himself. Sovereigns have auctoritas. Pseudo-Archytas aimed at creating a theory of sovereignty enfranchised from laws, being itself the only source of legitimacy, he goes so far as qualifying the Basileus as nomos empsykhos, or "living law", the origin, according to Agamben, of the modern Führerprinzip and of Carl Schmitt's theories on dictatorship.
In classical times all Greek states had abolished the hereditary royal office in favor of democratic or oligarchic rule. Some exceptions existed, namely the two hereditary Kings of Sparta, the Kings of Syracuse, the Kings of Cyrene, the Kings of Macedon and of the Molossians in Epirus and Kings of Arcadian Orchomenus; the Greeks used the term to refer to various kings of "barbaric" tribes in Thrace and Illyria, as well as to the Achaemenid kings of Persia. The Persian king was referred to as Megas Basileus or Basileus Basileōn, a translation of the Persian title xšāyaθiya xšāyaθiyānām, or "the king". There was a cult of Zeus Basileus at Lebadeia. Aristotle distinguished the basileus, constrained by law, from
The Seleucid Empire was a Hellenistic state ruled by the Seleucid dynasty which existed from 312 BC to 63 BC. Seleucus received Babylonia and from there expanded his dominions to include much of Alexander's near-eastern territories. At the height of its power, the Empire included central Anatolia, the Levant and what is now Kuwait and parts of Pakistan and Turkmenistan; the Seleucid Empire became a major center of Hellenistic culture – it maintained the preeminence of Greek customs where a Greek political elite dominated in the urban areas. The Greek population of the cities who formed the dominant elite were reinforced by immigration from Greece. Seleucid expansion into Anatolia and Greece halted abruptly in the early 2nd century BC after decisive defeats at the hands of the Roman army. Seleucid attempts to defeat their old enemy. Having come into conflict in the East with Chandragupta Maurya of the Maurya Empire, Seleucus I entered into an agreement with Chandragupta whereby he ceded vast territory west of the Indus, including the Hindu Kush, modern-day Afghanistan, the Balochistan province of Pakistan and offered his daughter in marriage to the Maurya Emperor to formalize the alliance.
Antiochus III the Great attempted to project Seleucid power and authority into Hellenistic Greece, but his attempts were thwarted by the Roman Republic and by Greek allies such as the Kingdom of Pergamon, culminating in a Seleucid defeat at the 190 BC Battle of Magnesia. In the subsequent Treaty of Apamea in 188 BC, the Seleucids were compelled to pay costly war reparations and relinquished claims to territories west of the Taurus Mountains; the Parthians under Mithridates I of Parthia conquered much of the remaining eastern part of the Seleucid Empire in the mid-2nd century BC, while the independent Greco-Bactrian Kingdom continued to flourish in the northeast. However, the Seleucid kings continued to rule a rump state from Syria until the invasion by Armenian king Tigranes the Great in 83 BC and their ultimate overthrow by the Roman general Pompey in 63 BC. Contemporary sources, such as a loyalist degree from Ilium, in Greek language define the Seleucid state both as an empire and as a kingdom.
Seleucid rulers were described as kings in Babylonia. Starting from the 2nd century BC, ancient writers referred to the Seleucid ruler as the King of Syria, Lord of Asia, other designations, he refers to either Alexander Balas or Alexander II Zabinas as a ruler. Alexander, who conquered the Persian Empire under its last Achaemenid dynast, Darius III, died young in 323 BC, leaving an expansive empire of Hellenised culture without an adult heir; the empire was put under the authority of a regent in the person of Perdiccas, the territories were divided among Alexander's generals, who thereby became satraps, at the Partition of Babylon, all in that same year. Alexander's generals jostled for supremacy over parts of his empire. Ptolemy, a former general and the satrap of Egypt, was the first to challenge the new system. Ptolemy's revolt led to a new subdivision of the empire with the Partition of Triparadisus in 320 BC. Seleucus, "Commander-in-Chief of the Companion cavalry" and appointed first or court chiliarch received Babylonia and, from that point, continued to expand his dominions ruthlessly.
Seleucus established himself in Babylon in 312 BC, the year used as the foundation date of the Seleucid Empire. The rise of Seleucus in Babylon threatened the eastern extent of Antigonus I territory in Asia. Antigonus, along with his son Demetrius I of Macedon, unsuccessfully led a campaign to annex Babylon; the victory of Seleucus ensured his claim of legitimacy. He ruled not only Babylonia, but the entire enormous eastern part of Alexander's empire, as described by Appian:Always lying in wait for the neighboring nations, strong in arms and persuasive in council, he acquired Mesopotamia, Armenia,'Seleucid' Cappadocia, Parthia, Arabia, Sogdia, Arachosia and other adjacent peoples, subdued by Alexander, as far as the river Indus, so that the boundaries of his empire were the most extensive in Asia after that of Alexander; the whole region from Phrygia to the Indus was subject to Seleucus. In the region of Punjab, Chandragupta Maurya founded the Maurya Empire in 321 BC. Chandragupta conquered the Nanda Empire in Magadha, relocated to the capital of Pataliputra.
Chandragupta redirected his attention back to the Indus and by 317 BC he conquered the remaining Greek satraps left by Alexander. Expecting a confrontation, Seleucid marched to the Indus, it is said that Chandragupta himself fielded an army of 9,000 war elephants. Mainstream scholarship asserts that Chandragupta received vast territory, sealed in a treaty, west of the Indus, including the Hindu Kush, modern day Afghanistan, the Balochistan province of Pakistan. Archaeologically, concrete indications of Mauryan rule, such as the inscriptions of the Edicts of Ashoka, are known as far as Kandahar in southern Afghanistan. According to Appian: He [Sel
Coele-Syria, Coele Syria, Coelesyria rendered as Coelosyria and Celesyria, otherwise Hollow Syria, was a region of Syria in classical antiquity. It derived from the Aramaic for all of the region of Syria but more was applied to the Beqaa Valley between the Lebanon and Anti-Lebanon mountain ranges; the area now forms part of the modern nations of Syria. It is accepted that the term Coele is a transcription of Aramaic kul, meaning "all, the entire", such that the term identified all of Syria; the word "Coele", which means "hollow" in Koine Greek, is thought to have come about via a folk etymology referring to the "hollow" Beqaa Valley between Mount Lebanon and the Anti-Lebanon mountains. However, the term Coele-Syria was used in a wider sense to indicate "all Syria" or "all Syria except Phoenicia", by the writers; the first and only official use of the term was during the period of Seleucid rule of the region, between c. 200 BCE and 64 BCE. During this period, the term "Coele Syria and Phoenicia" or "Coele Syria" was used in a narrower sense to refer to the former Ptolemaic territory which the Seleucids now controlled, being the area south of the river Eleutherus.
This usage was adopted by the Books of the Maccabees. However, Greek writers such as Agatharchides and Polemon of Athens used the term Palestine to refer to the region during this period, a term given circa 450 BCE by Herodotus. During the Roman Period c.350 CE, Eunapius wrote that the capital of Coele-Syria was the Seleucid city of Antioch, north of the Eleutherus. According to Polybius, a former officer of the Ptolemaic Empire named Ptolemy Thrasea, having fought in the 217 BCE Battle of Raphia, defected to the Seleucid king Antiochus III the Great. Antiochus gave him the title "Strategos and Archiereus of Coele-Syria and Phoenicia"; some scholars speculate that this title may have been used by the Ptolemies, but no direct evidence exists to support this. The region was disputed between the Seleucid dynasty and the Ptolemaic dynasty during the Syrian Wars. Alexander the Great's general Ptolemy first occupied Coele-Syria in 318 BC. However, when Ptolemy joined the coalition against Antigonus I Monophthalmus in 313 BC, he withdrew from Coele-Syria.
In 312 BC Seleucus I Nicator, defeated Demetrius, the son of Antigonus, in the Battle of Gaza which again allowed Ptolemy to occupy Coele-Syria. Though he was again to pull out after only a few months, after Demetrius had won a battle over his general and Antigonus entered Syria in force up to Antigonuses, this brief success had enabled Seleucus to make a dash for Babylonia which Seleucus secured. In 302 BC, Ptolemy joined a new coalition against Antigonus and reoccupied Coele-Syria, but withdrew on hearing a false report that Antigonus had won a victory, he was only to return when Antigonus had been defeated at Ipsus in 301 BC. Coele-Syria was assigned to Seleucus, by the victors of Ipsus, as Ptolemy had added nothing to the victory. Though, given Ptolemy's track record, he was unlikely to organize a serious defense of Coele-Syria, Seleucus acquiesced in Ptolemy's occupation because Seleucus remembered how it had been with Ptolemy's help he had reestablished himself in Babylonia; the Seleucids were not to be so understanding, resulting in the century of Syrian Wars between the Ptolemies and Seleucids.
The Battle of Panium in 200 BC, during the Fifth Syrian War, was the final decisive battle between the two sides in ending Ptolemaic control over the region. The 171–168 BC conflicts over Coele-Syria, between Antiochus IV Epiphanes and Ptolemy VI Philometor, are discussed in Livy’s The History of Rome from its Foundation. Seleucid control over the area of Judea began diminishing with the eruption of the Maccabean Revolt in 165 BC. With Seleucid troops being involved in warfare on the Parthian front, Judea succeeded in securing its independence by 140 BC. Despite attempts of Seleucid rulers to regain territories, the conquests of Pompey in 64 BC were a decisive blow to them, Syria became part of the Roman Republic. Under the Macedonian kings, Upper Syria was divided into four parts which were named after their capitals. In the Roman Pompeian era, the province was divided into nine districts. Judging from Arrian and The Anabasis of Alexander, the historians of Alexander the Great, as well as more ancient authors, gave the name of Syria to all the country comprehended between the Tigris and the Mediterranean.
The part to the east of the Euphrates, afterwards named Mesopotamia was called "Syria between the rivers. Yet, it was comprehended as the whole country as far as Egypt. Circa 323 BCE Laomedon of Mytilene takes control of Coele-Syria. Circa 323 BCE The Periplus of Pseudo-Scylax lists several cities on the Palestinian coast that are incorporated into Coele-Syria. In the Wars of the Diadochi, Coele-Syria came under the control of Antigonus I Monophthalmus. In 301 BCE, Ptolemy I Soter exploited events surrounding the Battle of Ipsus to take control of the region; the victors at Ipsus finalized the breakup of Alexander's empire. Coele-Syria was allocated to Ptolemy's former ally Seleucus I Nicator, who—having been aided by Ptolemy—took no military action to gai
Ptolemy VIII Physcon
Ptolemy VIII Euergetes II, nicknamed Physcon, was a king of the Ptolemaic dynasty in Egypt. Ptolemy VIII's complicated political career started in 170 BC; this is when Antiochus IV Epiphanes of the Seleucid Empire invaded and captured King Ptolemy VI Philometor and all of Egypt, with the exception of the city of Alexandria. Antiochus allowed Ptolemy VI to continue as a puppet monarch. Meanwhile, the people of Alexandria chose his younger brother, as king. Euergetes was popularly known as "Physkōn", Latinized as Physcon, meaning potbelly, due to his obesity. Instead of taking up arms against one another, the brothers decided to co-rule Egypt. After Antiochus withdrew from the area in 168 BC due to threats from Rome, Physcon agreed to jointly rule Egypt in a triumvirate with Philometor and Cleopatra II of Egypt; this arrangement led to continuous intrigues, lasting until October 164 BC, when Philometor traveled to Rome to appear before the Senate, who were somewhat agreeable with the arrangement.
However, areas under Physcon's sole rule were not satisfied with the arrangement, in May 163 BC the two brothers agreed to an altering of the original partition. This left Physcon in charge of Cyrenaica. Although the arrangement lasted until Philometor's death in 145 BC, it did not end the power struggles. Physcon convinced the Roman Senate to back his claims on Cyprus. Physcon's attempt to conquer the island failed and the Senate sent Philometor's ambassadors home. In 156 or 155 BC, Philometor failed. Physcon went to Rome. Despite opposition from Cato the Elder, he received the Senate's support and further resources for another attempt on Cyprus. During his time in Rome he met Cornelia Africana, asked for her hand in marriage, which she refused; the second attempt on Cyprus failed. Philometor spared him; when Philometor died on a campaign in 145 BC, Cleopatra II had her son Ptolemy VII proclaimed King. Physcon, returned from battle and proposed joint rule and marriage with Cleopatra II, both of which she accepted.
He had the younger Ptolemy assassinated during the wedding feast and claimed the throne himself, as "Ptolemy Euergetes", had himself proclaimed pharaoh in 144 BC. In 145 BC, Physcon took his revenge on the intellectuals of Alexandria who had opposed him, including Aristarchus of Samothrace and Apollodorus of Athens, he engaged in mass expulsions, leaving Alexandria a changed city. "He expelled all intellectuals: philologists, professors of geometry, painters, schoolteachers and others, with the result that these brought'education to Greeks and barbarians elsewhere,' as mentioned by an author who may have been one of the king's victims" —Menecles of Barca. Physcon married Cleopatra III without divorcing Cleopatra II, who became infuriated. Many speculate that Physcon only married Cleopatra II because he was plotting to marry Cleopatra III when she became of marrying age. By 132 or 131 BC, the people of Alexandria had set fire to the royal palace. Physcon, Cleopatra III, their children escaped to Cyprus.
Physcon was able to get hold of the boy, killed him, sent the dismembered pieces back to Cleopatra. The ensuing civil war pitted Cleopatra's city of Alexandria against the rest of the country, who supported Physcon. Growing desperate, Cleopatra offered the throne of Egypt to the Seleucid king Demetrius II Nicator, but his forces could get no further than Pelusium. By 127 BC, Cleopatra fled to Syria. Alexandria held out for another year. After further political maneuvering, Cleopatra II did end up back in Egypt in 124 BC. A formal amnesty decree followed in 118 BC, but it was insufficient to improve the government's relationship with the whole country; the Romans were forced to intervene in Egypt 116 BC. About 124 BC, Physcon sent his second daughter by Cleopatra III, Tryphaena, to marry Antiochus VIII Philometor. Physcon died in 116 BC, he left the throne to one of her sons, whichever she preferred. She wished to have her younger son, reign with her, she reluctantly complied, with Philometer Soter taking the name "Ptolemy IX" and ruling for a time at her side.
In the 1983 TV mini-series The Cleopatras, Ptolemy VIII is portrayed by Richard Griffiths. Peter Green, Alexander to Actium ISBN 0-520-05611-6 Peter Nadig, Zwischen König und Karikatur: Das Bild Ptolemaios’ VIII. im Spannungsfeld der Überlieferung ISBN 978-3-406-55949-5 Ptolemy Euergetes II at LacusCurtius — Ptolemy VIII Physcon entry in historical sourcebook by Mahlon H. Smith The Will of Ptolemy VIII Faik Ismail, Ptolemy VIII, dissertation