Ptolemy Philadelphus (son of Cleopatra)

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Ptolemy Philadelphus
King of Syria
Reign34-30 BC
Coronation34 BC at the Donations of Alexandria
BornAugust/September 36 BC
Antioch, Syria
Died29 BC (speculation)
FatherMark Antony
MotherCleopatra VII Philopator

Ptolemy Philadelphus (Greek: Πτολεμαῖος ὁ Φιλάδελφος, "Ptolemy the brother-loving", August/September 36 BC – 29 BC) was a Ptolemaic prince and was the youngest and fourth[1] child of Greek Ptolemaic Queen Cleopatra VII of Egypt, and her third with Roman Triumvir Mark Antony.


Early life and reign[edit]

Ptolemy was of Greek and Roman heritage, he was born in Antioch, Syria (now a part of modern Turkey).[2] Ptolemy was named after the original Ptolemy II Philadelphus (the second Pharaoh of the Ptolemaic dynasty) and Cleopatra's intention was recreating the former Ptolemaic Kingdom. In late 34 BC, at the Donations of Alexandria, Ptolemy was made ruler of Syria, Phoenicia and Cilicia.[3]

His parents were defeated by Caesar Octavianus (future Emperor Augustus) during the naval battle at Actium, Greece in 31 BC; the next year, his parents committed suicide as Octavianus and his legions invaded Egypt to annex it as a province (provincia) of the Roman Republic (Roma).

Capture and fate[edit]

Octavianus took him and his elder siblings Alexander Helios and Cleopatra Selene II from Egypt to Roman Italy (Italia). Octavianus celebrated his military triumph in Rome, by parading the three orphans in heavy golden chains in the streets of Rome; the chains were so heavy they could not walk, prompting reactions of sympathy from the Romans.[4] Octavianus gave these siblings to Octavia Minor, his second-eldest sister who was their father's former wife.[5]

The fate of Ptolemy Philadelphus is unknown. Plutarch states that the only child that Octavianus killed out of Antony's children was Marcus Antonius Antyllus; the ancient sources do not mention any military service or political career, any scandals he was involved in, any marriage plans, or any descendants. If he survived to adulthood, it would have been mentioned, he may have died from illness in the winter of 29 BC, but this is speculation.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ The Life of Rome's First Emperor: Augustus, Anthony Everitt, p. 157
  2. ^ Cassius Dio, Roman History 49.32.4
  3. ^ Plutarch, Antony 54.6-9; Cassius Dio, Roman History 49.41.1-3; Livy, periochae 131.
  4. ^ Cassius Dio, Roman History 51.21.8 (who only says that Alexander Helios and Cleopatra Selene participated in the triumph, but does not mention Ptolemy Philadelphus).
  5. ^ Plutarch, Antony 87.1; Cassius Dio, Roman History 51.15.6; Suetonius, Augustus 17.5


  • Plutarch's Antony
  • "Ptolemy Philadelphus". Archived from the original on 2006-08-28.
  • Cleopatra Selene II and Juba II