Ptolemy XI Alexander II

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Ptolemy XI
Predecessor Berenice III
Successor Ptolemy XII
Spouse Berenice III
Full name
Ptolemy XI Alexander II
Father Ptolemy X Alexander I
Mother Cleopatra Selene

Ptolemy XI Alexander II[note 1] (Greek: Πτολεμαῖος Ἀλέξανδρος, Ptolemaĩos Aléxandros) was a member of the Ptolemaic dynasty who ruled Egypt for a few days in 80 BC.


Ptolemy XI was born to Ptolemy X Alexander I and supposedly Cleopatra Selene.[1] His uncle Ptolemy IX Lathryos died in 81 BC or 80 BC, leaving only his sole legitimate daughter as his heir, and so Cleopatra Berenice (= Berenice III) ruled alone for a time. However, Rome's Sulla wanted a pro-Roman ruler on the throne, and sent the young son of Ptolemy X to Egypt, displaying Ptolemy Alexander's will in Rome as supposed justification for this obvious interference.

The will also apparently required Ptolemy XI to marry Berenice III, who was his stepmother, cousin, and possible half-sister. However, nineteen days after the marriage, Ptolemy murdered his bride for unknown reasons, an unwise move since Berenice was very popular; Ptolemy was soon lynched by the citizens of Alexandria.

He was succeeded by his cousin Ptolemy XII, an illegitimate son of Ptolemy IX.


  1. ^ Numbering the Ptolemies is a modern invention; the Greeks distinguished them by epithet (e.g. "Philopator") or nickname (e.g. "Auletes"). The number given here is the present consensus, but there has been some disagreement in the 19th century about which of the later Ptolemies should be counted as reigning. Since older sources may give a number one higher or lower, epithets are the most reliable way of determining which Ptolemy is being referred to in any given case.


Peter Green, Alexander to Actium (University of California Press, 1990), pp. 553–554 ISBN 0-520-05611-6

  1. ^ Llewellyn Jones, Lloyd (2013) [2012]. "Cleopatra Selene". In Bagnall, Roger S.; Brodersen, Kai; Champion, Craige B.; Erskine, Andrew; Huebner, Sabine R. The Encyclopedia of Ancient History (13 Vols.). III: Be-Co. Wiley-Blackwell. ISBN 978-1-405-17935-5. 

External links[edit]

Ptolemy XI Alexander II
Born: ? Died: 80 BC
Regnal titles
Preceded by
Berenice III
Pharaoh of Egypt
80 BC
with Berenice III
Succeeded by
Ptolemy XII