Egyptian Dynasties > Ptolemaic Dynasty of Egypt

Ptolemaic Dynasty of Egypt

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Background

The Ptolemaic dynasty /ˌtɒləˈmeɪ.ɨk/ (Ancient Greek: Πτολεμαῖοι, Ptolemaioi), sometimes also known as the Lagids /ˈlædʒɨdz/ or Lagidae /ˈlædʒɨˌdiː/ (Ancient Greek: Λαγίδαι, Lagidai, after Lagus, Ptolemy I's father), was a Macedonian Greek[1][2][3][4][5] royal family which ruled the Ptolemaic Kingdom in Egypt during the Hellenistic period. Their rule lasted for 275 years, from 305 BC to 30 BC. They were the last dynasty of ancient Egypt.Ptolemy, one of the seven somatophylakes (bodyguards) who served as Alexander the Great's generals and deputies, was appointed satrap of Egypt after Alexander's death in 323 BC. In 305 BC, he declared himself King Ptolemy I, later known as "Soter" (saviour). The Egyptians soon accepted the Ptolemies as the successors to the pharaohs of independent Egypt. Ptolemy's family ruled Egypt until the Roman conquest of 30 BC.All the male rulers of the dynasty took the name Ptolemy. Ptolemaic queens, some of whom were the sisters of their husbands, were usually called Cleopatra, Arsinoe or Berenice. The most famous member of the line was the last queen, Cleopatra VII, known for her role in the Roman political battles between Julius Caesar and Pompey, and later between Octavian and Mark Antony. Her apparent suicide at the conquest by Rome marked the end of Ptolemaic rule in Egypt.Other members of the Ptolemaic dynasty[edit]Ptolemy Keraunos (died 279 BC) - eldest son of Ptolemy I Soter. Eventually became king of Macedon.Ptolemy Apion (died 96 BC) - son of Ptolemy VIII Physcon. Made king of Cyrenaica. Bequeathed Cyrenaica to Rome.Ptolemy Philadelphus (born 36 BC) - son of Mark Antony and Cleopatra VII.Ptolemy of Mauretania (died AD 40) - son of Juba II of Mauretania and Cleopatra Selene II, daughter of Cleopatra VII and Mark Antony. King of Mauretania.Medical analysis[edit]Contemporaries describe a number of the Ptolemaic dynasty as extremely obese, whilst sculptures and coins reveal prominent eyes and swollen necks. Familial Graves' disease could explain the swollen necks and eye prominence (exophthalmos), although this is unlikely to occur in the presence of morbid obesity.In view of the familial nature of these findings, members of this dynasty likely suffered from a multi-organ fibrotic condition such as Erdheim–Chester disease or a familial multifocal fibrosclerosis where thyroiditis, obesity and ocular proptosis may have all occurred concurrently.[6]

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