Berenice II of Egypt
|Queen of Egypt|
|Born||c. 267 – 266 BC|
|Consort||Ptolemy III Euergetes|
|Father||Magas of Cyrene|
In about 249 BC, she was married to Demetrius the Fair, a Macedonian prince, soon after her father died. However after coming to Cyrene he became the lover of her mother Apama. In a dramatic event, she had him killed in Apama's bedroom, but Apama lived on afterwards. She had no children with Demetrius.
Berenice is said to have participated in the Nemean Games (between 245 and 241 BC) and to have competed in Olympic games at some unknown date.
Soon after her husband's death (221 BC) she was murdered at the instigation of her son Ptolemy IV, with whom she was probably associated in the government.
Nevertheless, a decree “issued delineating the cult for the newly deified queen Berenike II…specified that men and women singers were to sing all day in front of the statue of Berenike.”
During her husband's absence on an expedition to Syria, she dedicated her hair to Aphrodite for his safe return, and placed it in the temple of the goddess at Zephyrium. The hair having by some unknown means disappeared, Conon of Samos explained the phenomenon in courtly phrase, by saying that it had been carried to the heavens and placed among the stars. This story is parodied in Alexander Pope's The Rape of the Lock. The name Coma Berenices or Berenice's hair, applied to a constellation, commemorates this incident. Callimachus celebrated the transformation in a poem, of which only a few lines remain, but there is a fine translation of it by Catullus.
- Berenice II by Chris Bennett
- Dodson, Aidan and Hilton, Dyan. The Complete Royal Families of Ancient Egypt. Thames & Hudson. 2004. ISBN 0-500-05128-3
- One or more of the preceding sentences incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Berenice". Encyclopædia Britannica 3 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. p. 769.
- See Elisabeth Meier Tetlow, Women, crime, and punishment in ancient law and society, Volume 2 (New York: Continuum International Publishing Group, 2005), 212.
- Use of tree Oils. "Varnish and Berenice." Retrieved on September 02, 2010
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