Berenice IV of Egypt

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This article is about Berenice IV of Egypt. For other uses, see Berenice.
Berenice IV
Queen of Egypt
Reign 58–55 BC
Successor Ptolemy XII Auletes
Spouse Seleucus VII Kybiosaktes
Archelaus
Full name
Berenice IV Epiphaneia
Father Ptolemy XII Auletes
Mother Cleopatra V of Egypt
Born 77 BC
Alexandria, Egypt
Died 55 BC
Alexandria, Egypt
Burial Alexandria, Egypt

Berenice IV Epiphaneia (Greek: Βερενίκη, 77–55 BC) born and died in Alexandria, Egypt. She was a Greek Princess of the Ptolemaic dynasty. Berenice was the daughter of Ptolemy XII Auletes and probably Cleopatra V Tryphaena, sister of the famous Cleopatra VII (lover of Roman Triumvirs Julius Caesar and Mark Antony), Arsinoe IV, Ptolemy XIII and Ptolemy XIV. In 58 BC, Ptolemy XII and Cleopatra VII fled to Rome in search of political and military aid against Berenice's elder sister Cleopatra VI Tryphaena, who had become far too powerful. After Tryphaena's death in 57 BC, possibly poisoned on behalf of Berenice, she at age 20 became the sole ruler of Egypt due to her father's absence, and with him and Cleopatra absent she had no worry about being overthrown or overpowered and executed.[1]

As a lone woman ruling Egypt, she was expected to marry and have a man as a co-regent. When she did not, her consuls forced her to marry prince Seleucus VII Kybiosaktes, but she had him strangled and remained as sole ruler.[2] The public feared the Ptolemic reign would fail to continue due to Berenice's refusal to marry. It is also believed she cared far too much for fashion and luxuries, leading to rising expenses. She later married Archelaus, but he was not co-regent. Archelaus had been appointed to the priesthood at Comana at Cappadocia by Pompey, and claimed to be a son of King Mithridates VI of Pontus. Strabo instead says his father was Archelaus, a general of Mithridates VI in the First Mithridatic War[3] who defected to the Romans.

The reign of Berenice ended in 55 BC when her father retook the throne with the aid of the Romans led by Aulus Gabinius, and had Berenice beheaded. Archelaus, who according to Strabo had previously had a friendly relationship with Gabinius, died in battle against the forces of Gabinius.[4]

Ancestry[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Strabo 12.3.34 and 17.1.11
  2. ^ Strabo 12.3.34 and 17.1.11
  3. ^ Appian Mithrid. 114
  4. ^ Plutarch Antony 3.2 - 3.6
Preceded by:
Ptolemy XII
Ptolemaic Queen of Egypt
with Cleopatra V
Succeeded by:
Ptolemy XII