Cleopatra III of Egypt
|Queen of Egypt|
|Born||c. 160 – 155 BC|
|Consort||Ptolemy VIII of Egypt (uncle and step-father)|
Cleopatra Selene I
|Father||Ptolemy VI of Egypt|
|Mother||Cleopatra II of Egypt|
Cleopatra III was also known as Cleopatra Euergetis while associated with her husband Ptolemy VIII or her son Ptolemy X. She is attested as Cleopatra Philometor Soteira while associated with her eldest son Ptolemy IX. According to Strabo she was sometimes known as Cleopatra Kokke when discussed in relation to her son Ptolemy X.
Cleopatra III’s uncle Ptolemy VIII of Egypt ruled together with her parents from ca 170 to 164 BC at which point he expelled Cleopatra II and Ptolemy VI of Egypt. But he was soon forced to abdicate. Cleopatra III’s parents retook the throne and remained in power for almost 20 years until 145 BC. During this time Cleopatra III was born to Ptolemy VI and Cleopatra II of Egypt (sometime between 160 and 155 BC). Cleopatra was a sister of Ptolemy Eupator, Cleopatra Thea and possibly Berenice.
After the death of her father Ptolemy VI from injuries sustained when falling from his horse during the battle of Oinoparas against Alexander Balas, Cleopatra III’s uncle Ptolemy VIII became the King of Egypt again.
Joint rule with her mother and husband
Ptolemy VIII first married Cleopatra III’s mother Cleopatra II in 145 BC, and married Cleopatra III in ca 139 BC. Cleopatra II rebelled against Ptolemy VIII in ca 132 BC. Cleopatra III fled to Cyprus in 130 BC with her husband Ptolemy VIII and was able to return to Alexandria in 127 BC.
- Ptolemy IX born ca 143 BC
- Tryphaena born ca 141 BC. Married Antiochus VIII Grypus, king of Syria in 124 BC
- Ptolemy X born ca 140 or 139 BC. Married his niece Berenice (daughter of Ptolemy IX and Cleopatra Selene I)
- Cleopatra IV born between 138 and 135 BC. Married first her brother Ptolemy IX and second Antiochus IX Cyzicenus, king of Syria
- Cleopatra Selene I born between 135 and 130 BC. Married first to her brother Ptolemy IX, and later to her brother Ptolemy X. Later married to Antiochus VIII Grypus, king of Syria, Antiochus IX Cyzicenus, king of Syria and Antiochus X Eusebes, king of Syria
In ca. 124 BC Cleopatra III and her husband were joined again by her mother Cleopatra II as a joint ruler.
Joint rule with her sons
Cleopatra III expelled Ptolemy IX from Alexandria in 107 BC and replaced him as co-regent with her second son Ptolemy X. After 6 years of joint rule Ptolemy X had his mother Cleopatra III murdered in 101 BC.
Ptolemy VIII and Cleopatra II
|Ptolemaic Queen of Egypt
with Ptolemy VIII and Cleopatra II
|Ptolemaic Queen of Egypt
with Ptolemy VIII, Cleopatra II, Ptolemy IX, and Ptolemy X
Roth, Lea. (2007). Cleopatra°. Encyclopaedia Judaica. Ed. Michael Berenbaum and Fred Skolnik. Detroit: Macmillan Reference USA. p. 754.