Ptolemy II of Telmessos

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Ptolemy II of Telmessos[1] (Greek: Πτολεμαίος Β’ της Τελμησσού, flourished second half of 3rd century BC & first half of 2nd century BC) who is also known as Ptolemy II.[2] He is identified as Ptolemy of Telmessos[3][4] and Ptolemy son of Lysimachus.[5][6][7][8] Ptolemy II was a Greek Prince from Asia Minor who served as a Ptolemaic Client King under the Ptolemaic dynasty of Ancient Egypt.

Family Background[edit]

Ptolemy II was a prince of Thessalian and Macedonian ancestry. He was the son and successor born to Lysimachus of Telmessos by an unnamed woman.[9][10] He had a paternal uncle called Epigonos of Telmessos;[11][12] had a paternal first cousin called Antipater Epigonos[13][14] and likely he had a paternal second cousin called Epigonos.[15]

Through his father, Ptolemy II was a direct descendant of Lysimachus who was one of the Diadochi of the Greek King Alexander the Great who was King of Thrace, Asia Minor and Macedonia[16] and Ptolemy I Soter another of the Diadochi of the Greek King Alexander the Great who was the founder of the Ptolemaic dynasty of Ancient Egypt and his wife, Berenice I of Egypt. Berenice I was the great-niece of the powerful Regent Antipater, through her maternal grandfather Cassander, the brother of Antipater.[17]

Life[edit]

Ptolemy II was born and raised in Telmessos in Lycia at an unknown date during his father’s reign of Telmessos. His father Lysimachus ruled as the Ptolemaic Client King of Telmessos from February 240 BC until his death in 206 BC. Little is known on his early life prior to succeeding his father. When his father died in 206 BC, Ptolemy II became the fourth and final ruler from the Lysimachid dynasty, which is also known as the Ptolemaic/Lysimachid dynasty in Lycia[18] to rule the city. Ptolemy II also, was the third and final Ptolemaic Client King of Telmessos, as he ruled from 206 BC to until at least 181 BC.

According to surviving inscriptions at Telmessos, Ptolemy II didn’t seem to have a royal title nor it is clear his relationship with the Pharaohs in Alexandria.[19] It seems likely that his family had relative autonomy from Ptolemaic control increased.[20] As Ptolemaic power declined rapidly and dramatically outside of Egypt after the death of Ptolemy III Euergetes in 222 BC, probably Ptolemy II’s father with his family had the motive and opportunity for divorcing themselves from Ptolemaic suzerainty.[21] At an unknown date during his father’s reign, Lysimachus with his family were enjoying excellent cordial relations with the Seleucid monarch Antiochus III the Great.[22] Antiochus III reigned from 222 BC until 187 BC, was an enemy of the Ptolemies who was at the time expanding Seleucid power in Asia Minor.[23]

In 197 BC, the region of Lycia was no longer under Ptolemaic control as it was under the occupation of Antiochus III.[24] Ptolemy II became a Client King of Telmessos under Seleucid rule. By this time Ptolemy II with his family having excellent relations with Antiochus III reveals they had broken away from Ptolemaic influence,[25] however there is a possibility their family connections with the Ptolemaic dynasty wasn’t not wholly broken.

The friendly relations between Ptolemy II and his family with Antiochus III is attested when in 193 BC, his daughter Berenice, was appointed by Antiochus III as chief-priestess of the Carian Satrapy,[26][27] of the Seleucid Royal Cult of Laodice.[28] Laodice was a Seleucid Queen and the cousin-wife of Antiochus III.[29] According to an intact stone inscription found in Nahavand Iran dated in 193 BC, Ptolemy II is described as a relative of Antiochus III.[30] This reflects his court title and in fact, Ptolemy II and Antiochus III are distantly related.[31]

Below are two surviving letters translated from Greek regarding Ptolemy II’s daughter chief-priestess appointment. The letters reveal his family’s relations and status with Antiochus III. The first letter is from Antiochus III addressed to the Strategos of the Carian Satrapy and is the above mentioned stone inscription from Nahavand, Iran:

King Antiochus to Anaximbrotos, greeting. As we desire to increase still further the honors of our sister Queen Laodice, and we think this most important for ourselves because she not only lives with us lovingly and considerately but is also reverently disposed towards the divine, we continue to do lovingly the things which it is fitting and right for her to receive from us and we have decided that just as there are appointed throughout the kingdom chief priests of us, (so) there are to be established [in] the same districts chief priestesses of her also, who shall war golden crowns bearing her [images] and who shall be mentioned in [the] contracts alter the chief priests of our [ancestors] and of us. Since, therefore, the in districts under your administration Berenice, the daughter of our relative Ptolemy (son) of Lysimachus, has been appointed, carry everything out according to what has been written above and have copies of the letters, inscribed on stelae, set up in the most conspicuous places, so that both now and in the future there may be evident to all in these matters also our policy towards our sister.

The second letter is addressed to the Hyparch of the district from the Strategos of the Carian satrapy:

[Anaxim]brotos to Dionytas, greeting. Enclosed is the copy of the decree written by the king concerning the appointment of Berenice, the daughter of Ptolemy son of Lysimachus, as chief priestess of the queen of the satrapy. Carry out (the matter) according to the instructions, just as he enjoins, and see to it that copies, inscribed on a stone stele, are set up in the most conspicuous place. Farewell. Year 119, Artemisios 19. [May 9 193 BC]

Around the time Berenice was appointed as chief-priestess, Ptolemy II sold part of his land holdings in the Telmessos region to Antiochus III. The reason for Antiochus III in purchasing part of Ptolemy II’s land holdings were to settle Kardakian mercenaries near Telmessos.[32] The Kardakian mercenaries were possible ancestors of the modern Kurds.[33]

During the Treaty of Apamea in 188 BC, Antiochus III was forced to give the region of Lycia to the King Eumenes II of Pergamon.[34] In the Treaty of Apamea, Ptolemy II’s position was explicitly safeguarded.[35] According to dedication inscriptions on the Greek island of Delos, Ptolemy II made offerings of thanks for the Peace of Apamea. This included an offering from Ptolemy II in association with his cousin Antipater Epigonos.[36]

From 188 BC to until at least 181 BC, Ptolemy II became a Client King under the rule of Eumenes II. His relationship with Eumenes II is unknown. Probably Ptolemy II sided with Rome[37] as Eumenes II was an ally to Rome. Though Ptolemy II was able to retain his rule of Telmessos and his major land-holdings under Eumenes II, the family is not heard of thereafter.[38]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Ptolemaic Genealogy: Ptolemy "the Son", Footnote 12
  2. ^ Billows, Kings and colonists: aspects of Macedonian imperialism, p.102
  3. ^ Bagnall, The Hellenistic Period: historical sources in translation, p.p.259-260
  4. ^ Cohen, The Hellenistic settlements in Europe, the Island, and Asia Minor, p.p.330-331
  5. ^ Bagnall, The Hellenistic Period: historical sources in translation, p.p.259-260
  6. ^ Cohen, The Hellenistic settlements in Europe, the Island, and Asia Minor, p.p.330-331
  7. ^ Bagnall, The administration of the Ptolemaic possessions outside Egypt, p.107
  8. ^ Ptolemy II is not to be confused with his paternal grandfather Ptolemy I Epigone, who is also his namesake. Ptolemy I Epigone is also identified as Ptolemy of Telmessos and Ptolemy son of Lysimachus
  9. ^ Ptolemaic Genealogy: Ptolemy "the Son", Footnote 12
  10. ^ Billows, Kings and colonists: aspects of Macedonian imperialism, p.110
  11. ^ Ptolemaic Genealogy: Ptolemy "the Son", Footnote 12
  12. ^ Billows, Kings and colonists: aspects of Macedonian imperialism, p.110
  13. ^ Ptolemaic Genealogy: Ptolemy "the Son", Footnote 12
  14. ^ Billows, Kings and colonists: aspects of Macedonian imperialism, p.103
  15. ^ Billows, Kings and colonists: aspects of Macedonian imperialism, p.103
  16. ^ Lysimachus’ article at Livius.org
  17. ^ Ptolemaic Genealogy: Berenice I
  18. ^ Billows, Kings and colonists: aspects of Macedonian imperialism, p.p.103&229
  19. ^ Bagnall, The administration of the Ptolemaic possessions outside Egypt, p.234
  20. ^ Billows, Kings and colonists: aspects of Macedonian imperialism, p.102
  21. ^ Billows, Kings and colonists: aspects of Macedonian imperialism, p.102
  22. ^ Billows, Kings and colonists: aspects of Macedonian imperialism, p.102
  23. ^ Billows, Kings and colonists: aspects of Macedonian imperialism, p.103
  24. ^ Cohen, The Hellenistic settlements in Europe, the Island, and Asia Minor, p.330
  25. ^ Bagnall, The administration of the Ptolemaic possessions outside Egypt, p.107
  26. ^ Bagnall, The administration of the Ptolemaic possessions outside Egypt, p.107
  27. ^ Grainger, A Seleukid prosopography and gazetteer, p.85
  28. ^ Billows, Kings and colonists: aspects of Macedonian imperialism, p.102
  29. ^ Bagnall, The Hellenistic Period: historical sources in translation, p.259
  30. ^ Ptolemaic Genealogy: Ptolemy "the Son", Footnote 12
  31. ^ As mentioned above, Ptolemy II is descended from Cassander the brother of Antipater while Antiochus III is a direct descendant of Antipater. Antiochus III’s ancestry to Antipater is through Stratonice of Syria. Stratonice of Syria is the mother of Antiochus III’s paternal grandfather Antiochus II Theos, whose father was Antiochus I Soter. Stratonice of Syria’s father was Demetrius I of Macedon while her mother was Phila, one of the daughters of Antipater.
  32. ^ Billows, Kings and colonists: aspects of Macedonian imperialism, p.102
  33. ^ Cohen, The Hellenistic settlements in Europe, the Island, and Asia Minor, p.p.330-331
  34. ^ Ptolemaic Genealogy: Ptolemy "the Son", Footnote 12
  35. ^ Grainger, A Seleukid prosopography and gazetteer, p.115
  36. ^ Ptolemaic Genealogy: Ptolemy "the Son", Footnote 12
  37. ^ Billows, Kings and colonists: aspects of Macedonian imperialism, p.103
  38. ^ Billows, Kings and colonists: aspects of Macedonian imperialism, p.103

Sources[edit]

  • Lysimachus’ article at Livius.org
  • Ptolemaic Genealogy: Berenice I
  • Ptolemaic Genealogy: Ptolemy "the Son"
  • R.S. Bagnall, The administration of the Ptolemaic possessions outside Egypt, Brill Archive, 1976
  • R.A. Billows, Kings and colonists: aspects of Macedonian imperialism, BRILL, 1995
  • M.G. Cohen, The Hellenistic settlements in Europe, the Islands, and Asia Minor, University of California Press, 1995
  • J.D. Grainger, A Seleukid prosopography and gazetteer, BRILL, 1997
  • R.S. Bagnall & P. Derow, The Hellenistic Period: historical sources in translation, Wiley-Blackwell, 2004