Ptolemy IX Lathyros

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Ptolemy IX Lathyros
Pharaoh from the Ptolemaic dynasty of Egypt
PtolemyIX-StatueHead MuseumOfFineArtsBoston.png
Full name Ptolemy IX Soter II
Born c. 143 – 142 BC
Died 81 BC
Predecessor Ptolemy VIII Physcon and Cleopatra III of Egypt
Successor Berenice III of Egypt
Wives Cleopatra IV of Egypt
Cleopatra Selene I
Issue Ptolemy XII (by Cleopatra IV)
Berenice III (by Cleopatra Selene I)
Dynasty Ptolemaic
Father Ptolemy VIII Physcon
Mother Cleopatra III of Egypt

Ptolemy IX Soter II[note 1] or Lathyros ("grass pea") (Greek: Πτολεμαῖος Σωτήρ Λάθυρος, Ptolemaĩos Sōtḗr Láthuros) was king of Egypt three times, from 116 BC to 110 BC, 109 BC to 107 BC and 88 BC to 81 BC, with intervening periods ruled by his brother, Ptolemy X Alexander. At first he was chosen by his mother Cleopatra III to be her co-regent (his father Ptolemy VIII wished that she would rule with one of her sons), though she was more forced to choose him by the Alexandrians. He married his sister Cleopatra IV, but his mother pushed her out and replaced her with his younger sister Cleopatra Selene. Later, she claimed that he tried to kill her, and successfully deposed him, putting her favorite son Alexander on the throne as co-regent with her. However, she later grew tired of the now Ptolemy X and deposed him, putting Ptolemy IX back on the throne. She was soon murdered by Ptolemy X, who took the throne again. He was then killed in battle, and Ptolemy IX reigned until his own death. In Alexandria, Ptolemy IX replaced the sarcophagus of Alexander the Great with a glass one, and melted the original down in order to strike emergency gold issues of his coinage. The citizens of Alexandria were outraged at this and soon after, Ptolemy IX was killed.

Silver tetradrachma of Egyptian pharaoh Ptolemy IX. Soter II., 109 BC
Fragment of a stella of Ptolemy IX, 115 BC, from Aswan

His daughter Berenice III took the throne after his death, and reigned for about a year. She was forced to marry her stepson Alexander, who reigned under the name Ptolemy XI Alexander II and had her killed nineteen days later.

Ptolemy IX's name recalls that of his great Macedonian ancestor, Ptolemy I Soter; note that in older references and in younger ones by the German historian Huss, he may be numbered VIII.

Ancestry[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Numbering the Ptolemies is a modern invention; the Greeks distinguished them by epithet (nickname). The number given here is the present consensus, but there has been some disagreement in the nineteenth century about which of the later Ptolemies should be counted as reigning. Since older sources may give a number one higher or lower, epithets are the most reliable way of determining which Ptolemy is being referred to in any given case.

External links[edit]

Preceded by:
Ptolemy VIII
Ptolemaic King of Egypt
First Reign
with Cleopatra III and Cleopatra IV
Succeeded by:
Ptolemy X and Cleopatra III
Ptolemy X and Cleopatra III Ptolemaic King of Egypt
Second Reign
Ptolemy X
Ptolemy X Ptolemaic King of Egypt
Third Reign
Berenice III