Ptolemy XI Alexander II

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Ptolemy XI Alexander II[note 1] (Πτολεμαῖος Ἀλέξανδρος, Ptolemaĩos Aléxandros) was a member of the Ptolemaic dynasty who ruled Egypt for a few days in 80 BC.

Ptolemy XI was born to Ptolemy X Alexander I and either Cleopatra Selene or Berenice III. His uncle Ptolemy IX Lathryos died in 81 BC or 80 BC, leaving no legitimate heir, and so Cleopatra Berenice (= Berenice III) ruled alone for a time. However, Rome's Sulla wanted a pro-Roman ruler on the throne, and sent the young son of Ptolemy X to Egypt, displaying Ptolemy Alexander's will in Rome as justification for this obvious intervention.

The will also required Ptolemy XI to marry Cleopatra Berenice, who was his stepmother and half-sister (or possibly his natural mother – the ancient sources are unclear). However, nineteen days after the marriage, Ptolemy murdered his bride for unknown reasons, an unwise move since Berenice was very popular; Ptolemy was immediately lynched by the citizens of Alexandria.

He was succeeded by his cousin Ptolemy XII.

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.

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Preceded by:
Berenice III
Ptolemaic King of Egypt
with Berenice III
Succeeded by:
Ptolemy XII