Berenice III of Egypt

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Berenice III
Berenice und Selene.jpg
Ptolemaic Queen of Egypt
Reignwith Uncle & Step-father Ptolemy X Alexander I (first reign)
with Half-brother & Cousin Ptolemy XI Alexander II
Born120 BC
Died80 BC (aged 39–40)
SpousePtolemy X (Uncle & Step-father)
Ptolemy XI Alexander II (Cousin & Half-brother)
IssueCleopatra V of Egypt
FatherPtolemy IX Lathyros
MotherCleopatra Selene

Berenice III (Greek: Βερενίκη; 120–80 BC), sometimes called Cleopatra Berenice, ruled as queen regnant of Egypt from 81 to 80 BC. She had previously been queen consort of Egypt, or possibly queen regnant with her uncle/husband Ptolemy X Alexander I, from 101 to 88 BC.[1]

Early life and marriage[edit]

She was born in 120 BC, the daughter of Ptolemy IX Lathyros and supposedly Cleopatra Selene. She married her uncle Ptolemy X Alexander I in 101 BC, after he took the throne from Lathyros and had his mother (and her grandmother) Cleopatra III killed. When Lathyros reclaimed the throne in 88 BC, Berenice lost her role as consort to the Egyptian ruler.


When her father Ptolemy IX Lathyros died at the end of 81 BC, Berenice took over the throne and ruled for six months, during which time it was said that she gained the love of the people.[1] She was forced to marry her step-son and cousin, Ptolemy XI Alexander II, in 80 BC. He had her killed 19 days later, which moved the people to revolt and kill him a few days thereafter.[2] The throne then passed to Ptolemy XII Auletes, who was an illegitimate son of Ptolemy IX and the half-brother of Berenice.


Berenice is the subject of Berenice, an opera by Handel.


  1. ^ a b Berenice III Archived July 16, 2011, at the Wayback Machine by Chris Bennett
  2. ^ Ptolemy XI Archived July 16, 2011, at the Wayback Machine by Chris Bennett
Berenice III of Egypt
Born: ca. 115 – 114 BC Died: 80 BC
Regnal titles
Preceded by
Ptolemy X and Cleopatra III
Queen of Egypt
101 BC–88 BC
with Ptolemy X
Succeeded by
Ptolemy IX
Preceded by
Ptolemy IX
Queen of Egypt
81 BC–80 BC
with Ptolemy XI
Succeeded by
Ptolemy XI