Ptolemy II. Philadelphus

Written by Felgr Pavel on .

Ptolemy II. Philadelphus

Ptolemy II. Philadelphus was the son of Berenice, second wife of Ptolemy I., who had accepted him as a co-ruler in 285 BC. Ptolemy II. took over a powerful and prosperous empire from his father and even improved its state during his long (nearly forty years) reign.

Ptolemy II. respected Egyptian traditions like his father, but he much more supported all Greek. He confirmed the priviledges of the Egyptian priests, but also favored the position of Greek settlers at the same time. Ptolemy II allocated land to the temples, but even to a greater extent provided it to Greek immigrants and his Greek-Macedonian veterans.

Ptolemy II. and Arsinoe II.

Ptolemy II. married his own eight years elder sister Arsinoe II in 278 BC, who was first married to Lysimachus. She let executed his son from his first marriage in favor of her three sons. After the death of Lysimachus she fled to the Macedonian Cassandreia and was a wife of her half-brother Ptolemy Keraunos for a short time. Then she married Ptolemy II. and both of them let worship themselves as divine siblings. A principle of incest was established that way in this dynasty, as well as the brutal elimination of political competition.

Ptolemy strengthened the Egyptian dominion and took advantage of the weakening of the Seleucid Syria at the same time. Egypt included Phoenicia and Arabia (except a part of Syrian territory), Ethiopia, Cyrenaica, important areas in Asia Minor and some islands in the Aegean Sea. Ptolemy II. tried to gain a leading position for Egypt among Hellenistic states, so Egypt resemble a maritime empire, which depended on power and mobility of its fleet, at the time of its high boom in 3rd century BC. The main obstacle for the Ptolemaic dynasty were the Seleucids. The tension between them escalated into a series of conflicts known as the Syrian wars.

Ptolemy II. captured the international importance of the growing Roman power. The exchange of diplomatic delegations between Rome and Egypt in 273 BC formed the basis of friendly political contancts that strengthened Egypt and Rome in their relation to Macedonia and Syria.

Ptolemy II. Philadelphus

Ptolemy II. Philadelphus

Message from the Nile

  • History of Czech institution of egyptology

    The Czech egyptology founder is Frantisek Lexa, the author of up to now evaluated work about ancient Egypt magic and Demotic grammar. Seminar for egyptology started thanks to him in Faculty of Philosophy and Arts of Charles University in Prague in 1925. Two years later Lexa became the first regular professor of egyptology in then Czechoslovakia.

  • Abusir - outstation of Czech egyptology expedition

    Abusir is an archaeological locality in Egypt named after nearby recent village Abusir. It is situated on western Nile bank on the edge of Libyan tableland approximately 20 kilometers to the south-west of Cairo. The name of this locality is derived from ancient Egypt god Osiris, from Per Usir (Busiris), "(cult) place of Osiris" (Busiris in Greek).

  • Researches in Western desert

    Czech egyptology is successful in researching not only on pyramidal fields in Abusir recently, but also in supporting and organizing smaller expeditions into egyptian Western desert. Czech expedition has been working even in slowly evanescent oasis El-Hajez since 2003, which is situated about 400 km to the south-west from Cairo.

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