Map of ancient Alexandria
 Title Page
 Table of Contents
 List of Illustrations
 Chapter I
 Chapter II
 Chapter III
 Chapter IV
 Chapter V
 Chapter VI
 Chapter VII
 Chapter VIII
 Chapter IX
 Chapter X
 Appendix. The throne-names of the...

Group Title: history of Egypt ...
Title: A history of Egypt ..
Full Citation
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00075641/00001
 Material Information
Title: A history of Egypt ..
Series Title: history of Egypt ...
Physical Description: 6 v. : illus., maps (1 fold.) ; 20 cm.
Language: English
Creator: Petrie, W. M. Flinders ( William Matthew Flinders ), 1853-1942 ( ed )
Mahaffy, John Pentland, 1839-1919
Milne, J. G ( Joseph Grafton ), 1867-1951
Lane-Poole, Stanley, 1854-1931
Publisher: Methuen & co.
Place of Publication: London
Publication Date: 1898-1905
Subject: History -- Egypt   ( lcsh )
Genre: bibliography   ( marcgt )
non-fiction   ( marcgt )
Bibliography: Bibliographies interspersed.
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00075641
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: oclc - 01524193
lccn - 04017681

Table of Contents
        Cover 1
        Cover 2
    Map of ancient Alexandria
        Page i
        Page ii
    Title Page
        Page iii
        Page iv
        Page v
        Page vi
    Table of Contents
        Page vii
        Page viii
        Page ix
        Page x
    List of Illustrations
        Page xi
        Page xii
        Page xiii
        Page xiv
    Chapter I
        Page 1
        Page 2
        Page 3
        Page 4
        Page 5
        Page 6
        Page 7
        Page 8
        Page 9
        Page 10
        Page 11
        Page 12
        Page 13
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        Page 15
        Page 16
        Page 17
        Page 18
        Page 19
        Page 20
        Page 21
        Page 22
        Page 23
        Page 24
    Chapter II
        Page 25
        Page 26
        Page 27
        Page 28
        Page 29
        Page 30
        Page 31
        Page 32
        Page 33
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        Page 60
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        Page 62
        Page 63
        Page 64
        Page 65
    Chapter III
        Page 66
        Page 67
        Page 68
        Page 69
        Page 70
        Page 71
        Page 72
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        Page 100
        Page 101
        Page 102
    Chapter IV
        Page 103
        Page 104
        Page 105
        Page 106
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        Page 108
        Page 109
        Page 110
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        Page 121
        Page 122
        Page 123
        Page 124
        Page 125
        Page 126
    Chapter V
        Page 127
        Page 128
        Page 129
        Page 130
        Page 131
        Page 132
        Page 133
        Page 134
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        Page 138
        Page 139
        Page 140
        Page 141
        Page 142
        Page 143
        Page 144
        Page 145
        Page 146
        Page 147
    Chapter VI
        Page 148
        Page 149
        Page 150
        Page 151
        Page 152
        Page 153
        Page 154
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        Page 163
        Page 164
    Chapter VII
        Page 165
        Page 166
        Page 167
        Page 168
        Page 169
        Page 170
        Page 171
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        Page 179
        Page 180
        Page 181
        Page 182
    Chapter VIII
        Page 183
        Page 184
        Page 185
        Page 186
        Page 187
        Page 188
        Page 189
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        Page 202
        Page 203
        Page 204
        Page 205
    Chapter IX
        Page 206
        Page 207
        Page 208
        Page 209
        Page 210
        Page 211
        Page 212
        Page 213
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        Page 229
        Page 230
        Page 231
        Page 232
        Page 233
        Page 234
        Page 235
    Chapter X
        Page 236
        Page 237
        Page 238
        Page 239
        Page 240
        Page 241
        Page 242
        Page 243
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        Page 248
        Page 249
        Page 250
        Page 251
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        Page 254
    Appendix. The throne-names of the Ptolemies
        Page 255
        Page 256
        Page 257
        Page 258
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Full Text


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This History will comprise Six Volumes:

Vol. I. Dynasties I.-XVI. By W. M. F. PETRIE
Vol. II. ,, XVII.-XX. By WV. M. F. PETRIE
Vol. III. ,, XXI.-XXX. By W. M. F. PETRIE
Vol. IV. Ptolemaic Dynasty. By J. P. MAHAFFY
Vol. V. Roman Rule. By J. G. MILNE
Vol. VI. Arabic Egypt. By STANLEY LANE POOLE


IN preparing this volume I have received generous
assistance from Prof. Petrie, who has placed at my
disposal many photographs of objects in his valuable
collection, and of Egyptian monuments; also from the
editors of the Classical Review, for the facsimile of the
newest Ptolemaic inscription recovered (p. 138); also
from Mr. M'Gregor, who has sent me a reproduction
of the head-dress which corresponds to that of the
child Berenike (p. 117) ; also from Mr. F. L1. Griffith,
for his explanation of the Ptolemaic titles (Appendix);
and lastly from Dr. Botti, who has allowed me to copy
his new map of Alexandria, which, although still in-
complete and far from final, is yet much in advance of
any map of the city hitherto attempted. It unfortun-
ately did not appear till this book was almost ready
for the press, and so could not be inserted and
discussed in its proper place.



Authorities, i. The results of battle of Issus upon Egypt, 2.
Alexander's victorious entry, 3; his policy towards Greeks
and natives, 4; his coronation, 5-7. Choice of site for Alex-
andria, 8; its foundation, 9; and topography, 10-13. His
visit to oasis of Amon, 14-16. Deified, 17, 18. Effect of
his conquest on natives, 19; political and military settle-
ment, 20-22. Acts of Cleomenes, 23, 24.


Financial devices of Cleomenes, 25, 26. Egypt in the division of
Alexander's empire, 27, 28. Disputes about Alexander's
burial, 29, 30. Cyrene acquired, 30, 31 ; and Cyprus, 31, 32;
but not Syria, at least not permanently, 33, 34. Ptolemy
and the Jews, 33; and native soldiers, 33; his family affairs,
34, 35. Satrap for Arrideus and for Alexander IV., 35, 36.
Wars, 37, 38. Proclamation, 38-41. Death of Alexander IV.,
42. Naval supremacy of Egypt, 43, 44. Ptolemy declared
king, 44, 45. Magas sent to Cyrene, 45-47. Invasion of
Antigonus and Demetrius, 47-51; their retreat, 51. Title
of king, 51. Coinage, 52. Battle of Ipsus, 53. Ptolemy
holds Syria, 54, 55. Later years, 55, 56. The Serapeum
at Alexandria, 56-58. New cities-Ptolemais, 59; Menelaos,
60; Alexandria, the Museum, 61, 62. Coinage, 62. Abdi-
cation, 63; and death, 64.


Accession of Ptolemy II., 66. His brother Keraunos, 67. Foreign
relations, 68. The Museum, 69. State feasts, 70. Hellenistic
policy, 71, 72. The Mendes stele, 73, 74. His wife, Arsinoe I.,
75. Arsinoe II., 76. Adelphic marriages, 77. Arsinoe's


deification, 78-80. Her rr6Opotpa, 81, 82. Building of temples,
83. Literature-Manetho, 85; Hecat.eus, the LXX, 86. Red
Sea stations, 87. Greek foundations, 83. The Fayyum, 89-93.
Officialdom, 94, 95. Taxes, 96-98. Royal alliances, 99.
The Pharos lighthouse, 1oo, 101.


Accession of Ptolemy III., 103. Syrian war, 103-oS8. Domestic
sedition, 109, Iio. Elephants and camels, iii. Decree of
Canopus, 112-118. Building of temples, 119-121. Death, 122.
Gifts to Rhodes, 123. Character, 124. Edfu, 125, 126.


Accession of Ptolemy IV., 127, 128. Cleomenes the Spartan, 129.
Attack of Antiochus III., 130. The natives armed, 131, 132.
Raphia, 133, 134. Deification, 135. Literary work, 136.
Buildings, 137-140. Revolts, 141. Policy, 142. Character,
143, 144. Native revolts, 145-147.


Accession of Ptolemy V., 148. Attacked by kings of Syria and
Macedonia, 149. Saved by Rome, iso. Coronation, 15r.
Rosetta stone, 152-158. Revolts, 159, 160. Origin ot titles,
161, 162. Financial troubles, 163, 164.


Regency of Cleopatra I., 165. Accession of Ptolemy VII., 166.
War about Coele-Syria, 167. Antiochus IV. stopped by
Popilius, 168. The Jewish temple ;n Egypt, 169. The reges
-Egypti, 169-171. Revolts, 171, 172. The king visits Nubia,
173, 174. Domestic quarrels, 175, 176. Ptolemy VII. crowned
at Antioch, 177. Death and Character, 179. Ptolemy VIII.,
179. Strained relations between Greeks and natives, 8Io-182.


Cleopatra II. and her son Ptolemy VIII., 183. Accession of
Ptolemy IX., 184-186. Supposed policy of Cleopatra II.-M.
Revillout's dreams, 187. Rivalry of Cleopatras II. and III.,
188-190. Polybius' account of Alexandria, 191; omits the


Jews who are attested by inscriptions, 192, 193. Buildings,
195. The stele of Aswan, 197. The will of Dryton, 199.
Mixture of nationalities, 199-201. Policy of Ptolemy IX.-The
Louvre Papyrus 63, 203, 204. Reform in the calendar, 205.


Apion of Cyrene, 207. Regency of Cleopatra III., 2c8. Accession
of Ptolemy X., 209. Disturbances, 209; and family quarrels,
210-214. Ptolemy XI., 212. Internal quiet, 214, 215. Build-
ings of the period, 216-218. Inscriptions of Ptolemy XI.,
219-221. Death of Ptolemies X. and XI., 222, 223. Ptolemy
XII., 224. Ptolemy XIII., 225, 226. Danger from Rome,
227, 228. Berenike IV., 229. Invasion of Gabinius, 230.
Death and character of Ptolemy XIII., 231. Diodorus in
Egypt, 231, 232. Buildings, 233-235.


Accession of Cleopatra VI. and Ptolemy XIV., 236-238. Caesar at
Alexandria, 239-241. Death of Ptolemy XIV., 242. Ptolemy
XV., 243. Cleopatra sole ruler, 244. Stele of Callimachus,
245. Antony and Cleopatra, 246-248. A Roman triumph at
Alexandria, 249. War with Rome, 250. Cleopatra's death,
her children, 250-254.

APPENDIX (by Mr. F. LI. Griffith). Transliteration of the
hieroglyphic names and titles of the Ptolemies, 255, 256.

MAP OF ALEXANDRIA (1897), by Dr. G. Botti.

INDEX, 257-261.


i. Obverse.-Head of Alexander, with horns of Amon,
diademed, with elephant's skin . I
2. Reverse.-Pallas eagle on thunderbolt, AAESANAPOT,
and mint marks I
3. Cartouches of Alexander the Great 4
4. King Ramses II. worshipping the Ram-headed Amon 5
5. View of the Western Bank over against Thebes 6
6. Coin of Alexandria, showing Temple of Isis . 12
7. A King (in this case the Emperor Tiberius) worshipping
Amon ......18
8. Coin found by Mr. Petrie at Naukratis. Two female
heads (Aphrodite ? Naukratis?) with NAT on obverse
and AAE on reverse 24
9. Head of Ptol. Soter in Egyptian dress. (From an
Onyx seal) ... ....... 25
10. Hunting Scene from the great Sarcophagus of Sidon 29
ii. Granite Shrine of Philip Arridaeus (Luxor) 32
12. Statue of Alexander IV. .37
13. Part of Wooden Coffin of Pete-har-Si-Ese in the form of
Hathor, 3rd century B.C. (Berlin Museum) 46
14. Coin of Ptolemy Soter 52
15. Coin of Ptol. Soter, with Head of Serapis 56
16. Stone Sarcophagus (Ptolemaic work) 65
17. Cartouches of Ptolemy II. 66
18. Ptolemy II. (Red granite, Vatican) 72
19. Arsinoe II. Philadelphos. (Vatican) 76
20. Coin of Arsinoe Philadelphos . 79
21. Phile. South Approach to the Great Pylon 82
22. Plan of Philae 84
23. Philpe from the N.E. 89
24. A business letter of 240 B.C. 94
25. Fragment of Hom. 11. xi. 502-37. (From the Petrie
Papyri I.) .97
26. Philotera? (Vatican) .oo


27. Coin with the Gods Adelphi on obverse and the Gods
Sotores on reverse 102
28. Cartouches of Ptolemy III.. 103
29. A fragment from the Papyrus of 246 B.C. on Third
Syrian War (the entry into Antioch) . 10
30. Coin of Ptolemy Euergetes I... 18
31. Coin of Berenike II. (From Cyrcne) 11
32. Greeco-Egyptian bronze statuette (Alexandria). (From
the Petrie collection). .. .. It
33. The head-dress of the young Berenike (two sides, asps
and ears of corn). (From the M'Gregor collection) 117
34. Pylon of Ptolemy III. at Karnak 120
35. General Plan of the Temple of Edfu 125
36. Cartouches of Ptolemy IV. 127
37. Ptolemy IV. (From bronze ring in the possession of
Mr. Petrie) 130
38. Coin ofArsinoe III. (Philopator) . 136
39. Der-el-Medineh 137
40. Elephant-hunters' Inscription. (Brit. Museum) 138
41. Temple of Dakkeh 139
42. Inscription of Ergamen. (From the Temple of Ar-hes-
Nefer, Phil.e) 140
43. Greece-Egyptian Head (bronze). (From Petrie col-
lection) 147
44. Cartouches of Ptolemy V. 148
45. Bronze statuette. (Petrie collection) 158
46. Coin of Ptolemy V.. 160
47. Another Coin of Ptolemy V. 162
48. Dedication of Temple of Imhotep by Ptolemy (V.) and
Cleopatra (I.), Gods Epiphaneis 164
49. Coin of Cleopatra I. as Isis, with Sarapis on the obverse 165
50. Ptolemaic Coin with head of Sarapis, common to many
of the kings 167
51. Ptolemies VII. and IX. and Cleopatra II. (From Temple
at Der-el-Medineh) 170
52. Colonnade of Ptolemy VII. at Kalabshe (Nubia) 173
53. Syrian Coin of Philometor. (Struck when he was king
of Syria) 176
54. Greek head of Philometor. (Probably from Methana
in Argolis) . 178
55. Egyptian portrait of Ptolemy VII. (From Kom Ombo) 180
56. Cartouches of Ptolemy VII. 183
57. Cartouches of Ptolemy IX. 15
58. Coin of Cleopatra II. 188
59. Coin of Cleopatra III . 189
60. Ptolemy IX. with two Goddesses (Nishem and Uati'.
(From Kom Ombo). .. 194
61. Kom Ombo. Horus bestowing Gifts on Ptolemv IX.
and two Cleopatras 96


62. Colonnade at Philz (work of Ptolemy IX.) . 198
63. Pltolemy IX. making Offerings. (From Der-el-Medineh) 202
64. Coin of Euergetes II. with Dionysiac emblems 204
65. Cartouches of Ptolemy X. . .206
66. Coin of Euergetes II. and Philopator Neos (Head of
Soter I. on obverse). 208
67. Gate added to Temple of Talbtmes III. at Medinet
Habu by Ptolemy X. .210
68. Ptolemy X. at Edfu 213
69. Iendera from S.W. .216
70. Temple of Edfu, west side 218
71. Stele of Ptolemy Alexander. (Now in Trinity College,
Dublin) 220
72. Cartouches of Ptolemy Alexander . .222
73. Cartouches of Ptolemy XIII.. .225
74. Colonnade adorned by Ptolemy XIII. at Phil 227
75. Ptolemy XIII. and Goddesses. (Kom Ombo) 228
76. Phile Ptolemy XIII. 234
77. Egyptian Portrait of Cleopatra VI. (Dendera) 237
78. Cleopatra and her son Caesarion (Dendera) 251
79. Coin of Cleopatra 254



FIG. r. Obverse. Head of FIG. 2.--everse.-Pallas eagle
Alexander, with horns of on thunderbolt, AAEZANA-
Anion, diademed, with cle- POT, and mint marks.
phant's skin.

GENERAL AUTHORITIES.--Ancient-Arrian, ii. 13 seq.; Diodorus,
xvii. 48 seq.; Curtius, iv. 7 seq.; Plutarch, Alexander, 26 seq.;
Justin, xi. iI seq.; Josephus, B. J. iv. 10. 5 seq.; pseudo-Calli-
sthenes, lib. i. (ed. C. Miiller). Modern-Grote, Hist. of Greece,
chap. xciii.; Thirlwall, Hist. of Greece, chaps. xlix. sqq.;
Sharpe, Hist. ofEgypf(Germaned.), i. chap. iv.seq. ; Droysen,
Gesch. des Hellenismus, i. ; Niese, Gesch. der Griech. und
Maked. S/aaten, etc., vol. i. ; Holm, Gesch. Griech. vol. iii. ;
Mahaffy, The Empire ofthe Ptolemies, chaps, i. and ii.; Pauly-
Wissowa, Realencyclopiidie (P.-W.R.), arts. "Alexander,"
"Alexandria," "Aigyptos," "Ammon"; Hogarth, Philip and
Alexander of Macedon, pp. 187 seq. ; G. Botti, Fouilles a la
Colonne Theodosienne (Alexandria, 1897); Lumbroso, L'Egitio
dei Greci e dei Romani (Rome, 1895).

THE condition of Egypt under the Persian dominion
has been described in the previous volume. So far
as we know, the Egyptian people suffered more from


sentimental than from material grievances under that
rule. We do not hear that Alexander, when he set
the land in order, remitted taxes, and yet his conquest
was regarded by the natives as a great boon. The
main difference seems to have been in his attitude to the
Egyptian gods and their priests. Instead of ignoring
this great element in Egyptian life, or insulting the
feelings of religious Egypt, the new conqueror sacri-
ficed to the local gods, and probably granted some
charter or security for their property to the priests.
His conquest was attended with no trouble. The
Satrap of Egypt, Sabakes,1 who came with his contin-
gent to support Darius at the battle of Issus, had fallen
in the fight, and another Persian grandee, Mazakes, had
succeeded to the satrapy either by the new appointment
of the king, or, what is more probable, as the lieutenant
of Sabakes, left in charge of the country.
The first attack upon this new governor's authority
had been made by Amyntas, son of Antiochus, a
deserter from the Macedonian side,2 who had joined
Darius at Issus, and who fled, with some others of his
kind, with a remnant of 8000 mercenaries by way of
Cyprus to Egypt. What was the policy or the inten-
tion of this person, beyond mere raiding, we cannot
tell. Curtius says he was gladly received by the
natives, as being opposed to the Persians, his recent
patrons, and that accordingly he attacked the Persian
garrison at Memphis, but was beaten off by Mazakes,
and presently overpowered and slain with his accom-
plices by the natives, who soon found that plunder was
his object. The story is not clear. What position
can he have assumed against the Persians and also
against the Macedonians, unless he pretended that he
was fighting for the natives-an excuse which could
only last a few weeks? And surely such a person
could never hope to set up for himself an independent
1 This man, to judge from his name, was a grandee of Ethiopian
extraction. Shabak occurs as a king's name in the XXVth
2 Prcetor tic Alexandri fuerat, tunc transfuga.--Curt. iii. I 18.


monarchy. Yet this is the view of Q. Curtius, who
alone among our authorities gives us any details.'
There was, no doubt, great uncertainty, and a great
collapse was impending throughout all the Persian pro-
vinces. Had Alexander perchance died shortly after
Issus, the whole Eastern world would have indeed been
the prize of the boldest adventurers. But Curtius by him-
self is a poor authority. At all events, Mazakes, who
was loyal and strong enough to repel and crush this
wholly unauthorised raid upon his province, was not
strong enough to offer any resistance to Alexander. The
whole population was excited with the news of Issus,
and ready to fall into the arms of the new deliverer.
So Alexander, appearing at Pelusium (probably Septem-
ber 332 B.c.), entered Egypt without resistance, and
ascended the river to Memphis. His march was a
triumphal progress, for the inhabitants felt that he
would free them not only from the hated Persian yoke,2
but from the more pressing danger of other raids like
that of Amyntas, and from the piracy which must have
been rampant during the great crisis of the last year's
campaign. Not only was Memphis surrendered by
Mazakes, but with it 800 talents of treasure, a most
welcome addition to the military chest of the victor,
for the expenses of the campaign must have been great,
and the profits (excepting the plunder of Tyre) not yet
very large.
I Quumn in illo status rerum id quemque, quod occupasset, htabi-
turumn arbitraretur, velut certo /j re possessum, eEgyptum pelere
decrevit. He exhorts his soldiers, shows the weakness and
unpopularity of the Persians in Egypt, and how the natives would
regard any new power as an ally against their hated masters.
He gets admission to Pelusium under the pretence of being the
new satrap of Darius, and then calls the natives to join him in
crushing the Persian garrison. At first successful, and proceed-
ing to the siege of Memphis, he takes to raiding the neighbour-
hood, and is defeated and slain in a sortie of the besieged Persians.
-Curt. iv. I, 27 seq.
Oxyrynchus Papyri, I, xii. col. iv.: OXvArtnaSt EKaTO TTroc 8W8KarT
S. Tavurl? Kara To 7rpTrov ETro AXefav3po o 0 ePt\rrov Tipov EcXO\v
,hat ALyvIrTOv rapeXafe eKOUVTW aCUTrov 7rpoa56ElaeEvwv Twv evXptwp &ta
TO rpoS IIepOas exOpov.


We are told by all our authorities that he forthwith
offered sacrifices to the local gods, especially to Apis, and
celebrated gymnastic and musical contests with the help
of Hellenic artists, who were on the spot at the required
moment. Some historians regard this coincidence as a
proof that Alexander had foreseen his movements and
their success, and had ordered these distinguished people
to meet him at Memphis. I think it more likely that, like
camp-followers, they watched campaigns, and found
themselves in the vicinity of conquests, knowing that
under no other circumstances would their profits be so
great as when celebrating the glories ofvictorious armies.
It was worth while sailing to Egypt, and having a little
acting season at Naukratis, among their Greek friends,
upon the chance of being summoned by the recklessly
extravagant Macedonian youth to adorn his successes.
The festival must have been chiefly intended for his
soldiers, and for the various speculators, petitioners, and
other adventurers who came from Greek lands. For it
is not very likely that the natives would understand or
appreciate Greek gymnastics, still less Greek music.
But from the outset, the policy which Alexander
marked out for himself was to protect
and promoteEastern nationalities, with-
S out abating aught from the primacy
of the Greeks in culture. Hence his
-2 musical and gymnastic celebrations
were a counterfoil to his sacrifices to
Apis and to Ptah. The latter god is
Snot indeed mentioned by our Greek
authorities, but as his temple was the
greatest feature of ancient Memphis,
F'. 3.-Cartouches and his priests were the greatest
of Alexander the
Great.l corporation there, it was most probably
in this metropolis of Greek religion
that Alexander was formally crowned king of Egypt."
1 For explanations of these and other cartouches cf. Mr.
Griffith's Appendix to this volume.
2 On this question M. Gaston Maspero has recently published a
most instructive essay (Ecole des hautes dtudes, annuaire for 1897),


It is to be noted that when Alexandria had become
the recognized capital of Egypt, the earlier Ptolemies


FIG. 4.-King Ramses II. worshipping the Ram-headed Amon.
did not trouble themselves with the sacred ceremony
at Memphis. With Ptolemy V. the solemn national
which examines the nature of Alexander's deification. He has
not, however, cited the only direct Greek authority for the
ceremony, which he establishes upon it priori grounds. The
pseudo-Callisthenes, who gives a very important, though much
distorted, account of Alexander's visit to Egypt, says expressly
(i. 34): Kai dA06oros abTro els Mgotp rirp r6Xttv veOpoviauav ol Ayl-yrrTo
a6brv els 7bY ro0 'H5ai This is not the only important fact preserved to us in the Romance,
as will appear in the sequel.



0 0



t -
0 0
< aq

. ?


Ul ^


IlG. 5.-View of the Western Bank of the Nile over against Thebes.






who was better known to the Greeks, and whom
Alexander desired to honour. This was Amon,' whose
shrine and city Thebes, in the upper country, had for
centuries been the real metropolis of the whole land.
Alexander must have thought it an important part of
his policy to conciliate this great spiritual authority.
But it does seem strange, at first sight, that he should
not have ascended the river to Thebes, a very charming
and instructive journey, showing him the greater part
of his new possessions, at the goal of which he would
see the wonders which attract travellers from all the
world even to the present day. In the palmiest days
of Memphis, its religious appointments were not equal
to those of Thebes. Why then did Alexander select the
long and difficult route to the oasis of Jupiter Ammon,
to perform a ceremony which could have been more
splendidly performed at Thebes ?
There are several adequate reasons to explain this
apparent waste of time in a very busy man, full of
ambitious plans for the conquest of the East. In the
first place, something may be due to the jealousy of the
priests of Ptah at Memphis, whose old rivals were
those of Amon at Thebes, and who might dread the
effect which the splendour of Thebes would have upon
Alexander, while the shrine of the god in the far oasis
was in outward appearance and appointments in-
significant. Secondly, while the splendours of Thebes
were unknown to the Greeks, the reputation of the
oracle in the desert was old and well established.
From Pindar's day onward, mention of it crops up
occasionally in Greek history, showing that it was well
known and honoured in the Hellenic world." Very
probably it was through the comparative proximity of
1 On the various forms of the name, Ammon, Hammnon, Amoul,
etc., cf. the art. Ammon," in Pauly-Wissowa's Realencyclolddiiie.
He is represented frequently as ram-headed, and so associated
with that form in the legends of the pseudo-Callisthenes. The
Greeks identified him with Zeus, and hence Thebes was called by
them Diospolis.
2 Cf. the catalogue of consultations by Greeks in early days in
P.-W.R., "Ammoneion," p. 1858.


Cyrene, and the trade of this city with the desert, that
it became thus known in the Levant.
But there were other than religious interests working
in the minds of the Greeks of Egypt. Alexander had
come into the land by its eastern gate, and if he left
again by the same route, he might never see the western
Delta, and so never become personally acquainted with
the only purely Greek city in the land, the old mart of
Naukratis. This consideration escaped the notice of
historians,1 because they did not know the site of
Naukratis, discovered by Mr. Petrie a very few years
ago. As soon as Alexander spoke of founding a
capital, the first alarm of the Greeks must have been
that he should choose Memphis, or some site near it,
at the head of the Delta. It was highly necessary to
lure him away from too great an Egyptian centre.
They may have hoped that he would select Naukratis
itself, which he must have visited on his way to the
Canopic mouth; but in any case they obtained this,
that Alexandria was founded near it, and far from any
great native city. The conqueror chose the strip of
ground between Lake Mareotis and the sea, with the
island Pharos over against it, so that this natural break-
water might afford means of making a good anchorage
for ships.
Our best authorities agree that he planned this new
and momentous foundation on his way to the oasis2
(which, by the way, he could more easily have reached
across the desert), and perhaps immediately after he
had been solicited by the Greeks of Naukratis to
remember Hellenic interests in Egypt. I have already
argued that there is no need for attributing special
insight or prophetic genius to Alexander's selection of
the site.3 Any site along the coast, or near it, on
1 Cf. now Empire of the P/olemies, p. 10.
2 To judge from the foundation feast afterwards kept on the
25th of Tybi, at Alexandria, the formal act appears to have taken
place on or about January 20, 331 B.C. Cf. the authorities quoted
by Holm, Griech. Geschicl/e, iii. 383, note 5.
3 Mr. Hogarth (Philip and Alexander, p. 189) contests this, and
thinks the site behind Pharos the only suitable spot for a harbour


one of the larger arms of the Nile, must have proved
successful, if we give it the conditions supplied by the
great conquests in the East, and then the wise and
practical rule of the first Ptolemy and his successors.
Wherever the mart was established for the meeting
of the merchandise of the Mediterranean and the
Nile, a vast concourse of people must inevitably take
We hear many accounts, more or less detailed, of
the founding of this great city, but of these the most
fabulous (that in the Romance) is apparently the most
instructive, for the writer was personally intimate with
the city, and records the traditions of the inhabitants.1
But they all presuppose the city to be so well known
that they omit details which to our comprehension of
it are vital. The only earlier attempt to fix the plan by
excavations was made for Napoleon III. by Mahmoud
Bey (1866). Dr. Botti's map in this volume gives the
results of his researches up to 1897. On one point we
must lay peculiar stress, because most authors produce
a false impression, that Alexandria was a city in which
Jews and Greeks counted for everything, the natives
for nothing. There is good evidence that the majority
of the poorer classes was from the first Egyptian, and
that to the end the city remained very different from

along the whole Delta coast. Of course if this were so, it would
detract greatly from Alexander's credit, as his choice was con-
trolled by necessity. But it is not so. Ancient ships did not
require the deep water that ours do, and the precautions taken at
the Sebennytic and Pclusiac mouths prove that landing at these
points was easy even for ships of war. Even Nelson's ships
could fight in the bay of Aboukir.
SI quote from the Didot edition of Arrian, etc., edited by C.
Miller. The importance of pseudo- Callisthenes, especially
according to our oldest text, and the Armenian translation, was
first shown by G. Lumbroso, whose varied and curious learning
has not marred his natural acuteness. Both in the case of this
book and in that of the pseudo-Aristeas, he has shown that what
the learned world up to his day had rejected as purely fabulous,
contained valuable historical indications. Cf. his I'Egilto, etc.,
cap. xvi. ; and also Zacher's Pseudo-Callisthenes (Halle, 1867),
p. 96.


other Hellenistic foundations.1 The native element,
though at first thrust out from power and influence,
gradually asserted itself, and the city that opposed
Caesar was probably far more Egyptian than that which
opposed Antiochus Epiphanes. This is not an extra-
ordinary or exceptional course of events. The city of
Dublin, for example, has been settled with Danes and
English for many centuries, during which the whole
control and government of the city lay in these foreign
hands. Yet, though they imposed their laws, their
language, and to some extent their religion, upon the
native population, the English never made it an English
city. The masses of the poor, long subjected to harsh
control, nevertheless so influenced the settlers, that to
this day Dublin has remained and will continue an Irish
city, with the national characteristics strongly and
clearly marked. Such was the case with Alexandria.
It is therefore not out of place in this book, which
deals with the people of Egypt and their condition
under the Macedonian dynasty, to enter into some
details regarding the origin of this great foreign mart
in the north-west corner of the land. For this capital
in its day became, like Paris in France, the normal con-
troller of the fortunes of the whole country.
The first point which deserves special notice is the
statement of Strabo (xvii. i, 6), corroborated by the
Romance, that the site, when Alexander found it, was not
an open coast, only occupied by a fishing village. The
former kings of Egypt, content with home produce and
not desirous of imports, and thus opposed to foreigners,
especially to Greeks (for these were pillagers and
covetous of foreign land, because of the scantiness of
their own), established a military post at this spot, to
keep off intruders, and gave to the soldiers as their
habitation what was called Rakotis, which is now
that part of Alexandria which lies above the dockyards,
but was then a village. The country lying round
1 The expression of Justin (xi. Il), colonial Macedonum capiut
esse Agypti jubet, is, I believe, accurate. The Macedonians, so
called, were always a small and privileged part of the population.


about this spot they entrusted to herdsmen, who
themselves also should be able to keep off strangers."
Strabo's statement commends itself to common
sense. If Pharos, and the coast it protected from the
heavy sea, were not occupied, it could hardly fail to
become the favourite haunt of Greek pirates, as it was
the nearest point of Egypt both to Cyrene and to
Crete. The island was well known to the Athenians
in Thucydides' time. The Romance adds that the
population round Rakotis was divided into separate
villages, in all twelve, and that each had a separate
watercourse coming from the fresh-water canal skirt-
ing Lake Mareotis, and crossing the tongue of land
into the sea. This also seems very probable. If the
land was given up to careful agriculture as well as
grazing, a systematic water supply at intervals along
the coast was absolutely necessary. Each group
would depend upon its own canal, and so form a
separate village. We are further told that in the
plan of the city the streets were built over these
parallel canals, and formed the thoroughfares from
north to south, which intersected at right angles the
great Canopic street running along the whole tongue of
land which separates Lake Mareotis and the sea. The
old names of these villages are given in the text of
pseudo-Callisthenes, but in such corrupt forms that
Lumbroso has only been able to identify three of
them 1 by later allusions; enough, however, to show the
historical character of the tradition. The large sheet
of water called Lake Marea or Mareotis, at that time
in touch (by several channels) with the Nile, and there-
fore affected by the summer rising of the river, afforded
to the city a fresh-water harbour (AXtv 6 XiqFvaios),
which in Strabo's day was more crowded with vessels
and merchandise (coming down to it from the upper
country) than were the harbours on the sea.
The native portion of the city was undoubtedly the
western, where the great pillar (so-called that of Pom-
pey) marks the site of the old temple of Serapis, which
1 Rakotis, Aspendia, Argeon. Cf. his Egilto (1895), pp. 166 seq.


existed, we are told, before Alexander's foundation.1
To the west of this was the Egyptian necropolis, with
a suburb devoted, says Strabo, to all the preparations
for embalming bodies, another very clear proof of the
Egyptian character of this part of the city. Here also
have been found at various times statues, etc., in
granite, which point to a certain adornment of the
old Rakotis and its temples. The necropolis on the
east side was, so far as we know, rather Greek in
character. There were also from the commencement
many Jews attracted," as they ever have been, by the
mercantile advantages of the new emporium, and they
became a very important section

appear that Alexander gave
these foreigners any privileges
apart from other immigrants;
but that he gave special con-
sideration to Egyptian feeling
appears from his either founding,
or more probably embellishing,
a temple of Isis, which always
FIG.6.--CoinofAlexandria, remained an important building
showing Temple of Isis. in the city, and with its Egyptian
facade forms a very curious feat-
ure in the coins of Alexandria under the Roman Empire.
It does not seem necessary to enter here more
minutely upon the topography of the new city.3 It
was laid out on the principles which the architect
Hippodamus had made fashionable in Greece, and
which, unfortunately, have again become fashionable
in Southern Europe. The intersection of two great
thoroughfares at right angles marked the approximate
centre of the city, and the lesser streets were cut
1 Dr. Botti has found many relics of the older occupation of this
site, even so far back as Ramses II. Cf. his Fouilles (Alexandria,
1 This statement, denied by many German anti-Semite authori-
ties, will be supported by evidence in the sequel.
The most recent discussion of it is by Puchstein in P.-W.R.
art. Alexandria." Cf. the map at the end of this book.


parallel to these. The main thoroughfares, which ran
from gate to gate, were a plethron (ioi English feet)
wide, and adorned with colonnades on both sides for
the shelter of pedestrians. But it is added by our
authorities that even the lesser streets were passable
for horses and wheel traffic, a convenience not usual,
apparently, in Greek towns. The narrowness of the
site from north to south (across the main lie of the city)
was remedied by building a causeway, the Hepta-
stadion,1 to the island Pharos, which not only conveyed
water to the island, but divided the bay into two main
harbours, which were entered round the east and
west ends of the island respectively. Thus this great
natural breakwater was converted into a suburb or
part of the town,2 and fortified accordingly. The royal
or eastern harbour had inner docks and special quays
for the navy, and round it were situated the royal
palace and other notable buildings. The western
harbour was for the merchant shipping; but this too
contained special recesses, and there was a way here
from the sea into Lake Mareotis. This harbour, which
is spoken of as open, in contrast to the other, was
afterwards known as Eunostus, in memory, possibly,
of a king of Cyprus, who was a friend and connection
of the first Ptolemy. But this seems an unsatisfactory
account of the title. There were two passages kept
open in the causeway to allow vessels to be transferred
from the eastern to the western harbour.
How far the original plan of Alexander corresponded
to the results in after days we shall never know. For
we are told that after the foundation had attracted
I This causeway is now so broad as to hold a large population;
indeed, the whole Turkish town was contained by it 200 years
ago. The accretion and consequent shallowing of the harbour
is attested as growing since the first century, and is quite in-
consistent with the theory that the sea has encroached largely
upon ancient Alexandria.
SThe population, however, apart from that of the forts, always
remained native, poor, and addicted to plundering wrecked ships,
an ancient privilege, according to Caesar, De Bell. Civ. iii. 112.
Compare Heliodorus, Aeth. i.


many settlers, besides the neighboring natives,
whose former possessions were made into a privi-
leged (and possibly untaxed) territory, the city grew
rapidly, and then history is silent about it for many
years. The splendour of Alexander's conquests
dazzled the historians, so that they were blind to all
lesser or more gradual changes in the' world. The
conqueror spent but little time superintending his new
plan. The stories about the prosperous omens noted
at the moment are hardly worth repeating now. What
is called the accident or sudden expedient of marking
out the circuit with meal or flour appears to have
been a Macedonian habit founded upon some old super-
stition. The real marvel would have been if this meal
had not been picked up by the numerous birds that
people the country. So that it required the talents
and the veracity of courtiers to make a portentous
phenomenon out of this perfectly unavoidable occur-
rence. Probably there were more birds to do it in Egypt
than there were upon such occasions in Macedonia.
We may, therefore, hurry on with Alexander to the
oasis of Ammon, and consider the bearings of this
adventure upon the history of the country. He prob-
ably followed the usual, though not the shortest,
route. Greeks coming to visit the oasis from Cyrene
or elsewhere would probably go as near as possible
by sea, and disembark due north of the oasis. To
this point Alexander could sail or march, with the aid
of a provisioning fleet. The rest was a caravan march
across the desert. We are told by some of our Greek
authorities that at Paraetonium, the roadstead from
which the march started, he was met by an embassy
offering submission and valuable presents from the
Cyreneans.1 It is far more likely that they offered him

1 Diod. xvii. 49: "Midway an embassy from the Cyrenaeans
met him, bearing a crown and magnificent gifts, among which
were three hundred war-horses, and five four-in-hands of the
highest quality." To this a new chronological fragment adds
some details (Oxyrynchus Papyri, xii. col. 5): ave37 eis Auuwvor
Kal e rT j avafpaoEL IlapaTrKOV KTLTEL 7roXV ; so also the Alexander


guides. For this was not the Egyptian road to the
oasis, and it is quite possible that even the Greeks of
Naukratis were not familiar with it. For they would
probably take the road through the Nitrian desert, when
making the journey. But this is only a conjecture. The
marvels related concerning Alexander's journey are such
as could be easily constructed from an exaggeration of
natural phenomena. That two ravens, when flushed
from some carrion in the desert, should fly towards
the oasis was almost certain, and was a well-established
index used by every straying traveller. That the party
suffered from drought, and were relieved by a sudden
downpour of rain, was an unusual, but not unpre-
cedented occurrence then, as now. It is more interest-
ing to note that none of our authorities makes any
mention of the use of camels in this journey, thus indi-
cating that they were not yet domesticated in Egypt,
or at least in the west of Egypt. The name Camel's
Fort near Pelusium occurs in the next generation.
On the whole, the accounts we have from our various
sources are very consistent as regards the visit and
its probable objects. There is a description of the
temple and its appointments in Diodorus (xvii. 50. 2)
which is said to correspond with what still remains of
ancient ruins on the spot. Still more closely does it
correspond, according to M. Maspero,1 with the very
analogous ruins in the Great Oasis. It seems that in
the days of Darius, temples of Amon had been built
or restored in both these outlying sites. They were
constructed, with less expense and grandeur, upon the
same principles as the other shrines of the god, and
the ceremonies attending the accession of a new king
were depicted, as upon the walls of the temple of
Karnak and that of Erment. If Alexander had been
a legitimate Pharaoh, he must visit the god in his
temple, he must enter alone into the inner shrine,
Romance, i. 31: KTi'aS o0v eKEi 7vrXiv ItIKp& Ka KaX~h oaT K TiV dyXWpl[Wv
TrLvXaLitrpoBs &vSpaF, KaTCJKtOaav avros eneiKFe, KaXcasF ar67v lapa T6vtov.
1 Ecole prat, des hautes e/udes, annuaire for 1897: "Comment
Alexandre devint dieu en Egypte."


where the statue of the god in his sacred boat was
kept, and after due homage, Amon answered with a
declaration that the new king was his beloved son, on
whom he would bestow the immortality of Ra, and
the royalty of Horus, victory over all his enemies, and
the domination of the world, etc. etc. These wildly
exaggerated formulae, which had none but a liturgical
meaning for a poor king of decaying Egypt, were
translated into a prophecy of some import when
addressed to Alexander. The god, in this case, not
only received him in his shrine, but answered him in
words, instead of mere motions of his head. The
priests had all these things well arranged. But the
important point in the affair is that the declaration of
the king's divinity, and of his actual descent from Amon
as his father, was the only formula known by which
the priests could declare him de jure king of Egypt, as
he already was defacto.
As every king for centuries back had been declared
the son of Amon, it was natural and necessary that
Alexander should be so also. But most of these earlier
native kings had been of the royal stock, where any new
interference of Amon was unnecessary. In the case,
however, of illegitimacy, when a conqueror became king
of Egypt (and that had been no unfrequent occurrence),
the first precaution had been to marry him to one of
the royal princesses, whose right of succession was as
recognized as that of their brothers. Thus the next
generation, at all events, showed partial royal descent.
But, as M. Maspero has shown, even this was not
enough; by a fiction of the priests, represented in several
instances upon the hieroglyphic decorations of temples,1
the god was declared to have taken the place of the
non-royal husband, and to have become the actual
father of the new prince. It seems even likely that
among the strict prescriptions for all the solemn acts
of the king it was directed that he should assume the
insignia of the god, his ram's horns, fleece, etc., when
visiting the queen. We find from the Romance of
I Cf. the instances cited by Maspero, op. cit. pp. i1-rg.


Alexander's life, afterwards so popular in Alexandria,
that the invented paternity of the hero by means of
Nektanebo and his magic arts conforms exactly to all
this ritual. As last legitimate king of Egypt, Nektanebo
had fled to Macedonia, seduced Olympias by magic
visions, and then appeared to her under the form either
of a serpent, the Agathodaemon, or of the ram-headed
god Amon.
Here is another argument to be added to those of
Lumbroso in his rehabilitation of the traditional litera-
ture of this period. The theological details have now
been shown by M. Maspero to correspond so accurately
with the doctrine of the priests of Amon in pre-Ptolemaic
days, that I hesitate to date the composition of the
Romance after that dynasty was extinct. I do not think
that the decayed priesthood under the Roman Empire
could have found any interest in reviving these solemn
fictions. I had argued long ago that the remarkable
absence of all importance of the Ptolemies throughout
the whole book pointed further in the same direction.
Either the legend arose before they did, or after they
had passed out of public memory. The latter seems
to me impossible, so that I contend that at least the
earlier portions of the Romance, and those regarding
Alexander's acts in Egypt, must have taken shape
almost at once, and the story of his birth must have
become current before it became necessary to make
similar inventions for the Ptolemies.
As regards Alexander's acceptance'of his own divinisa-
tion, there is no reason to think that he received it with
reluctance or with scepticism, or that either Greeks
or Orientals were shocked at it, and unwilling to accord
him this honour. The insurgent Macedonians indeed
twitted him concerning his father Amon, and one or
two sceptical philosophers may have expressed their
scorn ; but the Attic public that lavished divinity a few
years later on Demetrius the Descender, or the natives
of the Cyclades who conferred it with enthusiasm upon
the first Ptolemy, can hardly have thought the notion
strange or shocking a few years earlier. Strack even


maintains the general conclusion (Dyn. der Ptolemiier,
p. 112) that the deification of the Ptolemies and other
Hellenistic sovereigns was a distinctively Greek inven-
tion, not a piece of Orientalism.
To the completion of Alexander's divinity, and his
foundation of the new capital, our historians well-nigh
confine their ac-
count of his
Egyptian doings.
We are even un-
certain whether
he ever saw Alex-
andria after his
first laying out of
the place on his
way to the oasis.
For though some
of our inferior
authorities actu-
ally place the
foundation on his
return journey,
it seems more
likely that he re-
turned across the
desert straight to
Memphis, and
hastened to de-
scend the eastern
channel to Pel-
usium and to
FIG. 7.--A King (in this case the Emperor Syria. He had
Tiberius) worshipping Amon. received some
Greek deputations
from cities of Asia Minor, and had ordered some
political prisoners to be put in ward at Elephantine,
which seems to have been regarded in some way as a
penal settlement. But with the natives he had no
further intercourse.
It remains for us to consider, so far as our materials


permit us, the general effect of the conquest upon these
natives and their condition. For this is properly the
history of Egypt. The founding of the new city was
doubtless accompanied by some hardships. Probably
to the natives the closing of the mart at the Canopic
mouth was the least, for the whole literature of the
papyri of the succeeding generations does not afford
us any evidence that native Egyptians engaged in
foreign trade. That must have been altogether in the
hands of Greeks or Syrians. But the unsettling of all
the villages round Rakotis, and the sweeping in of
the country population into a new city-this must have
caused much annoyance and trouble, notwithstanding
the many privileges with which Alexander sought to
soften it. The Egyptians are, however, a patient
people, and provided their priests were satisfied, and
recommended the new dynast, we may imagine the
poorer people soothed with the reflection that a change
of masters would not do any harm, and might possibly
bring some relief. We hear, indeed, that he demanded
from them the same amount of taxes as they had paid to
the Persians. But the odiousness of the Persian rule
had not been so much extortion, as a reckless and cruel
disregard of Egyptian sentiment. In our day we have
heard grievances made light of because they were
sentimental, as if such were not the worst, nay, perhaps
the only real grievances. The violation of sentiment
is a far worse form of tyranny than the violation of
material rights. Outrages, for example, on property
are not resented with the same fierceness as outrages
on religion. But these latter had often been committed
by the Persians. It was on this point that there was
now every probability of a great change.
As regards the political settlement of the country there
is a curious chapter in Arrian (iii. 5) giving us the names
and offices of those to whom Alexander entrusted the
country. Upon his return to Memphis he had received
various embassies from Greece, and also (what was
more welcome) about ioGo mercenaries sent him by
Antipater by way of reinforcement. He then celebrated


a great musical and gymnastic feast to "Zeus the
king," apparently in Hellenic fashion, and perhaps in
contrast to the various Egyptian ceremonies to which
he and his army had submitted. Then he ordered the
country as follows:-" He made two Egyptians nomarchs
of (all) Egypt, viz. Doloaspis and Peteesis,' and divided
the country between them; but when Peteesis presently
resigned, Doloaspis undertook the whole charge. As
commanders of the garrisons he appointed from among
his companions Pantaleon of Pydna at Memphis, and
Polemo of Pella at Pelusium ; as general of the mercen-
aries,2 Lycidas the 2Etolian ; as secretary over the mer-
cenaries, Eugnostos, one of his companions; as overseers
over them, A}schylus and Ephippus of Chalcis. Governor
of the adjacent Libya he made Apollonios, of Arabia
about Heroopolis Cleomenes of Naukratis, and him he
directed to permit the nomarchs to control their nomes
according to established and ancient custom; but to
obtain from them their taxes, which they were ordered
to pay him. He made Peukestas and Balakros (two
of his noblest Macedonians) generals of the [whole]
army he left in Egypt, and admiral Polemo. . He
is said to have divided the government of Egypt into
many hands, because he was surprised at the nature
and (military) strength of the country, so that he did
not consider it safe to let one man undertake the sole
charge of it." So far Arrian.

1 The Greek text gives Petisis, but the true form is found fre-
quently in papyri, and means gift of Isis, in fact, the Greek
Isidorus. Doloaspis is not known to me as an Egyptian name,
and is probably Persian.-P.
2 I see that Drovsen (Hell. i. I. 324) understands ihvot in the
sentence to mean immigrant Greeks, who were thus set under
special magistrates. This he did, I presume, because MItaloP6pot
occur a few lines earlier in describing the succours sent from
Macedonia. I think he is wrong, and that both terms apply to
mercenaries, but the earlier to Alexander's "foreign legion,"
permanently enlisted (probably from Greek exiles), the latter to
those who were engaged for a short and definite time. That each
body of mercenaries had a secretary appears from such texts as
that of Thera: Fpa laarvsu Trwv Kara Kprv, K..v -.X., rTpaTLWTWV Ka
paXtp.w, etc.


But his meagre statement of facts leaves room for
many conjectures. Alexander's military arrangements
do not specially concern Egypt. It is more than
probable that the general, secretary, and episcopi were
a regular feature in the hazardous control of every
great mercenary force; separate military governors
of Memphis and Pelusium, with trusty Macedonian
garrisons-all these forces under command of two
of his highest officers, leave no room for surprise
except in the last item. Here was shown the young
king's suspicion. For either Peukestas or Balakros
might well have sufficed as the commander-in-chief.
Apollonios was made Libyarch, a term known from
early papyri; but to the corresponding Arabarch,
Cleomenes, a man of Naucratis, was given another
most important function. He was made Chancellor of
the Exchequer (afterwards known as SCOLKITIr ), and
was responsible to Alexander for the whole tribute of
Egypt. Yet he was not entrusted with the collection
of it. This was left in the hands of two native general
nomarchs, who must have had under them a host of
local nomarchs. I suppose the division of the country
between them was into Upper and Lower Egypt.
Perhaps the resignation of Peteesis, taken with the
evil reports we hear of Cleomenes' extortions, show
that the office became unpopular, and that the gain
from the Macedonian rule was not so great as people
had anticipated. It is plain that the man of Naucratis
had most influence with Alexander; the native nomarchs
sank into insignificance; the garrison was gradually
withdrawn into the East, and so the Greek, as usual,
monopolised all the power and profit. It is remarkable,
that though Alexander must have been in much want
of troops, no hint is given us that he even thought

1 n6 ri rlv irpor66wv which Droysen suggests, is a title I have never
found in early Ptolemaic papyri, so that it possibly dates only
from Roman times (e.g. the Cleopatra stele from Thebes, C.I.G.
4717). It is likely that Cleomenes' control of the finances was
at first connected with raising the money for the building of
Alexandria from the taxes of the country.


of enrolling the military caste of Egypt, as he after-
wards enrolled Persians in his service. He was no
doubt quite young and inexperienced, and proposed to
himself to conquer the world with Macedonians and
Greeks only. It should be added that the separation
of administrative from military functions was a principle
carried out elsewhere by Alexander, probably on the
Persian model. In his Eastern conquests his habit
was to set a satrap over each province, but beside him,
and independently, a commander of the forces, and an
official in charge of the revenue.
It would be a matter of no small interest to deter-
mine with certainty whether Ptolemy accompanied
Alexander to Egypt, and to the oracle of Amon. He
was at that time still an officer of no prominence in the
Macedonian service, whose promotion was yet to come.
Yet it is hard to avoid the conclusion that it was now
that the wealth and isolation of Egypt struck the far-
seeing man, and made him in after years claim this as
his province without hesitation. But if we merely
regarded his account of Alexander's adventure, we find
him so well inclined to the marvellous as to dispose us
to believe that he wrote from hearsay. Arrian reports
(iii. 3. 5) that "Ptolemy son of Lagus says that
two serpents (8pdKovra-) went before the army (in
the desert march to the oasis) uttering a voice ; and that
Alexander commanded his guides to follow them as
inspired ; that these led the way to the oracle and back
from it again. But Aristobulus and the majority say
that two ravens flew in advance of the force," etc.
Either, therefore, Ptolemy, writing his history of the
campaigns in long after years, copied down one of the
legends that clustered about the conqueror, without
any criticism, or, having himself accompanied the
expedition, he deliberately chose to propagate the most
miraculous version. Subsequent acts, to which we
shall come in due time, incline us to believe that the
latter was the case.
Alexander never revisited Egypt, but his corpse was
conveyed with solemn pomp to Memphis, and ultimately


laid at rest in the centre of his new capital, as its hero-
founder (cekist). He seems even to have neglected the
proper care of the land in the midst of his enormous
engagements. He was informed that Cleomenes had
proved an unjust and tyrannous steward; he prom-
ised to pardon him for all his crimes, provided his
instructions regarding the worship of his friend
Hephaestion were duly carried out at Alexandria.
Arrian (vii. 23) quotes the very words of Alexander's
letter without suspicion,1 and thinks they are justified
by the promptness with which Cleomenes procured an
oracle from Amon ordering Hephtestion's deification
(Diod. xvii. i15), and the importance of his loyalty to
Alexander when other financial officers were proving
dishonest and mutinous. The fact remains that the
administration of Egypt during Alexander's short reign
was in bad hands, and that though the king knew it,
he either could not or would not interfere. Probably

1" The sacred embassy returned from the temple of Amon, whom
the king had sent there to inquire to what extent it was lawful
for him to give honours to Hephrestion, and said that Amon
permitted him to have sacrifices as a hero. . And to
Cleomenes, a worthless person who had done much injustice
in Egypt, he wrote a letter which I do not criticise so far as it
concerns his loving memory of Hephaestion, but in many other
respects I do. For the letter directed that a heroon should be
erected to Hephrestion in Alexandria-one in the city and another
in the island of Pharos, where the tower is in that island, most
famous for its size and beauty-and that it should become the
habit to call it after Hephaestion, and that on the mutual contracts
of the merchants the name of Heph.estion should be inscribed."
So far well, though it shows an undue attention to trifles. But
here is the objectionable part. If I find," continues the letter,
"the temples in Egypt and the heroon of Hephawstion. well
appointed, I shall condone your former transgressions, and what-
ever wrong you may do hereafter, you shall suffer nothing dis-
agreeable at my hands." I cannot understand how modern
historians (Nicse, i. 185, Grote, xii. 341 (who mistranslates the
passage), Droysen, i. 2. 336) can accept this letter as genuine.
The details about the Pharos lighthouse contain the grossest
possible anachronism, for it was not built till at least forty years
later. But I presume that the forger of the letter knew the still-
existing shrines of Hephaestion, one of which was near the
subsequent lighthouse.


the tribute of Egypt was at all events promptly paid.
The charges against Cleomenes in Demosthenes' speech
against Dionysodorus are only to be taken for what they are
worth in an Athenian law-court. The defendants are
one and all conspirators with Cleomenes, "who has the
control in Egypt (0ro iv Aly7rw`i& p$Tavros), who, from
the time that he received this government, did no
small harm to your city (Athens), nay, rather to all
the Greeks, retailing upon retail (TraXiyKaharYXc er) and
raising the prices of corn with his associates." Possibly
this sharp practice only damaged the Greek traders,
and did no harm to the natives. On this point we
have no information. But the promptness with which
Ptolemy put him to death when he took over Egypt,
may be a proof that he was a power among the natives,
not merely that he was detested by the merchants.

FIG. 8.-Coin found by Mr. Petrie at Naukratis.
Two female (?) heads (Aphrodite? Naukratis?) with
NAT on obverse and AAE on reverse, showing
that the city had a right of coinage under
Alexander, and indeed the head on the reverse
seems to me that of the youthful Alexander.


GENERAL AUTHORITIES.A-Ancient-The sequel in the historians
quoted above, chap. i. ; Josephus, Antiq. Jud. xii. ; Plutarch,
Demetrius; Pausanias, i. 6. Modern-Droysen, Niese, and
Mahaffy as above; Strack, die Dynaslie der Ptolemier (1896).

WE are not here concerned with the various quarrels
among Alexander's generals for the possession of his
empire. Happily there was not from the first any
doubt concerning the satrapy of Egypt. Ptolemy, a
favourite and familiar companion, who had fought his
way up from an obscure military
position to one of the highest and
most trusted in the army, demanded '
and obtained Egypt for his share.
This was in 323 B.C., immediately
after the death of Alexander.
I do not know that we have a
single scrap of evidence concerning Gto. 9.-SHed of
the condition of the country since the Egyptian dress,
Macedonian conquest, beyond what from an Onyx
seal (Petnrie col-
has been quoted already from Demos- election .
thenes, and corroborating anecdotes
in Aristotle's (Economics. In the second book of that
pseudonym work, which gives a number of instances
from various sources of sharp practice in public economy,
the conduct of Cleomenes the Alexandrian, satrap of
Egypt," receives special consideration. "Cleomenes the
Alexandrian, satrap of Egypt, when a severe famine
occurred in the neighboring countries, but in Egypt
to only a small extent, forbade the exportation of
corn. But when the nomarchs complained that they


were unable to pay their tribute, owing to this
regulation, he allowed the export, but put so high a
tax upon it, that for a small quantity exported he
obtained a large sum of money, besides getting rid
of the excuse made by the nomarchs. And as he
was going by water through the nome where the
crocodile is a god, one of his slaves was carried off
by them, so calling the priests together, he said he
must have revenge for this wanton attack, and
ordered them to hunt the crocodiles. Thereupon the
priests, in order that their god might not be insulted,
collected and gave him a great quantity of gold, and
so appeased him. When Alexander directed him to
found a city at Pharos (Alexandria) and to move the
trade-mart of Canobus thither, he went to Canobus
and told all the priests and wealthy people that he had
come for the purpose of moving them out. They
therefore collected a large sum of money which they
gave him, in order to keep their mart. He departed
with this, but after a while, when his new foundation
was in order, he came again and asked them for an
enormous sum, declaring that he estimated the differ-
ence of the mart being there or at Alexandria at this
figure. And when they said they could not pay it,
he transferred them all to the new city. [The next
example has no local colour.] And when corn was
selling at o1 drachmae (for the medimnus) he called
together the peasants (-ros, pyaco/LevovU) and asked them
on what terms they would work for him; they said
they would do so at a cheaper rate than that at which
they sold to the merchants. Then he told them to
sell to him at the same price as to the rest, but fixed
the price of corn at 32 drachmae, and sold at this
rate. [This seems to mean that he got rid of the
middlemen, and so made all the profit himself for the
Crown.] And having called together the priests, he
told them that the expenses of religion in the country
were extravagant, and that a certain number of
temples and priests must be abolished. Then the
priests offered him both privately and from their


temple-funds money, as they thought he was really
going to reduce them, and each wanted to preserve
his own temple and his own priesthood." [If this
argument meant, either you must sacrifice some of
your endowments or give a large contribution to the
Crown, then anyone who knows the enormous wealth
of the old Egyptian priesthood will hardly quarrel with
It does not seem to me that any of these instances
show an oppression of the poor, but rather of the
financiers and priests. From what we know of them
and their doings, we shall be slow to condemn
Cleomenes upon their complaints. The anecdotes
seem to be genuine, and the famine in the Levant by
which he profited was doubtless that known to us by
inscriptions as having affected Athens in 329 B.c. At
all events, we can say nothing more now, than that
Cleomenes was the authorised satrap of Egypt, and in
no fear of dismissal, while its future master was
winning fame and influence in Alexander's campaigns.
When the great king's death supervened (June, 323
B.C.), and a division of the empire under Macedonian
chiefs, the nominal lieutenants of the royal heir, took
place, we are told by Pausanias, a bad authority,
that Ptolemy was the main advocate for making these
chiefs independent of the central power, and that it
was with this object clearly before him that he asked
for and obtained Egypt as his portion. It is stated in
the compendium of Arrian's history of the sequel to
Alexander's reign (Phot. cod. 92) that Cleomenes, now
acknowledged satrap of the country, was formally
named as his colleague, though not his equal.1
It is plain, therefore, that Cleomenes had not made
himself disliked by the generals, and probably Perdikkas,
who seems from the first to have suspected and feared
Ptolemy, thought it safe to have a powerful friend,
well acquainted with the country, to help him to
counteract any schemes of the new satrap. Ptolemy,"
says Diodorus (xviii. 14), "took over Egypt without
1 Vrapxos is the word.


disturbance, and treated the natives with kindness;
found there a treasure of 8000 talents, collected a
mercenary force, and organised his power; moreover,
there ran together to him a crowd of friends, on account
of his personal popularity." To protect himself against
the coming hostility of Perdikkas, who desired to keep
the whole empire together, and act as regent, with the
chance of succeeding, he made alliance with Antipater,
master of Macedonia, and what was perhaps more
urgent, he put to death Cleomenes, upon what pretext
we do not know (Paus. i. 6. 3).
His first care was to put the country into a state of
defence against the expected attack of the regent.
When this was successfully beaten off,1 and the regent
slain, Ptolemy could have taken his place, being highly
popular, for the army and the princes, who had lost
their director and protector, were ready to adopt any
prompt solution of their difficulties. But his prudence
and moderate ambition did not permit him to make
such a mistake. He conferred the doubtful and
dangerous honour on two of his supporters, and
remained as he was, the confirmed and now very
powerful satrap of Egypt.
One of the most open causes of quarrel with
Perdikkas had been the securing of the body of
Alexander, which had set out from Babylon, upon a
splendid funeral car, and which had reached Palestine,
when Ptolemy met it with a large escort, and conveyed
it to Egypt. The regent himself seems not to have
seen the danger at the outset; for the original plan
he sanctioned was the burial of Alexander in the
temple of his father Amon in the oasis. When the
procession had started, he saw that this would give
Ptolemy control of a great sentimental advantage, and
directed that it should go to Egae, the resting-place of
the old Macedonian kings. But Ptolemy, partly by
force and partly by persuasion, had brought the
remains to Egypt.
This is a matter which does affect our history,
1 Cf. the details, Emp. Ptol. pp. 30 seg


and is worth closer considera-
tion, especially as our authori-
ties vary concerning it, some
(Pausanias) asserting that the
body of the king was laid in
Memphis, and not brought to
Alexandria till the following
reign, others, and the majority,
that it was conveyed straight
to Alexandria. The Romance
even asserts that the people of
Memphis refused to receive it,
as being a source of danger to
any city where it lay.'
SAfter the oracle of the Babylonian
Zeus had answered that the king o
should be buried at Memphis, the
Romance proceeds: "Then no one
objected any further, but allowed
Ptolemy to depart and take with him
the embalmed body in a leaden coffin,
which he placed upon a cart and n
brought to Egypt. When the people 1
of Memphis heard of it, they went out
to meet the body of Alexander and
brought it into Memphis. But the
high priest of the temple of Memphis
said, Do not settle him here, but in 0
the city which he has built at Racotis,
for wherever this body may lie, the
city will be uneasy, disturbed with
wars and battles'" (iii. 34). I will
here add, to save the reader from
misapprehension, that the only recog-
nised route from Syria to Alexandria
lay through Memphis. To sail from
Palestine to Alexandria was most
difficult, owing to the prevalence of J
violent north west winds and the
shoaly coast. To cross the Delta by
road was impossible. It is therefore
quite certain, that whatever Ptolemy's
intention was as to the final resting-
place, the body must have been first
brought to Memphis. There may


But the Romance seems to know nothing of the
gold coffin in which the great Alexander lay during
Ptolemaic times, nor of the glass one with which it
was ultimately replaced near the end of that period.
It is even still possible that the legend arose before
the second Ptolemy had formally laid the body in the
Sema at Alexandria; for the golden coffin may only
date from that time (nearly forty years subsequent) ; it
is also possible, but very unlikely, that the fable was
not composed till the memory of these details had been
totally forgotten.
The quarrels concerning the division of the empire,
concerningthe entombment of Alexander, and the ultimate
expedition of Perdikkas against Egypt, and his death,
seem to have occupied fully two years. For Perdikkas
had not ventured to attack Egypt without first sub-
jugating some of the recalcitrant satraps of Asia Minor,
still more the "kings of Cyprus, whom Ptolemy had
brought over to his side, and who supplied him with
a fleet. Perdikkas' attack upon the new allies of Egypt
had been kept in check by obtaining from Antipater
the help of ships commanded by Antigonus, afterwards
the most dangerous neighbour of Ptolemy in Syria.
And during the breathing time afforded him by
Perdikkas' campaign in Asia Minor, the Egyptian satrap
had managed to secure the adherence of Cyrene.
That famous Greek settlement, famous since the
days of Pindar, and so isolated that it could be really
independent, had exchanged its voluntary submission
to Alexander for the sweets of autonomy, which in
those days usually meant an internecine struggle
between the rich who had most property and the poor
who had most votes. As soon as one party had force
enough to exile its opponents, these opponents ap-
pealed to any foreign nation to avenge them of their
enemies. In this case, the banished aristocrats-they
had been sent into exile by a Macedonian soldier of
even then have been some hesitation whether to bring it to the
oasis or to settle it in the tomb of the Founder ( ok-r~r ), in the
centre of Alexandria.


fortune, Thibron, who had seized the remaining
treasures of Harpalus, a defaulting fiscal agent of
Alexander-tried every other ally, even Libyans and
Carthaginians, while Ptolemy's troops, under his
general, Ophelas, were waiting for the full-ripe fruit
to fall into their grasp; and so it happened. And
for some years Cyrene became a province of Egypt,
governed by a soldier, Ophelas, who was one of the
"men of Alexander," and therefore a personage to be
respected in that generation.
This addition of Cyrene to Egypt was merely the
tacking on of a Hellenic settlement, which added
nothing to the real life of the Egyptian people, unless
it be that it furnished many distinguished literary men
to the Museum, and added largely to the number of
foreign settlers who obtained farms and other privi-
leges in Egypt. The papyri show that both in the
Fayyum and in Upper Egypt a large number of
veterans, or soldiers in reserve, were Cyrenaeans.
By and by Cyrene also became a sort of outlying
province, held by a crown prince as heir-presumptive
of Egypt. The right of Ptolemy to hold it was
formally acknowledged in the second settlement of the
empire at Triparadeisus (321 B.c.), after the defeat
and death of Perdikkas, wherein Ptolemy again was
awarded Egypt, and whatever lands he might conquer
to the West.1 In 320 B.c. he formally occupied Cyprus
with his fleet, and so added to his kingdom the second
outlying province, which was held by his dynasty per-
manently as a part of its empire.2 The condition of
Cyprus seems to have been peculiar, and very different
from that of Cyrene. I need only mention the fact
that among the many foreign settlers in Egypt the
papyri hardly ever mention a Cypriote.
Having occupied and secured Cyprus, Ptolemy next
proceeded to seize the satrapy of Syria, held by Lao-
1 Arrian in Photius, 34; Diod. xviii. 39.
2I must remind the reader that Ptolemy was still in theory satrap
under Philip Arridaus, who had been nominated regent to the
whole empire, pending the accession of the child Alexander (IV.).


medon (320 B.C.). In this he succeeded with hardly an
effort, and became master of a new and important
province. But if his success was permanent in the
previous two extensions, it was not so in this. For
about five years, while Antigonus was occupied with
wars in Asia, he maintained his possession ; but after-
wards, when attacked, and notwithstanding his great
victory over Demetrius, who commanded for his father
Antigonus, at Gaza (312), he felt no confidence in his
power to carry on foreign wars; and though he again
seized Syria at opportune moments, he never showed
any determination in risking another great battle for
its permanent possession. But these several inter-
mittent occupations of Syria in part, and therefore of

FIG. II.-Granite Shrine of Philip Arridzeus (Luxor).

all Palestine, were accompanied (according to Josephus,
1Antiq. xii. i) with great hardships to the Jews, inas-
much as he carried away not only spoil, but thousands
of people to add to the strength of Egypt.
Alexander the Great was said to have induced many
Jews to come to Alexandria, and even to have settled
them in the upper country. This is hardly probable;
but it need not be doubted that, during the reign of
the first Ptolemy, very many Jews came as captives or
as settlers to Egypt. Even this has been denied by
recent historians,' who very naturally suspect Josephus
I Lastly by Willrich, fuden und Griechen, an able pamphlet which
seems to me to import modern anti-Semitism into ancient history.


of exaggeration when he seeks to enlarge the early
national importance of his race. But there is growing
evidence of the early residence of Jews in Ptolemaic
Egypt. The Petrie Papyri disclosed to us the ex-
istence of a village or town called Samaria in the
Fayyum in the middle of the third century B.c., cer-
tainly founded before the conquests of the third
Ptolemy, and therefore most likely due to the policy
of the first. It also appears that the discussions on
the legend of the translation of the LXX tend more and
more to establish the general truth of that story, and the
fact that it was the second Ptolemy who favoured the
formation of a Greek version of the Hebrew Scriptures.
If this be so, it is a proof of the number and im-
portance of the Jewish population in Egypt at a very
early point in this epoch. Josephus says that the
first Ptolemy was a hard and oppressive master in
Palestine; but his evidence is not quite consistent,
and probably the deportations of which he complains
were not so violent as he pretends. At all events,
I believe that with the first Ptolemy, and at this
moment, there began that growing intercourse of the
Jews with Egypt, which led to large transfers of
population, and to a great influence of the Jews in
Egypt all through Ptolemaic history.
Another point of no small interest is mentioned by
Diodorus (xix. 80) in his account of the battle of Gaza
(312 B.C.). He says that Ptolemy employed a great
number of natives in the army, not only in the trans-
port service and as attendants, but among his armed
forces. We may presume that they were only light-
armed troops, if such were indeed to be had among
the tall and stalwart Egyptians; for it is not till the
very similar battle of Raphia, just a century later, that
the natives formed the body of the phalanx and practi-
cally won that great battle. There is mention of the
iaXLtotL or soldier-caste, if there were still castes in
Egypt, in the Rosetta inscription (Ptolemy V.); but there
is also a text found at Thera (1895), which speaks of a
certain Eirenaeus as secretary of the soldiers and the


,uaXt~Iot quartered in Crete, Thera, and Arsinoe in the
Peloponnesus, and this very possibly dates, as we shall
see, from the second or third Ptolemy. These facts
lead one to abandon the received opinion, that the
soldier class of natives had become so insignificant as
to be of no account in Ptolemaic days. It seems
rather to have been part of the prudent policy of the
satrap to strengthen his army, and perhaps his navy,
by recruiting from his native subjects. But texts from
his time are so scanty and few that we cannot as yet
pretend such a conclusion to be more than probable.
Concerning the satrap's home policy towards the
natives,-his arrangements regarding revenue, internal
security, and commerce,-we know absolutely nothing.
But concerning his domestic affairs some very im-
portant events are recorded which belong to this
period of his life.
Ptolemy had the reputation of being much addicted
to women. At the great "marriage of Asia and
Europe" in Babylon, Alexander had given him a
Persian grandee, Artakama, to wife; but this lady
disappears from history without another trace. Then
we are told a very improbable story by Athenaeus
(576 d), that after Alexander's death (as if the lady
had been Alexander's mistress !) he consorted with
the Greek courtezan Thais,1 and had by her at least
two children-a son called Leontiskos or Lagus (so I
read the text), and a daughter Eirene, afterwards
married to the "king" of the Cyprian Soli. But
these unions do not affect our history. During the
crisis of Perdikkas' attack on Egypt and the new
settlement at Triparadeisus (321 B.C.) Ptolemy con-
tracted his distinctly political marriage with Eurydike,
daughter of Antipater, the senior and then the most
1 This story is so improbable that I believe our authorities, who
knew the story of the notorious Thais having excited Alexander,
in a drunken revel, to set on fire the royal palace at Persepolis,
confused with her a mistress of the same name, whom Ptolemy
brought with him in the campaign. The clause "after the death
of Alexander" is therefore to be expunged, as based on this mis-


important of the satraps, who held Macedonia. This
lady brought him several children, of whom the eldest
was called Ptolemy, and so perhaps designated for the
succession in Egypt. But within four years we find
that he married a lady who seems to have come in
the retinue of Eurydike to Egypt, a widow with chil-
dren (the eldest, Magas, perhaps eleven years old), and
who exercised no small influence upon his life. This
was Berenike (I.), grandniece of Antipater, according
to some the daughter of Lagus, and therefore his
stepsister; her children, who afterwards made royal
marriages, he seems to have adopted. The point of
interest to us is that he did not divorce his first wife,
so far as we know, but openly adopted the practice
of polygamy, recognized both at the Macedonian and
the Egyptian courts. In the latter case I do not know
whether more than one was ever recognized at the
same time as the great wife, whom the king visited in
the garb of Amon; but Egyptian kings certainly did
marry foreign princesses for political purposes, who
could hardly have been considered mere inmates of his
harem. In Macedonia we know what troubles Philip,
the father of Alexander the Great, brought upon his
house by his polygamy; and such may also have been
the practice of Macedonian nobles. But it was dis-
tinctly opposed to Hellenic sentiment and custom, and
must therefore be put into the scale with the arguments
against the new theory I that the sovereignty founded
by Ptolemy was upon Greek principles and according
to Greek ideas. Both polygamy and incest were odious
to the Greeks; they were not so to the Macedonians
and Egyptians. But Ptolemy was as yet only a satrap
in name, and his public acts pretended to be done
according to the orders of Philip Arridaeus, and when the
latter was murdered (in 317 B.c.), according to the orders
of the boy Alexander (IV.). Still we must attribute to
Ptolemy's internal policy that he restored the outer
shrine of the great temple of Luxor (Thebes) in the
name of Philip Arridaus, and therefore at the open-
1 M. L. Strack, die Dynastie der Ptolenmier


ing of his satrapy. This proves plainly enough that
from the commencement he sought to conciliate the
priesthood, and through them the national feeling.
The restoration of the inner shrine was continued in
the name of the young Alexander, probably at this
very time,1 for in the succeeding years Ptolemy's
attention became riveted on Hellenic affairs and in the
great struggle for supremacy between Antigonus and
his son on one side and the rival but inferior satraps
on the other. Seleukos had been driven out of Babylon
by Antigonus, and arrived a fugitive at the Egyptian
court in 316 B.c. Of course he urged Ptolemy to make
war in time, before Antigonus became all-powerful.
But in any case, at this moment Ptolemy held Syria
and Cyprus, which were beyond his original share of
the empire, and upon this ground Antigonus attacked
him. We are fortunately not concerned with the
intricate details of these wars, which affected Egypt
very indirectly.
At the beginning of the new struggle (314 B.c.)
Ptolemy for a short time lost control of both Cyrene
and Cyprus, the former by a revolution, the latter by
the attack of Antigonus. The revolt in Cyrene was
(we may be sure) occasioned by the proclamation of
Polyperchon, the nominal regent after Antipater's death
(319 B.c.), giving autonomy to all Greek cities, and
commanding them to receive back all their political
exiles. The other satraps-Antigonus and his son and
Ptolemy--were obliged to follow suit, and so far
humour the Greeks. But with Ptolemy it was only a
device to leave him a free hand regarding his fleet in
Greek waters, nor did he have recourse to it as yet.
He regained both provinces, and in the case of Cyprus,
with the high-handed proceedings of a downright con-
queror. As regards Syria and Palestine, after a series
of chequered campaigns, including one great victory at
1 It is from this inner shrine that we have (in the Museum at
Cairo) the statue of the young Alexander (IV.), which is very
remarkable as a hybrid production, containing both Greek and
Egyptian artistic features. Cf. Fig. 12.


FIG. 2.--Graeco-Egyptian Colossal Statue of Alexander IV. (Karnak).


Gaza (312) over Demetrius, and several lesser defeats,
such as the loss of Tyre and the capture of his general,
Killes, with a division, Ptolemy was content to make
peace with his formidable foe in 311 B.c., without
recovering this valuable province.1 It is during its
course that he is supposed to have carried off so many
Jews to Egypt.
Throughout this war we find the policy of Egypt
rather cautious than brilliant; nor did Ptolemy ever
again, after his victory at Gaza, entrust his fortunes
to the risk of a great pitched battle, the loss of which
meant the loss of all the mercenaries in his army,
who as a rule went over to the conqueror. With the
exception of one great naval defeat suffered at Rhodes,
Ptolemy never engaged in any more heroic conflicts.
He had probably seen enough of fighting under Alex-
ander to appreciate the changes and chances of cam-
paigns. From henceforth his policy on land is purely
defensive; on sea more political than naval. But now
at last we arrive at a historical text which gives us
some insight into his activity at home.
"In the year 7 (i.e. 312-311 B.C. of the boy king
Alexander IV., whose formal reign began at the death
of Philip Arridaeus), at the beginning of the inunda-
tion, under the sanctity of Horus, the youthful, rich in
strength, the lord of diadems, loving the gods who
gave him the dignity of his father, the Horus of gold,
lord in the whole world, the king of Upper and
Lower Egypt, the lord of both lands, the delight of
the heart of Amon, chosen by the Sun, of Alexander
the ever-living, the friend of the gods of the cities
PE and TEP. He being as king in the world of
strangers, his Holiness was in the interior of Asia, so
that there was a great victory in Egypt, Ptolemy was
his name.

1 It is to be specially noted regarding these campaigns that,
according to Diodorus (xix. 8o), the forces at the battle of Gaza
included, in addition to 22,000 Macedonians and mercenaries, a
crowd of Egyptians, partly to supply transport service, partly
armed, and to be used in battle.


A person of youthful vigour was he, strong in his
two arms, a king in spirit, mighty among the people,
of stout courage, of firm foot, resisting the furious, not
turning his back, striking his adversaries in the face in
the midst of the battle. When he had seized the bow,
it was not (for) one shot at the assailant, it was a (mere)
play with the sword ; in the midst of the battle not a
question of staying beside him, of mighty hand there
was no parrying his hand, no return of that which
goeth out of his mouth, there is not his like in the
world of foreigners. He had brought back the images
of the gods found in Asia ; all the furniture of the books
of all the temples of north and south Egypt, he had
restored them to their place. He had made his resi-
dence the fortress of the king's loving Amon's name the
chosen of the sun, the son of the Sun, Alexandria it is
called on the shore of the great sea of the lonians,
Rakotis was its former name. He had assembled
lonians many, and their cavalry and their ships many
with their crews, when he went with his people to the
land of the Syrians, who were at war with him. He
penetrated into their land, his courage was mighty as
that of the hawk among little birds. He taking them
at once carried their princes, their cavalry, their ships,
their works of art all to Egypt. After this, when he
had set out for the territory of Marmarica (Cyrene), he
laying hold of them at one time, led captive their men,
women, horses, in requital for what they had done to
Egypt. When he returned to Egypt, his heart being
glad at what he had done, he celebrated a good day,
and this great viceroy was seeking the best (thing to
do) for the gods of Upper and Lower Egypt. There
spoke to him he that was at his side, and the elders of
the land of Lower Egypt, that the sea-land, the land of
Buto is its name, had been granted by the king, the
image of Tanen, chosen by Ptah, the son of the Sun,
Chabbas living for ever, to the gods of PE and TEP,
after his Holiness (Chabbas) was gone to PE TEP to
examine all the sea-land in their territory, to go into
the interior of the marshes, to examine every arm of


the Nile which goes into the great sea, to keep off the
fleet of Asia from Egypt.
Then spoke his Holiness (Ptolemy) to him who was
at his side. This sea-land let me get to know it.
They spoke before his Holiness. This sea-land it is
called the land of Buto, is the property of the gods of
PE TEP from earlier time.
"The enemy Xerxes reversed it, nor had he given
anything of his to the gods of PE TEP. His Holiness
spake that there should be brought before him the
priests and magistrates of PE TEP. They brought
them to him in haste. There spoke his Holiness:
Let me learn to know the souls of the gods of PE TEP,
as to what they did to the miscreant on account of the
wicked action which he had done, what? They ans-
wered : The miscreant Xerxes had done evil to PE TEP,
he had taken away its property.
"They spake before his Holiness : The king our Lord
Horus, son of Isis, son of Osiris, the ruler of rulers,
the king of the kings of Upper Egypt, the king of the
kings of Lower Egypt, the avenger of his father, the
lord of Pe, being the beginning of the gods hereafter,
not a king after him, cast out the miscreant Xerxes
with his eldest son, making himself known in the town
of Neith, Sais, on this day beside the holy mother.
There spoke his Holiness: This powerful god among
the gods there is not a king after him, that it may be
given (me to know him) in the way of his Holiness.
I swear by it. Then spake the priests and the magis-
trates of PE TEP, that your Holiness may command,
that there may be granted the sea-land, the land of
Buto it is called, to the gods of PE TEP, with bread,
drink, oxen, birds, all good things, that there may be
repeated his renewal in your name on account of his
loan to the gods of PE TEP as requital for the ex-
cellence of your actions. This great viceroy spake:
Let a decree be drawn up in writing at the seal of the
writing of the king's scribe of finance, thus-I Ptolemy,
the Satrap, in the land of Buto I give to Horus, the
avenger of his father, the lord of Pe, and to Buto, the


lady of PE TEP, from this day forth for ever, with all
its villages, all its towns, all its inhabitants, all its
fields, all its waters, all its oxen, all its birds, all its
herds, and all things produced in it aforetime, together
with what is added since, together with the gift, made
by the king, the lord of both lands, Chabbas, the ever-
living. Its south (limit) the territory of the town of
Buto, and Hermopolis of the north towards the mouths
of the Nile. Its north: the downs on the shore of the
great sea. Its west: the mouths of the plier of the
oar-towards the downs. In the east the home of
Sebennys, so that its calves may be (a supply) for the
great hawks, its bulls for the countenance of Nebtanit,
its oxen for the living hawks, its milk for the august
child, its fowls for him in Sa, to whom is life-all things
produced on its soil on the table of Horus himself, the
lord of Pe and Buto the head of Ra-Harmachis for ever.
This land in extension had been given by the king, the
lord of both lands, the image of Taven, chosen by
Ptah, the son of the Sun, Chabbas living for ever,
renewed these gifts has this great viceroy of Egypt,
Ptolemy, to the gods of PE TEP for ever. As a
reward for this that he has done, may there be given
him victory and strength to his heart's content, so
that fear of him may continue even as it is among
strange nations. Whosoever shall propose the land
of Buto, so that he shall touch it to take ought from it,
may he be under the ban of those that are in Pe, under
the curse of those that are in Tep, so that he may be in
the fiery breath of the goddess Aptari in the day of her
terrors, not his son, not his daughter, may they give
him water."-Greek Life and Tliozught, pp. 180-192.
Though it is the plan of this book to regard only the
history of Egypt during the long and complicated ex-
ternal wars of Ptolemy's life, it is necessary to say a
word more concerning the peace or rather truce of
311 B.C., which was made among the satraps after five
years' fruitless struggle. The young Alexander, now
unfortunately interned with Casander in Macedonia,
was growing up, and his titular sovereignty over the


empire was undisputed. On the other hand, not only
had Antigonus made himself a great ruler in Asia, but
Seleukos in Babylon, Ptolemy in Egypt, Casander in
Macedonia, had become practically sovereigns. The
truce of 311 B.C. proclaimed the status quo, without
daring to question the young Alexander's rights.
But with it all Greek cities were declared to be free
and autonomous. This was the immediate bone of
contention. Was it to apply to Cyrene, held in sub-
jection by Ptolemy, to Cyprus, ruled by him through local
kings, to the cities of Cilicia, dominated by Antigonus,
or those of Greece which Casander claimed as under his
dominion? It was the obvious policy of each of the
rival satraps to accuse the other of not fulfilling this
clause of the peace; it was the insight of Ptolemy
which made him the first to understand that in this
contest of pseudo-liberality the satrap with the dom-
inant fleet would exercise practical sway over all the
coasts and islands of the AEgean. So while the youth-
ful heir to the empire and his mother were being
secretly hidden away and murdered by Casander, not
without the connivance of the other satraps,1 Ptolemy
fitted out an ample fleet and proceeded along Cilicia
and Caria to the Levant, "freeing" all the Greek cities
under the sway of Antigonus, and proclaiming to the
islands of the Egean their autonomy. This led to a
general league of the islanders, under the presidency"
of the ruler of Egypt, which lasted so long as the
Egyptian held the supremacy of the sea. It was
presently interrupted by the rival and victorious fleet
of Demetrius (the Besieger), who retook even Cyprus,
and held the Levant for nearly ten years, again for a
moment by his son Antigonus Gonatas after his naval
victory at Kos. But these were only passing alterations.
The control of the Cyclades and adjoining coasts, as
well as of Palestine and Ccele-Syria, were secured by
the tenacious policy of Ptolemy to Egypt for a century.
1 This seems to me almost certain from the silence of the rest,
and the utter absence of any protest or complaint against the
conduct of Casander.


What effects had this naval supremacy upon the
land? It is beyond doubt that a large number of
natives must have been employed in the management
of the necessary ships, and we know from one inscrip-
tion (of Thera) that the military caste did duty in the
islands with the Hellenistic troops. So far then this
foreign service must have tended to teach many natives
some knowledge of Greek, and some wider view of busi-
ness affairs than the narrow traditions of the valley of the
Nile. There were also material advantages. Not only
did this influence bring much additional traffic to Alex-
andria and fill the port with visitors from the islands,
but in days of distress, when the failure of the inunda-
tion threatened Egypt with famine, the control of the
sea and the pressure of guardships could divert the
corn traffic of the Black Sea from going west and
send it south. Moreover, the ports of Greece could
be made to receive Egyptian merchandise on terms of
"'the most favoured nation." This it was which made
it possible for the third Ptolemy, as the Canopus stone
tells us, to import corn to Egypt and save his people
from starvation. An inscription, recently discovered,
tells us of the gratitude of the islanders, and how they
displayed it.1 Here is the passage which concerns us
now:2 Since the king and saviour Ptolemy was the
cause of many great benefits to the islanders and the
rest of the Greeks, having liberated the cities and re-
stored their laws, and established for all their hereditary
constitution, and lightened the burden of their taxes
.it is therefore befitting that all the islanders who

1 Cf. M. J. Delamarre's publication of this text from Nikourgia,
close by Amorgos, in the Revue de Philologie, xx. (April 1896). I
beg the reader to remember, however, that this is an official ex-
pression of gratitude, in which fact and flattery are usually com-
pounded so inextricably that the plain truth can hardly be
extricated by us now.
2 Eret67 o I pafrtXevr Kat orwnLp IIroX EatO TroXX7 v I O Kar IgeyaXwv
ayaOcwv at 1 no7 eyevero TOts 7O P7YTVwa1TS Kat TO7L aXXots cX?,ritV rau
re 7ro [ XEtS EEvOecpWoCas Kat ToVs P/Olv a 7ro0ovs I Ka TtL 7raLTptLO/L
TroXMLTEaL TrarTL KaraoT-7oas a KaL 7rV ELCTOr0opWy KOOV LTfr AULat VLV 0
f3acrtXvs I HroXelatLos 6taesoaleCVOs r Tl7 pa3Lai'LXav, etc.


were the first to honour Ptolemy the Saviour with
equi-divine honours on account of his public benefits
and his personal help . should join heartily in cele-
brating the feast now being established in his honour
at Alexandria," etc. The question of these divine
honours is one of special interest to the history of
Egypt. The most recent author upon Ptolemaic history
holds that the deification of these and other Hellenistic
sovereigns at this epoch was a Greek fashion, and not,
as we all had supposed, due to Egyptian and Syrian
influences. Here there seems to arise a direct cor-
roboration of this theory. The islanders boast that
they were the first to accord to him divine honours.
Our historians tell us that it was the Rhodians after
the first siege of 306 B.C. who called him Soler, and
set apart for him a shrine and sacrifices. The evidence
that the Greeks of that age were quite ready to deify
any great benefactor or any one of whom they were
greatly afraid is beyond dispute, but I cannot accept
this as a complete account of the deification and cult
which the Ptolemies enjoyed in Egypt.
With the death of the young Alexander a complete
change took place, at least officially, in Ptolemy's
position. Up to that moment he was set down in all
formal protocols as the satrap holding the country
under Alexander's sovereignty. In the year 310-9 (we
cannot tell the more precise date) he must of necessity
have adopted a new title. From the fact that in 308
he sends his stepson Magas as regent to the again
subdued Cyrene, it seems hard to avoid the conclusion
that he was proclaimed king in Egypt on the death of
Alexander becoming known. Or shall we give credit
to the theory that this death was (officially) ignored or
kept secret, and that he still ruled by the grace and in
the name of the young Macedonian ? 2

1 Max. L. Strack, die Dynastie der Ptolemder, p. 112.
2 Strack, op. cit. p. 191, quotes from Revillout three demotic
papyri, dated in the year 13 Athyr of the king Alexander, son of
Alexander, which means the beginning of 304 B.C. I quote these
demotic documents and readings with all reserve. As Revillout


This is the view adopted by Strack, who holds fast
to the canon, which makes the royalty of the dynasty
not begin till the opening of 304 B.C., and who even
brings down the birth of his successor to this or the
subsequent year.' This he has done because he accepts
the theory that the rule of the dynasty only permitted
sons born in the purple to succeed. To my mind there
is little doubt that this was the case, and it was most
probably the excuse or plea urged by Ptolemy to his
court for preferring his youngest to his eldest son.
But there is great difficulty in altering the date of
the prince's birth from the year 308-7, during which
Ptolemy was still completing his triumphal progress
through the Egean. After the siege of Rhodes in
306 B.c., when the Rhodians repeated what the other
islanders had already done, and deified Ptolemy, his
adversary Demetrius was still undoubted master of the
sea. We know from good authority 2 that the young
prince was born at Kos. Is it likely, is it possible in
these troublous times, that Ptolemy would have risked
leaving his favourite wife at this crisis of her life in
an island now beyond his control? I think this is im-
possible, and that therefore he must have been acknow-
ledged king in Egypt upon the death of Alexander, and
his son born while he was undoubted master of the
AEgean, that is to say, before Antigonus and his son
Demetrius built a rival fleet and ousted him from his
new acquisition. There may be added a lesser diffi-
culty. If Ptolemy nominated his stepson Magas as
regent of Cyrene in 308 B.C., this regent must have

never gives us -facsimiles of his texts (except in one disastrous
case), no scholar can verify his alleged readings.
1 There is another far clearer and more explicit argument urged
by Strack, which is the indication given by the funeral stele of
Ancmho, who was born in the sixteenth year of a Ptolemy, lived
72 years, and died in the fifth year of Ptolemy Philopator. This,
allowing for the received periods of the intermediate kings (38 and
25 years), leads to the inference that the first king reigned only
20 years officially (Strack, op. cit. p. 16o). This is an Egyptianl
recognition of the canon.
2 Theocritus, xvii. 58 seq.


been at least twenty years old (one would think) to
undertake such a responsibility. For Cyrene was not
only an isolated province, at a long distance from
Egypt, but a very turbulent one, which had frequently
revolted. If then Berenice had a child in 328 B.C., it
is not very likely (though possible) she should have had
one in 304. Such are the arguments which make us
hesitate to accept the statement of the canon, and even
M. Revillout's demotic
papyri, as regards
Ptolemy's Egyptian
sovereignty. He cer-
tainly exercised its
functions practically,
and his sending Magas
as regent may even im-
ply that he was himself
king, if the term regent
does not come from a
a later period of Magas'
The appointment of
Magas came about on
this wise. It appears
that the first viceroy
appointed by Ptolemy-
the Macedonian Ophelas
-became disloyal about
312 B.c., and sought to
FIGc. 13.-Part of Wooden Coffin of set up an independent
Pete-har-Si-Ese in the form of
Hathor, 3rd century B.C. (Berlin kingdom in Cyrene. He
Museum). was so experienced a
soldier, having served
with distinction in Alexander's campaigns, and his
position was so strong and isolated, that Ptolemy
seems to have long hesitated to attack him, and ulti-
mately vanquished him by diplomacy rather than
by arms. Having probably raised discontent against
Ophelas among the democrats of Cyrene by his ostenta-
tious proclamation of Hellenic liberties,-a declaration


which he was as ready to forswear as the rest of the
Diadochi,-he seems to have purchased the aid of the
Sicilian Agathocles, who had made an expedition into
Africa against Carthage, and at the time seemed the
coming sovereign of the far West. Agathocles, by
brilliant offers of African provinces to be added to
Cyrene when the Carthaginians were conquered, per-
suaded Ophelas to wander with his troops across the
desert of the Syrtes, and murdered him on his arrival.
It is likely that the bribe offered by Ptolemy was the
hand of his stepdaughter Theoxena, which helped to
give the upstart Agathocles a position among the
Hellenistic rulers of the world.
But these Cyrenaean affairs, now settled by the
appointment of Magas (308 B.C.), are only Egyptian
history so far as they disturbed Egypt. The birth of
Ptolemy's youngest son at Kos (probably 308-7 B.c.)
was a matter of greater moment. The favourite wife,
Berenike, the mother of Magas during her former
marriage, had hitherto borne him only daughters
(Arsinoe, perhaps Philotera), and though daughters,
according to Egyptian notions, if their mother was
declared queen, had strong claims upon the throne, a
son was of course the more obvious heir. We may
hesitate concerning the exact date of Ptolemy's pro-
clamation as king; there can be little doubt that it was
Berenike, not Eurydike, who was proclaimed queen.
The years 306-5 were years of the greatest anxiety
for Ptolemy. His whole kingdom, and probably his
life, were at stake. These dangers began by the signal
victory of Demetrius the Besieger over his fleet at
Cyprus, by which Ptolemy lost not only the command
of the sea for many years, but also his province of
Cyprus and its revenues. The campaign in or about
Cyprus, of which Ptolemy's brother Menelaos was
military governor, is described rhetorically by Diodorus
(xx. 47 seq.) and by Plutarch in his life of Demetrius;
the details seem rather intended for effect than derived
from a record of the actual facts. But there is one
notice of interest to our history. When Menelaos had


fought his first battle against Demetrius near Salamis,
and lost it, the victor, as was usual in these days of
mercenary armies, proceeded to enrol his prisoners
under his own banner. But he found that they were
deserting to their Egyptian master, because all their
goods lay in Egypt, so he sent them off to his father
Antigonus to Syria. This assumes that the Ptolemaic
army in Cyprus consisted purely of mercenaries, whose
families and chattels Ptolemy retained as pledges of
fidelity in Egypt; I think it worth considering whether
he had not already enrolled many natives as soldiers
and sailors in this army, as he had in the army that
fought at Gaza in 312. These natives would naturally
cling to the Ptolemaic side abroad even in defeat, for
the chance of regaining their homes.
The pretended cause of this war was the occupation
of Greek cities such as Corinth and Sikyon by Ptolemaic
garrisons, in distinct contravention to the fashionable
pretence of "liberating the Greeks." But the real
issue was whether Ptolemy should retain his hold on
Egypt with its influence over the IEgean, or whether
his rival Antigonus should succeed in reconquering the
whole dominions of Alexander. For with his possession
of all Asia Minor and Syria, and his now assured
supremacy of the sea and the islands through the
activity and the genius of his son Demetrius, such an
issue seemed at this moment, when he and his son
formally assumed the title of king, not at all im-
To attack Ptolemy in his lair was well known to be
a matter of no small risk. Perdikkas had essayed it,
and had lost his army and his life in the attempt.
Since that day, now seventeen years ago, Ptolemy had
obviously spared no pains in fortifying all the in-ways
to Egypt--Pelusium, at the eastern outlet of the
Nile; the marshes and lakes leading to the lesser
mouths-all the coast had been amply garrisoned.
Very probably his largesses to the priests of Pe and
Tep now began to bear him high interest. The superior
fleet of Demetrius could only be defeated by the diffi-


culties of landing, the want of anchorage on the coasts
of Egypt, the impossibility of lying off that coast with-
out encountering N.W. gales.
In all these matters Antigonus took unusual pre-
cautions.' The whole campaign was planned at Anti-
goneia, the new capital on the Orontes, and from thence
the troops and ships were sent to assemble at Gaza,
which was the proper starting-point for the march
against Egypt. Ancient historians are utterly untrust-
worthy as regards figures ; I therefore only repeat the
alleged numbers of Antigonus' attacking force to show
what kind of armament Egypt was supposed able to
resist. Antigonus advanced, we are told, with more
than 80,000 infantry, 800o cavalry, 83 elephants, 150
ships of war, 1oo transport ships. He had obtained
from the nomad Arabs a great convoy of camels which
he loaded with 130,000 medimni of corn and green
fodder for the beasts. His siege-train, now an import-
ant arm of attack, was on the transport ships.
Two obvious dangers threatened the invasion. In
the first place, the army was of unwieldy size, and
unable to undertake quick or stealthy operations.
Secondly, the season was wrongly chosen, or rather,
I suppose, the expedition was accidentally delayed till
the setting of the Pleiades, early in November (B.c. 306).
For not only were storms now to be expected along the
harbourless and shoaly coast, as the seamen expressly
warned Antigonus; but at this time the Nile is still
high, and the passage of any of its mouths accordingly
difficult, especially in the face of a watchful enemy.
Antigonus must have had the strongest counter-induce-
ments to advance in spite of these well-known obstacles.
We can only conjecture that it was thought all-important
to attack Ptolemy so rapidly after his great defeat at
Cyprus as to find his troops still dispirited and his fleet
disorganised. He had lost about 140 ships at Cyprus.
In a few months of dockyard activity these might be
replaced, and the supremacy at sea become again
doubtful. An attack by land along the narrow coast-
I Diod. xx. 73 seq.


line without a superior fleet to protect its flank, and
secure its communications with Syria, was held to be
more risky than to brave the weather.
But the elements did their work for Ptolemy.
Demetrius, who commanded the fleet, found his task
almost hopeless by reason of the strong north-west
winds which set in, as was predicted by the seamen.1
He first met a storm which drove several of his heaviest
ships on shore at Raphia, so that but for the arrival of
the land army to succour them, and make his landing
secure from the enemy, the expedition might then and
there have been given up. When the combined forces
arrived at Pelusium, they found it amply defended ; the
entrance of the river blocked with boats, and the river
above covered with small-armed cruisers to resist any
attempt at crossing, ready, moreover, to circulate
among the invaders promises of large bribes and good
service if they would desert and join Ptolemy. As
these bribes amounted to two minae for the private, a
talent for the officer, it was with difficulty, and by
punishing such deserters as he could stop with death
by torture, that Antigonus escaped an end similar to
that of Perdikkas. Demetrius, finding any entrance at
Pelusium impracticable, attempted to land farther west,
first at a so-called ftevSoo-Topto, or sham outlet, probably
from the present Lake Menzaleh, and then at the
Damietta mouth (Phatnitic). In both places he was

1 The wind, which blows so persistently from the sea and up
the valley of the Nile into far Nubia, is commonly called north,
but is really north-west, as I can certify from two seasons' careful
observation. Hence it blew right on shore along the coast from
Gaza to Pelusium. The rarely visited site of Pelusium was
described by Mr. Greville Chester in the Palestine Exploration
Fund, Statement for 188o, p. 149. There are two Tells or mounds,
called by the natives the Mound of Gold and the Mound of Silver,
from the number of coins found in them. These now stand in a
salt marsh which no camel can traverse, and which Mr. Chester
waded across with difficulty, sinking at times to his knees in mud.
The sea must therefore have advanced here too, as at Alexandria,
and turned the lower level of the city into a swamp. But it must
always have been easy to defend it with canals and dykes as well
as with walls.


beaten off, and was then overtaken by another storm,
which wrecked three more of his largest ships; and
with difficulty did he make his way back to his father's
camp east of the Pelusiac entrance.
We can imagine the feelings with which Anti-
gonus called a council of war to weigh the situa-
tion. The fate of Perdikkas stared them in the face.
Mercenary armies will not tolerate ill-success and
increasing want in the face of a courteous, well-supplied
enemy ready to welcome deserters. Another couple of
storms would certainly destroy any fleet, however well-
handled, on this inhospitable and harbourless coast.
The nomad tribes friendly to a successful invader
would be certain to fall upon a dispirited, retreating
army. It was determined, we may say of necessity
rather than of wisdom, to retreat while retreat was a
military evolution, and not an irreparable disaster.1
Diodorns tells us (xx. 53) that Ptolemy's soldiers
hailed him with the title fpacLaXEq as soon as Antigonus
and Demetrius had assumed it just after the defeat of
the Egyptian fleet at Cyprus. They answered, he
thinks, the presumption of these satraps with a counter
presumption. But if after a defeat, then certainly after
his victorious defence of the land against Antigonus,
must he have been so hailed. The title was, however,
at this moment not of much consequence. It did not of
itself imply any distinct sovereignty." Antigonus' son,
for example, assumed it with his father. I have already
spoken of the beginning of Ptolemy's formal sovereignty.
It is to this moment that we may ascribe the beginning
of the independent Egyptian coinage of money. Most

1 Modern critics have found fault with Antigonus for not fortify-
ing and holding a station opposite Pelusium, with Demetrius for
not attacking Alexandria forthwith, and thus separating Ptolemy's
troops. Such censure should only be based upon very ample
knowledge, and upon some claim to understand the situation
better than Antigonus and Demetrius did-two men of great
ability and experience in practical war. I assume that they knew
what was possible far better than any modern professor of history
can know in his study.
2 Cf. Strack, Dyn. der Ptolemder, pp. 5-7.


strange to relate, there appears in the native dynasties
up to this period a complete absence of coined money,
and Persian or Greek satraps had actually had no right
to utter anything but the coins of their suzerains. But
now there begins the whole series which has been
expounded in the admirable numismatic volume of Mr.
Poole (British Museum). It is also well worthy of note,
though I have in vain sought an explanation of it from
the specialists, that the scarabs produced in quantities
during the many native dynasties now suddenly cease.
No such thing as a Ptolemaic scarab has, I believe,
ever been found. It seems, therefore, possible to
suppose that these scarabs may have, in scme way,
filled the place of coins, and their sudden disappear-
ance seems to point to legislation on the question.

FIG. 14.-Coin of Ptolemy Soter.

This Ptolemy is the only one of the series whose
cartouche seems uncertain. There are, however, at
Teranneh instances of double cartouches, the former
identical with the prenomen of Alexander or Arridaus,
the latter simply Ptolemy, which seem to belong to him.
The divine honours, which had already been conferred
upon him by the islanders of the Cyclades, were repeated
by the Rhodians, who were next attacked by Demetrius
(306-5 B.c.) as being allies of Egypt, and whose conquest
might have made Antigonus so strong at sea, that a
naval attack upon Alexandria could be attempted. But
Ptolemy, though unable to meet Demetrius on the sea
in open battle, managed to throw in such constant suc-
cour to the beleaguered city, which was never really


invested, that Demetrius, after enormous efforts which
lasted nearly a year, made peace and withdrew his
forces. The Rhodians only gained the single advantage
of maintaining their neutrality if Antigonus attacked
Egypt. The main fact shown by these transactions
was the mutual importance of Rhodes and Alexandria
in working the mercantile traffic of the Hellenistic
world. Rhodes was, indeed, not only the mart but
the bank of all the princes and cities round the Levant,
and so all manner of common friends offered mediation
between Demetrius and the Rhodians. But to these
friends the friendship of Egypt must have been the
most vital. Yet on this all-important question for the
history of Egypt we have no clue beyond our inferences
from this Rhodian policy. Concerning the internal
affairs of Egypt there is absolute silence.
The following years (up to 302 B.C.) were spent by the
Hellenistic sovereigns in preparing a coalition against
Antigonus and Demetrius, which ended in the great
battle of Ipsus (in Phrygia) wherein Seleukos and his son
Antiochus with their Indian elephants, Lysimachus with
his Thracian power, and Casander the Macedonian, met
the new monarchs of Syria and hither Asia. Antigonus
was defeated and killed in the battle (301 B.C.), but his
son escaped and remained the scourge and terror of
the Greek world for some years to come. Ptolemy
had indeed joined the coalition, but behaved in a half-
hearted and pusillanimous way. He advanced, by way
of diversion, into Coele-Syria, and occupied the coast
cities, but retired precipitately upon the false news
that Antigonus was victorious, and would presently
reappear in Syria. From the great deciding battle he
was absent. But the kings who partitioned the empire
of Antigonus without regarding Ptolemy found that he
had again occupied Lower Syria and Phoenicia, which
he claimed as his share in the alliance. Seleukos, the
man principally concerned, though objecting to this
arrangement, did not think fit to contest it with arms.
Perhaps the danger of throwing Ptolemy into alliance
with Demetrius, and so losing all hope of recovering


the islands and coasts dominated from the sea, was
the restraining motive.
At all events, from this time onward, for about a
century, the sway of Egypt over Palestine, Lower
Syria, and Phoenicia was established, and so one of
Ptolemy's great ambitions was satisfied. The support
of Sidon, with the forests of Lebanon, for his fleet was
of the highest importance, and we hear of at least one
king of Sidon, Philokles, acting as his principal admiral
and controller of his power over the AEgean islands.
In 295 B.c. Ptolemy recovered Cyprus, as the naval
power of Demetrius waned with that adventurer's wild
enterprises. It had for ten years been the residence
of Antigonid princesses, so secure was he of his
maritime supremacy. But now that supremacy passed
back again into the hands of Ptolemy, thus completing
for him the Empire of the Ptolemies, in its largest real
sense. It included, as Polybius tells us, not only
Egypt and the coast of the Red Sea down to far
Berenike and the elephant coast,-in this direction as
yet ill defined,-but Cyrene, under the viceroyalty of
Magas; Palestine and Phoenicia, up to and including
Mount Lebanon; Cyprus, where the remaining local
dynasts were controlled by an Egyptian garrison;
Rhodes, not subject, but in close alliance, and treating
Egypt as the most favoured country in its commercial
policy; the "free" cities of the coast of Asia Minor,
under the influence of Rhodes in their policy, and in
any case overawed by the Egyptian fleet, and the islands
of the Algean, combined under a league (KOLv6v) which
formally recognized Ptolemy as its president. How
far this Egyptian influence would reach in the Levant,
whether it might not include the coasts of Greece-
Ptolemy had long kept garrisons in Sikyon and in
Corinth-and even those of the Propontis and the
Euxine, was still uncertain,1 and varied with the
strength of the Macedonian and Thracian kingdoms.
1 We know, for example, from inscriptions (C.I.G. 2254, 2905),
that Samos belonged to the dominion of Lysimachus, we may
presume up to the battle of Korupedion, where he lost his empire


But Ptolemy had sought to weaken the former by
supporting the young king Pyrrhus of Epirus, to whom
he gave a daughter in marriage, and whose military
genius was sure to be a thorn in the side of Macedon.
He married two daughters into the royal house of
Thrace, one, the famous Arsinoe, to the old king him-
self, the other, Lysandra, to his heir Agathokles. It is
even possible, though I think the evidence insufficient,
that he married another Lysandra -these people
thought it quite sane to call two sisters by the same
name-into the royal house of Macedon.1 Thus
Ptolemy seemed to have secured his dominion by
military defences, by his fleet, by his commercial and
diplomatic relations, by his alliances with royal neigh-
bours, so far as it was possible in those days to secure
At all events, the last fifteen years of the old king's
life were spent in peace at home and in great pro-
sperity. The occupation of Ccele-Syria by his troops
and Cyprus by his fleet were not accompanied with
great campaigns, or determined by bloody battles. He
had ample security and leisure to turn to the develop-
ment of his home affairs. Here, therefore, the proper
history of Ptolemaic Egypt, so long obscured by foreign
complications, ought to begin. But, alas! the materials
are almost totally lost. We would fain believe that the
whole policy of the dynasty had its broad lines laid
down by the great founder. Though his early life was
spent in wars, and in them he had made his mark, his
later life shows that his genius was not military, but
diplomatic. His great superiority in wealth points to
a careful economy of his internal resources; the total
absence of any national reaction among the priests
against the new Hellenism to his prudence in dealing
with religious privileges and endowments. But of
these things no evidence in detail remains save (i) his
and his life. Nor is it likely that this was the only island held by
the Thracian king.
1 Cf. the note in Strack, op. cil. p. 19i who i iin favour of
accepting the evidence for two Lysandras.


introduction of the god of Sinope as Sarapis, and his
building of a temple for him at Alexandria; (2) his
foundation of two cities; (3) his foundation of the
Museum and Library at Alexandria.
The story of the founding or re-founding of the
famous Serapeum at Alexandria is told us by Plutarch
(de Iside, etc., 28) and Tacitus (Hist. iv. 84), with
some additional notices from Athenodorus of Tarsus,
quoted by Clemens Alex. (F.H.G. iii. 487). This last
tells us the true meaning of the name, a mixture of Osiris
and Apis (Hapi), the Apis bull passing into Osiris after
death.1 There was, in fact, an old Serapeum at Mem-
phis where the Apis bulls were buried, and the earliest
Greek document which gives us the name, the well-
known imprecation of Artemisia, which paleographers

FIG. 15.-Coin of Ptol. Soter, ith Head of Serapis.

place about 300 n.c., or even earlier, gives us the form
Osirapis. Hence, if a statue was brought from Sinope
to Egypt by Ptolemy, it was no new god, but merely
a fusion of a Greek Hades, or god of death, with an
old Egyptian god. The accounts of the transference
are not quite consistent in their details, and Lumbroso,
who has turned his acute intellect to the sifting of
them (Egiffo, second edition, pp. 143 seq.) declares
himself in favour of Plutarch's version. The main facts
reported are, however, that the king saw in a dream
1 o Kai Tovvuo/pa atirrLTTErat LT KOtvivLoia Ti, ;1,7Eia a Kai TiV K lP
raqi5s Si toi'pyiaPv t'tvOErov dTr Tce 'O()iptTos al "Arii o I 'YcvYjeFoV


a vision of the god, who ordered that his image should
be sought and brought to Alexandria. With the aid
not only of Egyptian priests-probably of Manetho-
but of Greek theologians, the statue of Zeus-Hades
at Sinope was found to correspond with the king's
vision, and was either stolen or coaxed by bribes from
its place, the people of Sinope ultimately consenting to
the transference.
In this legend, which we have from the Greeks, the
king plays the leading part, and with him the Greek
theologian Timotheus whose professional advice he
sought. But the site chosen was the old site of a
Serapeum at Rakotis, and if we have indeed redis-
covered that site,1 there is clear evidence that Ptolemy
made no new foundation, but merely increased the stateli-
ness, and so the celebrity, of an ancient fane. Lumbroso
well points out that the story of the translation has
a suspicious family likeness to the importing of the
Mother of Pessinus and the zEsculapius of Epidaurus
to Rome, and he recalls Letronne's forgotten suggestion
that the existence of a hill called Sinopium near the
Serapeum of Memphis may have given rise either to
the actual performance of Ptolemy or to the legend
of his doings.' But I think the story of the finding of
the image too explicit to be a mere invention, and
therefore one requiring some political explanation. It
can hardly have been necessary to attract Greeks to
Egypt by such means. The habit of consulting oracles
in Egypt was very old. Not only at the oasis of Amon,
but at the temple of Osiris at Abydos in Upper Egypt,
Greeks seem to have consulted oracles from early times.3
Why then all this fuss to enhance an old and well-
1 Cf. Dr. Botti's Fouilles (Report to the Arch. Society of
Alexandria), 1897.
Cf. op. cit. p. 145: Les Grecs, fiddles h leur mdthode de tout
rapporter A eux, se sont imagines que Serapis nommi Sinopihes
idu mont Sinopion prns de Memphis 6tait une divinity venue de
Sinope en Paphlagonie."
3 Cf. Mr. Sayce's account of the graffiti he found on the temple,
some of which he dates as far back as the sixth century B.C. (Soc.
Bibl. Arch. for 1888, p. 377).


established Egyptian cult ? The worship of Isis
spread from Alexandria very rapidly over all Hellenistic
lands, without any such elaborate publication. In
whose interest, and for what special purpose, was all
this ecclesiastical pomp and circumstance brought into
play ?
I have in vain sought any more special solution than
the desire of the prudent king to fuse as far as possible
the Greeks and natives in Alexandria. Possibly the
native quarter, with its old shrine of Osirapis, was not
visited or frequented by the new population, and there
may have been a danger of such severance of interests
between Racotis and newer Alexandria as to make
them two distinct cities. By this religious act Greek
worshippers would be attracted to the native west end,
and so counteract its threatening isolation. It might
also have been done to allay fears among the settlers
that the king was drifting too far into an Egyptian
policy. This I think most improbable. The first
Ptolemy, a Macedonian prince and a companion of
Alexander, is never mentioned as one of the few who,
like Peukestas, adopted the Oriental style of life.
Further speculation seems idle, till we learn some more
facts concerning this most obscure period.
We come now to his foundation of new cities. In
this we know that he was very sparing. He had
evidently no taste for those pseudo-Hellenic polities,
with their senates and public assemblies, which excite
the admiration of so many modern historians.
The negative evidence against any Hellenic constitu-
tion at Alexandria is too strong to be resisted. Some
decrees of the senate and assembly must inevitably
have been found, if not at Alexandria, at least at
some one of the many shrines (Delphi, Delos, Teos,
etc.), where such decrees were set up in duplicate.
Even the miserable archeological remains of Ptolemais
in Upper Egypt furnish us with such. There were,
however, privileges accorded, beyond the dominant
"Macedonians," to the Greeks, the Jews, and the
1 Cf. Wellmann in IHermes, xxxi. on fusion of cults.


natives respectively. But what these privileges were,
is yet obscure. There seem to have been denmes at
Alexandria called after national Greek heroes, as
Wilcken was the first to perceive. It is more than
likely that the population outside these demes, such
as new immigrants, were in an inferior position.' The
Macedonian guards about the palace seem to be the
historical forerunners of the praetorian guard at Rome,
probably with greater constitutional authority. It
may have required their acclamation, after the old
Macedonian fashion, to make a coronation legitimate.
But the management of the city was by semi-military
authority, under a governor with his subordinates. It
seems that the Jews were dealt with through a re-
sponsible head of their own, and this was interpreted
by later writers to mean that they had the same
privileges as the Greeks. The weight of evidence is
against it, at least in early days. So far as the
natives were concerned, certain immunities from
taxation, and certain securities of food supply, were
probably their only privileges over the country popula-
tion. The territory of Alexandria was specially ex-
cluded from the nomes, and specially supplied (cf.
Revenue Pap. col. 60, sqq.).
Until the remains of Ptolemais (at the site of the
modern Menshieh) are further examined, we can add
but little concerning this, the principal foundation of
the first Ptolemy. We know that a cult of him as
Soter God,2 was established there, doubtless as
Founder, in the same way that there was an eponymous
priest of Alexander the Great at Alexandria. There
was a council and assembly, after the Hellenic fashion;
there was also sufficient Greek life and language per-
vading it to give scope and profits to a permanent

SWVe have the actual phrase An Alexandrian of those not yet
enrolled in a deme (Petrie Papyri, and elsewhere).
2 Other Ptolemies afterwards associated themselves, and several
queens, but not in pairs, as was the case in Alexandria and Phile.
Hence Berenike I. (so far as I know) was not set up with her
husband here.


corporation of Dionysiac artists, who have left us two
or three honorary decrees. The importance of Ptolemais
is further to be inferred from the fact recently ascertained
that in Ptolemaic finance all Upper Egypt (above
Kynopolis) was put under one division, the Thebaid,
and had no separate nomes with their capitals. Hence
there were no rival towns to compete with Ptolemais,
like those of the Delta, which exceeded Naucratis and
Menelaos in importance. The latter two were not in
any sense metropolitan. Menelaos, which Mr. LI.
Griffith seems to have identified by cartouches of the
founder-king at Kum abn Billuh (or Terenuthis), was
merely the key or stepping-stone to the Nitriote country.
Its name points to the Menelaos whom we have already
met in the Cypriote wars. But it is very odd that a
separate Menelaite nome should have been marked out
on the other side (N.E.) of Alexandria. Naukratis was
an old Hellenic city favoured by the second and later
Ptolemies, but not specially by the first king, so far
as we know. We are not told that he made any
establishments for colonists or soldiers either in
Greece,' Cyprus, or Palestine. Thus then, in contrast
to the activity of his rivals,-Antigonus, Seleukos,
Lysimachus, Ptolemy Soter was no founder of
The most brilliant and permanent of his new creations
was undoubtedly what may be called the University of
Alexandria-the famous Museum and Library. The
very authorship of this great scheme has been denied
him owing to the flatteries lavished on his successor,
and the heedless acceptance of them by modern scholars.
When Ptolemy was in the Greek waters (308-7 B.c.)
and in possession of Corinth, Sikyon, and Megara, he
1 The inscriptions of the mercenaries at Thera, recently dis-
covered by Hiller von G/irtringen, contains one with 279 names
of subscribers to a gymnasium, among whom there appears but
one Ptolemy. I guessed at once that this list must date from
Soter, otherwise the name Ptolemy would be far more frequent
(as we know from later inscriptions). Mr. Smyly's (unpublished)
researches seem to show that its double date (Li8, Audnaios 15,
Epeiph 15) fits exactly into this reign, and nowhere else.


endeavoured, we are told (Diog. L. ii. c. 11), to induce
the famous Stilpo to leave Megara, and come with
him to Egypt. He made similar efforts to attract
Theophrastus and Menander. He had no difficulty in
persuading Demetrius the Phalerean, when overthrown
and driven out of Athens by his namesake, to migrate
to Egypt. These facts are the hints from which we
infer that the king was then planning a great institution
upon the model of the schools at Athens, already
famous as the homes of philosophy and centres of
education for Hellenic and Hellenistic youth. But of
course he did not contemplate the establishment of free
and democratic corporations at Alexandria, which
would have been as incomprehensible to him as our
free universities, electing their own governors and
professors, are to the Germans or the French, where
the Government interferes in all academic appointments.
The Museum, though an old title for such a foundation
in the Greek world, was now to be a State institution,
regulated and controlled by the Crown. The original
scheme does not seem to have been educational, in the
stricter sense, certainly not in any way educational
for the natives. To them it was and remained the most
foreign thing in Alexandria. Seneca, when speaking of
the alleged conflagration of the Library, says this part
of the establishment was merely intended as a display of
royal luxury, such, for example, as the Queen's Library
is at Windsor, or the Sunderland Library once at Blen-
heim Palace. The Museum with its learned men was
certainly used as an amusement by later Ptolemies.
We are not told anything whatever of the relations of
the founder to his work.
There is indeed no topic in Hellenistic history
so disappointing as the history of the Alexandrian
Museum. While new discoveries are certainly throw-
ing light on many obscure points of Ptolemaic history,
so that we may hope ere the end of our generation
to obtain some intelligible account of their acts and
policy, there seems to be no progress whatever in our
knowledge of the Museum. The summary of all the


special studies in Susemihl's Alexandrian Literature, or
in the articles in Pauly-Wissowa, tell us nothing more
than we knew twenty years ago. Perhaps they tell
us even less, because they have freed us of many un-
founded assumptions. We know that there was a
nominal head of the Museum who was a priest and a
Greek; we know that when the library was founded,
it soon required a librarian, whose office grew in
importance with the size and fame of his charge, and
that is all. No excavations have discovered any
remains of these buildings, the very site of them is as
yet uncertain. The list of the famous librarians seems
not to commence till the second king, and recently an
inscription has recovered for us the name of one we
never heard of before.1
Mr. Poole's researches into the very complicated
numismatics of the dynasty show that the first Ptolemy
established a silver coinage on the basis of the Attic
drachme as the ordinary silver unit. Owing to the
vast treasures of precious metal let loose by Alexander
the Great from the Persian treasures into the Hellenistic
world, silver may have been at the moment very cheap.
Hence, when years elapsed, it seems to have been
necessary to reduce the standard drachme first to the
Rhodian, and lastly to the Phoenician standard (67.5 and
47.5 grains respectively). This silver seems to have
been coined in relation to an older Egyptian copper
currency in the ratio of i : 120 of respective values.
Of course the lightening of the drachme would raise
the ratio from 120 to 140 and even 15o to one. But
the nominal ratio was maintained, and later kings
preferred to debase the silver, rather than to change
the weight of the coin. At all events, in Soter's day
both silver and copper were in daily use, and there
appears to have been so little preference for either at
the established ratio, that the Crown allowed many
1 An inscription recently found at Cyprus (J.H.S. ix. 240),
tells us of a certain Onesander, son of Nausikrates, town-clerk of
Paphos, who was "appointed over the great library in Alex-
andria" apparently by Ptolemy Soter II. This is indeed news !


taxes to be paid in copper, in which case we find a
small charge made for the conveyance of the money.
Instead of letting us know anything concerning the
internal policy of Egypt, the means taken to attract
settlers, to satisfy national sentiment, to develop the
material resources of the country, our historians only
give us a few hints of the external policy of the king,
of his matrimonial alliances with his neighbours and
rivals, of his recovery of Cyprus from Demetrius, and
his resumption of naval supremacy in the `Egean. He
had a daughter married to Pyrrhus of Epirus, to
Lysimachus of Thrace, and to his son the crown prince
Agathocles; probably to the young king of Macedon,
Casander's son; to the rival claimant of Macedon, and
actual king, Demetrius; even to the distant Aga-
thocles of Syracuse, and to one of the petty kings of
Cyprus. He was said to be the richest of all the
Hellenistic sovereigns, and princesses with large fortunes
were probably as much sought after then as they are
now. Regarding his sons, it is only the eldest and
the youngest that are of any importance in Egyptian
history. The eldest, called Ptolemy (afterwards the
fixed name of the heir-apparent), and nicknamed
Keraunos or the Thunderbolt, possibly because this
emblem may have appeared on the coinage at the time
of his birth, was son of Eurydike, the daughter of
Antipater of Macedon, and hence of the noblest
Macedonian blood. His natural claim to the throne
was backed by Demetrius the Phalerean, Antipater's
friend, and by a party at court. But his temper was
said to be sullen and gloomy, and his mother Eurydike
had not the influence of the king's favourite wife
Ancient authorities give us no further reason for the
postponement of the elder son for the sake of the
youngest, the boy born of Berenike about 308 B.c.
But since I have called attention to the Ptolemaic habit
of requiring porplorogenitism in the heir, critics are
disposed to think that it was on this principle that the
old king acted, and this it was which he explained when


abdicating, and declaring his successor.' I have above
stated the difficulties in accepting this view, but in
substance I believe it to be right. How complete the
abdication was is also a matter of doubt ; the Attic
inscription,2 which speaks of him as the elder Ptolemy
along with his son, points to some such arrangement
as was afterwards usual when the crown prince was
associated with his father. But in the present case the
majority of critics are satisfied with the statement that
Ptolemy Soter, abdicating in 285 B.c., lived a private
man at his son's court for two years, and died at the
age of eighty-four, leaving his mark upon the world,
and affording us a striking example of great and per-
manent success attained by the exercise of moderate
abilities, good temper, good sense, and reasonable

1 Justin xvi. 2: Is contra jus genlium mininto na/t ex fliis
ante infirmitatem regnum tradiderat, ejusque rei populo rationem
2 C.I.A. ii. 331; Strack, No. 12: 7rpcafevcras e rpot Trov aCrtXca rov
PrpeopvrepoP IIToXef.Laov is the expression, which seems as if the
elder man was still regarded as a king after his abdication.

FIG. I6.-Stone Sarcophagus (Ptolemaic work).

-- --


-c=V C-- M Il

FIG. 17. Cartouches of Ptolemy II.

AUTHORITIES.-Ancient-The Greek historians fail us on this
reign. But we have some contemporary documents, viz.
the Revenue Papyrus (Oxford, 1895), the Petrie Papyri (cf.
next chapter), of which many date from this reign; the
inscriptions collected in Strack's Ptolemnder, Nos. 13-37; the
poets Aratus, Callimachus, Theocritus, and Herondas, and
the Greek scholia upon them. Modern-Pauly-Wissowa's
Realencyclopddie, articles "Alexandria," "Arsinoe";
Susemihl's Literatur der Alexander-Zeit; Revillout's Revue
Egyptologique, vols. i.-vi.

THE accession of the second Ptolemy comes at a moment
of Hellenistic history upon which we are very badly
informed. The better authorities of earlier years,
notably Diodorus, whose remains only reach to 301
B.C., desert us, and as yet we have a great scarcity of
those Egyptian documents which throw much light on
subsequent reigns. We know in general the complica-
tions which threatened Egypt from without, and which
might have even overturned the dynasty under easily
conceivable conditions.1 Demetrius the Besieger was
still alive, and making great plans with his sea-power.
Lysimachus of Thrace and Seleukos of Syria were
indeed old, and ought to have been tired of wars, but
1 Cf. my Empire of the Plolemies, cap. iv.


if either of them attacked Egypt, what might be the
consequences? For Ptolemy had enemies within his
own family. His eldest half-brother, Ptolemy the
Thunderbolt, though now an exile at the court of
Thrace, must have had a party in Egypt, and, at all
events, must have known every vulnerable spot in the
kingdom If this personage could have persuaded
either of the old kings to attack Egypt, he might count
upon the support of Ptolemy's other stepbrother,
Magas, now regent of Cyrene, who showed in the
sequel plainly enough that he was not minded to
submit to a younger member of the family. He might
also have enlisted on his side Pyrrhus, now king of
Epirus, the rising soldier of the generation, who was
presently removed, by a public subscription among the
other kings, to make war in Italy, instead of troubling
the Hellenistic lands of the East. There were indeed
Egyptian princesses, queens, or crown princesses at
almost all the Hellenistic courts, but these ladies and
their retinues seem rather to have promoted or detected
hostile intrigues than to have cemented alliances.
Ptolemy II. had married, immediately upon his
accession, a crown princess of Thrace, Arsinoe, who
promptly bore him three children ; but his own sister,
of the same name, first married to his father-in-law,
the king of Thrace; then, upon his murder, to his
murderer, Ptolemy the Thunderbolt; then, after the
murder of her Thracian children by this ruffian, exiled
from Macedonia, and a fugitive at Samothrace,
ultimately found her old home and a third throne
by marrying her brother Ptolemy, and ousting her
namesake the Thracian princess.
These astonishing adventures are only connected
with the history of Egypt as showing reasons for the
cautious and diplomatic conduct of the young king
during the early years of his reign. He very probably
promoted the quarrels by which his rivals were led into
internecine struggles. He put to death at once such of
his brothers as he could reach, and the terrible out-
burst of the Gauls upon the northern frontiers of


Hellenism rid him of Keraunos, his most dangerous
brother, for it turned all the force which might have
invaded Egypt to struggle with the heathen of the
north. Magas of Cyrene delayed his insurrection,
probably for want of support from Macedonia, and so
our Ptolemy steered his way safely through the rocks
and shoals of this dangerous quinquennium in peace
and rising prosperity, while the rival kingdoms were
being shaken to their very foundations.
Such is the general aspect of the foreign relations of
Egypt at this moment, which only concern us here as
helping to explain the internal condition of the country.
The empire of Egypt, founded by the first king, still
included Palestine and Ccele-Syria, as well as the out-
lying and not very secure province of Cyrene. There
is even evidence that in Syria, at one time in this reign,
there were Egyptian garrisons as far as the Euphrates.1
As soon as Demetrius disappeared, and the great
empires of Thrace and Syria lost their established
sovereigns, Ptolemy resumed control of the iEgean Sea,
with its coast cities and islands. How far this naval
supremacy reached, and what cities it did not include,
we cannot as yet tell with certainty. At all events, the
confederacy of the Cyclades, some cities on the
Thracian coast, perhaps even on the Euxine, recog-
nised the sway of Egypt, administered apparently by
the king's high admiral, Philokles, himself king of
Sidon. It must also be remembered that such influence
implied tribute from all the controlled cities, and hence
a large increase to the resources of Egypt. The
stations from which all this naval empire was con-
trolled were Thera, and probably Cyprus, now managed
by petty kings, ruling sham Greek polities under the
strict suzerainty of Ptolemy, who kept a large garrison
in the island.
With these external advantages, and the absence of
dangerous wars, there would have been little excuse for
Ptolemy if he had not developed the resources and the
splendour of his kingdom, and so we turn with interest
1 Cf. Epping u. Strassmeier, Z, fi'r Assyr. vii. zoo.


to question the vague or fragmentary notices concerning
his internal administration. Above all, the question
which should interest us is this: Did he pursue a
national policy, raising and improving the condition of
the natives, or did he merely seek to make himself
a brilliant Hellenistic sovereign, ruling his native
subjects not ye1yovWLKog as Alexander the Great would
have done, but 8EcrOTLKgoi as Aristotle recommended
his pupil to do? The evidence on this point is con-
flicting, and consequently a decision not easy to attain.
We have no account of his coronation at Alexandria,
for the great pageant to which we shall presently refer
is now shown to be the foundation of a Five-years' Feast
in honour of his deified father, Ptolemy Soter. Yet the
coronation must also have been something splendid.
Direct information upon it we have none. So also
his marriage with the first Arsinoe, the Thracian
princess, which must have been in close proximity of
time to his coronation, is passed over in silence. She
bore him three children before she was exiled (or
possibly divorced, if such a practice existed) by the
plots of her supplanter, the second Arsinoe. This exile
must surely have happened shortly after, if not before,
the second marriage, and this took place, as we shall
see, very early in the 7o's of that century (279 B.C.).
We have already decided that the Museum was the
foundation of the first king, but it is more than likely
that in the early years of Philadelphus, and perhaps
before the old king was dead, the appointments of that
great College and its Library received special care. It
is said that Demetrius the Phalerean, the expert con-
sulted upon the requirements of the Museum, was
against the succession of the youngest son, as contrary
to monarchical precedent, and was therefore banished
by the new king. But his work remained, and if there
was any institution in Egypt which owed him its great
promotion, it was surely this. We know further, from
the inscriptions recovered at Menshieh, the ancient
Ptolemais in Upper Egypt, that the corporation of
Dionysiac actors there enjoyed the special favour of the


young king. The city was from the outset a Hellen-
istic, not an Egyptian, city, and very possibly it may
have been necessary to provide for these far-off Greeks
such national amusement as would make them content
in their distant and isolated home. The principal text
indeed (Strack 35) speaks of the Gods Adelphi, and
therefore dates after the formal deification of the king
and his second wife; but his favours were evidently
neither isolated nor were they all subsequent to the
date of the decree.
The greatest of all the scenes of his early reign
shows these very artists holding a capital place in the
splendours of Alexandria. It is the monster procession
described by Callixenus, whose account Athenmeus has
preserved for us. The details are so voluminous, and
have so often been given elsewhere,2 that it will not
here be necessary to do more than appreciate the
general character of the display. In the first place, the
discovery of the inscription of Nikourgia has shown
that we have an account not of the king's coronation,
but of a Five-years' Feast (7TcvrE7-pts) founded in honour
of the deified Soter. Many indications point to an
early date in the reign, probably 280 B.c. For the
frequent use of the term flao-tLXs-in fact the plural is
regularly used in referring to the sovereigns-shows that
the king was already married, possibly to his second
wife, who may even have been the special instigatrix
of the great Five-years' Feast in honour of Soter and
Berenike I. The whole feast has a distinctly Bacchic
tone. It reminds us strongly of the poetical story of
Alexander's triumphal return through Karamania to
Babylon after he had escaped the horrors of the
Gedrosian desert.3 Indeed, the prominence given to
I Arsinoc Philadelphus was early associated with the cult of
Soter, and had her canephorus at Ptolemais. Her husband was
not so till the time of Philometer, when the whole series of kings
was added.
2 Athen. iv. q6 ; Greek Life and Thought, pp. 216seq.; Empire of
the Ptolemies, 74.
3 Arrian discredits it (vi. 28); it is told by Plutarch (Al.ex. 67),
Diodorus (xvii. io6), and Curtius (ix. 42)


Persian and Indian captives and curiosities among the
spoils of the god Dionysus, when brought together with
the assertion of the Pithom stele, that before his sixth
year the young king had gone to Persia and brought
home the captive images of the Egyptian gods, leads me
to conjecture that there was some campaign as far as
the Euphrates made by the king at the moment that the
death of Seleukos had freed him from anxiety-nay even
had given him hopes of extending the Syrian province
of his empire. In general the whole pomp has a non-
Egyptian air, discounting the small detail that some of
the gilded pillars of the banqueting-room had floral
capitals, and even this might be in accordance with
Dionysiac ornament. If we except the curious pro-
ducts of Nubia and Ethiopia in ivory, giraffes, ante-
lopes, hippopotami, etc., there is nothing Egyptian in
the whole affair. We seem to see a Hellenistic king
spending millions upon a Hellenistic feast.
In consonance with this is the information obtained
for us by Mr. Petrie, that this king took pains to repair
and adorn the Hellenion at Naukratis, the ancient
common shrine of all the Ionian trading cities which
had marts at this once famous place. The specimen
deposits which Mr. Petrie found under the four corners
of the pylon or gateway, with the king's cartouches,
make the fact of this restoration certain ; though neither
in histories nor in inscriptions does a single hint of
it remain,-an instructive instance of that silence in
history, from which some modern scholars are wont
to draw dogmatic conclusions.
This considerable series of Hellenistic works under-
taken or promoted by the second Ptolemy led me
formerly to set him down as a king who took but
little interest in his Egyptian subjects and their land
beyond the revenues of the fields and the curiosities
in fauna with which he could adorn his zoological
gardens. We know that his wealth exceeded that of
any contemporary sovereign; we know, not only from
the procession of beasts at the great show just
mentioned, but from Diodorus (iii. 36), that he had a


peculiar interest in bringing up the huge animals and
serpents of the Soudan, and exhibiting them to his
visitors in his gardens at Alexandria. But in none
of these things does he show us that he was a king
of Egypt rather than one of any other domain. It
does not appear that even
among his many mistresses he
favoured a single native. The
famous Belestichis, in spite of
her odd (but Greek) name, was
probably a woman from Argos.
The great settlement in the
Fayyum, of which I shall speak
at length in due time, was, as
we now know certainly, a set-
tlement essentially Hellenistic.
The new settlers were all mer-
cenaries from his Greek phalanx
or cavalry. Not a single native
appears as a privileged land-
holder among the many whose
papers-wills, contracts, etc.-
have been recovered.
But now I proceed to discuss

kind, which, had they alone
been preserved, would have in-
dicated to us with equal proba-
bility that the king was devoted
to native interests, and sought
to emulate in every reasonable
way national sentiment. But
FIG. I8.-Pto!emy II. (red though these pompous texts
granite, Vatican). are very explicit, they probably
prove no more than that
Ptolemy had come to a compromise with the Egyptian
priesthood, and succeeded through them in persuading
the populace and the old nobility of the land to
acquiesce in his rule.
The text of the Pithom stele, as given in revised


translation (from Brugsch) by Erman in the Z. fiir E.
for 1895, I have already reproduced in a previous work.'
I now give an abstract of the second great Egyptian
document with the important recent addition on the
death of Arsinoe II.
The famous Mendes stele, now at Gizeh, relates to
the offerings and endowments granted to the god by
Ptolemy II. and his queen Arsinoe II. The following
extracts from this very voluminous praise of the god
will give the drift of the matter. Under the uraeus is
a headline divided in the middle, which declares : "The
holy Ram-god, the great god, the life of Ra, the
engendering ram, the prince of young women, the
friend of the royal daughter and sister, queen and
lady of the land Arsinoe, living for ever," and: The
lord of the land, the lord of power Meri-amon user-ka-ra,
the son of Ra begotten of his body, who loves him, the
lord of diadems Ptolemy, the ever-living."
Then there is a row of figures of gods and goddesses,
with the king and queen, the latter entitled the
daughter, sister, and great wife of a king, who loves
him, the divine Arsinoe Philadelphos."
The text of the main inscription begins again with
all the titles of Ptolemy, and his intention to support
and enrich the temple of Mendes, which god had really
begotten him to be lord and king, the son of a king,
born of a queen, to whom was granted the royal dignity
over the land, while he was yet in his mother's womb."
Then follow fulsome praises of Ptolemy in peace and
war. He determined that a new ram should be en-
throned at Mendes according to all the traditional
practices, and so went down in state by the canal Aken
to the Mendesian nome. He then visited the buildings
of the holy ram. When he found the temple which
was being built according to his orders-foreign work-
men were excluded-was still unfinished, his majesty
ordered it to be completed as quick as possible [with
many details of his order]. When this was done
1 Empire of the Ptole mies, pp. 138 seq.
2 First published by Brugsch in Z. fiir xE. for 1875.


(line 30) the king returned to his capital, and was
rejoiced at what he had done. Then his majesty
[desired to honour?] and combine the first of his wives
Netef-auch with the goddess Ba-abot. And he granted
the following titles : the charming princess, the most
attractive, lovely and beautiful, the crowned one, who
has received the double diadem, whose splendour fills
the palace, the friend of the sacred ram and his priestess
Uta-ba, the king's sister and wife who loves him, the
queen Arsinoe.
In the year 15, the month Pachon [the day is lost].
This great lady went to heaven," etc. [This is the new
fragment.] Then follow all the honours bestowed upon
her as a deified queen, and the consequent feasts and
sacrifices. Furthermore the king remits the tax on
shipping, and the tax on bread, paid by all Egypt,
to this nome, and fixes its liability for offerings,
which must be supplied for the temple at 70,000 coins
[the exact coin is lost in a gap]. In the year 21,
they came to his Majesty to tell him: the temple of
your father, the holy ram, the lord of Mendes is com-
plete in every respect. It is far more beautiful than
ever it was. According to your orders, the inscrip-
tions have been carried upon it in the name of thee,
thy father, and of the divine lady, Arsinoe Phila-
delphos." The rest of the text describes the feast and
enthronement of the new Mendes ram in his restored
temple. It may be noticed how the last mention of
the queen speaks of her quite simply, without titles, as
a mere goddess, just as the Revenue Papyrus does.
This is additional evidence that she was really dead,
and that the plain statement of her demise contains no
mere allegorical meaning.
These documents bring us back to the question of
Ptolemy's royal wives, of whom the second had very
great influence upon his life; and as he was left a
widower finally about the age of forty, an estimate of
these ladies belongs rather to the earlier part of his
Among the scholia on the Encomium of the second


Ptolemy which Theocritus has left us,1 we are told
that after the first Arsinoe had borne three children, she
was discovered plotting against the king, whatever
that may mean, and that therefore she was banished to
Koptos in Upper Egypt. We have found traces of her
here, as well as of her son Lysimachus. To the latter
we have recovered a dedication in hieroglyphics (cf.
Krall, Studien, ii. 40): Goddess of Ascher, give life
to Lysimachus, brother of the sovereigns, the Strategos,
year vii." (viz. of the next king). If he was therefore
Strategos of Koptos, it is likely that he was sent there
into nominal authority, but real exile, with his mother.
She is also commemorated (as I first pointed out) in a
stele found at Koptos in 1894 by Mr. Petrie.2 It is the
memorial of Sennukhrud, an Egyptian, who in an
account of his life says he was her steward, and for her
rebuilt and beautified a shrine. The late Mr. Wilbour
examined this stele for me, and reported that though
the lady is called the king's wife, the grand, filling
the palace with her beauties, giving repose to the
heart of King Ptolemy," she is not qualified as loving
her brother, and, what is perhaps more significant, her
name is not enclosed in a royal cartouche as a queen's
name should be. This then seems to be a record of
the first Arsinoe during her exile, and the only mention
of her in any inscription.3 Concerning her character
and fortunes we know absolutely nothing else. But
we may infer, with the strongest probability, that she
1 Idyll. xviii. The recent editors of the poet seem to take care
to conceal these valuable Greek notes, wherefore that on v. 128
is here quoted-
IIroXeal'y 5U r- D tXasXy acvvfKcLt irp7rcpov 'Apcrtvn ij A ari-
/.LdXov, d&' 9 Kal 0TS oraiiar elyvvprTe II TOXEtLaiov KaO Aviui-
tidXov Kal ]lCpevlKY~v. 7rtLovXi6\evoltTav alOTiV Elpip
eEre4ip.ev cis KoTrrr6lv Trs Or,3aioi Khaai v oavolsda, dSe\XOv
'Aporvt fev tgy- e. Kai e&'oTerojr-aro ao Tr, TOUS eK T"S 7TpoTrpar
'Apa'tv6n yevvYdevrTa5 rrai as, atrTt y&p $i 'Aprctvjsfr dCrvo
2 Cf. also Maspero, Recucil, xvii. 128, now No. 1357 in the Gizelh
3 An inscription from Samos (Strack, 18) may be, as Strack
says, an exception. But it merely mentions her name.


was deposed through the intrigues of her former step-
mother at the court of Thrace, the Egyptian princess
who was wife of Lysimachus, then of her half-brother
Ptolemy Keraunos ; then, when her children by Lysi-
machus were murdered by Keraunos and herself
repudiated, an exile, first at
Samothrace, lastly at her own
brother's court in Egypt. She
must have been born not later
than 316 B.C., for she became the
wife of Lysimachus in 301-300,
and had at least three children,
so that some have even supposed
that Arsinoe I., whom she re-
placed in Egypt, was her own
daughter. Though sufficient time
had elapsed to make this possible,
I do not believe it, nor is there
any hint in the extant gossip of
the time of so remarkable a cir-
cumstance as a mother sup-
planting her own daughter. But
when she came to Egypt, probably
in the end of 280 B.C., she was
about thirty-six years old, and
though she may have hoped for
more children, who would cer-
tainly have supplanted those of
her predecessor, as her husband
had supplanted Keraunos, when
her hopes were baulked, she
advised or acquiesced in the
FiG.T9.-ArsinoeII.Phila- adoption of her stepchildren, of
delphos (Vatican). whom the eldest was therefore
the declared crown prince.
Here we come upon the most Egyptian feature in
this king's reign. Polygamy was common among all
the successors of Alexander, as indeed it had been at
the Macedonian court in older days. But to marry a
uterine sister was a thing abhorrent to Greek senti-


ment, as transpires from contemporary allusions. The
poet Sotades, like John the Baptist, spoke out his
mind upon the scandal, and lost his life in consequence.
It is only in the researches of our own day that the
Egyptian dogmas and sentiment on this matter have
been duly examined, and it is now clear that, far from
being a licence or an outrage, the marriage of full
brother and sister was in the royal family of Egypt the
purest and most excellent of all marriages, the highest
security that the sacred blood of kings was not polluted
by inferior strains. This is what M. Maspero has
recently explained in his remarkable essay.1
This glorification of what we brand as incest had
great importance in all questions of royal succession.
A king's son born of a concubine took rank below a
daughter born of the king's sister, and she succeeded
before him. When the father was not of the old royal
race, but some adventurer who had won the throne
and married the rightful heiress, the priests imagined a
direct intervention of Amon to maintain this so-called
purity of blood. We have, accordingly, one strong
political reason for Ptolemy's second marriage. The
priests, despite their ingenuity, which had explained
the legitimacy of Alexander in a fashion, must have
been put to great straits to give a theological justifica-
tion to the succession of the first Ptolemy and his
Macedonian wife to the throne. There was apparently
no princess of the native dynasty surviving. But
having once sanctified Soter and his queen, it was a
great concession to their traditions for Ptolemy II. to
make a marriage conflicting so violently with the

1 Annuaire de I'cole des hates etudes for 1896, p. 19: "The
nobility of each member of a Pharaonic house and his claim upon
the crown corresponded with the amount of the divine blood (of
Amonra) which he could show ; he that derived it both from father
and mother had a higher claim than he who had it from one
parent only. Here the Egyptian social laws permitted what
would be impossible in any modern civilisation. The marriage
of brother and sister was the marriage par excellence, and it
contracted an unspeakable sanctity when this brother and sister
were born of parents who stood in the same relation."


customs of the invaders. The lady had already indi-
cated her freedom from such prejudices by marrying
her half-brother, Keraunos.
At all events, though she bore no more children and
was obliged to adopt the son of her disgraced rival, she
became a great figure, not only in the Egyptian, but in
the Hellenistic world. Of no other queen do we find
so many memorials in various parts of the Greek
world. She was honoured with statues at Athens
and Olympia; her policy is specially commended in
an Attic inscription. The honours done to her in
Samothrace and in Bceotia, where a town Arsinoe is
named, may have been during her early life, when she
was queen of Thrace. But besides these, we have
votive inscriptions in her honour from Delos, Amorgos,
Thera, Lesbos, Cyrene, Cyprus, Oropus, and doubtless
more will yet be found. The dedications to her in
Egypt are numerous, and are only the formal part of
the many exceptional honours heaped upon her by her
husband. There seems to have been a statue of her,
seated upon an ostrich, at Thespim in Greece.
Though not a co-regent in the sense that some later
queens were (as we shall see in due time), she was
associated in every titular honour with the king. It
is noted by Wilcken (P.-W.I. p. 1283), from Naville's
transcription of the Pithom stele, that the Egyptian
priests had even assigned her a throne-name in addition
to her ordinary cartouche, an honour quite exceptional
for a queen. We have many coins issued with her
effigy only, as well as those with the king her brother,
as Gods Adelphi. She was deified together with him,
and gradually declared co-templar (o-rvvaos) with the
gods of the great shrines throughout Egypt. She
accompanied the king on his state progresses through
the country to Pithom, Mendes, etc. She had such in-
fluence upon the life of the king, that we used to assume
a long joint reign. The wording of the Revenue Laws,
drawn up in his year 23, first made me suspect that this
was not so, and the late Mr. Wilbour pointed out to me
that on the newly found fragment of the Mendes stele


above quoted we have express mention of her death
in year 15, month 9, day [lost], in other words, in the
year 270 B.C., when she had been at most io years queen
of Egypt.1 The disconsolate king kept adding to her
honours throughout the remaining 22 years of his
reign. As early as his year 16 (immediately after her
death), they were deified together as OEOL a8EXsot;

FIG. 20.-Coin of Arsinoe Philadelphos.

about the same time a yearly priestess (kanephoros) 2
was appointed for her as the goddess Arsinoe Phila-
delphos, a title given long after to her husband also.
It is indeed maintained by Strack (D.P. p. 117) that
1 This discovery runs counter to so many ingenious hypotheses
concerning the queen's life, that it will not find ready acceptance.
But there is no doubt whatever as to the meaning of the text. A
well-known Attic inscription (C.I.A 332), which is apparently from
the time of the Chremonidean war (about 262 B.C.), is considered
by some to be inconsistent wilh it, because it speaks of the king's
policy aKohouvws e Tr 7rv rpoyovwv Kat c re T7sl aEcX9lsr rpoapeLrei. But
surely this text distinctly implies that she was already dead. Had
she been alive we should have had some of her titles, even as the
Mendes stele is profuse in them, till it comes to mention her as a
goddess, when she is the great lady Arsinoe," a,nd nothing more.
Secondly, she is expressly classed with his ancestors, as among
those who were no longer with him. It seems to me, therefore,
that the inference hitherto drawn from the inscription was exactly
the reverse of the right one.
I believe the earliest evidence for this kanephoros is a demotic
document of the year 19. But we had no evidence of the OeoI
aSeXqfo before year 21 till the Petrie Papyri were published. It is
to be noticed that there is another Egyptian title extant attached
to her name, of which I can give no further account, viz.
"Secretary of Ptah and Arsinoe Philadelphos" (Krall. Sludien,
ii. 48). It points to her association in some temple with Ptah.


Philadelphos was the original proper name of this
prince, which he exchanged for Ptolemy when promoted
to the crown. But I think this hypothesis unlikely, as
we should probably have had ere this some direct evi-
dence of it. So far as we know from the new evidence
produced by Mr. Grenfell (Grenfell Papyri, i. p. 31),
that title was first applied to distinguish the king when
his priesthood was added (with other members of the
series) to the pre-existing priesthoods of the Ptolemies
at Ptolemais, and this between the 21st and 28th
years of Philometor (160-153 B.c.). It is obvious
why this should have been so. In the priesthoods of
Ptolemais the kings were consecrated separately from
the queens (and of these but a few), so that in a list
of kings some distinctive appellation for the second
Ptolemy must be found. At Alexandria, on the con-
trary, the Ptolemies were consecrated in pairs (Ocot
aSEXotL, etc.), so that there was no need of the dis-
tinction ; and indeed this Ptolemy seems to have made
it a principle to associate his favourite wife with him-
self in all public acts and ceremonies. Where he did
not appear as one of the Gods Adelphi, the specification
"Ptolemy, son of Ptolemy Soter was sufficient, or
even "Ptolemy, son of Ptolemy," as this latter was
the first. On the whole, therefore, I incline to the
belief that the title Philadelphos was not applied to the
king till some time after his death.
A pompous shrine, the Arsinoeion, was built for the
queen apparently within the precincts of the Serapeum
at Alexandria, and there the king set up the greatest
obelisk of Aswan granite hewn in Egypt, which he had
found partly prepared in the upper country by some
old Pharaoh, but still lying in situ. This obelisk, 85
cubits high, was the wonder of men in Roman days.
I have sought to explain its unaccountable disappear-
ance by the hypothesis that the extant pillar known as
Pompey's pillar was constructed out of it. Other
Arsinoeia were consecrated to her in the Fayyum and
elsewhere in Egypt; several towns were named after
her, and ultimately she was declared the guardian


goddess of the whole rich nome round the Lake Mceris,
which was named the Arsinoite nome. She was
identified with Aphrodite Zephyritis in a temple on the
promontory east of the bay of Alexandria.
This list of honours is by no means exhaustive, but
will suffice to show her vast influence over the king.
He never raised any woman to the rank of queen after
her death. He is said to have been planning a new
temple and new devices to have her image floating in
its midst at the time of his death. But we could not
have suspected how much her deification was employed
in domestic and practical legislation, till the Petrie
Papyri, notably the Revenue Papyrus, gave us new and
strange information.
We now know that, not only was her deification at
the various local shrines completed after her decease,
but that in the year 23 of the reign, after it was com-
plete, a great financial revolution and an invasion of
the temple estates and priestly corporations were made
in her name. The landed property and the orchards
and vineyards of all Egypt (with certain exceptions)
paid a duty to the gods of the nearest temple amount-
ing to one-sixth of the yearly crop. This great revenue
was transferred by a single act into a duty to Arsinoe
Philadelphos the new goddess, who sat as an equal
in the temple of each god in Egypt. It was simply a
disendowment of the State religion for the benefit of
the Crown. And yet this act of spoliation seems to
have been carried out without any open resistance on
the part of the priests. How so curious a result was
attained we can only guess. In both the Pithom and
the Mendes stelae great gifts of money and other
honours to the gods are commemorated on the part
of the priests. The king there posed as the greatest
benefactor of the gods of the country. What pro-
portion these occasional largesses bore to the yearly
income now taken from the temples we have no means
of determining. But we may not only surmise that the
king made a good bargain, we may see clearly that
by substituting benevolences or yearly subventions


(ao-vvraeis) for a revenue from land, the king brought the
priesthood of Egypt under his immediate control, for
they now depended more and more directly upon his
royal bounty. How far the taxpayers were affected is
also uncertain, but it is more than likely that the Crown
officials were stricter collectors than the Church, and
not so likely to allow arrears from compassion or neigh-
bourly feeling as the local priests. Moreover, debts
to the Crown were recovered by a process far more

FIG. 21.-Phile. South Approach to the Great Pylon.

summary than those due to other creditors. Unfortun-
ately, the Revenue Papyrus gives us no evidence, even
approximate, of the amount derived from this drdlxotpa,
so that we cannot venture upon an estimate.
But in addition to the large gifts of money mentioned
in the Pithom and Mendes stela, we know that this king
began the great series of Ptolemaic temples which are
still the wonder of the modern traveller. His great
Arsinoeion at Alexandria has vanished, and so no doubt


have many other of his buildings throughout the upper
country. We still possess the finest chamber of the
temples of Phila, which he built and adorned, though
the formal dedication fell to his son.1 So strictly was
he regarded as the founder of the new splendours of
Philm, that in the list of Ptolemies as co-templar gods,
which we find in inscriptions, etc., at Philze, the Gods
Adelphi stand first, in the position that Soter occupies
at Ptolemais.2 The sacred island, which seems to have
begun to supplant the older sanctum of Biggeh (a
neighboring island) as early as Amasis' reign,3 was
specially consecrated to Isis, the patroness of Ptolemy
II., and to her he also reared a great temple of Aswan
granite 600 miles away in the Delta, where its ruins
now mark the Roman Iseum, the temple of Hebt. The
building of this temple, whose site has not yet been
properly explored, was of the most costly nature. To
carry down and carve granite blocks for single statues
or shrines was common enough in both Pharaonic and
Ptolemaic times. To construct a whole temple of red
granite is, if I mistake not, unique even in the archi-
tectural extravagances of Egypt.
What, it will be asked, is the political and religious
significance of these temples built by nearly every
Ptolemy to Egyptian gods quite foreign to any Hellen-
istic creed? That it signified any religious conviction,
or any dread of vengeance from the unseen ruling
spirits of the country, we may set aside as implying
an anachronism. But as these great structures were
built out of the royal purse, what it did mean was
that a large sum of the royal income, levied in taxes,
was refunded to the people in the shape of wages for
architects, stonecutters, carriers, masons, designers.
Moreover, the completion of such a temple implied a

I This was discovered by Captain Lyons in 1896.
2 This was first made clear by U. Wilcken in his article on the
stele of Euergetes II. at Phila3, Hermes, vol. xxii.
3This I owe to the late Mr. Wilbour, who found Amasis'
cartouches there. The common belief is that Nectanebo II. was
the first builder at Phile.


permanent establishment of a staff of priests and
servitors for its maintenance. We have no hint in



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