The Ptolemaic Period

The Ptolemaic Period PowerPoint PPT Presentation

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Macedonian Dynasty 332-305 BC. Alexander the Great 332-323 BCPhilip Arrhidaeus 323-317 BCAlexander IV 317-310 BC. Ptolemaic Dynasty 305-30 BC. Ptolemy I Soter 305-285 BCPtolemy II Philadelphus 285-246 BCPtolemy III Euergetes

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The Ptolemaic Period

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1. The Ptolemaic Period 332-30 BC

2. Macedonian Dynasty 332-305 BC Alexander the Great 332-323 BC Philip Arrhidaeus 323-317 BC Alexander IV 317-310 BC

3. Ptolemaic Dynasty 305-30 BC Ptolemy I Soter 305-285 BC Ptolemy II Philadelphus 285-246 BC Ptolemy III Euergetes I 246-221 BC Ptolemy IV Philopator 221-205 BC Ptolemy V Epiphanes 205-180 BC Ptolemy VI Philometor 180-145 BC Ptolemy VII Neos Philopator 145 BC Ptolemy VIII Euergetes II 170-116 BC Ptolemy IX Soter II 116-107 BC

4. Ptolemy X Alexander I 107-88 BC Ptolemy IX Soter II (restored) 88-80 BC Ptolemy XI Alexander II 80 BC Ptolemy XII Neos Dionysos 80-51 BC Cleopatra VII Philopator 51-30 BC Ptolemy XIII 51-47 BC Ptolemy XIV 47-44 BC Ptolemy XV Cesarion 44-30 BC

5. Alexander the Great Alexander was crowned as an Egyptian king in the temple of Ptah of Memphis. Founded Alexandria. The administration of the country was given to Doloaspis, an Egyptian. The collection of tribute was administered by the corrupt Kleomenes of Naukratis. He was subsequently appointed as governor of the entire province. The army was supervised by two officers, and the navy had a separate commander.

6. Arrhidaeus and Perdiccas After alexander’s death the empire was inherited my his mentally unstable half-brother Arrhidaeus, and with Perdiccas as regent. Alexander’s wife, Roxane, being pregnant at the time, could also have given birth to a male heir. Perdiccas divided the empire among Alexander’s marshals.

7. Wars of the Successors First Phase (321-301 BC) Ptolemy acquired Egypt, Libya and all Arabian land close to Egypt. Unitarians (Perdiccas, Antigonus, and his son, Demetrius). Separatists (Ptolemy, Seleucos, Lysimachos). The first phase is characterized by the failed attempt of the unitarians to keep the empire together. Two invasions to Egypt by the unitarians (defeated by the terrain of Egypt).

8. Wars of the Successors Second Phase (301-280 BC) Struggles between the separatists to establish, maintain, or even increase their kingdoms. At the end three great kingdoms emerged: Macedon, the Seleucid Empire, and Egypt (with Cyrenaica). Peace treaty between Macedon and the Seleucids against the Ptolemies.

10. The Ptolemies Expansionist Activities The ancient centers of the Greek culture in the eastern Mediterranean. Especially mainland Greece, the Aegean, and the coast of Asia Minor. Syria-Palestine. The early Ptolemies enjoyed limited success, but eventually the Macedonians and the Seleucids prevailed. Six Syrian Wars during Ptolemy II-VI.

11. Military/Army Army largely the same as developed by Philip II and Alexander. Phalanx of heavy infantry with sarissas. Heavy cavalry. Elite light infantry (3000 strong). Siege trains. War elephants. Problems with supply, later highly mobile light infantry developed against them. Mercenaries. Short term advantage, long term problems. Large military reserves.

13. Military/Navy Trireme used originally for ramming. Lemnos’ trireme. Land-battle-at-sea. The Battle of Salamis in the eastern part of Cyprus. Ptolemy IV’s monstrous ‘forty’.

24. Alexandria Alexandria became the capital of the Ptolemies. The most spectacular city of the Hellenistic world. (Visited by Stabo right after the end of the Ptolemaic Dynasty). The Sema, the burial place of the Ptolemaic kings, including Alexander. Mouseion modeled after the Academy of Plato and Aristotle.

27. Great Panhellenic events. The Ptolemaieia, the Alexandrian counterpart of the Olympic Games. Grand theater, stadium, and symposia. Colossal statues. Agriculture made for maximum economic returns.


30. Kingship The king was required to be of Argead descent. For Ptolemy I it has been stated that his mother has been impregnated by Philip II before she married the historical father, Lagus. The army had to formally approve the succession. The concept of ‘sacred family’. Alexander, the son of Zeus. Claim of descent from Heracles and Dionysos. Brother-sister marriage starting with Ptolemy II and Arsinoe II.

32. Administrative Structure Essentially the pharaonic fiscal system made sharper and more efficient. Manager-responsible for the financial administration of the country. Accountants and later the privy purses-responsible for the private resources of the king. Egypt is subdivided into 40 administrative districts with the agricultural production as the key focus.

33. Management of the Land Royal land for royal farmers with land lease. Remitted land: Temple land; Land held by cleruchs (assigned to soldiers in return for military service); Land held in gift (assigned to servants of the king); Private land; City land (assigned to a small number of city-states).

34. Other Economic Activities Exploitation of quarries and mines. The production of papyrus. The novel banking system, currency control, foreign commerce. Large-scale engineering enterprises (Pharos lighthouse, improvement of the Koptos road, reopening of the Persian Canal).

35. The nobility and the Priests Members of the royal line and the elite retained high military offices. The priests are based on temples, such as the Temple of Horus at Edfu and the temple of philae. Mammisi (birth house). The temples are also foci of economic activities (distribution of produce, sponsorship of art works). The Rosetta Stone with inscription of priestly gratitude.

38. Religion Afterlife and judgment of dead is still central. New stories are mostly written in classical Egyptian language. The individuals dependence on the will of the gods. Apocalyptic literature to give insight into the workings of the divine order. Cultural syncretism with Hellenistic concepts.

39. Decline Erosion of the Aegean and Syrian possessions. Dynastic schism generating murderous bouts. The Alexandrian mob of king-makers (high ranking power thirsty Greeks): Frequent actions during the rivalry of Ptolemy VI and VIII. Assassination of Ptolemy X. The mob was finally annihilated by Julius Caesar.

40. Decline of royal authority leading to internal strife (hostilities between Greek cities). Internal problems: Strikes, attacks on villages, despoliation of temples. Famine, inflation, oppressive administrative system. Local uprisings.

41. The Emergence of Rome Elimination of Macedon in 167 BC. Annexation of Pergamum in 133 BC. The takeover of a large part of the Seleucid Kingdom. Mediator of the disputes between Ptolemy VI and VIII. Support of Ptolemy XI to the throne. Involvement in the murderous conflicts between Cleopatra VII and her brothers Ptolemy XIII and XIV. Mark Anthony and Cleopatra VII.

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