People > Arsinoe I

Arsinoe I

Background

Arsinoe IArsinoe I (Greek: Αρσινόη Α’, 305 BC[1]-after c. 248 BC[2]) was a Greek Princess who was of Macedonian and Thessalian descent. She was the second daughter and youngest child born to King Lysimachus from his first wife, Nicaea of Macedon.[3][4] Arsinoe I had two older siblings: a brother called Agathocles and a sister called Eurydice.[5][6]Life[edit]Arsinoe's paternal grandfather was Agathocles of Pella,[7] a nobleman who was a contemporary to King Philip II of Macedon who reigned 359-336 BC, while her maternal grandfather was the powerful Regent Antipater.[8] Arsinoe I was named in honor of an unnamed grandmother,[9] who may have been the mother of Lysimachus or the mother of Nicaea whose both names of these women are unknown.[10] Little is known of her life prior to her marriage.Between 289/28[11] and 281 BC,[12] Arsinoe became the first wife of Ptolemaic Greek Egyptian Pharaoh Ptolemy II Philadelphus, who was also her distant maternal cousin. Arsinoe I married Ptolemy II as part of an alliance between her father and Ptolemy II, against Seleucus I Nicator.[13]Arsinoe I was, by marriage, Queen of the Ptolemaic Kingdom. Arsinoe I bore Ptolemy II three children; two sons: Ptolemy III Euergetes, Lysimachus of Egypt and a daughter called Berenice.[14] At an unknown date between after 279-274/3 BC, a sister of Ptolemy II called Arsinoe II arrived in Egypt, who was the last wife of Lysimachus and had fled from her half-brother-husband Ptolemy Keraunos. Probably at the instigation of Arsinoe II, charges of conspiring to assassinate Ptolemy II were soon brought against Arsinoe I.[15]Ptolemy II had convicted Arsinoe I of plotting against him. He ended his marriage to Arsinoe I and divorced her. Ptolemy II had exiled Arsinoe I to Coptos in southern Egypt.[16] It is chronologically plausible that these events were also connected to the banishment of Ptolemy II’s niece, Theoxena of Egypt as Theoxena was sent to the Thebaid,[17] perhaps to Coptos. Afterwards Ptolemy II married his sister Arsinoe II and after the death of Arsinoe II, Ptolemy II’s children with Arsinoe I were officially regarded as the children of Arsinoe II.Arsinoe I lived in exile for twenty years. During her exile, Arsinoe I lived in great splendour and exercised considerable power, since she was a wife of a former pharaoh. Her first son with Ptolemy II succeeded his father after his death.[18]A surviving Stele has been found at Coptos which refers to Arsinoe I.[19] The Stele is of Senu-sher, a steward of Arsinoe I and the Stele is assigned to Arsinoe I’s exile.[20] The stele calls Arsinoe I the ‘king’s wife’, but her name is not enclosed in the royal Cartouche, as it is customary for an Egyptian Queen.[21] Another piece of surviving evidence connected to Arsinoe I, is a Phoenician inscription found at Lapithos, Cyprus,[22] which is dated in the 11th or 12th year in the reign of Ptolemy II. The inscription refers to a sacrifice instituted by Yatonba’al on behalf of ‘the legitimate scion and his wife’,[23] hence refers to Arsinoe I. As Arsinoe I was disgraced as a traitor, the fact the person who did the sacrifice on her behalf strongly suggests that the news of her disgrace had not yet reached him.[24]References[edit]Jump up ^ Ptolemaic Genealogy: Arsinoe I, Footnote 4Jump up ^ Ptolemaic Genealogy: Arsinoe I, Footnote 10Jump up ^ Bengtson, Griechische Geschichte von den Anfängen bis in die römische Kaiserzeit, p.569Jump up ^ Heckel, Who’s who in the age of Alexander the Great: prosopography of Alexander’s empire, p.175Jump up ^ Bengtson, Griechische Geschichte von den Anfängen bis in die römische Kaiserzeit, p.569Jump up ^ Heckel, Who’s who in the age of Alexander the Great: prosopography of Alexander’s empire, p.175Jump up ^ Lysimachus’ article at Livius.orgJump up ^ Lightman, A to Z of ancient Greek and Roman women, p.233Jump up ^ Ptolemaic Genealogy: Arsinoe I, Footnote 3Jump up ^ Ptolemaic Genealogy: Arsinoe I, Footnote 10Jump up ^ Lightman, A to Z of ancient Greek and Roman women, p.43Jump up ^ Ptolemaic Genealogy: Arsinoe IJump up ^ Britannica Online Encyclopedia – Arsinoe IJump up ^ Ptolemaic Genealogy: Arsinoe I, Footnote 7Jump up ^ Britannica Online Encyclopedia – Arsinoe IJump up ^ Britannica Online Encyclopedia – Arsinoe IJump up ^ Ptolemaic Genealogy: Theoxena, Footnote 6Jump up ^ Lightman, A to Z of ancient Greek and Roman women, p.43Jump up ^ Britannica Online Encyclopedia – Arsinoe IJump up ^ Ptolemaic Genealogy: Arsinoe I, Footnote 8Jump up ^ Britannica Online Encyclopedia – Arsinoe IJump up ^ Ptolemaic Genealogy: Arsinoe I, Footnote 9Jump up ^ Ptolemaic Genealogy: Arsinoe I, Footnote 9Jump up ^ Ptolemaic Genealogy: Arsinoe I, Footnote 9Sources[edit]Hermann Bengtson, Griechische Geschichte von den Anfängen bis in die römische Kaiserzeit, C.H.Beck, 1977Ptolemaic Genealogy: Arsinoe IBritannica Online Encyclopedia – Arsinoe IPtolemaic Genealogy: TheoxenaLysimachus’ article at Livius.orgWaldemar Heckel, Who’s who in the age of Alexander the Great: prosopography of Alexander’s empire, Wiley-Blackwell, 2006M. Lightman & B. Lightman, A to Z of ancient Greek and Roman women (Google eBook), Infobase Publishing, 2007

Ptolemaic Dynasty of Egypt

KingTitleMeaningReignWife/Co-RulerReign
Ptolemy ISoterSavior305-285 BCEBerenice IReign
Ptolemy IIPhiladelphusSister-loving285-246 BCEArsinoe IReign
Ptolemy IIIEuergetes IThe Benefactor246-221 BCEBerenice IIReign
Ptolemy IVPhilopaterFather-loving221-204 BCEArsinoe IIIReign
Ptolemy VEpiphanesThe Illustrious204-180 BCEReign
Ptolemy VIPhilometorMother-loving180-145 BCECleopatra I
Cleopatra II & Ptolemy VIII
Ptolemy Eupator
180–176 BCE
170–163 BCE
153–150 BCE
Ptolemy VIINeos PhilopatorFather-loving145 BCECleopatra IIReign
Ptolemy VIIIEuergetes IIThe Benefactor170–116 BCECleopatra II145–131/130 BCE
Cleopatra II124–116 BCE
Ptolemy VIIIEuergetes IIThe Benefactor170–116 BCECleopatra II124–116 BCE
Ptolemy IXSoter IIThe Savior116-107 BCECleopatra III107–101 BCE
Ptolemy XAlexander I107-88 BCECleopatra III107–101 BCE
Ptolemy IXSoter IIThe Savior88-80 BCE
Ptolemy XIAlexander II80 BCEBerenice III80 BCE
Ptolemy XIIINeos Dionysos/AuletesNew Dionysus/Flute Player80–51 BCEBerenice IV58–55 BCE
Cleopatra VII51-30 BCEReign
Ptolemy XIII PhysconDionysos51-47 BCEReign
Ptolemy XIVPhilopatorFather-loving47-44 BCEReign
Ptolemy XVCaesarionLittle Caesar44-30 BCEReign

Sources

Primary Sources

Secondary Sources

External Links

Livius.org

Wiley Library

Encyclopedia Britannica

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