People > Berenice IV

Berenice IV

Background

Berenice IV Epiphaneia (77–55 BCE), known in Greek as Βερενίκη was a princess and queen of the Ptolemaic Kingdom which ruled over the satrapy of Egypt during the Hellenistic Period. She was born as the daughter of Ptolemy XII Auletes and most likely Cleopatra V Tryphaena. She was the sister of the famous Cleopatra VII, as well as Arsinoe IV, Ptolemy XIII Physcon and Ptolemy XIV. In 58 BCE both Ptolemy XII and Cleopatra VII would be forced to flee to Rome where they sought military assistance against Cleopatra VI,/.

Following her death in 57 BCE possibly due to poisoning by Berenice IV she would become the sole ruler of Egypt due to the absence of her father. With him and Cleopatra absent she was free to assume the throne at twenty years old without the worry of being overthrown or killed.

As the lone woman who ruled over Egypt she was expected to marry and have a man who acted as co-regent. When she did not her own the consuls forced her to marry Seleucus VII Kybiosaktes. However, she would eventually have him strangled and rule as the sole leader of the Ptolemaic Kingdom. Many people during this time believed the Ptolemaic Dynasty of Egypt would soon collapse due to her refusal to marry as well as for her love of fashion and luxuries which led to huge costs for the kingdom.

She would later soon marry Archelaus but he would not be named as her co-regent. Archelaus had previously been appointed to the priesthood at Comana at Cappadocia by Pompey and claimed to be a son of Mithridates VI of Pontus. According to Strabo his father was Archelaus who was actually a general of Mithridates VI during the First Mithridatic War who switched sides to the Romans.

The reign of Berenice VI would end in 55 BCE when her father Ptolemy XII retook the throne of the Ptolemaic kingdom which the military assistance of the Romans. They would be led by Aulus Gabinus and after the recapture Berenice VI would be killed by beheading. Archelaus would die in battle against the Roman forces.

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

References[edit]Jump up ^ Strabo 12.3.34 and 17.1.11Jump up ^ Strabo 12.3.34 and 17.1.11Jump up ^ Appian Mithrid. 114Jump up ^ Plutarch Antony 3.2 - 3.6Sources[edit]Dio Cassius 39.12 - 39.14, 39.55 - 39.58Berenice IV of EgyptPtolemaic dynastyBorn: ca. 77 BC Died: 55 BCRegnal titlesPreceded byPtolemy XIIPharaoh of Egypt58 BC-55 BCwith Cleopatra VISucceeded byPtolemy XIIBerenice IVQueen of EgyptReign58–55 BCSuccessorPtolemy XII AuletesBorn77 BCAlexandria, EgyptDied55 BCAlexandria, EgyptBurialAlexandria, EgyptSpouseSeleucus VII KybiosaktesArchelausFull nameBerenice IV EpiphaneiaHousePtolemaic dynastyFatherPtolemy XII AuletesMotherCleopatra V of Egypt

Primary Sources

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