Ptolemaic Kings > Ptolemy Keraunos

Ptolemy Keraunos


Ptolemy Keraunos, known in Greek as Πτολεμαῖος Κεραυνός was the oldest son of Ptolemy I Soter and the king of Macedon from 281 BCE to 279 BCE. His moniker Keraunos means thunder or thunderbolt in Greek.Ptolemy was the eldest son of Ptolemy I Soter, Pharaoh of Egypt, and his second wife Eurydice, daughter of the regent Antipater. After Keraunos' younger half-brother, also called Ptolemy, was named heir apparent and, in 282 BC, ascended to the throne as Ptolemy II, he had to leave Egypt, being a potential rival for the throne. He arrived at the court of Lysimachus, the king of Thrace, Macedon, and part of Asia Minor, where his half-sister Arsinoe was queen.While Ptolemy was staying in Lysimachus's court, Arsinoe's intrigues led to the accusation of Lysimachus' first son, Agathocles, of treason and to his execution. Keraunos sided with his other sister (from the same mother) Lysandra, who was Agathocles' wife, and accompanied her to the court of Seleucus in the East to solicit his aid. Seeing an opportunity to intervene for his own gain in the politics of both Lysimachan Thrace and Ptolemaic Egypt, Seleucus prepared an expedition against Lysimachus shortly afterwards.


After Lysimachus' defeat and death in the Battle of Corupedium in 281 BC, against Seleucus I Nicator, Ptolemy Keraunos murdered Seleucus I in order to gain the power of his former protector. He then rushed to Lysimacheia where he had himself acclaimed king by the Macedonian army. At this time he also formally relinquished his claim to the Egyptian throne. To stabilize his throne, Ptolemy asked his half-sister Arsinoe, the widow of Lysimachus, to marry him. In 281 BC, he made an alliance with Pyrrhus of Epirus. His only rival, Antigonos Gonatas (Greek : Αντίγονος Γονατάς), son of the ex-king of Macedon, Demetrius I Poliorcetes (Greek : Δημήτριος Πολιορκητής), was confined in the city of Demetrias, Thessaly, and so Keraunos' power extended to south Greece as well.Arsinoe was not happy with the situation. While he was away on a campaign, she conspired against him from the capital, Cassandreia (Greek: Κασσάνδρεια), with the aid of her sons. Keraunos quickly captured Cassandreia, and killed Arsinoe's two younger sons, while the eldest fled north to the kingdom of the Dardanians. Arsinoe herself fled to Egypt, where she married her own brother Ptolemy II and became Arsinoe II.

Death & Legacy

Although Ptolemy Keraunos was at the zenith of his power, he did not live long afterwards. In 279 BC, he was captured and killed during the wars against the Gauls led by Bolgius who conducted a series of mass raids against Macedon and the rest of Greece. His death brought anarchy to the Greek states, since none of his successors were able to bring stability. This situation lasted about two years, until Antigonos Gonatas defeated the Gauls in the battle near Lysimachia, Thrace, in 277 BC, After this victory he was recognized king of Macedon and his power extended eventually also to southern Greece.ReferencesJump up ^ Hölbl (2001) p. 24^ Jump up to: a b Hölbl (2001) p. 35.^ Jump up to: a b c Hölbl (2001) p. 36BibliographyHölbl, Gūnther (2001). A History of the Ptolemaic Empire. Routledge. ISBN 978-0-06-019439-0.External linksLivius, Ptolemy Keraunos by Jona LenderingPreceded byLysimachusKing of Macedon281–279 BCSucceeded byMeleager

Ptolemaic Dynasty of Egypt

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


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