|home | travelogue | itinerary | photos | history | books|
LIke many of the rulers of Egypt during the Ptolemaic period, Ptolemy VI Philometer came to the throne as a young child, with his mother, Cleopatra I as regent. She died only a few years after he took the throne, and the young king was under the control of his guardians and advisors, Eulaeus and Lenaeus. A great number of kings had powerful advisors and it seems obvious from the history that we know that much of the power in the Ptolemaic dynasty lay in the hands of politicians.
Ptolemy VI married his sister, Cleopatra II. He was forced to share the rule of Egypt with his wife and his younger brother, Ptolemy VIII Physcon, and in fact, he technically abdicated the throne to his younger brother and ran off to Rome where he pretended to be a working class peasant, leaving Physcon to rule in his stead in Egypt. He remained in Rome until they came to fetch him in May of 163. He reached an agreement with his brother to split the rule of Egypt, with Physcon ruling the western province of Cyrenaica and Philometor retaining the rule of Egypt until his death in 145 BCE.
Ptolemy VI was killed in battle after aiding Demetrius II to gain the throne of Syria, along with the rival claimant Alexander Balas. His young son, Ptolemy VII Neos Philopater, took the throne for only a few years, but he was killed as soon as Physcon (Ptolemy VIII) was able to return to Egypt to claim the throne he had once held. Not that the Alexandrian people wanted him, they had begged for Ptolemy VII to return from Rome.
The invasion of Antiouchus IV from Syria marked an important point in Egyptian history -- the intervention of Rome is all that kept the country from falling, and it brought the outlying cities of Egypt under Roman power.
The country was still embroiled in war with Syria, despite the temporary peace of Ptolemy V and his political marriage to Cleopatra I. At the death of Cleopatra in 170 BCE, Antiochus IV of Syria invaded Egypt and Ptolemy was captured.
One of his sons, Ptolemy Eupator was officially the king of Cyprus. He died of plague in egypt in about 152 BCE.
Ptolemy VI was responsible for the construction of the Temple of Kom Ombo, dedicated to two gods -- Sobek and Haroeris. The temple is oddly symmetric, with he left side for Haroeris an the right to Sobek. Everything is duplicated, two halls, two sanctuaries, two sets of priests.
Ptolemy I Soter