Ptolemy II Philadelphus


Ptolemy II Philadelphus
Philadelphia King 283-246 BC.
*Ptolemy I associated his son Philadelphus with him as co-regent in 285 BC, and he inherited the kingdom in 282 BC. During his reign Egypt reached the zenith of her power under the *Ptolemies. Philadelphus married his full-sister, Arsinoe II, thus establishing the Ptolemaic custom of royal consanguineous marriages; his name 'Philadelphus' means 'sister-loving', and he set up an official cult of Arsinoe and himself, thus introducing the concept of a dynastic cult.
    Ptolemy II also inaugurated a detailed system of financial administration in Egypt, and introduced *Greek farming communities in the Fayoum district; under his Revenue Laws, there was also close monitoring of industries such as papyrus-manufacture and oil-production. His reign was the most prosperous of the *Ptolemaic Period, and his finance minister, Apollonius, wielded great power.
    Ptolemy II also intervened to begin the abolition of the native aristocracy which his father had allowed to survive and, under his rulership, the intensive Hellenisation of Egypt began. He was active in many other spheres: under his kingship, the canal between the Red Sea and the Nile was restored, to facilitate trade and communication. As a patron of the arts, Ptolemy II enlarged the Great Library at Alexandria and encouraged scholars from many parts of the world to visit the city. According to one tradition, he brought seventy scholars from Jerusalem to Alexandria to translate the Pentateuch into Greek, so that the copy could then be placed in the Library. He was also responsible for the addition of many buildings in Alexandria, including the Pharos, and spectacular processions and games were introduced in his reign.
BIBL. Bevan, E. A History of Egypt under the Ptolemaic Dynasty. London: 1927; Skeat, T. C. The reigns of the Ptolemies. Munich: 1969.
Biographical Dictionary of Ancient Egypt by Rosalie and Antony E. David
* * *
(308–246 BC)
   Son of Ptolemy Iand Berenice I. He was named coregentwith his father in 285 BC and succeeded to sole rule in 282 BC. His reign was prosperous, allowing the king to undertake major building works, including the Pharos, or Lighthouse, of Alexandria; Library of Alexandria; and Museum of Alexandria. He scandalized Greek public opinion by divorcing his wife, Arsinoe I, and marrying his full sister, Arsinoe II. He died in January 246 BC and was succeeded by his son, Ptolemy III.
Historical Dictionary Of Ancient Egypt by Morris L. Bierbrier

Ancient Egypt. A Reference Guide. . 2011.

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