The Ancient Library

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evitably be broken up, and who wisely directed his endeavours to secure for himself the possession of an important and valuable portion, instead of wasting hi;? strength in idle attempts to grasp the whole.

But whatever were the faults of Ptolemy as an individual, as a ruler he certainly deserves the highest praise. By his able and vigorous admin­istration he laid the foundations of the wealth and prosperity which Egypt enjoyed for a long period, and which even many successive generations of misrule were afterwards insufficient to destroy. He restored order to the finances of the country, encouraged commerce and industry, and introduced a system of administration which appears to have been well suited to the peculiar state of society which had so long existed in Egypt, and to the religious and social prejudices of the nation. (See on this subject Droysen, Hellenismus, vol. ii. pp. 34—5'2.) Under his fostering care Alexandria quickly rose to the place designed for it by its founder, that of the greatest commercial city of the world. Among other measures for the prosperity of his new capital we find Ptolemy establishing there a numerous colony of Jews, who frequently acted an important part during the reigns of his successors. (Joseph. Ant. xii. 1.) With this ex­ception, the policy of the king was mainly directed to the prosperity of his Greek subjects, while the native Egyptians, though no longer subjected to the oppressions they had suffered under former rulers, were kept in comparative obscurity. Nor do we find that the first Ptolemy showed any especial marks of favour to their religion, though to him is ascribed the first introduction of the foreign worship of Serapis, and the foundation of the celebrated temple dedicated to that divinity at Alexandria. (Tac. Hist. iv. 84 ; Pint, de Isid. et Osirid. 28.) [SERAPIS.]

Not less eminent or conspicuous were the ser­vices rendered by Ptolemy to the advancement of literature and science. In this department indeed it is not always easy to distinguish the portion of credit due to the father from that of his son : but it seems certain that to the elder monarch belongs the merit of having originated those literary insti­tutions which assumed a more definite and regular form, as well as a more prominent place, under his successor. Such appears to have been the case with the two most celebrated of all, the Library and the Museum of Alexandria. (See Droysen, Hellenism, vol. ii. p. 43 ; Geier, de Ptolemaei La-gidae Vita, p. 61; Parthey, Das Alexandrinische Museum, pp. 36—49 ; Ritschl. Die Aleccandr. Bibiioftwk. pp. 14—16.)

The first suggestion of these important foun­dations is ascribed by some writers to Demetrius of Phalerus, who spent all the latter years of his life at the court of Ptolemy, and became one of his most confidential friends and advisers. But many other men of literary eminence were also gathered around the Egyptian king : among whom may be especially noticed the great geometer Euclid, the philosophers Stilpo of Megara, Theodoras of Cyrene, and Diodorus surnamed Cronus ; as well as the elegiac poet Philetas of Cos, and the grammarian Zenodotus. (Diog. Laert. ii. 102, 111, 115, v. 37, 78 ; Plut. de Exit. 7, Apopliih. Reg. p. 189, d ; Suid. s. v. 4»iA7jTas and ZrjvoSoTos.) To the two last we are told Ptolemy confided the literary education .of his son Philadelphus. Many anecdotes suf­ficiently attest the free intercourse which subsisted



between the king and the men of letters by whom he was surrounded, and prove that the easy fami­liarity of his manners corresponded with his simple and unostentatious habits of life. We also find him maintaining a correspondence with Menander, whom he in vain endeavoured to attract to his court, and sending overtures probably of a similar nature to Theophrastus. (Suid. s. v. Mevavtyos ; Diog. Laert. v. 37.) Nor were the fine arts neglected : the rival painters Antiphilus and Apelles both exercised their talents at Alexandria, where some of their most celebrated pictures were produced. (Plin. H. N. xxxv. 36; Lucian. de Column. 2.)

But Ptolemy was not content with the praise of an enlightened patron and friend of literature ; he sought for himself also the fame of an author, and composed an historical narrative of the wars of Alexander, which is frequently cited by later writers, and is one of the chief authorities which Arrian made the groundwork of his own history. That author repeatedly praises Ptolemy for the fidelity of his narrative and the absence of all fables and exaggerations, and justly pays the greatest deference to his authority, on account of his personal acquaintance with the events which he relates. No notice of his style has been pre­served to us, from which we may probably infer that his work was not so much distinguished in this respect as for its historical value. Arrian expressly tells us that it was composed by him after he was established on the throne of Egypt, and probably during the latter years of his life. (Arr. Anab. i. prooem. The other passages in which his authority is cited are collected, and all the information relating to his history brought together by Geier,, de Ptolemaei Lagidae Vita et Scriptis, pp.72—77 ; and in his ScriptoresHistoriae Alex. Mayni, pp. 1—26. The fragments are also given in the edition of Arrian published by Didot, at Paris, 1846.) It appears also that the letters of Ptolemy to Seleucus were extant at a later period, and were collected by one Dionysodorus, of whom nothing more is known. (Lucian. Pro Laps, in Salut. 10.)


Ptolemy had been three times married: 1. to the Persian princess Artacama [see above, p. 581], by whom he appears to have had no children ; 2. to Eurydice, the daughter of Antipater, who had borne him three sons—Ptolemy Ceraunus, Me-leager, and one whose name is not mentioned (Paus. i. 7. § I.), and two daughters, Lysandra and Ptolemai's ; 3. to Berenice, who became the mother of Ptolemy Philadelphus as well as of Arsinoe, the wife of Lysimachus. For further information concerning his children by these mar­riages, see the articles arsinoe and berenice. But besides these, he became the father of a nu­merous progeny by various concubines, of whom

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