The Ancient Library

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cured solely from India, and so important did he deem this resource that he founded a city or fortress named Ptolemai's on the confines of Ethiopia, solely with a view to this object (Agatharchides ap. Phot, p. 441, b, 453, a ; Hieronym. ad Dan. xi. 5 ; Plin. H. N. vi. 34; Diod. iii. 36). With Ergamenes, the Greek king of Meroe, he appears to have main­tained friendly relations. In order to command the important navigation and commerce of the Red Sea, he founded the city of Arsinoe at the head of the gulf (on the site of the modern Suez), and that of Berenice on the coast almost under the tropic. The former he connected with the Nile by renew­ing and clearing out the canal which had previously been constructed by Necho, while he opened a high road from Berenice to Coptos on the Nile, which continued for ages to be the route by which all the merchandise of India, Arabia, and Aethiopia was conveyed to Alexandria. Not contented with this, we find him sending Satyrus on a voyage of dis­covery along the western coast of the Red Sea, and founding another city of Berenice as far south as the latitude of Meroe (Strab. xvii. pp. 770, 804, 815 ; Plin. H. N. vi. 34 ; Diod. i. 33 ; Droysen, Hellenism, vol. ii. p. 735—738 ; Letronne, Rec. des Imcr< p. 180—188). It was doubtless also with a view to the extension of his commerce with India that we find him sending an ambassador of the name of Dionysius to the native princes of that country. (Plin. H. N. vi. 21.)

But it is more especially as the patron and pro­moter of literature and science that the name of Philadelphus is justly celebrated. The institutions of which the foundations had been laid by his father quickly rose under his fostering care to the highest prosperity. The Museum of Alexandria became the resort and abode of all the most dis­tinguished men of letters of the day, and in the library attached to it were accumulated all the treasures of ancient learning. The first person who filled the office of librarian appears to have been Zenodotus of Ephesus, who had previously been the preceptor of Ptolemy: his successor was the poet Callimachus. (Suid. s. v. Zvjvdfioros ; Parthey, das Alex. Museum, p. 71 ; Ritschl, die Alex. Bib-liotJiek, p. 19.) Among the other illustrious names which adorned the court and reign of Ptolemy, may be mentioned those of the poets Philetas and Theocritus (the last of whom has left us a laboured panegyric upon the Egyptian monarch, which is of some importance in an historical point of view), the philosophers Hegesias and Theodoras, the mathe­matician Euclid, and the astronomers Timocharis, Aristarchus of Samos, and Aratus. It was not merely by his munificence, or the honours which he bestowed upon these eminent men that Ptolemy was able to attract them to his court: he had him­self received a learned education, and appears to have possessed a genuine love of literature, while many anecdotes attest to us the friendly and fa­miliar terms upon which he associated with the distinguished strangers whom he had gathered around him. Nor was his patronage confined to the ordinary cycle of Hellenic literature. By his interest in natural history he gave a stimulus to the pursuit of that science, which gave birth to many important works, while he himself formed collections of rare animals within the pre­cincts of the royal palace. It was during his reign also, and perhaps at his desire, that Marietho gave to the world in a Greek form the historical



records of the Egyptians ; and according to a well-known tradition, — which, disguised as it has been by fables, may not be without an historical founda­tion,— it was by his express command that the Holy Scriptures of the Jews were translated into Greek (Joseph, xii. 2. For the fuller investiga­tion of this subject, see aristeas). Whatever truth there may be in this tale, it is certain that he treated the Jewish colonists, many of whom had already settled at Alexandria under Ptolemy Soter, with much favour, and not only allowed them perfect toleration for their religion, but ap­pears to have placed them in many respects on a par with his Greek subjects. (Joseph. I.e.)

The fine arts met with scarcely less encourage­ment under Ptolemy than literature and science, but his patronage does not appear to have given rise to any school of painting or sculpture of real merit; and we are told that Aratus gained his favour by presents of pictures of the Sicyonic school. (Plut. Arat. 12.) His architectural works, on the contrary, were of a superior order, and many of the most splendid buildings at Alex­andria were erected or completed under his reign, especially the museum, the lighthouse on the island of Pharos, and the royal burial place or sepulchre, to which he removed the body of Alex­ander from Memphis, while he deposited there the remains of his father and mother (Paus. i. 7. § 1 ; Strab. xvii. p. 791). As a farther proof of his filial piety he raised a temple to the memory of Ptolemy and Berenice, in which their statues were consecrated as tutelary deities of Egypt (Theocr. Id. xvii. 123). The new cities or colonies founded by Philadelphus in different parts of his dominions were extremely numerous. On the Red Sea alone we find at least two bearing the name of Arsinoe, one called after another of his sisters Phiiotera, and two cities named in honour of his mother Berenice. The same names occur also in Cilicia and Syria: and in the latter country he founded the important fortress of Ptolemai's in Palestine. (Concerning these various foundations, see Droysen, Hellenism, vol. ii. pp. 678, 699, 721, 731, &c.; Le­tronne, Recueil des Inscr. pp. 180—-188.)

All authorities concur in attesting the great power and wealth, to which the Egyptian mon­archy was raised under Philadelphus. We are told that he possessed at the close of his reign a standing army of 200,000 foot and 40,000 horse, besides war-chariots and elephants; a fleet of 1500 ships, among which were many vessels of stupendous size ; and a sum of 740,000 talents in his treasury ; while he derived from Egypt alone an annual revenue of 14,800 talents (Appian. praef. 10 ; Hieronym. ad Daniel, xi. 5). His dominions comprised, besides Egypt itself, and portions of Ethiopia, Arabia, and Libya, the important pro­vinces of Phoenicia and Coele-Syria, together with Cyprus, Lycia, Caria, and the Cyclades : and during a great part at least of his reign, Cilicia and Pamphylia also (Theocrit. Idyll, xvii. 86—90 ; Droysen, I.e. p. 316). Before his death Cyrene was reunited to the monarchy by the marriage of his son Ptolemy with Berenice, the daughter of Magas.

The private life and relations of Philadelphus are far from displaying his character in as favour­able a light as we might have inferred from the splen­dour of his administration. Almost immediately on his accession he had banished Demetrius Phalereus?

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