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uninterrupted until the death of Ptolemy. (Justin. xxxix. 1, 2 ; Joseph. Ant. xiii. 9 ; Euseb. Arm. pp. 167, 168.) This took place in the year b.c. 117, ten years after his restoration to the throne, and twenty-nine after the death of his brother Philometor. But he himself reckoned the years of his reign from the date of his first assumption of the regal title at Alexandria, in b. c. 170, and according to this mode of computation, his death took place in the fifty-fourth year of his reign. (Porphyr. ap. Eztseb. Arm. p. 115 ; Clinton. F. H. vol. iii. p. 386.)
The character of Ptolemy Physcon has sufficiently appeared from the foregoing narrative. But stained as he was at once by the most infamous and degrading vices, and by the most sanguinary and unsparing cruelty, he still retained in a great degree that love of letters which appears to have been hereditary in the whole race of the Ptolemies. He had in his youth been a pupil of Aristarchus, and not only courted the society of learned men, but was himself the author of a work called 'ttto-/uj/Ttytara, or memoirs, which extended to twenty-four books. It is repeatedly cited by Athenaeus (ii. p. 43, e., 71, b., ix. p. 387, x. p. 438, xiv. p. 654, &c.), but the quotations refer to minute and miscellaneous points from which it is impossible to judge of the general character of the work. It would seem, however, to have been a sort of general natural history, rather than an historical narration of events. But even in his patronage of literature Ptolemy displayed his capricious and tyrannical character: and during the first years of his sole reign his cruelties appear to have produced a general consternation among the philosophers and men of letters at Alexandria, many of whom fled from Egypt, and took refuge in other countries, where they opened schools, and thus introduced the learning and science of Alexandria (Athen. iv. p. 184). Ptolemy endeavoured in the later years of his reign to repair the mischief he had thus caused, and again draw together an extensive literary society in his capital. To him also is ascribed, with some probability, the prohibition of the export of papyrus, a measure which was dictated by jealousy of the growing literary riches of the kings of Per-gamus, and led, as is well known, to the invention of parchment (Plin. H.N. xiii. 11 (21)). Some writers, however, refer this statement to Euergetes I. (See Parthey, Das Alex. Museum, p. 48.)
COIN OF PTOLEMAEUS VIL, KING OF EGYPT.
Euergetes II. left two sons ; Ptolemy, afterwards known as Soter II., and Alexander, both of whom subsequently ascended the throne of Egypt; and three daughters: 1. Cleopatra, already married to her brother Ptolemy ; 2. Tryphaena, the \\ ife of Antiochus Grypus, king of Syria ; and 3. Selene, who was still unmarried at her father's
PTOLEMAEUS VIII. (n-roAe^aTos), king of egypt, surnamed soter II., and also philometor, both of which titles he bears on inscriptions, but more often distinguished by historians by the appellation of lathyrus or lathurus (AdOov-pos). He was the eldest son of Ptolemy Physcon, by his niece Cleopatra, and was already of full age at the time of his father's death, b.c. 117. Cleopatra, however, who had'been appointed by the will of her late husband to succeed him on the throne, was desirous to associate with herself her younger son, Ptolemy Alexander, to the exclusion of his brother. But the latter was popular with the Alexandrians, and the queen was obliged to give way. She accordingly sent Alexander to Cyprus, while she declared Lathyrus king, with the titles of Soter and Philometor. But, in order to retain her influence over him undivided, she compelled him to repudiate his sister Cleopatra, to whom he had been previously married and was tenderly attached, and marry his younger sister Selene in her stead (Justin. xxxix. 3 ; Pans. i. 9. § 1). This arrangement seems to have in some degree produced its intended effect; at least the mother and son were able to rule conjointly for near ten years before they came to any open rupture. But they were on many occasions opposed to one another, in their foreign as well as domestic policy, and we find Ptolemy sending assistance to Antiochus Cyzicenus in his wars against the Jews, in direct opposition to the will of his mother, who had uniformly favoured the latter, and had placed two officers of that nation at the head of her army. But Cleopatra could ill brook such resistance to her authority : and by accusing Ptolemy of a design against her life, she excited such an insurrection in Alexandria that the king was forced to seek safety in flight, b. c. 107. (Justin. xxxix. 4 ; Paus. i. 9. § 2 ; Joseph. Ant. xiii. 10. §§ 2, 4 ; Porphyr. ap. Euseb. Arm. p. 115.)
His brother Alexander now assumed the sovereignty of Egypt, in conjunction with his mother-while Lathyrus was able to establish himself in the possession of Cyprus. Cleopatra indeed attempted to dispossess him of that island also, but without success, and Ptolemy held it as an independent kingdom for the eighteen years during which Cleopatra and Alexander reigned in Egypt. His wars in Syria are the only events which have been recorded to us of this period. In b. c. 103 he landed in Syria with a large army, in order to support the citizens of Ptolemai's and Gaza against Alexander Jannaeus, king of the Jews, defeated that monarch in a great battle on the banks of the Jordan, and made himself master of Ptolemai's, Gaza, and other cities. Hereupon Cleopatra hastened with an army to oppose him, and reduced Phoenicia and Ptolemai's, while Lathyrus, after an unsuccessful attempt to march upon Egypt itself, retired to Gaza, and the following spring withdrew to Cyprus, b.c. 101 (Joseph. Ant. xiii. 12, 13). In the subsequent disputes of the Syrian princes he and his mother, as was to be expected, took opposite sides, Ptolemy being in close alliance with Antiochus Cj^zicenus, while Cleopatra supported his brother Antiochus Grypus (Justin. xxxix. 4). At a later period (in b. c. 94) we find Ptolemy again taking part in the civil wars which followed