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On this page: Ptolemaeus Xii



Some years afterwards, however, he obtained from private individuals what he had failed in in­ducing the senate to accomplish : and in b. c. 55 A. Gabinius, who was proconsul in Syria, was in­duced, by the influence of Pompey, aided by the enormous bribe of ten thousand talents from Pto­lemy himself, to undertake his restoration. The Alexandrians had in the meantime placed on the throne of Egypt, Berenice, the eldest daughter of Ptolemy, who had married Archelaus, the son of the general of Mithridates [archelaus, No. 2] ; and they opposed Gabinius with an army on the confines of the kingdom. They were, however, defeated in three successive battles, Archelaus slain, and Ptolemy once more established on the throne, b. c. 55. One of his first acts was to put to death his daughter Berenice, and many of the leading citizens of Alexandria. (Dion Cass. xxxix. 55—58 ; Liv. Epit. cv.; Plut. Ant. 3 ; Strab. xvii. p. 796 ; Cic. in Pison. 21, pro JKabir. l^ost. 8 ; Porphyr. /. c.)

He survived his restoration, only three years and a half (Porphyr. ib.) ; of the events of which period we have no information ; but as Ptolemy was now supported by a large body of Roman soldiers who had been left behind by Gabinius for his protection, he was safe from any outbreak of popular discontent. On the other hand seditions and tumults of the soldiery themselves became frequent, and the king was repeatedly compelled to give way to their de­mands (Caes. B. C. iii. 103, 110 ; Dion Cass. xlii. 5). The immense sum exacted from him by Gabinius had also involved him in pecuniary em­barrassments, and he was compelled to surrender the whole finances of his kingdom into the hands of Rabirius Postumus. (Cic. pro Rabir. 10.)

His death took place in May b. c. 51 (see Cic. ad Fain. viii. 4), after a reign of twenty-nine years from the date of his first accession. He left two sons, both named Ptolemy, and two daughters, Cleopatra and Arsinoe. Two other daughters, Tryphaena and Berenice, had died before him (Porphyr. /. c. p. 118). Besides the titles already mentioned, Ptolemy Auletes bears, in inscriptions, both Greek and hieroglyphic, those of Philopator and Philadelphus. None of these, however, appear on his coins. [E. H. B.]


PTOLEMAEUS XII. (nroAe/xcuos)* king of egypt, was the eldest son of Ptolemy XI. Aule­tes, He is commonly said to have borne the sur­name of Dionysus, in imitation of his father, but there appears to be no authority for this assertion. By his father's will the sovereign power was left to himself and his sister Cleopatra jointly, and this arrangement was carried into effect without oppo­sition, b. c. 51. Auletes had also referred the execution of his will to the Roman senate, and the latter accepted the office, confirmed its provisions and bestowed on Pompey the title of guardian of



the young king (Caes. B. C. iii. 108 ; Eutrop. vi. 21). But the approach of the civil war prevented them from taking any active part, and the admi­ nistration of affairs fell into the hands of an eunuch named Pothinus. It was not long before dissensions broke out between the latter and Cleopatra, which ended in the expulsion of the princess, after she had reigned in conjunction with her brother about three years, b. c. 48. Hereupon she took refuge in Syria, and assembled an army with which she invaded Egypt. The young king, accompanied by his guardians, met her at Pelu- sium, and it was while the two armies were here encamped opposite to one another, that Pompey landed in Egypt, to throw himself as a suppliant on the protection of Ptolemy ; but was assassinated by the orders of Pothinus and Achillas before he could obtain an interview with the king himself. (Caes. B. C. iii. 103, 104 ; Dion Cass. xlii. 3, 4 ; Plut. Pomp. 77—79 ; Appian, B. C. ii. 84, 85 ; Strab. xvii. p. 797.) Shortly after, Caesar arrived in Egypt, and took upon himself to regulate the affairs of that kingdom, and settle the dispute be­ tween Ptolemy and his sister. But Cleopatra, who now hastened to return to Alexandria, soon ob­ tained so powerful a hold over the conqueror by the influence of her personal attractions, that it was evident the latter would decide the contro­ versy in her favour. Hereupon Pothinus deter­ mined to excite an insurrection against Caesar, and secretly summoned the army from Pelusium under Achillas. Caesar was taken by surprise, and had to maintain his ground with very inadequate forces in a part of the city where he was vehemently assailed both by the army and the populace. Ptolemy himself was at this time in the power of the conqueror, but after the contest had continued for some time, he obtained permission to repair to the camp of the insurgents, under pretence of exercising his authority to reduce them to submis­ sion ; instead of which he immediately put him­ self at their head. Caesar, however, still defied all their efforts ; and, meanwhile, Mithridates of Pergamus had assembled an army in Syria, with which he advanced to the relief of the dictator. Ptolemy now turned his arms against this new enemy, and took up a strong position on the banks of the Nile to prevent Mithridates from crossing that river. Caesar himself, however, quickly ar­ rived from Alexandria, landed near the mouth of the Nile, attacked and defeated the forces of the young king, and followed up his advantage by storming his camp. Ptolemy himself endeavoured to escape by the river, but was drowned in the attempt. His death occurred either before the close of b. c. 48, or early in the following year. (Caes. B.C. iii. 106—112 ; Hirt. B.Aleoc. 1—31 ; Dion,Cass. xlii. 7—9, 34 -43 ; Plut. Caes. 48, 49 ; Liv. Epit. cxii. ; Ap­ pian, B. C. ii. 89, 90 ; Porphyr. ap. Euseb. Ann. p. 118.) [E. H.B.]

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