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  #1  
Old 12-02-2008, 06:14 PM
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Ancient Egyptian Dynasties to the Ptolemies of Egypt & Palestine

After Alexander the Great's death, his empire was broken up into smaller kingdoms by his generals.

The general Ptolemy took Egypt and a few surrounding territories and founded a dynasty which lasted until the reign of the Roman Emperor Augustus.

What I don't understand is, why did the Greek Ptolemy family suddenly embrace Ancient Egyptian practice of royal incest? And from that point on, marry their own siblings, in some cases father-daughter marriages, and even multiple marriages (ie, two brothers married to the same sister, simultaneously).

Also, as everyone knows, the last ruler of the dynasty was the infamous Cleopatra, who comitted suicide.

Her sons, Ceasarion, Ptolemy, and Alexander Helios all died as children.
But her daughter Cleopatra Selene survived, married a client-King of the Roman Empire, and had issue. Supposedly Zenobia of Palmyra was her descendant, and through Zenobia's surviving son, the blood of the Ptolemies eventually entered the Byzantine Imperial house, and from there passing to western royal houses, and eventually Queen Elizabeth II herself.
Anyone know if this is true?
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Old 12-02-2008, 06:36 PM
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It's a very interesting thread,Velasco!Congratulations!!
I'm not sure (don't think anyone can be...) about QEII's bloodline.About your first question:don't forget that Alexander himself opened the way for the "mixture" of the then known religions.All these combined with the general corruption of that era....the Ptolemies could not have done anything better.If you're really interested about this time of History I suggest you read the "History of the Hellenistic world" written by Hans-Joachim Gehrke.
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Old 12-02-2008, 07:59 PM
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Thanks!
I will see if I can find that book here in Brazil, there's no use ordering it from Amazon and having it posted here as it'd just get stolen.


Just for curiosity, here is the supposed bloodline:

1. Cleopatra VII = (4) Mark Anthony, Roman general
2. Cleopatra Selene = Juba II, King of Mauretania (d.23AD) [his 1st wife]
3. Ptolemy King of Mauretania (d.40 AD) = (1) Mariam[mne], (2) Urania [Julia], daughter of Phraates IV, King of Parthia and his wife Thea Urania
5. Drusilla = (1) Felix, Governor of Judea, [the husband of three princesses, called "queens", all named Drusilla], divorced and (2) Sohaemus, King of Emessa 54-73 AD, & begot
6. Caius Julius Alexio (d78) [his two sisters were: (1) Iotape, wife of Rabbel II "Soter", King of Nabataea 71-106; and (2) Mamaea, wife of M. Ant. Polemo]; = Claudia, daughter of Appius Calpurnius Piso & Servilia, daughter of Claudius, Roman Emperor 41-54; begot
7. Mamaea [daughter] [her brother was: Caius Julius Silas]; = Malchus, King of Pamyra, begot
8. Zenobius, begot
9. C. Julius Bassus Nassum (d.179 AD), begot
10. Malchus, begot
11. Malchus, begot
12. Jul. Aur. Zenobius, Governor of Palmyra AD 229, = Zabbai of Arabia [descendant of Rabbel II "Soter", King of Nabataea 71-106, &, wife, Iotape, daughter of Sohaemus, King of Emena, &, wife, Drusilla, #5 above], begot,
13. Zenobia [Theoclea], Queen of Palmyra 267-273, deposed; dc 290 AD, = (1) Septimius Odenathus, King of Palmyra [his 2nd]; (2) a Roman Senator [his 2nd],
14. Wahballtes [Vaballatus], sole surviving son of 1st husband (325), begot,
15. Odenathus (350)
16. Eusebius (375)
17. Flavianus (400)
18. Eusebius (430)
19. Diogenes (460) = Cyrina of Damascus
20. Theodora = Acacius (d.500), worked in a circus
21. Theodora, Empress (d.548) [her sisters were: Comitio and Anastasia]; = (1) Helebolus, a Syrian noble (2) Justinian 'The Great', Byzantine Emp. 527-565
22. Theodora [daughter], called simply "a Byzantine noble woman" by contemporary writers, who considered her illegitimate; = Anastasius, a Roman/Byzantine noble, she begot,
23. Johanes [John] = Georgia
24. Georgia = Areobindus [son of Anastasius by 2nd wife, Juliana, a Roman/Byzantine princess]
25. Juliana = Atanagildo, Visigoth Prince of Spain
26. Ardebasto = [...]godo of Burgundy
27. Ervigio, King of Spain 680-687 = Liubigotana
28. Aupais = Pepin II of Heristal, Majordomo of France, d.714
29. Charles "Martel", Duke of France 737-741; = Rotrude, daughter of St. Lievin, Bishop of Treves; begot
30. Pepin [III] "Le Korte", Majordomo and then King of France [usurper] 751-768; = Bertha "The White Lady" (d783), daughter of Caribert of Laon (d747) & Bertha (d735), sister of Clothaire IV, King of France; issue:
31. CHARLEMAGNE, Holy Roman Emperor 800 (d814); = Hildegarde of Swabia (d783) begot
32. Pepin, King of Italy (d.810) = Bertha of Toulouse, begot
33. Bernard, King of Italy (d.818) = Kunigunde of Austrasia (d835), begot
34. Pepin, Seigneur of Peronne et St Quentin (d.842) = Rothaide of Vermandois
35. Heribert I, Count of Vermandois (d902) = Bertha of Morvois
36. Heribert II, Count of Vermandois (d.943) = Liegarde [Alice], daughter of Robert I, King of France
37. Robert, Count of Troyes (d.967/75) = Adelaide de Challons,
38. Adelaide (d.978/82) = Geoffrey I, Count of Anjou (d987)
39. Ermengarde (d992) = Conan I "Le Tort", Duke of Brittany (d.994)
40. Judith (d.1017) = Richard II, Duke of Normandy (d1027)
41. Robert "Diablo" ["The Devil"], Duke of Normandy (d1035) ~ (1) Herleve [Arlette], daughter of Fulbert "The Tanner" of Falaise, wife of Herluin, Count of Conteville; =(1) Estrith (d.1034) [her 2nd], half-sister of King Canute of England and Denmark, begot by his mistress Herleve;
42. William "The Conqueror", King of England 1066 and Duke of Normandy, d.1087, = Mathilda (d.1083), daughter of Baldwin V, Count of Flanders

And from there you just follow the British line of succession through the Norman, Angevin (Plantagenet, Lancaster and Yorkist), Tudor, Stuart, Hanover, Saxe-Coburg-Gotha turn Windsor, to the present day and monarch
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Old 12-02-2008, 08:55 PM
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V, from what I understood from the last Cleopatra (have a book, can't remember if I loaned it out! :arg: ) the Ptolomies knew that to be accepted they had to adopt and adapt to the Egyptians way of things, pagentry, gods, bloodlines.
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Old 12-03-2008, 08:16 AM
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I agree with Russo.But,to be precise,they actually "mixed" all those religious elements from Egypt(first of all),Asia and Greece.
Velasco,wow!Good job!!
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Old 12-03-2008, 05:52 PM
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It's a very important document:their King asking and believing what a non-Greek oracle says (the oracle of Siba in Egypt).A real turning point:from then on they started considering him a God...It's the first time in Greek history that worshiping a king is accepted.Which is something completely strange and unfamiliar to the Greek free spirit of the 5th-4th century BC.Needless to say,the "gates" were open for many other odd costumes and habbits to come...
By the way,another interesting book is "The Hellenistic World" written by Frank W. Walbank.

PS.I just read that Alexander's mother was named Cleopatra.If we're talking about Great Alexander,it was Olympiada.
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Old 12-04-2008, 02:31 AM
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to say the above lineage is speculative is putting it mildly. if the source is who I think it is, it is a combination of guesswork, wishful thinking and the speculation of another author
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Old 12-04-2008, 04:42 AM
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I am writing a paper about the self-presentation of the Ptolemaic kings and queens. About the brother and sister marriage I have found the following theories:

The first theory is that the pharaohs already knew this kind of marriages. The second theory calls it a general Egyptian religious custom. The third theory describes it as a custom of the Persian kings and the last one as a Greek custom.[1] But which of these theories is true? According to Hermans (who wrote a book about this in Dutch) it is true that pharaohs married their sisters or half sisters sometimes. There is some evidence from this practice from 18th and 19th dynasty. So it is possible that the Ptolemy’s heard about this practice, the problem is however that this practice was not known anymore by the last pharaohs. So if it ever was a tradition it was not a tradition anymore by the time of the Ptolemy’s.[2]
About the second theory Hermans is not sure. It’s true that some Egyptian gods were married to their sisters. There is some evidence of commoners who married their sister, but this evidence is not really satisfying. It is possible that only the kings married their sisters, because they were seen as gods. But she’s not convinced that it was a real general religious practice. [3]

There is also some critique on the whole idea that the Ptolemy’s took over an Egyptian practice. The first three Ptolemaic kings reigned as Macedonian kings and saw the Egyptians as barbarians, according to Hermans. So why should they take over such an ancient practice?[4] I don’t think this argument makes sense, because the Ptolemy’s took over more traditions of the pharaohs. So they did not see all Egyptian traditions as
barbarian.
If there was no Egyptian tradition, than there must have been another example. Some historians think that it therefore had to be a Persian custom. The Seleucid kings also knew the practice so that’s an argument in favor of this theory. According to Hermans there must be more survey on this subject before we can determine or it is true or not. She thinks that the theory is at least as plausible as the theory that it is an Egyptian custom.[5]
Hermans thinks that it was certainly not a Greek custom. In the evidence from Greece and Macedonia we see that it was seen as a dubious practice there.

In other words the ancient historians do not know exactly were the practice of brother and sister marriages came from.

[1] R . Hermans, Het broer-zuster huwelijk in Romeins Egypte, (Amsterdam, 2007) 20 and 21

[2] Idem 21-26

[3] Idem 22-26

[4] Idem 26

[5] Idem 26 and 27
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Old 12-04-2008, 05:05 AM
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The mythological example set by Osiris and his sister Isis,and Set and his sister Neith were the models that were followed through many Dynasties. The incestuous relations could include marriage to the PerAh's (Pharaoh's) own mother if no sisters were available.
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Old 12-04-2008, 05:09 AM
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I know nothing really about this, but in a book I read recently it said that the Egyptian "throne" could only be inherited by the female line so the only way for a young Prince to hold on to power was by marrying his sister . Is there any truth in this?
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Old 12-04-2008, 05:26 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by iakynthi View Post
Alexander himself accepted the prophecy (which wasn't clear of course) that he was the son of Ammon Ra,in other words,the son of a God...
It has been suggested that Egyptian religion was monotheistic,because all gods and godesses were representative of different aspects of the sun.Amun was the sun at night,the Egyptians were afraid of what the sun was doing then,since everything had been anthropomorphized, they thought that Amun might be up to no good.
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Old 12-04-2008, 07:39 AM
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- Obviously I have no idea if the family tree I posted is true or not, and would welcome anyone who can prove or disprove it. Either way I find it highly interesting !

- Alexander the Great initially presented himself as a demi-God, the son of Zeus with a mortal woman . In typical Greek mythological fashion, Zeus had appeared either as a snake or in the form of King Philip, and layed with Olympias, Alexander's mother. At Alexander's instigation, Greek culture was spread throughout the East. The most important local divinities were associated with the Greek pantheon, especially the head or chief God with Zeus, with Alexander being in turn depicted as the son of that God (in the case of Egypt, Ammon-Ra).

- As for the Egyptian throne being inherited in the female line, not sure about...Most new dynasties were founded by men, usually Generals or viziers, without any close relation to the last Pharaoh of the preceeding dynasty. Although, there definitely seems to have been a preference for the succession of sons of Great Royal Wifes (ie, either the Pharaoh's sister, mother or daughter) instead of sons of mere concubines or foreign princesses. In the cases that the sons of concubines succeeded, they usyally married into the existing lineage.

Example: Thutmose I was the son of a military man and a commoner called Senseneb. He married Ahmose, very likely the sister of his predecessor Amenhotep I. Although some people reckon that he married her to secure the succession, Thutmose was associated with Amenhotep long before Amenhoetp's death, and his eldest son by Ahmose, Amenmose, was born during Amenhotep's reign. Unfortunately, both his sons by Ahmose died, leaving only the son of a "lesser" (non-royal) wife, Mutnofret. This son, Thutmose II, married his fully-royal sister, Hatshepsut, but again, they had no son.

Thutmose II had a son by a concubine Iset, Thutmose III, who married Hatshepsut's daughter Neferue. However, Hapshepsut usurped the throne and made herself Pharaoh, with Nefereu as her Queen (mother-daughter marriage?!). Neferue was possibly the mother of his eldest son Amenemhat, but he died young, as did Neferure, and the main line of the royal family died out.

So obviously the preference was for the sons of royal wives (always a sister/daughter of the Queen) and in their absence, for the sons of lesser wives married to royal princesses.
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Old 12-04-2008, 07:47 AM
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Also from what I can tell, Ptolemy I and his descendants were the only surviving heirs of Alexander the Great.

Alexander's own son was put to death, as was his brother Philip and sisters Cynane, Thessalonike and Cleopatra.

Cynane married her cousin Amyntas and had one daughter, Adea/ Eurydice, who married her half-brother Philip. They were all put to death and had no issue.

Thessalonike had issue but they all killed each other off.

Cleopatra was Alexander's only full sister and married their uncle, King Alexander I of Epirus, they had two children: Neoptolemus II of Epirus and Cadmeia. I have no idea what became of them. After refusing a whole bunch of marriage offers from Alexander's generals, Cleopatra eventually agreed to marry Ptolemy I Soter (her half-brother) but was captured, imprisoned and died.
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Old 12-04-2008, 08:09 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Velasco View Post
- Obviously I have no idea if the family tree I posted is true or not, and would welcome anyone who can prove or disprove it. Either way I find it highly interesting !
Once upon a time it was very fashionable to follow up a family tree from the ancient world to middle-age kings in Europe.
So maybe this family-tree is a nice story.
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Old 12-04-2008, 08:20 AM
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[quote=Franz;862842]
Quote:
Originally Posted by Velasco View Post
- Obviously I have no idea if the family tree I posted is true or not, and would welcome anyone who can prove or disprove it. Either way I find it highly interesting !

Once upon a time it was very fashionable to follow up a family tree from the ancient world to middle-age kings in Europe.
So maybe this family-tree is a nice story.
In more remote times individuals would include gods and godesses in their family trees. The Caesars included Etruscan Kings in their lineage,saying that they were descended from Lars Porsena and the Tarquins,which was most likely a fiction. And fictional descent from Romulus and Remus was popular.
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Old 12-05-2008, 11:03 AM
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Queen Cleopatra

"Because Caesarion was Julius Caesar's son and might pose a threat to Octavian's power, Octavian had the boy strangled by his tutor. Cleopatra's other children were sent to Rome to be raised by Octavia. Cleopatra Selene married King Juba II of Mauretania and had two children, Ptolemy and Drusilla. No one knows what happened to Alexander Helios and Ptolemy Philadelphus. "

i always found it facinating Octavia raised Antony's children with Cleopatra and wondered if she was a kind, open hearted woman or had no choice.
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Old 12-05-2008, 11:23 AM
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She probably didn't have much to do with them, as far as I know most royal and noble ladies from Ancient times to recently (ie, last century) had little to do with the actual day-to-day care and education of their children. Tutors, nannies, governesses, and slaves did most of the parenting
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Old 12-05-2008, 08:36 PM
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Quote:
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Thutmose II had a son by a concubine Iset, Thutmose III, who married Hatshepsut's daughter Neferue. However, Hapshepsut usurped the throne and made herself Pharaoh, with Nefereu as her Queen (mother-daughter marriage?!). Neferue was possibly the mother of his eldest son Amenemhat, but he died young, as did Neferure, and the main line of the royal family died out.

So obviously the preference was for the sons of royal wives (always a sister/daughter of the Queen) and in their absence, for the sons of lesser wives married to royal princesses.
But Hatshepsut ruled as a man, even wearing the beard.
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Old 12-06-2008, 03:58 AM
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But Hatshepsut ruled as a man, even wearing the beard.
Yes but all Egyptian Pharoahs wore the false beards.Body hair of any kind was thought to be unclean so it was always removed. False beards for men and wigs for the ladies.
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Old 12-07-2008, 01:36 AM
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Yes but all Egyptian Pharoahs wore the false beards.Body hair of any kind was thought to be unclean so it was always removed. False beards for men and wigs for the ladies.
Not only was it "unclean" but it SMELLED!! So they shaved and waxed. Very modern thinking if you as me!
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