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Cleopatra VI

Bust of Cleopatra VI

Cleopatra VI Tryphaena
(Greek: Κλεοπάτρα Τρύφαινα) was an Egyptian Ptolemaic princess.

Her parentage is disputed, and she may, in fact, be three separate individuals:

  • Some sources list her as the daughter of Ptolemy VIII Physcon and Cleopatra III, possibly conflating her with Cleopatra Selene[1] or with Cleopatra V,[2] who is often called Cleopatra V Tryphaena. (Cleopatra V's parentage is likewise disputed; she's also called the daughter of Mithradates of Pontus.) This Cleopatra VI may have been born in early 140 BC or 141 BC. She married Antiochus VIII Grypus, king of Syria, in 124 B, and bore him four sons: Seleucus VI Epiphanes, Antiochus XI Epiphanes, Demetrius III Eucaerus, and Antiochus XII Dionysus.
  • She may have been the daughter of Ptolemy IX Soter II Lathyros and an unknown Egyptian woman[3] or Cleopatra Selene[4]. If so, she was also the sister/wife of Ptolemy XII Auletes and possibly a sister of a Cleopatra V. This Cleopatra VI would have been born c. 125 BC. As the second wife of her brother Ptolemy Auletes, Cleopatra VI Tryphaena had a daughter Arsinoe and two sons Ptolemy Philometor and Ptolemy Philopater. She was co-regent with her brother and sister, until her mysterious disappearance from the records in 69 BC.
  • Other sources list her as the daughter of Ptolemy XII Auletes, [5] which would make her an older sister of the famous Cleopatra VII.[6] If so, her birth year would correctly be c. 75 BC. Some sources say she died as a child.[7] Others say that when Ptolemy XII fled to Rome to avoid an uprising in Alexandria against him, her niece Berenice IV took control of Egypt. This Cleopatra VI then died in 57 BC of unknown reasons, although it is believed Berenice IV poisoned her. When her father later regained power he had Berenice IV executed.


Preceded by:
Ptolemy XII
Pharaoh of Egypt
Ptolemaic Dynasty
Succeeded by:
Cleopatra V and Berenice IV

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