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Ptolemaic Dynasty

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Dynasties of Ancient Egypt
Predynastic Period
Protodynastic Period
Early Dynastic Period
1st 2nd
Old Kingdom
3rd 4th 5th 6th
First Intermediate Period
7th 8th 9th 10th
11th (Thebes only)
Middle Kingdom
11th (All Egypt)
12th 13th 14th
Second Intermediate Period
15th 16th 17th
New Kingdom
18th 19th 20th
Third Intermediate Period
21st 22nd 23rd 24th 25th
Late Period
26th 27th 28th
29th 30th 31st
Graeco-Roman Period
Alexander the Great
Ptolemaic Dynasty


The Ptolemaic dynasty was a Hellenistic royal family which ruled over Egypt for nearly 300 years, from 305 BCE to 30 BCE.

Ptolemy, a Macedonian and one of Alexander the Great's generals, was appointed satrap of Egypt after Alexander's death in 323 BCE. In 305 BCE, he declared himself King Ptolemy I, later known as "Soter" (saviour). The Egyptians soon accepted the Ptolemies as the successors to the pharaohs of independent Egypt. Ptolemy's family ruled Egypt until the Roman conquest of 30 BCE.

All the male rulers of the dynasty took the name Ptolemy. Ptolemaic queens, some of whom were the sisters of their husbands, were usually called Cleopatra, Arsinoe or Berenice. The most famous member of the line was the last queen, Cleopatra VII, known for her role in the Roman political battles between Julius Caesar and Pompey, and later between Octavian and Mark Antony. Her suicide at the conquest by Rome marked the end of Ptolemaic rule in Egypt.

Ptolemaic rulers and consorts

The dates in brackets are regnal dates for the kings. They frequently ruled jointly with their wives, who were often also their sisters. Several queens exercised regal authority, but the most famous and successful was Cleopatra VII (51 BCE-30 BCE), with her two brothers and her son as successive nominal co-rulers. Several systems exist for numbering the later rulers; the one used here is the one most widely used by modern scholars. Dates are years of reign.

Other members of the Ptolemaic dynasty

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