In our previous blogs, we have discussed the incredibly interesting life of Alexander the Great. Born the son of conquerer Philip II, Alexander the Great conquered a vast empire and never once experienced defeat in battle. Alexander’s vast empire included Egypt, and after his death in 323 BCE, Alexander’s close friend and advisor Ptolemy I Soter assumed control over Egypt. Before Alexander the Great conquered Egypt, the country was oppressed under the rule of Persians. Egyptian culture and religion was not recognized or even respected under the rule of the Persians. However, Ptolemy respected and even worshipped the Egyptian gods in an effort to connect with the Egyptian people. Let’s explore some more interesting facts about Ptolemy I Soter:
Philip II, Ptolemy, and Alexander the Great
Although Ptolemy was referred to as the son of Lagus, many people believed him to be the illegitimate son of Philip II. Ptolemy’s mother, Arsinoe of Macedon, was one of Philip’s concubines, so the rumors could very well be true. Despite the father that they may or may not have shared, Alexander the Great and Ptolemy were good friends.
Banished From The Court
Towards the end of Philip II’s life, his relationship with Alexander the Great soured. Ptolemy supported Alexander’s quarrel with Philip II, and as a result, he was banished from Macedonia. Philip II considered Ptolemy to be a dangerous advisor to his son and banished him from the court.
Death Of Philip II
In 336 BCE, Philip II was assassinated by a group of noblemen, and Ptolemy was able to return to the court. Fully supporting Alexander’s claim to the throne, Alexander the Great appointed Ptolemy as Companion, Life-guard, and Seneschal. Basically, a seneschal means that Ptolemy had authority over the domestic arrangements in the royal court.
Ptolemy in Egypt
Ptolemy helped to advise and support Alexander the Great in overthrowing the Persians from power in much of the Asia Minor. Eastern Greece was also liberated from Persian rule under Alexander the Great after an extensive military campaign. In Egypt, Ptolemy helped Alexander the Great to peacefully conquer the country. At this time, Ptolemy developed a keen interest in Egypt and recognized its geographic importance.
Ruler of Egypt
Upon the mysterious death of Alexander the Great in 3232 BCE, Ptolemy quickly assumed the throne in Egypt. Unfortunately, much of Alexander the Great’s empire experienced infighting, and Ptolemy declared Egypt independent in 306 BCE. Ptolemy’s dynasty would end up lasing until the death of Cleopatra in 30 BCE.
Ancient Egyptian Coins
At Ancient Gold Coins, we feature a great selection of ancient Egyptian coins spanning the Ptolemaic dynasty. Some of the coins we offer include the Arsinoe II Gold Octadrachm (270- 68 BCE), the Ptolemy III Gold Octadrachm (246-222 BCE), and the Ptolemaic Kingdom Ptolemy III Gold AV Tetradrachm. Truly exquisite, these coins display Ptolemy II as well as some of the Ptolemaic wives, including Arsinoe and Berenice.
Are you interested in starting an ancient coin collection? We have a variety of antique gold coins, including ancient Egyptian coins, ancient Greek coins, and antique Roman coins. Contact Ancient Gold Coins today for more information.