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Ptolemaeus

*Ptolemai=os), king of MAURITANIA, was the son and successor of Juba II. By his mother Cleopatra he was descended from the kings of Egypt, whose name he bore. The period of his accession and the death of his father cannot be determined with certainty, but we know that Ptolemy was already on the throne when Strabo wrote, about 18 or 19, A. D. (Strab. xvii. pp. 828, 840; Clinton. F. H. vol. iii. p. 203.) He was at this time very young, and the administration of affairs fell in consequence, in great measure, into the hands of his freedmen. Great disorders ensued, and many of the Mauritanians joined the standard of the Numidian Tacfarinas, who carried on a predatory warfare against the Romans. But in A. D. 24 Tacfarinas himself was defeated and killed by P. Dolabella, and Ptolemny himself rendered such efficient assistance to the Roman general in his campaign, that an embassy was sent to reward him, after the ancient fashion, with the presents of a toga picta and sceptre, as a sign of the friendship of the Roman people. (Tac. Ann. 4.23-26.) He continued to reign without interruption till A. D. 40, when he was summoned to Rome by Caligula, and shortly after put to death, his great riches having excited the cupidity of the emperor. (D. C. 59.25; Suet. Cal. 26; Senec. de Tranquil. 11.) We learn nothing from history of his character; but from the circumstance that a statue was erected in his honour by the Athenians (Stuart's Antiq. of Athens, vol. iii. p. 55; Visconti, Iconographie Grecque, vol. iii. p. 275), we may probably infer that he inherited something of his father's taste for literature. The annexed coin belongs to this Ptolemy; the curule chair and sceptre, on the reverse, probably refer to the honours decreed him by the Roman senate, as already mentioned.

[E.H.B]

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