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Ptolemaeus X.

*Ptolemai=os), king of EGYPT, son of the preceding, bore his father's name of Alexander, whence he is styled PTOLEMAEUS ALEXANDER II. When a mere child, he was sent by his grandmother Cleopatra for safety to the island of Cos, probably as early as B. C. 102 (see J. AJ 13.13.1), where he remained till the year B. C. 88, when that island was taken by Mithridates the Great. On this occasion Alexander fell into the hands of the conqueror, who treated him with the utmost distinction, and retained him at his own court. But the young prince soon after found an opportunity to escape, and took refuge with Sulla, whom He accompanied on his return to Rome. Here he remained till B. C. 81, when the death of Ptolemy Lathyrus without male issue having left the throne of Egypt vacant, Sulla, who was then dictator, nominated the young Alexander (who had obtained a high place in his favour) king of Egypt, and sent him to take possession of the crown. It was, however, agreed, in deference to the claims of Cleopatra Berenice, the daughter of Lathyrus, whom the Alexandrians had already placed on the throne, that Alexander should marry her, and admit her to share the sovereign power. He complied with the letter of this treaty by marrying Cleopatra immediately on his arrival in Egypt, but only nineteen days afterwards caused her to be assassinated: an act of cruelty which aroused the indignation of the Alexandrians, who in consequence rose against their new monarch, dragged him to the gymnasium, and there put him to death, B. C. 80. (Porphyr. apud Euseb. Arm. p. 117; Appian. Mithr. 23, B. C. 1.102 ; Cic. Frag. Or. de rege Alexandr. p. 352, ed. Orell. ; Trog. Pomp. Prolog. xxxix.)

Much difficulty and perplexity have arisen in regard to an Alexander king of Egypt, who is alluded to in more than one passage by Cicero, as having bequeathed his dominions by will to the Roman people (Cic. de Leg. agrar. 1.1, 2.16, 17 ; Fr. de reg. Alexandrino, p. 350). It appears that the fact of this bequest was by no means very certain, and that it never was acted upon by the Roman senate. But authors are not at all agreed which of the two Alexanders is here meant; and some writers have even deemed it necessary to admit the existence of a third king of the name of Alexander, who died about B. C. 65. The silence of the chronographers seems, however, conclusive against this hypothesis. Niebuhr, on the contrary, conceives Ptolemy Alexander I. to have lived on in exile till the year 65, and to have been the author of this testament: but this is opposed to the direct testimony of Porphyry as to his death. Other writers suppose Alexander II. to be the person designed, and adopt the statement of Trogus Pompeius that he was only expelled by the Alexandrians, in opposition to the authority of Porphyry and Appian, confirmed as they are by a passage in Cicero, in regard to his death. (See on this subject Clinton, F. H. vol. iii. p. 392; Champollion-Figeac, Annales dies Lagides, vol. ii. p. 247 ; Visconti, Iconographie Grecqie, vol. iii. p. 251 ; Niebuhr, Kl. Sc]riften, p. 302; Orelli, Onomast. Tullian. p. 30.) The fragmentary and imperfect nature of our authorities for this period of Egyptian history renders it scarcely possible to arrive at a satisfactory solution of this question.


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    • Flavius Josephus, Jewish Antiquities, 13.13.1
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