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 Arsinoe II

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PostSubject: Arsinoe II   Sun Dec 20, 2009 8:15 pm

Arsinoe II


Dynasty XXXII
316-271 B.C.E.






The story of Arsinoe II's life is
much like a Greek tragic play. It is filled with death, greed, and intrigue.
Arsinoe II (316-271 B.C.E.) was the daughter of King
Ptolemy I and was married to King
Lysimachus of Thrace at sixteen years of age. Now, at this time, her life was
going exceptional well, she gave her husband three boys and in return she got
whatever she wanted. Unfortunately, all good things come to an end.

When her husband died, she was
offered a deal by a potential second mate. If she married him, she was promised
to rule Thrace. This marriage, however, was a scam. Her second husband only
wanted to get close to her sons to kill them. When he had succeeded in killing
two of her sons and the third fled for his life, she returned to her homeland
with a plan to gain power in Egypt. When she got there however, she was
welcomed by a technicality that could destroy her plan.

King Ptolemy I, Arsinoe's father
had a son (Ptolemy II) the current king of Egypt. If that is not surprisingly
enough, he was married to King Lysimachus' daughter Arsinoe I (282-247 B.C.E.).
This little discovery put as kink in her plans, but Arsinoe II started to
romance and win her brother's heart. By the year 278 B.C.E. Ptolemy II saw his
wife, Arsinoe I as a threat, and he accused her of complicity in a plot to have
him killed. Consequently, she was banished to Coptos in Upper Egypt. Arsinoe II
took this opportunity and shortly afterward married her brother in accordance
with Egyptian royal customs. Thus fulfilling the role of stepmother and
sister-in-law to Arsinoe I.

As a result of her new-found
husband, she quickly became the true ruler of the country and was a key figure
in court politics. Like all devoured by power and greed, once you taste it you
want more. She was given divine statues and coinage was issued in her name, but
it did not stop there. She wanted to reach the status of a goddess and actively
pushed Arsinoe worship to achieve this task. Throughout this whole time she
never gave her husband any children due to her personal philosophy. She
believed that they only grew up and plotted and executed the deaths of their
parents.

In the end she died at the age of
forty-five, thus, leaving us to ponder what she may have arose to if she had
lived longer. Ptolemy II built a shrine and had many cities named for her after
death. So as you can see, the life of Arsinoe II was that of a tragic
tale.

by: Chris Carpenter


Last edited by Admin on Tue Dec 22, 2009 7:37 pm; edited 1 time in total
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PostSubject: Arsinoe II   Sun Dec 20, 2009 8:22 pm





OctadrachmHead of Ptolemy II Philadelphus (309-246 BC), with Arsinoe II ( 316-270 BC).


Pergamonmuseum Berlin (Source)



Arsinoe II ( 316-270 BC), queen of Thrace and later co-ruler of Egypt with her brother and husband Ptolemy II of Egypt.



Arsinoe II was first married to King Lysimachus of Thrace,
to whom she bore three sons. After his death in battle in 281 BC, she
fled to Cassandrea and married her half-brother Ptolemy Keraunos. This
proved to be a serious misjudgement, as Ptolemy Ceraunus promptly
killed two of her sons; the third was able to escape. Arsinoe fled
again, this time to Alexandria, Egypt.









Arsinoe's rotunda in Samothrace , dedicated to the gods by Arsinoe II of Egypt, [Source].
Ther rotunda is the largest closed, round building known from Greek
architecture. See :Karl Lehmann , Samothrace, Volume 7: The Rotunda of
Arsinoe, 1992 , Princeton University Press ; ISBN: 0691099197


















In
Egypt, she probably instigated the accusation and exile of her brother
Ptolemy II's first wife, Arsinoe I of Egypt. Arsinoe II then married
her brother; as a result, both were given the epithet "Philadelphoi"
("Brother-Loving") by the scandalized Greeks. Arsinoe II shared all of
her brother's titles and apparently was quite influential, having towns
dedicated to her, her own cult (as was Egyptian custom), and appearing
on coinage. Apparently, she contributed greatly to foreign policy,
including Ptolemy's victory in the First Syrian War (274-271 BC)
between Egypt and the Seleucid Empire in the Middle East. After her
death Ptolemy II continued to refer to her on official documents, as
well as supporting her coinage and cult.








Arsinoe II gold Octadrachm wearing high stephane and veil,, Double Cornucopia symbol



Dekadrachm: Arsinoe II, wearing high stephane and veil, around circle of dots
Double cornucipiae bound with long fillet, around circle of dots, Text
"Arsinoes Philadelphou", Arsinoe (wife) of Philadelphus.



Arsinoe II, Vatican
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