Ptolemy XII Auletes

Ptolemy XII Auletes

Ptolemy Neos Dionysos Theos Philopator Theos Philadelphos ( _el. polytonic|Πτολεμαῖος Νέος Διόνυσος Θεός Φιλοπάτωρ Θεός Φιλάδελφος, "Ptolemaĩos Néos Diónusos Theós Philopátōr Theós Philádelphos"), New Dionysus, God Beloved of his Father, God Beloved of his Brother) (117 BC–51 BC) was king of Egypt from 80 BC to 58 BC and from 55 BC until his death in 51 BC. He was of Macedonian descent and son of Ptolemy IX Soter II. His mother was probably Cleopatra IV of Egypt. He was more commonly known as "Auletes" (The Flutist) ( _gr. Αὐλητής, "Aulētḗs"), or "Nothos" (The Bastard) ( _gr. Νόθος, "Nóthos").


In 80 BC, Ptolemy XII succeeded Ptolemy XI to the throne of Egypt. The latter had been lynched by an angry crowd, after he had killed his popular coregent Berenice III, who was incidentally also a daughter of Ptolemy IX Soter II. When Ptolemy XI died without a male heir, the only available male descendents of the Ptolemy I lineage were the illegitimate sons of Ptolemy IX by an unknown Alexandrian Greek concubine (Clayton, 1994) . The boys were living in exile in Sinope, at the court of Mithridates VI, King of Pontus. The eldest of the boys was proclaimed king as Ptolemy XII Neos Dionysos and married his sister, Tryphaena.

At first, Ptolemy XII was coregent with his daughter Cleopatra VI Tryphaena and his wife Cleopatra V Tryphaena, but the former mysteriously disappears from the records in 69 BC.

Ptolemy XII's personal cult name ("Neos Dionysos") earned him the ridiculing sobriquet "Auletes" (flute player) — as we learn from Strabo's writing (Strabo XVII, 1, 11):

"Now all at kings after the third Ptolemy, being corrupted by luxurious living, have administered the affairs of government badly, but worst of all the fourth, seventh, and the last, Auletes, who, apart from his general licentiousness, practised the accompaniment of choruses with the flute, and upon this he prided himself so much that he would not hesitate to celebrate contests in the royal palace, and at these contests would come forward to vie with the opposing contestants."

During his reign, Ptolemy XII tried to secure his own fate and the fate of his dynasty by means of a pro-Roman policy. At the height of his success in 59 BC, after paying substantial bribes to Julius Caesar and Pompey, a formal alliance was formed ("foedera") and his name was inscribed into the list of friends and allies of the people of Rome ("amici et socii populi Romani"). However in 58 BC after he failed to comment on the Roman conquest of Cyprus, a territory ruled by his brother, he was forced to flee to Rome. His daughter Berenice IV became his successor.

From Rome he prosecuted his restitution, finding favor with his old ally Pompey but meeting some opposition with certain members of the Senate. Dio Cassius reports that a group of 100 men were sent as envoys from Egypt to make their case to the Romans against Ptolemy XII, but Ptolemy had most of these killed before they reached Rome. He finally recovered his throne by paying Aulus Gabinius 10,000 talents to invade Egypt in 55 BC. Berenice was executed. From then on he reigned until he fell ill in 51 BC.

Soon before his death he chose his daughter Cleopatra VII as his coregent. In his will he declared that she and her brother Ptolemy XIII should rule the kingdom together. To safeguard his interests, he made the people of Rome executors of his will.

Auletes means pipes-player, and refers to his chubby cheeks ( [ a Ptolemaic family trait] ), like the inflated cheeks of a pipe-player.


*Strabo 12.3.34 and 17.1.11
*Dio Cassius 39.12 - 39.14, 39.55 - 39.58

Further reading

* Clayton, A. (1994) "Chronicle of the Pharaohs: The Reign by Reign Record of the Rulers and Dynasties of Ancient Egypt." London: Thames and Hudson. ISBN 0-500-05074-0.

External links

* [ Strabo Geographika Books 1‑9, 15‑17] in English translation, ed. H. L. Jones (1924), at LacusCurtius
* [ Cassius Dio "Roman History"] in English translation by Cary (1914-1927), at LacusCurtius
* [*.html The House of Ptolemy, Chapter XII] by E. R. Bevan
* [ Ptolemy XII Auletes] entry in historical sourcebook by Mahlon H. Smith

Hellenistic rulers

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Игры ⚽ Поможем написать реферат

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Ptolemy XII Auletes — ▪ Macedonian king of Egypt Greek“Flute Player”in full  Ptolemy XII Theos Philopater Philadelphus Neos Dionysos Auletes   born c. 112 BC died 51 BC       Macedonian king of Egypt, whose quasi legitimate royal status compelled him to depend heavily …   Universalium

  • Ptolemy XII Auletes — see Cleopatra VII. Biographical Dictionary of Ancient Egypt by Rosalie and Antony E. David …   Ancient Egypt

  • Ptolemy XII Theos Philopator Philadelphus Neos Dionysius — (d. 51 BC)    Illegitimate son of Ptolemy IX by an unknown mistress. He was chosen as ruler upon the murder of Ptolemy XIand soon gained the nickname Auletes, or flute player. He was expelled in 58 BC, following his failure to support his brother …   Ancient Egypt

  • Ptolemy (name) — The name Ptolemy or Ptolemaeus comes from the Greek Ptolemaios , which means warlike. There have been many people named Ptolemy or Ptolemaeus, the most famous of which are the Greek Egyptian astronomer Claudius Ptolemaeus and the Macedonian… …   Wikipedia

  • Ptolemy XIII Theos Philopator — ▪ Macedonian king of Egypt Greek“Ptolemy the Father Loving God” born 62/61 died 47 BC, near Alexandria       Macedonian king of Egypt and coruler with his famous sister, Cleopatra VII (Cleopatra). He was killed while leading the Ptolemaic army… …   Universalium

  • PTOLEMY —    1) the name of the Macedonian kings of Egypt, of which there were 14 in succession, of whom Ptolemy I., SOTER, was a favourite general of Alexander the Great, and who ruled Egypt from 328 to 285 B.C.; Ptolemy II., PHILADELPHUS, who ruled from… …   The Nuttall Encyclopaedia

  • Ptolomeo XII — Faraón de la Dinastía Ptolemaica Reinado 80 a 58 a. C. (en primer período) 55 a 51 a. C. ( …   Wikipedia Español

  • Cleopatra VII — Cleopatra redirects here. For other uses, see Cleopatra (disambiguation). Cleopatra VII Philopator …   Wikipedia

  • Cleopatra VI of Egypt — Cleopatra VI Tryphaena (Greek: Κλεοπάτρα Τρύφαινα) was an Egyptian Ptolemaic queen. She may be identical with Cleopatra V. There were at least two, perhaps three Ptolemaic women called Cleopatra Tryphaena: Contents 1 Tryphaena, daughter of… …   Wikipedia

  • Cleopatra — /klee euh pa treuh, pah , pay /, n. 1. 69 30 B.C., queen of Egypt 51 49, 48 30. 2. a female given name: from Greek words meaning fame and father. * * * in full Cleopatra VII Thea Philopator born 69 died Aug. 30, 30 BC, Alexandria Egyptian queen… …   Universalium

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”