- Berenice II
Berenice II (267 or 266 BC - 221 BC), was the daughter of Magas of
Cyreneand Queen Apama, and the wife of Ptolemy III Euergetes I, the third ruler of the Ptolemaic dynastyof Egypt.
In about 249 BC, she was married to
Demetrius the Fair, a Macedonian prince, soon after her father died. However after coming to Cyrene he became the lover of her mother Apama. In a dramatic event, She had him killed in Apama's bedroom, but Apama lived on afterwards. This happened around 255 or 250 BC. She had no children with Demetrius.
Afterwards she married Ptolemy III. They had at least 4 children:
Ptolemy IV, Magas, Arsinoe III and Berenice. She was murdered by Ptolemy IV in 221, soon after he became pharaoh.
During her husband's absence on an expedition to
Syria, she dedicated her hair to Aphroditefor his safe return, and placed it in the temple of the goddess at Zephyrium. The hair having by some unknown means disappeared, Conon of Samos, explained the phenomenon in courtly phrase, by saying that it had been carried to the heavens and placed among the stars. This story is parodied in [Alexander Pope] 's " The Rape of the Lock".
The name "
Coma Berenices" or "Berenice's hair", applied to a constellation, commemorates this incident. Callimachuscelebrated the transformation in a poem, of which only a few lines remain, but there is a fine translation of it by Catullus. Soon after her husband's death (221 BC) she was murdered at the instigation of her son Ptolemy IV, with whom she was probably associated in the government.
The predecessor of the modern city
Benghaziwas refounded by her and received her name: Berenice.
653 Berenike, discovered in 1907, is also named after Queen Berenice.
*Salmonson, Jessica Amanda.(1991) "The Encyclopedia of Amazons". Paragon House. Page 33. ISBN 1-55778-420-5
* [http://penelope.uchicago.edu/Thayer/E/Gazetteer/Places/Africa/Egypt/_Texts/BEVHOP/3*.html The House of Ptolemy, Ch. 3]
* [http://www.tyndale.cam.ac.uk/Egypt/ptolemies/berenice_ii.htm Berenice II]
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