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Two Notes on Ptolemaic History

  • W. W. Tarn

Ptolemy I, son of Lagos and Arsinoe, is usually supposed to have belonged, through his mother, to a cadet branch of the Argead house and to have been a third cousin of Alexander. But a fragment of Euphantus, so far unexplained, leads up to the conclusion that his mother was not of the blood royal and that he had no connexion with the royal house at all. Hellenistic literature was full of fictitious relationships, which often found their way into history as facts; and we seem to have here another case of the same sort.

Euphantus is contemporary evidence for the period during which Ptolemy I was king. He was a pupil of Eubulides and the first philosophic teacher of Antigonus Gonatas; supposing he went to him when Antigonus was thirteen, as Aristotle did to Alexander, he was a known man in 307 or 306, while Ptolemy took the crown in 305. As he wrote a treatise on Kingship for Antigonus he was alive in or after 276, after Ptolemy's death; he wrote a history of his own time, and died of old age.

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1 Beloch, , Gr. Gesch. IV2, ii, pp. 176–7, and Berve, H., Das Alexanderreich, II, p. 330, give the references.

2 On some of these see my papers: Heracles son of Barsine, JHS. 1921, p. 18; Philip V and Phthia, CQ. 1924, p. 17; Queen Ptolemais and Apama, ib. 1929, p. 138.

3 Diog. Laertius, II, 110; see Tarn, , Antigonos Gonatas, p. 25.

4 Athen. VI, 251D; FHG. III, p. 19; F. Gr. Hist. II, B, p. 132.

5 Histoire de ľ école de Megare, 1845, p. 96.

6 Antigonos von Karystos, p. 87, n. 3.

7 Kallikrates, RE. Supp. Band IV, 859, a confused account.

8 Hermes, XXXV, pp. 106, 128.

9 Euphantos in RE.

10 The story is given in the Scholion to Sophocles, , Ajax, 190. The tragedians frequently refer to Odysseus as son of Sisyphus. See Bethe, Sisyphos in RE.; Höfer, , Odysseus in Roscher, p. 613.

11 Paus. 1, 6, 2; Curtius, IX, 8, 22. Another version, Aelian fr. 285 = Suidas, Lagos, does not mention Philip, but only says that Lagos believed that the child was not his.

12 Loc. cit.: diese gewiss in der allerersten Zeit der Ptolemäerherrschaft entstandenen Erzählung.

13 Ditt.3 314; their second son Leontiscus was a grown man in 306, Justin XV, 2, 7.

14 See Dittenberger, on OGIS. 54, note 5.

15 Weber, W., Die ägyptisch-griechischen Terrakotten, I, pp. 112sq.; Tarn, , CQ. 1929, p. 138.

16 Diod. XX, 21, 1. He dedicated two wreaths at Delos (p. 65).

17 There is, I believe, no trustworthy instance except Cleopatra VII, and only one untrustworthy one (Justin's story about Apama of Cyrene), of any woman of the blood royal in any Macedonian kingdom living with a man without marriage (see also Macurdy, G. H., Hellenistic Queens, 1932, passim)—one of the most extraordinary manifestations of pride known to history. I once in ignorance spoke of ‘the facile queens of Hellenism’; I did the Macedonians a grave injustice.

18 FHG. III, p. 164, fr. 21; he is late third century.

19 OGIS. 54, 1. 6.

20 (Alexander and Ptolemy I) i.e. Hyllus, who in the Satyrus pedigree is son of Heracles and (through his mother) grandson of Dionysus.

21 Kaibel, in 203A, prints The context seems to call for perhaps in the original.

22 Otto, W. in Philol. LXXXVI, 1931, p. 414, n. 27, arguing for 271/0 as against myself (Hermes, LXV, p. 447, n. 2), has unfortunately made a mistake as to which passage in Athenaeus I was building on (perhaps I did not make it clear), and consequently has not directed his argument to what I believe to be the real point.

23 Athen. XI, 497B; Vallois, M. R., CRAcInscr. 1929, p. 33.

24 P. Tebt. III, 883, cited P. Oxy. XIV, p. 7; see Bell, H. I., Archiv, VII, 1924, p. 22 n.

25 I suppose it is conceivable that Berenice might have used the δίκερας; before her daughter, as she did the diadem, but I think there is no evidence.

26 JHS. 1926, p. 161.

27 Beiträge zur Seleukidengeschichte, pp. 7 sq.

28 Ditt.3 390.

29 The belief of some scholars that they were seems to have arisen from a misunderstanding of the nature of the πομπή of the ‘ancestors of the kings.’

30 Herzog, R., Philol. LXXXII, 1927, pp. 4958.

31 Archiv, V, p. 156, no. 1.

32 Cf. Wilcken, U., Archiv, IX, p. 73.

33 The story which attributes her fall to the intrigues of her successor is as worthless as most other stories of the kind about Arsinoe II.

34 Ptolemy II was definitely the heir before 288, in which year Eurydice had already left Egypt and gone to Miletus, . In CAH. VII, p. 97 I put the marriage of Arsinoe I too late.

35 Naturally ‘the kings’ do not, at this date, mean Ptolemy II and Arsinoe II, as some have supposed. In any case there is no evidence that the pair were ever so called.

36 201 D, E; on its significance, Tarn, , Antigonos Gonatas, p. 371.

37 The image was called Κόρινθος ἡ πόλις, not ‘the Fortune of Corinth,’ and it wore the diadem; while the other cities were represented by living women.

38 Three out of the eight demes of the tribe Dionysias at Alexandria, as given by Satyrus, bore names which reflected names in the pedigree, but at the very beginning of it. Doubtless all the eight demenames are of Alexander's day, whether the three were taken from his pedigree or, like the other five, direct from the Dionysus story. The recently discovered demotic Argeades, (P. Mich. Zen. no. 66, 1. 12) also probably belongs to Alexander's time.

39 Theoc. XVII, 14: Λαγιά;δας Πτολεμαῖος.

40 Tarn, , CQ. 1929, p. 138.

41 Ziegler, K., PhW. 1928, p. 94.

42 Polyb. V, 10, 10; cf. Livy, XXVII, 30, 9.

42a Seneca, de ira 23, 1 makes Alexander Antigonus' nephew. Cf. de Sanctis', G. strange discovery, Riv. Fil. LIX, 1931, p. 331.

43 A History of Egypt under the Ptolemaic Dynasty, 1927, p. 387.

44 Milet, III, 1, no. 139.

45 Beiträge zur Seleukidengeschichte, 1928, p. 25.

46 Archiv, VIII, p. 276.

47 P. Mich. Zen. 1931, on no. 100.

48 Archiv, X, 1932, p. 76.

49 Foreign Commerce of Ptolemaic Egypt, Journ. of Economic and Business History, IV, 1932, p. 764, n. 4.

50 The last articles in the debate between Otto and myself as to this dating are Tarn, , Hermes, LXV, 1930, p. 446; Otto, , Philol. LXXXVI, 1931, p. 400. I am no more convinced by Otto's reply than I was before, but, as I began, he is entitled to the last word, and I do not propose to write on the subject again; δεῖ που στῆναι. The main point about his reply is that he is now compelled to postulate a ‘Zwischenzeit’ between the categories νῦν and πρότερον (pp. 404, 407); and I frankly confess that I do not understand what an ‘intermediate period’ between ‘now’ and ‘formerly’ can mean.—In case anyone should think that p. 388 of DrCary, M. book of 1932, A History of the Greek World from 323to 146 B.C., means (as it might perhaps seem to mean) that Mr. Sidney Smith has altered his view of the dating in the Babylonian Chronicle concerning Antiochus, I have his permission to state that he is still of the same opinion as when he republished that Chronicle, and for the same reason.

51 Callicrates an economos in four third-century papyri: Grenfell, B. P. and Hunt, A. S., Archiv, II, pp. 83–4. An official in 244 B.C.: P. Cairo Zen. 59348. Apollonius son of Callicrates in the last third of the third century: Tait, J. G., Greek Ostraka in the Bodleian Library, nos. 21, 33–5, 147. An early Ptolemaic gravestone: Preisigke, F., Sammelbuch 2112. Two men unknown: P. Hibeh I, 53 (246 B.C.); PSI. VI, 551. κώμη, Καλλικράτους in 254/3 B.C.: PSI. IV, 353; P. Cairo Zen. 59596.

52 SGDI. 5104a, 1. 36.

53 Le battaglie di Cos e di Andro, 1912, p. 370, n. 1. He put it before the Chremonidean war.

54 AM. LI, 1926, p. 16.

55 BCH. XXIV, 1900, p. 223.

56 JHS. XXXI, 1911, p. 256; this astonished Preuner, , AM. XLIX, 1924, p. 38.

57 F. Preisigke, Namenbuch, s.v.

58 P. Hibeh I, 104 (cf. 103). Rostovtzeff loc. cit. suggests that the τριηράρχημα, of P. Mich. Zen 100might be a tax on the import of foreign goods, citing P. Cairo Zen. 59012–59014.

59 My reasons, CAH. VII, pp. 713, 862.

60 P. Cairo Zen. 59036 (repayment asked for 1 Feb. 257); see Wilcken, , Raccolta Lumbroso, pp. 93sqq. The ἐννήρης is called ἡ θ´. My own habit of now calling these great ships in English merely by their numbers, e.g. a ‘nine,’ follows this ancient practice; I hope it may become universal.

61 PSI. V, 502, l. 24.

62 See now Roussel, P., REG. XLIII, 1930, p. 361.

63 Beiträge zur Seleukidengeschichte, p. 25.

64 See their letters collected by Schroeter, F., De regum hellenisticorum epistulis in lapidibus servatis quaestiones stilisticae, Leipzig, 1932.

65 Ditt., Syll. 3552 = Schroeter 32.

66 OGIS. 315, VI, 1. 47 = Schroeter 47.

67 See Dittenberger ad loc.

68 OGIS. 291–6.

69 Schroeter 27.

70 OGIS. 5 = Schroeter 1.

71 IG. XI, ii, 161B, l. 54.

72 Ib. 203B, l. 78. I once suggested that Μακέδονος, might perhaps be a title of honour (JHS. 1911, p. 255). Now that the inventories can be studied as a whole this is at once seen to be untenable.

73 The big variations from the normal weights in 161B, l. 89 and 162B, l. 43 must be stone-cutters' errors.

74 He was the nauarch of the first Syrian war.

75 E.g. OGIS. 29, a unique honour for a subject.

76 IG. XII, 3, 1291, son of Philostratus, a Rhaukian from Crete; the name Hermaphilos is uncertain.

77 Trogus, Prol. XXVII, in the corruption prona; whether Sophrona be meant or not is here immaterial.

78 Polyb. V, 68, 3.

79 The actual title is guess-work. Apparently under Ptolemy II there was no vizier, and the dioecetes was the highest civil official.

80 On his career see Collart, P. and Jouguet, P. in Raccolta Lumbroso, pp. 128sqq.

81 Polyb. XV, 34, 4,

82 On their powers see Tarn, , JHS. 1911, p. 251. Naturally we hear of subordinate commanders.

83 I gave a rough list of flagships in JRS. XXI, 1931, p. 186, n. 5.

84 Polyb. XVI, 5, 4–7; 9. 1.

85 The Athlothetai of the Panathenaea and the Epistatai of Eleusis; Busolt, , Griech. Staatskunde, II, p. 1055; other instances p. 1057, n. 1.

86 Pol. VI, 15, 1299a, 7.

87 Tarn, , Antigonos Gonatas, pp. 105–9, CAH. VII, p. 92; proved now by 287 being the last year of Demetrius' dated Tyrian coinage (Newell, E. T., Tyrus Rediviva, 1923, pp. 14, 21 sq.). W. S. Ferguson's dating of Demetrius', surrender to spring 286 agrees with this (CIPh. XXIV, 1929, p. 29, on a consideration of the Lachares papyrus).

88 SEG. I, 363; see Tarn, , JHS. 1926, p. 158.

89 Tarn, ib. p. 161.

90 Poseidippus' two epigrams on this temple are given by Preger, , Inscr. graecae metricae, p. 96, and in Schott, Poseidippi Epigrammata; the one from a papyrus also by von Gaertringen, Hiller, Historische Griech. Epigramme, no. 95 (the other is Athen. VII, 318B). Both show that Callicrates was nauarch when he built and dedicated it. Usually this has been thought to be after Arsinoe's death (see now Nock, A. D., Σύνναος, Θεός, Harvard Stud. in Class. Phil. XLI, 1930, p. 6, and references); but Wilamowitz, , Hellenistische Dichtung, I, 193 (whose conclusion is adopted by Hiller, loc. cit.), argued that the temple was built during her life, because (a) after her death she was herself a goddess, ‘nicht bloss Trägerin des Geistes einer anderen,’ and (b) the papyrus epigram calls her βασιλίσσης. But as to (a), she was indisputably Isis in 266/5, after her death (Nock, op. cit., p. 6 and references; see too her identification with Isis, Breccia, E.. Iscriz. gr. e. lat. 8 and 9, and Vallois, M. R., CRAcInscr. 1929, p. 33). And as to (b), in the royal styles of Gonatas, (IG. XI, 4, 1095–6) and Doson (ib. 1097) each calls his dead father βασιλεύς;, and Cleopatra, VII was βασίλισσα long after her death, BGU. IV, 1182, 1198, as indeed Arsinoe herself was in cult, Ἐφημ. 1925–6, pp. 72, l. 16, and 74. Wilamowitz' conclusion is therefore, I think, unfounded.

91 Str. IX, 421 cannot be wrong, and is confirmed by Pliny, , H.N. VI, 183, ‘classium Philadelphi praefectus’ (note the plural). Marcianus, , Epitome Peripli Menippei (GGM. I), §2, calls him of Ptolemy I (Marcianus' phrase, not Menippus'); he may have held this office, and may have written before he became nauarch; but in any case Marcianus cannot overrule Strabo. Timosthenes was, of course, a subject of Ptolemy, not a citizen of Rhodes.

92 Dinsmoor, W. B., The Archons of Athens in the Hellenistic Age, 1931, pp. 495sqq., proposes to shift the Delian dates between 301 and 225 one year forward (300 to 224). I need not consider this here, as the battle of Andros a year later would not affect my hypothesis; but I think the evidence is against it.

93 Paus. 1, 1, 1; see Tarn, , JHS. 1911, pp. 256–8. Add to the inscriptions there considered Ἐφημ. 1920, p. 87, a better copy of OGIS. 45.

94 JHS. XL, 1920, pp. 150 sq.

95 Op. cit., pp. 81 sqq. Followed by Ferguson, W. S., Athenian Tribal Cycles, 1932, p. 74.

96 As does Kirchner, J., Gnomon, 1932, p. 453.

97 Athen. VIII, 334A = FHG. I, 334 = F. Gr. Hist. IIB, p. 162.

98 Tarn, , Antigonos Gonatas, pp. 105–9. But the debt was even greater than I could then know; for he was also the nauarch of the successful war of 280/79 (see Otto, , Beiträge, pp. 19sq.), in which Egypt acquired Miletus and much other territory.

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