Ptolemy VIII, Euergetes II, Physcon

Ptolemy VIII, Euergetes II, Physcon
(c. 182–116 BC)
   Nicknamed Physcon, or potbelly. Younger son of Ptolemy V and Cleopatra I. He was made joint ruler with his brother, Ptolemy VI, in 170 BC and expelled him from the country in 164 but was himself forced to retire to Cyrene in 163 BC. Upon his brother’s death in 145 BC, Ptolemy VIII returned to Egypt and seized the throne, murdering his nephew, Ptolemy VII. He first married in 145 BC his sister, Cleopatra II, by whom he had one son, Ptolemy Memphites, whom he eventually put to death. Around 140 BC, he married his niece, Cleopatra II’s daughter, Cleopatra III, thus precipitating a civil war with his sister in 132 BC. He was initially driven out of Egypt but regained control in 130 BC. The civil war was finally resolved in 124 BC by the recognition of Cleopatra II’s position as senior queen. Ptolemy VIII died on 28 June 116 BC, leaving Egypt to Cleopatra III and whichever of her two sons, Ptolemy IX or Ptolemy X, she chose to rule with her.
Historical Dictionary Of Ancient Egypt by Morris L. Bierbrier
* * *
King 145-116 BC.
    Nicknamed 'Physcon' which meant 'pot-bellied', Ptolemy VIII was a violent and ruthless man. He fought against his brother, the good and pious Ptolemy VI Philometor, and briefly seized power (164-163 BC). He later became king in 145 BC, but dynastic conflict was continued during his reign by his sister and his neice who both became his wives. They issued an Amnesty Decree in 118 BC which recorded their conciliation and the benefits that this would bring to their subjects.
    Ptolemy VIII was typical of the cruel and degenerate ruler who controlled Egypt in the later years of the *Ptolemaic era, but he retained interest in some projects abroad and sent an expedition to attempt to discover the route to India.
    BIBL Bevan, E. A History of Egypt under the Ptolemaic Dynasty. London: 1927; Skeat, T. C The reigns of the Ptolemies. Munich: 1969.
Biographical Dictionary of Ancient Egypt by Rosalie and Antony E. David

Ancient Egypt. A Reference Guide. . 2011.

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