ArsinoŽ I  [early 3rd c. BCE]

daughter of Lysimachus
first wife of Ptolemy II Philadelphus
mother of Ptolemy III Euergetes

Ill-fated princess of Thrace who became queen of Egypt about 282 BCE to cement an alliance to stop Seleucus I from invading Asia Minor.  Within five years, however, political intrigues precipitated by her father's death forced her into exile. In 279 Lysimachus' ambitious widow, ArsinoŽ II, returned to Alexandria to seek refuge from her brother Ptolemy II.  Intent on gaining the throne, she instigated accusations that ArsinoŽ I was plotting Ptolemy's murder. Ptolemy repudiated his wife & scandalized Greeks by adopting the Egyptian royal tradition of marrying his own sister (277 BCE). Although ArsinoŽ I's three children by Ptolemy II remained in the palace, she herself was banished to Upper Egypt, where she died in obscurity.

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