Cleopatra Thea  [ca. 165  - 120 BCE]

Grand-daughter of Ptolemy V Epiphanes & Cleopatra I
Daughter of Ptolemy VI Philometor & his sister Cleopatra II
Wife of Alexander Balas, Demetrius II & Antiochus VII
Mother of Antiochus VI, Antiochus VIII & Antiochus IX.

As scion of both Ptolemaic & Seleucid dynasties, Cleopatra Thea was the prize for royal pretenders & a key pawn in the political intrigues of the second half of the 2nd c. BCE.  Her father Ptolemy VI married her to the usurper Alexander Balas who had slain the Seleucid ruler Demetrius I (150 BCE). But later, when he learned of his son-in-law's intrigue, Ptolemy reclaimed his daughter & married her to Balas' 16 year old Seleucid rival, Demetrius II (146 BCE).  When Demetrius was taken hostage by the Parthians, his younger brother Antiochus VII claimed her as his wife.  When Antiochus was himself killed (129 BCE), she was reclaimed by Demetrius.  After Demetrius was killed (125 BCE) Cleopatra ruled as regent for Antiochus VIII who was still a minor. The civil war that led to her many marriages deepened in the sibling rivalry between her children & their offspring.

References: Josephus, Antiquities 13.221-222, 268, 271.
                   1 Macc 10:57-58; 11:1-11.
                   Justin, Epitome 39.2-4.
                   Appian, History of Rome: Syrian Wars 68-69.

Other resources on line:

This silver tetradrachma struck in Antioch about 121 BCE puts Cleopatra's profile on top of that of the young Antiochus VIII. Her claim to priority is reflected in the inscription on the other side: Basilis[ses] Kleopatr[a] Thea kai Basileos Antiochou ["of Queen Cleopatra, Goddess, & King Antiochus"]. The fact that divinity is claimed for her rather than him indicates that she was the de facto ruler. Her explicit claim to divine rule is further reflected in the depiction of Zeus, the ruler of the gods, enthroned with scepter & holding the figure of winged victory in his outstretched hand -- the same mythological imagery associated with the coins of Antiochus IV Epiphanes.

For high resolution images of this & other coins of Cleopatra Thea see Ancient Coinage of Seleucia, Antiochos VIII in David Surber's excellent ancient coins website: Wildwinds.

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