Ptolemy VII Neos Philopator  [ca. 152 - 144 BCE; executed]

Frequently identified as a child of Ptolemy VI Philometor & Cleopatra II who was briefly named co-ruler with his father & mother but was eliminated by his uncle [Ptolemy VIII Physcon] when he assumed the throne. The exact identity of this boy king & even his existence have become, however, the focus of scholarly debate, since both Ptolemy VI & Ptolemy VIII had other sons named Ptolemy.

Neos Philopator's name appears on the cultic list of the deified Pharaohs [discovered in the 19th c.] between the names of the rival brothers, Philometor [Ptolemy VI] & Physcon [Ptolemy VIII] but his relationship to them is not specified.  Scholars originally identified him with the child of Philometor that classic historians [Justin, Orosius & Josephus] claim Physcon killed. But recent scholars have challenged that equation by pointing out that those same historians do not identify that murdered child as a co-ruler & evidence for such a co-regency is slim & circumstantial. An alternate solution would be to identify the Neos Philopator of the cultic list with the son who was born to Ptolemy VIII during his coronation at Memphis [though that would not explain why his name precedes that of his alleged father on the list of deified kings]. Since no one identified as Neos Philopator appears to have ruled independently, E. R. Bevan [The House of Ptolemy] simply ignores him & reduces the traditional numbering of successor Ptolemies by one.

References: Josephus, Apion 2.5.
                   Justin, Epitome 38.8.
                  Orosius, Against the Pagans 5.10.

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