[ca. 142 - 80 BCE]
The oldest son of Ptolemy
VIII & Cleopatra III
was made his mother's co-ruler when his father died (116
BCE) but soon
became a pawn in her power plays. First she made him divorce his
independent-minded sister [Cleopatra
IV] & marry his more compliant sibling [Cleopatra
Selene], only to dissolve that marriage & depose him (107
favor of his younger brother [Ptolemy
Lathyrus ["Chickpea"], as he was
popularly known, began to fight back from exile, making Cyprus his base
& attacking his Seleucid cousin [Antiochus
VIII] to whom his mother had married his sister consort.
Cleopatra III countered by supporting the claim of Antiochus VIII's rival
[Antiochus IX]. This
protracted feud between rival factions in the houses of Ptolemy &
Seleucus allowed the Hasmonean rulers of Judea [Johanan
Hyrcanus & Aristobulus
I] to assert Judean independence & seize control of most of
Almost twenty years after he had been
forced to vacate the throne of Egypt, Lathyrus returned to replace his
unpopular younger brother (88
BCE). Although the Egypt he inherited was
severely weakened by internal rebellions & years of dependence on
Rome, he tried to develop an independent Egyptian foreign policy by
refusing to support Roman campaigns in Asia Minor & Greece. But he
died without restoring Egypt to a position of major political influence.
328-347, 353-359, 370.
_____, War 1.86.
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