Ptolemy II Philadelphus  [308-246 BCE]

Son of Ptolemy I who consolidated Alexandria's control of Palestine & north Africa and developed it as a major center of Greek culture. Yet, in politics Ptolemy II was less influenced by Greek tradition than the Egyptian cult of the Pharaohs. Not only did he promote the worship of his deceased parents as gods, he also portrayed himself & his sister consort as sibling deities [theoi adelphoi].  The ruler cult that he actively sponsored was mimicked by later Seleucid [e.g., Antiochus III & IV] & Roman rulers [e.g., Caligula & Nero] as well as by his own descendents.

At age 18 (290 BCE) Ptolemy was made his father's co-regent in order to guarantee his succession. After his father died (283 BCE), Ptolemy repudiated his first wife, married his older sister--Arsinoe II--& made her co-regent of his empire (277 BCE). To celebrate their status as sibling co-rulers, brother & sister both adopted the epithet Philadephus ["brother/sister loving"].

Like his father, Ptolemy II was a shrewd diplomat. Though his military ventures met with mixed results, he compensated for any losses on the battlefield by arranging strategic marriages that turned rivals into in-laws. He was also an effective administrator, reorganizing the Egyptian economy to establish a period of great prosperity, at least for the urban ruling & mercantile classes.  To promote trade with the Orient he had a canal constructed to link the Nile to the gulf of Suez. Under his rule the building projects his father had initiated [the lighthouse & library] were completed & the Museion became a center for Greek education rivaling the schools of Athens. Jewish sources credit him with sponsoring the translation of the Hebrew Torah into Greek, a project that hastened the Hellenization of Jews & opened Jewish scriptures to Gentiles. The legend that this work was accomplished by seventy scribes, led the Greek translation of the Jewish scriptures to be dubbed the Septuagint [70].

Ptolemy II extended his Hellenizing projects into Palestine by transforming ancient Semitic centers into Greek cities. Rabbah in Jordan [now Amman] was rebuilt as Philadelphia; Akko on the Phoenician coast became PtolemaÔs -- both named in honor of himself. Since Ptolemy II made no overt attempt to Hellenize Jerusalem or Judea, however, later Jewish tradition portrayed him as a benefactor. 

References: Josephus, Antiquities 12.11-13, 45, 51, 58-86, 106, 118. 
                   ______, Apion
                   Pausanias, Description of Greece 1.6.8-7.3, 8.6.

Other resources on line:

Ptolemy II continued to issue silver coins bearing his father's image rather than his own & initiated gold coins with his sister's image. Realistic portraits of Ptolemy II himself are rare. A remarkable exception is this gold octodrachma issued ca. 260 BCE bearing the paired profiles of  Ptolemy II & ArsinoŽ II on one side [left] with the inscription adelphon ["of siblings"] & the paired profiles of Ptolemy I & Berenice I on the other [right], with the inscription theon ["of gods"]. Similar coins were issued by Ptolemy's successors to bolster the cult of the divine rulers. For high resolution images of this and other coins of Ptolemy II see Ancient Coinage of Egypt, Ptolemy II  in David Surber's excellent ancient coins website: Wildwinds. 

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