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Ptolemy I and the Succession Issue

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Ptolemy I set aside his eldest son Ptolemy Ceraunus and instead made his younger son Ptolemy (by Berenice) his successor. Various explanations have been advanced, but none is compelling. In this article, I put forward two hitherto unexplored avenues: first, Ptolemy's relations with Eurydice and Berenice, and second, Ceraunus' own ambitions as they pertained to mastery of Greece and Macedonia. The latter especially led Ptolemy, motivated by his own failures in trying to secure Greece and how they compromised the security of his rule, to view Ceraunus as overly ambitious, and so prefer the less military-minded younger Ptolemy.
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Keywords: BERENICE; CERAUNUS; EGYPT; EURYDICE; PTOLEMY I; PTOLEMY II

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: April 1, 2020

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  • Hermes, founded in 1866 and currently edited by Hans Beck, Marcus Deufert and Martin Hose, is an international, peer-reviewed journal on Greek and Roman antiquity. It focuses on linguistics, literature as well as history. It features original articles in English, German, French and Italian.
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