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Ptolemy Philadelphus

Son of queen cleopatra vii and roman triumvir mark antony
The basics
Date of birth Antioch, Antakya, Hatay Province, Turkey
Date of death 29
Brother(s): Alexander Helios Caesarion Iullus Antonius Marcus Antonius Antyllus
Mother: Cleopatra
Sister(s): Antonia Minor Antonia Major Cleopatra Selene II Antonia
Father: Mark Antony
The details

Ptolemy Philadelphus (Greek: Πτολεμαῖος ὁ Φιλάδελφος, "Ptolemy the brother-loving", August/September 36 BC – 29 BC) was a Ptolemaic prince and was the youngest and fourth child of Greek Ptolemaic Queen Cleopatra VII of Egypt, and her third with Roman Triumvir Mark Antony.


Early life and reign

Ptolemy was of Greek and Roman heritage. He was born in Antioch, Syria (now a part of modern Turkey). Ptolemy was named after the original Ptolemy II Philadelphus (the second Pharaoh of the Ptolemaic dynasty) and Cleopatra’s intention was recreating the former Ptolemaic Kingdom. In late 34 BC, at the Donations of Alexandria, Ptolemy was made ruler of Syria, Phoenicia and Cilicia.

His parents were defeated by Caesar Octavianus (future Emperor Augustus) during the naval battle at Actium, Greece in 31 BC. The next year, his parents committed suicide as Octavianus and his legions invaded Egypt, the former annexing it as a province (provincia) of Rome.

Capture and fate

Octavianus took him and his elder siblings Alexander Helios and Cleopatra Selene II from Egypt to Italia. Octavianus celebrated his military triumph in Rome, by parading the three orphans in heavy golden chains in the streets of Rome. The chains were so heavy they could not walk, prompting reactions of sympathy from the Romans. The three siblings were taken by Octavian and given to Octavia Minor, Octavian’s second elder sister and the siblings' father Mark Antony's former wife.

The fate of Ptolemy Philadelphus is unknown. Plutarch states that the only child that Octavian Caesar killed out of Antony’s children was Marcus Antonius Antyllus. The ancient sources do not mention any military service or political career, any scandals he was involved in, any marriage plans, or any descendants, and if he survived to adulthood, that would be mentioned. Ptolemy may have died from illness in the winter of 29 BC, but this is speculation.

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