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Ptolemy VIII (Euergetes II) (144 – 116 BC)

Ptolemy VIII tried to seize the throne after the death of his brother Ptolemy VI. In addition, he tried to convince his sister, Cleopatra II, to leave her authority on the child Ptolemy VII and to give him the right to take this position. When she refused, he asked Rome for help, and shortly afterwards, they got married. Ptolemy VIII was completely different when compared to his elder brother. He was an aggressive character with a strong infatuation towards authority and control. He started his rule by killing his nephew Ptolemy VII, and then he got married to his niece, Cleopatra III in 142 BC, despite the fact that he was married to her mother. When this happened, Cleopatra II was very upset and tried to get the support of as many as possible from all over Egypt. All this ended up with a revolution across the country. Ptolemy VIII tried to save himself by leaving Egypt for a while and contacting Rome, his ally, to help him to take the throne back. It seems that Rome played its role by sending him back to Egypt and threatening Cleopatra II in a way that she didn’t find any other alternative except to flee to Anteob to save herself, and at the same time to decide what she should do. After a while, the situation became much better that she returned to Egypt and lived again as his wife. There’s an evidence of toleration between the three of them in the form of the papyrus signed by them that date back to 180 BC. Ptolemy VIII died in 116 BC at the age of 65. Soon afterwards, Cleopatra II disappeared and Cleopatra III was ruling alone. Ptolemy VIII had five children from Cleopatra III, two sons and three daughters, and he had another illegal son called Ptolemy Apion who was chosen to rule Balqa in Libya (ignoring the previous will that Balqa should be ruled by Rome after his death). Cleopatra III was in a very critical situation because Ptolemy VIII left the decision for her to choose from their two sons the one she thought would be the best.

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