The Ptolemies. A lineage of kings and queens who were so thirsty for power, they would kill each other to gain the throne.

When Alexander the Great died in 323 BC, power over Egypt eventually came to Ptolemy I Soter - one of Alex’s great generals. He ruled for around 23 years and died when he was in his early 80s.

His son, Ptolemy II Philadelphus, took the throne in 283 BC and married his full sister, Arsinoe II. He also executed two of his brothers. Blood was common as water. Ptolemy II Philadelphus is remembered mostly because of his founding of the Library of Alexandria. He died in 246 BC.

It’s worth noting at this point that any queen of a Ptolemy was called Berenice, Arsinoe or Cleopatra. Just to make things even more confusing.

Power then fell to Ptolemy III Euergetes who is arguably the best pharaoh of the Ptolemaic Dynasty. The Kingdom was at its peak during Euergetes’ reign. However, in 245 BC, the Egyptians revolted against the Ptolemies mainly because of tax burdens. These revolts would
plague Egypt for the next century. Euergetes died in 222 BC.

Then came Ptolemy IV Philopator, who carried out a brutal purge of the inner royal family to wipe out anyone who might oppose him. He was the archetypal bad king. Family blood was on the walls. There was no mercy at all.

And of course, he married his own sister, Arsinoe III, who gave birth to Ptolemy V.

And so it went on and on. Ptolemy after Ptolemy. Murder after Murder. Many more Ptolemies would take the reign of Egypt by force and by brutal tactics.

Eventually the most famous of the Cleopatras would be the last of the Ptolemies - Cleopatra VII Philopator.

She was at the helm when Egypt lowered it’s head to Roman rule. Ancient Egypt was at an end.