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Ptolemaic dynasty

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Dynasties of Pharaohs
in Ancient Egypt
Protodynastic Period
Early Dynastic Period
1st 2nd
Old Kingdom
3rd 4th 5th 6th
First Intermediate Period
7th 8th 9th 10th
11th (Thebes only)
Middle Kingdom
11th (All Egypt)
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Second Intermediate Period
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New Kingdom
18th 19th 20th
Third Intermediate Period
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Late Period
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29th 30th 31st
Graeco-Roman Period
Ptolemaic Roman Empire
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Ptolemy, one of Alexander the Great's generals, was appointed satrap of Egypt after Alexander's death in 323 BC. In 305 BC he declared himself King Ptolemy I, later known as "Soter" (saviour). The Egyptians soon accepted the Ptolemies as the successors to the pharaohs of independent Egypt. Ptolemy's family ruled Egypt until the Roman conquest of 30 BC.

The dynastic history of Ptolemaic Egypt is very confusing, because all the male rulers of the dynasty took the name Ptolemy, and because many of them married their sisters, who were often called Cleopatra, Arsinoe or Berenice. The most famous member of the line was the last Ptolemaic queen, Cleopatra VII.

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Ptolemaic rulers and consorts

The dates in brackets are regnal dates for the kings. They frequently ruled jointly with their wives, who were often also their sisters. Several queens exercised regal authority, but the most famous and successful was Cleopatra VII (51 BC-30 BC), with her two brothers and her son as successive nominal co-rulers. Several systems exist for numbering the later rulers; the one used here is the one most widely used by modern scholars.


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