Exedra of Thermos
- While I realise this is not a Seleucid question it may be of interest.
Is there any recent literature analysing the exedra of Thermos (IG IX I(2)
This monument names the members of Ptolemy III's family, including 2
daughters (Arsinoe and Berenice) and 4 sons (Ptolemy, [name lost], Alexander
and Magas). The latest discussion I have seen is a note by P M Fraser in
JEA 45 (1959) dismissing a rather bizarre theory of Oikonomides that [name
lost] was really Ptolemy IV. (The name was about 10 letters long according
to Klaffenbach -- I guess Lysimachos, at 9??)
On the face of it, Arsinoe ought to be Arsinoe III. However, the exedra
both Arsinoe and Berenice basilissa, and we know from the Canopus Decree
Berenice was awarded that title on her death in early 238, so this would
to be a posthumous mention of her. So why is Arsinoe also called basilissa?
The precedent suggests it is a posthumous title. But every indication is
the exedra was erected in Ptolemy III's lifetime, while Arsinoe III survived
by 15 years.
Justin, for some reason, consistently calls Arsinoe III Eurydice. There is
question from the context that he means Arsinoe III. Livy, in an incidental
reference, calls her Cleopatra, but this mistake is perfectly comprehensible
given later Ptolemaic practice. So where did Justin get the name Eurydice
The only known Eurydice in the history of the family is Ptolemy I's
queen, hardly likely to be confused with Arsinoe III.
A conjecture occurs to me that is perhaps as bizarre as anything by
Oikonomides: that the original Arsinoe named on the exedra did in fact die
young, and that her younger sister Eurydice, born after the erection of the
exedra, was renamed Arsinoe by Ptolemy IV, becoming Arsinoe III. I note
that Hazzard, in his recent book on Ptolemaic propaganda, proposes that
Ptolemy IV invented himself in the image of Ptolemy II, which would
certainly provide a motive.
Any comments? And above all any references?