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Exedra of Thermos

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  • Chris Bennett
    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) 56)? This
    Message 1 of 1 , Nov 2, 2000
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      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)
      56)?

      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
      calls
      both Arsinoe and Berenice basilissa, and we know from the Canopus Decree
      that
      Berenice was awarded that title on her death in early 238, so this would
      appear
      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
      that
      the exedra was erected in Ptolemy III's lifetime, while Arsinoe III survived
      him
      by 15 years.

      Justin, for some reason, consistently calls Arsinoe III Eurydice. There is
      no
      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
      from?
      The only known Eurydice in the history of the family is Ptolemy I's
      discarded
      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?

      Chris Bennett
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