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Queen Cleopatra’s Family Tree – Ancestry

The Greek world is represented in Cleopatra’s family tree. She was related to rulers who ruled in Asia Minor, Egypt, Macedonia, Greece, Thrace, Pontus, Cyrenaica, and the Seleucid Empire.

Like Julius Caesar, the Romans were astounded by Cleopatra’s ancestry. Her family tree is shown here:

Queen Cleopatra's Family Tree - Ancestry

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Their son Ptolemy IV married his full sister Arsinoe III

They had a son named Arsinoe III. 215 BC. London’s British Museum is in England.

Since their son Ptolemy V lacked sisters, he wed Cleopatra I of Syria, a distant cousin.

Son of the preceding pair, Ptolemy VI. Cleopatra II, his full sister, whom he married, gave birth to Cleopatra III, their daughter. 170 BC. France’s Louvre Museum.

Another son of Ptolemy V and his bride was Ptolemy VIII. Coin minted 138-137 BC, he wed Cleopatra III, his niece.

Louvre Museum, Paris, France. Cleopatra II or Cleopatra III. Ptolemy IX was the child of Ptolemy VIII and Cleopatra III (center).

He was the grandpa of Cleopatra. Egypt’s Kom Ombo Temple.

Who was the grandmother of Cleopatra’s family tree?

Ptolemy XII, who was Cleopatra’s father and part of the Cleopatra’s family tree was known by the alias “bastard,” was the son of Ptolemy IX.

In Europe, Macedon was the home country of Cleopatra’s family. Macedon was a sovereign state back then, although today the majority of its land is in Greece.

What led the Macedonians to Egypt, then? Well, Alexander the Great was to blame.

Alexander ruled Macedonia as king in the fourth century BC. He was a remarkable soldier who yearned to rule the entire planet.

He thereby overcame the vast Persian Empire, which had possessions in both Asia and Africa.

His generals divided his dominion after his death. Each of these generals afterward rose to power as king in a different part of the old empire.

Ptolemy I

The dynasty was founded by Ptolemy I Soter. He and Cleopatra were 9 generations apart. third-century BC bust France’s Louvre Museum located in Paris.

One of these generals was named Ptolemy Lagus. He seized Egypt during the division and took over as its ruler.

Cleopatra’s ancestor was Ptolemy and they are part of Cleopatra’s family tree

Egypt’s Ptolemaic dynasty was established by Ptolemy and they are part of Cleopatra’s family tree. The following 300 years were dominated by his heirs.

Between Ptolemy and Cleopatra VII, the final Ptolemaic queen, there were nine generations.

Ptolemy originated in Macedonia. Lagus and Arsinoe, his parents, were also Macedonian nobility.

Ptolemy, the current king of Egypt, was not descended from royalty.

He invented rumors that he was King Philip II of Macedon’s illegitimate son in order to give his family a more glitzy reputation.

Ptolemy was so claiming to be half-brother of Alexander the Great. He would have been descended from several Macedonian monarchs as a result.

But it’s unlikely that’s the case. Ptolemy was probably Lagus’ child. His mother Arsinoe’s spouse and legal father was Lagus.

The sources refer to Ptolemy as “Ptolemy son of Lagus,” which is also the moniker he used by when his companion Alexander was still alive.

Ptolemy adopted the name Ptolemy I Soter after ascending to the throne of Egypt. He then wed Berenice I, a noblewoman from Macedonia (her family tree is below).

This pair laid the foundation for the Ptolemaic dynasty. King Ptolemy II of Egypt was their son

Phoebus II

Ptolemy II divorced his first wife and wed Arsinoe II, his full sister (pictured). Bust out of c. 275 BC. Germany’s Neues Museum is in Berlin.

Arsinoe I was Ptolemy II’s first wife (see family tree below).

Arsinoe, like Ptolemy II, was the daughter of Lysimachus, a commander of Alexander who rose to become king.

The future Egyptian king Ptolemy III was one of the many children Ptolemy and Arsinoe had together, although their marriage did not last.

Exiling his wife was Ptolemy II. Then he wed Arsinoe II, his full sister.

Now, the old, native pharaohs of Egypt had a custom of marrying your complete sister. However, it was seen as incest in Greece. Ptolemy II, seemingly in love with his sister Arsinoe II, married her after cunningly waiting till his kingly father passed away. The Greek residents in Egypt were outraged.

Most of his offspring did what he did and wed their sisters.

Only two previous kings—Ptolemy III and Ptolemy V—did not wed their close relatives throughout the 300 years that the Ptolemies ruled Egypt, although not for want of trying. Simply put, they had no surviving sisters.

The siblings Ptolemy II and Arsinoe II were now married, therefore let’s go back to the family tree. And Ptolemy III was one of the children whom Arsinoe II adopted from her husband.

King Ptolemy III constantly presents himself as Arsinoe II’s son for this reason. But he was Arsinoe I’s biological son.

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Phoebus III

Ptolemy III, the adopted son of Arsinoe II, lacked sisters.

His sole genuine half-sister had passed away more definitively after marrying the Seleucid Empire’s monarch.

So he was forced to wed someone not from his own family. He choose Berenice II, a first cousin (her family tree is shown below). She was Cyrenaica’s reigning monarch.

Because they were both the granddaughters of Berenice I, the above-mentioned wife of Ptolemy I Soter, Ptolemy III and Berenice II were cousins.

Ptolemy IV is the son of the cousins.

Ptolemies IV through VIII

Ptolemy IV had a son named Ptolemy V after marrying his full sister Arsinoe III.

Ptolemy V lacked any real sisters. not one at all. He therefore wed a foreigner. He was the final member of Cleopatra’s line to marry a foreign woman.

Ptolemy V decided on Syrian princess Cleopatra I (whose family tree is shown below). She was, of course, closely linked to the Ptolemies as well. She was related to Berenice I and Berenice II, the ancestors of her husband.

Three of the children born to Ptolemy V and his semi-foreign queen Cleopatra I are of note in this context: Ptolemy VI, Cleopatra II, and Ptolemy VIII.

Ptolemy VI married his full-sister Cleopatra II. And they produced a daughter: Cleopatra III.

Then, their sibling Ptolemy VIII, who was a terrible man and, by all accounts, an envious brother, married that daughter. In other words, Ptolemy VIII wed Cleopatra III, his niece.

The son of the uncle-nice couple was Ptolemy IX, the grandpa of “our” Cleopatra.

The family’s history up to this point has been thoroughly chronicled. However, only the paternal line may be accurately traced after this point.

Kings Ptolemy IX and XII

Ptolemy IX, the great-grandfather of Cleopatra, married his two complete sisters. That his son, Ptolemy XII, was the offspring of either queen, however, seems incredibly dubious. He appears to have been an illegal birth.

Evidently, there are no longer any genuine Ptolemies in Egypt to install on the throne. They had recently executed Ptolemy XI, their last legitimate ruler who had received support from Rome.

So the Alexandrines summoned Ptolemy XII to Egypt in a hurry before the constantly present Romans rushed in and conquered it. He was a resident of Asia.

It is certain that he was the son of King Ptolemy IX. However, there is no proof that he was a queen’s son. And both Romans and Egyptians referred to him as a “bastard” (Ptolemy Nothos).

The father of Cleopatra was this Ptolemy XII.

Mother of Cleopatra

Cleopatra Tryphaena, most likely. from the first century BC, a marble bust. Toulouse, France’s Saint-Raymond Museum.

Cleopatra V Tryphaena, the sister of Ptolemy XII, was married. She could have been his half- or full-sister. Oddly, the specifics of this Ptolemaic generation are a little hazy.

Whether or not this Tryphaena was Cleopatra’s mother is also unknown. Scholars believe she most likely was. However, there is currently no concrete proof of it.

Since there are two lagoons between Cleopatra’s grandpa, Ptolemy IX, and her grandmother and mother, Cleopatra’s family tree is only complete up to that point.

The Ptolemies’ four foreign wives

They were all related among the four women. Additionally, three of them were related to the Ptolemies in close family.

Ptolemy I’s Macedonian spouse, Berenice I

Together, Ptolemy I Soter and Berenice I established the Ptolemaic dynasty.

It was Macedonian for Berenice. Magas of Macedon, a nobleman from the Macedonian province of Eordaea, was her father.

Princess Antigone of Macedon, Berenice’s mother, was a prominent woman with lots of connections.

Antipater, the ruthless ruler of the Macedonian Empire, was Antigone’s uncle.

King Philip II of Macedon had become acquaintances with Antipater. Additionally, he had worked for Alexander the Great following Philip’s death.

Antipater served as regent of Macedon when Alexander traveled to Asia to slay the Persian Empire.

Antipater continued to rule Macedon after Alexander’s passing. Cassander, Antipater’s son, subsequently ascended to the throne of Macedon.

As a result, Berenice was the cousin of one Macedonian monarch who succeeded Cassander as king (Alexander V of Macedon).

The non-Ptolemaic offspring of Berenice

Ptolemy wasn’t Berenice’s first marriage, mind you. She had been wed to Philip of Macedon, a nobleman from Macedonia. Additionally, they had three kids—two girls and a boy.

She wed Ptolemy after her husband passed away. He soon elevated her three kids to royal status. One of the daughters wed Pyrrhus, the renowned king of Epirus. The other was wed to the Sicilian king.

Magas, the son of Berenice, was crowned king of Cyrenaica by Ptolemy. Originally part of Egypt, Ptolemy declared this region of North Africa autonomous and gave it to Magas.

This is significant because Cleopatra’s family tree would eventually include this Magas of Cyrene.

Arsinoe I. Ptolemy II’s remarried wife

Ptolemy II, the son of Ptolemy I and Berenice, wed Princess Arsinoe I.

But the sister-in-law started fighting when Ptolemy II’s sister, Arsinoe II, came back to Egypt.

Arsinoe I failed. She got a divorce and was exiled. And Arsinoe II wed Ptolemy II, her brother, and took his kids into her own family.

Therefore, Arsinoe I is Cleopatra’s biological ancestor, although Arsinoe II is her recognized ancestor.

Arsinoe I have a lot of contacts in the Macedonian community. Her grandpa and father were also strong guys. They’d worked for Alexander.

Lysimachus, one of Alexander’s greatest friends and a commander, was the father of Arsinoe I. He had ascended to the throne of Thrace following the division of the empire. Later on, he also succeeded to the thrones of Asia Minor and Macedon.

Also capable of holding her own was Arsinoe I’s mother. Nicaea of Macedon was her name.

Antipater, the ruthless regent of the Macedonian Empire, was her father. Since Antipater was Berenice I’s great-uncle, he has already been mentioned above. Arsinoe I and Berenice I were therefore second-degree cousins.

Arsinoe I was therefore quite the catch with such formidable forebears. Ptolemy II improved relations with other Macedonian-ruled countries through marriage.

Lysimachus became an ally for him as well. That helped him defeat Seleucus, one of Alexander’s other generals who rose to become a potent ruler in the east.

The cousin-wife of Ptolemy III is Berenice II.

Ptolemy III was married to Berenice II (seen in photo). 250 BC. Germany’s Munich Glyptothek.

Antiochus I Soter, monarch of the Seleucid Empire, was Berenice’s grandfather. coin produced at Seleucia, about 268 BC.

Seleucus I Nicator, the Seleucid Empire’s founder, was Berenice II’s great-grandfather. He was a companion and general of Alexander.

Another of Alexander’s generals was the father of Demetrius. Italy’s Naples National Archaeological Museum.

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Berenice II, Ptolemy III’s first cousin, was married.

The Magas of Cyrene, who was previously mentioned in Berenice I’s entry, was Berenice II’s father.

Recall that Berenice I, a Macedonian, wed Ptolemy I Soter. The pair established Egypt’s Ptolemaic dynasty. But Berenice I had already been married. Magas, a son from her first marriage, went on to rule Cyrenaica.

The father of Berenice II, who later wed her cousin Ptolemy V, was this Magas.

Thus, the Ptolemaic family tree receives new blood from Berenice II’s mother.

She was a Seleucid Empire princess named Apama II.

This immensely affluent Apama II is descended from three different Alexander’s generals, not just one or two. coming from those generals who rose to power.

As previously mentioned, Antipater was appointed Macedon’s regent.

Asia Minor and Syria were part of the Antigonid Empire, which Antigonus established. The Seleucid Empire, which Seleucus built, occupied the easternmost and largest region of Alexander’s realm.

All three of them led to Apama II. Both Antigonus and Antipater had entirely Macedonian lines. Seleucus, however, had wed a Persian noblewoman.

The last imported wife was Cleopatra I.

King Antiochus II, her great-grandfather, was the great-grandson of both Antipater and Antigonus and the grandson of Seleucus.

Ptolemy V had to search outside of his own family for marriage since he lacked sisters. The only person he could get close to was this Cleopatra, who was his cousin but was only related to him by three degrees.

Cleopatra, I was a Syrian princess. She was a member of the illustrious Seleucid royal family through her father. And to the Pontus royal family via her mother. She has royal ancestors on both sides.

Cleopatra I was mostly of Macedonian-Persian ancestry and part of the Cleopatra’s family tree, with a trace of (ancient) Greek. She is the Cleopatra VII ancestor with the greatest proportion of Persian blood.

Even if it wasn’t as bad as it was for the Ptolemies, Cleopatra I was highly inbred. She wasn’t a descendant of brother-sister unions.

Her parents, however, were first cousins. Additionally, her grandpa wed his own aunt (or first-cousin, according to other historians).

King Seleucus and his Persian wife Apama are the ancestors of Cleopatra I five times over, along with King Antigonus twice over and Regent Antipater once over.

These three Alexandrine generals were the ancestors of each of her parents.

As a result, she was related to her husband Ptolemy V on many occasions, as were the other three foreign spouses of the Ptolemies discussed above: Berenice, Arsinoe I, and Berenice II.

Father of Cleopatra I was Antioch III the Great. He was a warlike Seleucid Empire ruler who, among other things, fought against Rome.

This Cleopatra was also a descendant of the Persian rulers of Pontus through her mother (in modern Turkey).

The extremely well-known Mithridates VI of Pontus was Cleopatra I’s nephew. He is remembered as one of Rome’s most formidable adversaries.

For many years, he rivaled the Romans in power. But in the end, Mithridates did lose the conflict. He was given the title Mithridates the Great upon his death.

Cleopatra VII’s father was engaged to one of Mithridates’ daughters. But the union never materialized.


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