Sunday, December 5, 2010
A New Female Pharaoh for Ancient Egypt
Cleopatra VII was the only female pharaoh of the Ptolemaic dynasty, but due to recent analysis of the royal crown, Queen Arsinoe II held that distinction 200 years earlier.
Born in 316 B.C. to Ptolemy I, friend of Alexander the Great, Arsinoe married her half brother Ptolemy Keraunos, after the death of her first husband, Lysimachus of Thrace. That marriage quickly ended after he killed two out of their three children in a power struggle, she returned to Egypt and married her full brother Ptolemy II. They became co rulers of the empire.
Anthropologists play close attention to her crown for crowns often served as an indicator for their role in society. Arsinoe’s crown reflected she was a high priestess, co-ruler, and religious significance as the goddess Thea Philadelphus. Most importantly, it showed she ruled as an equal and co- ruler to her brother. When Arsinoe died in 270 B.C. at 45, she became the first Ptolemaic Queen to receive her own cult and was worshipped for years.
Shannon R. Period 8