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Arsinoe II

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Name  Arsinoe II
Role  Princess
Died  July 270 BC

Arsinoe II arsinoeiibm2JPG
Spouse  Ptolemy II Philadelphus, Ptolemy Keraunos, Lysimachus
Children  Ptolemy Epigonos, Lysimachus, Philip
Parents  Ptolemy I Soter, Berenice I of Egypt
Siblings  Ptolemy II Philadelphus, Ptolemy Keraunos
Similar People  Ptolemy II Philadelphus, Ptolemy I Soter, Lysimachus, Ptolemy III Euergetes, Antipater

PTOLEMAIC EGYPT. Arsinoe II, deified (after 270 BC). AV mnaieion or octodrachm (27mm, 27.79 gm...

Arsinoë II (Ancient Greek: Ἀρσινόη, 316 BC – unknown date between July 270 and 260 BC) was a Ptolemaic Queen and co-regent of Ancient Egypt. She was Queen of Thrace, Asia Minor and Macedonia by marriage to King Lysimachus (Greek: Λυσίμαχος), and queen and co-ruler of Egypt with her brother-husband Ptolemy II Philadelphus (Greek: Πτολεμαῖος Φιλάδελφος, "Ptolemy the sibling-loving").


Arsinoe II httpsuploadwikimediaorgwikipediacommons88

Early life

Arsinoe II arsinoeiibmJPG

Arsinoë was the first daughter of Pharaoh Ptolemy I Soter (Greek: Πτολεμαίος Σωτήρ, "Ptolemy the Savior"), founder of the Hellenistic state of Egypt, and his second wife Berenice I of Egypt.

Queen of Lysimachus

Arsinoe II Arsino II

At about age 15, Arsinoë married King Lysimachus (who was then around 60 years old), to whom she bore three sons: Ptolemy I Epigonos, Lysimachus and Philip. In order to position her sons for the throne, she had Lysimachus' first son, Agathocles, poisoned on account of treason.

Queen of Ptolemy Keraunos

Arsinoe II Flickriver Most interesting photos tagged with arsinoeii

After Lysimachus' death in battle in 281 BC, she fled to Cassandreia (Greek: Κασσάνδρεια) and married her paternal half-brother Ptolemy Keraunos, one of the sons of Ptolemy I from his previous wife, Eurydice of Egypt. The marriage was for political reasons as they both claimed the throne of Macedonia and Thrace (by the time of his death Lysimachus was ruler of both regions, and his power extended to Southern Greece and Asia Minor). Their relationship was never good.

Arsinoe II American Numismatic Society Gold octadrachm of Ptolemy II

As Ptolemy Keraunos was becoming more powerful, she decided it was time to stop him and conspired against him with her sons. This action caused Ptolemy Keraunus to kill two of her sons, Lysimachus and Philip, while the eldest, Ptolemy, was able to escape and to flee north, to the kingdom of the Dardanians. She herself went to Alexandria, Egypt to seek protection from her brother, Ptolemy II Philadelphus.

Queen of Egypt

In Egypt, she is believed to have instigated the accusation and exile of her brother Ptolemy II's first wife, Arsinoë I. Arsinoë II then married her brother. As a result, both were given the epithet "Philadelphoi" (Greek: Φιλάδελφοι, "Sibling-loving (plural)") by the presumably scandalized Greeks.

Sharing in all of her brother's titles, she apparently was quite influential, having towns dedicated to her, her own cult (as was Egyptian custom), appearing on coinage and contributing to foreign policy, including Ptolemy II's victory in the First Syrian War between Egypt and the Seleucid Empire.

According to Posidippus, she won three chariot races at the Olympic Games, probably in 272 BC.


After her death, Ptolemy II continued to refer to her on official documents, as well as supporting her coinage and cult. In establishing her worship as a goddess he justified his own cult.


Arsinoe II Wikipedia