Ptolemaic cult of Alexander the Great
The Ptolemaic cult of Alexander the Great was an imperial cult in ancient Egypt in the Hellenistic period (323–31 BC), promoted by the Ptolemaic dynasty. The core of the cult was the worship of the deified conqueror-king Alexander the Great, which eventually formed the basis for the ruler cult of the Ptolemies themselves. The head priest of the cult was the chief priest in the Ptolemaic Kingdom, and years were dated after the incumbents (eponymous priests).
- 1 Background
- 2 Alexander as the chief god of the Ptolemies
- 3 The Ptolemies as temple-sharing gods
- 4 List of priests of Alexander
- 4.1 Ptolemy I Soter (305–282 BC)
- 4.2 Ptolemy II Philadelphos (285/282–246 BC)
- 4.3 Ptolemy III Euergetes (246–222 BC)
- 4.4 Ptolemy IV Philopator (222–205 BC)
- 4.5 Ptolemy V Epiphanes (205–180 BC)
- 4.6 Ptolemy VI Philometor (180–170 BC)
- 4.7 Ptolemy VI Philometor / Ptolemy VIII Physcon / Cleopatra II (170–145 BC)
- 4.8 Ptolemy VIII Euergetes II / Cleopatra II (145–141 BC)
- 4.9 Ptolemy VIII Euergetes II / Cleopatra II / Cleopatra III (141–116 BC)
- 4.10 Cleopatra III / Ptolemy IX Soter II (116–107 BC)
- 4.11 Cleopatra III / Ptolemy X Alexander I (107–101/88 BC)
- 5 Union of the priesthood to the royal title
- 6 Abbreviations
- 7 See also
- 8 Bibliography
Following the death of Alexander the Great in 323 BC, his empire fell apart in the wars of the Diadochi (his generals, the Diadochi or "Successors"). One of them, Ptolemy, son of Lagos, secured rule of Egypt and made it the base for his own imperial ambitions. To legitimize his rule as Ptolemy I Soter (r. 323–282 BC), he relied, like the other Diadochi, not only on the right of conquest, but also on the supposed legitimate succession of Alexander. Not only did Ptolemy I portray himself as Alexander's closest friend in his historical work, but in 321 BC, he seized his body while Alexander's funeral procession was on its way to Macedon from Babylon, and brought it to the Egyptian capital at Memphis. This claim was particularly useful in Egypt, where Alexander had been greeted as liberator from the Achaemenid Empire (the so-called "Twenty-seventh Dynasty") and had been enthroned as Pharaoh and son of the deity Ammon-Ra, receiving divine honours. During his stay in Egypt, Alexander had also laid the foundations for the city of Alexandria, which became the main Greek colony and capital of the country.
In the new Ptolemaic Kingdom, the Hellenic element (Macedonians and people from Greek city-states), to which the Ptolemaic dynasty itself belonged, formed the ruling class which succeeded the native Egyptian Pharaohs. While sacred kingship had long been practised in Egypt and other eastern nations, it was almost unheard-of in the Greek world. Driven by his unprecedented conquests, in the last year of his life Alexander had demanded even from his Greek subjects to be treated as a living god (apotheōsis). This was accepted only reluctantly, and often rejected outright, by the Greek cities, but Alexander's prolific founding of cities alone secured for him a divine status there, since Greek cities traditionally rendered their founder (Greek: κτίστης, romanized: ktistēs) divine honours. When Ptolemy took over Egypt, he incorporated the heritage of Alexander into his own propaganda to support the claims of his own dynasty. As part of this effort, Alexander was elevated from a simple patron god of Alexandria to the status of a state god for the Greek populations of the entire Ptolemaic empire, even beyond the confines of Egypt.
Alexander as the chief god of the PtolemiesEdit
During the early Ptolemaic dynasty (c. 290 BC), Ptolemy I began the construction of the Tomb of Alexander the Great in Alexandria (the σῆμα, sēma, ), and appointed a priest (ἱερεύς, hiereus) to conduct religious rites there. This office quickly advanced to become the highest priesthood in the Ptolemaic Kingdom, its prominence underscored by its eponymous character, i.e., each regnal year was named after the incumbent priest, and documents, whether in Koine Greek or Demotic Egyptian, were dated after him. The first priest of Alexander was no less a figure than Ptolemy I's brother Menelaos. The tenure lasted one year, but under Ptolemy I, the priests apparently held the post for longer tenures, while under his successors, with few exceptions, the tenures were reduced to a single year.
Under Ptolemy II Philadelphus (r. 282–246 BC), Alexander's body was brought to the sēma, and, in contrast to the usual Greek custom of cremation, was entombed in a magnificent golden sarcophagus, which was eventually replaced by a transparent glass coffin to display his preserved body. Not only did the presence of Alexander's body in the Ptolemaic capital enhance the dynasty's prestige, but it also became one of the main attractions and pilgrimage sites in the ancient Mediterranean. Even Roman emperors made the journey to Alexandria to visit the great conqueror's tomb.
The Ptolemies assigned the deified Alexander a prominent place in the Greek pantheon, associating him with the Twelve Olympians like Zeus and Apollo. Accordingly, in documents Alexander was referred to simply by his name, as the epithet theos ("god") was regarded as superfluous.
The Ptolemies as temple-sharing godsEdit
While Ptolemy I Soter founded the imperial cult of Alexander, his son and successor Ptolemy II completed its connection to the ruler cult around the reigning dynasty itself. The cult of the Ptolemies began in 283/2 BC, when the deceased parents of Ptolemy II were deified as the "Saviour Gods" (θεοὶ σωτῆρες, theoi sōtēres). Statues of the deified couple were installed in the Temple of Alexander, and the priest of the Alexander cult took over the rites for the deified Ptolemies as well. With this gesture, the Ptolemies underlined the superior position of Alexander, and their own subordination to him as "temple-sharing gods" (σύνναοι θεοί, synnanoi theoi). Alexander remained the main recipient of rituals and sacrifices, with the Ptolemies only partaking in them.
The elevation of Alexander over the Ptolemies, and their connection to him, was further deepened through the expansion of the cult. Thus in 269 BC, the female priestly office of "basket bearer" (kanēphóros) for the "Sibling Goddess" (thea adelphos) Arsinoe II was established, followed in 211 BC by the "prize-bearer" priestess (athlophoros) in honour of the "Benefactor Goddess" (thea euergetis), Berenice II, and in 199 BC by a priestess for the "Father-Loving Goddess" (thea philopatōr), Arsinoe III. All these priesthoods were subordinate to the priest of Alexander.
Cleopatra III added three further female priesthoods for her own personal cult as "Benefactor and Mother-Loving Goddess" (thea euergetis philometōr): the "sacred foal" (hieros pōlos), the "crown bearer" (stephanēphoros), and the "light bearer" (phōsphoros).
The concept of "temple-sharing gods" was underlined under Ptolemy IV Philopator (r. 221–204 BC), who translated the remains of the Ptolemies and their consorts—unlike Alexander, they had been cremated and kept in urns—to the sēma.
List of priests of AlexanderEdit
Ptolemy I Soter (305–282 BC)Edit
|006||Menelaos, son of Lagos||285/284 BC||39th||P. Hib. I 84a.||Brother of Ptolemy I|
|007||Menelaos, son of Lagos||284/283 BC||40th||P. Eleph. 2.||5th tenure|
|008||Eureas, son of Proitos||283/282 BC||41st||P. Eleph. 3.||Served for three tenures|
Ptolemy II Philadelphos (285/282–246 BC)Edit
|For the priests Nr. 9–16, from the 4th to the 11th regnal years of Ptolemy II Philadelphos, there exist two papyri with priest names, but which cannot be precisely dated.|
|?||Athenaios or Limnaios, son of Apollonios||?||?||P. Hib. I 97.|
|?||Philiskos, son of Spoudaios||?||?||P. Hib. I 30.|
|017||Leontiskos, son of Kallimedes||274/273 BC||12th||P. Cair. Zen. I 59001.
P. Hib. I 110.
|018||Nearchos or Neomedes, son of Neokles or Philokles||273/272 BC||13th||P. Hib. I 110; II 199.|
|019||Kallikrates, son of Boiskos||272/271 BC||14th||P. Hib. II 199.
PP VI 14607.
|From Samos. First priest of Alexander and the deified Prolemies (Theoi Adelphoi).|
|020||Patroklos, son of Patron||271/270 BC||15th||P. Hib. II 199.
PP VI 15063.
|Senior Ptolemaic commander in the Chremonidean War.|
|For the priests Nr. 21–25, from the 16th to the 20th regnal years of Ptolemy II, there are no extant records.|
|026||Timarchides, son of Asklepiodoros||265/264 BC||21st||P. Strasb. V 641.|
|027||Pelops, son of Alexandros||264/263 BC||22nd||P. Hib. I 92.
PP VI 14618.
|From Macedon, father of Pelops|
|028||Kineas, son of Alketas||263/262 BC||23rd||P. Hib. I 88; II 209.
PP VI 17215.
|029||Aristonikos, son of Perilaos||262/261 BC||24th||P. Hib. I 85 und 190.
PP VI 14897.
|030||Ptolemy, son of Aratokles||261/260 BC||25th||P. Hib. I 143.
P. Osl. II 16.
PP III/IX 5236.
|031||Taurinos, son of Alexandros||260/259 BC||26th||BGU VI 1226.||From Macedon, brother of Pelops|
|032||Medeios, son of Lampon (or Laagon)||259/258 BC||27th||BGU VI 1227.
P. Petrie III 56b.
|033||Antiphilos, son of Lykinos||258/257 BC||28th||BGU VI 1228.
P. Hib. I 94.
|034||Antiochos, son of Kebbas||257/256 BC||29th||BGU VI 1229; X 1979, 1980.
P. Cair. Zen. I 59133.
P. Hib. I 95.
|036||Glaukon, son of Eteokles||255/254 BC||31st||PP IX 5203.
P. Cair. Zen. II 59173, 59182.
|Brother of Chremonides from Athens|
|038||Aetos, son of Apollonios||253/252 BC||33rd||P. Cair. Zen. II 59248.
PP IX 4988.
|039||Neoptolemos, son of Kraisis||252/251 BC||34th||P. Hib. I 98.||From Pisidia|
|040||Ptolemy, son of Andromachos||251/250 BC||35th||P. Cair. Zen. II 59289.||Possibly identical with Ptolemy Andromachou|
|041||Epainetos, son of Epainetos||250/249 BC||36th||P. Cornell 2.|
|042||?||249/248 BC||37th||P. Cornell 2.|
|043||Antiochos, son of Kratidas||248/247 BC||38th||PP III/IX 4999.
P. Petrie III 54a.
|044||Tlepolemos, son of Artapates||247/246 BC||39th||P. Cair. Zen. III 59340.||From Xanthos|
Ptolemy III Euergetes (246–222 BC)Edit
|044||Tlepolemos, son of Artapates||246/246 BC||1st|
|045||Tlepolemos, son of Artapates||246/245 BC||2nd||P. Petrie III 43.
PSI IV 385.
|046||Archelaos, son of Damas||245/244 BC||3rd||BGU X 1981.
P. Hib. I 145.
PP III/IX 5040.
|047||Archelaos, son of Damas||244/243 BC||4th||BGU X 1981.
P. Hib. I 145.
PP III/IX 5040.
|048||Aristobulos, son of Diodotos||243/242 BC||5th||P. Hib. I 171.
PSI IV 389.
|049||Tantalos, son of Kleonikos||242/241 BC||6th||P. Petrie II 44 = III 54b.|
|050||Archibios, son of Pheidon||241/240 BC||7th||P. Hausw. 2; 8; 9.|
|051||Onomastos, son of Pyrgon or Pyrrhon||240/239 BC||8th||P. Hib. I 89; II 261, 262.|
|052||Apollonides, son of Moschion||239/238 BC||9th||OGIS I 56.|
|053||Apollonides, son of Moschion||238/237 BC||10th||P. Petrie IV 1.||2nd tenure|
|054||Seleukos||237/236 BC||11th||P. Petrie III 58d.|
|055||Eukles, son of Eubatas||236/235 BC||12th||BGU X 1982.
P. Petrie IV 16.
|056||Sosibios, son of Dioskourides||235/234 BC||13th||P. Petrie III 55a; IV 22.
PP VI 14631.
|057||Hellanikos, son of Hellanikos (or Euphragoras?)||234/233 BC||14th||P. Amsterdam inv. 250.|
|058||?, son of Leon||233/232 BC||15th||P. dem. Cair. II 30604.|
|059||Aristomachos, son of Timandros||232/231 BC||16th||P. Hamb. inv. 676.|
|060||Menneas, son of Menoitios||231/230 BC||17th||P. dem. Berl. 3089.|
|062||Philon, son of Antipatros||229/228 BC||19th||P. dem. Cair. II 31208; 31210.|
|063||Ikatidas, son of Ikatidas||228/227 BC||20th||SB V 7631.|
|064||Galestes, son of Philistion||227/226 BC||21st||P. Petrie III 21a–b.
SB III 6277; 6301.
P. dem. Cair. 30624.
|065||Alexikrates, son of Theogenes||226/225 BC||22nd||P. Petrie I 19; III 19c.|
|066||Ptolemy, son of Chrysermos||225/224 BC||23rd||PP III/IX 5238; VI 14624.|
|067||Archeteas, son of Iasios||224/223 BC||24th||P. Hamb. inv. I 24.|
|068||Dositheos, son of Drimylos||223/222 BC||25th||CPJud. I 127d–e.
III Maccabees 1, 3.
|Born a Jew|
Ptolemy IV Philopator (222–205 BC)Edit
|069||Nikanor, son of Bakchios||222/221 BC||1st||BGU VI 1273; X 1983.|
|070||Pytheas, son of Apollodoros||221/220 BC||2nd||P. Hausw. 16.
SB X 10450; XII 10859.
|071||Demetrios, son of Apelles||220/219 BC||3rd||BGU X 1984.|
|072||Demetrios, son of Apelles||219/218 BC||4th||SB XII 11061.|
|073||Mnasiades, son of Polykrates||218/217 BC||5th||BGU VI 1274.||From Argos, father of Polykrates|
|074||Ptolemy, son of Aeropos||217/216 BC||6th||PP III/IX 5239; VI 15168 und 15237.||From Argos|
|075||Agathokles, son of Agathokles||216/215 BC||7th||BGU VI 1262; X 1958; 1986.|
|076||Ptolemy, son of Ptolemy||215/214 BC||8th||BGU VI 1264; 1275; 1276; 1277; 1278; X 1943; 1959; 1969.|
|077||Andronikos, son of Nikanor||214/213 BC||9th||BGU X 1944; 1945; 1960; XIV 2397.|
|078||Pythangelos, son of Philokleitos||213/212 BC||10th||BGU X 1946; 1947.
SB III 6289.
|079||Eteoneus (?, son of Eteoneus?)||212/211 BC||11th||BGU X 1963; 1965.
SB III 6288.
|080||Eteoneus (?, son of Eteoneus?)||211/210 BC||12th||P. dem. Berl. 3075.|
|081||Antiphilos, son of Agathanor||210/209 BC||13th||P. BM Andrews 18.|
|082||Aiakides, son of Hieronymos||209/208 BC||14th||P. Hausw. 14.|
|083||Demosthenes or Timosthenes, son of Kratinos||208/207 BC||15th||P. BM Andrews 28.|
|086||Asklepiades, son of Asklepiades||205 BC||18th||P. KölnÄgypt. 7.|
Ptolemy V Epiphanes (205–180 BC)Edit
|087||Aristomenes, son of Menneas||204/203 BC||2nd||P. dem. Cair. 30660, 30700.||From Alyzeia|
|088||Satyros, son of Eumenes||203/202 BC||3rd||PP III/IX 5263.|
|089||Adaios, son of Gorgias||202/201 BC||4th||P. Tebt. III 820.|
|090||Pausanias, son of Demetrios||201/200 BC||5th||P. Tebt. III 1003.|
|091||Andromachos, son of Lysimachos||200/199 BC||6th|
|092||Twnn, son of Ptolemy||199/198 BC||7th||P. dem. Louvre 2435.|
|093||Demetrios, son of Sitalkes||198/197 BC||8th||P. dem. Louvre 3266.|
|094||Aetos, son of Aetos||197/196 BC||9th||Rosetta Stone = OGIS I 90.|
|095||Zoilos, son of Andros||196/195 BC||10th||London, BM EA 10624, 10629.|
|096||Ptolemy, son of Ptolemy||195/194 BC||11th||PP IX 5240a.|
|098||?, son of Eumelos||193/192 BC||13th||P. Tebt. III 816.|
|099||Theon, son of Zenodotos||192/191 BC||14th||BGU XIV 2388.|
|100||Antipatros, son of Dionysios||191/190 BC||15th||London, BM EA 10560.|
|103||Charileos, son of Nymphion||188/187 BC||18th||P. Mich. inv. 928.|
|104||Aristonikos, son of Aristonikos||187/186 BC||19th||From Alexandria|
|105||Timotheos, son of Timotheos||186/185 BC||20th||P. Mich. inv. 3156.
P. BM. Reich 10226.
|106||Ptolemy, son of Ptolemy||185/184 BC||21st||PP III/IX 5241, VI 14946.|
|107||Ptolemy, son of Ptolemy||184/183 BC||22nd||PP III/IX 5241, VI 14946.||2nd tenure|
|108||Ptolemy, son of Pyrrhides||183/182 BC||23rd||Stele 5576.|
|109||Hegesistratos, son of Hegesistratos||182/181 BC||24th||P. BM Andrews 10.|
|110||?, son of Zenodoros||181/180 BC||25th|
Ptolemy VI Philometor (180–170 BC)Edit
|111||Poseidonios, son of Poseidonios||180/179 BC||2nd||P. Amh. II 42.|
|112||Philon, son of Kastor||179/178 BC||3rd||P. dem. Cair. 30783, 30968.||From Alexandria|
|114||Ptolemy, son of Ptolemy||177/176 BC||5th||London, BM EA 10518.|
|115||Ptolemy, son of Philokrates||176/175 BC||6th|
|116||Philostratos, son of Asklepiodotos||175/174 BC||7th||P. Tebt. III 818, 979.|
|117||Herakleodoros, son of Apollophanes||174/173 BC||8th||P. Amh. II 43.|
|118||Apollodoros, son of Zenon||173/172 BC||9th||P. BM Siut 10594.
P. Mich. inv. 190.
|119||Demetrios, son of Demokles||172/171 BC||10th||P. Tebt. III 819.|
|120||Alexandros, son of Epikrates||171/170 BC||11th||London, BM EA 10675.|
Ptolemy VI Philometor / Ptolemy VIII Physcon / Cleopatra II (170–145 BC)Edit
|121||Pyrrhos, son of Pyrrhos||170/169 BC||12th / 1st||London, BM EA 10513.|
|122||?||169/168 BC||13th / 2nd|
|123||?||168/167 BC||14th / 3rd|
|124||?||167/166 BC||15th / 4th|
|125||Melagkomas (son of Philodamos?)||166/165 BC||16th / 5th||PP III/IX 5194.||From Aetolia|
|126||Polykritos, son of Aristodemos||165/164 BC||17th / 6th|
|127||Herakleides or Herakleitos, son of Philoxenos||164/163 BC||18th / 7th|
|128||Isidotos, son of Theon or Thyion||163/162 BC||19th / 8th|
|129||?||162/161 BC||20th / 9th|
|130||?||161/160 BC||21st / 10th|
|131||?||160/159 BC||22nd / 11th|
|132||?||159/158 BC||23rd / 12th|
|133||Ptolemy, son of Ptolemy||158/157 BC||24th / 13th||P. dem. Cair. 30606.
London, BM EA 10561, 10618.
|Eldest son of Ptolemy VI and Cleopatra II|
|134||?||157/156 BC||25th / 14th|
|135||Kaphisodoros, son of Kaphisodoros||156/155 BC||26th / 15th||PP III/IX 5167.|
|136||?||155/154 BC||27th / 16th|
|137||?||154/153 BC||28th / 17th|
|138||Demetrios, son of Stratonikos||153/152 BC||29th / 18th|
|139||?||152/151 BC||30th / 19th|
|140||?||151/150 BC||31st / 20th|
|141||Epitychos or Epidikos||150/149 BC||32nd / 21st||London, BM EA 10620.|
|142||?||149/148 BC||33rd / 22nd|
|143||Kallikles, son of Diokrates or Theokrates||148/147 BC||34th / 23rd||P. dem. Cair. 31179.|
|144||?, son of Zoilos||147/146 BC||35th / 24th||London, BM EA 10620(b).|
|145||Tyiywns, son of Xanthippos||146/145 BC||36th / 25th||P. dem. Cair. 30605.|
Ptolemy VIII Euergetes II / Cleopatra II (145–141 BC)Edit
|145||Tyiywns, son of Xanthippos||145 BC||25th||P. dem. Cair. 30605.|
|147||Ptolemy, son of Ptolemy||144/143 BC||27th||P. Köln VIII 350.||Second son of Ptolemy VI and Cleopatra II, who according to older research reigned briefly as Ptolemy VII in 145 BC.|
Ptolemy VIII Euergetes II / Cleopatra II / Cleopatra III (141–116 BC)Edit
|153||Dionysios, son of Demetrios||138/137 BC||33rd||P. dem. Cair. 30619.|
|155||Antipatros, son of Ammonios||136/135 BC||35th||P. Tebt. III 810.|
|156||Ptolemy, son of Ptolemy||135/134 BC||36th||P. Tebt. III 810.||Son of Ptolemy VIII, either Memphites or Ptolemy IX|
|For the priests Nr. 157–171, from the 37th to 50th regnal years of Ptolemy VIII Euergetes II, there are no extant records.|
|172||Apollonios, son of Eirenaios||120/119 BC||51st||London, BM EA 10398.|
|173||Ptolemy, son of Kastor||119/118 BC||52nd||PP III/IX 5251.
P. Hamb. inv. 12.
Cleopatra III / Ptolemy IX Soter II (116–107 BC)Edit
|Ptolemy IX Philometor Soter||116/115 BC||2nd||P. dem. Cair. 30602; 30603.|
|Ptolemy IX Theos Philometor Soter||115/114 BC||3rd||P. Genf. I, 25.
P. Strasb. 81, 83, 84.
|Ptolemy IX Theos Philometor Soter||114/113 BC||4th||P. Genf. II, 20.
P. Strasb. 85.
|Ptolemy IX Theos Philometor Soter||113/112 BC||5th||P. Lond. III 1204.|
|Artemidor, son of Sation
Ptolemy IX Theos Philometor Soter
|112/111 BC||6th||P. Strasb. 86.||Artemidor occupied the office in the first months of the regnal year. Probably a supporter of Cleopatra III.|
|Ptolemy IX Theos Philometor Soter||111/110 BC||7th||?|
|Ptolemy IX Theos Philometor Soter||110/109 BC||8th||BGU III 995.|
|Ptolemy IX Theos Philometor Soter||109/108 BC||9th||P. Lond. III 881.|
|Ptolemy IX Theos Philometor Soter||108/107 BC||10th||?|
|Ptolemy IX Theos Philometor Soter||107 BC||11th||BGU III 996.|
Cleopatra III / Ptolemy X Alexander I (107–101/88 BC)Edit
|Ptolemy X Theos Neos Alexandros||107/106 BC||11th / 8th||P. Bruxelles inv. E. 7155, 7156A.|
|Ptolemy X Theos Neos Alexandros||106/105 BC||12th / 9th||P. Tebt. I 166.|
|Cleopatra III Thea Euergetis Philometor||105/104 BC||13th / 10th||P. Köln II 81.|
Union of the priesthood to the royal titleEdit
Ptolemy, son of Castor, is the last priest of Alexander known by name, before the position was merged into the royal office. Since the priesthood of Alexander is first attested in the royal titulature in the second year of the joint reign of Ptolemy IX and Cleopatra III (116/115 BC), it is unclear whether the merge of the offices took place in the last two years of Ptolemy VII's rule, or with the accession of his successors. It is possible that the merger was done at the initiative of Ptolemy IX, as part of an effort to emphasize his precedence over his co-ruling mother, Cleopatra III. As such, the office changed its role and character, from an eponymous priesthood to a propaganda tool: unlike the royal office, which was increasingly shared among siblings or other family members from the early 2nd century BC on, the priesthood of Alexander was indivisible. This must have appealed to Ptolemy IX, eager to set himself apart from his mother, who he hated and who had begun her own priestly cult around her own person.
This new role of the priesthood of Alexander can be traced in later reigns as well. In the first months of 112/111 BC, an ordinary citizen, Artemidorus, occupied the office. He was probably a partisan of Cleopatra III, who had succeeded to temporarily evict her son from Alexandria. As women could not occupy a supreme priesthood in the Greek world, she had to content herself with placing one of her supporters in the post, as a public sign of her new dominance. After Artemidorus, however, the name of Ptolemy IX was subsequently added in the papyrus, which means that he managed to return to Alexandria in the same year.
In 107 BC, Cleopatra III managed to expel Ptolemy IX for good from Alexandria, and raised her second son, Ptolemy X, to the throne as her co-ruler and priest of Alexander. As the inter-dynastic rivalry continued, however, in 105 BC she finally decided to assume the priesthood herself, to underline her precedence. Cleopatra probably intended this arrangement to be permanent, but her blatant violation of Greek norms in assuming the priesthood must have damaged her image among the Greeks. The last years of her reign were taken up with her persistent conflict with Ptolemy IX, until she died in 101 BC, probably following an assassination attempt by Ptolemy IX, whereupon Ptolemy X became sole ruler. The priestly and royal offices remained united under Ptolemy X and his successors, although the priestly title was rarely mentioned in the papyri, as the loss of its eponymous character rendered it irrelevant for dating purposes.
- BGU = Ägyptische Urkunden aus den Staatlichen Museen zu Berlin, Griechische Urkunden. (13 volumes published since 1895; New prints of Vols. I–IX, Milan 1972).
- CPJud = Victor A. Tcherikover, Alexander Fuks: Corpus Papyrorum Judaicarum. Vol. I, Cambridge (Massachusetts) 1957.
- London, BM EA = inv.entory numbers of papyri and inscriptions of the British Museum, London.
- OGIS = Wilhelm Dittenberger: Orientis Graeci inscriptiones selectae. Col. I, Leipzig 1903.
- P. Amh. = B. P. Grenfell, A. S. Hunt: The Amherst PapyrI 2 Vols. London 1900–1901.
- P. Amsterdam inv. = Papyrus inventory of the University of Amsterdam.
- P. BM Andews = C. A. R. Andrews: Ptolemaic Legal Texts from the Theban Area. London 1990.
- P. dem. Berl. = Demotische Papyri aus den Staatlichen Museen zu Berlin., 3 Vols, Berlin 1978–1993.
- P. Bruxelles inv. = Papyrus inventory of the Royal Museums of Art and History, Brussels.
- P. Cair. Zen. = C. C. Edgar: Zenon Papyri Vols. I–V, Cairo 1925–1931.
- P. Cornell = W. L. Westermann, C. J. Kraemer Jr.: Greek Papyri in the Library of Cornell University. New York 1926.
- P. dem. Cair. = Wilhelm Spiegelberg: Die Demotischen Denkmäler. Col. I: Die demotischen Inschriften. Leipzig 1904; Vol. II: Die demotischen PapyrI Strasbourg 1908; Vol: III: Demotische Inschriften und Papyri Berlin 1932.
- P. Eleph. = Otto Rubensohn: Aegyptische Urkunden aus den königlichen Museen in Berlin. In: Griechische Urkunden. Extra issue: Elephantine Papyri Berlin 1907.
- P. Genf. I = J. Nicole: Les Papyrus de Genève. Vol. I, Geneva 1896–1906.
- P. Hamb. inv. = P. Meyer: Griechische Papyrusurkunden der Hamburger Staats- und Universitätsbibliothek. Leipzig/Berlin 1911–1924.
- P. Hib. I = Bernard P. Grenfell, Arthur S. Hunt: The Hibeh Papyri Part I, London 1906.
- P. Hib. II = E. G. Turner: The Hibeh Papyri Part II, London 1955.
- P. Hausw. = Wilhelm Spiegelberg, Josef Partsch: Die demotischen Hauswaldt Papyri: Verträge der ersten Hälfte der Ptolemäerzeit (Ptolemaios II.–IV.) aus Apollinopolos (Edfu). Leipzig 1913.
- P. KölnÄgypt. = D. Kurth, H.-J. Thissen und M. Weber (Hrsg.): Kölner ägyptische Papyri Opladen 1980.
- P. Köln II = B. Kramer und D. Hagedorn: Kölner Papyri Vol. 2, Opladen 1978.
- P. Köln VIII = M. Gronewald, K. Maresch und C. Römer: Kölner Papyri Vol. 8, Opladen 1997.
- P. Lond. III = F. G. Kenyon, H. I. Bell: Greek Papyri in the British Museum. Vol. III, London 1907.
- P. Mich. inv. = Papyrus inventory of the University of Michigan.
- P. Osl. = S. Eitrem, L. Amundsen: Papyri Osloenses. Vols. II–III, Oslo 1931–1936.
- P. Petrie = J. P. Mahaffy, J. G. Smyly: The Flinders Petrie Papyri Vols. I–III, Dublin, 1891–1905.
- P. BM. Reich = Nathaniel Reich J.: Papyri juristischen Inhalts in hieratischer und demotischer Schrift aus dem British Museum. Vienna 1914.
- P. BM Siut = Herbert Thompson: A Family Archive from Siut from Papyri in the British Museum. Oxford 1934.
- P. Strasb. = Papyrus grecs de la Bibliothèque Nationale et Universitaire de Strasbourg. Strasbourg 1912–1914.
- P. Tebt. I = B. P. Grenfell, A. S. Hunt, J. G. Smyly: The Tebtunis Papyri Vol. I, London 1902.
- P. Tebt. III = Bernard P. Grenfell, Arthur S. Hunt, J. Gilbart Smyly: The Tebtunis Papyri Vol. III, London 1933.
- PP VI = Willy Peremans, Edmond Van‘t Dack, Leon Mooren, W. Swinnen: Prosopographia Ptolemaica VI: La cour, les relations internationales et les possessions extérieures, la vie culturelle (Nos 14479-17250). In: Studia Hellenistica. Bd. 21, Louvain 1968.
- PP III/IX = Willy Clarysse: Prosopographia Ptolemaica IX: Addenda et Corrigenda au volume III In: Studia Hellensitica. Vol. 25, Louvain, 1981.
- PSI = Papyri Greci e LatinI Vols. I–XIV, Florence 1912–1957.
- SB = Hans A. Rupprecht, Joachim Hengstl: Sammelbuch griechischer Urkunden aus Ägypten. Vols. I–XXVI, 1903–2006.
- Stele 5576 = Urbain Bouriant: La Stèle 5576 du Musée de Boulaq et l’Inscription de Rosette. In: Recueil de travaux, Vol. 6, Paris 1885, pp. 1–20.
- Walter Otto: priest und Tempel im hellenistischen Aegypten. Vol. I, Teubner, Leipzig 1905, OCLC 310121616.
- Lily Ross Taylor: The cult of Alexander in Alexandria. In: Classic Philology. Vol. 22, 1927, pp. 162–169.
- S. R. K. Glanville, T. C. Skeat: Eponymous Priesthoods of Alexandria from 211 B.C. In: The Journal of Egyptian Archaeology. Vol. 40, 1954, pp. 45–58.
- J. IJsewijn: De sacerdotibus sacerdotiisque Alexandri Magni et Lagidarum eponymis. Brussels 1961, OCLC 3747093.
- L. Koenen: Cleopatra III als priestin des Alexanderkultes (P. Colon. inv. nr. 5063). In: Zeitschrift für Papyrologie und Epigraphik. Vol. 5 (1970), pp. 61–84.
- W. Clarysse, G. van der Veken: The Eponymous Priests of Ptolemaic Egypt. Brill, Leiden 1983, ISBN 90-04-06879-1.