Friday, May 25, 2007


Arsinoe (c.316--270 BC)
Queen of Thrace & Egypt

A Greek-Macedonian by birth, Arsinoe married the aged King of Thrace as his third wife, and had many domains bestowed upon her. Arsinoe was said to have persuaded her husband to execute his own son and heir on false charges in order to further her ambitions for her own three sons. When Arsinoe's husband was killed in battle, she escaped to Egypt, where her brother the weak Ptolemy II reigned with his wife, Arsinoe (yes another one so named).

The first Arsinoe ousted the second Arsinoe (the wife) and married her own brother to become Arsinoe II. Being the dominant of the two, Arsinoe exerted greater influence in Egypt than she had previously in Thrace. Arsinoe was responsible for many of Egypt's military and political successes. It was her head, not the head of Ptolemy, that appeared on the Egyptian coinage of the period. Arsinoe encouraged people to worship her as a Goddess, and her cult became widespread.

~~~ Melisende (first pub:1998 - Women of History)

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