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Arsinoe. The daughter of Ptolemy I. of Egypt and Berenice. She
married Lysimachus, king of Thrace, who was already advanced in years, by whom
she had several children. Lysimachus, setting out for Asia, left her in Macedouia,
with two sons, Lysimachus and Philip, a part of the fruits of their union. This
monarch having been slain in an expedition, Ptolemy Ceraunus seized on Macedonia,
but could not take the city of Cassandria, where Arsinoe had taken refuge with
her children. He therefore offered her his hand in marriage, and with much difficulty
obtained her consent. But no sooner had he been admitted into the city for the
purpose of celebrating the nuptials, than he caused her two sons to be slain,
and exiled Arsinoe herself to Samothrace. From this island she soon took her departure
to wed Ptolemy Philadelphus, her own brother, the first instance of this kind
of union, and which became afterwards so common in the time of the Ptolemies.
Although many years older than Ptolemy, she nevertheless inspired him with such
a passion that, after her death, he gave her name to one of the nomes of Egypt
(Arsinoitis), and to several cities both in that country and elsewhere. He even
gave orders to have a temple erected to her, but his own death and that of the
architect prevented the fulfilment of his wishes. It was intended to have had
the ceiling of loadstone, and the statue of iron, in order that the latter might
appear to be suspended in the air.
This text is from: Harry Thurston Peck, Harpers Dictionary of Classical Antiquities. Cited Nov 2002 from The Perseus Project URL below, which contains interesting hyperlinks
- Perseus: Harry Thurston Peck, Harpers Dictionary of Classical Antiquities (1898)
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