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Ptolomaic Rule of Egypt

With Alexander's conquests Greek culture was spread to other parts of the known world. Greek culture was spread throughout the known world.  Now a common language and the Greek Pantheon unified this new world.

Alexander's general and regional governors divided the empire into three parts. Ptolomy the governor of Egypt and Palestine founded the Ptolomaic Empire.

From 323 to 30 B.C. great strides were made in knowledge, mathematics, applied mechanics,philosophy, and art.The Greek influence dominated the Mediterranea basin, Adratic Sea, the Italian peninsula, and the city of Rome

From 525 B.C. Egypt was part of the Persian Empire. In 332 B.C. Alexander the Great was crowned as Pharaoh at Memphis. Alexandria was founded the following year and replaced Memphis as capital of Egypt.

At its height the Ptolemaic Dynasty was one of the greatest and most prosperous empires in ancient western history. At its peak, Egyptian territories included Phoenicia, Palestine, and Cyprus.

Ptolemy I, Soter or “Savior” 323-285 B.C.

This is a silver tetradrachm of Ptolemy I as Pharaoh of Egypt. The obverse shows Ptolemy I facing right with diadem head and aegis or headband. Reverse shows eagle stand right on thunderbolt.(Sear 7761)

In 323 B.C., Alexander’s general Ptolemy was appointed Satrap or client king of Egypt. Ptolemy quickly consolidated his power. In 305 B.C. Ptolemy took the title of Pharaoh and established a royal dynasty that endured for 275 years until the death of Cleopatra’s death in 30 B.C.

Ptolemy II 285-246 B.C.

Silver deckadrachm of Arsinoe II, Queen of Egypt and co-ruler with Ptolemy II. Obverse shows veiled head of Arsinoe II facing right wearing stephane or greek crown of divinity. Reverse shows double cornucopia. (Sear 7770) The Museum, Library, and Pharos were completed in Alexandria during this period.

Ptolemy III 246-221 B.C.

Gold didrachm of joint rulers of Ptolemy III and Berenike II. Obverse shows conjoined portraits facing right. Reverse shows same portraits as obverse. (Sear 7787) During this time the Ptolemaic Empire reached its highest peak.

Ptolemy IV 221-205 B.C.

Gold didrachm of Ptolemy IV. Obverse shows a radiated bust of Ptolemy III wearing an aegis and trident over left shoulder. Reverse shows a cornucopia bound with a ribbon. (Sear 7829). Ptolemy IV was a weak ruler. The affairs of state were managed by his advisers.

Cleopatra VII, 69-30 B.C.

Silver drachma of Cleopatra. Obverse shows portrait facing right. Reverse shows eagle facing left with thunderbolt in left claw. (Sear 7955). The last Queen of Egypt proved to be a powerful leader in a male-dominated society. Faced with internal and external strife, Cleopatra received Roman support from Julius Caesar. Caesar died in 44 B.C. In 31 B.C. Mark Anthony and Cleopatra combined armies against the Roman navy under Octavian. At the Battle of Actium Octavian defeated the forces of Cleopatra and Anthony. Rather than live under Roman rule, the last Queen of Egypt committed suicide on August 12, 30 B.C. 

All coins are made of lead-free pewter in the United States of America.