|previous article in this issue||next article in this issue|
Document Details :
Title: The Marriage of Ptolemy I and Berenice I
Author(s): VAN OPPEN DE RUITER, Branko
Journal: Ancient Society
Volume: 41 Date: 2011
This article examines the uncertainty about the date of Ptolemy I’s marriage to Berenice I. While modern estimates range from 317 to 285, I suggest that a date between 320 and 315 is more probable. More important than establishing the date of this marriage, however, is revealing the underlying scholarly assumptions that have often been of dubious nature. Particularly obstructive has been the belief in Ptolemy’s serial monogamy - especially in light of explicit evidence that he was polygamous. Even historians who acknowledge Ptolemy’s polygamy appear entrenched in the side-effects of this fallacious notion when they persist that Berenice remained Ptolemy’s mistress until the birth of the future Ptolemy II. This note may then serve as a general warning about the intricacies of the marital behavior of the (early-) Hellenistic dynasties.