Ptolemy Soter was a lifelong friend of Alexander the Great and one of his most trusted Generals.
He accompanied Alexander on all his campaigns and was one of his seven bodyguards. After
the death of Alexander, he became Satrap of Egypt, and eventually founded the long lasting Ptolemy
dynasty in Egypt. He was a major figure in all the , and he was the only one who
kept his originally assigned territory intact.
|VIEW OF ALEXANDRIA|
Ptolemy was one of the major architects of the division of Alexander's empire. He chose Egypt for
himself, and appeared to submit to Perdiccas, but at the same time, made a plan to steal Alexander's
body so that he could have the honor of burying it himself. This provoked a war with Perdiccas,
that ended when Perdiccas was assassinated upon his invasion of Egypt. For several years the
Empire continued to hold together with Antipater as a regent, but on his death another great
struggle for power broke out. In this war Ptolemy allied himself with Cassander, but most of the
fighting was done in Asia Minor, and the net result was that Antigonus took control of most of
Syria and Asia, which Ptolemy found to be threatening. For the next several decades, Ptolemy
was allied with Seleucus, former Satrap of Babylon, and Lysimachus, Satrap of Thrace, against
Antigonus. Most of the battles centered on the region which is now Lebanon, Israel, and Cyprus.
Finally, at the battle of Ipsus in 302, Antigonus was crushed and his empire divided. The main
beneficiary was Selecus, but Ptolemy gained much of the Palestine region in the Middle East.
After the battle of Issus Ptolemy made no further expeditions into Asia Minor, and eventually
lost his possessions in Greece. He did however, reconquer Cyprus in 295 B.C. He spent most of the rest
of his reign organizing and building up a well-ordered administration. He was a patron of the arts
and letters, and founder of the famous library of Alexandria, and made Alexander a center of
learning unparalleled in the Hellenic World. He himself wrote a history of Alexander's campaigns.
In 285 B.C. he abdicated in
favour of Ptolemy II., one of his sons by Berenice, his second wife. His older son, Ptolemy Ceranus,
whose mother had been repudiated, fled to the court of Lysimachus after being bypassed for the
throne. Ptolemy I. Soter died in 283 B.C. at the age of 84.
Key events during the life of Ptolemy I:
||Raised in Macedonia at the court of Alexander the Great.
||Accompanied Alexander on invasion of Persia, as private bodyguard.
||Campaigned with Alexander in India.
||At death of Alexander, was made Satrap of Egypt.
||Perdiccas invades Egypt, but is killed by his own attendants.
||Occupied Syria and Cyprus.
||In union with Lysimachus, Cassander and Seleucus, declares war on Antigonus.
||Victory of Antigonus at Battle of Gaza.
||Last Heirs of Alexander are murdered. Remaining Diodochi declare themselves kings.
||Final defeat of Antigonus at the battle of Ipsus.
||Establishes library at Alexandria.
||Abdicates thrown in favor of Ptolemy II.—son of his second wife.
||Dies at age 81.
|Alexander the Great
||Greatest general of ancient times. Conquered Persian Empire with 40,000 soldiers.
||One of Philip's most trusted generals. Left in charge of Macedonia during Alexander's conquests.
||Took over the empire of Alexander at his death, but couldn't keep it.
||Allied with Antipater and Ptolemy I in early Diadochi Wars. Won control of Asia Minor and Syria.
||Son of a general of Alexander. Founded Seleucid Dynasty, in Syria and Central Asia.
||Second wife of Ptolemy I. He married her after repudiating his first wife, Euridyce.
|Ptolemy II Philadelphus
||Second son of Ptolemy I. Ruled Egypt 281-246 B.C.
||Eldest son of Ptolemy, by Euridyce. Passed over for the Egyptian throne.