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Ptolemy

PTOLEMY (tŏl'ĕ-mē, Gr. Ptolemaios). The common name of the fifteen Macedonian kings of Egypt whose dynasty extended from the death of [[Alexander the Great]] in 323 b.c. to the murder of the young Caesarion, son of Julius Caesar and Cleopatra, at Octavian’s orders in 30. The first Ptolemy, surnamed Soter, 367 to 282, was a distinguished officer of Alexander. He became satrap of Egypt in 323, but converted his command into a kingdom in 305. As a successor of the pharaohs, Ptolemy I took over the ancient administration of Egypt, and especially the theory glimpsed in the OT record of Joseph’s life, the ownership of the land. His vast and highly centralized bureaucracy, which became a permanent feature of Ptolemaic rule, prepared the way for the Roman imperial administration of Egypt and contrasted with the Hellenistic policies of the rival Seleucid regime in Syria.