Altars of Cleopatra VII and Ptolemy XV Caesarion at Teos

Christopher P. JONES   85–92

Doi: 10.36991/PHILIA.202007 

How to cite 


Abstract: An altar copied by Jeanne and Louis Robert in Teos in 1955 bears the names of three deified Ptolemaic queens and of a living queen Cleopatra. In his editio princeps the present author suggested that the living queen was Cleopatra VII, the last Ptolemaic ruler of Egypt. This identification is now supported by a further altar discovered during excavations at Teos in 2013. The new altar, similar to the former in form and subject, was erected by L. Munatius Apollonius for several deified Ptolemaic kings and a living king Ptolemy. The dedicant’s Roman citizenship is likely to go back to L. Munatius Plancus, a close supporter of Antony, who governed Asia in the late forties BC. Therefore the living king Ptolemy mentioned in the new altar can only be Ptolemy XV Caesarion, son of Cleopatra VII from a possible liaison with Caesar, and co-ruler of Egypt since 37/36 BC. Both altars were probably erected c. 33/32 BC, when Cleopatra and Caesarion visited Ionia alongside Antony before the battle of Actium. The author offers an edition of both dedications and deals with the relationship of L. Munatius Plancus to Antony and Cleopatra.

Keywords: Teos, altars, Cleopatra VII, Ptolemy XV Caesarion, Mark Antony, L. Munatius Plancus.




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