Ptolemy X Alexander I

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Ptolemy X Alexander I[note 1] (Greek: Πτολεμαῖος Ἀλέξανδρος, Ptolemaĩos Aléxandros) was King of Egypt from 110 BC to 109 BC and 107 BC till his death in 88 BC, in co-regency with his mother Cleopatra III until 101 BC, and then possibly with his niece-wife Berenice III.


Ptolemy X Alexander I was the younger son of pharaohs Ptolemy VIII Physcon and Cleopatra III. Following the death of Ptolemy VIII in 116 BC, Cleopatra III co-ruled with her elder son Ptolemy IX Lathyros. In 110 BC Cleopatra III deposed Ptolemy IX, making Ptolemy X King, with her as co-regent. However, in 109 BC Ptolemy X was deposed by his brother Ptolemy IX. In 107 BC he became King again with his mother as co-regent. In 101 BC he had his mother killed, and ruled either alone or with his niece/wife, Berenice III, the daughter of Ptolemy IX.

Ptolemy X was exiled around 88 BC when his citizens and army turned against him. He fled to Syria, and upon his return with a new army became infamous for melting down and looting the golden sarcophagus of Alexander the Great, in order to pay the mercenaries which brought him back on the throne, and replacing the former sarcophagus with one made of glass.[1] The citizens of Alexandria were so outraged at this act that they exiled him again almost immediately and attempted to wipe out all record of him. He would later be killed on his way to Cyprus.[2]

When Ptolemy X died, Ptolemy IX regained the throne. When Ptolemy IX died in 81 BC, Ptolemy X's wife Berenice III took over the throne for six months.



  1. ^ Numbering the Ptolemies is a modern invention; the Greeks distinguished them by epithet (e.g. "Philopator") or nickname (e.g. "Auletes"). The number given here is the present consensus, but there has been some disagreement in the 19th century about which of the later Ptolemies should be counted as reigning. Since older sources may give a number one higher or lower, epithets are the most reliable way of determining which Ptolemy is being referred to in any given case.


  1. ^ Strabo (17. Section 794)
  2. ^ The House of Ptolemy (Chapter XI p.333, p.334)
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Aidan Dodson, Dyan Hilton, The Complete Royal Families of Ancient Egypt, 2004

External links[edit]

Ptolemy X Alexander I
Born: ? Died: ca. 88 BC
Regnal titles
Preceded by
Ptolemy IX
Pharaoh of Egypt
110 BC–109 BC
with Cleopatra III
Succeeded by
Ptolemy IX
Pharaoh of Egypt
107 BC–88 BC
with Cleopatra III and Berenice III