Ptolemy Soter’s Strategy: Becoming Pharaoh And A God Of Egypt

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Deriv: Ptolemy as Pharaoh in the British Museum (Stella / CC BY-SA 4.0) and Ptolemy I, Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek, Copenhagen (CC BY-SA 3.0)

Ptolemy Soter’s Strategy: Becoming Pharaoh And A God Of Egypt

Ptolemy I, one of the surviving generals of Alexander the Great, became satrap and eventually pharaoh of Egypt, but he had to employ spin doctors to recreate an impressive ancestry related to Alxander, establish a new binary Graeco-Egyptian god Serapis and elevate himself to godly status to secure his rule and dynasty.

Farewell to Alexander the Great, by Karl von Piloty (1886) (Public Domain)

Farewell to Alexander the Great, by Karl von Piloty (1886) (Public Domain)

Aftermath of Alexander’s Death

Upon his return to Babylon in early 323 BC, Alexander the Great saw an ominous sign in the form of a deformed child. His advisors interpreted this vision as a sign of Alexander's impending death, and Alexander fell ill soon after. As news of Alexander's illness spread, so did rumours among his Macedonian soldiers that he was already dead. When a few of the soldiers forced their way into the chamber where he lay critically ill, Alexander still had the strength to acknowledge each of them. However, this did not mean that Alexander was on the mend, as he died on June 11, 323 BC. “The king who’d shattered armies,” as the Persian poet Ferdawsi says in his Shahnameh 526, “was at rest.


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