13. A Brother Who Married His Sister, and Eliminated Her Son During the Wedding Feast
The Seleucid invasions of Egypt and resultant political and diplomatic machinations further added to the chaos that engulfed the Ptolemaic Dynasty and its realm. When Antiochus IV captured Alexandria and made Ptolemy VI his puppet, the people of Alexandria rioted, and chose the puppet king’s obese younger brother, Ptolemy VIII Physcon, or Ptolemy Potbelly, (182 – 116 BC) as monarch. After the Seleucids were forced out of Egypt by Roman threats, Ptolemy Potbelly agreed to a three-way joint rule with his brother Ptolemy VI, and their sister Cleopatra II, who was also Ptolemy VI’s wife.
It was an unstable arrangement, that lent itself to intrigues, conspiracies, and betrayals, and further destabilized Egypt. Ptolemy Potbelly was not in Egypt when Ptolemy VI perished in 145. Their sister Cleopatra II, the deceased king’s wife, promptly declared her son, Ptolemy VII, as king. When Potbelly returned, he convinced his widowed sister to marry him, instead, and the sibling spouses would rule jointly. He double-crossed his sister/ new wife, and her son, Ptolemy VII, ended during the wedding feast. He also reneged on his promise to rule jointly with his sister-wife and declared himself sole ruler.