Berenice II Euergetis


Berenice II Euergetis (c. 267-221 BCE) was a pre-eminent Hellenistic queen, who ruled together with her husband Ptolemy III (r. 246-221 BCE), when the Ptolemaic kingdom was at the height of its power, dominating most of the eastern Mediterranean. Even before her marriage to Ptolemy III, she showed herself an assertive young woman in Cyrene, her native city. In Alexandria she acted as regent in her husband's absence and directed a religious procession – as a result of which one of the canonical constellations was named after her. Her epithet, Euergetis, designates her as “benefactress” in gratitude for her generosity. Berenice was thus queen at an important juncture in Hellenistic history and one of the defining figures of Hellenistic queenship.

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