The circumstances of Ptolemy Physcon's accession to the throne afford
not only a striking illustration of his character, but a very faithful
though terrible picture of the manners and morals of the times. He had
been engaged in a long and cruel war with his brother, who was king
before him, in which war he had perpetrated all imaginable atrocities,
when at length his brother died, leaving as his survivors his wife, who
was also his sister, and a son who was yet a child. This son was
properly the heir to the crown. Physcon himself, being a brother, had no
claim, as against a son. The name of the queen was Cleopatra. This was,
in fact, a very common name among the princesses of the Ptolemaic line.
Cleopatra, besides her son, had a daughter, who was at this time a young
and beautiful girl. Her name was also Cleopatra. She was, of course, the
niece, as her mother was the sister, of Physcon.

The plan of Cleopatra the mother, after her husband's death, was to make
her son the king of Egypt, and to govern herself, as regent, until he
should become of age. The friends and adherents of Physcon, however,
formed a strong party in _his_ favor. They sent for him to come to
Alexandria to assert his claims to the throne. He came, and a new civil
war was on the point of breaking out between the brother and sister,
when at length the dispute was settled by a treaty, in which it was
stipulated that Physcon should marry Cleopatra, and be king; but that he
should make the son of Cleopatra by her former husband his heir. This
treaty was carried into effect so far as the celebration of the marriage
with the mother was concerned, and the establishment of Physcon upon the
throne. But the perfidious monster, instead of keeping his faith in
respect to the boy, determined to murder him; and so open and brutal
were his habits of violence and cruelty, that he undertook to perpetrate
the deed himself, in open day. The boy fled shrieking to the mother's
arms for protection, and Physcon stabbed and killed him there,
exhibiting the spectacle of a newly-married husband murdering the son of
his wife in her very arms!

[...]
begin
[1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6] [7] [8] [9] [10] [11] [12] [13] [14] [15] [16] [17] [18] [19] [20] [21] [22] [23] [24] [25] [26] [27] [28] [29] [30] [31] [32] [33] [34] [35] [36] [37] [38] [39] [40] [41] [42] [43] [44] [45] [46] [47] [48] [49] [50] [51] [52] [53] [54] [55] [56] [57] [58] [59] [60] [61] [62] [63] [64] [65] [66] [67] [68] [69] [70] [71] [72] [73] [74] [75] [76] [77] [78] [79] [80] [81] [82] [83] [84] [85] [86] [87] [88] [89] [90] [91] [92] [93] [94] [95] [96] [97] [98] [99] [100] [101] [102] [103] [104] [105] [106] [107] [108] [109] [110] [111] [112] [113] [114] [115] [116] [117] [118] [119] [120] [121] [122] [123] [124] [125] [126] [127] [128] [129] [130] [131] [132] [133] [134] [135] [136] [137] [138] [139] [140] [141] [142] [143] [144] [145] [146] [147] [148] [149] [150] [151] [152] [153] [154] [155] [156] [157] [158] [159] [160] [161] [162] [163] [164] [165]