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Arsinoe, the daughter of Lysimachus, a different person from the last mentioned queen of that name. His eldest son, Ptolemy Evergetes, succeeded him in the throne; the second bore the name of Lysimachus, his grandfather by the mother, and was put to death by his brother, for engaging in a rebellion against him. The name of the daughter was Berenice, whose marriage with Antiochus Theos, king of Syria, has already been related.



PTOLEMY PHILADELPHUS had certainly great and excellent qualities; and yet we cannot propose him as a perfect model of a good king, because those qualities were counterpoised by defects altogether as considerable. He dishonoured the first period of his reign, by his resentment against a man of uncommon merit ; I mean Demetrius Phalereus, because he had given some advice to his father, contrary to the interest of Philadelphus, but entirely conformable to equity and natural right. His immense riches soon drew after them a train of luxury and effeminate pleasures, the usual concomitants of such high fortunes, which contributed not a little to emasculate his mind. He was not very industrious in cultivating the military virtues; but we must acknowledge, at the same time, that a remissness of this nature, is not always a misfortune to a people.

He, however, made an ample compensation for this neglect, by his love of the arts and sciences, and his generosity to learned men. The fame of his liberali

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ties invited several illustrious poets to his court, particularly Callimachus, Lycophron, and Theocritus, the last of whom gives him very lofty praises in some of his Idyllia. We have already seen his extraordinary taste for books; and it is certain, that he spared no expense in the augmentation and embellishment of the library founded by his father, and from whence both those princes have derived as much glory, as could have redounded to them from the greatest conquests. As Philadelphus had abundance of wit, and his happy genius had been carefully cultivated by great masters, he always retained a peculiar taste for the sciences, but in such a manner as suited the dignity of a prince; as he never suffered them to engross his whole attention, but regulated his propensity to those grateful amusements, by prudence and moderation. In order to perpetuate this taste in his dominions, he erected public schools and academies at Alexandria, where they long flourished in great reputation. He loved to converse with men of learning; and as the greatest masters in every kind of science were emulous to obtain his favour, he extracted from each of them, if I may use that expression, the flower and quintessence of the sciences in which they excelled. This is the inestimable advantage which princes and great men possess; and happy are they, when they know how to use the opportunity of acquiring, in agreeable conversations, a thousand things, not only curious, but useful and important, respect to government.


This intercourse of Philadelphus with learned men, and his care to place the arts in honour, may be considered as the source of those measures he pursued, through

the course of his long reign, to make commerce flourish in his dominions; and in which attempt, no prince ever succeeded more effectually than himself. The greatest expenses, in this particular, could never discourage him from persisting in what he proposed to accomplish. We have already observed, that he built whole cities, in order to protect and facilitate his intended traffic; that he opened a very long canal, through deserts destitute of water; and maintained a very numerous and complete navy in each of the two seas, merely for the defence of his merchants. His principal point in view was to secure to strangers all imaginable safety and freedom in his ports, without any impositions on trade, or the least intention of turning it from its proper channel, in order to make it subservient to his own particular interest; as he was persuaded that commerce was like some springs, that soon ceased to flow when diverted from their natural course.

These were views worthy of a great prince, and a consummate politician, and their lasting effects were infinitely beneficial to his kingdom. They have even continued to our days, strengthened by the principles of their first establishment, after a duration of above two thousand years; opening a perpetual flow of new riches and new commodities of every kind, into all nations; drawing continually from them a return of voluntary contributions; uniting the east and west by the mutual supply of their respective wants; and establishing on this basis a commerce that has constantly supported itself, from age to age without interruption. Those great conquerors, and celebrated heroes, whose merit has been so highly extolled, not to

mention the ravages and desolation they have occasioned to mankind, have scarce left behind them any traces of the conquests and acquisitions they have made for aggrandizing their empires; or, at least, those traces have not been durable, and the revolutions to which the most potent states are obnoxious, divest them of their conquests in a short time, and transfer them to others. On the contrary, the commerce of Egypt, established thus by Philadelphus, instead of being shaken by time, has rather increased through a long succession of ages, and become daily more useful and indispensable to all nations. So that, when we trace it up to its source, we shall be sensible that this prince ought to be considered, not only as the benefactor of Egypt, but of all mankind in general, to the latest posterity.

What we have already observed, in the history of Philadelphus, with respect to the inclination of the neighbouring people to transplant themselves in crowds into Egypt, preferring a residence in a foreign land, to the natural affection of mankind for their native soil, is another glorious panegyric on this prince; as the most essential duty of kings, and the most grateful pleasure they can possibly enjoy, amidst the splendours of a throne, is to gain the love of mankind, and to make their government desirable. Ptolemy was sensible, as an able politician, that the only sure expedient for extending his dominions, without any act of violence, was to multiply his subjects, and attach them to his government, by their interest and inclination; to

cause the land to be cultivated in a better manner; to make arts and manufactures flourish; and to augment,

by a thousand judicious measures, the power of a prince and his kingdom, whose real strength consists in the multitude of his subjects.


THE third chapter comprehends the history of twenty five years, including the reign of Ptolemy Evergetes.




As soon as Antiochus Theos had received intelligence of the death of Ptolemy Philadelphus, his father in law, he divorced Berenice, and recalled Laodice and her children. This lady, who knew the variable disposition and inconstancy of Antiochus, and was apprehensive that the same levity of mind would induce him to supplant her, by receiving Berenice again, resolved to improve the present opportunity, to secure the crown for her son. Her own children were disinherited by the treaty made with Ptolemy; by which it was also stipulated, that the issue Berenice might have by Antiochus, should succeed to the throne, and she then had a son. Laodice, therefore, caused Antiochus to be poisoned; and when she saw him expiring, she placed in his bed a person, named Artemon, who


Plin. 1. vii. c. 12.

'A. M. 3758. Ant. J. C. 246. Val, Max. 1. ix. c. 14. Solin. c. 1.

Hieron. in Daniel."
Justin. 1. xxvii. c. 1.

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