ptolemy of mauretania


Ptolemy of Mauretania was the last Roman Client King of Mauretania. He was the son of Cleopatra Selene II and Juba II, and had a younger sister named Drusilla.

Ptolemy and Drusilla were the only mutual grandchildren of the infamous Cleopatra VII and her husband Mark Antony. Ptolemy was murdered in Rome on the orders of Caligula, reportedly because the emperor had become jealous of the attention he attracted wearing a purple cloak to the amphitheatre for a gladiatorial show.

Happy Birthday today, December 25th, to Alexander Helios and Cleopatra Selene II. They were the twin children born to Cleopatra VII and Marc Antony, sometime late in 40 B.C. The date of the 25th has been given for their birth by some sources, but many also say the exact date is unknown.

After their parents were defeated by Octavian, with both subsequently committing suicide,  they were taken to Rome alongside their younger brother, Ptolemy Philadelphus. Octavian, who had wished to have Cleopatra paraded through the streets, settled instead for her children; shackling them in golden chains so heavy they could barely walk. After his Triumph parade they were raised in the household of their father’s third wife, Octavia Minor.

What happened to Helios is unclear. There is no record of any marriage plans for him, or any descendents, nor any sort of career in the military or government. It is thought by some that he and Philadelphus either died of illness or were murdered.

Selene was married to Juba II, sometimes between 20 - 26 B.C. becoming Queen of Numidia and Mauretania. Selene and Juba had at least one son, Ptolemy of Mauretania, and possibly a daughter named Drusilla. It is unknown exactly when she died but, upon her death she was buried in the Royal Mausoleum of Mauretania, where Juba would also be interred upon his death, and the structure still stands today.