Ptolemy VIII (Ptolemy Physcon) [key], d. 116 b.c., king of ancient Egypt (145–116 b.c.), of the Macedonian dynasty, brother of Ptolemy VI. He is also called Ptolemy Euergetes II. He was coruler with his brother and his brother's wife from 170–164 b.c. Trouble resulted in a settlement by which Ptolemy Physcon ruled Cyrene. On his brother's death he returned to Egypt, had his nephew put to death, and married Cleopatra, his brother's widow. He soon repudiated her and married her daughter, also named Cleopatra. The elder Cleopatra led a revolt and drove him (130 b.c.) out of Egypt. He returned in 127 b.c. and later ruled peacefully though despotically. Both queens survived him. His reign was one of great cruelty; he drove the scholars from Alexandria and thus precipitated the spread of Alexandrian culture.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2023, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
See more Encyclopedia articles on: Ancient History, Egypt: Biographies