Ptolemaic women’s patronage of the arts

Silvia Barbantani*

*Autore corrispondente per questo lavoro

Risultato della ricerca: Contributo in libroChapter


Although there is no explicit evidence of queen patronage in the first generations of Ptolemies, the frequent dedication of encomiastic poems to queens (especially Arsinoe II, Berenice II) by Alexandrian learned poets suggests an involvement of royal women in shaping of their public image as patrons and lovers of the arts, in full agreement with the cultural program of their husbands. The queens are presented as Muses or Graces, goddesses who traditionally protect poetry. Not only learned poetry was likely to be endorsed by some queen, but also more “popular” (although refined) forms of entertainment, like lyric song performed in public cults (Theoc. Id. 15). Inscriptions also suggests that the fourth Ptolemaic couple, Arsinoe III and Ptolemy IV, funded literary competitions (Museia).
Lingua originaleEnglish
Titolo della pubblicazione ospiteThe Routledge Companion to Women and Monarchy in the Ancient Mediterranean World
Numero di pagine13
Stato di pubblicazionePubblicato - 2020


  • Alexandria
  • Callimachus
  • Egypt
  • Hellenistic
  • Posidippus
  • Ptolemies
  • court poetry


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