Representation and agency of royal women in Hellenistic dynastic crises. The case of Berenike and Laodike I

Monica D'Agostini

Risultato della ricerca: Contributo in libroChapter


In the 3rd century the Seleukids faced the first significant fracture in the dynasty. This dynastic crisis originated in 246 with the death of Antiochos II and caused the Third Syrian War between the king Seleukos II and the Egyptian monarch Ptolemy III. The sudden power void left by the death of Antiochos II brought the “secondary” members of the basileia to the attention of the ancient sources, compelling them to inquiry in the power-mechanics of the Seleukid monarchy: indeed, the ancient sources attribute a pivotal role in the events to the two wives of Antiochos II, Laodike and Berenike. The abundant evidence on the female members of the basileia provides information on the role of the basilissa in the absence of male representatives of the dynasty, as well as on the agency of the queen-mother of the new king. Based mainly on ancient historiographical sources, this chapter reconsiders the evidence on Berenike and Laodike, wives of Antiochos II, in order to shed light on the role of royal Seleukid women, as far as the literary representation allows. Answering important questions about female military and diplomatic agency, this study re-opens the debate of Seleukid royalty, demonstrating that Seleukid women were neither “shadow women” nor “tokens”, but they had their own complex political identity and played a key role in the political and economic administration of the Seleukid Empire, as well as in Hellenistic diplomacy.
Lingua originaleEnglish
Titolo della pubblicazione ospiteFemmes influentes dans le monde hellénistique et à Rome
EditorA Bielman Sanchez, I. Cogitore, A Kolb
Numero di pagine26
Stato di pubblicazionePubblicato - 2016

Serie di pubblicazioni

NomeDes Princes


  • Ellenismo
  • Guerre Siriache
  • Hellenism
  • Monarchia
  • Monarchy
  • Seleucidi
  • Seleucids
  • Syrian Wars


Entra nei temi di ricerca di 'Representation and agency of royal women in Hellenistic dynastic crises. The case of Berenike and Laodike I'. Insieme formano una fingerprint unica.

Cita questo