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Ptolemy I Soter

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Ptolemey I Louve

Ptolemy I Soter I (367– c. 283 BC) was a Macedonian general under Alexander the Great, who became ruler of Egypt (323–283 BC) and founder of both the Ptolemaic Kingdom and the Ptolemaic Dynasty. He insisted upon accepting the Egyptian title of pharaoh. To keep with Egyptian and Macedonian culture, Ptolemy took great pains in acquiring the body of Alexander the Great upon his death in 323BC , placing it temporarily in Memphis. He eventually buried Alexander in Egypt and named the city Alexandria.

It was Ptolemy who instigated the resettlement of the empire made at Babylon. Through the Partition of Babylon, he was appointed satrap of Egypt. Ptolemy quickly moved, without authorization, to subjugate Cyrenaica.

For the first 18 years of his rule he was officially only the Satrap and in 305BC took the title of King. There was effectively civil wars until the various generals of Alexander had split the empire into their regional districts. Ptolemy then settled with Egypt.

Monetary System


  • AR Tetradrachm (17 grams Attic standard) Alexander in Elephant skin
  • AR Drachm (3.75 grams) Alexander in Elephant skin
  • AR Hemidrachm (1.75 grams) Alexander in Elephant skin
  • AE18 Diadem hd Alexander
  • AE22 hd of Aphrodite
  • AE17 hd of Aphrodite

Ptolemy as King or Pharaoh  (305-283BC)

Ptolemy I Pentadrachm

  • AU Pentadrachm (17.8 grams) Diadem hd Ptolemy I
  • AU Stater (7.1 grams) Diadem hd Ptolemy I
  • AU Hemidrachm (1.78 grams) Diadem hd Ptolemy I
  • AR Oktadrachm (28,4 grams) Diadem hd Ptolemy I
  • AR Tetradrachm (14.2 grams) Diadem hd Ptolemy I

 Ptolemy I AE28

  • AE28 (15.4 grams) Laurel hd of Zeus
  • AE31 Diadem hd Ptolemy I
  • AE22 (7.7 grams) hd Alexander wearing Elephant skin
  • AE18 (3.8 grams) hd Alexander wearing Elephant skin
  • AE13 hd Alexander wearing Elephant skin