Dr. Elaine Sullivan
February 25, 2018
Arsinoe II Outline Cult of Queen Arsinoë II in Egypt and the ancient Mediterranean:
Why was this an important cult promoted by the Ptolemies? How was it promoted in Egypt? How was this Egyptian cult spread across the larger Mediterranean? Why was it popular outside of Egypt? Research question:
How was the cult of Queen Arsinoë II established and how did it amass such a large-scale following throughout the ancient world?
The cult of Arsinoë II Philadelphus was a prominent result of Ptolemy II Philadelphus’s deification of the female pharaoh, amassing dedicated followers in both Egypt and the larger Mediterranean due to the cult’s ability to relate to both …show more content…
Money would be fed back into the temples and so it is not difficult to see why the priests were so keep to support the ruler in the promotion of the new cult…” (Aston, 146)
The cult of Arsinoë II proved to be very useful to her husband, as explained in this passage. This quote shows that there was incentive to support the cult of the female pharaoh.
The Grecian people honored the Egyptian queen as a goddess due to her assistance in shaping their public policy, idolizing her as if she were one of their own deities
Evidence 1: “Evidence suggests, for instance, that the official cult of Arsinoe… was warmly received and practised by the [Greeks].” (Fishwick, 4)
A renown ruler like Arsinoë II made her name known in other countries by aiding their policies.
Her cult promoted Egyptian deities such as Mendes and Hathor, while also assimilating these roles into goddesses in Greece such as Aphrodite, Hera, and Demeter. This source shows the admiration of the Ptolemaic queen in Greece, therefore suggesting that it was not difficult for the Grecian people to follow her …show more content…
This evidence reasons that the cult of Arsinoë II in Sparta was founded due to her support in the treaty between Ptolemy II and Sparta in 268 B.C.E. This was the first instance of a woman assisting in the shaping of a public policy.
Evidence 3: “During the war, a number of port cities used by the Ptolemaic fleet were named after Arsinoe, as either new foundations or refoundations. Arsinoe’s cult in Sparta also related to the war effort of the Greek allies.” (Carney, 93)
This evidence hints at an apparent connection between Arsinoë II and the Greek goddess Aphrodite. Like Aphrodite, this passage shows that Arsinoë II was also a guardian of sailors and someone prayed to by seafarers. The link between the two deities stress the assimilation of Egyptian deities into Greek