Ptolemy I Soter I (Greek: Πτολεμαῖος Σωτήρ, Ptolemaĩos Sōtḗr, i.e. Ptolemy (pronounced /ˈtɒləmi/) the Savior, c. 367 BC – c. 283 BC) was a Macedonian general under Alexander the Great, who became ruler of Egypt (323 BC – 283 BC) and founder of both the Ptolemaic Kingdom and the Ptolemaic Dynasty. In 305/4 BC he took the title of pharaoh.
His mother was Arsinoe of Macedon, and, while his father is unknown, ancient sources variously describe him either as the son of Lagus, a Macedonian nobleman, or as an illegitimate son of Philip II of Macedon (which, if true would have made Ptolemy the half-brother of Alexander). Ptolemy was one of Alexander's most trusted generals, and was among the seven somatophylakes (bodyguards) attached to his person. He was a few years older than Alexander, and had been his intimate friend since childhood. He may even have been in the group of noble teenagers tutored by Aristotle.
Ptolemy served with Alexander from his first campaigns, and played a principal part in the later campaigns in Afghanistan and India. At the Susa marriage festival in 324, Alexander had Ptolemy marry the Persian princess Artakama. Ptolemy also had a consort in Thaïs, the Athenian hetaera and one of Alexander's companions in his conquest of the ancient world.
Successor of Alexander
When Alexander died in 323 BC Ptolemy is said to have instigated the resettlement of the empire made at Babylon. Through the Partition of Babylon, he was appointed satrap of Egypt, under the nominal kings Philip Arrhidaeus and the infant Alexander IV; the former satrap, the Greek Cleomenes, stayed on as his deputy. Ptolemy quickly moved, without authorization, to subjugate Cyrenaica.
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