Euergetes was so bloated with disease that his body was nearly six feet round, and he was made weak and slothful by this weight of flesh. He walked with a crutch, and wore a loose robe like a woman’s, which reached to his feet and hands. He gave himself up very much to eating and drinking, and on the year that he was chosen priest of Apollo by the Cyrenians, he showed his pleasure at the honour by a memorable feast which he gave in a costly manner to all those who had before filled that office. He had reigned six years with his brother, then eighteen years in Cyrene, and lastly twenty-nine years after the death of his brother, and he died in the fifty-fourth year of his reign, and perhaps the sixty-ninth of his age. He left a widow, Cleopatra Cocce; two sons, Ptolemy and Ptolemy Alexander; and three daughters, Cleopatra, married to her elder brother; Tryphsena, married to Antiochus Grypus; and Selene unmarried; and also a natural son, Ptolemy Apion, to whom by will he left the kingdom of Cyrene; while he left the kingdom of Egypt to his widow and one of his sons, giving her the power of choosing which should be her colleague. The first Euergetes earned and deserved the name, which was sadly disgraced by the second; but such was the fame of Egypt’s greatness that the titles of its kings were copied in nearly every Greek kingdom. We meet with the flattering names of Soter, Philadelphus, Euergetes, and the rest, on the coins of Syria, Parthia, Cappadocia, Paphlagonia, Pon-tus, Bactria, and Bithynia; while that of Euergetes, the benefactor, was at last used as another name for a tyrant.
CHAPTER VI—THE GROWTH OF ROMAN INFLUENCE IN EGYPT
The weakness of the Ptolemies: Egypt bequeathed to Rome: Pompey, Caesar, and Antony befriend Egypt.
On the death of Ptolemy Euergetes II., his widow, Cleopatra Cocce, would have chosen her younger son, Ptolemy Alexander, then a child, for her partner on the throne, most likely because it would have been longer in the course of years before he would have claimed his share of power; but she was forced, by a threatened rising of the Alexandrians, to make her elder son king. Before, however, she would do this she made a treaty with him, which would strongly prove, if anything were still wanting, the vice and meanness of the Egyptian court. It was, that, although married to his sister Cleopatra, of whom he was very fond, he should put her away, and marry his younger sister Selene; because the mother hoped that Selene would be false to her husband’s cause, and weaken his party in the state by her treachery.