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PTOLEMY; the common name of thirteen GrecoEgyptian kings, who reigned in Egypt, from the death of Alexander till it became a Roman province (about 290 years). They are more properly called Lagides (since they did not all bear the name of Ptolemy), from Lagus, the founder of the dynasty. 1. Ptolemseus Lagi (i. e. son of Lagus, a Macedonian; in reality, the son of Philip), called also Soter, the Savior (by the Rhodians, on account of the assistance which he rendered them), at first governor of Egypt, reigned thirtynine years, and died 284 B. C. He embellished Alexandria, and founded the library in that city. His son and successor,2. Ptolemy II (Philadelphus), a magnificent prince, is said to have founded Ptolemais and several cities, and to have built the Pharus (q. v.), which, however, is by some ascribed to his father. He died 247 B. C.3. Ptolemy Euergetes died 221 B. C. His wife was Berenice. These three first Ptolemies were, in particular, the patrons of learning at Alexandria. (Concerning these and the other Ptolemies, see Alexandrian School, and Egypt.) Vaillant wrote a Historia Ptolemaorum (Amsterdam, 1701, folio.)