Sunday, June 18, 2017

Review of Coşkun and McAuley (eds.), Seleukid Royal Women

BRYN MAYR CLASSICAL REVIEW: Altay Coşkun, Alex McAuley (ed.), Seleukid Royal Women: Creation, Representation and Distortion of Hellenistic Queenship in the Seleukid Empire. Historia Einzelschriften, 240. Stuttgart: Franz Steiner Verlag, 2016. Pp. 322. ISBN 9783515112956. €62.00. Reviewed by Branko F. van Oppen de Ruiter, Allard Pierson Museum, University of Amsterdam (
This collection brings together a selection of papers on Seleucid queenship delivered at the fourth “Seleucid Study Day” workshop held at McGill University, Montreal, on February 20-23, 2013. Apart from a preface, prologue and introduction, the volume’s twelve chapters are divided into three parts: (1.) the first generation of queens, i.e., Apame and Stratonice I; (2.) the representation of royal women, i.e., Laodice I, Cleopatra Tryphaena, and female portraiture; and (3.) queenship on the periphery of the empire. In all, sixteen authors (eight of whom are from Canada) have contributed to the publication, which additionally comes with a substantial bibliography (31 pp.), three indices (13 pp.) and four genealogies.
The Book of Daniel has a lot of interest in the Diadochoi (the generals that succeeded Alexander the Great) and their royal lines. Two of the women who feature in the book under review, Laodice I and Berenice II Berenice Phernophoros, were involved in the events of Daniel 11:6-9. Like the other people in that chapter, they are not named.

CORRECTION (7 January 2019): Berenice II of the Ptolemaic dynasty is not mentioned in the Bible. Berenice Phernophorus was an (unnumbered) queen in the Seleucid dynasty. She is the Berenice who is mentioned in Daniel 11. Sorry for the confusion.

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