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Ancient Egypt
1. Introduction
2. People
3. Life styles
4. Culture
5. Education and Science
6. Society
7. Economy
8. Government
9. Cities and Villages
10. Language
11. Religion
12. Kings / periods
13. History
14. Map

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Open map of Ancient EgyptAncient Egypt / Ptolemaic dynasty /
Ptolemy 1 Soter 1

(Ca. 367- 283 BCE) King of Egypt 305-285 BCE and founder of the Ptolemaic dynasty.
The reason for Ptolemy becoming a king can be traced back to his position as one of Alexander the Great's nearest generals. At Alexander's death in 323, Ptolemy was put in charge of one third of all the land that Alexander had conquered: Cyrenaica and Egypt. At first his title and position was governor (satrap).
Even if he to took the name Soter, 'preserver', his main concern through his 38 years in power was to build the necessary foundations for his own rule, foundations that were not there from the beginning. This battle was fought by both placing his own men all around Egypt as well as to adhere to the religious and cultural traditions of Egypt. The Egyptians did not accept this without protests, but all in all, Ptolemy had a fair amount of success.
Ptolemy's other concern was on the international scene, where he fought several wars against other Macedonian rulers (the ones controlling the other two thirds of Alexander's kingdom. He got control over regions like Cyrenaica and Palestine, held control over Cyprus. At the time of his abdication, all areas were under firm control.
Ptolemy was also in charge of the development of trade routes with remote areas like India, East Africa as well as the Mediterranean region.
Among Ptolemy's most important achievements was to make Alexandria the capital of his rule, as well as to found the fabled Library of Alexandria which became the world centre for much of contemporary science.
Ptolemy declared himself king in 305, but in terms of real power this was without importance. He abdicated for his own son in 285, who took the name Ptolemy 2.

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By Tore Kjeilen