The Most Dysfunctional Family in History

The Ptolemies.

… someone somewhere decided to add some low comedy by referring to many of the Ptolemies as ‘father-lover’ or ‘mother-lover’. This usually meant that the person in question had not murdered their father or mother.

As for the best known member of the family….

Cleopatra VII, daughter of Ptolemy XII, was the famous Caesar-loving, Mark-Anthony-loving Cleopatra. She may have had a brother killed, she certainly fought another brother, and allowed Caesar to bring a sister, Arsinoe, in a triumph in chains through Rome, later having Arsinoe gutted in a temple sanctuary. Ptolemy XIII was married to his sister Cleopatra VII, who he fought. He, then, drowned while trying to escape his wife/sister’s wrath. Ptolemy XIV was the younger brother of Cleopatra VII, possibly poisoned by the same. Certainly he disappears from the records with suspiciously little noise at just the right date. And, yes, most of the sources are uncontroversial.

Also see Cleopatra Thea.

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