Ptolemy II Philadelphus elephants in Egypt

Ptolemy II Philadelphus

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Local name Πτολεμαῖος Φιλάδελφος

Closed down-246
Country Egypt


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Ptolemy II Philadelphus elephants, Egypt , was born in -309.
Ptolemy II Philadelphus elephants died in -246.

Comments / picturesPtolemy II Philadelphus (309/8 – 28 January 246 BC) was the pharaoh of Ptolemaic Egypt from 283 to 246 BC. He was the son of Ptolemy I, the Macedonian Greek general of Alexander the Great who founded the Ptolemaic Kingdom after the death of Alexander, and Queen Berenice I, originally from Macedon in northern Greece.

Along the Egyptian coast, Philotera, Myos Hormos, and Berenice Troglodytica would become important termini of caravan routes running through the Egyptian desert and key ports for the Indian Ocean trade which began to develop over the next three centuries. Even further south was Ptolemais Theron (possibly located near the modern Port Sudan), which was used as a base for capturing elephants. Some authors speculate that the Adult elephants were killed for their Ivory, and the Juvenile elephants were captured in order to be trained as war elephants, contrary to traditions in India, where Adult elephants were captured and trained for war, so this may just be a speculation from authors, having zero experience of taming and training elephants.

A festival, called the Ptolemaia, was held in Ptolemy I\'s honour at Alexandria every four years from 279/278 BC. Twenty-four chariots drawn by elephants were followed by a procession of lions, leopards, panthers, camels, antelopes, wild asses, ostriches, a bear, a giraffe and a rhinoceros.[60] Most of the animals were in pairs - as many as eight pairs of ostriches - and although the ordinary chariots were likely led by a single elephant, others which carried a 7-foot-tall (2.1 m) golden statue may have been led by four.

References for records about Ptolemy II Philadelphus

Recommended Citation

Koehl, Dan (2021). Ptolemy II Philadelphus, Elephant Encyclopedia. Available online at (archived at the Wayback machine)

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