Scholars have long known that the Egyptian Ptolemaic monarchy underwent a transformation between 323 and 30 BC. The queens of that dynasty started as subordinates of the kings but ended as their superiors. Exactly when and how this change occurred has proven problematic for modern scholars. R.A. Hazzard argues that this change was put in motion by Ptolemy II, who glorified his sister ArsinoT and made acceptable a civilian style of kingship based on piety towards his real and mythical ancestors. Ptolemy's support and elevation of his sister inspired the queens of the line to assert themselves at the expense of their male associates. The process culminated in the absolute rule of Kleopatra VII after 47 BC. Hazzard presents a clear argument based on the numismatic, epigraphical, papyrological, literary, and historical sources.
R.A. Hazzard is a specialist in Ptolemaic history. His articles have appeared in such diverse publications as Revue numismatique, Zeitschrift fur Papyrologie und Epigraphik, Journal of the Royal Astronomical Society, and Harvard Theological Review.