Berenice, the name of several Egyptian and Syrian queens and princesses. I. Daughter of Lagus and Antigone, went to Egypt in the train of Eurydice, second wife of Ptolemy I. fSoter), became herself his third wife, and induced him to make her son, Ptolemy Philadel-phus, his successor in preference to an elder son by Eurydice. Her wisdom and virtue were celebrated by Plutarch and Theocritus, and after her death divine honors were decreed to her. II. Daughter of Ptolemy II. (Philadelphus), and wife of Antiochus II. (Theos), king of Syria. Antiochus entered into a treaty in 249 B. 0., by which he agreed to put away his wife Laodice and marry Berenice; but upon the death of Philadelphus, two years afterward, Antiochus took Laodice back and put Berenice away in turn. Laodice, however, distrusted Antiochus and caused him to be poisoned. Berenice fled to Daphne, where she was murdered together with her son and attendants by Laodice's partisans. III. Granddaughter of Berenice L, daughter of Magas, king of Gyrene, and wife of Ptolemy III. (Energetes) of Egypt Her father promised her m marriage to Ptolemy Energetes, and soon afterward died.
Her mother, Arsinoe, was strongly opposed to the match, and for the purpose of preventing it offered her in marriage to Demetrius the Delicate, son of Demetrius Poliorcetes. But upon the arrival of Demetrius in Gyrene to receive her, Arsinoe herself fell in love with him, and Berenice, indignant that her mother was preferred by Demetrius, caused him to be murdered in the arms of the queen. She then went to Egypt and married Euergetes, to whom she had been originally betrothed. Upon the return of her husband from an expedition into Syria, in fulfilment of a vow, she offered up her hair to Venus. The hair was said to have been changed into the seven stars of the constellation Leo, known as the Coma or Crinis Berenices. She was put to death by order of her son Ptolemy IV. (Philopator) when he succeeded to the throne. IV. Also called Cleopatra, daughter of Ptolemy VIII. (Lathyrus) of Egypt, and wife of Alexander II. (Ptolemy X.). She was placed upon the throne by the Alexandrians after the death of her father (81 B. C.); and Alexander, who had been appointed king by Sulla, agreed to marry her and share the sovereignty. He performed his agreement, but caused her to be assassinated 19 days after their marriage, whereupon, it is said, the Alexandrians rose against him and put him to death.
V. Daughter of Ptolemy XL (Auletes) and eldest sister of the celebrated Cleopatra. She was proclaimed queen upon the deposition of her father, 58 B. C., and wishing to marry a prince of royal blood, she sent to Svria for Seleucus Cvbio-sactes, who pretended to be of the royal race of the Seleueida?. Finding him to be a man of mean character, she caused him to be strangled a few days afterward. She then married Archelaus of Comana, who claimed to be a son of Mithridates Eupator. Aulus Gabinus, having undertaken to restore Auletes to the throne, defeated her and her husband in three successive battles, 55 B. C, and Archelaus was slain. One of the first acts of Auletes after his restoration was to cause his daughter to be put to death. VI. Daughter of Costoba-rus and Salome, sister of Herod the Great, king of Judea, married her cousin Aristobulus. The latter reproached her with the inferiority of her birth, and her complaints of this to her mother increased the hostility against her husband. After his execution (6 B. C.) she married Theudion, the maternal uncle of Antipater, the eldest son of Herod. After the death of Theudion she went to Rome with her mother and remained till her death.
She was the mother of Agrippa I. VII. The eldest daughter of Agrippa I., married her uncle Herod, king of Chalcis, and had two sons by him. Upon his death in A. D. 48 she lived with her brother Agrippa for some time, and then married Polemon, king of Cilicia. She left him, and was again living with her brother when Paul pleaded before him at Cresarea. Titus was captivated by her beauty at the siege of Jerusalem and carried her to Rome. He desired to marry her, but was compelled by the public sentiment at Rome to send her back to Judea, against her wishes as well as his own. Their parting has been made the subject of a tragedy by Racine.
Berenice. I. An ancient city of Egypt, on a gulf on the W. side of the Red sea, anciently called Sinus Immundus, in lat. 23° 56' N., lon. 35° 34' E., 155 m. E. by S. of .Syene (Asswan). The city stood upon a narrow strip of land between the shore and a range of hills. It was probably founded by Ptolemy II., and being the terminus of a great road from Coptos on the Nile, 210 m. distant, became the emporium of commerce between Ethiopia and Egypt on the one hand and Syria and India on the other, and so continued under the Romans. The population was about 10,000. Some ancient remains exist. II. An ancient city of Cyrenaica, situated upon the promontory of Pseudopenias, at the mouth of the small stream Lathon, near the E. extremity of the Great Syrtis. It was originally called Hesperis because the garden of the Hesperides was supposed to be in its neighborhood. It acquired importance under the Ptolemies, and was named Berenice from the wife of Ptolemy Euergetes. Many of its inhabitants were Jews. Its prosperity received a blow from the insurrection of the Jews during the reign of Trajan, from which it never recovered. Under Justinian it was fortified and adorned with baths.
Benghazi now occupies its site.