Doublets in the synoptic tradition.

Pericopes repeated within the same gospel.

A doublet, for my purposes, is a pericope or an extensive part of a pericope in a synoptic gospel which is repeated, at least in substance, at another point in that same gospel. Such doubled pericopes are frequently shared at least once in another gospel, as well.

Any repeated textual unit not long enough to qualify for its own pericope in my synoptic inventories I class not as a doublet but as a formula. But the dividing line between a doublet and repeated formula is for the most part arbitrary. In order, therefore, to best grasp the nature of this part of the synoptic problem, I recommend reading the present compilation in conjunction with that of the formulae.

The named pericopes in what follows correspond to the units in my synoptic inventories. The accompanying list of parallel passages, however, will correspond, not necessarily with the pericope as a whole, but rather with the more precise parallels within that pericope.

I am greatly indebted to Sir J. C. Hawkins, Horae Synopticae, pages 80-107. In parentheses I have included the number that Hawkins assigned to each doublet; these numbers may not always be in order, since Hawkins divided his doublets into discourse and narrative varieties, while I am just plowing through them all in order of first mention within each gospel.

Doublets in Matthew.

Matthew appears to contain more doublets than either of the other two synoptics:

On scandals (Hawkins 1).

Matthew 5.29-30;
Matthew 18.8-9 = Mark 9.43, 45, 47.

Against divorce (Hawkins 2).

Matthew 5.32 = Luke 16.18;
Matthew 19.9 = Mark 10.11-12.

By their fruits (Hawkins 3).

Matthew 7.16-18 = Luke 6.43-45;
Matthew 12.33-35.

The healing of a blind man (or blind men) (Hawkins 16).

Matthew 9.27-31;
Matthew 20.29-34 = Mark 10.46-52 = Luke 18.35-43.

The healing of a dumb man, or the controversy over Beezebul (Hawkins 17).

Matthew 9.32-34;
Matthew 12.22-24 = Luke 11.14-15.

Delivered up (Hawkins 5-6).

Matthew 10.22;
Matthew 24.9, 13 = Mark 13.13 = Luke 21.17.

Take up your cross (Hawkins 7).

Matthew 10.38 = Luke 14.27;
Matthew 16.24 = Mark 8.34 = Luke 9.23.

Finding and losing (Hawkins 8).

Matthew 10.39 = Luke 17.33;
Matthew 16.25 = Mark 8.35 = Luke 9.24.

The sign of Jonah, or no sign for this generation (Hawkins 9, 18).

Matthew 12.38-39 = Luke 11.16, 29;
Matthew 16.1-2, 4 = Mark 8.11-12.

The three passion predictions (first, second, third).

Matthew 16.21-23 = Mark 8.31-33 = Luke 9.22;
Matthew 17.22-23 = Mark 9.30-32 = Luke 9.43b-45;
Matthew 20.17-19 = Mark 10.32-34 = Luke 18.31-34.

Doublets 4, 10-15, and 19-22 I have reclassified as formulae.

Doublets in Mark.

Hawkins lists only one doublet for Mark, namely 9.35 and 10.43-44 (identical with his Matthean doublet number 13), which I have classed with my formulae. He briefly considers Mark 9.23 with 11.23, and Mark 13.5-6 with 13.21-23, but decides that they do not closely enough resemble each other. His appendix to all three lists (Matthean, Marcan, and Lucan) is the saying about having ears to hear, which finds its way into Matthew thrice (11.15; 13.9, 43), Mark twice (4.9, 23; refer also to the textually questionable 7.16), and Luke also twice (8.8; 14.35).

We are left with only one item for Mark, one which is actually not a doublet but a triplet:

The three passion predictions (first, second, third).

Matthew 16.21-23 = Mark 8.31-33 = Luke 9.22;
Matthew 17.22-23 = Mark 9.30-32 = Luke 9.43b-45;
Matthew 20.17-19 = Mark 10.32-34 = Luke 18.31-34.

Hawkins dismisses these predictions, present in all three gospels, from his official list on the grounds that they are so distinctly assigned to separate occasions. In this he seems a little inconsistent, as the argument could be made for several of his doublets that they are assigned to separate occasions. Of course, as they appear in parallel in all three synoptic gospels, they would not belong to Mark in particular, so I have included them under Matthew, Mark, and Luke.

Doublets in Luke.

With Luke we venture back into a real list:

The missions of the twelve and seventy (Hawkins 4).

Matthew 10.10-12, 14 = Mark 6.8, 10-11 = Luke 9.3-5;
Luke 10.4-5, 7, 10-11.

The three passion predictions (first, second, third).

Matthew 16.21-23 = Mark 8.31-33 = Luke 9.22;
Matthew 17.22-23 = Mark 9.30-32 = Luke 9.43b-45;
Matthew 20.17-19 = Mark 10.32-34 = Luke 18.31-34.

Take up your cross (Hawkins 5).

Matthew 16.24 = Mark 8.34 = Luke 9.23;
Matthew 10.38 = Luke 14.27.

Finding and losing (Hawkins 6).

Matthew 16.25 = Mark 8.35 = Luke 9.24;
Matthew 10.39 = Luke 17.33.

Before my father (or before the angels) (Hawkins 7).

Mark 8.38 = Luke 9.26;
Matthew 10.33 = Luke 12.9.

Delivered up (Hawkins 10).

Luke 12.11-12; Matthew 10.19-20;
Mark 13.11 = Luke 21.14-15.

Doublets 1-3, 8-9, and 11 I have reclassified as formulae.

Hawkins was pretty strict on what he counted as a doublet and what he did not. For example, he did not count related pericopes such as the feedings of the four and five thousand as doublets. The gospels are not the only ancient texts, of course, to feature these kinds of parallel pericopes.

Cambridge History of Judaism, page 914 (early Roman period):

Indeed, Cohen has with good reason concluded that the Vita is Josephus’ least careful work — confused, tendentious, inconsistent, with incorrect cross-references, with doublets, and with important segments of information presented in a casual and even a startling manner.

Timothy Peter Wiseman, Death of an Emperor, page xii:

It has always been taken for granted, even by the best scholars, that Josephus’ Gaius narrative in Antiquities XIX is based on a single Roman source. I confess I cannot understand how that opinion could survive a close reading of the text. There are numerous doublets and inconsistencies which it seems to me can only be explained by the assumption that Josephus was working from at least two sources....

Steve Mason, Flavius Josephus on the Pharisees, pages 23, 25, 45:

Hölscher’s criteria for identifying the two sources in books 1 and 2 [of the War] included the presence of doublets, differences in style, and and distinct preferences for certain terms.


[Josephus] was, according to Hölscher, a compiler and not a historian, who allowed tensions and doublets to stand unresolved in his presentation.


The source-critical movement, it will be recalled, proposed various evidences that Josephus was a rather dull copyist who failed to impart any independent judgement or outlook to his material. These evidences can be grouped under three rubrics:

  1. Material inconsistencies, such as unfulfilled cross-references, doublets, dissonant chronological systems, and conflicting high-priest lists.
  2. Stylistic variations, such as Hölscher observed between War 1:31 – 2:116 and 2:117ff.
  3. Circumstances that suggest Josephus’s use of large, secondary or intermediate sources.

Cambridge Ancient History, page 769 (Judaea, Roman administration):

This passage [in BJ II.434] contains a doublet of BJ II.408 about the seizure of Masada, which suggests that Josephus, who was hidden in the Temple throughout those exciting times (Vit. 21), was confused about their chronology.

Josephus, War 2.17.2 §408:

Καν τουτω τινες των μαλιστα κινουντων τον πολεμον συνελθοντες ωρμησαν επι φρουριον τι καλουμενον Μασαδαν, και καταλαβοντες αυτο λαθρα τους μεν Ρωμαιων φρουρους απεσφαξαν, ετερους δ εγκατεστησαν ιδιους.

And it was at this time that some of those that principally excited the people to go to war made an assault upon a certain fortress called Masada, and, having taken it by treachery, they slew the Romans that were there and put others of their own party to keep it.

Josephus, War 2.17.8 §433-434:

Καν τουτω Μαναημος τις, υιος Ιουδα του καλουμενου Γαλιλαιου, σοφιστης δεινοτατος, ο και επι Κυρινιου ποτε Ιουδαιους ονειδισας οτι Ρωμαιοις υπετασσοντο μετα τον θεον, αναλαβων τους γνωριμους ανεχωρησεν εις Μασαδαν, ενθα την Ηρωδου του βασιλεως οπλοθηκην αναρρηξας και προς τοις δημοταις ετερους ληστας καθοπλισας τουτοις τε χρωμενος δορυφοροις, οια δη βασιλευς επανεισιν εις Ιεροσολυμα και γενομενος ηγεμων της στασεως διετασσεν την πολιορκιαν.

In the meantime one Manahem, the son of Judas called the Galilean, who was a very cunning sophister, and had formerly reproached the Jews under Cyrenius, that after God they were subject to the Romans, took some of the men of note with him and retired to Masada, where he broke open the armory of king Herod and gave arms not only to his own people but also to other robbers. These he made use of for a guard, and he returned in the state of a king to Jerusalem; he became the leader of the sedition, and gave orders for continuing the siege.

Shaye J. D. Cohen, Josephus in Galilee and Rome, page 89, note 14:

Even Laqueur’s oft-repeated dictum about doublets (material sandwiched between doublets is interpolated) is uncertain. For example BJ 2.531-532 seems to be repeated in 2.539 but there is no reason to believe that the intervening material is an interpolation.

Josephus, War 2.19.4 §531-532:

Καν ειπερ ηθελησεν κατ αυτην εκεινην την ωραν εντος των τειχεων βιασασθαι, παραυτικα την πολιν εσχεν και τον πολεμον συνεβη καταλελυσθαι· αλλα γαρ ο τε στρατοπεδαρχης Τυραννιος Πρισκος και των ιππαρχων οι πλειστοι χρημασιν υπο Φλωρου δεκασθεντες απεστρεψαν αυτον της επιχειρησεως. και παρα την αιτιαν ταυτην ο τε πολεμος επι τοσουτον μηκος προυβη και ανηκεστων Ιουδαιους συμφορων αναπλησθηναι συνεπεσεν.

Had [Cestius] but at this very time attempted to get within the walls by force, he would had won the city presently, and the war would have been put to an end at once; but Tyrannius Priseus, the muster-master of the army, and a great number of the officers of the horse had been corrupted by Florus, and they diverted him from that his attempt; and that was the occasion that this war lasted so very long, and thereby the Jews were involved in such incurable calamities.

Josephus, War 2.19.6 §539:

...ος ει βραχυ τη πολιορκια προσελιπαρησεν, καν ευθεως την πολιν παρελαβεν· αλλ οιμαι δια τους πονηρους απεστραμμενος ο θεος ηδη και τα αγια τελος λαβειν επ εκεινης της ημερας εκωλυσεν τον πολεμον.

...who, had he but continued the siege a little longer, would have certainly taken the city; but it was, I suppose, owing to the aversion God had already at the city and the sanctuary that he was hindered from putting an end to the war that very day.

Rainer Riesner and Doug Stott, Paul’s Early Period, page 36:

Schwartz understands Josephus, Ant. xviii.90-95 and xviii.120-126, as parallel accounts of a priestly or courtly source regarding the visit to the same Passover by Vitellius. .... The strongest evidence militating against the assumption of doublets is that according to Josephus, Joseph Caiaphas, the high priest at the trial of Jesus (Mt. 26:3, 57; Jn. 18:13f., 24, 28) was dismissed during the first visit (Josephus, Ant. xviii.95), while his successor Jonathan, son of Ananus, was dismissed during the second visit (Ant. xviii.123).

Josephus, Antiquities 18.4.3 §90-95:

Ουιτελλιος δε εις την Ιουδαιαν αφικομενος επι Ιεροσολυμων ανηει, και ην γαρ αυτοις εορτη πατριος, πασχα δε καλειται, δεχθεις μεγαλοπρεπως Ουιτελλιος τα τελη των ωνουμενων καρπων ανιησιν εις το παν τοις ταυτη κατοικουσιν και την στολην του αρχιερεως και τον παντα αυτου κοσμον συνεχωρησεν εν τω ιερω κειμενην υπο τοις ιερευσιν εχειν την επιμελειαν, καθοτι και προτερον ην αυτοις εξουσια. τοτε δε εν τη Αντωνια, φρουριον δ εστιν ουτως λεγομενον, η αποθεσις αυτης ην δια τοιαυτην αιτιαν των ιερεων τις Υρκανος, πολλων δε οντων οι τοδε εκαλουντο το ονομα ο πρωτος, επει πλησιον τω ιερω βαριν κατασκευασαμενος ταυτη τα πολλα την διαιταν ειχεν και την στολην, φυλαξ γαρ ην αυτης δια το και μονω συγκεχωρησθαι του ενδυεσθαι την εξουσιαν, ταυτην ειχεν αποκειμενην, οποτε εις την πολιν κατιων αναλαμβανοι την ιδιωτικην. και οι τε υιεις αυτου ταυτα πρασσειν επετηδευσαν και τεκνα εκεινων. Ηρωδης δε βασιλευσας την τε βαριν ταυτην εν επιτηδειω κειμενην κατασκευασας πολυτελως Αντωνιαν καλει ονοματι Αντωνιου φιλος ων, και την στολην ωσπερ και λαμβανει τηδε κειμενην κατειχεν, πιστευων ουδεν νεωτεριειν επ αυτω τον λαον δια ταδε. επρασσε δε ομοια τω Ηρωδη και ο επικατασταθεις αυτω βασιλευς Αρχελαος υιος ων, ου Ρωμαιοι παραδεξαμενοι την αρχην εκρατουν της στολης του αρχιερεως αποκειμενης εν οικω λιθοις οικοδομηθεντι υπο σφραγιδι των τε ιερεων και των γαζοφυλακων του φρουραρχου το εφ ημεραν εκαστην λυχνον απτοντος. επτα δ ημεραις προ της εορτης απεδιδοτο αυτοις υπο του φρουραρχου, και αγνισθειση χρησαμενος ο αρχιερευς μετα μιαν της εορτης ημεραν απετιθετο αυθις εις τον οικον, ηπερ εκειτο και προτερον. τουτο επραττετο τρισιν εορταις εκαστου ετους και την νηστειαν. Ουιτελλιος δε επι τω ημετερω πατριω ποιειται την στολην, η τε κεισοιτο μη πολυπραγμονειν επισκηψας τω φρουραρχω και οποτε δεοι χρησθαι. και ταυτα πραξας επι ευεργεσια του εθνους και τον αρχιερεα Ιωσηπον τον Καιαφαν επικαλουμενον απαλλαξας της ιερωσυνης Ιωναθην καθιστησιν Ανανου του αρχιερεως υιον. επ Αντιοχειας δ αυθις εποιειτο την οδον.

But Vitellius came into Judea and went up to Jerusalem; it was at the time of that festival which is called the Passover. Vitellius was there magnificently received, and he released the inhabitants of Jerusalem from all the taxes upon the fruits that were bought and sold, and he gave them leave to have the care of the vestments of the high priest, with all their ornaments, and to have them under the custody of the priests in the temple, which power they used to have formerly, although at this time they were laid up in the tower of Antonia, the citadel so called, and that on the occasion following: There was one of the [high] priests, named Hyrcanus; and, as there were many of that name, he was the first of them; this man built a tower near the temple, and, when he had so done, he generally dwelt in it and had these vestments with him, because it was lawful for him alone to put them on, and he had them there reposited when he went down into the city and took his ordinary garments; the same things were continued to be done by his sons and by their sons after them. But, when Herod came to be king, he rebuilt this tower, which was very conveniently situated, in a magnificent manner; and, because he was a friend to Antony, he called it by the name of Antonia. And, as he found these vestments lying there, he retained them in the same place, as believing that while he had them in his custody the people would make no innovations against him. The like to what Herod did was done by his son Archelaus, who was made king after him, after whom the Romans, when they entered on the government, took possession of these vestments of the high priest and had them reposited in a stone chamber, under the seal of the priests and of the keepers of the temple, the captain of the guard lighting a lamp there every day; and seven days before a festival they were delivered to them by the captain of the guard, when the high priest, having purified them and made use of them, laid them up again in the same chamber where they had been laid up before, and this the very next day after the feast was over. This was the practice at the three yearly festivals and on the fast day; but Vitellius put those garments into our own power, as in the days of our forefathers, and ordered the captain of the guard not to trouble himself to inquire where they were laid or when they were to be used; and this he did as an act of kindness, to oblige the nation to him. Besides which, he also deprived Joseph, who was also called Caiaphas, of the high priesthood, and he appointed Jonathan the son of Ananus, the former high priest, to succeed him. After which he took his journey back to Antioch.

Josephus, Antiquities 18.5.3 §120-126:

Ουιτελλιος δε παρασκευασαμενος ως εις πολεμον τον προς Αρεταν δυσι ταγμασιν οπλιτων οσοι τε περι αυτα ψιλοι και ιππεις συμμαχουντες εκ των υπο Ρωμαιοις βασιλειων αγομενος, επι της Πετρας ηπειγετο και εσχε Πτολεμαιδα. ωρμημενω δ αυτω δια της Ιουδαιων αγειν τον στρατον υπαντιασαντες ανδρες οι πρωτοι παρητουντο την δια της χωρας οδον· ου γαρ αυτοις ειναι πατριον περιοραν εικονας εις αυτην φερομενας, πολλας δ ειναι σημαιαις επικειμενας. και πεισθεις μετεβαλεν τε της γνωμης το επι τοιουτοις προβουλευσαν και δια του μεγαλου πεδιου κελευσας χωρειν το στρατοπεδον αυτος μετα Ηρωδου του τετραρχου και των φιλων εις Ιεροσολυμα ανηει θυσων τω θεω εορτης πατριου τοις Ιουδαιοις ενεστηκυιας. εις ην απαντησας και δεχθεις υπο του των Ιουδαιων πληθους εκπρεπως τρεις μεν ημερας ταυτη διατριβην ποιειται, εν αις Ιωναθην την ιερωσυνην αφελομενος εγχειριζει τω αδελφω αυτου Θεοφιλω, τη τεταρτη δε γραμματων αυτω παραγενομενων, α εδηλου την Τιβεριου τελευτην, ωρκισεν την πληθυν επ ευνοια τη Γαιου. ανεκαλει δε και το στρατευμα επι τα οικεια εκαστου χειμαδιαν πολεμον εκφερειν ουκεθ ομοιως δυναμενος δια το εις Γαιον μεταπεπτωκεναι τα πραγματα. ελεγετο δε και τον Αρεταν οιωνοσκοπησαμενον προς την αγγελιαν των Ουιτελλιου στρατιωτων φαναι μηχανην ουκ ειναι τω στρατω της επι Πετραιους οδου· τεθνηξεσθαι γαρ των ηγεμονων η τον πολεμειν κελευσαντα η τον γνωμη τη εκεινου ωρμημενον διακονεισθαι η εφ ον γενοιτο η παρασκευη του στρατευματος. και Ουιτελλιος μεν επ Αντιοχειας ανεχωρησεν. Αγριππας δε ο Αριστοβουλου υιος ενιαυτω προτερον η τελευτησαι Τιβεριον επι Ρωμης ανεισι πραξων τι παρα τω αυτοκρατορι δυναμεως τινος αυτω παραγενομενης.

So Vitellius prepared to make war with Aretas, having with him two legions of armed men; he also took with him all those of light armature, and of the horsemen which belonged to them, and were drawn out of those kingdoms which were under the Romans, and made haste for Petra, and came to Ptolemais. But, as he was marching very busily and leading his army through Judea, the principal men met him and desired that he would not thus march through their land; for the laws of their country would not permit them to overlook those images which were brought into it, of which there were a great many in their ensigns; so he was persuaded by what they said, and changed that resolution of his which he had before taken in this matter. Whereupon he ordered the army to march along the great plain, while he himself, with Herod the tetrarch and his friends, went up to Jerusalem to offer sacrifice to God, an ancient festival of the Jews being then just approaching; and when he had been there, and been honorably entertained by the multitude of the Jews, he made a stay there for three days, within which time he deprived Jonathan of the high priesthood, and gave it to his brother Theophilus. But, when on the fourth day letters came to him which informed him of the death of Tiberius, he obliged the multitude to take an oath of fidelity to Caius; he also recalled his army and made them everyone go home and take their winter quarters there, since, upon the devolution of the empire upon Caius, he had not the like authority of making this war which he had before. It was also reported that, when Aretas heard of the coming of Vitellius to fight him, he said, upon his consulting the diviners, that it was impossible that this army of Vitellius could enter Petra; for one of the rulers was to die, either he that gave orders for the war or he that was marching at the desire of the other, in order to be subservient to his will, or else he against whom this army is prepared. So Vitellius truly retired to Antioch; but Agrippa, the son of Aristobulus, went up to Rome, a year before the death of Tiberius, in order to treat of some affairs with the emperor, if he might be permitted so to do.

Rhiannon Ash, Fifty Key Classical Authors, page 77:

[Thucydides] probably died before he had a chance to carry out his final revisions, leaving some sections, notably 5.26-116 and Book 8, without speeches, and other sections with ‘doublets’, one of which he might have eventually removed (for example 1.20 and 6.54-9).

John Marincola, Greek Historians, page 67:

Book VIII [of the Pelopponnesian War by Thucydides] treats the years 412 and part of 411, and has always been considered problematic because of its apparently unfinished condition, manifested in the lack of speeches in direct discourse, the inclusion of documents, and what some see as ‘doublets’.

Lisa Kallet, Money and the Corrosion of Power in Thucydides, pages 260-261:

Scholars have long objected to the first section [8.45], in which Alkibiades reduces the daily rate of pay from 1 drachma to 3 obols, on the grounds that it is a doublet of 8.29, in which the rate began at 1 drachma a day but then was reduced to slightly more than 3 obols.

Thucydides, Peloponnesian War 8.29.1:

Του δ επιγιγνομενου χειμωνος, επειδη την Ιασον κατεστησατο ο Τισσαφερνης ες φυλακην, παρηλθεν ες την Μιλητον, και μηνος μεν τροφην, ωσπερ υπεστη εν τη Λακεδαιμονι, ες δραχμην Αττικην εκαστω πασαις ταις ναυσι διεδωκε, του δε λοιπου χρονου εβουλετο τριωβολον διδοναι, εως αν βασιλεα επερηται ην δε κελευη, δωσειν εφη εντελη την δραχμην.

Summer was now over. The following winter Tissaphernes put Iasus in a state of defence, and passing on to Miletus he distributed the pay of one month to all the ships as he had promised at Lacedaemon, at the rate of an Attic drachma a day for each man. In future, however, he was resolved not to give more than three obols, until he had consulted the king, when, if the king should so order, he would give, he said, the full drachma.

Thucydides, Peloponnesian War 8.45.2:

Και διδασκαλος παντων γιγνομενος την τε μισθοφοραν ξυνετεμεν, αντι δραχμης Αττικης ωστε τριωβολον και τουτο μη ξυνεχως διδοσθαι, λεγειν κελευων τον Τισσαφερνην προς αυτους ως Αθηναιοι εκ πλεονος χρονου επιστημονες οντες του ναυτικου τριωβολον τοις εαυτων διδοασιν, ου τοσουτον πενια οσον ινα αυτων μη οι ναυται εκ περιουσιας υβριζοντες οι μεν τα σωματα χειρω εχωσι δαπανωντες ες τοιαυτα αφ ων η ασθενεια ξυμβαινει, οι δε τας ναυς απολειπωσιν ουχ υπολιποντες ες ομηρειαν τον προσοφειλομενον μισθον.

Henceforth becoming his adviser in everything, [Alcibiades] cut down the pay from an Attic drachma to three obols a day, and even this he did not pay too regularly; and he told Tissaphernes to say to the Peloponnesians that the Athenians, whose maritime experience was of an older date than their own, only gave their men three obols, not so much from poverty as to prevent their seamen being corrupted by being too well off and injuring their condition by spending money upon enervating indulgences, and also paid their crews irregularly in order to have a security against their deserting in the arrears which they would leave behind them.

Dov Gera, Judaea and Mediterranean Politics, 219 to 161 B.C.E., page 269:

Polybius states explicitly that Polycrates was loyal to his king, and his discussion of Ptolemy Macron indicates the same. The numerous parallels indicate that one of the passages [18.55.3-7 and 27.13.1-4] is a doublet of the other. Was this doublet the work of one of Polybius’ sources or that of the historian himself? If Polybius was responsible, was the original passage that describing Polycrates or that dealing with Macron?

Polybius, Histories, 18.55.3-7:

Επειδη δε τα κατα τους Αιτωλους εθεντο καλως οι περι την αυλην, ευθεως εγινοντο περι το ποιειν Ανακλητηρια του βασιλεως, ουδεπω μεν της ηλικιας κατεπειγουσης, νομιζοντες δε ληψεσθαι τινα τα πραγματα καταστασιν και παλιν αρχην της επι το βελτιον προκοπης, δοξαντος αυτοκρατορος ηδη γεγονεναι του βασιλεως. χρησαμενοι δε ταις παρασκευαις μεγαλομερως, επετελουν την πραξιν αξιως του της βασιλειας προσχηματος, πλειστα Πολυκρατους δοκουντος εις την επιβολην ταυτην αυτοις συνηργηκεναι. ο γαρ προειρημενος ανηρ και κατα τον πατερα μεν ετι νεος ων ουδενος εδοκει των περι την αυλην δευτερευειν ουτε κατα την πιστιν ουτε κατα τας πραξεις, ομοιως δε κατα τον ενεστωτα βασιλεα. πιστευθεις γαρ της Κυπρου και των εν ταυτη προσοδων εν καιροις επισφαλεσι και ποικιλοις, ου μονον διεφυλαξε τω παιδι την νησον, αλλα και πληθος ικανον ηθροισε χρηματων, α τοτε παραγεγονει κομιζων τω βασιλει, παραδεδωκως την αρχην της Κυπρου Πτολεμαιω τω Μεγαλοπολιτη. τυχων δε δια ταυτα μεγαλης αποδοχης και περιουσιας εν τοις εξης χρονοις, μετα ταυτα προβαινουσης της ηλικιας ολοσχερως εις ασελγειαν εξωκειλε και βιον ασυρη.

Having thus settled the Aetolian business to their liking, the courtiers turned their attention to the ceremony of instituting the king into the management of his office, called the Anacleteria. His age was not indeed yet so far advanced as to make this necessary, but they thought that the kingdom would gain a certain degree of firmness and a fresh impulse towards prosperity if it were known that the king had assumed the independent direction of the government. They then made the preparations for the ceremony with great splendor and carried it out in a manner worthy of the greatness of the kingdom, Polycrates being considered to have contributed very largely to the accomplishment of their efforts. For this man had enjoyed even during his youth, in the reign of the late king, a reputation second to no one in the court for fidelity and practical ability; and this reputation he had maintained during the present reign also. For, having been entrusted with the management of Cyprus and its revenues, when its affairs were in a critical and complicate state, he not only preserved the island for the young king but also collected a very considerable sum of money, with which he had just arrived and had paid to the king, after handing over the government of Cyprus to Ptolemy of Megalopolis. But though he obtained great applause by this, and a large fortune immediately afterwards, yet, as he grew older, he drifted into extravagant debauchery and scandalous indulgence.

Polybius, Histories, 27.13.1-4:

Οτι Πτολεμαιος ο στρατηγος ο κατα Κυπρον ουδαμως Αιγυπτιακος γεγονεν, αλλα νουνεχης και πρακτικος. παραλαβων γαρ την νησον ετι νηπιου του βασιλεως οντος εγινετο μεν επιμελως περι συναγωγην χρηματων, εδιδου δ απλως ουδεν ουδενι, καιπερ αιτουμενος πολλακις υπο των βασιλικων διοικητων και καταλαλουμενος πικρως επι τω μηδεν προιεσθαι. του δε βασιλεως εις ηλικιαν παραγεγονοτος, συνθεις πληθος ικανον χρηματων εξαπεστειλεν, ωστε και τον Πτολεμαιον αυτον και τους περι την αυλην ευδοκησαι τη προτερον αυτου συστολη και τω μηδεν προιεσθαι.

Ptolemy, the general serving in Cyprus, was by no means like an Egyptian, but was a man of sense and administrative ability. He received the governorship of the island when the king of Egypt was quite a child, and he devoted himself with great zeal to the collection of money, refusing payments of any kind to any one, though he was often asked for them by the agents of the king and subjected to bitter abuse for refusing to part with any. But when the king came of age he made up a large sum and sent it to Alexandria, so that both king Ptolemy himself and his courtiers expressed their approval of his previous parsimony and determination not to part with any money.