Ptolemy V of Egypt

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Ptolemy V Epiphanes (reigned 204-181 BCE), son of Ptolemy IV Philopator and Arsinoe III of Egypt, was not more than five years old when he came to the throne, and under a series of regents the kingdom was paralysed.

Ptolemy Epiphanes was only a small boy when his father, Ptolemy Philopator, died. The two leading favorites of Philopator, Agathocles and Sosibius, fearing that Arsinoe would secure the regency had her murdered before she heard of her husbands death so securing the regency for themselves. In 202 BCE however Tlepolemus, the general in charge of Pelusium put himself at the head of a revolt which ended with ended with Agathocles and several of his supporters being killed out of hand by the Alexandrian mob.

Antiochus III the Great and Philip V of Macedon made a compact to divide the Ptolemaic possessions overseas. Philip seized several islands and places in Caria and Thrace, whilst the Battle of Panium (198 BCE) definitely transferred Palestine from the Ptolemies to the Seleucids.

Antiochus after this concluded peace, giving his own daughter Cleopatra to Epiphanes to wife (193 -192 BCE). Nevertheless, when war broke out between Antiochus and Rome, Egypt ranged itself with the latter power. Epiphanes in manhood was chiefly remarkable as a passionate sportsman; he excelled in athletic exercises and the chase.

Great cruelty and perfidy were displayed in the suppression of the native rebellion, and some accounts represent him as personally tyrannical. In 197 BCE Lycopolis was held by rebels but was fought to surrender. Bevan interprets the cryptic abreviation of Polybus's account as refering to some attocity what provoke further rebellions amongst the Egyptians.

The elder of his two sons, Ptolemy VI Philometor (181-145 BCE), succeeded as an infant under the regency of his mother Cleopatra. Her death was followed by a rupture between the Ptolemaic and Seleucid courts, on the old question of Palestine.

External Links

  • Ptolemy Epiphanes at LacusCurtius (http://penelope.uchicago.edu/Thayer/E/Gazetteer/Places/Africa/Egypt/_Texts/BEVHOP/8*.html) — (Chapter VIII of E. R. Bevan's House of Ptolemy, 1923)
  • Ptolemy V (http://www.tyndale.cam.ac.uk/Egypt/ptolemies/ptolemy_v.htm) — (Egyptian Royal Genealogy)
Preceded by:
Ptolemy IV and Arsinoe III
Ptolemaic King of Egypt
with Cleopatra I
Succeeded by:
Ptolemy VI and Cleopatra I
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