Ptolemy V Epiphanes

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Ptolemy V Epiphanes (Greek: Πτολεμαῖος Ἐπιφανής, Ptolemaĩos Epiphanḗs, reigned 204181 BC), son of Ptolemy IV Philopator and Arsinoe III of Egypt, was the fifth ruler of the Ptolemaic dynasty. He became ruler at the age of five, and under a series of regents the kingdom was paralyzed.

Contents

Regency infighting

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 husband's death, which secured the regency for themselves. In 202 BC however Tlepolemus, the general in charge of Pelusium, put himself at the head of a revolt. Once Epiphanes was in the hands of Tlepolemus he was persuaded to give a sign that the killers of his mother should be killed. According to Bevan the child king's consent was given more from fear than anything else and Agathocles along with several of his supporters being killed by the Alexandrian mob.[2]

War with Egypt and Macedonia

Antiochus III the Great and Philip V of Macedon made a pact to divide the Ptolemaic possessions overseas. Philip seized several islands and places in Caria and Thrace, whilst the Battle of Panium (198 BC) definitely transferred Coele-Syria, including Judea, from the Ptolemies to the Seleucids.

Antiochus after this concluded peace, giving his own daughter Cleopatra I to Epiphanes to marry (193192 BC). Nevertheless, when war broke out between Antiochus and Rome, Egypt ranged itself with the latter power. Epiphanes in manhood was remarkable as a passionate sportsman; he excelled in athletic exercises and the chase.

Struggle against the Egyptian Revolt

Great cruelty and treachery were displayed in the suppression of the native rebellion, and some accounts represent him as personally tyrannical. In 197 BC Lycopolis was held by the forces of Ankmachis, (also known as Chaonnophris) the secessionist pharaoh of Upper Egypt, but was forced to withdraw to Thebes. The war between North and South continued until 185 BC with the arrest of Ankmachis by Ptolemaic General Conanus.

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