Ptolemy V Epiphanes
|King of Egypt|
Tetradrachm issued by Ptolemy V Epiphanes, British Museum
|Ancient Egyptian||Iwaennetjerwymerwyitu Seteppah Userkare Sekhem-ankhamun|
Ptolemy V Epiphanes (Ancient Greek: Πτολεμαῖος Ἐπιφανής, Ptolemaĩos Epiphanḗs, reigned 204–181 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.
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.
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 (193–192 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.
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.
In 183 BC/184 BC The rebels in Lower Egypt surrendered on the basis of terms that Epiphanes had personally promised to honour. However, showing himself in the opinion of Bevan treacherous and vindictive he had them put to death in a cruel manner.
The Memphis Decree, published in 3 languages on the Rosetta Stone and other stelae, announced the rule and ascension to godhood of Ptolemy V, and contained concessions to the priesthood, and has been termed a reward for the support of the priesthood.
The elder of his two sons, Ptolemy VI Philometor (181–145 BC), succeeded as an infant under the regency of his mother Cleopatra the Syrian. Her death was followed by a rupture between the Ptolemaic and Seleucid courts, on the old question of Coele-Syria.
- Clayton (2006) p. 208
- http://penelope.uchicago.edu/Thayer/E/Gazetteer/Places/Africa/Egypt/_Texts/BEVHOP/8*.html Bevan Chapter 8
- British Museum. "History of the World in 100 Objects:Rosetta Stone". BBC.
- Clayton, Peter A. (2006). Chronicles of the Pharaohs: the reign-by-reign record of the rulers and dynasties of ancient Egypt. Thames & Hudson. ISBN 0-500-28628-0.
- This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). Encyclopædia Britannica (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press
- Ptolemy V Epiphanes entry in historical sourcebook by Mahlon H. Smith
Ptolemy IV Philopator
Ptolemy VI Philometor