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Ptolemy V of Egypt

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

Antiochus III[?] and Philip V of Macedonia 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) 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). 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.

The elder of his two sons, Ptolemy VI Philometor (181-145), 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.

This entry was originally from the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.



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