Text #9266"Ptolemy V Epiphanes", in .
Ptolemy V Epiphanes (reigned 204–181 BC), son of Ptolemy IV Philopator and Arsinoe III of Egypt, was the fifth ruler of the Ptolemaic dynasty. He inherited the throne at the age of five, and under a series of regents, the kingdom was paralyzed. The Rosetta Stone was produced during his reign as an adult.
Ptolemy Epiphanes was only a small boy when his father, Ptolemy Philopator, died. Philopator’s two leading favorites, Agathocles and Sosibius, fearing that Arsinoe would secure the regency, had her murdered before she heard of her husband’s death, thereby securing the regency for themselves. However, in 202 BC, 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 his mother’s killers should be killed. The child king gave his consent, it is thought more from fear than anything else, and Agathocles along with several of his supporters were killed by the Alexandrian mob.
Great cruelty and treachery were displayed in the suppression of the native rebellion, and some accounts represent Epiphanes 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 he 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 honor. However, showing himself treacherous and vindictive, he had them put to death in a cruel manner.
The Memphis Decree, published in three 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 priests’ support.
Bevan, Edwyn Robert (1927). A History of Egypt Under the Ptolemaic Dynasty. Methuen. OCLC 876137911.
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.