Online Encyclopedia

PTOLEMY IV

Online Encyclopedia
Originally appearing in Volume V22, Page 617 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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PTOLEMY IV. Philopator (reigned 221-204), son of the pre-ceding, was a wretched debauchee under whom the decline of the Ptolemaic kingdom began. His reign was inaugurated by the murder of his mother, and he was always under the dominion of favourites, male and female, who indulged his vices and con-ducted the government as they pleased. Self-interest led his ministers to make serious preparations to meet the attacks of Antiochus III. (the Great) on Palestine, and the great Egyptian victory of Raphia (217), at which Ptolemy himself was present, secured the province till the next reign. The arming of Egyptians in this campaign had a disturbing effect upon the native population of Egypt, so that rebellions were continuous for the next thirty years. Philopator was devoted to orgiastic forms of religion and literary dilettantism. He built a temple to Homer and composed a tragedy, to which his vile favourite Agathocles added a commentary. He married (about 215) his sister Arsinoe (III.), but continued.to be ruled by his mistress Agathoclea, sister of Agathocles.
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