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Headword: *ptolemai=os
Adler number: pi,3039
Translated headword: Ptolemaios, Ptolemy
Vetting Status: high
[Ptolemy,] [surnamed] the Philopator.[1] This man, handling every part of his business carelessly through inappropriate love-affairs and mindless and continual drinking-bouts, understandably found, in a very short time, plotters -- and more than one of them -- simultaneously against both his throne and his life:[2] among whom were Cleomenes[3] and Theodotus[4] and many others.[5]
Greek Original:
*ptolemai=os, o( *filopa/twr. ou(=tos e(/kasta tw=n pragma/twn o)ligw/rws xeiri/zwn dia\ tou\s a)prepei=s e)/rwtas kai\ ta\s a)lo/gous kai\ sunexei=s me/qas ei)ko/tws e)n pa/nu braxei= xro/nw| kai\ th=s a)rxh=s a(/ma kai\ th=s yuxh=s e)pibou/lous eu(=re kai\ plei/ous, w(=n e)ge/neto *kleome/nhs kai\ *qeo/dotos kai\ a)/lloi polloi/.
Ptolemy IV Philopator, king of Egypt 222-205 BC. See generally OCD4 p.1235, and web address 1.
[1] 'Father-loving'. (P's father was his immediate predecessor on the throne, Ptolemy III Euergetes.)
[2] The source is Polybius 5.34.10-11, which the compiler has followed almost verbatim from 'handled every part ...' to '... among whom'.
[3] Polybius 5.35.1-39.6 describes the unsuccessful plot (c.220 BCE) by Cleomenes, king of Sparta, to overthrow Ptolemy IV in Alexandria. See also Plutarch, Agis and Cleomenes 33-37.
[4] Polybius' account (at 5.40.1-3) goes straight on from Cleomenes' coup attempt to Theodotus' moves to hand Coele-Syria to Antiochus III (the Great). At 5.81.1 Polybius describes Theodotus' attempt to assassinate Ptolemy IV in his tent at night before the battle of Raphia (217 BCE).
[5] If the compiler knew any specifics to justify 'many others', he may have been thinking of Sosibius and Agathocles, Ptolemy IV's leading advisers (on whom see Polybius 15.25.1-33.12). They were probably responsible for his death in 205 BC, which they then concealed for several months (see Justin 30.2.1-8).
Karlhans Abel, 'Der Tod des Ptolemaios IV. Philopator bei Polybios', Hermes 95 (1967) 72-90
Associated internet address:
Web address 1
Keywords: biography; ethics; food; gender and sexuality; geography; historiography; history; politics
Translated by: Paul McKechnie on 20 February 2000@16:25:42.
Vetted by:
David Whitehead (added keywords; cosmetics) on 31 March 2001@05:07:11.
Catharine Roth (added keyword) on 22 August 2006@22:18:26.
Catharine Roth (coding, supplemented note) on 22 September 2013@01:43:52.
David Whitehead (tweaking) on 23 October 2013@05:08:42.
David Whitehead (updated a ref) on 10 August 2014@07:21:25.


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