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Headword: Πτολεμαῖος
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:
Πτολεμαῖος, ὁ Φιλοπάτωρ. οὗτος ἕκαστα τῶν πραγμάτων ὀλιγώρως χειρίζων διὰ τοὺς ἀπρεπεῖς ἔρωτας καὶ τὰς ἀλόγους καὶ συνεχεῖς μέθας εἰκότως ἐν πάνυ βραχεῖ χρόνῳ καὶ τῆς ἀρχῆς ἅμα καὶ τῆς ψυχῆς ἐπιβούλους εὗρε καὶ πλείους, ὧν ἐγένετο Κλεομένης καὶ Θεόδοτος καὶ ἄλλοι πολλοί.
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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