previous next

Weakness of Ptolemy Philopator

Immediately after his father's death, Ptolemy Philopator
Death of Ptolemy Euergetes, B.C. 222.
put his brother Magas and his partisans to death, and took possession of the throne of Egypt. He thought that he had now freed himself by this act from domestic danger; and that by the deaths of Antigonus and Seleucus, and their being respectively succeeded by mere children like Antiochus and Philip, fortune had released him from danger abroad. He therefore felt secure of his position and began conducting his reign as though it were a perpetual festival. He would attend to no business, and would hardly grant an interview to the officials about the court, or at the head of the administrative departments in Egypt. Even his agents abroad found him entirely careless and indifferent; though his predecessors, far from taking less interest in foreign affairs, had generally given them precedence over those of Egypt itself. For being masters of Coele-Syria and Cyprus, they maintained a threatening attitude towards the kings of Syria, both by land and sea; and were also in a commanding position in regard to the princes of Asia, as well as the islands, through their possession of the most splendid cities, strongholds, and harbours all along the seacoast from Pamphylia to the Hellespont and the district round Lysimachia. Moreover they were favourably placed for an attack upon Thrace and Macedonia from their possession of Aenus, Maroneia, and more distant cities still. And having thus stretched forth their hands to remote regions, and long ago strengthened their position by a ring of princedoms, these kings had never been anxious about their rule in Egypt; and had naturally, therefore, given great attention to foreign politics. But when Philopator, absorbed in unworthy intrigues, and senseless and continuous drunkenness, treated these several branches of government with equal indifference, it was naturally not long before more than one was found to lay plots against his life as well as his power: of whom the first was Cleomenes, the Spartan.1

1 See 2, 69.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

load focus Greek (Theodorus Büttner-Wobst after L. Dindorf, 1893)
hide Places (automatically extracted)

View a map of the most frequently mentioned places in this document.

Sort places alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a place to search for it in this document.
Egypt (Egypt) (4)
Thrace (Greece) (1)
Syria (Syria) (1)
Pamphylia (Turkey) (1)
Maroneia (1)
Macedonia (Macedonia) (1)
Hellespont (Turkey) (1)
Cyprus (Cyprus) (1)
Coele-Syria (Lebanon) (1)
Asia (1)
Aenus (1)

Download Pleiades ancient places geospacial dataset for this text.

hide Dates (automatically extracted)
Sort dates alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a date to search for it in this document.
222 BC (1)
hide References (9 total)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: