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Ptolemy Philopator, B.C. 222-205

The question may be asked, perhaps, why I have
The feeble character of Ptolemy Philopator.
chosen to give a sketch of Egyptian history here, going back a considerable period; whereas, in the case of the rest of my history, I have recorded the events of each year in the several countries side by side? I have done so for the following reasons: Ptolemy Philopator, of whom I am now speaking, after the conclusion of the war for the possession of Coele-Syria,1 abandoned all noble pursuits and gave himself up to the life of debauchery which I have just described. But late in life he was compelled by circumstances to engage in the war I have mentioned,2 which, over and above the mutual cruelty and lawlessness with which it was conducted, witnessed neither pitched battle, sea fight, siege, or anything else worth recording. I thought, therefore, that it would be easier for me as a writer, and more intelligible to my readers, if I did not touch upon everything year by year as it occurred, or give a full account of transactions which were insignificant and undeserving of serious attention; but should once for all sum up and describe the character and policy of this king.

1 The war with Antiochus, B.C. 218-217. See 5, 40, 58-71, 79-87.

2 A civil war, apparently in a rebellion caused by his own feeble and vicious character. It seems to be that referred to in 5, 107.

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