Ptolemy IV Philopator
Ptolemy IV Philopator son of Ptolemy III and Berenice II of Egypt was the fourth Pharaoh
Pharaoh is a title used in many modern discussions of the ancient Egyptian rulers of all periods. The title originates in the term "pr-aa" which means "great house" and describes the royal palace...

 of Ptolemaic Egypt. Under the reign of Ptolemy IV, the decline of the Ptolemaic kingdom
Ptolemaic dynasty
The Ptolemaic dynasty, was a Macedonian Greek royal family which ruled the Ptolemaic Empire in Egypt during the Hellenistic period. Their rule lasted for 275 years, from 305 BC to 30 BC...



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 conducted the government as they pleased. Self-interest led his ministers to make serious preparations to meet the attacks of Antiochus III the Great
Antiochus III the Great
Antiochus III the Great Seleucid Greek king who became the 6th ruler of the Seleucid Empire as a youth of about eighteen in 223 BC. Antiochus was an ambitious ruler who ruled over Greater Syria and western Asia towards the end of the 3rd century BC...

 on Coele-Syria
Coele-Syria , or Cœle-Syria or Celesyria, traditionally given the meaning 'hollow' Syria, was the region of southern Syria disputed between the Seleucid dynasty and the Ptolemaic dynasty. Rather than limiting the Greek term to the Beqaa Valley of Lebanon, it is often used to cover the entire area...

 including Judea
Judea or Judæa was the name of the mountainous southern part of the historic Land of Israel from the 8th century BCE to the 2nd century CE, when Roman Judea was renamed Syria Palaestina following the Jewish Bar Kokhba revolt.-Etymology:The...

, and the great Egyptian victory of Raphia
Battle of Raphia
The Battle of Raphia, also known as the Battle of Gaza, was a battle fought on 22 June 217 BC near modern Rafah between the forces of Ptolemy IV Philopator, king of Egypt and Antiochus III the Great of the Seleucid kingdom during the Syrian Wars...

 (217), where Ptolemy himself was present, secured the northern borders of the kingdom for the remainder of his reign.

The arming of Egyptians
Egyptians are nation an ethnic group made up of Mediterranean North Africans, the indigenous people of Egypt.Egyptian identity is closely tied to geography. The population of Egypt is concentrated in the lower Nile Valley, the small strip of cultivable land stretching from the First Cataract to...

 in this campaign had a disturbing effect upon the native population of Egypt, leading to the secession of Upper Egypt under pharaohs Harmachis (also known as Hugronaphor
Hugronaphor was an Upper Egyptian of apparently Nubian origin who led Upper Egypt in secession from the rule of Ptolemy IV Philopator in 205 BC...

) and Ankmachis (also known as Chaonnophris), thus creating a kingdom that occupied much of the country and lasted nearly twenty years.

Philopator was devoted to orgiastic forms of religion and literary dilettantism. He built a temple to Homer
In the Western classical tradition Homer , is the author of the Iliad and the Odyssey, and is revered as the greatest ancient Greek epic poet. These epics lie at the beginning of the Western canon of literature, and have had an enormous influence on the history of literature.When he lived is...

 and composed a tragedy, to which his favourite Agathocles
Agathocles of Egypt
Agathocles was a Ptolemaic minister and together with his sister Agathoclea were very close to Egyptian Greek Pharaoh Ptolemy IV Philopator who reigned 221 BC–205 BC....

 added a commentary. He married (about 220 BC) his sister Arsinoë III
Arsinoe III of Egypt
Arsinoe III was Queen of Egypt . She was a daughter of Ptolemy III and Berenice II.Between late October and early November 220 BC she was married to her brother, Ptolemy IV. She took active part in the government of the country, at least in the measure that it was tolerated by the all-powerful...

, but continued to be ruled by his mistress Agathoclea
Agathoclea was the favourite mistress of the Egyptian Greek Pharaoh Ptolemy IV Philopator who reigned 221 BC–205 BC; sister of Ptolemy IV’s minister Agathocles and through her father was a distant relation of the Ptolemaic dynasty....

, sister of Agathocles. In late c. 210 BC, Agathoclea may have given birth to a son from her affair with Ptolemy IV, who may had died shortly after his birth.

Ptolemy is said to have built a giant ship known as the tessarakonteres
The tessarakonteres , or simply "forty" was a very large galley built in the Hellenistic period. The name "forty" refers to the number of rowers on each column of oars that propelled it...

 ("forty"), a huge type of galley. The forty of its name may refer to its number of banks of oars. The only recorded instance of this type of vessel, in fact, is this showpiece galley built for Ptolemy IV, described by Callixenus of Rhodes
Callixenus of Rhodes
Callixenus of Rhodes was a Hellenistic author from Rhodes. He was a contemporary of Ptolemy II Philadelphus. He wrote two works, both of which are lost.-"Peri Alexandreias":...

, writing in the 3rd century BCE, and by Athenaeus
Athenaeus , of Naucratis in Egypt, Greek rhetorician and grammarian, flourished about the end of the 2nd and beginning of the 3rd century AD...

 in the 2nd century AD. Plutarch also mentions that Ptolemy Philopater owned this immense vessel in his Life of Demetrios. The current theory is that Ptolemy's ship was an oversize catamaran galley, measuring 128 m 420 ft.

Ptolemy IV is a major protagonist of the apocrypha
The term apocrypha is used with various meanings, including "hidden", "esoteric", "spurious", "of questionable authenticity", ancient Chinese "revealed texts and objects" and "Christian texts that are not canonical"....

l 3 Maccabees
3 Maccabees
The book of the 3 Maccabees is found in most Orthodox Bibles as a part of the Anagignoskomena, while Protestants and Catholics consider it non-canonical, except the Moravian Brethren who included it in the Apocrypha of the Czech Kralicka Bible...

, which describes purported events following the Battle of Raphia, in both Jerusalem and Alexandria
Alexandria is the second-largest city of Egypt, with a population of 4.1 million, extending about along the coast of the Mediterranean Sea in the north central part of the country; it is also the largest city lying directly on the Mediterranean coast. It is Egypt's largest seaport, serving...


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