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Ptolemy V – 204-180 BC

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Monetary History of Egypt

Ptolemaic Dynasty

ptol 5

Ptolemy V Epiphanes

205-180 B.C.

Ptolemy V Epiphanes was the son of Ptolemy IV and Arsinoe II and the fifth ruler of the Ptolemaic Dynasty. Ptolemy V became king following his father’s death, when he was only five years old. The power of Egypt had been left in the hands of corrupt ministers during his father’s reign and this would lead to some tragic consequences.

Following his father’s death, Arsinoe III attempted to take power and become the next regent. However, two most powerful ministers, Sosibius and Agathocles, had ruled behind the throne for too long. Arsinoe fell victim to their ambition and was murdered.

Ptolemy V thus matured at court as a puppet ruler passing control of the state from one adviser to another. The Rosetta Stone gives the trilingual inscription of the ceremonies attending the coronation of Ptolemy V Epiphanes at Memphis in 197 BC.

Ptolemy V was married to Cleopatra I, the daughter of Antiochus III of Syria in 193 BC when he was only 16 years old. Cleopatra I bore him two sons, one of whom who become the next ruler – Ptolemy VI. He died at the age of twenty-eight amid rumors that he had been poisoned. His wife became regent for their young son Ptolemy VI who was also only 5 years old at the time of his father’s death.

Monetary System


With Portrait Ptolemy V

AU Octadrachm (27.8 grams)
AR Tetradrachm (14.2 grams)
AR Didrachm (7.0 grams)
AR Drachm (3.5 grams)
AR Hemidrachm (1.6 grams)

With Portrait Zeus


With Portrait Cleopatra I


Postumous Coinage Ptolemy I

AR Octadrachm (28.75 grams)
AR Tetradrachm (14.2 grams)
AR Didrachm (7.0 grams)

Postumous Coinage Arsinoe II

AU Double-Octadrachm (55.55 grams)
AU Octadrachm (27.8 grams)

Postumous Coinage Arsinoe III

AU Octadrachm (27.8 grams)

Monetary History of the World
© Martin A. Armstrong