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Fifth Syrian War (202-195)

Antiochus III the Great. Louvre, Paris (France). Photo Marco Prins.
Antiochus III the Great (Louvre, Paris)
Syrian Wars: series of conflicts between the Seleucid and Ptolemaic empires in the third and second centuries BCE; at stake was an area called Coele Syria, which is more or less identical to modern Israel, the Palestine territories, Lebanon and southern Syria.
  • 205/204: The Seleucid king Antiochus III the Great and the Macedonian king Philip V, knowing that a dynastic crisis is approaching in the Ptolemaic empire, agree to divide its possessions outside Africa; revolt of Horwennefer in Egypt
  • July or August 204: Death of Ptolemy IV Philopator; the queen-mother Arsinoe III is assassinated
  • 202: The royal advisers Agathocles and Sosibius are replaced by Telepolemus, and -later- Aristomenes
  • May 202: Outbreak of the Fifth Syrian War
  • Philip expels the Ptolemaic garrisons from the Aegaen Sea, which results in a conflict with Pergamon and Rhodes
  • 201: Rome is alarmed, and demands that Philip halts his aggression.
  • 200: Antiochus occupies Coele Syria (battle of Panion); Rome declares war against Macedonia (which leaves the war against the Ptolemies) and orders both to keep their hands off Egypt, which is vital for Rome's food supply; the rebel Horwennefer changes his name into Ankhwennefer
  • 199-197: Antiochus cancels his invasion of Egypt, and instead attacks Ptolemaic possessions in Cilicia
  • 197: In the battle of Cynoscephalae the Roman general Titus Quinctius Flamininus overcomes the Macedonians
  • 197/196: Ptolemy V represses the insurrection in the Delta.
  • 26 March 196: Traditional, native coronation of Ptolemy in Memphis; he accepts the surname Epiphanes, 'the god manifests himself'; Egyptian priests decree a divine cult for the young king (the text is known from the Rosetta Stone)
  • 195: Peace with Antiochus III; Ptolemy announces to marry Antiochus' daughter Cleopatra Syra and accepts the loss of all possessions outside Egypt, except for Cyprus and Cyrenaica, the online home of Ancient Warfare magazine

This brief article has been written to offer background information to the real articles on Livius.Org. One day, this webpage will be improved. A list of completed articles can be found here.
Jona Lendering for
Livius.Org, 2007
Revision: 30 July 2012
Livius.Org Anatolia Carthage Egypt Germ. Inf. Greece Judaea Mesopotamia Persia Rome Other