Ptolemy V Epiphanes was the fifth ruler of the Macedonian Ptolemaic dynasty. His was son of Ptolemy IV Philopator and Arsinoe III of Egypt, and ruled from 204 to 181 BCE. He inherited the throne at the age of five, and under a series of regents the kingdom was paralyzed. Under his rule Coele Syria and most of Egypt’s other foreign possessions were lost. The Great Thebaid Rebellion that started under his father continued throughout most of his reign. In 196 BCE he promulgated the decree inscribed on the Rosetta Stone; found in 1799, it provided the key to the hieroglyphic, or pictographic writing, of ancient Egypt. The decree, which reveals the increasing influence of Egyptian natives, remitted debts and taxes, released prisoners, pardoned rebels who surrendered, and granted increased benefactions to the temples. Despite the claim of victory on the Rosetta Stone, the rebellion by Native Egyptians raged another 10 years until 186 BCE.

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