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DDickey

Antiochus IV Epiphanes

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Does anyone know of a book or biography of Antiochus IV Epiphanes and his rule? I can't seem to find anything dedicated to him.

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Indeed !

But I have read some books about his relationship with Rome and with Judaea, I will list if you want

 

Please do! It will be greatly appreciated. :P

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Indeed !

But I have read some books about his relationship with Rome and with Judaea, I will list if you want

 

Please do! It will be greatly appreciated. :P

 

 

well -

 

The Hellenistic world and the coming of Rome by Erich S. Gruen‏, chapters 15 to 17

 

The Hellenistic world from Alexander to the the Roman conquest by M. M. Austin‏, chapter 5

 

The Cambridge history of Judaism by William David, chapter 8 "Antiochus IV"

 

 

Also there is - Edwin Robert Bevan, The House of Seleucus, 2 vol. (1902; reprinted 1966), considered as the primary source in English

 

O. Morkolm, Antiochus IV of Syria (1966) - Seems to be a full biography

 

And Judas Maccabaeus: The Jewish Struggle Against the Seleucids‏ by Bezalel Bar-Kochva‏

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Indeed !

But I have read some books about his relationship with Rome and with Judaea, I will list if you want

 

Please do! It will be greatly appreciated. :D

 

 

well -

 

The Hellenistic world and the coming of Rome by Erich S. Gruen‏, chapters 15 to 17

 

The Hellenistic world from Alexander to the the Roman conquest by M. M. Austin‏, chapter 5

 

The Cambridge history of Judaism by William David, chapter 8 "Antiochus IV"

 

 

Also there is - Edwin Robert Bevan, The House of Seleucus, 2 vol. (1902; reprinted 1966), considered as the primary source in English

 

O. Morkolm, Antiochus IV of Syria (1966) - Seems to be a full biography

 

And Judas Maccabaeus: The Jewish Struggle Against the Seleucids‏ by Bezalel Bar-Kochva‏

My two cents:

Good news is that, as this Antiochus Epiphanes (beware; his father was homonymous) was both a relevant classical and biblical character, he is depicted in multiple reviews.

Bad news is that he is a Biblical character, so the depictions are theologically biased more often than not.

 

Specific biographies seem to be uncommon; however, any decent Classical or religious (both Jewish and Christian) encyclopedia have extensive material on this guy and his time. Some examples: BK Waltke, "Antiochus IV Epiphanes"; in The International Standard Bible Encyclopedia; I Gafni, "Antiochus" and LH Feldman, "Hellenism", both in Encyclopedia Judaica .

 

There are many excellent reviews about the Jews under the Hellenistic rule, but the standard reference text on Antiochus IV seems to still be Hellenistic Civilization and the Jews, by Victor Tcherikover (1959); English translation by S. Appelbaum. Philadelphia:Jewish Publication Society of America, 1961. Additionally, Tcherikover authored or co-authored many books, chapters and articles on the same topic.

 

A History of Israel from Alexander the Great to Bar Kockba by H Jagersma (1985).may be added to CC list above too.

 

The most relevant primary source is Polybious, especially books XXVI, 10 and XXXI, 3-4;; other important Classical sources are Livy, book XLI, 19-20 and Diodorus. books XXIX, 32 and XXXI, 16, 1-2..

 

Antiochus is also mentioned by Appian, Josephus, Asconius, Cicero, Plutarch, Porphiry, Valerius Maximus, Justin, Zonaras and Malalas, among others.

 

The main religious sources are the Book of Daniel, the four Macabees, Eusebius and many Christian Chronicons.

Edited by sylla

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Specific biographies seem to be uncommon; however, any decent Classical or religious (both Jewish and Christian) encyclopedia have extensive material on this guy and his time. Some examples: BK Waltke, "Antiochus IV Epiphanes"; in The International Standard Bible Encyclopedia; I Gafni, "Antiochus" and LH Feldman, "Hellenism", both in Encyclopedia Judaica .

 

Yes it's indeed a problem, Antiochus is best known for his actions in Judea that brought about the Macabees Revolt however if we want to get the "big picture" of his reign we should remember that Judea was just a very small part of the Seleucid Empire and in order to get a balanced view of Antiochus we need to give much more weight to his policy on other parts of the empire and his foreign relations with the Parthians, Rome and Egypt.

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Thanks everyone! I came across a few of the titles mentioned here, but right now they're out of my price range. A few of these, though, I should be able to track down. I really do appreciate the help, and if anyone has any more suggestions, please don't hesitate. I've become extremely fascinated with the period of the Maccabees and I'll never fully understand it if I can't wrap my head around Antiochus. I do own Cambridge Ancient History v. IX and there is an excellent essay in there about the Jews under Hasmonean rule. So that does help.

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The life of Antiochus got a touch of tragedy at the summit of his career, in the seventh year of his reign, when he add the epithet Nikephoros ("bearer of victory") to his titles; he had just seized Memphis and Cyprus after his victorious second Egyptian campaign, profiting from the political instability of that Kingdom, then under two Ptolemies and one Cleopatra. Antiochus was marching on Alexandria, seemingly unstoppable; he was then on the verge of unifying the two remaining major Hellenistic kingdoms, an achievement that would have surpassed even those from his father.

 

However, this was the same year of the definitive Macedonian defeat by Paullus in Pydna; as it was, the immediate Roman diplomatic intervention would entirely turn the tables, and Antiochus' utter humiliation under an isolated Roman senator would became the hallmark of his reign.

Here comes the famous account of the episode of Popillius Laenas by Polybius of Megalopolis, who was politically active at the time (29;27):

 

At the time when Antiochus approached Ptolemy and meant to occupy Pelusium, Caius Popilius Laenas, the Roman commander, on Antiochus greeting him from a distance and then holding out his hand, handed to the king, as he had it by him, the copy of the senatus-consultum, and told him to read it first, not thinking it proper, as it seems to me, to make the conventional sign of friendship before he knew if the intentions of him who was greeting him were friendly or hostile.

But when the king, after reading it, said he would like to communicate with his friends about this intelligence, Popilius acted in a manner which was thought to be offensive and exceedingly arrogant.

He was carrying a stick cut from a vine, and with this he drew a circle round Antiochus and told him he must remain inside this circle until he gave his decision about the contents of the letter.

The king was astonished at this authoritative proceeding, but, after a few moments' hesitation, said he would do all that the Romans demanded.

Upon this Popilius and his suite all grasped him by the hand and greeted him warmly.

 

The letter ordered him to put an end at once to the war with Ptolemy.

So, as a fixed number of days were allowed to him, he led his army back to Syria, deeply hurt and complaining indeed, but yielding to circumstances for the present. Popilius after arranging matters in Alexandria and exhorting the two kings there to act in common, ordering them also to send Polyaratus to Rome, sailed for Cyprus, wishing to lose no time in expelling the Syrian troops that were in the island.

When they arrived, finding that Ptolemy's generals had been defeated and that the affairs of Cyprus were generally in a topsy-turvy state, they soon made the Syrian army retire from the country, and waited until the troops took ship for Syria.

 

In this way the Romans saved the kingdom of Ptolemy, which had almost been crushed out of existence: Fortune having so directed the matter of Perseus and Macedonia that when the position of Alexandria and the whole of Egypt was almost desperate, all was again set right simply owing to the fact that the fate of Perseus had been decided. For had this not been so, and had not Antiochus been certain of it, he would never, I think, have obeyed the Roman behests.

Edited by sylla

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