Antiochus VII  Sidetes  [ca. 159 - 129 BCE; slain in battle]

The dynamic youngest son of Demetrius I. When his older brother, Demetrius II, was captured & held hostage by the Parthians (139 BCE), Antiochus married his brother's wife, Cleopatra Thea, & claimed kingship for himself to rescue the Seleucid dynasty from the usurper Trypho

After Trypho's defeat, Antiochus claimed political suzerainty over Palestine. When the Jews resisted, he invaded Judea, conquered Jerusalem & tore down its walls (134 BCE).  But to gain Jewish allegiance, he granted them religious freedom & confirmed Johanan Hyrcanus, as high priest.

With Judea again under Seleucid control, Antiochus set out to reclaim the eastern provinces with considerable success.  To stall his rapid advance, the Parthians released Demetrius II -- the nominal Seleucid king (129 BCE), who had been their hostage for a decade. Before Antiochus could adjust to this unexpected development, he was slain by the Parthians in a surprise attack.  Though Demetrius reclaimed the Seleucid throne, his empire soon disintegrated into all out civil war.

References: Josephus, Antiquities 13.219-246, 236-254, 261-263, 271-273.
                   _____, War  1.50-51, 61-62.
                   Appian, History of Rome: Syrian Wars 68.

Other online resources:


Silver tetradrachma struck at Antioch with profile of Antiochus VII on the face.  The reverse side features his favored iconography: the figure of Athena holding a spear in her left hand & winged Victory in her right.  The standard inscription Basileos Antiochou ["of king Antiochus"] is to the right with the king's preferred epithet, Euergetou ["the Beneficent"] to the left. 

Antiochus' coins minted in Palestine, however, indicate that he was not an aggressive Hellenizer. Those made at Tyre substitute an eagle for the Greek mythological motif on the back, while those struck in Jerusalem even replace the king's face with a lily & feature an anchor on the other side.

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