Antiochus IV Epiphanes

Since the third son of Antiochus III was not in direct line for the Seleucid throne, he was sent to Rome as a hostage after his father's defeat by the Romans (189 BCE) . Fourteen years later (175 BCE) his older brother, Seleucus IV, secured his release shortly before being murdered by his own chief minister. Antiochus avenged his brother's death & claimed the throne instead of his nephew, Demetrius, who was a 12 year old hostage in Rome. When Ptolemy VI sought to occupy Israel, Antiochus moved swiftly to defeat & claim control of most of Egypt & Cyprus (169BCE). Despite these victories, however, Roman intervention on behalf of the Ptolemaic kingdom deprived him of all his territorial gains. His retreat (166 BCE) set the stage for the Jewish revolt led by Judah Maccabee (165 BCE).

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