Antiochus IV Epiphanes

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Antiochus IV Epiphanes ("Manifest (God)",[1] "the Illustrious"; pronounced /ænˈtaɪ.əkəs ɛˈpɪfəniːz/, from Greek: Ἀντίοχος Ἐπιφανὴς; born c. 215 BC; died 163 BC) ruled the Seleucid Empire from 175 BC until his death in 163 BC. He was a son of King Antiochus III the Great and the brother of Seleucus IV Philopator. His original name was Mithridates; he assumed the name Antiochus after he assumed the throne.

Notable events during the reign of Antiochus IV include his near-conquest of Egypt, which led to a confrontation that became an origin of the metaphorical phrase, "line in the sand" (see below), and the rebellion of the Jewish Maccabees.

He assumed divine epithets, which no other Hellenistic king had done, such as Theos Epiphanes (Greek: ΘΕΟΣ ΕΠΙΦΑΝΗΣ mean "God Manifest") and after his defeat of Egypt, Nikephoros (Greek: ΝΙΚΗΦΟΡΟΣ mean "Bearer of Victory").[2] But his often eccentric behavior, capricious actions and even insanity led some of his contemporaries to call him Epimanes ("The Mad One"), a word play on his title Epiphanes.[1][3]

Contents

Rise to Power

As the son and a potential successor of King Antiochus III, Antiochus became a political hostage of the Roman Republic following the Peace of Apamea in 188 BC. When his older brother, Seleucus IV followed his father onto the throne in 187 BC, Antiochus was exchanged for his nephew Demetrius I Soter (the son and heir of Seleucus). After King Seleucus was assassinated by Heliodorus, an usurper, in 175 BC, Antiochus in turn ousted him. Since Seleucus' legitimate heir, Demetrius I Soter, was still a hostage in Rome, Antiochus, with the help of King Eumenes II of Pergamum, seized the throne for himself, proclaiming himself co-regent for another son of Seleucus, an infant named Antiochus (whom he then murdered a few years later).[4]

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