Anti'ochus Iv. or Anti'ochus Epiphanes
), king of SYRIA, surnamed EPIPHANES (Ἐπιφανής
), and on coins Theos (*Qe/os) also, was the son of Antiochus III., and was given as a hostage to the Romans in B. C. 188.
He was released from captivity in B. C. 175 through his brother Seleucus Philopator, who gave his own son Demetrius in his stead. While Antiochus was at Athens on his return to Syria in this year, Seleucus was murdered by Heliodorus, who seized upon the crown. Antiochus, however, with the assistance of Attalus easily expelled the usurper, and ascended the throne in the same year. (B. C. 175.) Demetrius remained at Rome.
Cleopatra, the sister of Antiochus, who had been betrothed to Ptolemy Epiphanes, was now dead, and Antiochus therefore claimed the provinces of Coele-Syria and Palestine, which had been given as her dowry.
As the Romans were at this time engaged in a war with Perseus, king of Macedonia, Antiochus thought it a favourable opportunity to prosecute his claims, and accordingly declared war against Egypt.
In four campaigns (B. C. 171-168), he not only obtained possession of the countries to which he laid claim, but almost completed the conquest of Egypt, and was preparing to lay siege to Alexandria, when a Roman embassy commanded him to retire from the country.
This command he thought it most prudent to obey, but he still retained possession of Coele-Syria and Palestine.
The cruelties which Antiochus perpetrated against the Jews during this war, are recorded in the books of the Maccabees, and have rendered his name infamous.
He took Jerusalem on his return from his second campaign into Egypt (B. C. 170), and again at the end of the fourth campaign (B. C. 168), and endeavoured to root out the Jewish religion and introduce the worship of the Greek divinities; but this attempt led to a rising of the Jewish people, under Mattathias and his heroic sons the Maccabees, which Antiochus was unable to put down. Lysias, who was sent against them with a large army, was defeated; and Antiochus, who was in the eastern provinces at the time, hastened his return in order to avenge the disgrace which had befallen his arms. On his return he attempted to plunder a temple in Elymais, probably the same as his father had attacked, but was repulsed, and shortly afterwards died at Tabae in Persia, in a state of raving madness, which the Jews and Greeks equally attributed to his sacrilegious crimes. His subjects gave him the name of Epimanes (Ἐπιμανής
) in parody of Epiphanes (Ἐπιφανής
). He died in B. C. 164, after a reign of 11 years.
He left a son, Antiochus Eupator, who succeeded him, and a daughter, Laodice. (Liv. lib. xli.--xlv. ; Polyb. lib. xxvi.--xxxi.; Justin, 24.3
; Diod. Exc.
pp. 579, 583, &c., ed. Wess.; Appian, App. Syr. 45
; Maccab. lib. i. ii.; J. AJ 12.5
; Hieronym. ad Dan.
100.11; Eckhel. iii. p. 222, &c.) On the reverse of the foregoing coin Jupiter is represented, holding a small figure of Victory in his right hand, and a spear in his left.