Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers: Series II/Volume XI/Sulpitius Severus/Sacred History/Book II/Chapter 19

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Chapter XIX.

But that the order of the dates may be correctly preserved, and that it may appear more clearly who this Antiochus was, we shall enumerate both the names and times of the kings who came after Alexander in Syria. Well, then, king Alexander having died, as we have related above, his whole empire was portioned out by his friends, and was governed for some time by them under the name of the king.[1] Seleucus, after the lapse of nine years, was himself styled king in Syria, and reigned thirty-two years. After him came Antiochus, his son, with a reign of twenty-one years. Then came Antiochus, the son of Antiochus, who was surnamed Theus, and he reigned fifteen years. After him, his son

Seleucus, surnamed Callinicus, reigned twenty-one years. Another Seleucus, the son of Callinicus, reigned three years. After his death Antiochus, the brother of Callinicus, held Asia and Syria for thirty-seven years. This is the Antiochus against whom Lucius Scipio Asiaticus made war; and he, being worsted in the war was stripped of a part of his empire. He had two sons, Seleucus and Antiochus, the latter of whom he had given as a hostage to the Romans. Thus, then, Antiochus the great having died, his younger son Seleucus obtained the kingdom, under whom, as we have said, Onias the priest had an accusation brought against him by Simon. Then Antiochus was set free by the Romans, and there was given in his place as hostage Demetrius, the son of Seleucus, who was at that time reigning. Seleucus dying in the twelfth year of his reign, his brother Antiochus, who had been a hostage at Rome, seized the kingdom. He, five years after the beginning of his reign, did, as we have shown above, lay waste Jerusalem. For, as he had to pay a heavy tribute to the Romans, he was almost of necessity compelled, in order to meet that enormous expense, to provide himself with money by rapine, and to neglect no opportunity of plundering. Then, after two years, the Jews being again visited by a similar disaster to that which they had suffered before, lest it should happen that, driven on by their numerous miseries, they should commence war, he placed a garrison in the citadel. Next, with the view of overturning the holy law, he published an edict, that all, forsaking the traditions of their ancestors, should live after the manner of the Gentiles. And there were not wanting those who readily obeyed this profane enactment. Then truly there was a horrible spectacle presented; through all the cities sacrifices were publicly offered in the streets, while the sacred volumes of the law and the prophets were consumed with fire.


  1. They did not themselves, for a time, assume the name of king, but, as said above, professed to rule under the authority of king Arridæus, brother of Alexander.