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Lysias—an outstanding seleucid politician

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Chapter Summary

Antiochus’ persecution of Judaism is a well known historical episode, for which various explanations have been proposed. This chapter tries to follow and to scrutinize the career of one personality among the Seleucid politicians, who took part in the military and political efforts to put down the Judean revolt. Among the Seleucid officials who were involved in Judean affairs Lysias is singled out as the most important and tenacious opponent to the policy which was dictated by his king, Antiochus IV. The chapter accepts two assumptions: First, that there were disagreements among Seleucid high officials about the policy that should be adopted by the Seleucid government towards the Jews. Second that the religious persecution in Judaea implicated both the king Antiochus Epiphanes and a part of the Judean aristocracy, which will henceforth be called the Hellenizers, who were lead by the Hellenized High Priest Menelaus.

Keywords: Antiochus Epiphanes; Hellenizers; Jews; Judaism; Judean revolt; Lysias; religious persecution; Seleucid politician



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