Seleucus Iv

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Seleucus Iv [1]

surnamed Philopator (or Soter, in Josephus, Ant. 12, 4, 10), styled "king of Asia" (2 Maccabees 3, 3), that is, of the provinces included in the Syrian monarchy, according to the title claimed by the Seleucidae, even when they had lost their footing in Asia Minor (comp.  1 Maccabees 8:6;  1 Maccabees 11:13;  1 Maccabees 12:39;  1 Maccabees 13:32), was the son and successor of Antiochus the Great (see Appian, Syria, 3, 45). He took part in the disastrous battle of Magnesia (B.C. 190), and three years afterwards, on the death of his father, ascended the throne. He seems to have devoted himself to strengthening the Syrian power, which had been broken down at Magnesia, seeking to keep on good terms with Rome and Egypt till he could find a favorable opportunity for war. He was, however, murdered, after a reign of twelve years (B.C. 175), by Heliodorus (q.v.), one of his own courtiers, "neither in [sudden] anger nor in battle" ( Daniel 11:20; see Jerome, Ad Loc. ) , but by ambitious treachery, without having effected anything of importance. His son Demetrius I Soter, (See Demetrius), whom he had sent, while still a boy, as hostage to Rome, after a series of romantic adventures gained the crown in B.C. 162 ( 1 Maccabees 7:1;  2 Maccabees 11:1). The general policy of Seleucus towards the Jews, like that of his father (3, 2, 3, Καὶ Σέλευκον ) , was conciliatory, as the possession of Palestine was of the highest importance in the prospect of an Egyptian war; and he undertook a large share of the expenses of the Temple service ( 2 Maccabees 11:3;  2 Maccabees 11:6). On one occasion, by the false representations of Simon (q.v.), a Jewish officer, he was induced to make an attempt to carry away the treasures deposited in the Temple by means of the same Heliodorus who murdered him. The attempt signally failed, but it does not appear that he afterwards showed any resentment against the Jews (4, 5, 6,); though his want of money to pay the enormous tribute due to the Romans may have compelled him to raise extraordinary revenues, for which cause he is described in Daniel as a "raiser of taxes" (11, 20; comp. Livy, 41, 19). See Manzini's monograph (in Italian) on this prince (Mailand, 1634).