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Seleukid Kingdom, Antiochus IV Epiphanes, 175 - 164 B.C.
From the extraordinary "Egyptianizing" coinage of Antiochus IV, celebrating his triumphs over the Ptolemaic Kingdom of Egypt by using a reverse type strongly associated with the Lagid dynasty, an eagle perched on a thunderbolt.
Antiochos IV assumed divine epithets, which no other Hellenistic king had done, such as Theos Epiphanes ("God Manifest") and after his defeat of Egypt, Nikephoros ("Bearer of Victory"). 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 off of his title Epiphanes.
In 168 B.C., Antiochus IV ordered the Jews to worship Greek gods. The Temple in Jerusalem was seized and dedicated to Zeus. The Jews revolted and after three years of fighting, Judah Maccabee defeated the Seleukid army. Hanukkah, the Festival of Lights, commemorates the rededication of the Temple in 165 B.C. According to the Talmud, there was only enough consecrated olive oil to fuel the eternal flame in the Temple for one day. Miraculously, the oil burned for eight days, enough time to prepare and consecrate fresh oil.GB69535. Bronze AE 27, Houghton-Lorber II 1414; BMC Seleucid p. 38, 45; SNG Spaer 981; SNG Cop 192; Svoronos 1417 (Antiochus III, occupied Egypt); HGC 9 644 (S-R1), F, weight 18.029 g, maximum diameter 26.5 mm, die axis 0o, Antioch (Antakya, Turkey) mint, obverse head of Isis wreathed with grain; reverse BAΣIΛEΩΣ ANTIOXOY ΘEOY EΠIΦANOYΣ, eagle standing right, wings closed; from the Butte College Foundation, ex Lindgren;
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