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ANTIOCHUS II. (surnamed by the flattery of the Greeks "Theos" [God]):

King of Syria (261-246 B.C.); date of birth unknown, but set by some chronologists at 286 B.C.; died 246. He is the first of the kings of this name referred to in the Bible. For many years he waged war against Ptolemy II., Philadelphus, king of Egypt, and on the conclusion of peace married his daughter Berenice, having for that purpose divorced his wife, Laodice (248). Two years later he took Laodice back again. The reinstated queen poisoned him and Berenice, and had their son executed. These events are referred to clearly enough, though in an indirect manner, in Dan. xi. 6. Antiochus II. was probably well inclined toward the Jewish people, but the statement made by modern scholars, that he granted full citizenship to Jews residing in Hellenic cities, is founded upon a misunderstanding of a passage in Josephus ("Ant." xii. 3, § 2).

Silver Coin of Antiochus II. Obverse: Head of Antiochus, diademed. Reverse: BAΣIΛEΩΣ ANTIOXOY; Apollo, seated, holding bow and arrow.(After Gardner, "Catalogue of Selencid Coins.")
Bibliography:
  • Droysen, Gesch. des Hellenismus, i. 386 et seq.;
  • Holm, Griechische Gesch. iv. 270 et seq.;
  • Schürer, Gesch. (see index);
  • Willrich, Juden und Griechen, pp. 37, 38;
  • idem, Judaica (see index).
L. G.
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