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ANTIOCHUS VII., SIDETES (from Side in Pamphytia):

King of Syria, son of Demetrius 1; born 164; died 129 B.C. In 138 B.C. he declared against the usurper Tryphon, who had taken the place of his brother Demetrius II., then a prisoner with the Parthians. One of the first acts of Antiochus Sidetes was to write to the Hasmonean Simon, confirming him in all the privileges conferred by his predecessors. The object of this friendliness was of course to secure Simon's assistance, or at least neutrality, in the campaign against Tryphon, and just as soon as he gained some slight successes over the latter, he radically altered his demeanor toward the Jews. He not only revoked all previous promises, but demanded of Simon possession of the conquered cities of Jaffa and Gazara and of the citadel of Jerusalem, or, in default, a payment of 1,000 talents. Simon refused either alternative, whereupon Antiochus sent his general Cendebæus against him, but he was defeated by Simon's sons, Judah and John (137). Home affairs took up so much time in the succeeding years that Antiochus left the Jews in peace, but as soon as he found leisure he invaded Judea, devastated the country, and besieged in Jerusalem John Hyrcanus, who had meanwhile succeeded his father in the government. The siege lasted several years. The final terms of peace granted by Antiochus were the surrender of all weapons, the payment of a tax by all cities outside of Judea, 500 talents, and hostages for security. Hard as these conditions seemed, they were in reality moderate, for Judea lay completely in Antiochus' hands. The supposition advanced by modern scholars that Rome interfered on behalf of the Jews, though not impossible, is hardly probable; nor is it likely that the decree of the Senate in Josephus, "Ant." xiii. 9, § 2, refers to Antiochus Sidetes. As a result of Hyrcanus' vassalage to Antiochus, he was compelled to take part in the latter's expedition against the Parthians, 129; but the death of the king next year put an end to this state of subjection.

Silver Coin of Antiochus VII. Obverse: Head of Antiochus, diademed. Reverse:ΒΑΣΙΛΕΩΣ ΑΝΤΙΟΧΟΥ ΕΥΕΡΤΕΤΟΥ. Pallas armed, holding Nikē and spear.(After Gardner, "Catalogue of Seleucid Coins.")
Bibliography:
  • Flathe, Gesch. Makedoniens, ii. 660 et seq.;
  • Ewald, History, v., index;
  • Schürer,Gesch. i., index;
  • Willrich, Judaica, index;
  • Wellhausen, I. J. G. 2d ed., pp. 259 et seq.
L. G.
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