CPK Posted December 17, 2022 · Supporter Share Posted December 17, 2022 Io, Saturnalia everyone! This morning I was pleasantly surprised to learn that today marks the beginning of Saturnalia. (For some reason I had been thinking it was this coming Monday.) The mysterious package which had been sitting on my desk for the past week could finally be opened! It's my first year participating in this gift exchange and I had a lot of fun putting together the package for my giftee. As for my own gift, I knew I'd like it, but of course I had no idea what it might be. However, I had not expected to open the package and see this! I am simply blown away by the generosity of my Secret Santa. Many, many thanks to @Nerosmyfavorite68 for such an amazing gift! It's my first Seleucid coin, and will remain a top favorite in my collection. I love the dark toning and the details on both obverse and reverse - the above photo is okay but to do the coin more justice I took a short video of it as well: Antiochus_VII_tetradrachm.mp4 Receiving this coin also prompted me to learn more about Antiochus VII. For many of you this is probably old knowledge, but I found it fascinating, particularly his unusually respectful and tolerant behavior toward the Jews: "In his nine-year reign, Antiochus made some effort to undo the massive territorial and authority losses of recent decades. Antiochus defeated the usurper Diodotus Tryphon at Dora and laid siege to Jerusalem in 134 BC. During the siege he allowed a seven-day truce for the Jews to celebrate a religious festival, impressing the Jewish leadership. According to Josephus the Hasmonean leader John Hyrcanus opened King David's sepulchre and removed three thousand talents, which he then paid Antiochus to spare the city. Nevertheless, King Antiochus' respectful treatment of the Jews, and respect for their religion, earned him their gratitude and added name Euergetes ("the Benefactor"). With no Jewish sources of that time (the Book of Maccabees ends a few years before his time), it is unclear if the siege of Jerusalem ended with a decisive Seleucid victory or simply a peace treaty. Furthermore, Jewish forces later assisted Antiochus in his wars, and for nearly 20 years after his death, John Hyrcanus refrained from attacking areas under Seleucid control. "Antiochus spent the final years of his life attempting to reclaim the lost eastern territories, overrun by the Parthians under their "Great King", Mithridates I. Marching east, with what would prove to be the last great Seleucid royal army (including a unit of Judean troops under John Hyrcanus), he defeated Mithridates in two battles. He restored Mesopotamia, Babylonia and Media to the Seleucid empire, before dispersing his army into winter quarters. "The Seleucid king and army spent the winter feasting, hunting and drinking (the Seleucids maintained the Macedonian tradition of heavy drinking). As with any time an army is quartered upon a population, tensions soon grew between the locals and the Syrian troops. "The new Parthian ruler, Phraates II, had not been idle. He raised a new army while stirring up rebellion in the Seleucid occupied towns of Media. Hoping to further sow dissension amongst his foes, Phraates also released his long-held prisoner, Demetrius II, Antiochus' older brother, who returned to Syria to reclaim the throne. "That winter (130–129 BC), several Median towns rose in rebellion and attacked their Seleucid garrisons. Antiochus marched to support one such isolated garrison with only a small force (probably only his Royal Guards). In a barren valley, he was ambushed and killed in the Battle of Ecbatana by Phraates II and a large force of Parthians, who had entered the country without being detected. After the battle the Parthians claimed that Antiochus killed himself because of fear. Most Greco-Roman historians state that he died in battle. Appian, however, states that he did commit suicide." (Taken from Wikipedia) Thanks once again to my Secret Santa and to @Curtisimo for organizing this fun exchange! 18 2 Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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