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By Clive Foss

ISBN-10: 0674089693

ISBN-13: 9780674089693

ISBN-10: 0783716974

ISBN-13: 9780783716978

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The rebellion in Media was actually led by the provincial governor, or satrap, Molon. Since the Seleucid Empire was so large and communication could move slowly in the late 1st millennium BCE, Seleucid satraps were given great autonomy. Loyal and accomplished military commanders were usually appointed as satraps, which usually meant that they could be trusted, but occasionally the wealth and power of the position went to an individual’s head. In this case, the rebellious satrap was able to temporarily control most of the eastern Seleucid provinces, but he was eventually defeated by Antiochus III (Bryce 2014, 182).

King-lists fell out of favor with the Greeks, who preferred to have the exploits of their most notable leaders written in a narrative form that was more similar to modern historical writing (Momigliano 1990, 154), but Seleucus I began the Seleucid king-list in 311 BCE when he returned from the east to vanquish Antigonus and Demetrius’s army that had encamped in Babylon (Boiy 2011, 1). Although the so-called Uruk king-list, which was one of the more traditional Babylonian lists that spanned several centuries, mentioned the Seleucids through the reign of Seleucus II (246-225 BCE) (Boiy 2011, 2), Seleucus I’s list followed a slightly different paradigm.

Ironically, non-Greeks who learned Greek and proved themselves indispensable to the Seleucids could join a gymnasion, and this ended up being one of the catalysts of the Maccabean Rebellion. A Hellenistic faction of Jews, with the blessing of Antiochus IV, established a gymnasion in Jerusalem sometime between 174 and 171 BCE. The Hellenistic Jews who frequented the gymnasion not only exercised in the nude, but were rumored to have given up many of the age-old Jewish traditions, such as circumcision (Simon 2001, 373).

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Byzantine and Turkish Sardis by Clive Foss

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