Antiochus V (Eupator)

163-162BC (1)

Antiochus V Eupator (ca. 173 BC - 162 BC), was a ruler of the Greek Seleucid Empire who reigned 164-162 BC. He was only nine when he succeeded to the kingship, following the death in Persia of his father Antiochus IV Epiphanes. Regent for the boy was the general Lysias who had been left in charge of Syria by Epiphanes. Lysias was, however, seriously challenged by other generals and was therefore in a precarious situation. To make matters worse, the Roman Senate kept Demetrius, the son of Seleucus IV and the rightful heir to the throne, as a hostage. By threatening to release him, the Senate could easily control the Seleucid government.

The attempt to check the Jewish rebellion ended in a weak compromise despite a military victory for the still very fearsome Seleucid army. A Roman embassy now travelled along the cities of Syria and crippled the Seleucid military power. Warships were sunk and elephants hamstrung in accordance with the peace treaty of Apamea made in 188 BC. Lysias dared do nothing to oppose the Romans, but his subservience so enraged his Syrian subjects that the Roman envoy Gnaeus Octavius (consul of 165 BC) was assassinated in Laodicea (162 BC). At this juncture Demetrius escaped from Rome and was received in Syria as the true king.

Antiochus Eupator (whose epithet means "of a good father") was soon put to death together with his protector.

Preceded by Antiochus IV Epiphanes
Succeeded by Demetrius I Soter


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