JUXTAPOSING LITERARY AND DOCUMENTARY EVIDENCE: A NEW COPY OF THE SO-CALLED HELIODOROS STELE AND THE CORPUS INSCRIPTIONUM IUDAEAE/PALAESTINAE (CIIP)

Hannah M. Cotton-Paltiel, Avner Ecker, Dov Gera

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Abstract

This article was prompted by the recent discovery of two more copies of the so-called ‘Heliodoros Stele’ from Maresha. A second one from Byblos was published in 2015. The third one, re-discovered recently and published here for the first time, also comes from Maresha. The steles bear Seleukos IV's epistolary prostagma from 178 bc to his vizier Heliodoros, and forwarded to other officials with the instruction to display it in public. It contains an appointment of one Olympiodoros to be high priest in Koele Syria and Phoenicia. Both Seleukos IV and Heliodoros also appear in the story of the plundering of the Temple related in II Maccabees 3. The existence of multiple copies, though hardly surprising, made us suspect the king's apologetic tone and identify the ‘reform’ as an attempt to embellish the withdrawal of previously bestowed privileges on the Jews (so Josephus) as well as on others.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-15
Number of pages15
JournalBulletin of the Institute of Classical Studies
Volume60
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Jun 2017

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