Scientific Information Agency
24 November 2018

Plunder of temples by Seleukid Kings

Journal of Ancient History and Archeology
Plunder of temples by Seleukid Kings

The present paper addresses the cases of temple plunder or attempt of plunder in the Seleukid Kingdom during the period 211/0-164/3 BCE by kingly order. The paper aims at throwing some light on the motives of Antiochos III, Seleukos IV, and Antiochos IV, who -as it is attested by the literary sources — ordered the plunder of temples in several regions of their Kingdom. The despoliation of temples by the Seleukids is often connected, according to many modern historians, with the difficult economic conditions of the Empire after the treaty of Apamea with the Romans in 188. It is therefore often stressed that the Kings sacked constantly temples in order to be able to fulfill their unbearable financial obligations to Rome. By examining though the socio-political as well as the economic conditions of Seleukid Kingdom during 211/0-164/3, I am arguing in this paper that the motives of these Kings varied, and were not exclusively related to the economic profit the temple pillage would offer them, especially in the cases of Seleukos IV and Antiochos IV.

Source: Krikona E. (2017). Plunder of temples by Seleukid Kings. Journal of Ancient History and Archeology. Vol.4, №1: 19-28

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