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Re: Dss related questions (copper scroll)
> Russell Gmirkin writes:
> I would refer you to 1 Macc. 5:9-63; 2 Macc. 10:24-38. In the former, it
> said that "all our kindred in the land of Tob have been killed" (5:13);
> latter "tremendous force of mercenaries" and "cavalry from Asia in no
> number" (10:24) with which the Seleucids enforced their control of
> David Kaufman responds:
> Russell, Come on. The end of your statement is not in either text. Neither
> text says, "with which the Seleucids enforced their control of
> In fact, I would argue that the passages support my point. That there were
> powerful semi-independant, if not fully independant warlords to the East.
> Nothing in this text associates Timothy with the Seleucids. That there was
> fierce battle does not require that he was a Seleucid. This list in II
> is a list of battles, not necessarily a list of battles against the
> Seleucids."Gentiles" does not necessarily equal Seleucids.
> The point that the force was a mercenary force is also supportive of
> idea that this was an independant warlord and not a Seleucid
> Where is the mention of troops? Generals? Timothy's group sounds more like
> band of thugs than an army. There is simply no mention that he was
> Your statement about enforcing Seleucid control is simply an assumption
> one that I believe is not necessarily justified. If anything, the Seleucid
> government may have assisted financially Timothy's efforts, but that may
> have been to help him, as an independant warlord, to attack their enemies,
> the Hasmoneans, whom they were fighting in Palestine and to whom they were
Timothy's troops are mentioned at 1 Macc. 5:34, 37, 40; 2 Macc. 8:30-32
mentions both Timothy's troops and general. 2 Macc. 10:32, 37, mentions
Timothy's garrison commander at Gazara, Chaereas. 1 Macc. 5:40 mentions his
officers. At 2 Macc. 8:30-36, Timothy is an associate of Bacchides and
subordinate of Nicanor. Your theory that he was an independent warlord is
remarkable, to say the least.
Josephus, Ant. 12.133 indicates Antiochus the Great conquered all of
Coele-Syria; 12.136=12.3.3 quotes Polybius as saying Antiochus the Great
conquered Gadara and Abila specifically (the leading fortresses of Gilead in
Transjordan) ca. 200.
Bringing it down to ca. 169 BCE and Antiochus IV we may turn to Polybius
"At this time Antiochus was in possession of Coele-Syria and Phoenicia. For
ever since the father of this King Antiochus had defeated Ptolemy's generals
in the battle at Panium [in 200 BCE], all of the above districts yielded
obedience to the kings of Syria."
The sources really can't be more explicit on the Seleucid control of
Coele-Syria (which includes the region of Transjordan we are discussing).
> David Kaufman writes:
> I am certain that if you bother to look at the history books that you
> pointed out to me, you would see that the Romans did in fact defeat
> Antiochus IV in Egypt in 168 BCE. It is called the Battle of Pydna.
> The tribute that was owed to Rome was increased
> dramatically after this defeat.
The Battle of Pydna took place in Greece, not Egypt, and Antiochus IV was not
a participant. Please read the entirety of Livy 44, but especially 44.41-42,
on the Battle of Pydna and its aftermath. For your education, the coastal
city Pydna lie on the Greek peninsula in the district of Piera, north of
Mount Olympus. Please consult any map. This is where the Macedonian king
Perseus met defeat by the Romans in 168 BCE. The Romans subsequently chased
Perseus down on the island of Samothrace and captured him. A small Roman
delegation then proceeded to Egypt and insisted that Antiochus IV depart that
> David Kaufman writes:
> I believe that the argument for Pydna being the crucial event is found
> in Johnathan Goldstein's Anchor Bible volumes on I and II Maccabees. Not
> having them readily available, I can't give exact page numbers. I believe
> that this theory is based upon II Macc. 5:15ff.
> By the way, I have read all of the history books that you cited and
> know my history well, thank you.
Yes, the Roman total victory at Pydna was decisive in persuading Antiochus IV
to abandon Egypt, as every authority from Polybius onwards states. Indeed,
Polybius considers this victory as having established Rome as a truly world
power. But your misunderstanding of the location and participants of this
famous battle is total. Hence I must disagree with your current
self-assessment as a historian.
-- Russell Gmirkin