Sandy Brenner/

A FAMILY AFFAIR. Seleucus’s brother and successor, Antiochus IV , took these exploitive policies even further. He continued to meddle in Judean affairs for financial gain but also set up a new altar to Zeus in the Jerusalem Temple and imposed a series of harsh bans on traditional Jewish observance. By 165 B.C.E. the Jews had suffered enough at the hand of the Seleucids and, led by Mattathias and his son Judah Maccabee, arose in open revolt. The retaking of the Temple by Jewish forces and the miraculous relighting of the menorah for eight days with oil enough for only one is the basis for the Hanukkah festival.

The busts on these silver tetradrachm coins were directly inspired by much older coins depicting Alexander the Great. Like Alexander, all three Seleucid rulers are shown with flowing locks and wearing a diadem, or royal headband.