Israel Antiquities Authority

THE WICKED KING. When the Seleucid king Antiochus IV Epiphanes banned Jewish circumcision and Sabbath observance and desecrated the Jerusalem Temple in the 160s B.C.E., Mattathias and his five sons from Modi’in successfully led a revolt. A bronze coin discovered during excavations at Umm el-‘Umdan was identified by Dr. Gabriela Bijovski of the IAA’s Numismatics Department as depicting Antiochus on its obverse.