Friday, December 11, 2009

THE HELIODORUS INSCRIPTION is back in the news for Hanukkah. New fragments of it were published earlier this year. JTA has a recap:
Maccabees still making news

By Gil Shefler · December 10, 2009

NEW YORK (JTA) -- Some 2,200 years after the Maccabees' revolt, historians and archaeologists are uncovering new information about their era.

This year's biggest discovery is a correspondence between Seleukes IV, whose brother and heir was Antiochus IV Epiphanes of the Chanukah story, and one of Seleukes' chiefs in Judea found on parts of an ancient stele.

Professor Dov Gera of Ben-Gurion University, who studied the stone's inscription, said it confirms the account by the Jewish historian Josephus regarding the tightening grip of the Greek-Syrian empire over its subjects' religious practices.