BYU Studies Quarterly
Mormon studies, Alexander the Great, Persia, Jerusalem, Judaism, Hellenism
When Alexander the Great defeated the forces of Darius III near Gaugamela in 331 B.C., he became heir to the Persian empire. Palestine was among those territories acquired after his victory over the last Achaemenid ruler. For the first twenty years after Alexander's death, this region was hotly contested. The territory was assigned to Laomedon in the initial division of responsibilities in 323 B.C.; he held it until Ptolemy Soter acquired it in 320. In 315, Antigonos One-Eye seized all of Palestine; Ptolemy retrieved it from Antigonos's son Demetrius in 312. Antigonos recaptured the area in 311, but he was killed at the Battle of Ipsus in 301. Seleucus, who then held Palestine, yielded it to Ptolemy. Ptolemy and his heirs held Judea for the next century. In 200, Antiochus III's decisive victory over the Ptolemies in the Fifth Syrian War made Jerusalem and its environs the concern of the Seleucid monarchs. The Seleucids enjoyed political supremacy until Antiochus IV Epiphanes' persecution of the Jewish faith in the 160s B.C. incited the Hasmonean revolt, laying the foundation for the eventual independence of Judea.
Peek, Cecilia M.
"Alexander the Great Comes to Jerusalem: The Jewish Response to Hellenism,"
BYU Studies Quarterly: Vol. 36:
3, Article 7.
Available at: https://scholarsarchive.byu.edu/byusq/vol36/iss3/7