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DIODOTUS-TRYPHON ° (d. 137 b.c.e.), rebel against *Demetrius ii, king of Syria. According to Strabo, Tryphon came from Casiana (according to Josephus from Apameia). He served in the army of Alexander Balas and when uprisings began against the rule of Demetrius ii, he headed the insurgents in Larissa. Another step that won him wide support in Syria was his taking care of Antiochus, the minor son of Alexander *Balas, who at one time had been handed over to the Arab Malichus, ostensibly in order to prepare him for the throne. Tryphon appointed himself regent to the young king and assembled a large armed force. Demetrius was defeated by Tryphon and compelled to withdraw from Antiochia, whereupon Tryphon entered with the lad and gave him the title Antiochus vi. However the war between Demetrius and Tryphon continued.

In Judea Tryphon succeeded in attracting to his side *Jonathan the Hasmonean, whom he confirmed in the high-priesthood in the name of "king" Antiochus, and appointed his brother *Simeon strategus of the whole coast from the boundary with Tyre to the border of Egypt. Jonathan gave considerable aid to Tryphon. He won over to himself a large part of the army of Demetrius, and grew so powerful that he became suspect in the eyes of Tryphon. As far as can be seen Tryphon aimed at that time at deposing the young Antiochus and proclaiming himself king. Suspecting that Jonathan might stand in his way he decided to remove him. He encountered the high priest at the head of a large army in Beth-Shean. Unable to make an attack on Jonathan, Tryphon employed a subterfuge. He loaded him with many gifts and honors and persuaded him to send his main army away, and keep only a small force. When Jonathan came to Ptolemais with only 1,000 men, Tryphon fell upon him, murdered his men, and imprisoned him. He then proceeded to conquer Judea, but Jonathan's brother Simeon acted swiftly and with great energy, and was ready for battle when Tryphon arrived at the head of his army. Tryphon at first tried to negotiate and promised to release Jonathan in exchange for a ransom and hostages, but he did not fulfill his promises and war ensued. However Tryphon was unsuccessful in his efforts to reach Jerusalem and he retreated northward. On the way Jonathan was put to death. Tryphon also put to death the young Antiochus, who was no longer important for his purposes, and proclaimed himself king (142/143 b.c.e.). The war between him and Demetrius continued for some years, and this state of affairs was largely unchanged even after Demetrius was captured by the Parthians. Antiochus (Sidetes) seized the kingdom and succeeded in defeating Tryphon, who had fortified himself in Dora where he was besieged. Dora was compelled to submit to Antiochus, and Tryphon slipped away to Orthosia in Apamea where he committed suicide.


i Macc. 11:39–15:39; Jos., Ant., 13:131ff.; Schuerer, Gesch, 1 (19013/4), 172ff., 234ff.; E.R. Bevan, The House of Seleucus, 2 (1902), 226ff., 236ff.; B. Niese, Geschichte der griechischen und makedonischen Staaten, 3 (1903), 277ff., 281ff.

[Abraham Schalit]