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GORGIAS °, Seleucid general in the war against the forces of *Judah Maccabee. Together with two other generals, *Ptolemy Macron and *Nicanor, Gorgias was sent against the Jews in 165 b.c.e. with a force of 40,000 foot soldiers and 7,000 cavalry. Gorgias set out from his camp near Emmaus with 6,000 soldiers, hoping to surprise Judah by night. Judah, however, succeeded in evading the Greek army and destroyed its main camp at Emmaus, after which Gorgias retreated in disorder. When, two years later, Judah and his brother *Simeon set out to Gilead and Galilee in order to protect the hard-pressed Jewish settlements there, they left the armies of Judea under the inexperienced command of *Joseph and Azariah, sons of Zechariah. Hoping to acquire a reputation for valor, the two commanders attacked the armies of Gorgias, who was at that time in command at Jamnia, but suffered a disastrous defeat.


Jos., Ant., 12:298, 305–12, 351; i Macc. 3:38; 4:1ff.; 5:55; ii Macc. 10:14; 12:32–37; Schuerer, Hist, 31, 35; Klausner, Bayit Sheni, 1 (19512), 57; 3 (19502), 21, 23.

[Isaiah Gafni]