The Empires of Daniel’s Visions: The Ptolemies and the Seleucids (Late)
c. 198–133 b.c.
By the second century b.c., the Seleucid Empire was losing its grip on much of its territory, and the Roman Empire was rapidly expanding throughout the Mediterranean world. In an attempt to unite his empire and shore up his defenses against these pressures, Antiochus IV Epiphanes imposed a strict policy of Hellenization over his domain, which now included the land of Israel. His policy proved too abhorrent for many Jews, including the Maccabean (also called Hasmonean) family, and in 167 b.c. they led a revolt that established a new, independent kingdom of Israel.