ANANIAS AND HELKIAS, two brothers, sons of onias IV, who were generals in the army of Cleopatra III, queen of Egypt (116–110 B.C.E.). They commanded the Jewish military colony at Heliopolis. Their loyalty to Cleopatra III (Josephus' reference to which is based on the testimony of Strabo) in her wars against her son Ptolemy Lathyrus for the throne of Egypt won for them great influence (Jos., Ant., 13:284–7). In these wars Ananias and Helkias were in command of the Egyptian army that advanced into Ereẓ Israel to drive out Ptolemy Lathyrus who had consolidated his position there after defeating Alexander Yannai, the Hasmonean king (103–102 B.C.E.). The growing strength of Lathyrus in Ereẓ Israel posed a threat not only to Alexander Yannai's position but also to Cleopatra's rule of Egypt. Ptolemy Lathyrus was defeated in battle and forced to withdraw from Ereẓ Israel, and while in pursuit of him, Helkias died (ibid., 13:348–51). After her victory over her son, Cleopatra was advised by some of her counselors to occupy the Hasmonean kingdom but Ananias warned her against this, pointing out its injustice, as well as the enmity that an attack upon Alexander Yannai would arouse among the latter's fellow Jews in Egypt, her subjects. Because of Ananias' warning Cleopatra did not harm Alexander Yannai and even made a pact with him (ibid., 13:352–5). Helkias, or perhaps his son, is probably mentioned in an Egyptian inscription of 102 B.C.E. as the strategos (commander) of the nome (province) of Heliopolis. It is very doubtful whether the account in Justinus (39:4) of a Ptolemaic general who permitted Lathyrus to escape from Egypt refers to Helkias. -BIBLIOGRAPHY: R. Marcus in Jos., Ant., 13:87, n.f. (and literature cited there); Pauly-Wissowa, 2 (1894), 2056 (1); Schuerer, Gesch, 1 (19014), 278; 3 (19094), 132 n.39; Klausner, Bayit Sheni, 3 (19502), 148; Tcherikover, Corpus, 3 (1964), 144–5 n. 1450. (Uriel Rappaport)

Encyclopedia Judaica. 1971.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Ananias ben Onias — Ananias the son of Onias (in Hebrew, Hananiya ben Honiyyahu ) was the son of the Jewish kohen Onias IV, who founded a Jewish temple at Leontopolis in Egypt during the persecutions of Antiochus IV. Onias won the favor of Ptolemy VI, who gave… …   Wikipedia

  • WAR AND WARFARE — TO THE DESTRUCTION OF THE FIRST TEMPLE The methods of offensive and defensive warfare developed side by side in the Ancient Near East. The development of weapons was dependent upon the supply of raw materials, such as stone, metal, and wood; the… …   Encyclopedia of Judaism

  • CLEOPATRA° — CLEOPATRA°, a name common to several Egyptian queens, the most important of whom are the following: CLEOPATRA I, daughter of antiochus iii and Laodice, daughter of mithridates , king of Pontus. Antiochus III, taking advantage of Egypt s weakness …   Encyclopedia of Judaism

  • EGYPT — EGYPT, country in N.E. Africa, centering along the banks of the River Nile from the Mediterranean coast southward beyond the first cataract at Aswan. The ancient Egyptians named their land Kemi, the Black Land, while the neighboring Asiatic… …   Encyclopedia of Judaism

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.