A highly placed official under King Demetrius II, Nicator. He is called the king's "kinsman" (the King James Version "cousin") and "father" (1 Macc 11:31,32; Josephus, Ant, XIII, iv, 9), but these are to be taken as court titles rather than as denoting blood-relationship. According to Josephus (Ant., XIII, iv, 3) he was a native of Crete, and raised an army for the king when he made his first descent upon the coast, and rendered him ultimately successful in wresting the throne of Syria from Alexander Balas (1 Macc 10:67; Ant, XIII, iv, 3). The letter addressed to Lasthenes indicates that he was probably prime minister or grand vizier of the kingdom.
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