The Heliodorus Stele = ZPE 159 (2007), 191-205

The Epoch Times has run a piece entitled “Historically Important Greek Stele Inscriptions Revealed.” It discusses an inscribed stone block (stele) dating no earlier than August 178 BCE. The stele preserves part of a letter of King Seleucus IV Philopator (ca. 218-175 BCE) to one Heliodorus, a Seleucid official and presumably the later assassin of the king. The fragmentary letter (in Greek) is preceded on the stele by two short missives recording the transmittal of the King’s letter through the Seleucid administrative hierarchy (from Heliodorus to one Dorymenes and then on to another man named Diophanes).
More information:

  • Publication: H.M. Cotton and K. Wörrle, “Seleukos IV to Heliodoros: A new dossier of royal correspondence from Israel,” Zeitschrift für Papyrologie und Epigraphik (ZPE), 159 (2007), 191-205 [not seen by me; publication details not in ET article, but obtained from the online ZPE indexes].
  • Translation: in press release from the Israel museum
  • Photo: the best photograph to appear online so far seems to be the one that accompanies a similar story on
  • Text: [I am not aware of an online text of this inscription].

The ET article was occasioned by the opening of an exhibition at the Israel Museum entitled “Royal Correspondence on Stone: The Overseer of the Sanctuaries” (through June 2007) [Press release; still nowhere to be found in the museum’s online listing of exhibitions].

Charles Crowther at CSAD reports that Michael Wörrle will be talking about the inscription in Oxford on 23 May 2007:

Glosses on the ET article are hitting the lists, and it’s been noted at rogueclassicism. Jeff Becker brought it to my attention, and Brian Turner and Hugh Cayless helped me run down some details. The link to was posted to ANE-2 by Jim West and Rochelle Altmann.
I would be grateful for more information about this inscription, as well as a good secondary reference for this Heliodoros (his office, dates, activities, etc.) Please append suggestions as comments to this post.

About Tom Elliott

Associate Director for Digital Programs and Senior Research Scholar, Institute for the Study of the Ancient World, New York University
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One Response to The Heliodorus Stele = ZPE 159 (2007), 191-205

  1. Michael Wörrle will be talking about the Heliodorus stele in his David Lewis lecture in Oxford on 23 May: “Heliodorus and the Maccabees. Looking back at an (un)finished study.” 5.00 p.m. in St. John’s College (Garden Quad Auditorium).

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