Las'thenes (Λασθένης; comp. Λά-μαχος), an officer who stood high in the favor of Demetrius II Nicator. He is described as "cousin" (συγγενής, 1 Macc. 11:31) and "father" (1 Macc. 11:32; Josephus, Ant. 13:3, 9) of the king. Both words may be taken as titles of high nobility (compare Grimm on 1 Macc. 10:89; Diod. 17:59; Gesenius, Thesaur. s.v. אָב, § 4). It appears from Josephus (Ant. 13:4, 3) that he was a Cretan, to whom Demetrils was indebted for a large body of mercenaries (compare 1 Macc. 10:67), when he asserted his claim to the Syrian throne against Alexander Balas, B.C. 148 or 147. It appears that Lasthenes himself accompanied the young prince; and when Demetrius was established on the throne, he appointed Lasthenes his chief minister, with unlimited power. His arbitrary government, added to his persuading Demetrius to disband the regular troops and only employ Cretans, is supposed to have alienated the subjects from the king, and caused great dissatisfaction to the soldiers. This conduct led to the downfall of Demetrius, for it enabled Tryphon to set up Antiochus, the young son of Alexander Balas (Diodotus, Relig. lib. 33:4, ed. Didot, 2:522). What became of Lasthenes is not known. SEE DEMETRIUS.

He must not be identified with the Cnidian instructor of the sons of Demetrius I Soter (Justin, 35:2; comp. Livy, Epit. 52). There is a later Lasthenes, also a Cretan, who took a prominent part against the Romans in B.C. 70-68 (Smith, Dict. of Biogr. s.v. Lastheles, No. 3).

See also the International Standard Bible Encyclopedia.

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