Proposed Corrections to Malalas 207-208 concerning Alexander Balas
Don Stone – Version of Apr. 25, 2014

The Malalas text can be found at  Thanks to Roger Powell for calling attention to this passage.
Significant unchanged text is shown in bold red.  Changes are shown as bold blue that changes to bold green.
After him Demetrianus the son of Seleucus was king for 8 years.... After Demetrianus, Antiochus
the offspring of
[Antiochus] Grypus
became king for 9 years;
he was the son of Laodice, the daughter of Ariarathes, king of the Cappadocians.  In the eighth year of his reign, Antioch the great was destroyed by the anger of god [148 BC] … After Antiochus
the offspring of
[Antiochus] Grypus, 
Antiochus Euergetes
became king.

Proposed corrections:

[Change the name to Demetrius and the duration of his reign to 12 years (assuming he ruled until 150).]

After Demetrianus, Alexander [Balas]
the offspring of
Antiochus [IV] Epiphanes
became king for 9 years;
[If it is assumed that Alexander Balas began his rule in 154 (see discussion of reign durations in the lower left part of this table), then the Antioch earthquake of 148 would be in his 6th rather than 8th year of reign. However, Roger Powell (email of 11/7/2012) pointed out that if the Antioch earthquake of 148 occurred in the 8th year of Balas' reign, then that reign would have started in 156, which is roughly when Attalus II of Pergamon first supported Balas' claim and invested him with a diadem and other royal insignia (Diodorus Siculus 31.32a; this is item 3 at] After Alexander [Balas]
the offspring of
Antiochus [IV] Epiphanes,  Antiochus [VII] Euergetes
became king.
Comment: If Malalas or his source believed that Alexander Balas began ruling in 154 rather than 150, then Demetrius’ reign would be 8 years (as given above) and Balas’ would be 9 years (as given in the next column). Malalas had earlier said that Alexander Nicator ruled for 36 years (preceding Seleucus IV), clearly referring to Antiochus III Megas, who ruled for 36 years.  Here Malalas does the opposite substitution, replacing Alexander with Antiochus. This is saying (with the proposed corrections)  that Alexander Balas' mother was Laodice, who would thus be wife or mistress of Antiochus IV Epiphanes; if wife, she was probably also earlier the second wife of Seleucus IV Philopator.  Chronologically, she could be a late daughter of Ariarathes III of Cappadocia, born perhaps in the late 220s, when Ariarathes would probably have been in his 50s.  Alternatively, since Ariarathes IV didn't marry Antiochis, daughter of Antiochus III, until ca. 193, Ariarathes IV may have had an earlier marriage and Balas' mother Laodice might be a daughter of that marriage.  Or perhaps Balas' mother was an illegitimate daughter of Ariarathes III or IV. This is skipping over Demetrius II; Malalas had earlier skipped over Seleucus III Ceraunus.
Many authorities believe that Alexander Balas was a son of Antiochus IV Epiphanes, quite possibly an illegitimate son.  Malalas doesn't specify whether Balas was legitimate or not.  If Balas was illegitimate, Malalas or one of his sources may not have been aware of this and may have assumed that Balas' mother was the wife of Epiphanes.  On the other hand, Malalas or his source may have been aware of the illegitimacy of Balas and may be giving information about his mother, the mistress of Epiphanes.  It is also possible that Balas' mother was a secondary wife of a polygamous Epiphanes.  Of course, Malalas could be confused or misinformed here, and there may be no close relationship between Balas and the Ariarathids.

For more information, see Iossif-Lorber_AnalysisByDonStone.html, last paragraph of section E.