Year 164 BC was a year of the pre-Julian Roman calendar. At the time it was known as the Year of the Consulship of Torquatus and Longinus (or, less frequently, year 590 Ab urbe condita). The denomination 164 BC for this year has been used since the early medieval period, when the Anno Dominicalendar era became the prevalent method in Europe for naming years.
The Seleucid king Antiochus IV Epiphanes dies while on a campaign in Tabae (or Gabae, now Isfahan) in Persia. He is succeeded by his son Antiochus V Eupator who is only nine years old. The regent for the boy is the late king's chancellor, Lysias, who has been left in charge of Syria when Antiochus IV departed for his campaign in Persia. Lysias is, however, seriously challenged by other Syrian generals and finds himself with a precarious hold on power. To make matters worse for him, the Roman Senate is holding Demetrius, the son of the former king Seleucus IV and, therefore, the rightful heir to the Seleucid throne, as a hostage. By threatening to release him, the Senate is able to influence events in the Seleucid kingdom.
The Battle of Beth Zur is fought between Jewish rebel forces led by Judas Maccabeus and a Seleucid army led by the regent Lysias. Judas Maccabeus wins the battle and is able to recapture Jerusalem soon after. Judas purifies the defiled Temple in Jerusalem, destroys the idols erected there by Antiochus IV and restores the service in the Temple. The reconsecration of the Temple becomes an annual feast of dedication in the Jewish calendar, Hanukkah.