20 Facts About Hasmonean


Hasmonean dynasty was a ruling dynasty of Judea and surrounding regions during classical antiquity, from BCE to 37 BCE.

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Hasmonean dynasty had survived for 103 years before yielding to the Herodian dynasty in 37 BCE.

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Major source of information about the origin of the Hasmonean dynasty is the books 1 Maccabees and 2 Maccabees, held as canonical scripture by the Catholic, Orthodox, and most Oriental Orthodox churches and as apocryphal by Protestant denominations, although they do not comprise the canonical books of the Hebrew Bible.

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Books cover the period from 175 BCE to 134 BCE during which time the Hasmonean dynasty became semi-independent from the Seleucid empire but had not yet expanded far outside of Judea.

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Hasmonean established an arena for public games close by the Temple.

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Hasmonean then imposed a tax and established a fortress in Jerusalem.

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Hasmonean's government set up an idol of Zeus on the Temple Mount, which Jews considered to be desecration of the Mount; it forbade both circumcision and possession of Jewish scriptures, on pain of death.

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Hasmonean outlawed observance of the Sabbath and the offering of sacrifices at the Jerusalem Temple and required Jewish leaders to sacrifice to idols; punitive executions were instituted.

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Hasmonean appears to have controlled the road from Jaffa to Jerusalem, and thus to have cut off the royal party in Acra from direct communication with the sea and thus with the government.

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Hasmonean was three years old at most, but general Diodotus Tryphon used him to advance his own designs on the throne.

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Hasmonean renewed the treaty with the Roman Republic and exchanged friendly messages with Sparta and other places.

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In 110 BCE, John Hyrcanus carried out the first military conquests of the newly independent Hasmonean kingdom, raising a mercenary army to capture Madaba and Schechem, significantly increasing his regional influence.

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Hasmonean desired that his wife succeed him as head of the government, with his eldest of five sons, Aristobulus I, becoming only the high-priest.

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Hasmonean's was the only regnant Jewish Queen in the Second Temple Era, having followed usurper Queen Athalia who had reigned centuries prior.

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Hasmonean's actions caused a riot in the Temple and led to a brief civil war that ended with a bloody repression of the Pharisees, although at his deathbed the king called for a reconciliation between the two parties.

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Hasmonean accordingly began to impress upon Hyrcanus' mind that Aristobulus was planning his death, finally persuading him to take refuge with Aretas, king of the Nabatæans.

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Hasmonean took the same view of Hyrcanus' ability, and was moved by much the same motives as Antipater: as a ward of Rome, Hyrcanus would be more acceptable than Aristobulus.

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When, therefore, the brothers, as well as delegates of the people's party, which, weary of Hasmonean quarrels, desired the extinction of the dynasty, presented themselves before Pompey, he delayed the decision, in spite of Aristobulus' gift of a golden vine valued at five hundred talents.

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Hasmonean's timely help and his influence over the Egyptian Jews recommended him to Caesar's favour, and secured for him an extension of his authority in Palestine, and for Hyrcanus the confirmation of his ethnarchy.

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The Hasmonean bureaucracy was filled with men with Greek names, and the dynasty eventually became very Hellenised, to the annoyance of many of its more traditionally-minded Jewish subjects.

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