The Hasmoneans and their Rivals in Seleucid and Post-Seleucid Judea

In: Journal for the Study of Judaism
Benedikt Eckhardt Universität Bremen, Institut für Geschichtswissenschaft, Abteilung Alte Geschichte Postfach 330 440, 28334 Bremen Germany

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The first book of Maccabees gives a detailed account of the Hasmonean rise to power within the administrative structures of the declining Seleucid Empire. While this picture is altogether plausible as far as the Hasmoneans are concerned, there are obvious holes in the narrative when it comes to rival claims. All opponents are characterized as “lawless” and “impious men.” There are nevertheless some indications that other parties had similar access to Seleucid pretenders, and that the Hasmoneans constantly had to face opposition from groups quite similar to themselves. The article tries to identify some of these groups. It also considers the repercussions this rivalry had in the post-Seleucid Hasmonean state.

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