|King of Judaea|
|Reign||c. 67 – 66 BCE|
|High Priest of Judaea|
|Reign||c. 76 – 66 BCE & c. 63 – 40 BCE|
|Successor||Aristobulus II, then Antigonus II Mattathias after Hyrcanus's rule as ethnarch|
|Ethnarch of Judaea|
|Reign||c. 47 – 40 BCE|
John Hyrcanus II ( // , Hebrew : יוחנן הורקנוסYohanan Hurqanos) (died 30 BCE), a member of the Hasmonean dynasty, was for a long time the Jewish High Priest in the 1st century BCE. He was also briefly King of Judea 67–66 BCE and then the ethnarch (ruler) of Judea, probably over the period 47–40 BCE.
Hyrcanus was the eldest son of Alexander Jannaeus, King and High Priest, and Alexandra Salome. After the death of Alexander in 76 BCE, his widow succeeded to the rule of Judea and installed her elder son Hyrcanus as High Priest. Alexander had numerous conflicts with the Pharisees.However Hyrcanus was supported by the Pharisees, especially later in his tenure.
When Salome died in 67 BCE, she named Hyrcanus as her successor as ruler of Judea as well,but soon he and his younger brother, Aristobulus II, dissented over the right to the throne.
Hyrcanus had scarcely reigned three months when Aristobulus II rose in rebellion. Hyrcanus advanced against him at the head of his mercenaries and his followers. The brothers met in a battle near Jericho with many of Hyrcanus' soldiers going over to Aristobulus II, and thereby gave the latter the victory.
Hyrcanus took refuge in the citadel of Jerusalem; but the capture of the Temple by Aristobulus II compelled Hyrcanus to surrender. A peace was then concluded in which Hyrcanus was to renounce the throne and the office of high priest, but was to enjoy the revenues of the latter office.
This agreement did not last. Hyrcanus feared that Aristobulus was planning his death. Such fears were furthered by Hyrcanus' adviser, Antipater the Idumean. According to Josephus, Antipater sought to control Judea by putting the weak Hyrcanus back onto the throne.Hyrcanus took refuge with Aretas III, King of the Nabataeans, who had been bribed by Antipater into supporting Hyrcanus' cause through the promise of returning Arabian towns taken by the Hasmoneans.
The Nabataeans advanced toward Jerusalem with an army of 50,000, took the city and besieged the Temple where Aristobulus had taken refuge for several months. During the siege, Josephus states that the adherents of Hyrcanus stoned the pious Onias (Honi ha'Me'agel, also Khoni or Choni ha-Me'agel), who had refused to pray for the demise of their opponents, and further angered the priests who were fighting along with Aristobulus by selling them cattle for the paschal sacrifice for the enormous price of one thousand drachmae and then refused to deliver the promised animals for the sacrifice.( Antiquities of the Jews Book 14, 2:2)
During the Roman civil war, the Roman general Pompey defeated armies of the kingdoms of Pontus and the Seleucids. He sent his deputy Marcus Aemilius Scaurus to take possession of Seleucid Syria.
As the Hasmoneans were allies of the Romans, both brothers appealed to Scaurus, each endeavouring through gifts and promises to win him over to his side. Scaurus, moved by a gift of 400 talents, decided in favour of Aristobulus and ordered Aretas to withdraw his army. During his retreat, the Nabateans suffered a crushing defeat at the hands of Aristobulus. Scaurus returned to Damascus.
When Pompey arrived in Syria in 63 BCE, both brothers and a third party that desired the removal of the entire dynasty (according to some sources, these may have been the representatives of the Pharisees), sent their delegates to Pompey, who delayed making a decision. He favoured Hyrcanus over Aristobulus, deeming the elder, weaker brother a more reliable ally of the Roman Empire.
Aristobulus, suspicious of Pompey's intentions, entrenched himself in the fortress of Alexandrium, but when the Roman army approached Judea, he surrendered and undertook to deliver Jerusalem over to them. However, since many of his followers were unwilling to open the gates, the Romans besieged and captured the city by force, badly damaging city and the temple. Aristobulus was taken to Rome a prisoner and Hyrcanus restored as high priest in Jerusalem.
By around 63 BCE, Hyrcanus had been restored to his position as High Priest but not to the Kingship. Political authority rested with the Romans whose interests were represented by Antipater, who primarily promoted the interests of his own house. In 47 BCE, Julius Caesar restored some political authority to Hyrcanus by appointing him ethnarch. This however had little practical effect, since Hyrcanus yielded to Antipater in everything.
In 40 BCE, Aristobulus' son Antigonus Mattathias allied himself with the Parthians and was proclaimed King and High Priest.Hyrcanus was seized and his ears mutilated (according to Josephus, Antigonus bit his uncle's ears off) to make him permanently ineligible for the priesthood.
Then Hyrcanus was taken by the Parthians into captivity in Babylonia,where he lived for four years amid the Babylonian Jews, who paid him every mark of respect.
In 36 BCE, Herod I, who had vanquished Antigonus with Roman help and feared that Hyrcanus might persuade the Parthians to help him regain the throne, invited the former High Priest to return to Jerusalem. Hyrcanus accepted and Herod received him with every mark of respect, assigning to him the first place at his table and the presidency of the state council.
However, in 30 BCE Herod charged Hyrcanus with plotting with the Nabateans and put him to death. Josephus states that Hyrcanus was 80 years old at the time of his death.
Biblical scholar Gregory Doudna proposed in 2013 that Hyrcanus II was the figure known as the Teacher of Righteousness in the Qumran Scrolls.According to Doudna, Hyrcanus II’s sectarian orientation is now generally understood to have been Sadducee.
Herod I, also known as Herod the Great, was a Roman client king of Judea, referred to as the Herodian kingdom. The history of his legacy has polarized opinion, as he is known for his colossal building projects throughout Judea, including his renovation of the Second Temple in Jerusalem and the expansion of the Temple Mount towards its north, the Tomb of the Patriarchs in Hebron, the construction of the port at Caesarea Maritima, the fortress at Masada, and Herodium. Vital details of his life are recorded in the works of the 1st century CE Roman–Jewish historian Josephus. Herod also appears in the Christian Gospel of Matthew as the ruler of Judea who orders the Massacre of the Innocents at the time of the birth of Jesus, although a majority of Herod biographers do not believe this event to have occurred. Despite his successes, including singlehandedly forging a new aristocracy from practically nothing, he has still garnered criticism from various historians. His reign polarizes opinion amongst scholars and historians, some viewing his legacy as evidence of success, and some as a reminder of his tyrannical rule.
The Pharisees were a social movement and a school of thought in the Levant during the time of Second Temple Judaism. After the destruction of the Second Temple in 70 CE, Pharisaic beliefs became the foundational, liturgical, and ritualistic basis for Rabbinic Judaism.
The Hasmonean dynasty was a ruling dynasty of Judea and surrounding regions during classical antiquity, from c. 140 BCE to 37 BCE. Between c. 140 and c. 116 BCE the dynasty ruled Judea semi-autonomously from the Seleucid Empire, and from roughly 110 BCE, with the empire disintegrating, Judea gained full independence and expanded into the neighboring regions of Samaria, Galilee, Iturea, Perea, and Idumea. The Hasmonean rulers took the Greek title "basileus,, and some modern scholars refer to this period as an independent kingdom of Israel. The kingdom was ultimately conquered by the Roman Republic and the dynasty was displaced by Herod the Great in 37 BCE.
Antipater I the Idumaean was the founder of the Herodian Dynasty and father of Herod the Great. According to Josephus, he was the son of Antipas and had formerly held that name.
John Hyrcanus was a Hasmonean (Maccabean) leader and Jewish high priest of the 2nd century BCE. In rabbinic literature he is often referred to as Yoḥanan Cohen Gadol, "John the High Priest".
Salome Alexandra or Alexandra of Jerusalem, was one of only two women to rule over Judea. The wife of Aristobulus I, and afterward of Alexander Jannaeus, she was the last queen of Judea, and the last ruler of ancient Judea to die as the ruler of an independent kingdom from 76 to 67 BCE.
Judah Aristobulus I or Aristobulus I was the first Hasmonean king of Judaea from 104 BCE until his death in 103 BCE. He was the eldest of the five sons of John Hyrcanus, the previous leader. Aristobulus's Hebrew name was Judah. He was also referred to as "Philhellene", meaning he was an admirer of Greek culture. Josephus states that he was the first Jew in "four hundred and eighty three years and three months" to have established a monarchy since the return from the Babylonian Captivity.
Herod Archelaus was ethnarch of Samaria, Judea, and Idumea, including the cities Caesarea and Jaffa, for a period of nine years. Archelaus was removed by Roman Emperor Augustus when Judaea province was formed under direct Roman rule, at the time of the Census of Quirinius. He was the son of Herod the Great and Malthace the Samaritan, and was the brother of Herod Antipas, and the half-brother of Herod II. Archelaus came to power after the death of his father Herod the Great in 4 BC, and ruled over one-half of the territorial dominion of his father.
Aristobulus II was the Jewish High Priest and King of Judea, 66 BCE to 63 BCE, from the Hasmonean dynasty.
Antigonus II Mattathias, also known as Antigonus the Hasmonean was the last Hasmonean king of Judea. A puppet king installed by the Parthians, he was the son of King Aristobulus II of Judea. In 37 BCE Herod handed him over to the Romans for execution, after Antigonus's three-year reign during which he led the Jews' fierce struggle for independence against the Romans.
The Herodian dynasty was a royal dynasty of Idumaean (Edomite) descent, ruling the Herodian Kingdom and later the Herodian Tetrarchy, as a vassal state of the Roman Empire. The Herodian dynasty began with Herod the Great, who assumed the throne of Judea, with Roman support, bringing down the century long Hasmonean Kingdom. His kingdom lasted until his death in 4 BCE, when it was divided between his sons as a Tetrarchy, which lasted for about 10 years. Most of those tetrarchies, including Judea proper, were incorporated into Judaea Province from 6 CE, though limited Herodian de facto kingship continued until Agrippa I's death in 44 CE and nominal title of kingship continued until 92 CE, when the last Herodian monarch, Agrippa II, died and Rome assumed full power over his de jure domain.
Alexandreion (Greek), or Alexandrium (Latin), called Sartaba in the Mishna and Talmud and Qarn Sartaba in Arabic, was an ancient hilltop fortress constructed by the Hasmoneans between Scythopolis and Jerusalem on a pointy barren hill towering over the Jordan Valley from the west. It was likely named after Hasmonean king Alexander Jannæus.
Phasael, was a prince from the Herodian Dynasty of Judea.
Hellenistic Judaism was a form of Judaism in classical antiquity that combined Jewish religious tradition with elements of Greek culture. Until the fall of the Western Roman Empire and the early Muslim conquests of the eastern Mediterranean, the main centers of Hellenistic Judaism were Alexandria in Egypt and Antioch in Syria, the two main Greek urban settlements of the Middle East and North Africa region, both founded at the end of the fourth century BCE in the wake of the conquests of Alexander the Great. Hellenistic Judaism also existed in Jerusalem during the Second Temple Period, where there was conflict between Hellenizers and traditionalists.
Aretas III was king of the Nabataean kingdom from 87 to 62 BCE. Aretas ascended to the throne upon the death of his brother, Obodas I, in 87 BCE. During his reign, he extended his kingdom to cover what now forms the northern area of Jordan, the south of Syria, and part of Saudi Arabia. Probably the greatest of Aretas' conquests was that of Damascus, which secured his country's place as a serious political power of its time. Nabataea reached its greatest territorial extent under Aretas' leadership.
Alexander, or Alexander Maccabeus, was the eldest son of Aristobulus II, king of Judaea. He married his cousin Alexandra Maccabeus, daughter of his uncle, Hyrcanus II. Their grandfather was Alexander Jannaeus, the second eldest son of John Hyrcanus. Mariamne, the daughter of Alexander and Alexandra, was Herod the Great's second wife and Hasmonean queen of the Jewish kingdom.
The Siege of Jerusalem occurred during Pompey the Great's campaigns in the East, shortly after his successful conclusion of the Third Mithridatic War. Pompey had been asked to intervene in a dispute over inheritance to the throne of the Hasmonean Kingdom, which turned into a war between Hyrcanus II and Aristobulus II. His conquest of Jerusalem, however, spelled the end of Jewish independence and the incorporation of Judea as a client kingdom of the Roman Republic.
The Herodian kingdom of Judea was a client state of the Roman Republic from 37 BCE, when Herod the Great was appointed "King of the Jews" by the Roman Senate. When Herod died in 4 BCE, the kingdom was divided among his sons into the Herodian Tetrarchy.
Herod the Great's Siege of Jerusalem was the final step in his campaign to secure the throne of Judea. Aided by Roman forces provided by Marcus Antonius, Herod was able to capture the city and depose Antigonus II Mattathias, ending Hasmonean rule. The siege appears in the writings of Josephus and Dio Cassius.
The Hasmonean Civil War was a civil war between two claimants to the Hasmonean Jewish Crown. What began as an inter-Jewish conflict became a highly decisive conflict that included the Nabataean Kingdom and ended with Roman involvement. This conflict resulted in the loss of Jewish independence.
Hyrcanus IIDied: 30 BCE
| High Priest of Judaea |
76 BCE – 66 BCE
| King of Judaea |
67 BCE – 66 BCE
| High Priest of Judaea |
63 BCE – 40 BCE
Antigonus II Mattathias
| Ethnarch of Judea |
47 BCE – 40 BCE