• Mattathias, 170 B.C.E.-167 B.C.E.
  • Judas Maccabeus, 167 B.C.E.-160 B.C.E.
  • Jonathan Maccabeus, 153 B.C.E.-143 B.C.E. (first to hold the title of High Priest)
  • Simon Maccabeus, 142 B.C.E.-141 B.C.E.

Ethnarchs and High Priests of Judaea

  • Simon, 141 B.C.E.-135 B.C.E.
  • Hyrcanus I, 134 B.C.E.-104 B.C.E.

Kings and High Priests of Judaea

  • Aristobulus I, 104 B.C.E.-103 B.C.E.
  • Alexander Jannaeus, 103 B.C.E.- 76 B.C.E.
  • Salome Alexandra, 76 B.C.E.-67 B.C.E. (Queen of Judaea)
  • Hyrcanus II, 67 B.C.E.-66 B.C.E.
  • Aristobulus II, 66 B.C.E.-63 B.C.E.
  • Hyrcanus II, 63 B.C.E.-40 B.C.E. (restored but demoted to Ethnarch)
  • Antigonus, 40 B.C.E.-37 B.C.E.
  • Aristobulus III, 36 B.C.E. (only as High Priest)

Legacy and scholarship

While the Hasmonean dynasty managed to create an independent Jewish kingdom, its successes were rather short-lived, and the dynasty by and large failed to live up to the nationalistic momentum the Maccabee brothers had gained. On the other hand, Judaism's survival as a religion would largely build on the tradition of Torah-centered personal piety favored by the Pharisees, for whom the Temple played a less important role. Indeed, although they matured during the Hasmonean or Maccabean period, their roots where in the experience of exile, when the Torah largely substituted for the Temple, and the synagogue as a place of study and later worship developed.

Jewish nationalism

The fall of the Hasmonean Kingdom marked an end to a century of Jewish self-governance, but Jewish nationalism and desire for independence continued under Roman rule, leading to a series of Jewish-Roman wars in the first-second centuries C.E., including the "The Great Revolt" (66-73 C.E.), the Kitos War (115-117), and Bar Kokhba's revolt, (132-135).

A temporary commonwealth was established, but ultimately fell against the sustained might of Rome, and Roman legions under Titus besieged and destroyed Jerusalem, looted and burned Herod's Temple (in the year 70) and Jewish strongholds (notably Gamla in 67 and Masada in 73), and enslaved or massacred a large part of the Jewish population. The defeat of the Jewish revolts against the Roman Empire notably contributed to the numbers and geography of the Jewish Diaspora, as many Jews were scattered after losing their state or were sold into slavery throughout the empire.

Jewish religious scholarship

Jewish tradition holds that the claiming of kingship by the later Hasmoneans led to their eventual downfall, since that title was only to be held by descendants of the line of King David. 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. Frequent dynastic quarrels also contributed to the view among Jews of later generations of the latter Hasmoneans as degenerate. A member of this school is Josephus, whose accounts are in many cases our sole source of information about the Hasmoneans.

See also


  1. ↑ Cohen.
  2. ↑ I Macc. viii. 7., in Norman Bentwich, Josephus (Philidelphia: The Jewish Publication Society of America, 1914).
  3. ↑ I Macc. ix. 55-73; Josephus, l.c. xiii. 1, §§ 5-6.
  4. ↑ I Macc. x. 1-46; Josephus, "Ant." xiii. 2, §§ 1-4
  5. ↑ I Macc. x. 51-66; Josephus, "Ant." xiii. 4, § 1
  6. ↑ I Macc. x. 67-89, xi. 1-7; Josephus, l.c. xiii. 4, §§ 3-5.
  7. ↑ I Macc. xi. 20; Josephus, l.c. xiii. 4, § 9.
  8. ↑ I Macc. xi. 21-52; Josephus, l.c. xiii. 4, § 9; 5, §§ 2-3; "R. E. J." xlv. 34.
  9. ↑ I Macc. xi. 53-74; Josephus, l.c. xiii. 5, §§ 3-7.
  10. ↑ I Macc. xii. 33-38, 41-53; Josephus, l.c. xiii. 5, § 10; 6, §§ 1-3.
  11. ↑ 143 B.C.E.; I Macc. xiii. 12-30; Josephus, l.c. xiii. 6, § 5.
  12. ↑ Josephus, "Vita," § 1.
  13. ↑ Josephus, Antiquities of the Jews, Book XIII, 9:1.
  14. ↑ Josephus, The War of the Jews, Early Jewish Writings. Retrieved August 16, 2007.
  15. ↑ Richard Hooker, The Hebrews: The Diaspora, Washington State University. Retrieved August 16, 2007
  16. ↑ Josephus, Galilee. Retrieved February 10, 2009.
  17. ↑ Bentwich, Josephus, Chapter I, "The Jews and the Romans."
  18. ↑ Josephus, Wars of the Jews. Retrieved August 16, 2007.
  19. ↑ Josephus, Antiquities of the Jews. Retrieved August 16, 2007.
  20. ↑ Bentwich, Chapter I.
  21. ↑ Josephus, Wars of the Jews. Retrieved August 16, 2007.


  • Bentwhich, Norman. Josephus. Philadelphia: The Jewish Publication Society of America, 1914.
  • Bickerman, E. J. From Ezra to the Last of the Maccabees; Foundations of Post-Biblical Judaism. New York: Schocken Books, 1962. ISBN 9780805200362.
  • Cohen, Shaye J. D. From the Maccabees to the Mishnah. Library of early Christianity, 7. Philadelphia: Westminster Press, 1987. ISBN 9780664219116.
  • Sievers, Joseph. The Hasmoneans and Their Supporters: From Mattathias to the Death of John Hyrcanus I. Atlanta, GA: Scholars Press, 1990. ISBN 9781555404499.

External links

All links retrieved August 6, 2018.

  • Etymology of "Maccabee"
  • Maccabees, The Jewish Encyclopedia