Eyal Regev presents an inter-disciplinary analysis of the Hasmoneans: How they perceived themselves and their role in Jewish history, and how they wanted to be perceived by their subjects. By exploring the ways—some common among ancient monarchies, others unique—in which the Hasmoneans shored up their authority, the author reveals the deliberate and innovative construction of a national politico-religious ideology. Regev discusses the Hasmoneans’ use of Temple and its cult, government and subsequent kingship, and their symbolic representations as reflected in their coins and palaces in comparison with contemporary Hellenistic kingdoms. The volume uncovers the cultural and social character of the Hasmoneans as rulers as well as of their state or kingdom. Merging historical sources with archaeological findings, Jewish perspectives and Hellenistic settings, a traditional text-oriented, historical-critical method with comparative and socio-anthropological approaches, The Hasmoneans aims to be the defining work on the cultural and social character of the priestly family that forms one of Jewish history’s most inspiring and instructive chapters.
The shifting image of the Hasmoneans in the eyes of their contemporaries and later generations is a compelling issue in the history of the Maccabean revolt and the Hasmonean commonwealth. Based on a series of six Jewish folktales from the Second Temple period that describe the Hasmonean dynasty and its history from its legendary founders, through achievement of full sovereignty, to downfall, this volume examines the Hasmoneans through the lens of reception history. On the one hand, these brief, colorful legends are embedded in the narrative of the historian of the age, Flavius Josephus; on the other hand, they are scattered throughout the extensive halakhic-exegetical compositions known as rabbinic literature, redacted and compiled centuries later. Each set of parallel stories is examined for the motivation underlying its creation, its original message, language, and the historical context. This analysis is followed by exploration of the nature of the relationship between the Josephan and the rabbinic versions, in an attempt to reconstruct the adaptation of the putative original traditions in the two corpora, and to decipher the disparities, different emphases, reworking, and unique orientations typical of each. These adaptations reflect the reception of the pristine tales and thus disclose the shifting images of the Hasmoneans in later generations and within distinct contexts. The compilation and characterization of these sources which were preserved by means of two such different conduits of transmission brings us closer to reconstruction of a lost literary continent, a hidden Jewish "Atlantis" of early pseudo-historical legends and facilitates examination of the relationship between the substantially different libraries and worlds of Josephus and rabbinic literature.
Author: Matthew V. Novenson
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Release Date: 2017-04-03
Messianism is one of the great themes in intellectual history. But because it has done so much important ideological work for the people who have written about it, the historical roots of the discourse have been obscured from view. What did it mean to talk about "messiahs" in the ancient world, before the idea of messianism became a philosophical juggernaut, dictating the terms for all subsequent discussion of the topic? In this book, Matthew V. Novenson offers a revisionist account of messianism in antiquity. He shows that, for the ancient Jews and Christians who used the term, a messiah was not an article of faith but a manner of speaking. It was a scriptural figure of speech, one among numerous others, useful for thinking about kinds of political order: present or future, real or ideal, monarchic or theocratic, dynastic or charismatic, and other variations besides. The early Christians famously seized upon the title "messiah" (in Greek, "Christ") for their founding hero and molded the sense of the term in certain ways; but, Novenson shows, this is just what all ancient messiah texts do, each in its own way. If we hope to understand the ancient texts about messiahs (from Deutero-Isaiah to the Parables of Enoch, from the Qumran Community Rule to the Gospel of John, from the Pseudo-Clementines to Sefer Zerubbabel), we must learn to think not in terms of a world-historical idea but of a language game, of so many creative reuses of an archaic Israelite idiom. In The Grammar of Messianism, Novenson demonstrates the possibility and the benefit of thinking of messianism in this way.
Kenneth Atkinson tells the exciting story of the nine decades of the Hasmonean rule of Judea (152 - 63 BCE) by going beyond the accounts of the Hasmoneans in Josephus in order to bring together new evidence to reconstruct how the Hasmonean family transformed their kingdom into a state that lasted until the arrival of the Romans. Atkinson reconstructs the relationships between the Hasmonean state and the rulers of the Seleucid and the Ptolemaic Empires, the Itureans, the Nabateans, the Parthians, the Armenians, the Cappadocians, and the Roman Republic. He draws on a variety of previously unused sources, including papyrological documentation, inscriptions, archaeological evidence, numismatics, Dead Sea Scrolls, pseudepigrapha, and textual sources from the Hellenistic to the Byzantine periods. Atkinson also explores how Josephus's political and social situation in Flavian Rome affected his accounts of the Hasmoneans and why any study of the Hasmonean state must go beyond Josephus to gain a full appreciation of this unique historical period that shaped Second Temple Judaism, and created the conditions for the rise of the Herodian dynasty and the emergence of Christianity.
This volume brings together different disciplines, some for the first time, The contrubutions reflect on a wide range of literary, archaeological, documentary, epigraphic and numismatic sources and their bearing on the historical context of the Jewish revolt against Rome and on our own historical methods.
This publication on the Jewish community of Rome in ancient times provides interesting information about the development of the Jewish presence in the Capital of the Roman Empire and the cultural links this community created with the Diaspora and Eretz-Israel.
In The Institution of the Hasmonean High Priesthood, Vasile Babota offers an interdisciplinary study of the historical process (167–140 B.C.E.), which led to the establishment of the Hasmonean rebellious priests as high priests of the Hellenistic Judea.
Author: Robert Goldenberg
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Release Date: 2007-08-13
The Origins of Judaism provides a clear, straightforward account of the development of ancient Judaism in both the Judean homeland and the Diaspora. Beginning with the Bible and ending with the rise of Islam, the text depicts the emergence of a religion that would be recognized today as Judaism out of customs and conceptions that were quite different from any that now exist. Special attention is given to the early rabbis' contribution to this historical process. Together with the main narrative, the book provides substantial quotations from primary texts (biblical, rabbinic and other) along with extended side treatments of important themes, a glossary, short biographies of leading early rabbis, a chronology of important dates and suggestions for further reading.
Author: Seth Schwartz
Publisher: Princeton University Press
Release Date: 2009-02-09
This provocative new history of Palestinian Jewish society in antiquity marks the first comprehensive effort to gauge the effects of imperial domination on this people. Probing more than eight centuries of Persian, Greek, and Roman rule, Seth Schwartz reaches some startling conclusions--foremost among them that the Christianization of the Roman Empire generated the most fundamental features of medieval and modern Jewish life. Schwartz begins by arguing that the distinctiveness of Judaism in the Persian, Hellenistic, and early Roman periods was the product of generally prevailing imperial tolerance. From around 70 C.E. to the mid-fourth century, with failed revolts and the alluring cultural norms of the High Roman Empire, Judaism all but disintegrated. However, late in the Roman Empire, the Christianized state played a decisive role in ''re-Judaizing'' the Jews. The state gradually excluded them from society while supporting their leaders and recognizing their local communities. It was thus in Late Antiquity that the synagogue-centered community became prevalent among the Jews, that there re-emerged a distinctively Jewish art and literature--laying the foundations for Judaism as we know it today. Through masterful scholarship set in rich detail, this book challenges traditional views rooted in romantic notions about Jewish fortitude. Integrating material relics and literature while setting the Jews in their eastern Mediterranean context, it addresses the complex and varied consequences of imperialism on this vast period of Jewish history more ambitiously than ever before. Imperialism in Jewish Society will be widely read and much debated.
This publication outlines the material preserved in the ancient Jewish cemeteries in the Land of Israel and provides a comprehensive and instructive study of Jewish funerary customs, practices, and rituals relating to death, burial and mourning, as well as addressing the meaning of Jewish funerary art and tradition.
Author: Miguel John Versluys
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Release Date: 2017-06-29
Located in the small kingdom of Commagene at the upper Euphrates, the late Hellenistic monument of Nemrud Dağ (c.50 BC) has been undeservedly neglected by scholars. Qualified as a Greco-Persian hybrid instigated by a lunatic king, this fascinating project of bricolage has been written out of history. This volume redresses that imbalance, interpreting Nemrud Dağ as an attempt at canon building by Antiochos I in order to construct a dynastic ideology and social order, and proving the monument's importance for our understanding of a crucial transitional phase from Hellenistic to Roman. Hellenistic Commagene therefore holds a profound significance for a number of discussions, such as the functioning of the Hellenistic koine and the genesis of Roman 'art', Hellenism and Persianism in antiquity, dynastic propaganda and the power of images, Romanisation in the East, the contextualising of the Augustan cultural revolution, and the role of Greek culture in the Roman world.
Author: Eyal Regev
Publisher: Walter de Gruyter
Release Date: 2007-01-01
The book examines the distinctively sectarian features of the sects represented in the Dead Sea Scrolls from Qumran. It also compares their religious and social features with the early Anabaptists, Mennonites, Hutterites and Amish, Puritans, Quakers and Shakers.
Author: Louis H. Feldman
Release Date: 2007
This collection of articles honoring eminent classicist and historian Louis H. Feldman brings together a host of prominent scholars from all over the world writing on such fields as biblical interpretation, Judaism and Hellenism, Jews and Gentiles, Josephus, Jewish Literatures of the Second Temple, Mishnah and Talmud periods, History of the Mishnah and Talmud periods, Jerusalem and much more.