The Hasmonean Dynasty

Maccabean Revolt FriezeAround 167 BC, the King Antiochus IV forbade the Jewish people from performing their religious ceremonies. A Jewish priest called Mattathias the Hasmonean, refused to accept the Greek gods and with his four sons, began what became known as the Maccabean Revolt. After his death, his son, Judah Maccabee led an army against the reigning Seleucid dynasty, gained victory, and is now celebrated every year at Hanukkah. Judas Maccabee died in a battle in 160 BC and was succeeded by his brother, Jonathan, who already held the office of high priest. Jonathan died in 142 BC, leaving his only surviving brother, Simon. At this same time, Demetrius II of Syria gave the Jewish people political independence. Simon Maccabee founded the Hasmonean dynasty that lasted until 37 BC, when King Herod the Great took the throne.