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see MaccabeesMaccabees
or Machabees
, Jewish family of the 2d and 1st cent. B.C. that brought about a restoration of Jewish political and religious life. They are also called Hasmoneans or Asmoneans after their ancestor, Hashmon.
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(also Maccabees), a priestly family; leaders and rulers of Judea (167–37 B.C.)

In 167 the Hasmoneans led a national liberation struggle against the burdensome taxes and the political and religious oppression of the Seleucids. After Mattathias, the founder of the family, died in 166, the armed struggle was led in turn by his sons Judas Maccabeus, Jonathan, and Simon. Under the leadership of Judas, religious persecution was ended, and religious autonomy was restored in 162. After Judas’ death in 161, Judea was granted a major reduction in taxes during the rule of Jonathan, who became high priest in 152. Under Simon, who was high priest from 142 to 134, Judea achieved complete political independence in 142. In 140 the national assembly named Simon hereditary high priest, ethnarch, and military commander.

Subsequent Hasmoneans, supported by the Sadducees, waged wars of conquest; under their rule Judea came to resemble a Hellenistic monarchy, and Aristobulus I (104–103) took the title of king. In the early first century, during the reign of Alexander Jan-naeus (103–76), Judea’s boundaries reached their greatest extent. The enormous burdens placed on the shoulders of the people led to mass uprisings between 90 and 84 instigated by the Pharisees; the rebellions were cruelly suppressed by Jannaeus. Jannaeus’ widow, Queen Salome Alexandra (76–67), made peace with the Pharisees and brought them into the government. Her death was followed by a civil war that ended with the intervention of Rome and the conquest of Judea in 63 by Pompey. The last Hasmone-an, Antigonus (40–37), was deposed and executed by Herod the Great, who established his own dynasty under Roman protection.


Bickermann, E. Der Gott der Makkabäer: Untersuchungen über Sinn und Ursprung der makkabäischen Ergebung. Berlin, 1937.
Bickermann, E. From Ezra to the Last of the Maccabees. New York, 1962.
Stern, M. The Documents of the History of the Hasmonaean Revolt. Tel Aviv, 1965.
References in periodicals archive ?
135) At that time the priestly nobility largely destroyed itself and, at the end of this carnage, the family of the Hasmoneans from the lower ranks of the priesthood came to power and took over the chief priesthood in 153/152 BC with Jonathan as high priest.
The extensive employment of mercenaries transformed it under the later Hasmoneans into an instrument of internal control.
This favorable attitude towards the Hasmoneans displayed in Pesher Habakkuk is now confirmed by a number of other sources.
Efron is most vehement in denying that the Hasidim and the Hasmoneans had different goals and that their alliance was dissolved once the persecutions of Antiochus Epiphanes ended.
For instance, in chapter 4 Cohen shows that Jewish identity in the Hasmonean period shifted from ethnic identity to religious, cultural, and/or political identity: "But by investing Judaean identity with political or cultural (religious) content, the Hasmonaeans were able to give outsiders an opportunity to attain membership in Judaean society.
Already in the century before, elite Hasmonean designs on Galilee's fertile produce had the Jerusalem theocrats "gentrifying" the mestizo hinterland, re-orienting village economics toward city service, pulling the fierce northern peasantry into the ideological orbit of Jerusalem, and mandating tithing to support Temple-State agendas and priestly lifestyles.
A History of the Hasmonean State: Josephus and Beyond
A revolt broke out led by a pious family known as the Maccabees, or Hasmoneans, the patriarch of which was named Mattathias.
A small band of Jewish warriors called the Hasmoneans liberated Israel from the clutches of the oppressive Seleucid empire, and in the aftermath of battle they searched for oil with which to light the Temple's sevenstemmed candelabra, the menorah.
A small band of Jewish warriors called the Hasmoneans liberated Israel from the clutches of the -math of battle they searched for oil with which --rupted by the Seleucids and all the oil in the Chanukah celebrates the miraculous events that took place during the Second Temple period some 2,200 years ago.
1990 The Hasmoneans and their Supporters: From Mattathias to the death of John Hycarnus I.
Grabbe reviewing the different sources of leadership during the Second temple period--from the times of Yehud as a Persian province, passing through the Seleucids, the Ptolemy, the Maccabean, the Hasmoneans, to the Apocrypha, Josephus to final Christian sources--shows clearly the existence of a continuous group-institution.