A History of the Hasmonean State

A History of the Hasmonean State : Josephus and Beyond

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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.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 208 pages
  • 156 x 234 x 14.22mm | 494g
  • Continuum International Publishing Group Ltd.
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 0567669025
  • 9780567669025
  • 1,489,616

Table of contents

1. Introduction
2. The Foundation of the Hasmonean Dynasty
3. John Hyrcanus: His Role During Simon's Reign and his Consolidation of Political and Secular Powers
4. Judah Aristobulus: The Creation of the Hasmonean Monarchy
5. Alexander Jannaeus: A Period of Conquest and Expansion
6. Shelamzion Alexandra: A Hasmonean Golden Age
7. Pompey and the Hasmoneans: Hyrcanus II, Aristobulus II, and the End of the Hasmonean Monarchy
8. After the Roman Conquest
9. Conclusion: Josephus, Rome, and Hasmonean History
Bibliography: Primary Sources
Bibliography: Secondary Sources
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Review quote

A timely and accessible prolegomenon that should be required reading for anyone researching late Hellenistic Judea ... Atkinson's masterful re-examination of the Hasmonean achievement provides us with much new food for thought. * The Expository Times * Kenneth Atkinson, an able and prolific historian of the period, has produced an admirable volume ... I walked away better informed about this complicated period after making my way through A History of the Hasmonean State. Its significant learning and clarity will be excellent guides for scholars and students of the field. And I myself will certainly return to its pages in future research on this fascinating period of history. * Journal for the Study of Judaism * Atkinson took upon himself rather extensive challenges. He has succeeded in offering a detailed account of Josephus's narratives on the Hasmonean state, particularly in terms of chronology, political history, and surrounding empires and peoples. He provides many interesting and important insights on these matters ... Atkinson's work on the Hasmoneans is a welcome addition to the expanding field of Hasmonean studies and well worth reading for anyone interested in the Second Temple period. * Society of Biblical Literature * It is I think one of the most interesting books on the Hasmoneans I have had a chance to read. * The Polish Journal of Biblical Research * By refusing to rely solely on textual accounts of the Maccabean revolt and the ensuing reign of the Hasmoneans, Kenneth Atkinson has appealed to the myriad of resources available to scholars to reconstruct this era and handled them responsibly. The result is a work that should be one of the first taken off of the shelf when acquainting oneself with either Hasmonean rule or Flavius Josephus. * Reading Religion *
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About Kenneth Atkinson

Kenneth Atkinson is Professor of History at the University of Northern Iowa, USA.
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