Hasmoneans, a name given to Maccabees in the Talmud, were a priestly family who led the rebellion against the Selucid kings in the second century BC to establish an autonomous Jewish kingdom. Mattathias began the revolt against the policies of King Antiochus Epiphanes, and, after his death, he was succeeded by his sons Judah, Jonathan, and Simeon. Simeon becamehigh priest and hereditary ruler and was followed by his son John Hyrcanus, and subsequently by Aristobulus and Alexander Yannai (Jannaeus). The Hasmonean state existed until 67 BC when the land was annexed by the Romans, which ended the last period of an independent Jewish state in the Holy Land until the establishment of modern Israel. A.G.H.


Bowker, John, The Oxford Dictionary of World Religions, New York, Oxford University Press, 1997, p. 414