Week 1 - Week 1 A Discuss the Maccabean revolt inside and...

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Week 1: A) Discuss the Maccabean revolt inside and out. What led to its beginning? Who were the major players? In 175B.C. a man named Antiochus Epiphanes became ruler of the Seleucid Empire. Prior to this time, there had been much conflict in the Jewish community. Some of the wealthy and easily influenced Jews were straying from their traditional values. They dubbed themselves “Hellenists” and adopted the Greek values, language, and ways of life. The faithful, more traditional Jews or “Hasideans” were not going to just let them take over. Antiochus made up his mind that the Hasideans needed to convert to Hellenism or perish. It was a very dangerous time for them as they were executed in great numbers without mercy. A ray of hope shined upon them in the form of an elderly priest named Mattathias and his five sons. For about a year, the family traveled back and forth in the lands of Judea paving the way for other believers such as themselves. During the night they would destroy pagan alters, and force children to be circumcised. Their goal was to ensure the right for people to obey the Mosaic Law. In 166 B.C., Mattathias passed away. Before his death he encouraged his sons to dedicate their lives to the teachings of their ancestors. In 164 B.C. the third son, Judas, nicknamed “the hammer” was triumphant in rededicating the temple of Jerusalem to his fellow Jews. To this day the event is celebrated in what is known as Hanukkah. Even after accomplishing what he had set out to do, he was still not satisfied. Four years later in his quest for total independence, Judas was killed in battle. His younger brother, Jonathan, replaced his position as the leader. He was able to fortify Judea by making treaties with Romans and the Spartans. In 142 B.C., another brother Simon became the new leader after Jonathan was killed by a Syrian general. That same year the Jews were permitted political independence. Simon was able to maintain tranquility among the Jews for almost eighty years. When the country fell short of capable leaders, the people began to divide into two separate political parties. The Sadducees were more in favor of political power. The Pharisees just sought after the freedom of religion. After Simon and two of his sons were murdered, his last remaining son John Hyrcanus assumed authority. He then proceeded to conquer a great deal of land. After his death in 104 B.C., his cruel and evil son Aristobulus took command. He then proceed to ditch theocracy and crowned himself king of his kingdom. Civil war soon followed between the Sadducees and the Pharisees which made the country an easy target. In 63 B.C. the kingdom was put to an end and Judea officially belonged to Rome. B) Identify; Pax Romana, Herod the Great, Archelaus, Herod Antipas, Herod Agrippa I, Zealots, Sanhedrin, God-fearers, Platonism, Epicureanism, and Stoicism.
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Pax Romana translates to Roman Peace. This was uncommon considering there was a significant amount of war throughout history. Christianity was said to have been born during this time.
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