Shifting Images of the Hasmoneans: Second Temple Legends and Their Reception in Josephus and Rabbinic Literature

ISBN : 9780198811381

Vered Noam
304 Pages
156 x 234 mm
Pub date
Feb 2018
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The shifting image of the Hasmoneans in the eyes of their contemporaries and later generations is a compelling issue in the history of the Maccabean revolt and the Hasmonean commonwealth. Based on a series of six Jewish folktales from the Second Temple period that describe the Hasmonean dynasty and its history from its legendary founders, through achievement of full sovereignty, to downfall, this volume examines the Hasmoneans through the lens of reception history. Each set of parallel stories is examined for the motivation underlying its creation, its original message, language, and the historical context. This analysis is followed by exploration of the nature of the relationship between the Josephan and the rabbinic versions, in an attempt to reconstruct the adaptation of the putative original traditions in the two corpora, and to decipher the disparities, different emphases, reworking, and unique orientations typical of each. The compilation and characterization of these sources whic


List of Abbreviations; Translator's Note; Introduction; 1 Nicanor's Defeat; 2 John Hyrcanus and a Heavenly Voice; 3 The Rupture with the Pharisees; 4 Alexander Janneus/The Priest Who Was Pelted with Citrons; 5 Alexander Janneus's Instructions to His Wife; 6 The Fratricidal Hasmonean Conflict and the Murder of Onias; 7 The Image of the Hasmoneans: A New Perspective; Works Cited

About the author: 

Vered Noam is Professor in the Department of Jewish Philosophy and Talmud, Tel Aviv University. Her research interests include rabbinic literature and Second Temple literature. She is a coeditor of Zion, a quarterly for research in Jewish History, and of the Journal of Ancient Judaism Supplement Series. In 2010 she was the recipient of the Rothschild Foundation's Michael Bruno Memorial Award.

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