NameJohnathan Hyrcanus I the Hasmonean High Priest of Judaea
Birth175 BC
Death104 BC
Misc. Notes
Johanan (John) Hyrcanus [died 104 BCE]

The youngest & only surviving son of Simon Thassi succeeded his father as high priest. But his tenure began with a year-long Syrian siege of Jerusalem that forced him agree to tear down the city's fortifications & renew tribute [133 BCE]. He took advantage of political turmoil in Syria following the death of Antiochus VII [129 BCE] to rebuild his forces, reclaim independence and extend Judean control over Palestine & Jordan. On the southern front he forced Judah's neighbors in Idumaea [descendents of the Edomites] to accept Judaism & on the northern front he destroyed the rival temple at Shechem in Samaria. Such triumphs made him the probable subject of messianic tributes. But his own preference for Greek culture made him controversial in Jerusalem. When Pharisees challenged his right to be high priest, he switched his allegiance to the aristocratic Sadducee [Zadokite] party. Still, the Dead Sea Scrolls suggest that other Zadokites probably rejected his leadership & left Jerusalem, labeling him the "wicked priest," who persecuted the priest whom they regarded as the "Teacher of Righteousness."
by Mahlon H. Smith, Rutgers University
ChildrenAlexander Jannai (125bc-76bc)
Last Modified 27 Jul 2003Created 4 Sep 2012 using Reunion for Macintosh