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MACCABAEI.

which it had been commenced. Antiochus had collected a powerful army to put down the revolt, but being called to the eastern provinces.of his empire (b. c. 166), he left the conduct of it to his friend and minister Lysias, who was also entrusted with the guardianship of his son and the govern­ment of the provinces from the Euphrates to the sea. [LvsiAS, No. 4.] Lysias sent against the Jews a large force under the command of Ptolemy, the son of Dorymenes, Nicanor, and Gorgias, but they were entirely defeated by Judas near Em-maus in b.c. 165. In the next year (b.c. 164) Lysias took the field in person with a still larger army, but he met with the same fate as his generals, and was overthrown a little to the north of Hebron. The death of Antiochus Epiphanes, which happened in this year at Tabae in Persia, and the struggle which arose between Lysias and Philip for the guardianship of the young Antiochus Eupator and for the administration of the empire, paralysed for the time the exertions of the Syrians. Judas and his brothers entered Jerusalem in b. c. 163 and purified the temple ; they then proceeded to expel the Syrians and Hellenising Jews from every part of Judaea. Meantime, however, Lysias, with the aid of the apostate Jews, had again col­lected a formidable army, with which he marched against Judas, accompanied by the young king. His forces were arrested by the strong fortress of Bethsura, which commands the narrow passes that lead to Jerusalem ; and notwithstanding an heroic battle near this place, in which Eleazar, the brother of Judas, perished, the town was obliged to ca­pitulate and Judas to retire to Jerusalem* Here Judas shut himself up, and successfully resisted all the attempts of Lysias to take the place ; but as both parties suffered dreadfully from famine, and the approach of Philip, made Lysias anxious to be at liberty to oppose his rival, a treaty was con­cluded between Judas and Lysias, and the latter withdrew his troops.

This peace, however, was of short duration. Demetrius, who was the rightful heir to the throne of Syria, had escaped from Rome, where he had been a hostage, and on his arrival in.Syria suc­ceeded in getting into his power Lysias and the young Antiochus, both of whom he put to death, b. c. 162. He then proceeded to sow dissension among the patriotic party in Judaea, by proclaim­ing Alcimus high-priest. Several of the zealots for the law declared in favour of the latter, and his claims were supported by a Syrian army. But as Judas would not own the authority of a high-priest who owed his appointment, to the Syrians, the war broke out again. At first the Maccabee met with great success ; he defeated the Syrians iinder Nicanor in two successive battles, and then sent an embassy to Rome to form an alliance with the republic. His offer was eagerly accepted by the Roman senate ; but before this alliance became known, he was attacked by an overwhelming Syrian force under the command of Bacchides, and having only 800 men with him, fell in battle after performing prodigies of valour, B. c. 160. He was succeeded in the command of the patriotic party by his brother,

2. jonathan. As Bacchides and Alcimus were in possession of almost the whole of the country, Jonathan was obliged to act on the de­fensive. He took up a strong position in the wilderness of Tekoah, and in conjunction with his

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MACCABAEL

brother Simon carried on a harassing and desultory warfare against the Syrians. About the same time another of the brothers, John, fell in battle. Jonathan, however, gradually grew in strength ; and Bacchides, who had met with several disasters, at length concluded a peace with Jonathan, al­though Jerusalem and several other important towns still continued in the possession of the Syrian party. A revolution in the Syrian monarchy in b.c. 152 gave Jonathan still greater power. In that year an adventurer, Alexander Balas, laid claim to the throne of the Seleucidae. [alex­ander balas, Vol. I. p. 114.] Alexander and the reigning monarch, Demetrius Soter, eagerly courted the assistance of Jonathan. He espoused the side of Alexander, who offered him the high-prie^thood, and various immunities and advantages. As Alexander eventually drove Demetrius out of his kingdom, Jonathan shared in his good fortune, and became recognised as the high-priest of the Jewish people. After the death of Alexander, which followed soon after, Jonathan played a dis­tinguished part in the struggle for the Syrian throne between Demetrius Nicator, the son of Soter, and Antiochus VI., the youthful son of Alexander Balas. He first supported the former ; but subsequently espoused the side of Antiochus; and it was mainly owing to his energy and ability that Demetrius was obliged to take to flight, and yield the throne to his young rival. Tryphon, the minister of Antiochus, wished, however, to sup­plant his master, and obtain the Syrian throne for himself; and finding Jonathan the chief obstacle to his ambitious views, he treacherously got him into his power, b. c. 144, and put him to death in the following year. Jonathan was succeeded in the high-priesthood by his brother,

3. simon. Simon immediately declared for De­metrius, and was confirmed by the latter in the high-priesthood. He was the most fortunate of the heroic sons of Mattathias. He renewed the alliance with the Romans, fortified many towns, and ex­pelled eventually the Syrian garrison from the fortress in Jerusalem. Under his fostering care the country began to recover from the ravages of the long protracted wars, and gradually increased in wealth and prosperity. Still he was not des-. tined to end his days in peace. In b.c. 137, Antiochus VII., who had succeeded his brother Demetrius Nicator, unwilling to lose Judaea, which had now become an independent state, sent an armyj under his general Cenbedeus, to invade the country. The aged Simon entrusted the conduct of the war to his sons Judas and Joannes Hyrcanus, who conquered Cenbedeus, and drove him out of the country. But Simon did not long enjoy the fruits of his victory. His son-in-law Ptolemy, the governor of Jericho, instigated by Antiochus, formed a plot to obtain the government of Judaea. He treacherously seized Simon at a banquet, and put him to death with two of his sons, Judas and Mattathias, b. c. 135. His other son Joannes Hyrcanus escaped, and succeeded his father.

4. joannes hyrcanus I. was high-priest b.c. 135—106. He did not assume the title of king, but was to all intents and purposes an independent monarch. . His life is given under hyrcanus. He was succeeded by his son,

5. aristobulus I., who was the first of the Maccabees who assumed the kingly title, which was henceforth borne by his successors. His reign

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