Simon Maccabaeus

Simon Maccabaeus

Simon Maccabaeus (died 135 BCE) was a son of Mattathias and thus a member of the Hasmonean family.

He took part in the Jewish revolt against the Seleucid Empire led by his brothers, Judas Maccabaeus and Jonathan Maccabaeus. He became the first prince of the Hebrew Hasmonean Dynasty. He reigned from 142 to 135 BC.

The Hasmonean Dynasty was founded by a resolution, adopted in 141 BCE, at a large assembly "of the priests and the people and of the elders of the land, to the effect that Simon should be their leader and high priest forever, until there should arise a faithful prophet" (1 Maccabees xiv. 41).

Recognition of the new dynasty by the Roman Republic was accorded by the Senate about 139 BC, when the delegation of Simon was in Rome. Simon made the Jewish people semi-independent of the Seleucid Empire.

In February 135 BC, he was assassinated at the instigation of his son-in-law Ptolemy. Simon was followed by his third son, John Hyrcanus, whose two elder brothers, Mattathias and Judah, had been murdered, together with their father.


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