Posted by: asianshock | February 10, 2011

Hellenistic Jerusalem

The draft for our final paper is due next Thur and I still need to figure out what I am going to write about. I wanted to write about the role the Simpsons has in introducing religion to today’s generation, but its too broad of a topic and I need to focus more on Jerusalem. I have to figure this one out…

Today’s lecture was about the Hellenization of Jerusalem by the Greeks. We left off last time when the Persians have exiled the Jews and told them to return to Jerusalem. However they were still being taxed by the Persians. It was until Alexander the Great defeated the Persian King, King Darius at the Battle of Issus in 333 BCE did the Persian rule end. However, the Jews were under the rule of the Greeks. When Alexander died in 323 BCE, the kingdoms he had conquered were divided among the Ptolemies (Egyptians) and the Seleucids (SYrians). Ptolemy captures Jerusalem in 320 BCE until Antiochus III of the Selecucids defeats the Ptolemies in 201 BCE and annxes Jerusalem and the now called Palestine (Judah and Israel). The Seleucids begin advocating hellenism in Jerusalem. They wanted the Jews to adopt Greek as their new language and turn the city into a “Polis” or center of Greek Life.
Some of the Jews accepted the Greeks while more conservative Jews did not. This created sects in the Jewish community which eventually erupted into infighting. The conservative Jews begin a revolt known as the Maccabean REvolt led by Judas Maccabaeus against the Greeks and the renegade Jews. They employed guerilla tactics against the Seleucid army, and surprisingly won. They established self rule, and this started the Hasmonean dynasty. The leaders claimed to only be temporary until the true Messiah reveals themselves. However, this does not happen, and the leaders stay in power for a century. During this time, they become more corrupt and secular. THis ends when the Romans conquer Jerusalem in 63 BCE.



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