the historical background of hellenism

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The Historical Background of Hellenism. and why we celebrate Hannukah for 8 days. Babylonians 605 – 539 BCE. Persians 539 – 332 BCE. Hellenistic Rule Alexander 332 BCE Ptolemies 301 – 200 BCE Seleucids 200 – 142 BCE. Hasmonean Rule 142 – 63 BCE. Romans 63 BCE – 395 CE. - PowerPoint PPT Presentation


The Persian Period

The Historical Background of Hellenismand why we celebrate Hannukah for 8 days1Babylonians 605 539 BCEPersians 539 332 BCEHasmonean Rule 142 63 BCERomans 63 BCE 395 CEHellenistic RuleAlexander 332 BCEPtolemies 301 200 BCESeleucids 200 142 BCE2Important Dates586 BCE Destruction of Bet haMikdash I539 BCE Cyrus destroys Babylonia, decrees that Jews can return520-516 BCE Rebuilding of Bet haMikdash II : , , - - - .5th century Ezra and Nehemiah332 BCE Alexander the Great conquers Judea and Persian Empire3Alexander the Great

4Alexander the Macedonian

5Josephus, Antiquities, 11.329And when he understood that he was not far from the city, he went out in procession, with the priests and the multitude of the citizens. The procession was venerable, and the manner of it different from that of other nations. It reached to a place called Sapha, which name, translated into Greek, signifies a prospect, for you have thence a prospect both of Jerusalemand of the temple. And when the Phoenicians and the Chaldeans that followed him thought they should have liberty to plunder the city, and torment the high priest to death, which the king's displeasure fairly promised them, the very reverse of it happened; for Alexander, when he saw the multitude at a distance, in white garments, while the priests stood clothed with fine linen, and the high priest in purple and scarlet clothing, with his mitre on his head, having the golden plate whereon the name of God was engraved, he approached by himself, and adored that name, and first saluted the high priest. The Jews also did all together, with one voice, salute Alexander, and encompass him about; whereupon the kings ofSyriaand the rest were surprised at what Alexander had done, and supposed him disordered in his mind. However, Parmenio alone went up to him, and asked him how it came to pass that, when all others adored him, he should adore the high priest of the Jews? To whom he replied, "I did not adore him, but that God who hath honored him with his high priesthood; for I saw this very person in a dream, in this very habit, when I was at Dios inMacedonia, who, when I was considering with myself how I might obtain the dominion of Asia, exhorted me to make no delay, but boldly to pass over the sea thither, for that he would conduct my army, and would give me the dominion over the Persians; whence it is that, having seen no other in that habit, and now seeing this person in it, and remembering that vision, and the exhortation which I had in my dream, I believe that I bring this army under the Divine conduct, and shall therewith conquer Darius, and destroy the power of the Persians, and that all things will succeed according to what is in my own mind."Josephus, cont And when he had said this to Parmenio, and had given the high priest his right hand, the priests ran along by him, and he came into the city. And when he went up into the temple, he offered sacrifice to God, according to the high priest's direction, and magnificently treated both the high priest and the priests. And when the Book of Daniel was showed himwherein Daniel declared that one of the Greeks should destroy the empire of the Persians, he supposed that himself was the person intended. And as he was then glad, he dismissed the multitude for the present; but the next day he called them to him, and bid them ask what favors they pleased of him; whereupon the high priest desired that they might enjoy the laws of their forefathers, and might pay no tribute on the seventh year. He granted all they desired. And when they entreared him that he would permit the Jews inBabylonandMediato enjoy their own laws also, he willingly promised to do hereafter what they desired. And when he said to the multitude, that if any of them would enlist themselves in his army, on this condition, that they should continue under the laws of their forefathers, and live according to them, he was willing to take them with him, many were ready to accompany him in his wars.

" ( 6) ' ' ' ' ' Bavli Yoma 69aCome and hear: As to priestly garments, it is forbidden to go out in them in the province, but in the Sanctuary whether during or outside the time of the service, it is permitted to wear them, because priestly garments are permitted for private use. This is conclusive. But in the province [it is] not [permitted]? Surely it was taught: The twenty-fifth of Tebeth is the day of Mount Gerizim, on which no mourning is permitted. It is the day on which the Cutheans demanded the House of our God from Alexander the Macedonian so as to destroy it, and he had given them the permission, whereupon some people came and informed Simeon the Just. What did the latter do? He put on his priestly garments, robed himself in priestly garments, some of the noblemen of Israel went with him carrying fiery torches in their hands, they walked all the night, some walking on one side and others on the other side, until the dawn rose. When the dawn rose he [Alexander] said to them: Who are these [the Samaritans]? They answered: The Jews who rebelled against you. As he reached Antipatris,9 the sun having shone forth, they met. When he saw Simeon the Just, he descended from his carriage and bowed down before him. They said to him: A great king like yourself should bow down before this Jew? He answered: His image it is which wins for me in all my battles. He said to them: What have you come for? They said: Is it possible that star-worshippers should mislead you to destroy the House wherein prayers are said for you and your kingdom that it be never destroyed! He said to them: Who are these? They said to him: These are Cutheans who stand before you. He said: They are delivered into your hand. At once they perforated their heels, tied them to the tails of their horses and dragged them over thorns and thistles, until they came to Mount Gerizim, which they ploughed and planted with vetch, even as they had planned to do with the House of God. And that day they made a festive day. If you like say: They were fit to be priestly garments, or, if you like, say: It is time to work for the Lord: they have made void Thy law.Unifying the EmpireAlexander encouraged intermarriages, setting an example by marrying a Persian princess himself. He placed soldiers from all the provinces in his army. He introduced a uniform currency system throughout the empire and promoted trade and commerce. He encouraged the spread of Greek ideas, customs, and laws into Asia. When he heard that some of his provincial officials ruled unjustly, he replaced them. To receive recognition as the supreme ruler, he required the provinces to worship him as a god.10Arrian of Nicomedia on Weddings at SusaThen he also celebrated weddings at Susa, both his own and those of his Companions. He himself married Barsine, the eldest of Darius' daughters, and, according to Aristobulus, another girl as well, Parysatis, the youngest of the daughters of Ochus. He had already married previously Roxane, the daughter of Oxyartes of Bactria.He gave Drypetis to Hephaestion, she too a daughter of Darius and a sister of his own wife; his intention was that the children of Hephaestion should be cousins to his own children. To Craterus he gave Amastris daughter of Oxyathres, brother of Darius, and to Perdiccas the daughter of Atropates, satrap of Media. To Ptolemy the bodyguard and to Eumenes the royal secretary he gave the daughters of Artabazus, Artacama to one and Artonis to the other. To Nearchus he gave the daughter of Barsine and Mentor, and to Seleucus the daughter of Spitamenes of Bactria. Similarly he gave to the other Companions the noblest daughters of the Persians and Medes, some eighty in all. The marriages were celebrated according to Persian custom. Chairs were placed for the bridegrooms in order, and after the drinks the brides came in and sat down, each by the side of her groom. They took them by the hand and kissed them; the king began the ceremony, for all the weddings took place together. More than any action of Alexander this seemed to show a popular and comradely spirit. The bridegrooms after receiving their brides led them away, each to his own home, and to all Alexander gave a dowry. And as for all the Macedonians who had already married Asian women, Alexander ordered a list of their names to be drawn up; they numbered over 10,000, and Alexander offered them all gifts their wedding. 11

12From Hellenism to the Hasmoneans13Rafael - The Expulsion of Heliodorus from the Temple


15Heliodorus Stele

Dorymenes to Diophanes greetings:The copy of the letter given us by Heliodorus who is in charge of the affairs is enclosed. You will do well therefore if you take care that everything is carried out according to the instructions.

Year 134, 22 of the month of Gorpiaius (August 178 BCE) Heliodorus to Dorymenes his brother greetings: The copy of the order given us by the king concerning Olympiodorus is placed below. You will do well therefore if you follow the instructions.

Year 134, 20(?) of the month of Gorpiaius (August 178 BCE) King Seleucus to Heliodorus his brother greetings: Taking the utmost consideration for the safety of our subjects, and thinking it to be of the greatest good for the affairs in our realm when those living in our kingdom manage their lives without fear, and at the same time realizing that nothing can enjoy a fitting prosperity without the good will of the gods, we have given orders from the outset that the sanctuaries founded in the other satrapies receive the traditional honors with the care befitting them. But since the affairs in Koile-S

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