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In the wake of the conquests of Alexander the Great, the ancient world of the Bible—the ancient Near East—came under Greek rule, and in the land of Israel, time-old traditions and Greek culture met. But with the accession of King Antiochos IV, the soft power of culture was replaced with armed conflict, and soon the Jews rebelled against their imperial masters, as recorded in the Biblical books of the Maccabees. Whereas most scholars have dismissed the biblical accounts of religious persecution and cultural clash, Sylvie Honigman combines subtle literary analysis with deep historical insight to show how their testimony can be reconciled with modern historical analysis by conversing with the biblical authors, so to speak, in their own language to understand the way they described their experiences. Honigman contends that these stories are not mere fantasies but genuine attempts to cope with the massacre that followed the rebellion by giving it new meaning. This reading also discloses fresh political and economic factors.
Preface and Acknowledgments
PART I. IOUDAÏSMOS: 1 AND 2 MACCABEES AS DYNASTIC HISTORY
Methodological Introduction: The Modern Semantic Categories of “Religion” and “Politics” and Ancient Societies
1. 2 Maccabees as Dynastic History
2. Temple Foundation and Royal Legitimacy: A Narrative Pattern and Its Message
3. Ioudaïsmos as the Legitimate Social Order Founded by Judas Maccabee
4. Royal High Priests and Temple Foundation: The Narrative Pattern and the Hasmonean Political Order
PART II. HELLENISMOS: THE CAUSES OF THE REBELLION ACCORDING TO THE AUTHORS OF 1 AND 2 MACCABEES
Methodological Introduction: Symbolic Universe, Cultural Codes, and Causal Analysis in 1 and 2 Maccabees
5. Hellenismos: The Social Order of the Wicked Rivals in 1 and 2 Maccabees
6. The “Religious Persecution” in the Light of Ancient Judean Cultural and Narrative Codes
7. The Causes of the Rebellion according to 1 and 2 Maccabees
PART III. HISTORY: THE JUDEAN REBELLION IN HISTORICAL PERSPECTIVE, 200–164 B.C.E.
From Literary Analysis to History: A Summary of the Conclusions of Parts I and II
8. Judea and Koile Syria and Phoinike under Antiochos III, 200–187 B.C.E.
9. Seleukos IV Philopator and the Revision of Antiochos III’s Settlement in Judea, 187–175 B.C.E.
10. Judea under Antiochos IV Epiphanes: The Reforms, 175–ca. 172 B.C.E.
11. Judea under Antiochos IV Epiphanes: The Suppression of the Rebellion, 169/8–164 B.C.E.
Appendix A. The Literary Composition of 1 Maccabees
Appendix B. The Literary Composition of 2 Maccabees
Index of Subjects
Sylvie Honigman is Professor of History at Tel Aviv University.
"5/5 . . . the author does an excellent job of delving into the intricate world of biblical history and the challenges along the way."—Kevin Winter San Francisco Book Review
"Remarkably comprehensive . . . Tales of High Priests and Taxes deserves to be at the centre of discussion in the coming years."—Journal of Jewish Studies
“In Tales of High Priests and Taxes
, Sylvie Honigman advances new, well-argued positions that will provide excellent starting points for future debates in the field. More importantly, because of its discussions on the narrative aspect of historiographical exercises, this book will open up new paths for research, and its scholarship will contribute much to academic discourse in the area.”—Ehud Ben Zvi, Professor of History and Classics, University of Alberta
"The scholarship is superior, and the work is highly significant. Honigman brings together fresh insights for the rebellion in Judea against Antiochus IV and thus contributes a new understanding of the Maccabean revolt."— Robert Doran, Samuel Williston Professor of Greek and Hebrew, Amherst College