The Hellenization of the Hasmoneans Revisited: The Archaeological Evidence

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The archaeological excavations of the Hasmonean palaces in Jericho and the numismatic evidence on the Hasmoneans are examined in order to understand the Hasmonean rulers’ approach to Hellenistic culture. They enable us to see not only the extent of Hellenistic influence, but also how and why Hellenistic markers were used. Hellenistic art, swimming pools, bathhouses, and symbols on the coins that represent victory, success, government and power, shaped Hasmonean cultural and political identity. At the same time, however, their scope, meaning, and use were limited by the observance of ritual purity and the maintenance of local ethnic identity. Certain Greek symbols were altered to reflect Jewish religious messages. Thus, the Hasmoneans’ adoption of Hellenistic culture, while balanced, mainly served political ends.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)175-196
Number of pages22
JournalAdvances in Anthropology
StatePublished - 2017


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