The Pax Romana

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An explanation of the history of the Jewish people between the Hellenistic reform and the Herodian dynasty, as well as a look at key aspects of the Hellenistic and Roman culture at this time can help determine if the Pax Romana was a benefit or detriment to the Jewish people. I intend to provide a brief history of the Jewish people, as well as some major events of Greek and Roman history during this time before I explain why the Pax Romana was ultimately a benefit to the Jewish people. Hellenistic age began after the death of Alexander the Great in 323 BCE, when his successors began to fight for control of his former territory and Greek/Hellenistic influences began to spread throughout the world, including the Jewish people (VanderKam, 11). …show more content…
Antiochus III was also responsible for moving some of the Jewish people throughout his empire spreading their beliefs and traditions to other parts of the world (VanderKam, 17). When Antiochus IV became king, he began to meddle in the appointment of the high priest, stripping Onias of the position and giving it to Onias’ brother Jason (VanderKam, 18). Antiochus IV would continue to switch out high pries during his reign, however this was not the only action he took against the Jewish people. Antiochus IV attacked the city of Jerusalem multiple times, ransacking the temple and claiming the city as his citadel (VanderKam, 19-20). After taking the city, he declared all religious practices he disagreed with illegal, effectively making it impossible for the Jews to practice their religion and leading to the origins of a revolt, spearheaded by the Hasmonean family (VanderKam, 20-21). The Hasmonean family would fight for Jewish religious independence and autonomy from the Seleucid regime,earning the name Maccabee for their family, and eventually winning some autonomy for the Jewish state in 140 BCE (VanderKam, 21-24). The Hasmonean dynasty would last until 63 BCE when Pompey sacked Jerusalem bringing the city, Judea, and the Jewish people under Roman control (VanderKam,

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