The reigns of Judah Aristobulus and Alexander Jannaeus marked a major turning point in the history of the Hasmonean dynasty. Judah Aristobulus transformed his family’s state into a monarchy in which a single person held the offices of king and high priest. His brother, Alexander Jannaeus, succeeded him as king and high priest and expanded the boundaries of the Hasmonean state. He also preserved the territorial integrity of the Hasmonean state when he fought off invasions by Egyptian and Seleucid rulers. Although the reigns of Judah Aristobulus and Alexander Jannaeus are widely known from the writings of Josephus, the authors of the Dead Sea Scrolls were also interested in these two monarchs. Their presence in these texts is not as widely known, even though these documents contain new historical information about them. This study explores the references and allusions to these two Hasmonean rulers in the Dead Sea Scrolls to show the importance of these texts for understanding the Hasmonean period. They not only contain new information about this time, but they also have much to tell us about how the community that produced the Qumran writings viewed Judah Aristobulus and Alexander Jannaeus.
Department of History
Original Publication Date
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Atkinson, Kenneth, "Judah Aristobulus and Alexander Jannaeus in the Dead Sea Scrolls" (2014). Faculty Publications. 5538.