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JOHN HYRCANUS II

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Originally appearing in Volume V14, Page 210 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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JOHN HYRCANUS II., high priest from 78 to 40 B.C., was the eldest son of Alexander Jannaeus by his wife Alexandra, and was thus a grandson of the preceding. When his father died in 78, he was by his mother forthwith appointed high priest, and on her death in 69 he claimed the succession to the supreme civil authority also; but, after a brief and troubled reign of three months, he was compelled to abdicate both kingly and priestly dignities in favour of his more energetic and ambitious younger brother Aristobulus II. In 63 it suited the policy of Pompey that he should be restored to the high priesthood, with some semblance of supreme command, but of much of this semblance even he was soon again deprived by the arrangement of the pro-consul Gabinius, according to which Palestine was in 57 B.C. divided into five separate circles (a6vo5ot, auvf5pta). For services rendered to Caesar after the battle of Pharsalia, he was again rewarded with the sovereignty (apouraaia roil gavots, Jos. Ant. xx. to) in 47 B.C., Antipater of Idumaea, however, being at the same time made procurator of Judaea. In 41 B.C. he was practically superseded by Antony's appointment of Herod and Phasael to be tetrarchs of Judaea; and in the following year he was taken prisoner by the Parthians, deprived of his ears that he might be permanently disqualified for priestly office, and carried to Babylon. He was permitted in 33 B.C. to return to Jerusalem, where on a charge of treasonable correspondence with Malchus, king of Arabia, he was put to death in 30 B.C. See Josephus (Ant. xiii. 8-1o; xiv. 5-13; Bell. Jud. i. 2; i. 8-13). Also MACCABEES, History. (J. H. A. H.)
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