By Martin Sicker
Sicker sheds new gentle at the political conditions surrounding the emergence of Rabbinic Judaism and Christianity. He areas the 300-year heritage of Judaea from the Hasmoneans to Bar Kokhba, 167 B.C.E.-135 C.E. within the context of Roman heritage and Judaea's geostrategic function in Rome's geopolitics within the center East.
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Extra resources for Between Rome and Jerusalem: 300 Years of Roman-Judaean Relations
The situation of the Seleucids then became even more tenuous as a consequence of a war that broke out at the time between Demetrius and Ptolemy VII Physcon of Egypt. 28 BETWEEN ROME AND JERUSALEM To create additional chaos in the Seleucid realm, the Egyptian king set up another pretender to the Syrian throne, Alexander Zabinas, who succeeded in defeating Demetrius at Damascus in 125, and was in his turn soon to be challenged and executed by Antiochus VIII Grypus (125–113, 111–96) around 122. Within a short time his cousin Antiochus IX Cyzicenus (113–111, 111–95), the son of Antiochus Sidetes, challenged Antiochus Grypus and drove him out of office in 113.
Roman policy was to weaken the Seleucids at every possible opportunity, and this hastened the relaxation of the Seleucid grip on the Jews. E. Rome and its allies, Egypt, Cappadocia, and Pergamon, gave their support to Alexander Balas, a man of unknown origin who pretended to be a son of Antiochus Epiphanes and laid claim to the Seleucid throne. He landed at Ptolemais (Acre), and its garrison went over to him. Roman recognition of Alexander made it virtually impossible for Demetrius to recruit troops for his army from the immediate region, and he needed to augment his forces at once to meet the challenge to his reign.
THE HASMONEAN REVOLT 17 punishment of their collective transgressions. Since the Seleucid oppression was seen as a continuation of the expression of divine wrath against the children of Israel, the idea of active opposition to the foreign rulers was considered inconsistent with acceptance of the validity of the divine judgment. The problem, however, was that the Seleucid decrees prohibited fulfillment of God’s specific instructions as reflected in the Mosaic Law. Faced by this awesome contradiction, many of those who were most religiously committed concluded that the only option open to them, as indicated above, was passive resistance.
Between Rome and Jerusalem: 300 Years of Roman-Judaean Relations by Martin Sicker