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The Hasmonean Kingdom in ancient Judea and its ruling dynasty from 161 BC to 37 BC was established after Judah the Maccabee defeated the Greek-Syrian army in 165 BC . They were from the priestly Kohanim caste.

The Greeks had defiled the Jewish Temple in Jerusalem by offering pigs to their gods angering the Jewish population. Judah the Maccabee leading the first Hasmoneans re-dedicated the Temple, and established the rule of his family over a liberated land of Judah. The Jewish festival of Hanukah celebrates the Maccabees' victories during these events.

See related entries for: Maccabee , and Chanukah .

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