Encyclopedia > Maccabees

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The Maccabees were Jewish freedom fighters against the oppression of the Seleucid dynasty; they founded the Hasmonean royal line and established Jewish independence for about 100 years (from 165 BC to 63 BC).

In 165 BC, Judas Maccabaeus led a revolt against the Seleucid overlords of Palestine. After defeating them militarily, he entered Jerusalem in triumph and cleansed the Jewish Temple, reestablishing traditional Jewish worship there.

Judas' victory over the Seleucids is celebrated each year at Hanukkah.

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