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The Hasmonean Dynasty

The Hasmonean (Heb. Hashmoniee) Dynasty was a Jewish dynasty ruling Judaea (140–37 BC). The first Hasmonean was Simon Maccabaeus, whose brother, Judas (Heb. Yehudah HaMakabi lit. Judeah the Hammer), helped lead the revolt against Antiochus IV 25 years before, in 165 BCE.  The Hasmonean Dynasty ended in 37 BCE by Herod. 

In 198 BCE, Antiochus IV Epiphanes took over Judaea. Mattithias Maccabaeus (Heb. Matityahu) was very upset that Antiochus was trying to convert the Jews, by putting statues of their Gods in the Temple.  Mattathias saw a Jew sacrificing a pig, so he ran up and killed him, thus proclaiming a revolt.  Mattathias go his sons, led by Judah, to hide in the caves of Modi'in (thought to be located somewhere between modern-day Jerusalem and Tel-Aviv). They attacked and defeated Antiochus in 165 BCE.  This is the story of the Jewish holiday of Hanukkah.

The dynasty spanned for over 100 years until Mattathiah Antigonus was beheaded by command of Mark Antony, and Herod the Great (Herod I) conquered Judea (IVDAEA) Provence. This was the start of the Herodian Dynasty.


1. Mattathias, 170–167 BC
2. Judas Maccabeus, 167–160 BC
3. Jonathan Maccabeus, 153–143 BC (first to hold the title of High Priest)
4. Simon Maccabeus, 142–141 BC

High Priests (Hebrew - Kohen Gadol)

5. Simon, 141–135 BC
6. Hyrcanus I*, 134–104 BC (First coins minted)

High Priests and Kings (Hebrew - Melachim)

7. Aristobulus I*, 104–103 BC
8. Alexander Jannaeus*, 103–76 BC
9. Salome Alexandra**, 76–67 BC (Queen of Judaea, no coins minted)
10. Hyrcanus II*, 67–66 BCE
11. Aristobulus II*, 66–63 BCE
12. Hyrcanus II*, 63–40 BCE (restored but demoted to Ethnarch)
13. Antigonus*, 40–37 BCE
14. Aristobulus III, 36 BC (only as High Priest)

* Minted Coins

** Queen Salome Alexandra (Heb. Shelomit, Shlomtzion) did not mint coins in her name because she was a woman and therefore could not hold the title of Kohen Gadol (High Priest).  She may have minted coins under the name of her first husband Alexander Jannaeus (Yehonatan) or Hyrcanus II (Yonatan), son and soon-to-be Kohen.

Also see: Hasmoneans - Revolt of the Maccabees by By Lucas Harsh

Hasmonean Family Tree

Numismatic References

Cohen, E. Dated Coins of Antiquity: A comprehensive catalogue of the coins and how their numbers came about. (Lancaster, PA, 2011).
Fontanille, J. Menorah Coin Project, website: http://menorahcoinproject.org/
Hendin, D. Guide to Biblical Coins, 5th Edition. (Amphora, 2010).
Hill, G. Catalogue of Greek Coins in the British Museum: Palestine. (London, 1914).
Houghton, A. Coins of the Seleucid Empire from the Collection of Arthur Houghton. ACNAC 4. (New York, 1983).
Houghton, A., C. Lorber & O. Hoover. Seleucid Coins: A Comprehensive Catalog. (Lancaster, 2002 - 2008).
Hoover, O. Handbook of Coins of the Southern Levant: Phoenicia, Southern Koile Syria (Including Judaea), and Arabia, Fifth to First Centuries BC. HGC 10. (Lancaster, PA, 2010).
Hoover, O. Handbook of Syrian Coins, Royal and Civic Issues, Fourth to First Centuries BC. HGC 9. (Lancaster, PA, 2009).
Kaufman, J. Unrecorded Hasmonean Coins from the J. Ch Kaufman Collection. (Jerusalem, 1995).
Kindler, A. Coins of the Land of Israel. (Jerusalem, 1974).
Maltiel-Gerstenfeld, J. 260 Years of Ancient Jewish Coinage. (Tel Aviv, 1982).
Meshorer, Y. Ancient Jewish Coinage. (New York, 1982).
Meshorer, Y. A Treasury of Jewish Coins from the Persian Period to Bar Kokhba. (Jerusalem, 2001).
Meshorer, Y., et al. Coins of the Holy Land: The Abraham and Marian Sofaer Collection at the American Numismatic Society and The Israel Museum. ACNAC 8. (New York, 2013).
Reinach, S. Jewish Coins. (London, 1903).
Rogers, E. Handy Guide To Jewish Coins. (London, 1914).
Samuels, C., P. Rynearson & Y. Meshorer. The Numismatic Legacy of the Jews as depicted by a distinguished American Collection. (New York, 2000).
Sear, D. Greek Coins and Their Values, Volume 2: Asia and Africa. (London, 1979).
Sylloge Nummorum Graecorum, Denmark, The Royal Collection of Coins and Medals, Danish National Museum, Vol. 7: Cyprus to India. (West Milford, NJ, 1982).
Sylloge Nummorum Graecorum, USA, The Collection of the American Numismatic Society, Part 6: Palestine - South Arabia. (New York, 1981).
Spaer, A. & A. Houghton. Sylloge Nummorum Graecorum, Israel I, The Arnold Spaer Collection of Seleucid Coins. (London, 1998).