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The Maccabees were Jewish rebel warriors that took control of Judea, which at the time had been a part of the Seleucid Empire. They founded the Hasmonean dynasty, which ruled Judea from 167 BCE to 37 BCE, as a fully independent kingdom from about 140 to 63 BCE. They reasserted the Jewish religion, partly by forced conversion, expanded the boundaries of Judea by conquest and reduced the influence of Hellenism and Hellenistic Judaism. Independent Hasmonean rule lasted until 63 BCE, when the Roman general Pompeus intervened in Hasmonean civil war, making it a client kingdom of Rome. The Hasmonean dynasty ended in 37 BCE when the Idumean Herod the Great became king of Israel, designated "King of the Jews" by the Roman Senate, effectively transforming the Hasmonean Kingdom into the Herodian Kingdom - a client kingdom of Rome.
|John Hyrcanus was the son of Simon the Maccabee and nephew of the folk hero Judah Maccabee, the hero of the Hanukkah story. Soon after Hyrcanus assumed power, the Seleukid kingdom marched on Jerusalem. Antiochus VII and Hyrcanus I negotiated a treaty that left Hyrcanus a vassal to the Syrian king. John Hyrcanus was the first Jewish ruler to issue coins in his own name. The Paleo-Hebrew inscription reads, from right to left, as follows: YHHW(HH)/NN (Yehohanan, error HH should be just H) H (the) KHN (Priest) / GDL (high) [W] (and) H (the) (HH)B/R (council) H (the) YHW/DM (Jews). See Reading Judean Coins in NumisWiki.|
|Meshorer wrote of the inscriptions on this type, "The style of the script is distinctive. The letters are large and slight oblique, with sharp lines and edges; they tend toward systematization. The shapes are strong and clear...and contain few variants. The legend is mostly incomplete and contains many errors. Certain characters such as (B), (R), and (D) are almost indistinguishable." The Paleo-Hebrew inscription on this coin reads, from right to left, as follows: YHWN/TN (Yehonatan) [K]HN (Priest) / H (the) GD/WL (high) (HH)/BR (council) YH[WD]/M (Jews). See Reading Judean Coins in NumisWiki.|