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M. Porcius Cato

Hellenism and Its Discontents

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However, I'm not sure how easy it is to separate the religious and political intentions of the Macabees. For a start, if you believe that your state has been divinely decreed, you can be both a religious and a nationalist extremist without any conflict between the two viewpoints. I'd suspect that the Macabees and their supporters included both secular and religious extremists, and which motivation dominated depended on the individuals in each case. Anyhow, Antiochus managed to offend both the religious and secular factions, so arguing which group took umbrage first excludes the possibility that the two were sometimes in fact, one.

An Hellenistic power had occupied Palestine (Judea) since 332 BC; however, the Jews didn't rebel until 167 BC.


Hellenism and Judaism had therefore coexisted peacefully for 165 years; where were the purported

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