Why Did the Seleucid State “Persecute” the Jews?

Why Did the Seleucid State “Persecute” the Jews?

Dec 30, 2016 By Nathan Schumer | Commentary | Hanukkah

The familiar version of the story of Hanukkah is one of Jewish agency. Jews were persecuted and then, under the Hasmonean banner, successfully defeated the Seleucid conquerors, drove off the persecutors, and rededicated their Temple. But this telling omits why the Seleucids “persecuted” the Jews. This is an aspect of Hanukkah that’s poorly understood, but recent scholarship helps to explain the Seleucid perspective.

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