Kraus on Berthelot, 'In Search of the Promised Land?: The Hasmonean Dynasty between Biblical Models and Hellenistic Diplomacy'Excerpt:
Author: Katell Berthelot
Reviewer: Matthew A. Kraus
Katell Berthelot. In Search of the Promised Land?: The Hasmonean Dynasty between Biblical Models and Hellenistic Diplomacy. Göttingen: Vandenhoek & Ruprecht, 2017. 494 pp. $125.00 (cloth), ISBN 978-3-525-55252-0.
Reviewed by Matthew A. Kraus (University of Cincinnati) Published on H-Judaic (September, 2018) Commissioned by Katja Vehlow (University of South Carolina)
The book is more than a rejection of a pervasive assumption that the Hasmoneans rewrote the biblical conquest. Instead, Berthelot relates her analysis to broader issues germane to the period: Were the Hasmoneans influenced by religious/biblical or political/Hellenistic models? Was there a consistent Hasmonean policy or did their policy vary depending on their ruler? Do the primary sources reflect the actual positions of the Hasmoneans or how they and others chose to represent them? Space does not allow a full description of the rich content and discussions in this work. Therefore, following a brief summary of the book’s structure, I will focus on the author’s reading of 1 Maccabees 15:33-34 and its relationship to some of the broader debates about the Hasmoneans.
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