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- For other people with this name, see Aristobulus (disambiguation)
|King and High Priest of Judea|
|Reign||c. 104 — 103 BC|
|Predecessor||John Hyrcanus I|
|Father||John Hyrcanus I|
Judah (Yehudah, Heb. יהודה) Aristobulus I (reigned 104–103 BC), the first ruler of the Hebrew Hasmonean Dynasty to call himself "king," was the eldest of the five sons of John Hyrcanus, the previous leader. Josephus would declare him the first Jew in 481 years to “wear the diadem on his head” (Ant. xiii, 301). According to Jewish tradition, only descendants of Judah, or, more specifically, the House of David, were qualified to be kings of Israel, so all of Aristobulus' predecessors used the title of high priest.
According to the directions of John Hyrcanus, the government of the country after his death was to be placed in the hands of his wife, and Aristobulus was originally to receive only the high-priesthood. But he seized the crown with support of his brother Antigonus, imprisoning his mother and other three brothers. Like his father, Aristobulus was a Sadducee who took actions to erode Jewish identity. Under Aristobulus’ reign, the name of the Jewish community or council of the Jews became “Hever ha-Yehudim” and in the Greek, the “Sanhedrin.” The identity of ‘the community of the Jews’ may have been on his coins, but their title, like his crown, was seen and spoken in Greek terms. Like many crowns, the one Aristobulus wore held the weight of suspicion and jealousy. When he showed signs of disease, his wife, Queen Shelomit (Salome) Alexandra, conspired to murder Antigonus. She poisoned the king’s mind with suggestions that his brother was attempting to steal the throne by force. She then convinced Antigonus that his king wished to see his new armor, while telling Aristobulus that his brother was coming to kill him. Antigonus died before reaching the throne. Days later, Aristobulus died of internal bleeding from a disease. The Queen released the younger brothers from prison, placing Alexander Jannaeus on the throne (Jewish Wars i, 74-85).
SOURCES: Josephus Ant. xiii, (301-319); Jewish Wars (B.J.) i, (70-84).
- Aristobulus II (67-63 BC)
Aristobulus IDied: 103 BC
John Hyrcanus I
|King of Judea
104 BC – 103 BC
|High Priest of Judea
104 BC – 103 BC
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