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Alexander of Judaea

Eldest son of Aristobulus II, king of Judaea
The basics
About
Occupation Aristocrat
Country Israel
Date of birth Jerusalem, Jerusalem District
Date of death 49 Antioch on the Orontes, Antakya, Hatay Province, Turkey
Family
Children: Mariamne I
Spouse: Alexandra the Maccabee
Father: Aristobulus II
The details
Biography

Alexander (Gr. Ἀλέξανδρος, died 48 or 47 BC), or Alexander Maccabeus, was the eldest son of Aristobulus II, king of Judaea. He married his cousin Alexandra Maccabeus, daughter of his uncle, Hyrcanus II. Their grandfather was Alexander Jannaeus, the second eldest son of John Hyrcanus. Mariamne, the daughter of Alexander and Alexandra, was Herod the Great's second wife and Hasmonean queen of the Jewish kingdom.

Alexander was taken prisoner, with his father and his brother Antigonus, by the Roman general Pompey, on the capture of Jerusalem in 63 BC, but escaped his captors as they were being conveyed to Rome. In 57 he appeared in Judaea, raised an army of 10,000 infantry and 1500 cavalry, and fortified Alexandrium and other strong posts. Alexander's uncle Hyrcanus (with whom Alexander's father Aristobulus had clashed) applied for aid to Gabinius, who brought a large army against Alexander, and sent Mark Antony with a body of troops in advance. In a battle fought near Jerusalem, Alexander was soundly defeated, and took refuge in the fortress of Alexandrium. Through the mediation of his mother, he was permitted to depart, on condition of surrendering all the fortresses still in his power. In the following year, during the expedition of Gabinius into Egypt, Alexander again incited the Jews to revolt, and collected an army. He massacred all the Romans who fell in his way and besieged the rest, who had taken refuge on Mount Gerizim. After rejecting the terms of peace which were offered to him by Gabinius, he was defeated near Mount Tabor with the loss of 10,000 men. The spirit of his adherents, however, was not entirely crushed, for in 53, on the death of Marcus Licinius Crassus, he again collected some forces, but was compelled to come to terms by Cassius in 52. In 49, when civil war broke out, Julius Caesar set Alexander's father Aristobulus II free, and sent him to Judaea to further his interests there. He was poisoned on the journey, and Alexander, who was preparing to support him, was seized at the command of Pompey, and beheaded at Antioch.

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