10419 From Exile to Independence: From the Babylonian Exile to the Fall of the Hasmonean Kingdom 1

Credits: 6 intermediate credits in Ancient History of the Jewish People

Prerequisites: none

Author: Uriel Rappaport

The course surveys the central events in the history of the Jewish people beginning with the return from the Babylonian exile and the renewal of Jewish settlement in the Land of Israel through the period of independence under Hasmonean rule. It follows the changes which took place in Judaism following the destruction of the Temple and the Babylonian exile and the renewal of Jewish life in the Land of Israel in the Persian period. The central portion of the course deals with the crisis experienced by Jewish society in its encounter with Hellenistic culture and the establishment of a sovereign Jewish state.

Topics: The return to Zion following the Babylonian exile; Persian rule; The Greek conquest; Judaism and Hellenism; “Troubled times” – the decrees of Antiochus; The revolt of Judas Maccabeus and annulment of the decrees; From revolt to a state; The consolidation of the Hasmonean state and expansion of its borders; Economics and material culture in the Hasmonean period; Institutions, society, culture and literature in the Hasmonean period; The Diaspora in the Hellenistic and Hasmonean period; Judea during the reign of Salome Alexandra.

1This course is also offered in Russian (42145). Its description is available on the Russian-language website of the Open University (https://www-r.openu.ac.il/).

There is some overlap in the content of this and other courses. For details, see Overlapping Courses.