Timeline 131 BC – 160 BC Maccabbees Antiochus IV Epiphanes

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YearEvents and Comments
Prior Timeline 101 BC- 130 BC
131 BCJohn Hyrcanus 134 BC to 104 BC is prince and high priest of Judea.

“In Italy many thousands of slaves, who had conspired, were caught with difficulty and killed through torture. In Sicily the runaway slaves slaughtered the Roman armies. Numantia was destroyed.” C. Claudio M. Perperna http://www.alexthenice.com/obsequens/text/27b.html
132 BCJohn Hyrcanus 134 BC to 104 BC is prince and high priest of Judea.

132 BC: During his first year John Hyrcanus faced the most serious challenge to independent Judean rule from the Seleucid Empire. John Hyrcanus fights for independence from the Seleucid Empire.

Antiochus VII Sidetes marched into Judea, pillaged the countryside and laid a year long siege on Jerusalem. The prolonged siege caused Hyrcanus to remove any Judean from the city who could not assist with the defense effort (Antiquities 13.240). These refugees were not allowed to pass through Antiochus’ lines. Therefore, these Judeans were literally trapped in the middle of a chaotic siege. With a humanitarian crisis on his hands, Hyrcanus re-admitted his estranged Jerusalemites when the festival of Sukkot arrived.

Afterwards, due to massive food shortages in Jerusalem, Hyrcanus negotiated a truce with Antiochus.

The terms of the truce consisted of three thousand talents of silver as payment for Antiochus, breaking down the walls of Jerusalem, Judean participation in the Seleucid war against the Parthians, and once again Judean recognition of Seleucid control (Antiquities 13.245). These terms were a harsh blow to a young ruler. Furthermore, Hyrcanus needed to loot the tomb of David to pay the 3000 talents (The Wars of the Jews I 2:5).

“In Italy many thousands of slaves, who had conspired, were caught with difficulty and killed through torture. In Sicily the runaway slaves slaughtered the Roman armies. Numantia was destroyed.” C. Claudio M. Perperna http://www.alexthenice.com/obsequens/text/27b.html

132 BC: Ptolemy Physcon (meaning “sausage” seduced and married Cleopatra III (his wife’s daughter) without divorcing Cleopatra II, who was infuriated. In 132 BC, the people of Alexandria rioted and set fire to the royal palace. Physcon, Cleopatra III, and their children escaped to Cyprus.
133 BCJohn Hyrcanus 134 BC to 104 BC is prince and high priest of Judea.

133 BC: The Roman Scipio Aemilianus captures Numantia, after a siege of eight months, suffering famine and pestilence. The remnant population of 4,000 citizens, surrender and set their city on fire. Thus ends the Numantine War.

Tiberius Sempronius Gracchus, is elected tribune of the people. He attempts to pass a law to redistribute the public land to benefit small landowners. Opposed by wealthier factions in the Roman Senate, he is killed by a group of Senators and their followers that same year.

133 AD: The Roman Lucius Calpurnius Piso Frugi, as consul, is sent against the slaves in Italy.

133 AD: Caius Marius serves under Publius Cornelius Scipio Aemilianus at Numantia.
134 BCJohn Hyrcanus 134 BC to 104 BC is prince and high priest of Judea.

Simon Maccabee is murdered ▼in 134 BC by his son-in-law Ptolemy, He is succeeded by his son John▲ who took the title Hyrcanus.

John was the son of Simon Maccabaeus and hence the nephew of Judas Maccabaeus, Jonathan Maccabaeus and their siblings, whose story is told in the deuterocanonical books of 1 Maccabees and 2 Maccabees, in the Talmud, and in Josephus.

John (Hyrcanus) was not present at a banquet at which his father and his two brothers (Mattathias and Judah) were murdered, purportedly by his brother-in-law Ptolemy. He attained to his father’s former offices, that of high priest and king (although some Jews never accepted any of the Hasmoneans as being legitimate kings, as they were not lineal descendants of David).
135 BCSimon “Thessi” Maccabbee, prince of Judea (142 BC -135 BC)

135 BC: Eunus starts a slave revolt, following the murder of Damophilus at Enna. Cleon joins Eunus’ revolt. The praetor Hypsaeus is defeated by the rebel slaves. Livy: “When the Servile War in Sicily could not be suppressed by the praetors, consul Gaius Fulvius was sent. This war was started by a Syrian slave named Eunus, who gathered rural slaves, opened the workhouses, and expanded his band to the size of an army. Another slave, Cleon, gathered seventy thousand slaves, and the Roman army was frequently defeated when the slave armies had united.” Book 56:9-11
136 BCSimon “Thessi” Maccabbee is prince of Judea (142 BC -135 BC)

136 BC: Confucianism is adopted as the state religion in China by the emperor Wu Di.
137 BC137 BC: Tiberius Sempronius Gracchus, quaestor in Spain, observes that slave labor has displaced small freeheld farms.
138 BCSimon “Thessi” Maccabbee is prince of Judea (142 BC -135 BC)

138 BC: Mithridates I, King of Parthia▼ dies, succeeded by Phraates II. ▲
139 BCSimon “Thessi” Maccabbee is prince of Judea (142 BC -135 BC)

In 139 BC, Viriathus, Lusitanian leader of the Lusitanian tribes in Hispania (Portugal) was killed in his sleep by three of his companions, Audax, Ditalcus and Minurus, who had been sent as emissaries to the Romans and were bribed by Marcus Popillius Laenas. The Roman general Servilius Caepio had them executed, declaring “Rome does not pay traitors.”
140 BCIn 140 BC, Simon Maccabee is recognized by an assembly of the priests, leaders and elders as high priest, military commander and ruler of Israel. Their decree became the basis of the Hasmonean kingdom.

•Demetrius’ son continued the policies of his father and maintained his alliance with Simon and Judea.
•Unfortunately, Demetrius II was captured by the Parthians in 140 BC and removed from power.
141 BC141 BC: Babylon is in complete desolation and obscurity…as prophesized.→→



141 BC: Wu of Han,▲ seventh emperor of the Chinese Han Dynasty, 141-87 BC; during his reign, there will be a vast territorial expansion and he will organize a strong and centralized Chinese Confucian state (d. 87 BC)

Simon “Thessi” Maccabbee is prince of Judea (142 BC -135 BC)

141 BC, at a large assembly “of the priests and the people and of the elders of the land, to the effect that Simon should be their leader and high priest forever, until there should arise a faithful prophet”.(1 Macc. 14:41) Recognition of the new dynasty by the Roman Republic was accorded by the Senate about 139 BC, when the delegation representing Simon was in Rome. Simon made the Jewish people semi-independent of the Seleucid Empire (Syrian Empire).
142 BC142 BC: Simon Maccabee▲ succeeds his brother Jonathan. He is the last remaining son of Mattathias.

142 BC, during the reign of Seleucid monarch Demitrius, that the Greeks finally have enough of the fighting and sign a peace treaty with Simon, the last survivor of the five sons of Mattathias.

142 BC Jonathan (Maccabee) 161 to 143 BC ▼was assassinated by Diodotus Tryphon, a pretender to the Seleucid throne.

142 BC: Rome: First stone bridge over the Tiber river completed.
143 BCJonathan (Maccabee) 161 to 143 BC Leader during the Maccabee’s wars

143 BC: Celtiberian War ends when Quintus Caecilius Metellus Macedonicus crushes the rebels.
144 BCJonathan (Maccabee) 161 to 143 BC Leader during the Maccabee’s wars

144 BC: Aqua Marcia aqueduct built at Rome.

Ptolemy III Euergetes had himself proclaimed as Pharaoh of Egypt in 144 BC
145 BCJonathan (Maccabee) 161 to 143 BC Leader during the Maccabee’s wars

145 BC: Greece is conquered by Rome as prophesied in Daniel on Nebuchadnezzar’s Statue.

See Daniel Chapter Two for notes on Nebuchadnezzar’s Statue
See Timeline 601 BC-630 BC for timeline on Daniel

145 BC: Hipparchus determines the length of the tropical year.

145 BC: After Ptolemy Physcon (meaning “sausage”) assassinated Ptolemy VII, he “took his revenge on the intellectuals of Alexandria who had opposed him, engaging in mass purges and expulsions that included Aristarchus of Samothrace and Apollodorus, leaving Alexandria a changed city. In 145 BC, “he expelled all intellectuals: philologists, philosophers, professors of geometry, musicians, painters, schoolteachers, physicians and others, with the result that these brought ‘education to Greeks and barbarians elsewhere,’ as mentioned by an author who may have been one of the king’s victims” (Menecles of Barca, FGrHist 270 F 9)

145 BC: Ptolemy VII ▲▼becomes king of Egypt briefly, then is assassinated by Ptolemy VIII. ▲ (When Philometor died on campaign in 145 BC, Cleopatra II had her son proclaimed Ptolemy VII, but Physcon (meaning “Sausage”) returned, proposed joint rule and marriage to Cleopatra II, his sister. He then had the unlucky youth assassinated during the wedding feast. He took the throne as “Ptolemy VIII Euergetes II”, the name deliberately recalling his ancestor Ptolemy III Euergetes, and had himself proclaimed as pharaoh in 144 BC)

145 BC: Syria: In the Battle of Antioch, Ptolemy VI Philometor ▼defeats the Seleucid usurper Alexander Balas, but dies in the battle.
146 BCJonathan (Maccabee) 161 to 143 BC Leader during the Maccabee’s wars

146 BC: With Carthage and Greece conquered, Rome becomes the sole superpower in the Mediterranean world, a distinction it will continue to hold for approximately the next 700 years.

146 BC: Battle of Corinth—The Romans under Lucius Mummius defeat the Achaean League under Critolaus near Corinth. Corinth is destroyed, and the Achaean League dissolved. Greece becomes a Roman province. The Romans strip Corinth of its art treasures and ship them back to Rome. With Greece under Rome’s control, a new chapter was added to Rome’s history called the Greco-Roman Era.

146 BC: Africa: Carthage falls to Roman forces under Scipio Aemilianus. The walls are finally breached and the city is completely destroyed by order of the Roman Senate, despite Scipio’s protests. End of the Third Punic War.
147 BCJonathan (Maccabee) 161 to 143 BC Leader during the Maccabee’s wars

Macedonia becomes a part of the Roman empire.

147 BC: Demetrius II▲ of Syria returns to Syria. (approximate) with the backing of Ptolemy VI Philometor, king of Egypt, regained his father’s throne. The Egyptian king also divorced his daughter Cleopatra Thea from Balas and remarried her to Demetrius.

147 BC: In Spain, the Celtic king Viriathus, ralies Lusitanian resistance to Rome.
148 BCJonathan (Maccabee) 161 to 143 BC Leader during the Maccabee’s wars

148 BC: Publius Cornelius Scipio Aemilianus divides Numidia (North Africa) between the three sons of the recently deceased Masinissa. ▼
149 BCJonathan (Maccabee) 161 to 143 BC Leader during the Maccabee’s wars

149 BC: Andriscus, ▲the last king of Macedon, ascends to the throne.
150 BCJonathan (Maccabee) 161 to 143 BC Leader during the Maccabee’s wars

~150 BC The Dead Sea Scrolls are among the major archaeological discoveries of the last century. The scrolls contain the earliest known surviving copies of biblical documents dating back as early as 150 BC.

150 BC: Alexander Balas became king of Syria and Pergamum containing the remnant of the Seleucid empire in 150 BC by defeating Demetrius Soter. Alexander Balas initially had the strong support of Ptolemy VI and was married to Ptolemy’s daughter Cleopatra Thea. After obtaining the throne, Alexander abandoned himself to a life of debauchery, losing the support of his subjects.
151 BCJonathan (Maccabee) 161 to 143 BC Leader during the Maccabee’s wars

151 BC: Agnimitra▲ succeeds his father Pusyamitra Sunga ▼as emperor of the Sunga dynasty.
152 BCJonathan (Maccabee) 161 to 143 BC Leader during the Maccabee’s wars. High Priest from 152 BC – 143 BC

152 BC: Seleucid Empire: The pretender to the Seleucid throne, Alexander Balas, makes contact with Jonathan Maccabeus offering him terms even more favorable than those offered by the king Demetrius I Soter. In particular, Alexander offers him the official appointment as High Priest in Jerusalem. In response, Jonathan withdraws his support from Demetrius and declares his allegiance to Alexander. Thus Jonathan becomes the first member of his family to achieve appointment as High Priest.
153 BCJonathan (Maccabee) 161 to 143 BC Leader during the Maccabee’s wars

153 BC: The uprisings in Rome’s Hispanic provinces oblige the year’s consuls to take office earlier than the traditional date of 15 March, a change that becomes permanent. Some suggest that, as a consequence, 1 January becomes the first day of the Roman year.

153 BC: The Seleucid king Demetrius I Soter’s relations with Attalus II Philadelphus of Pergamum and Ptolemy VI Philometor of Egypt deteriorate to the point where they support a rival claimant to the Syrian throne, Alexander Balas, who claims to be the son of the former Seleucid king Antiochus IV Epiphanes and, therefore, a first cousin of Demetrius. He has been “discovered” by Heracleides, a former minister of Antiochus IV and brother of Timarchus, who has been executed by Demetrius I Soter in 160 BC after leading a revolt against him in Media.

153 BC: As a result of the rise of the pretender, Alexander Balas, Demetrius I Soter is forced to recall most of his garrisons in Judea. To retain control of Judea, he makes a bid to gain the loyalty of Jonathan Maccabeus (the Hammer), whom he permits to recruit an army and to take back the hostages that the Syrians are holding in the city of Acre. Jonathan gladly accepts these terms, takes up residence in Jerusalem and begins to fortify the city, becoming “High Priest of Jerusalem” until 143 BC.

January 1st becomes the first of the year.
154 BCJonathan (Maccabee) 161 to 143 BC Leader during the Maccabee’s wars

154 BC: The Egyptian king Ptolemy VI Philometor defeats his brother, Ptolemy VIII Euergetes, after he attempts to seize Cyprus by force. Nevertheless Philometor restores his brother to Cyrenaica, marries one of his daughters to him, and grants him a grain subsidy.
155 BCJonathan (Maccabee) 161 to 143 BC Leader during the Maccabee’s wars

155 BC: Bactria (Afghanistan): Menander I ▲(known as Milinda in Sanskrit and Pali) begins his reign as king of the Indo-Greek Kingdom (India). His territories cover the eastern dominions of the divided Greek empire of Bactria (Panjshir and Kapisa) and extend to the modern Pakistani province of Punjab, most of the Indian states of Punjab and Himachal Pradesh and the Jammu region. His capital is considered to have been Sagala, a prosperous city in northern Punjab believed to be modern Sialkot.
156 BCJonathan (Maccabee) 161 to 143 BC Leader during the Maccabee’s wars

156 BC: The first Dalmatian war begins.
157 BCJonathan (Maccabee) 161 to 143 BC Leader during the Maccabee’s wars

157 BC Roman Republic: During his time in Carthage, Cato is so struck by the evidence of Carthaginian prosperity that he is convinced that the security of Rome now depends on the annihilation of Carthage. From this time on, Cato keeps repeating the cry “Moreover, I advise that Carthage must be destroyed” at the end of all his speeches, no matter what subject they concern.

157 BC: Jonathan Maccabeus is recognized by the Seleucids (Syrians) as a minor king within their dominions.
158 BCJonathan (Maccabee) 161 to 143 BC Leader during the Maccabee’s wars

158 BC Asia Minor: Turkey: Pergamum: Attalus II Philadelphus,▲ the 2nd son of Attalus I Soter of Pergamum, ascends the throne following the death of his elder brother, Eumenes II.▼

158 BC: At the request of the Romans, Ariarathes V, king of Cappadocia, rejects a proposal from the Seleucid king, Demetrius I, for him to marry the sister of Demetrius I. In response, Seleucid forces attack Cappadocia and remove Ariarathes V from the Cappadocian throne. Demetrius I then replaces him with Orophernes Nicephorus, a supposed son of the late king, Ariarathes IV. With Ariarathes V deprived of his kingdom, he flees to Rome.
159 BCJonathan (Maccabee) 161 to 143 BC Leader during the Maccabee’s wars

159 BC: With the Seleucid victory in Judea over the Maccabees, Alcimus▲ is re-established as the Jewish high priest and a strong force is left in Jerusalem to support him. However, he does not enjoy his triumph for long as he dies soon after from a paralytic stroke.
160 BCJonathan (Maccabee) 161 to 143 BC Leader during the Maccabee’s wars

Those Jews who sought the continuation of the war were led by Judah Maccabee▼. On his death in battle in 160 BC, Judah was succeeded as army commander by his younger brother, Jonathan▲, who was already High Priest. Jonathan is now High Priest and Army Commander.
Continued Timeline: Click here to see Timeline 161 BC -190 BC
131 BC – 160 BC

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