Simon Thassi  [murdered 134 BCE]

Fourth leader of the Judean revolt against the Greco-Syrian empire (166 BCE). The second & last surviving son of Mattathias of Modein aided & consolidated the gains of his younger brothers, Judah Maccabee & Jonathan. After rallying dispirited Jews to defeat the Syrian general who had killed Jonathan (142 BCE), he persuaded Demetrius II to exempt Jews from taxation or tribute. He then eliminated the last vestige of Syrian control of Judea by capturing the citadel in Jerusalem. His military & diplomatic successes won him renewal of the alliances that his brothers had negotiated with Rome & Sparta. Judean coins proclaimed him "High Priest, General & Ruler of the Jews." He may be the legendary "Simon the Just" of later rabbinic tradition. Yet, the price of his diplomatic triumphs was renewed Hellenization of Judea. As the only son of Mattathias who produced male heirs, he was the real founder of the Hasmonean dynasty. But he was assassinated along with his two oldest sons at a banquet hosted by his own son-in-law, Ptolemy, who hoped to succeed him.

References: 1 Maccabees 2:3; 5:55; 9:19, 33, 62, 67; 10:82; 12:33-34, 38;
                                       13:1-53; 14:4-49; 15:1-9, 15-21, 26-36; 16:1-3, 11-17.
                  
Josephus, Antiquities 12.266, 322, 334, 432
                                                        13.18-29, 155-156, 197-228.
                  
_____, War 1.49-54.

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