Page 177 - Jewish Book Annual Volume 46

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period, and it appears that many other works did not escape
Antiochus’ decrees.
Jason o f Cyrene wrote a large work, in five parts, on the
events which took place in Judea in the days o f Judah Maccabee.
In the course o f time the book was lost. We have in I I Maccabees
only the abridged version that was apparently prepared by an
Egyptian Jewish writer.7
A book by the name o f The Acts o f the High Priest Johanan
is referred to at the end o f I Maccabees (16:23-24) as follows:
“As concerning the rest o f the acts o f Johanan, and his wars,
and worthy deeds which he did, and the building o f the walls
which he made, and his doings, Behold these are written in the
chronicles o f his priesthood, from the time he was made high
priest after his father.”
It appears that this book was written as a continuation o f
I Maccabees and was true to its spirit. Schiirer attributes the
loss o f the book to the fact that Johanan Hyrcanus’ rule was
not to the liking o f future generations since he became a Sad-
ducee at the end o f his life. The political conditions were also
a factor: the destruction, the failure o f the Bar Kokhba revolt
and the repression which followed stood in sharp contrast to
the descriptions o f the wars and victories o f Johanan. It is pos­
sible therefore that the book did not have a wide circulation
from the outset and it disappeared in the course o f time.
It is doubtful whether Josephus saw the book concerning the
wars o f Johanan Hyrcanus, and even i f he did he would not
have included it in his history, for it did not fit in with the
image o f the Judeans which he wished to present to the Romans.
R.H. Charles and similarly Abraham Kahana mention the ac­
count about the sixteenth-century Sixtus Senatus who found
in a library in Lyons a manuscript o f a Greek book whose style
was influenced by Hebrew and which told o f the thirty-one years
1 6 9
7. Abraham Kahana,
vol. II, pp. 85, 92.