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Antigonus

(killed 30 BCE)


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Ninth and last Hasmonean to claim control of Judea. The ambitious younger son of Aristobulus II, with his older brother, led several futile Jewish rebellions against the Romans [57-55 BCE] during their father's imprisonment, which only increased Rome's suspicions of independence-minded Jews. The murder of Antipater [43 BCE] — the chief supporter of his uncle, Hyrcanus II — led Antigonus to launch a last attempt to seize control of Judea. He was defeated in battle by Antipater's younger son, Herod.

But Antigonus allied himself with the Parthians, who were challenging Rome for control of Syria and Palestine. Proclaiming Antigonus "king" [basileus], a Parthian force took Jerusalem [40 BCE], deposed Hyrcanus from the high-priesthood and held Herod's older brother, Phasael, hostage. Herod, however, escaped and rallied Roman support. With his Parthian allies bested by Marc Antony, Antigonus was isolated and eventually captured in Jerusalem by Herod [37 BCE], who delivered him to the Romans at Antioch, where he was beheaded: the first "king" to be so executed at the hands of Rome.


Sources: Into His Own

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