NUMENIUS


NUMENIUS, son of Antiochus, Jewish envoy sent by the high priest *Jonathan to renew the Hasmonean pact with Rome. Numenius, together with Antipater the son of Jason, was instructed at the same time to deliver a pledge of friendship to the Spartans, who, according to Josephus, "received the envoys in a friendly manner" and reciprocated with a decree of their own "concerning a friendly alliance with the Jews" (Ant., 13:169–70). It appears that both envoys were used in a similar capacity by Jonathan's successor, *Simeon, and the Spartan reply to Simeon is quoted in I Maccabees 14:20ff. It has been suggested, however, that the two representatives were in fact sent to Rome and Sparta by Jonathan, who died during their mission, and therefore the Spartan correspondence is addressed to Simeon. In any event, Numenius was subsequently sent again to Rome by Simeon, taking with him on this occasion a golden shield in honor of the renewed pact. Numenius participated in yet another mission to Rome, for a similar purpose, during the early years of John *Hyrcanus. The document to this effect, however, was erroneously inserted by Josephus into the priesthood of Hyrcanus II (Jos., Ant., 14:143ff.).

BIBLIOGRAPHY:

Schuerer, Hist, 53, 63; Klausner, Bayit Sheni, 3 (19502), 62, 76f.; M. Stern, Ha-Te'udot le-Mered ha-Ḥashmona'im (1965), 111, 113, 127–9, 147f., 157.

[Isaiah Gafni]


Source: Encyclopaedia Judaica. © 2008 The Gale Group. All Rights Reserved.