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date: 19 April 2024



  • Tessa Rajak


Jerusalem was repopulated and the Temple reconstructed with the blessing of *Cyrus (1), some 50 years after the destruction of 587 bce, by Jews returning from the Babylonian exile. In the 440s, the walls were rebuilt and their completion marked by a great celebration of the Tabernacles festival, described in the Book of Nehemiah. Palestine as a whole came into *Alexander (3) the Great's empire after *Issus, and there are traditions that he visited the Temple and paid his respects to the high priest. A schematic sketch of Ptolemaic Jerusalem (see ptolemy(1); egypt (Ptolemaic)) occurs in the Letter of *Aristeas, where it is dominated by a temple on a hill. Attempts to stamp on Jerusalem the forms of a Greek city, apparently with the added name Antioch, were set in motion by the Hellenizers (see hellenism) under *Antiochus (4) IV, who himself established a pagan cult in the Temple in 168/7; but within three years the shrine was rededicated by the *Maccabees.


  • Jewish Studies

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