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ANTIGONUS (c. 135–104 b.c.e.), Hasmonean prince; son of John *Hyrcanus and younger brother of Judah *Aristobulus. Antigonus and Aristobulus were put in command of the siege of Samaria by their father. They succeeded in capturing and destroying the city after defeating Antiochus ix Cyzicenus of Syria and the army of Ptolemy Lathyrus of Egypt which had been sent to aid the besieged town. When Judah Aristobulus succeeded to the throne, he imprisoned his mother and his younger brothers, but appointed Antigonus commander of the army and his associate in the administration of the state. During the war, Upper Galilee, southern Lebanon, and part of northern Transjordan were captured, and the Itureans were compelled to adopt Judaism.

Josephus' account of the death of Antigonus contains several contradictions. He states that Aristobulus, ridden by suspicion and fear of assassination, issued an order forbidding anyone to enter his palace armed. Subsequently, Antigonus returned after the war on the Itureans. On appearing in the Temple during the Feast of Tabernacles dressed in his splendid new armor, he was loudly acclaimed by the people. When the king heard this he sent a messenger to his brother commanding

him to appear before him unarmed. Antigonus' enemies, however, bribed the messenger to tell Antigonus the opposite and when he reached Strato's Tower on his way to the palace, he was killed by the guards. This tale is linked with another relating the "prophecy" of a certain Essene who foresaw that Antigonus would be slain that day.


Jos., Ant., 13:276–81, 301–13; Jos., Wars, 1:64 ff., 70ff.; Klausner, Bayit Sheni, 3 (19502), 141 ff.; Schuerer, Gesch, 1 (19014), 267 ff., 274; Meyer, Ursp, 2 (1921), 273 ff.

[Abraham Schalit]