A Fortress Unearthed

A Fortress UnearthedThe excavation of a destroyed fortress that belonged to the Seleucid military forces—the Yevanim of Chanukah—brings the battle to life after more than 2,000 years. The Israel Antiquities Authority recently announced the excavation, saying the Seleucids likely used this fortress to defend the Hellenistic city Maresha against the Chashmona’im.

Chanukah celebrates the rededication of the Beis Hamikdash by Yehudah Hamaccabi in 164 BCE, but that was by no means the end of the story—or the fighting. Soon after the apparent victory of the Maccabees, the Seleucid forces convinced elements of the Jewish population to accept a promise of religious freedom in return for amnesty. This led to the expulsion of Yehudah and his soldiers from Yerushalayim, though they fought valiantly in the hills.

Read the rest of A Fortress Unearthed in Ami Magazine.

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