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Review of Biblical Literature Blog

Thy Brother's Blood: The Maccabees and Dynastic Morality in the Hellenistic World
Scolnic, Benjamin Edidin

Lanham, Md.: University Press of America, 2008 pp. viii + 203. $30.00

Series Information
Studies in Judaism

Description: Through exploring the particular importance of the fraternal relationship among the dynasties of the Hellenistic world in Thy Brother's Blood, Dr. Benjamin Scolnic demonstrates how adherence to or rejection of the "morality of kinship" literally changed the world. This in-depth book reviews fraternal relationships in the Bible and Greek and Roman mythology to create models for the falls of the Attalids of Pergamon and the Antigonids of Macedonia. The ancient writers from Rome to Jerusalem valued fraternal bonds and used fratricide as the symbol for internal dissension within nations. Using a focalized approach, Dr. Scolnic cautions that historians sometimes were so consumed with the metaphor of fraternity that they ignored the historical realities. He demonstrates this by providing a historical and moral context for the fall of one Judean dynasty, the Zadokite high priests, and for the rise and fall of the Hasmonaean dynasty, known to the world as the Maccabees.

Subjects: Methods, Historical Approaches, History, History of Judaism

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Review by Lester L. Grabbe
Published 2/9/2009
Citation: Lester L. Grabbe, review of Benjamin Edidin Scolnic, Thy Brother's Blood: The Maccabees and Dynastic Morality in the Hellenistic World, Review of Biblical Literature [] (2009).

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