The Hasmonean Dynasty

The early Hasmonean rulers were righteous people who were careful not to assume the title of monarch. However, it is an old adage that power corrupts, and eventually the Hasmoneans usurped the throne, disregarding the tradition that only a descendant of King David may be called king.
There were four primary groups of Jews during much of the Second Temple Era: Pharisees, Sadducees, Amei Haaretz, and Essenes.
Sadly, upon her death the golden years of Shlomis came to an end. Almost immediately, civil war broke out for the right of succession between her two sons Hyrcanus and Aristobulus.
Although the sages had removed themselves from overt participation in the government, they realized that due to Roman meddling in the Sanhedrin the spiritual life of the nation was being compromised.
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