Israel's History & Heritage: Greek Rule
Greek Rule

Educational Tours: Alexander the Great Travels to Israel

It is a scene of epic proportions: Alexander the Great at the head of tens of thousands of soldiers facing off against a much greater army amassed by the Persians.


The Greeks win the day and pursue the Persian king to his death.

Greek culture, entertainment and education pours into the newly acquired region. The ruins of great theaters, coliseums, markets and temples are still there as a testament to the awesome power of Greek rule.

But when Alexander the Great died, the Empire he conquered fell apart and the Kingdom of Israel would once again be in the midst of controversy - conquered seven times by rivaling fragments of the great Greek empire.

In a state founded on maintaining the purity of the Hebrew religion, the gods of the Greeks were extreamly offensive. When king Antiochus IV desecrated the Temple in 168 BCE he touched off a Jewish revolt under the Maccabees

The Maccabian Jewish revolt is a tale of bravery in the face of an occupying power. It is a tale still told every Hanukkah when the Jews celebrate their Festival of Lights (Chanukah).

Israel's successful revolt enabled the Jews to continue the practice of their ancient faith and over time integrate some of the philosophies of the great Greek scholars, Plato Socrates and Aristotle and make it thier own . However, their independence was not long-lived.


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