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A fortress built by Alexander the Great after he conquered Jerusalem has been discovered

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tags: Israel, archaeology, Jerusalem, Alexander the Great



The first evidence from the era when Hellenistic culture held sway over the ancient city of Jerusalem has been uncovered by Israeli archaeologists; Acra, a citadel constructed by the Greeks more than two thousand years ago in the middle of old Jerusalem.

Judea was conquered by Alexander the Great during the fourth century BCE. When Judea’s capital, Jerusalem, took sides with Seleucid King Antiochus III in the argument over whether an Egyptian garrison would be expelled, the grateful Antiochus gave the Jews religious autonomy, thus beginning 150 years of flourishing Greek language and culture there. Archaeologists however, have found very few buildings or other artifacts from this time period.

Until now, the fortress had only been known from the texts which described its construction and its role in a bloody revolt which eventually led to the removal of the Greeks in 164 BCE, an event which is celebrated by Jews during Hanukkah. The rebels failed however, to overthrow the Acra and for more than twenty years they continued to try and capture the fortress. Finally, the stronghold was captured in 141 BCE and the remaining Greeks expelled.

Read entire article at New Historian


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