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Asher Liason's muscle song

The article is based on a lecture I gave at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, in the summer of 2001, as part of the "International Congress of Jewish Studies"

Dr. Yehiam Sorek

With your permission, I will open the lecture with a sensational "scoop": if, as a magic wand, I could bring here Dr. Max Nordau, Herzl's right-hand man and loyal enemy, and embed the essence of my lecture in his head, he would have gone to the Zionist archive and would have changed the essence of his reading at the Second Zionist Congress, 1898. How? They agreed and listened.

In the first half of the second century B.C., a Gymnacion and Ephebion are established in Jerusalem. These gymnastic and agonistic facilities served as central masts in the Hellenistic tent that was stretched over Jerusalem, examining necessary and necessary institutions for turning Jerusalem, or at least part of it, into a kind of Hellenistic polis, as was customary throughout the Hellenistic world.
The evidence covering the event in question leaves a trail of difficulties. Naturally, we will not be able to deal with all of them, and for that reason we will refer to only four of them. Four difficulties, which are primary and significant: Who built these facilities, especially the gymnasium? When were they established? Where were they established? And what was their "price"?

Before examining and slightly deepening the above-mentioned difficulties, it is appropriate to open with a somewhat "stunning" statement: the people of Israel in the ancient period were not only far from physical activity, and in part, considering the circumstances, athletic, but they took part in it, as was customary in ancient civilizations in general, on every The aspects and stages of development arising from it: survival, military, athletic-military and sports.
On the eve of the impact of the Hellenistic culture on the Middle East, there was therefore a readiness, among one or another public in the ancient Jewish society, in the overall phase to absorb the physical elements embodied in this culture. And as evidence, the image of the House of Tovia rises, whose head was given an important appointment on behalf of the Ptolemaic (Ptolemaic) kingdom - to head a military settlement for the defense of the land. Following the relationship forged between him and the Ptolemaic royal house, Tobias sends Apollonius (Ptolemy II's finance minister, Philadelphus) in 257 BC four rich, "well-educated" slaves to entertain him, among other things, with music, singing and dancing. The box "well-educated" does not include the meaning of Greek-Hellenistic education, both sports and music.
The grandson of Tobias, Hyrcanus, builds a fortress and a palace for glory in Tire (near the account) on the other side of the Jordan. It was built in a Hellenistic architectural pattern, and the possibility cannot be ruled out that Hela also held agonistic contests there, as was customary and common in the courts of the Hellenistic aristocracy.
These phenomena, as a result of the spread of the Hellenistic culture in Israel, may serve as an interesting indicator for the rest of the fat and fat members of the Jewish society who tasted and smelled the fragrance of the Hellenistic culture, but without, it should be noted, trampling on the Jewish tradition and its commandments.
Oil on the wheels of Hellenization was the mosaic of Hellenistic cities that spread out in the East, where in each one, which was derived, as mentioned above, according to the pattern of the quasi-sovereign "polis", classic sports facilities were established (gymnasium, aphibion, stadium, hippodrome, etc.) and physical competitions were held between them, as respectable and acceptable in society the renewable One of the classical cities that became famous in the East was Antioch, one of the capital cities of Seleucid Syria) and an interesting case related to the Jews who lived there was related to its name.
The Jews of Antioch received urban citizenship as a privilege from the Seleucid king Seleucus Nictor (301-281 BC) and the same number of Jews who lived in other cities. Citizenship was expressed in sports-gymnasium activity, when the Jews, apparently, in any case, the higher socio-economic stratum, found the golden path, the "modus vivendi", between the limitations of Halacha and the sports activities in the gymnasium.
During the struggles for internal leadership in Judah through the star of Jason (he is Jesus), the high priest's brother Hanio. Hela sought to secure for himself the office of the high priesthood from the hands of the Seleucid king, Antiochus IV, "Epiphanes" (175-164 BC), considering a step that would turn him into a kind of royal official and a time before him that was fertile ground for political reforms and the proposal of Hellenistic reform. This reform is summed up in the slogan of "Let us make a covenant with the Gentiles, for from the day we separated from them we have found many evils" (XNUMX Maccabees). That is, obtaining an entrance ticket to the Hellenistic world and its culture. The soul of the reform is disputed between Bickerman's school - whose version was primarily religious - and Charikover's school - according to whom the reform was primarily political and legal, and in my version - also socio-economic, pragmatic, utilitarian and matter-of-fact.
The Maccabean sources bring up a number of expressions, terms and linguistic boxes about Ness, which are worthy of reference as follows:

"And they built a gymnasium in Jerusalem according to the laws of the Gentiles" (XNUMX Maccabees). This box dictates that the gymnasium, as an educational-sports institution, was built according to what was customary in the Greek polis cities, especially the Hellenistic ones, both in the architectural dimension, such as in Alexandria and Antioch, and in the essential dimension, that is, that the work plan - the studies and physical activities - was derived according to the customary and widespread in the Hellenistic gymnasiums in the east.

"Establish ... a gymnasium and an epibion" (Maccabim 16). The Ephebion was a post-gymnasium institution, and is derived from the Greek "Apheboi", meaning - the boys, the young men, intended for the ages 18/20-XNUMX, i.e. for the graduates of the gymnasium in order to prepare them for obtaining citizenship status, including - to instill among them the ability to stand guard the city and absorb military skills. At the end of the training period, the graduates were awarded a lance, a shield, a special hat and a coat on behalf of the state (the city of Hapolis). They swore their allegiance to her in an impressive ceremony, at the end of which they were granted city citizenship as a matter of religion and law. The separate mention of the Ephebion in the Maccabean source, alongside the gymnasium, as a military facility, may indicate the serious intentions of Yeson, the originator of the reform. Furthermore, its military character might have seemingly contradicted the status of Judah, as being under foreign rule. Even so, the fact that its establishment was allowed, indicates the degree of trust that the Seleucid government had in the Jerusalem leadership, and especially in light of their fear of a massive Egyptian attack to return the Ptolemaic crown to its former glory. It was not out of love for Jason that Epiphanes granted him the right to build a gymnasium, but by default and by necessity of historical circumstances.
Moreover, the term Efbion strengthens the assumption of Jason's intention (and whether it was realized or not, we will see later) to turn Jerusalem into a Hellenistic polis. Not a single Hellenistic city was awarded the status of the polis without the establishment and operation of a gymnasium and an apebion.

"Palestra". Later in the Maccabean text, the term "palestra" is mentioned, to which the priests would rush to take part in training and perhaps also in competitions. Palestra is a wrestling school. It is a typical Greek building with an open courtyard in the center, and in its wings there are rooms for a body pin, a bathroom, a cloakroom and storage for sports equipment. The Hellenic boy began his education from the age of 7 in two educational institutions, which for the most part formed a single entity: Palestra and "Didsklaum" - a music school that included the theoretical studies (reading and writing, arithmetic, prose, poetry and music). These professions corresponded to the pursuit of "Eidos" - the balance and harmonious combination between body and mind, between strength and spirit, and as Plato emphasizes in his composition "The State": "One (gymnastics) creates a temperament of hardness and wildness, while the other (music) creates a temperament of softness and femininity ... There should be harmony between the two."
The mention of the "palestra" may strengthen the seriousness of Yason's intentions. Hela did not "round corners" but went to the trouble of establishing, and at least on an intention level, the overall structure of the Greek-Hellenistic educational institution - Palestra, Gymnasium and Ephebion. It may well be that Jason began the construction of the architectural complex in question, it is said in the Palestra, and his successor Menelaus finished the job. Or perhaps the Maccabean writers saw the need to highlight the classical primacy of wrestling, as was customary in Greek and Hellenistic sports.

"Jason joyfully built a gymnasium... and encouraged the best ("magnificent") of the young men to wear the patasus hat" (Maccabim XNUMX). The best-the most glorious of the young men are the future apprentices of the Jerusalem gymnasium. It is about a combination of the members of the Greek aristocracy and aristocracy in Jerusalem and those with good physical data, as is customary in Greek and Hellenistic idealization. Those members of the aristocracy, who are strong in their bodies, might have competed successfully in agonistic (competitive-sports) games and glorified the name of Jerusalem both in Judea and outside of it. These guys were included, so it seems, with the list of athletes that Son wanted to present in about two years, in the famous Tzur games.
The mentioned "patasos" is the wide-brimmed hat of Hermes, the mythological messenger of the gods, who was one of the mythological patrons of the classical gymnasiums. His mention may be metaphorical, coming to symbolize, on loan, the umbrella of Hellenistic influence, under which Jason's apprentices huddled, or the metaphor is a ceremonial procession that symbolized the end of the gymnasium education chapter. Be that as it may, it has something to teach that Yeson's enterprise drank well and drew a full throat from the model of Hellenistic-Gymnasium culture.

In the continuation of the Maccabean text, the author exclaims, as having a deep Jewish awareness and a kind of jealous consciousness, that due to the crimes of Yason "the priests lost interest in the work of the altar and by desecrating the temple and by neglecting the sacrifices, rushed to take part in the physical exercises, which are contrary to the law (to the teachings of the Torah and Halacha), that took place in Palestra." Jason's apprentices came from the aristocratic class, including the priests. This phenomenon is not surprising, since the connection between the ancient worship and the physical culture is not only not in doubt, not only is it alluded to in the Bible (Ahimaetz ben Zadok), but the priests, taking part in the life of the Jerusalem gymnasium, were among the elite stratum, which did not actually and directly engage in work the victims.
Those priests rushed to the sporting activity "from the moment the official summons was heard to hold the discus throwing competition", according to the words of Baal Maccabim II, and in another wording - "according to the reading of the discus". Is this a kind of bell ("gong") that called the gymnasts to start training and competitions? Is this the sound of the discus falling to the ground (a discipline in which the competitions opened)? Is this a symbolic phrase that means: when the training exercises began, or is it a mistake in the Maccabean text, since no discus was thrown in Palestra. This is probably an official summons for the start of the competitions, when the first one was the discus throw.

The Maccabean writer is enraged at how the priests, through Yason's guilt, trampled on the "customs of the ancestors" and in another wording "honor of ancestors" and preferred the "Hellenic honors", in another wording: "the prestige and awards of excellence". In other words: the family lineage took on a new importance and at a higher level - the "Hellenic honors". This phenomenon, apart from its preferred personal-prestigious aspects, is very characteristic of the Hellenistic period, according to Isocrates: "Being Hellenic is no longer a question of origin, but of tendency, and those who share our education (the gymnasium) deserve to be called Hellenic, more than those who share our origins ".

The author of 172 Maccabees emphasizes, immediately after the mention of the gymnasium and the Ephebion, a strange and puzzling kind of "registration": "and to register the people of Jerusalem as the people of Antioch" or "and to register the people of Jerusalem as Antiochians". Revealing the meaning of the "registration" box will allow penetration into the depth of the Hellenistic reform proposed by Yason. Is it the establishment of a Greek society, from Greece, named after the Syrian-Seleucid king Antiochus, and centered in Gymnasium (Bikerman), or does it perhaps mean the founding of the city of Polis in Jerusalem and the annulment of Jerusalem's independent existence as a result of that (Charikober), and perhaps the "registration" is derived From the city of Antioch, where the Jewish kibbutz he lived in enjoyed, as mentioned above, civil rights and took part in the life of the gymnasium and was linked in this way with Jerusalem, and especially with its aristocratic strata - the priests and the nobles together, and as a way for the Jewish public in Antioch to be honored with urban rights, Yasson sought to heal the aristocratic stratum in Jerusalem This equal decree may, it seems, align well with the Seleucid policy, come to its senses on the basis of comparing the retirement of the Hellenistic facilities in Antioch (and especially the gymnasium and the stadium) with those in Jerusalem as two twin cities and become rich against the background of the games of the city of Tire (XNUMX BC). The "registration" of the Jerusalemites to the Antiochians may therefore be a necessary step for the promotion of the Hellenistic reform and its outcome in the form of sending the "Antiochian" delegation of Jerusalem to the games of Tyre.
The question of the questions is, did Jerusalem become, in whole or in part, the Hellenistic city of polis? The Temple remained in its place and maintained its central place in the life of the people and society, but if the priests were involved in the activity of the gymnasium and the gymnasium was built near the temple and there, in the gymnasium, an education developed that changed not small essences in Jewish society ("the Hellenic honors"), then Jerusalem was a kind of urban framework special with a special legal status. That is, the Hellenistic city of Polis that did not lose its previous unique identity. It is true that at the foundation of the Hellenistic polis was the concept that the supreme legal authority derives from a certain group of people, who acted in accordance with their necessary interests and who formulated very concrete sets of laws and constitutions. However, it is not said, not even in one source, that the Torah of Moses was nullified by the constitution of the Jerusalem polis. Jason, according to the sources, "Jason abolished the laws of the kingdom favorable to the Jews, which were obtained in his time by Yochanan the father of Apollomus, who went on a mission to the Romans to establish a friendship alliance, and will abolish legal customs and renew customs that are contrary to the Torah", undoubtedly develops the Jewish infrastructure for the establishment of a city the policy. But whether the Torah was changed in the Polis constitution is unknown.
Moreover, the member of the citizens of the Hellenistic polis embodied a political institution established from an aristocratic, oligarchic sector, and it was the final and comprehensive authority of the established legal validity of the data of reality. This assumption was contrary to the Jewish concept, that the whole set of laws is subject to a supreme moral principle, which guarantees their validity. Whether the trampling of the Jewish concept was realized and passed from Halacha to practice is unknown as well.
Moreover, the soul of the polis is embodied in the legislative and executive institution called the Council of Elders and in Greek "girosia", and it included the heads of the priesthood, the heads of the nursing homes (who represented the interests of the cities of the field in Judah) and the scribes, and the head of the institution was the high priest. However, the first mention of the political institution, i.e. the Gyrosia, appears for the first time already in 198 BC, when Antiochus III grants the significant bill of rights to the Jews. If so, the first steps to establish Jerusalem as a polis already began over 3 years before Yason's initiative, and this phenomenon seems logical against the background of over 25 years of Hellenistic rule in Judea. From the time of Jason and Menelaus, the use of Gyrosia, which in a later incarnation would become the Sanhedrin (Syndarion), is becoming more common.
So what happened during Yason's time that the idea of ​​establishing Jerusalem as a polis would become skin and tendons? Let us take a glimpse into the depths of the general atmosphere that prevailed in the Syrian-Seleucid kingdom in those years.
Since the Battle of Magnesia, during which the armies of Antiochus III were badly defeated before the Romans, the Syrian-Seleucids had to accept harsh and shameful conditions of surrender, (Peace be with Ephemiah), including huge payments to the Romans. In order to comply with the difficult conditions and not leave the state coffers empty, Antiochus III used to loot treasure houses in the temples of the nations over which he ruled. In this failed campaign the king died (in the area of ​​the temples in Elam). His successor, who was his son, Seleucus IV, Philoptor, inherited an empty state coffers, heavy debts to Rome and sources of income cut in size and scope. Against his will and policy he was also forced to confiscate temple deposits. The executor was Heliodorus, his childhood friend and responsible for the kingdom's finances. According to the Maccabean literature (3 Maccabees) he was blinded and almost lost his life in an ambush by mysterious horsemen while trying to take the treasures of the temple. Even Seleucus IV found his death after this attempt, and this time fell into an internal connection, with Heliodorus among the murderers.
The conspirators hoped that Heliodorus would successfully serve as regent for the dead king's infant son, 9-year-old Demetrius, but the Romans had other plans. They claimed him as a hostage, and in exchange for him released Antiochus IV, who was held as a hostage as part of the peace of Ephemea. Before Antiochus, therefore, from the moment he ascended the throne of power in Syria, 4 BC, there were two main tasks: to eliminate the debts to Rome and to capture the subjects of the kingdom around his crown.
Antiochus tried to walk several paths at the same time. It was clear that he had gates with a Greek character, as opposed to the local eastern cities, would show an over-loyalty to a royal house and a king anchored in this culture of his own. Antiochus did not have much money to establish new Greek cities in his kingdom. In this state of affairs, he preferred to give existing eastern cities the face of a polis for its institutions, citizenship and even the mint entitled to cast copper coins at least. Policy rights are not given for free. The increased Hellenization was intended, first and foremost, to pour money into his always empty coffers.
These circumstances, which must have been known to Lison, the brother of the high priest Honio, were used to get the best and maximum benefits: to turn Jerusalem into a polis, to strengthen his personal and political status and to integrate into the Hellenistic culture of the Near East. The establishment of the Gymnasium and Ephebion in Jerusalem, along with the registration of the city as Antioch, and of course his appointment as high priest, were in fact an interesting meeting between what Yasson wanted and the "intelligence" data that was placed on his desk. He exercised judgment and carried out his intentions in a manner worthy of appreciation.

Who founded?
According to the Book of Maccabim XNUMX, it is about an anonymous, undefined group, and in his words: "and people from the people will volunteer". According to the book of Maccabim XNUMX and Maccabim XNUMX it was Jason, the high priest, who founded the gymnasium and the Ephebion. A study of Josephus reveals another entrepreneur and he is Menelaus and the sons of Tobias who fled to Antiochus IV, "Epiphanes", the Seleucid king, and asked for permission to establish a gymnasium in Jerusalem.
Before we try to untangle the tangle, let us spread the historical canvas a bit. The flourishing period of Hellenism in Judea and Jerusalem is closely related to the activity of the Tobiah family. This family, which played the role of tax collectors on behalf of the government in the court of King Seleucus IV (178-175 BC), had great influence and great political and economic power. She was the head of the Greek faction in Jerusalem and one of her sons, a nobleman named Hyrcanus, lived in the past of the Jordan and built him a magnificent palace in the Hellenistic style. By the way, according to the descriptions of Yosef ben Matthew, it appears that swimming pools were built there, although there is no explicit evidence of this, only vague evidence.
In 175 BC, Jason (Jesus in his Hebrew incarnation) won the crown of the High Priesthood with the approval of the Seleucid king, Antiochus IV, after slipping into the king's pocket 440 silver loaves, tabin and tikilin.
Jason's tenure, which lasted for three years (175-172 BC), did not leave much historical evidence regarding the course of social life in general and Yerul in particular.
The sons of Tovia asked, for political and personal reasons, to depose Jason and raise Menelaus to the high priesthood under him. Menelaus won, with the approval and consent of Antiochus IV, when he "contributes" to the Seleucid coffers a decent liter, 300 more silver coins than his predecessor Ison.
Menelaus was much more extreme than Jason in terms of his Greek tendency. Significant conflicts arose between Yason and his supporters and the Menelaus camp, which led to a fratricidal war in Jerusalem (between the two aforementioned factions). Josephus emphasizes that Menelaus and his faction fled to Antiochus during the riots and through them the request to establish a gymnasium in Jerusalem.
Well, in whose hands was the task of establishing the sports-educational-cultural institutions in question entrusted? In the hands of Jason or in the hands of Menelaus?
It seems that one of the following three possibilities will be accepted: the first - Joseph ben Matthieu made a mistake in replacing Jason with Menelaus. The second - Menelaus asked to build another gymnasium. The third - Leeson was given the permission to build a gymnasium and an epibion, but Hela did not finish its construction and Menelaus asked to complete the work.
The first possibility may be based on the assumption that in the days of Joseph ben Matthew, at the end of the first century AD, the thought, the assumption, the belief that the builder of the gymnasium was none other than Yason, who represented the orthodox faction among the Jerusalem aristocracy, took root among the Jewish public, and that in contrast to him and in contrast to his actions Jason's "sins" were white as snow.
On the other hand, Josephus does not serve as a reliable reference and a source that stands on his own authority when it comes to the Hellenistic period. He did not know the book of XNUMX Maccabees and relied exclusively on XNUMX Maccabees. Sometimes he was inclined to replace Jason with his sons and his sons with Menelaus. However, the mention of the name of Menelaus as the builder of the gymnasium should not be categorically rejected, since the book of Maccabees XNUMX clearly states that it is a certain group, "people of the people", as being responsible for the construction of the gymnasium, and the value of the book (Maccabees XNUMX) as a historical source is not in doubt .
The second option is rejected and does not stand the test of reality, since none of the sources alludes to the existence of two gymnasiums, which were built in this period.
The third option is apparently rejected, since in the books of the Maccabees it is explicitly stated "that with joy he (Jason) built a gymnasium", and that trainings or competitions were held there. However, one question bothers us: why don't the sources mention that training and running competitions were also held in the gymnasium in question. One of the sources testifies to wrestling, and vaguely and very urgently to discus throwing. And it is known that in the Hellenistic period, as in the classical Hellenistic period, wrestling was one of the pillars of the gymnasium. However, the branch of running still remains considered one of the first branches, and the owner of the source (XNUMX Maccabees, which is actually an abridgment of a broad historical composition compiled in Greek), who was a Hellenistic Jew, with a Greek education who was well versed in the Hellenistic world and the Greek polis, should, without a doubt, have known this . If so, why isn't the run or the running tracks ("dromos") mentioned?
This can be justified on the assumption that every reader was aware of life in the Greek-Hellenistic gymnasium and the motivations for establishing the gymnasium, but it seems that the time can be put another way, although it is not free of difficulties: the construction of the gymnasium was no small matter. Its establishment lasted several years, and the duration of time between Jason's term and that of Menelaus was only about three years.
Therefore, would it be far from supposing that Jason first built the "Paleistra", that is - the large building in the middle of which was the wrestling arena, and it contained rooms to house the gymnastic aids and the pin, when later on in the construction plan his intention was to build the "Cassitus", or The "Para-Dromous" - the running track, because it is unthinkable to build a gymnasium and a pub without running tracks. Well, this plan had not yet been implemented, and this situation allowed Menelaus to turn to the Seleucid king in Syria and ask for permission to build (complete) the construction of the gymnasium. It is even possible to extract an allusion to this from what is said in Semper Maccabim XNUMX: "At the end of three years Jason sent Menelaus, the brother of Shimon, who is alluded to above, to bring the money to the king and finish with the remembrance of Deuteronomy.

When was it established?
If we reject the possibility that Menelaus built the gymnasium or completed its construction, then it can be determined that Jason built it approximately in 175/174 BC, and if we stick to the possibility that Menelaus completed its construction, then it is between the years 175 and 170 BC.
175 BC can be adopted as the year of construction of the structure in light of the following data: It is known that in central cities throughout the Hellenistic world, agonistic sacred games were held (in imitation of the classical Olympic games) once every four years. We also learned that competitive sacred games were held in the famous Phoenician city of Tire before the seventh century BC. These were dedicated to the Syrian god Melkeret, he is the twin god to Heracles, who was one of the mythological patrons of the gymnasium. And as for the Jewish point of view: the connection between Jason and the competitive games that took place in Tyre, is well known. And here in 175 BC, sacred games were held in Tire in honor of Melkerat-Heracles, when the Seleucid king, Antiochus IV, honored the games with his presence as the president of the games. In view of these data, it is possible that the construction of the gymnasium was very close to the date of the aforementioned Nov. However, as mentioned, it is possible that its completion (by adding facilities, etc.) took place during the days of Menelaus.

Where was it established?
All the sources are unanimous as to the establishment of the gymnasium within Jerusalem, but we are more interested in determining the exact location, or at least determining its scope. The book of Maccabim XNUMX testifies: "And they built a gymnasium in Jerusalem" and Joseph ben Matthew follows him. The book of Maccabim XNUMX goes into more detail by saying: "For with joy he (Jason) built a gymnasium under the citadel" and according to the book of Maccabim XNUMX the wording is: "He built a gymnasium in the citadel of the city of our ancestors".
If so, locating the aforementioned citadel may well bring us closer to the more precise location of the gymnasium. Indeed, the different scholars differed on the rock of the "citadel": Kahana holds that the reference is certainly not to the citadel built by Antiochus but to the citadel ("capital") that was in the north of the temple. Cherikober believes that "under the citadel" means: on the Temple Mount itself, and Lamer claims that the gymnasium was probably built to the west of the Temple, between the citadel and the temple, on the western wall, where the "Xistos" was built in the days of Herod.
In my humble opinion, two hypotheses can be raised here, each referring to the citadel not as a "capital" ("Baris") in the north of the temple, the one mentioned in Nehemiah, but to the citadel that was built later, during the Hasmonean period, in the area of ​​"Hekra" (south-west of the temple ). This is in light of the fact mentioned in the book of Maccabim XNUMX: "And to enroll the people of Jerusalem to the people of Antioch", and which is directly adjacent to the establishment of the Jerusalem gymnasium. That is, the establishment of the area of ​​"Antioch in Jerusalem", southwest of the Temple, is the "polis" of Jerusalem, where the Greek-Hellenistic market was also established (namely - the "Agora") and where the gymnasium was probably established.
To confirm the above hypothesis, let's look at some data: the location of the gymnasium must be sought near water sources, because every Greek or Hellenistic gymnasium was built near live, flowing water sources, for the use of the gymnasts and competitors' bathing facilities. Also, for the most part, the Hellenistic gymnasium was established at the edge of the city. One must therefore look for the Jerusalem gymnasium at the edge of the new city, at the edge of the "polis" city - "Antioch in Jerusalem". There are brave hands to assume that the "polis" of the Syrian Antiochia served as a classic model for the entrepreneurs of the Jerusalem gymnasium, and those who examine the structure of the polis city of Antioch will see that the stadium and the gymnasium were located at the edge of the city when they are adjacent to the Seleucid palace, just like "under the citadel" in the Maccabian source above.
To these data we can add the assumption that the facilities of the gymnasium were later used by King Herod, either in their entirety or in the restoration of their remains by him.
If yes, the gymnasium was established: a. In the place where the stadium and the hippodrome were founded by Herod, or - b. In the place where the Herodian theater was built, it was built near it.
According to the first option, the distance between the temple and the gymnasium was about 500 m, and according to the second option, the distance was greater, about 600 m. These distances may explain the reason for the seemingly puzzling wording in the Book of Maccabees: "Until the priests ceased to be zealous for the work of the altar and despised the temple and abandoned the sacrifices, they would rush to the square of the dust."
And lest the gymnasium or its remains should be identified in the Jerusalem "Casistos", which according to Josephus can be identified as the location of the "Casistos" (the running track in every Greek gymnasium such as that of Delfoi or Pergamon) in the western part of Guy Ben-Hinnom , when a step (terrace) extending north and south, could have been worked on the western slope of the ravine as a surface with the length necessary for the stadium running (about 192 m), and when the slope could have been used nicely for the spectators' stand.
From all the above assumptions and the data brought up above, it seems to me the most plausible, that the gymnasium should be looked for in the eastern part of the "Hekra".

What was his "price"?
Baal Makbav illuminates the episode by saying: "But after the death of Seleucus (the fourth, "Philoptor") and Antiochus (the fourth), known as Epiphanes, he received the kingship, which Yason ... to the high priesthood, promising the king three hundred and sixty lokas and other revenues Eighty squares, and on top of these he promised in writing another hundred and fifty (squares) if he were given the license to establish a gymnasium and an afebion under his own power and register the people of Jerusalem to the people of Antioch..."
In the above-mentioned section, huge amounts are implied: 360 square and 80 square which is 440 square (silver), we were 552,000 drachmas, and also 150 square which is 180,000 drachmas. The above-mentioned copy amounts will be highlighted by way of comparison to the average daily wage of a laborer, which has reached approximately one drachma.
It may be possible to understand why Yason needed to deposit a lot of money into the Seleucid king's coffers in order to secure for himself the position of high priest, however, it is not clear enough why Yason had to come up with about 180,000 drachmas to get the license to build a gymnasium.
The continuation of the text may offer us to resolve this tangle, and there it is said: "... and to register the people of Jerusalem to the people of Antioch. That is, we are not talking about sallows here. The establishment of Greek educational institutions such as the Gymnasium or Ephebion was nothing more than an external form of this transformation of Jerusalem from "Athens" to "Polis", and since this change in the status of the Jews before the central government in Antioch, surely it would take some effort to get the government to agree. Because of this Hellenistic reform, the privileges that would fall to the lot of Jerusalem were to be many and varied (it is urban autonomy that includes, among other things, the authority to mint its own copper coins; the possibility of establishing trade relations with other Greek cities; the possibility of holding joint agonistic competitions, etc.
Moreover, the Seleucid royal coffers were in short supply. Antiochus III suffered a serious blow at the hands of the Romans in the Battle of Magnesia (189 BC) and the current king, Antiochus IV, was in dire need of funds to manage his future journeys to Egypt. These data may explain the background to the financial payments for the construction of the Jerusalem gymnasium. It is known that gymnasium education in the Hellenistic period was expensive, so that Ison (or Menelaus) could, within a relatively short period of time, overcome the financial obstacles caused by the payments of funds.
We can also examine the case with the help of an interesting parallel, in the example of the gymnasiums outside the Land of Israel, from Helicransus in Western Asia Minor, a delegation is sent to the Hellenistic king to obtain permission for the "young people" (the "Naoi"), and the request for approval from a third party who sends a sum of money to please his heart of the king It is possible that payments such as these were considered a common practice in the Hellenistic world.
Before we finish, let us dwell further on a pair of words, taken from the Maccabean text, above. I mean the words: "in writing" and "by his authority".
These words and their contextual context may explain, on the one hand, the strong ambition of the initiator of the gymnasium to establish the facilities in question, and, on the other hand, shed light on the financial side, that is, the initiator of the establishment of the gymnasium does not expect financial or technical help on behalf of the Seleucid royal house, thus exonerating the royal house, which is already in difficulties financial, from the allocation of any resources, and he will build the gymnasium "by his own power". And from a different point of view: it is possible that there was some doubt in the heart of the Seleucid king that the additional amount (150 square meters) would not be paid (because of the personal examination, there is no doubt that the royal appointment to be given to the high priest was much more important than the actual establishment of the gymnasium. This appointment may be denied by the king, if the money is not paid (440 kvars of silver). However, on the other hand, it is inconceivable that the king would have ordered the gymnasium to be destroyed, if and when the balance of 150 kvars of silver was not paid. Hence, the petitioner to the High Priesthood had to commit to this "in writing ".
And it is possible that apart from the above interpretation, another trend was hidden behind the above pair of words ("in writing" and "by his power"), and through this trend I wish to illuminate the whole issue of the construction of the gymnasium in an additional light.
Such an initiative as the construction of the gymnasium on behalf of a Jewish ruler could have sharpened the tensions (which prevailed anyway) between Jerusalem and Greek-Hellenistic cities in the Land of Israel, as well as between the Greek-Hellenistic aristocracy in Jerusalem and the Jewish leadership, and could even have provoked the wrath of religious fanatics against the originator of the idea .
In other words, these uncomfortable situations, which could even harm, to a certain extent, the Hellenistic rule, demanded a certain compensation in the form of some kind of financial compensation. And not only that, but Shanus was the petitioner to the High Priesthood to commit to this "in writing" and to establish the gymnasium "by his own power" (without any official royal assistance and with considerable supposed opposition from zealous circles in Jerusalem).

And regarding awareness - the Maccabean texts leave behind a premise that the potential reader was exposed and aware of all the sporting expressions. That is, participate, educate yourself and at least watch.

naked? in the gymnasium?
According to the Maccabean text (XNUMX Maccabees) we read that the trainees of the gymnasium and those who take part in it "and pulled their foreskin" and in light of the source of Joseph ben Matthew "they hid their words with a covering so that they would be seen naked as the ones who are naked for everything and anything". The issue of nudity in the gymnasium raises a bewilderment in relation to the assumption that in the gymnasium education in Jerusalem Jewish values ​​of behavior were not trampled upon, since the Bible and its laws expressly forbid the exposure of the pubic area.
If we prefer the testimony of Yosef ben Matatiyo, we will make an easy life for ourselves, even though there is no obstacle to shred like this, and in light of Yeson's position, which seeks to minimize as much as possible damage to the Jewish religion. If we accept the Maccabean text, we find ourselves analyzing the meaning of "pulling back the foreskin", which is a type of surgery that was done to hide circumcision, and hence Jason's reform was much more drastic than "let a covenant be made with the Gentiles". The pulling of the foreskin is mentioned by the way in the literature of the Sages in connection with the rebellion of Ben Khosva, when among the decrees of Hadrian was also the decree against the word, and they shaved and pulled their foreskin to resemble the uncircumcised for fear of the Romans.
And what is Nordeau's interest in our matter? Well, at the Second Zionist Congress of 1898, Nordau gave his famous, flame-throwing speech from the stage of the Congress, "Muscle-Judantum" in which he excitedly called upon the Jewish youth, the young people, to renew the days of the Maccabees, to be strong, especially in the sporting sense of the word, for the benefit of building the people and the nation, for the benefit of realizing the Zionist idea of ​​a political-national solution in the Land of Israel. It was the macabers who came out in a rage against the physicality and stubbornness of the Greeks, and of the two camps it was precisely the Greeks who were the athletes and not the macabers. And when we reveal, literary and archeologically, an affinity between the Hasmonean kings and physical activity, sports, this reflects rather the Hellenistic influence that applied to the Hasmonean house and not Hebrewness or Judaism. After all, you have a kind of cynical mockery of history: one fact and one myth.

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