November 24th, 2011
Episode 165 of 550 episodes
Melvyn Bragg and his guests discuss the revolutionary Jewish leader Judas Maccabeus. Born in the 2nd century BC, Judas led his followers in a rebellion against the Seleucid Empire, which was attempting to impose Greek culture and religion on the Jews. He succeeded in winning religious freedom, but it was not until 20 years after Judas's death that Judaea finally became an independent state. Melvyn Bragg is joined by Helen Bond, Senior Lecturer in the New Testament at Edinburgh University; Tessa Rajak, Emeritus Professor of Ancient History at the University of Reading and Philip Alexander, Emeritus Professor of Jewish Studies at the University of Manchester.