Judah (Yehudah, Heb. יהודה) Aristobulus I (reigned 104-103 BC) was a king of the Hebrew Hasmonean Dynasty, and the eldest of the five sons of King John Hyrcanus. He was the first of the Hasmonean rulers to call himself "king." According to the Hebrew Scriptures, only descendants of Judah, or, more specifically, the House of David, were qualified to be kings of Israel. All of Aristobulus' predecessors used the title of "nasi"/"president".
Aristobulus I from "Promptuarii Iconum Insigniorum"
According to the directions of John Hyrcanus, the government of the country after his death was to be placed in the hands of his wife, and Aristobulus was originally to receive only the high-priesthood. He was not however satisfied with this, so he cast his mother into prison and allowed her to starve there. By this means he came into the possession of the throne, which, however, he did not long enjoy, as after a year's reign he died of a painful illness (103 BC). He was hostile to the Pharisees and pursued them with ruthlessness.
Aristobulus' successor was his eldest brother, Alexander Jannæus, who, together with his two brothers, was freed from prison by Queen Shelomit [Salome] Alexandra, the widow of Aristobulus.
Aristobulus II was the Jewish High Priest and King of Judea, 66 BC to 63 BC, from the Hasmonean Dynasty.
Aristobulus was the younger son of Alexander Jannaeus, King and High Priest, and Alexandra Salome. After the death of Alexander in 76 BC, his widow succeeded to the rule of Judea and installed her elder son Hyrcanus II as High Priest. When Salome died in 67 BC, Hyrcanus succeeded to the kingship as well. Aristobulus felt he should rule because he was a better leader and fighter than Hyrcanus
Hyrcanus shared his mother's religious views, sympathetic to the Pharisees. In contrast to this, Alexander Jannaeus had supported the Saducees.
Aristobulus agreed with his father's Sadducean stance and rebelled against his elder brother. Hyrcanus advanced against him at the head of his mercenaries and his followers. The brothers met in battle near Jericho and many of Hyrcanus' soldiers went over to Aristobulus, and thereby gave the latter the victory.
Hyrcanus took refuge in the citadel of Jerusalem; but the capture of the Temple by Aristobulus compelled Hyrcanus to surrender. A peace was then concluded, according to the terms of which Hyrcanus was to renounce the throne and the office of high priest, but was to enjoy the revenues of the latter office.
This agreement however did not last, as Hyrcanus feared that Aristobulus was planning his death and took refuge with Aretas III, King of the Nabataeans. The Nabataeans advanced toward Jerusalem with an army of 50,000 and besieged the city for several months.
During this civil war, the Roman general Gnaeus Pompeius Magnus defeated the Kingdoms of Pontus and the Seleucids. He sent his deputy Marcus Aemilius Scaurus to take possession of Seleucid Syria.
As the Hasmoneans were allies of the Romans, both brothers appealed to Scaurus, each endeavoring by gifts and promises to win him over to his side. Scaurus, moved by a gift of 400 talents, decided in favor of Aristobulus and ordered Aretas to withdraw his army. During his retreat, the Nabateans suffered a crushing defeat at the hands of Aristobulus.
When Pompey arrived in Syria in 63 BCE, both brothers and a third party that desired the removal of the entire dynasty, sent their delegates to Pompey, who however delayed the decision. He favoured Hyrcanus II over Aristobulus II, deeming the elder, weaker brother a more reliable ally of the Roman Empire.
Aristobulos, suspicious of Pompey, entrenched himself in the fortress of Alexandrium, but when the Romans summoned their army, he surrendered and undertook to deliver Jerusalem over to them. However, since many of his followers however were unwilling to open the gates, the Romans besieged and captured the city by force, badly damaging city and temple. Hyrcanus was restored as High Priest, but deprived of political authority.
Aristobulus was on his way to Judaea with his son Alexander, in 49 BC when he was assassinated by poison.
His son Antigonus led a rebellion against Rome 40 BC but was defeated and killed in 37 BC.
Aristobulus III of Israel
Aristobulus III of Israel (b. 53 BC - d. 36 BC) was the last scion of the Hasmonean royal house, brother of Herod the Great's wife Mariamne, and paternal grandson of Aristobulus II. He was a favorite of the people on account of his noble descent and handsome presence, and thus became an object of fear to Herod, who at first sought to ignore him entirely by debarring him from the high priesthood. But his mother Alexandra Maccabeus (63BC-28BC), through intercession with Cleopatra and Mark Antony, compelled Herod to remove Hananel from the office of High Priest and appoint Aristobulus instead.
To secure himself against danger from Aristobulus, Herod instituted a system of espionage against him and his mother. This surveillance proved so onerous that they sought to gain their freedom by taking refuge with Cleopatra. Their plans were betrayed, however, and the disclosure had the effect of greatly increasing Herod's suspicions against his brother-in-law. As he dared not resort to open violence, he caused him to be drowned while he was bathing in Jericho.
This article was taken from the Jewish Encyclopedia (1903).
Aristobulus IV (31 BC-7 BC) was a prince of Judea from the Herodian dynasty, and was married to his cousin, Berenice, daughter of Costobar and Salome. He was the son of Herod the Great and his second wife, Mariamne I, the last of the Hasmoneans, and was thus a descendant of the Hasmonean Dynasty.
Aristobulus lived most of his life outside of Judaea, having been sent at age 12 along with his brother Alexandros to be educated at the Imperial court of Rome in 20 BC, in the household of Augustus himself. Aristobulus was only 3 when his paternal aunt Salome contrived to have his mother executed for adultery. When the attractive young brothers returned to Jerusalem in 12 BC, the populace received them enthusiastically. That, along with their perceived imperious manner, picked up after having lived much of their lives at the very heart of Roman imperial power, often offended Herod. They also attracted the jealousy of their older half-brother, Antipater III, who deftly incited the aging king's anger with rumors of his favored sons' disloyalty. After many failed attempts at reconciliation between the king and his designated heirs, the ailing Herod had Aristobulus and Alexandros strangled on charges of treason in 7 BC, and raised Antipater to the rank of his co-regent and heir apparent.
Herod, however, retained his affection for Aristobulus' children, three of whom, Agrippa I, Herod and Herodias, lived to play important roles in the next generation of Jewish rulers.
Aristobulus Minor or Aristobulus the Younger (flourished 1st century BC & 1st century, died after 44) was a prince from the Herodian Dynasty. He was of Jewish, Nabataean and Edomite ancestry.
He was the youngest son born to prince Aristobulus IV and princess Berenice of Judea. His parents were first cousins and thus Aristobulus was a grandson to Herod the Great.
When growing up, he was educated along with his eldest brothers, Agrippa I and Herod of Chalcis in Rome, along with future Roman Emperor Claudius. Claudius and Aristobulus became friends and he became in high favor with the future emperor. Claudius and Aristobulus had sent letters to each other.
Aristobulus lived at enmity with Agrippa I. Aristobulus denounced Agrippa I and forced him to leave from the protection of Flaccus, the Proconsul of Syria. Agrippa I was charged with bribing the Damascenes to support their cause with the Proconsul against the Sidonians.
Aristobulus married Iotapa, a Syrian Princess from the Royal Family of Emesa and daughter of King Sampiceramus II and Queen Iotapa who ruled Emesa from 11 BC-42. This marriage for Aristobulus was a promising marriage in dynastic terms. Iotapa and Aristobulus chose to live as private citizens in the Middle East. Iotapa and Aristobulus had a daughter called Iotapa, who was deaf and mute. Apart from their daughter, they had no further descendants.
In the reign of Emperor Caligula 37-41, Aristobulus had opposed the emperor in setting up statues of himself in the Temple in Jerusalem. He survived his brother Agrippa I, who died in 44.
Aristobulus of Paneas
Aristobulus of Paneas (ca. 160 BC) was a Hellenistic Jewish philosopher of the Peripatetic school, though he also used Platonic and Pythagorean concepts. Like his successor, Philo, he attempted to fuse ideas in the Hebrew Scriptures with those in Greek thought.
He lived in the third or second century B.C. The period of his life is doubtful, Anatolius of Laodicea (270) placing him in the time of Ptolemy Philadelphus (third century BC), Alfred Gercke in the time of Philometor II Lathyrus (latter part of second century BC); while more reliable testimony indicates that he was a contemporary of Ptolemy Philometor (middle of second century BC). He is the author of a book the exact title of which is not certain, although there is sufficient evidence to prove that it was an exposition of the Law.
He was among the earliest of the Jewish Alexandrian philosophers whose aim was to reconcile and identify Greek philosophical conceptions with the Jewish religion. Only a few fragments of his work, apparently entitled Commentaries on the Writings of Moses, are quoted by Clement, Eusebius and other theological writers, but they suffice to show its object. Eusebius has preserved two fair-sized fragments of it, in which are found all the quotations from Aristobulus made by Clement. In addition, there is extant a small passage concerning the time of the Passover festival, quoted by Anatolius.
He endeavoured to prove that early Greek philosophers had from Linus, Orpheus, Musaeus and others, passages which strongly resemble the Mosaic writings. It is suggested that the name Aristoilus was taken from 2 Macc. i. 10. The hypothesis that it was from Aristobulus that the philosophy of Ecclesiasticus was derived is not generally accepted.
Aristobulus was among many philosophers of his day who argued that the essentials of Greek philosophy and metaphysics were derived from Jewish sources. Philosopher Numenius of Apamea echoes this position in his well known statement "What is Plato but Moses speaking Attic Greek?" (1.150.4) Aristobulus maintained, 150 years earlier than Philo, that not only the oldest Grecian poets, Homer, Hesod, Orpheus, etc., but also the most celebrated Greek thinkers, especially Plato, had acquired most of their wisdom from Jewish sages and ancient Hebrew texts (Gfrorer i. p. 308, also ii. 111-118) (Eusebius citing Aritobulus and Numenius Ev ix. 6, xi. 10).
Aristobulus of Cassandreia
Aristobulus of Cassandreia (ca. 375 - 301 BC), Greek historian, son of Aristobulus, probably a Phocian settled in Cassandreia, accompanied Alexander the Great on his campaigns. He served throughout as an architect and military engineer as well as a close friend of Alexander, enjoying royal confidence, and was entrusted with the repair of the tomb of Cyrus in Pasargadae. He wrote an account, mainly geographical and ethnological. His work was largely used by Arrian. Plutarch also uses him as a reference.
He used the word pothos to interpret the actions, spirit and personality of Alexander.
Aristobulus of Britannia
Aristobulus of Britannia (Full title, in Greek: Aghios Apostolos Aristovoulos, Martyras, kai Protos Episkopos Vretannias; Welsh: Arwystli Hen Episcob Cyntaf Prydain; Latin: Sanctus Aristobulus Senex, Apostolus, Martyr, Episcopus Primus Britanniae; English: Saint Aristibule the Old, Apostle, Martyr, and First Bishop of Britain. Also, Aristobulus, Apostle to Britain) is a Jewish Cypriot saint, numbered among the Seventy Disciples. Along with the Apostles Urban of Macedonia, Stachys, Ampliatus, Apelles of Heraklion and Narcissus of Athens he assisted Saint Andrew. St. Aristobulus was also the brother of the Apostle Barnabas. He preached the Gospel in Britain as its first bishop and there he reposed peacefully in the Lord. Previous to this, he preached the Gospel to the Celts of Northern Spain, i.e. Celtiberians, whilst on his way to Britain. His feast days are celebrated on March 16, on October 31 (with Amplias, Apelles, Stachys, Urban, and Narcissus), and on January 4 with the Seventy. Such was the Apostle Aristobulus' acclaim amongst the Brythonic Celts that a region was named after him, i.e. Arwystli, which later became a small medieval British kingdom, and continues to this day as a district, or more precisely, a cantref within the county of Powys, Wales.