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Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature [1]

( Ἀλεξάνδρα , fem. of Alexander), the name of several women in Josephus.

1. Surnamed (or rather, perhaps, originally named) Salome first married to Aristobulus, and afterward the wife of Alexander Jannaeus, his brother. In the account of the latter prince we have noticed the advice which he gave upon his death-bed to Alexandra, with a view to conciliate the Pharisees and establish herself in the kingdom. Alexandra followed his counsel, and secured the object of her wishes. The Pharisees, won by the marks of respect which she paid to them, exerted their influence over the people, and Alexander Janneus was buried with great pomp and splendor, and Alexandra ruled during the space of nine years. Under her government the country enjoyed external peace, but was distracted by internal strife. The Pharisees, having obtained an ascendency over the mind of the queen, proceeded to exact from her many important advantages for themselves and friends, and then to obtain the punishment and persecution of all those who had been opposed to them during the king's reign. Many of the Sadducees, therefore, were put to death; and their vindictiveness proceeded to such acts of cruelty and injustice that none of Alexander's friends could be secure of their lives. Many of the principal persons who had served in the late king's armies, with Aristobulus at their head, entreated permission to quit their country, or to be placed in some of the distant fortresses, where they might be sheltered from the persecution of their enemies. After some deliberation, she adopted the expedient of distributing them among the different garrisons of the kingdom, excepting those, however, in which she had deposited her most valuable property. In the mean time her son Aristobulus was devising the means of seizing upon the throne, and an opportunity at length presented itself for carrying his project into effect. The queen being seized with a dangerous illness, Aristobulus at once made himself master of those fortresses in which his friends had been placed, and, before the necessary measures could be taken to stay his progress, he was placed at the head of a large number of troops. Alexandra left the crown to Hyrcanus, her eldest son; but he, being opposed by Aristobulus, retired to private life. Alexandra died B.C. 69, aged seventy-three years (Josephus, Ant. 13, 16, 1-5; Muller, De Alexandra, Altd. 1711; Zeltner, id. ib. eod.).

2. The daughter of Hyrcanus, wife of Alexander (son of Aristobulus and brother of Hyrcanus), and mother of another Aristobulus and of Mariamne (q.v.), whose death, in consequence of her husband's (Herod the Great's) suspicions, she perfidiously connived at; but she was afterward herself put to death by Herod's order (Josephus, Ant. 15, 2, 5-7, 8).

3. A daughter of Phasaelus by Salampsio: she married Timius of Cyprus, but had no children (Josephus, Ant. 18, 5, 4).