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Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature [1]

( ῾Υρκανός , i.e. Hyrcanus), "A son of Tobias," who had a large treasure placed for security in the treasury of the Temple at the time of the visit of Heliodorus ( 2 Maccabees 3:11), B.C. cir. 187. Josephus. also mentions "children of Tobias" ( Παίδες Τωβίου . Ant. 12: 5, 1), who, however, belonged to the faction of Menelaus, and notices especially a. son of one of them (Joseph) who. was named Hyrcanus (Ant. 12:4, 2 sq.). But there is no sufficient reason for identifying the Hyrcanus of 2 Macc. with this grandson of Tobias either by supposing that the ellipsis ( Τοῦ Τωβίου ) is to be so filled up(Grotius, Calmet), or that the. sons of Joseph were popularly named after their grandfather(Ewald, Gesch. 4: 309), which. could scarcely have been the case in consequence of the great. eminence of their father. Smith. (See Maccabees).

The name of Hyrcanus occurs at a later period under the: Maccabees. It has been thought. that it was adopted on account: of a victory gained by John, the son and successor of Simon Maccabaeus, over the Hyrcanians (Euseb. Chronicles lib. 2; Sulp. Severus, Hist. Sacr. lib. 2, c. 26). Josephus informs us that Hyrcanus accompanied Antiochus VII Sidetes into Parthia, and Nicolaus of Damascus says that a trophy was erected at the river Lycus to commemorate thee victory over the Parthian general (At. 13, 8,4). The Hyrcanians were a nation whose territory was bounded on the north by the Caspian. Sea, and would thus be at no great distance from Parthia, where John Hyrcanus had gained the victory... It is remarkable that the different statements agree in the position of the countries, Hyrcania, Parthia, and the river Lycus (of Assyria) being contiguous. As Josephus, however, does not give any explanation of the name (Ant. 13, 7, 4; War, 1, 2, 3), and the son of Simon is nowhere called Hyrcanus in 1 Macc., the reason. for its assumption is uncertain. (See Hyrcanus).