ATHRONGES


ATHRONGES
ATHRONGES, shepherd, rebel, and pretender to the Judean throne following the death of Herod (4 B.C.E.). Athronges was known for "his great stature and feats of strength." After Herod's death, Athronges claimed the Judean throne. His claim was supported by his four brothers, each of whom led an armed band. The rebels began a campaign of terror and guerilla warfare that was originally aimed at Romans and royalists. Later, they mistreated all their captives without discrimination. The rebels' best-known feat was their attack near Emmaus (20 mi. west-northwest of Jerusalem) on a Roman company which was hauling grain and arms to the Roman Army. The rebels surrounded the Roman detachment and killed 40 soldiers and their commander, Arius, but Athronges' troops were driven off by counter-attacking royalist troops from Sebaste. Athronges and his brothers were finally subdued. However, it is not clear what happened to Athronges. Archelaus captured the eldest brother. Two other brothers were conquered by the troops of Ptolemy and Gratus. A fourth brother surrendered to Archelaus. An attempt has been made to identify Athronges with Ben-Batiaḥ, one of the heroes of the Jewish war against Rome (see S.J.L. Rapoport, Erekh Millin (1852), 257, S.V. etrog). -BIBLIOGRAPHY: Jos., Wars., 2:60 ff.; Jos., Ant., 17:278 ff. (Isaiah Gafni)

Encyclopedia Judaica. 1971.

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