Hyrcanus was the name used by two Hasmonaean kings, John Hyrcanus, the third son of Simon and a high priest like his father. John ruled for thirty-one years of prosperous administration with political power, high priesthood and prophetic gifts. In a later generation, his son Alexander's widow, Alexandra appointed her elder son Hyrcanus high priest. She got sick and a younger son took power from Hyrcanus. The brothers agreed that Hyrcanus abdicate. Antipater urged Arab king Aretas to help wronged Hyrcanus regain his throne. The Roman Gabinius reinstated Hyrcanus and divided the nation into five unions. Hyrcanus was made high priest and Antipater was made commissioner of Judea. Antipater appointed his eldest son Phasael governor of Jerusalem and his next son Herod in charge of Galilee. Both sons achieved much but Herod's accomplishments stirred jealousy and resentment in Hyrcanus. For example, Herod put offenders to death without trial which irritated Hyrcanus. Caesar made Hyrcanus acquit Herod and promoted him which frightened Hyrcanus. Malichus tried to poison Antipater and Cassius conspired with Herod to kill Malichus at dinner with Hyrcanus. After many more continuing conflicts Mariamme's grandfather Hyrcanus was executed.
The Jewish War