Diodorus of Sicily was a Greek historian who lived in the first century B.C.E. In his Bibliotheca Historica, Book 40, he discusses the Jews. Martin Hengel cites him to say that some Jews believed the Hasmoneans were violating their ancestral laws. Later in Book 40, Diodorus refers to Hecataeus, who describes the Jews as xenophobic and committed to their political system.
Reading this may give me insight into what violation of ancestral laws actually meant, as well as why Jews may have been eager to unite with the Gentiles. I Maccabees 1:11 states, after all: “In those days certain renegades came out from Israel and misled many, saying, ‘Let us go and make a covenant with the Gentiles around us, for since we separated from them many disasters have come upon us'” (NRSV). What laws separated Jews from Gentiles?
I could not find all of this Diodorus passage online, but I found some of it in Greek and French. Next week, I may try to translate it (see here, pages 76-77).
I’m trying to order it on the library, but my computer is slow today.
Tomorrow, I’ll probably shift gears and write some about my Fishbane paper.