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210
HYRCANIA—HYSSOP

series. The members of this genus were small or medium-sized ungulates with single-rooted incisors. On the other hand, the representatives of the contemporary genus Megalohyrax were approximately as large as Pliohyrax, and in some instances had double roots to the second and third incisors.

It is now possible to define the suborder Hyracoidea as including ungulates with a Centrale in the carpus, plantigrade feet, in which the first and fifth toes are reduced in greater or less degree, and clavicles and a foramen in the lower end of the humerus are absent. The femur has a small third trochanter, the radius and ulna and tibia and fibula are respectively separate, at least in the young, and the fibula articulates with the astragalus. The earlier forms had the full series of 44 teeth, with the premolars simpler than the molars; but in the later types the canines and some of the incisors disappear, and at least the hinder premolars become molar-like. In all cases the first upper incisors are large and rootless. That the group originated in Africa there can be no reasonable doubt; and it is remarkable that so early as the Upper Eocene the types in existence differed comparatively little in structure from the modern forms. In fact the hyraxes were then almost as distinct from other mammals as they are at the present day. See also (T. W. Andrews, Descriptive Catalogue of the Tertiary Vertebrala of the Fayurn, British Museum (1906). (R. L.*)


HYRCANIA. (1) An ancient district of Asia, south of the Caspian Sea, and bounded on the E. by the river Oxus, called Virkana, or “ Wolf's Land,” in Old Persian. It was a wide and indefinite tract. Its chief city is called Tape by Strabo, Zadracarta by Arrian (probably the modern Astarabad). The latter is evidently the same as Carta, mentioned by Strabo as an important city. Little is known of the history of the country. Xenophon says it was subdued by the Assyrians; Curtius that 6000 Hyrcanians were in the army of Darius III. (2) Two towns named Hyrcania are mentioned, one in Hyrcania, the other in Lydia. The latteris said to have derived its name from a colony of Hyrcanians, transported thither by the Persians.


HYRCANUS ( l'p:<a.1/ins), a Greek surname, of unknown origin, borne by several Jews of the Maccabaean period. JOHN HYRCANUS I., high priest of the Jews from 135 to 105 n.C., Maccabaeus. In 137 B.c. he,

commanded the force which

led by Cendebeus, the general

the assassination of his father

was the youngest son of Simon

along with his brother Judas,

repelled the invasion of Judaea

of Antiochus VII. Sideles. On

and two elder brothers by Ptolemy, governor of Jericho, his brother-in-law, in February 135, he succeeded to the high priesthood and the supreme authority in Judaea. While still engaged in the struggle with Ptolemy, he was attacked by Antiochus with a large army (134), and compelled to shut himself up in Jerusalem; after a severe siege peace was at last secured only on condition of a Jewish disarmament, and the payment of an indemnity and an annual tribute, for which hostages were taken. In 129 he accompanied Antiochus as a vassal prince on his illfated Parthian expedition; returning, however, to Judaea before winter, he escaped the final disaster, By the judicious mission of an embassy to Rome he now obtained confirmation of the alliance which his father had previously made with the growing western power; at the same time he availed himself of the weakened state of the Syrian monarchy under Demetrius II. to overrun Samaria, and also to invade Idumaea, which he completely subdued, compelling its inhabitants to receive circumcision and accept the Jewish faith. After a long period of rest he directed his arms against the town of Samaria, which, in spite of the intervention of Antiochus, his sons Antigonus and Aristobulus ultimately took, and by his orders razed to the ground (r. 100 B.C.). He died in 105, and was succeeded by Aristobulus, the eldest of his five sons. The external policy of Hyrcanus was marked by considerable energy and tact, and, aided as it was by favouring circumstances, was so successful as to leave the Jewish nation in a position of independence and of influence such as it had not known since the days of Solomon. During its later years his reign was much distrubed, however, by the contentions for ascendancy which arose between the Pharisees and Sadducees, the two rival sects or parties which then for the first time (under those names at least) came into prominence. Josephus has related the curious circumstances under which he ultimately transferred his personal support from the former to the latter.

JOHN HYRCANUS II., high priest from 78 to 40 B.c., was the eldest son of Alexander Jannaeus by his wife Alexandra, and was thus a grandson of the preceding. When his father died in 78, he was by his mother forthwith appointed high priest, and on her death in 69 he claimed the succession to the supreme civil authority also; but, after a brief and troubled reign of three months, he was compelled to abdicate both kingly and priestly dignities in favour of his more energetic and ambitious younger brother Aristobulus II. In 63 it suited the policy of Pompey that he should be restored to the high priesthood, with some semblance of supreme command, but of much of this semblance even he was soon again deprived by the arrangement of the pro-consul Gabinius, according to which Palestine was in S7 B.c. divided into five separate circles (o-ilvoéot, euvéépta). For services rendered to Caesar after the battle of Pharsalia, he was again rewarded with the sovereignty (irpoamaia roi) wi/ODS, Jos. Ant. xx. Io) in 47 B.c., Antipater of Idumaea, however, being at the same time made procurator of Judaea. In 41 B.C. he was practically superseded by Antony's appointment of Herod and Phasael to be tetrarchs of Judaea; and in the following year he was taken prisoner by the Parthians, deprived of his ears that he might be permanently disqualified for priestly office, and carried to Babylon. He was permitted in 33 B.c. to return to Jerusalem, where on a charge of treasonable correspondence with Malchus, king of Arabia, he was put to death in 30 B.C.

See Josephus (Ant. xiii. 8-Io; xiv. 5~I3; Bell. Jud. i. 2; i. 8-13). Also MACCABEES, History. (J. H. A. H.)


HYSSOP (Hyssopus ojicinalls), a garden herb belonging to the natural order Labialae, formerly cultivated for use in domestic medicine. It is a small perennial plant about 2 ft. high, with slender, quadrangular, woody stems; narrowly elliptical, pointed, entire, dotted leaves, about 1 in. long and § in. wide, growing in pairs on the stem; and long terminal, erect, half whorled, leafy spikes of small violet-blue iiowers, which are in blossom from June to September. Varieties of the plant occur in gardens with red and white flowers, also one having variegated leaves. The leaves have a warm, aromatic, bitter taste, and are believed to owe their properties to a volatile oil which is present in the proportion of i to é %. Hyssop is a native of the south of Europe, its range extending eastward to central Asia. A strong tea made of the leaves, and sweetened with honey, was formerly used in pulmonary and catarrhal affections, and externally as an application to bruises and indolent swellings. The hedge hyssop (Graliola ojicinalis) belongs to the natural order Scrophularlaceae, and is a native of marshy lands in the south of Europe, whence it was introduced into Britain more than 300 years ago. Like Hyssopus ojicinalis, it has smooth opposite entire leaves, but the stems are cylindrical, the leaves twice the size, and the flowers solitary in the axils of the leaves and having a yellowish-red veined tube and bluish-white limb, while the capsules are oval and many-seeded. The herb has a bitter, nauseous taste, but is almost odourless. In small quantities it acts as a purgative, diuretic and emetic when taken internally. It was formerly olhcial in the Edinburgh Pharmacopoeia, being esteemed as a remedy for dropsy. It is said to have formed the basis of a celebrated nostrum for gout, called Eau 'Wl(;d'1617'l(1l6, and in former times was called Gralia Dei. When growing in abundance, as it does in some damp pastures in Switzerland, it becomes dangerous to cattle. G. peruviana is known to possess similar properties.

The hyssop ('ezob) of Scripture (Ex. xii. 22; Lev. xiv. 4, 6; Numb. xix. 6, 18; I Kings v. 13 (iv. 33); Ps. li. 9 (7); John xix; 29), a wall-rowing plant adapted for sprinkling purposes, has long been the subject of learned disputation, the only point on which all have agreed being that it is not to be identified with the Hyssopus ojicirzalls, which is not a native of Palestine. No fewer than eighteen plants have been supposed by various authors to answer the conditions, and Celsius has devoted more than forty pages to the discussion of their several claims. By Tristram (Oxford Bible for Teachers, 1880) and others the caper plant (Capparis splnosa) is supposed to be meant; but, apart from other difficulties, this identification is open to the objection that the caper seems to be, at least in one passage (Eccl. xii. 5), otherwise designated ('abiyyzfrrah). Thenius (on I Kings v. 13) suggests Ortholrichum saxalilc.