‘The Maccabees: Revolution and Redemption’, is a documentary covering a stormy period in history when the Jewish people were under severe persecution and threatened assimilation, leading up to the revolution of the Maccabees and the story of Hanukkah.
The story of the Hasmonean revolt in Judea (167-160 BCE) against the hellenistic Seleucid empire is the beginning of a century long independent kingdom of Judea, until conquest by Romans in 63 BCE.
Despite the heroic victory and historic independence, the epic story of this rebellion was not included in canonized Jewish literature.
The reason for this may have been the disastrous consequences of later revolts against Rome, which had been inspired by the previous success of the Maccabean struggle against the Seleucid empire.
Nevertheless, the record of this event survived in two "Books of Maccabees", a Hasmonean scroll, mentioned in the Babylonian Talmud, and in "Wars of Judea" by Josephus Flavius. (WeJew)
This episode of ‘Mysteries of the Bible’ originally aired on December 20th, 1997
Richard Kiley provides the narrative while Jean Simmons quotes the words of ancient texts.