17 Josephus has displayed an abiding interest in the high priesthood and the kingship, both in his narrative of the Antiquities and in his summary lists of office-holders ( Ant. 10.151-53; 20.224-51). He pointedly notes in concluding the Antiquities (20.261) that he has charted the succession of high priests and kings (as well as judges). But even by the standards of his own narrative, his statement here in the Life reflects the exaggeration of this section. In general, the Antiquities has rejected kingship in favor of aristocracy ( Ant. 4.223; 6.36; 11.111; 14.91; 19.178). Josephus claims that the Hasmoneans eschewed the title of “king” until Aristobulus (104 BCE: Ant. 20.241), whose wearing of the diadem began the downward spiral of the dynasty ( Ant. 13.300-301; cf. War 1.69-70). Thus formal Hasmonean kingship was in place for about 41 years (104-63 BCE), only slightly longer than the later single-handed reign of Herod (37-4 BCE). No doubt, Josephus thinks here of the entire period of Hasmonean hegemony, when they held the “rule of the people” without being kings. This period he elsewhere counts as 125 or 126 years ( Ant. 14.490; 17.162), evidently including both the period of Judas Maccabee (from 167 or 166 BCE—though Judas was apparently not high priest, notwithstanding Ant. 12.414, 419, 434, which are contradicted by Ant. 20.237-38, Life 4, and 1 Macc 9:56-10:20) and that of Hyrcanus II, Aristobulus II (who, however, were not kings— Ant. 20.243-44), and Antigonus, between Pompey’s arrival in Judea in 63 and Herod’s effective reign from 37 BCE. In spite of the exaggeration here, Josephus’ reflection on the long glory of the Hasmonean house matches in tone his summary at Ant. 14.490-91.