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There are few portions of the world's history which, to my own mind, afford subjects of such thrilling interest as that which I have selected for the groundwork of the following story. I have tried, in the main, to adhere closely to facts, though I have ventured somewhat to compress the length of time which actually elapsed between the rising against Syrian tyranny at Modin, and the restoration of the Temple. I may also have been inaccurate in representing Antiochus Epiphanes as being still in Jerusalem at the period when the battle of Emmaus took place. Such trifling deviations from history seem to me, however, by no means to interfere with that fidelity to its grand outlines which an author should conscientiously observe. No historical character has been wilfully misrepresented in these pages. If I have ventured to paint one of the noblest of Judah's heroes with the feelings and weaknesses common to man, I trust that even his most enthusiastic Hebrew admirer will not deem that they lower his dignity as commander, or patriot prince.
The exploits of Judas Maccabeus might seem to be a theme more befitting the pen of one of his own race than mine; yet would I fain hope that a work which it has been a labour of love to a Christian to write, may not be altogether despised even by the descendants of Hebrew heroes who shared the Asmonean's toils and triumphs in the land for which he conquered and died.