Simon Cantharus (Boethus), Sadducee High Priest (3 - d.) MP

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Death: (Date and location unknown)
Managed by: Sharon Doubell
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About Simon Cantharus (Boethus), Sadducee High Priest

Simon Cantharus, third son of Simon Boethus, simple priest at the time of the trial of the biblical Jesus; was afterwards made high priest by King Herod Agrippa (42 A.D.), who, however, deposed him after a few months, (Jos., Ant., B. 19, 2, 4).




Surname of Simon, the son of Boethus, the high priest, according to Josephus "Ant." xix. 6, §§ 2, 4; compare ib. 8, § 1, where Elioneus, son of Cantheras, is mentioned as having also been appointed high priest by King Agrippa (41-44). Abba Saul ben Baṭnit and Abba Jose ben Johanan of Jerusalem, contemporary leaders of the Ḥasidic party, however, regarded the house of Cantheras as a different one from the house of Boethus, when they both exclaimed: "Wo unto me from the house of Boethus; wo unto me from their club! Wo unto me from the house of Kadros [Cathros = Cantheras]; wo unto me from their pen!" (see Tosef., Men. xiii. 21; Pes. 57a), while Elioneus is mentioned in Parah iii. 5 as son of Joseph Caiaphas. Grätz ("Gesch. der Juden," 4th ed., iii. 739-746, and "Monatsschrift," 1881, pp. 97-112) blames Josephus for having confused the names; Schürer ("Gesch." 3d ed., ii. 218, notes 11, 14) accepts Josephus' information as correct (compare Derenbourg, "Histoire de la Palestine," pp. 215, 233).


Simon Cantherus is certainly some generations later as High Priest (41-42CE)than the previous sons of Boethus: Eleazar and Joazer - HPriest 4BC-2/3CE see Discussion


High Priests under Herodians and Romans

During the First Jewish-Roman War

  • Phannias ben Samuel 67-70

The House of Boethus

  • Simon ben Boethus 23-5 BC (his daughter Mariamne was third wife of Herod the Great)
  • Joazar, son of Boethus (4 BC and before 6 AD), unpopular and an advocate of compliance with the Roman census
  • Eleazar, son of Boethus (4-3 BC)
  • Simon Cantheras, son of Boethus (41-42 AD)
  • Elioneus, son of Simon Cantheras (43-44 AD)
  • Joshua, son of Gamaliel (64 AD), whose wife Martha belonged to the house

The House of Ananus

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