ASSIDEANS (the Anglicized form, derived through the Greek, of the Hebrew Hasidim, " the pious"), the name of a party or sect which stood out against the Hellenization of the Jews in the 2nd century B.C. After the massacre of those who fled from the forces of Antiochus Epiphanes and would not resist on the sabbath, Mattathias (or Judas) decided to set aside the law and was joined by a company of Assideans, brave men of Israel every one, who offered themselves willingly for the law (1 Macc. ii.
This called forth the organized opposition of the Hasidim (_ " the pious "), who constituted themselves champions of the Law.
Many, including the Hasidim, thereupon flocked to his standard, and set themselves to revive Jewish rites and to uproot Paganism from the land.
The Hasidim indeed were satisfied, and declined to fight longer, but the Maccabees determined not to desist until their nation was politically as well as religiously free.
On the other hand, the first collection of " Davidic " psalms taken as a whole would be perfectly appropriate in the worship of a Judaean community of Hasidim in the Maccabaean period.