This name derives from the Ancient Greek Iōánnēs (Ἰωάννης), which in turn is a form of the Hebrew name Yôchânân / Yehochanan which means "graced by Yahweh, God is gracious". There are numerous forms of the name in different languages. This name is part of the largest etymological root of names made up of more than five hundred variations between male and female in different languages. The name “John” had gained popularity among Jews in Judea and Galilee by the time the area became a province of the Roman Empire in 6 A.D. John Hyrcanus was the first king of the Hasmonean Dynasty and was the nephew of Judas Maccabeus. It was the given name of Yochanan ben Zechariah, a Jewish prophet known in English as John the Baptist.