I heard a visiting rabbi talked about Hanukkah and mentioned that the people of the Maccabean period fought off lions and/or were sawn in half or delimbed, but he did not give any exact sourcess, except to say that some of the stories were in the book of the Maccabees.
Where in the history and/or rabbinical works does it say that the people of the Maccabean period fought off lions and/or were sawn in half or delimbed? (One of the answers given below gave an answer in regards to fighting off lions, but without a historical or rabbinical source, which I require.)
If 2 Maccabees is an abridgement of a longer history by "Jason of Cyrene", then of what is 1 Maccabees an abridgement of? Which parts of the books of the Maccabees did Josephus, the Jewish historian, agree and/or disagree with?