Flavius Simonides Agrippa

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Titus Flavius Simonides Agrippa, also known as Titus Flavius Agrippa (Greek: Τίτος Φλάβιος Σιμονίδης ό Άγρίππας, flourished second half of 1st century & first half of 2nd century, born 79) was an aristocratic, wealthy Roman Jew.

Agrippa was born and raised in Rome. He was the second son born to the Roman Jewish Historian Josephus and from his fourth wife, a distinguished unnamed Greek Jewish noblewoman from Crete.[1] The parents of Agrippa met in Rome and Josephus describes his mother, as one ‘in character, who excelled many women, as her subsequent life demonstrated’.[2] Agrippa had an older full blooded brother called Justus and an older paternal half-brother called Hyrcanus.[3]

His paternal uncle was Matthias, while his paternal grandparents were Matthias and his wife, an unnamed Jewish noblewoman. His paternal grandmother was an aristocratic woman who descended royalty and of the former ruling Hasmonean Dynasty.[4] His paternal grandfather had descended from the priestly order of the Jehoiarib, which was the first of the twenty four-orders of Priests in the Temple in Jerusalem[5] and was a descendant of the High Priest Jonathon. Jonathon may have been Alexander Jannaeus, the High Priest and Hasmonean ruler who governed Judea from 103 BC-76 BC.[6]

Agrippa’s Greek cognomen Simonides doesn’t appear on his corpse or among any Jewish inscriptions in Rome.[7] It is unknown why Josephus gave his son a Greek cognomen, he perhaps named his son after Simonides of Ceos, a Greek Poet that flourished in the 6th century BC and 5th century BC.[8] Josephus during his years in Rome dedicated his time, in studying Greek Poetry and his literacy contemporaries such as Plutarch and Quintilian remembered the works of Simonides.[9] His second cognomen is a Latin name Agrippa.[10] He was perhaps named after the Herodian Prince and King Agrippa II.[11] Agrippa II was a contemporary King to Josephus and they were very good acquaintances.

Agrippa was a contemporary of the ruling Flavian dynasty and Nerva–Antonine dynasty of the Roman Empire. He was alive when Josephus was compiling his historical writings and when his father died about 100. Unfortunately little is known on his remaining life.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Fergus, The History of the Jewish People in the Age of Jesus Christ (175 B.C. - A.D. 135) p.p.45-6
  2. ^ Josephus, Flavius Josephus: translation and commentary p.p.10&170
  3. ^ Fergus, The History of the Jewish People in the Age of Jesus Christ (175 B.C. - A.D. 135) p.p.45-6
  4. ^ Nodet, A search for the origins of Judaism: from Joshua to the Mishnah p.250
  5. ^ Fergus, The History of the Jewish People in the Age of Jesus Christ (175 B.C. - A.D. 135) p.p.45-6
  6. ^ Fergus, The History of the Jewish People in the Age of Jesus Christ (175 B.C. - A.D. 135) p.p.45-6
  7. ^ Josephus, Flavius Josephus: translation and commentary p.10
  8. ^ Josephus, Flavius Josephus: translation and commentary p.10
  9. ^ Josephus, Flavius Josephus: translation and commentary p.10
  10. ^ Josephus, Flavius Josephus: translation and commentary p.10
  11. ^ Josephus, Flavius Josephus: translation and commentary p.10

Sources[edit]

  • M. Fergus, S. Emil & V. Geza, The History of the Jewish People in the Age of Jesus Christ (175 B.C. - A.D. 135), Continuum International Publishing Group, 1973
  • É. Nodet, A search for the origins of Judaism: from Joshua to the Mishnah, Continuum International Publishing Group, 1997
  • F. Josephus & S. Mason, Flavius Josephus: translation and commentary, BRILL, 2001