Aristobulus of Chalcis

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Aristobulus of Chalcis
Aristoboulos king of Lesser Armenia.jpg
King of Lesser Armenia
Reign54 - 72
Died92 AD
DynastyHerodian dynasty
FatherHerod of Chalcis

Aristobulus of Chalcis (Greek: Ἀριστόβουλος) was a son of Herod of Chalcis and his first wife Mariamne. Herod of Chalcis, ruler of Chalcis in Iturea, was a grandson of Herod the Great through his father, Aristobulus IV. Mariamne was a granddaughter of Herod the Great through her mother, Olympias; hence Aristobulus was a great-grandson of Herod the Great on both sides of his family.


Aristobulus was married to Salome after the death of her first husband, Philip the Tetrarch. With her Aristobulus had three sons: Herod, Agrippa, and Aristobulus[1] Three coins with portraits of him and Salome have been found.

Aristobulus did not directly succeed his father as ruler of the Chalcis. Rather, upon his father's death in 48 AD, the emperor Claudius gave the realm to Aristobulus' first cousin, Herod Agrippa II. When in 52 AD Agrippa was given the territories previously governed by Philip the Tetrarch (also known as Herod Philip II) and Lysanias, Aristobulus was subsequently given Chalcis.[2] He reigned Chalcis until his death in 92 AD[citation needed], when the territory became part of the Roman province Syria.

He has been identified with the Aristobulus appointed by Nero as King of Armenia Minor in 55 AD, who participated with his forces in the Roman–Parthian War of 58–63, receiving a small portion of Greater Armenia in exchange.[3] This Aristobulus was displaced from Armenia Minor in 72 AD, but is thought to be the "Aristobulus of Chalcidice" who supported Lucius Caesennius Paetus, proconsul of Syria, in the war against Antiochus of Commagene in 73 AD,[2] and was in consequence compensated with a new kingdom, "probably Chalcis ad Belum" (modern Qinnasrin, in northern Syria.[4] Assuming all these Aristobuli were indeed the same person, he would seem to have been ruler, at various times, of the Iturean Chalcis, Armenia Minor, and Chalcis ad Belum.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Josephus, Jewish Antiquities, XVIII.5.4
  2. ^ a b William Smith, Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology, pp. 301-302 Archived October 10, 2012, at the Wayback Machine
  3. ^ Tacitus, Annals, XIII.7; XIV.26
  4. ^ Schwartz, Seth. "Herodians after 70", Josephus and Judaean Politics, Brill, 1990 ISBN 9789004092303

Further reading[edit]

Aristobulus of Chalcis
New title King of Armenia Minor
Annexed by Rome
Title last held by
Agrippa II
Tetrarch of Chalcis
Title extinct