Cleopatra of Jerusalem
There is a possibility that Cleopatra could have been a daughter of a local noble from Jerusalem. She was born and raised in the city and could have been of Jewish or Edomite-Phoenician origins . Cleopatra was called Cleopatra of Jerusalem, to distinguish her from the Ptolemaic Greek Queen Cleopatra VII of Egypt.
Josephus mentions "Cleopatra of Jerusalem" twice: once in his Antiquities of the Jews 17.1.3 and once in his Jewish War 1.28.4. Cleopatra of Jerusalem was not related to the Hasmonaean Dynasty . She had married King Herod the Great in 25 BC. Herod most probably married her as a part of a political alliance.
Cleopatra bore Herod two sons who were:
- Herod (b. 24 BC/23 BC), of which very little is known.
- Herod Philip II (b. 22 BC/21 BC – 34) who later became the Tetrarch of Ituraea and Trachonitis.
Cleopatra’s children by Herod were raised and educated in Rome. After the death of her husband in 4 BC, her second son inherited some of his father’s dominion and ruled as a Roman client king until his death in 34. Cleopatra became the mother-in-law of Philip’s wife and niece Salome. Philip and Salome had no children.
- Christian-Georges Schwentzel, Hérode le Grand, Pygmalion, Paris, 2011, p. 213.
- Peter Richardson, Herod: King of the Jews and friend of the Romans, Continuum International Publishing Group, 1999, p. xviii.
- Christian-Georges Schwentzel, "Hérode le Grand", Pygmalion, Paris, 2011, p. 212.
- Josephus: Antiquities of the Jews 17.1.3
- Josephus: The Jewish War 1.28.4