Herod the Great

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Herod
King of Judea
HerodtheGreat2.jpg
Reign 37–4 BCE
Predecessor Antigonus II Mattathias
Successor Herod Archelaus,
Herod Antipas,
Philip the Tetrarch
and Salome I
Born 74/73 BCE
Died 4 BCE (age 69)
Jericho, Judea
Burial Possibly the Herodium
Wives
Issue Antipater II
Prince Alexander
Prince Aristobulus IV
Princess Salampsio
Herod II
Herod Antipas
Herod Archelaus
Olympias the Herodian
Prince Herod
Philip
Dynasty Herodian dynasty
Father Antipater the Idumaean
Mother Cypros
Religion Second Temple Judaism

Herod (/ˈhɛrəd/; Hebrew: הוֹרְדוֹס, Hordos, Greek: Ἡρῴδης, Hērōdēs; 74/73 BCE – 4 BCE),[1][2][3][4][5] also known as Herod the Great and Herod I, was a Roman client king of Judea,[6][7][8] referred to as the Herodian kingdom. The history of his legacy has polarized opinion, as he is known for his colossal building projects throughout Judea, including his expansion of the Second Temple in Jerusalem (Herod's Temple), the construction of the port at Caesarea Maritima, the fortress at Masada and Herodium. Vital details of his life are recorded in the works of the 1st century CE Roman–Jewish historian Josephus. Herod also appears in the Christian New Testament as the ruler of Judea who orders the Massacre of the Innocents at the time of the birth of Jesus. Despite his successes, including singlehandedly forging a new aristocracy from practically nothing,[9] he still garnered criticism from various historians. His reign polarizes opinion amongst scholars and historians, some viewing his legacy as evidence of success, or a reminder of his tyrannical rule.

Upon Herod's death, the Romans divided his kingdom among three of his sons and his sister—Archelaus became ethnarch of the tetrarchy of Judea, Herod Antipas became tetrarch of Galilee and Peraea, Philip became tetrarch of territories east of the Jordan, and Salome I was given a toparchy including the cities of Jabneh, Ashdod, Phasaelis.

Biography[edit]

Copper coin of Herod, bearing the legend "ΒΑΣΙΛΕΩΣ ΗΡΩΔΟΥ" ("Basileōs Hērōdou") on the obverse

It is generally accepted that Herod was born around 74 BCE in Idumea, south of Judea.[10] However, some authors think that he was born in about 72/71 BCE.[11] He was the second son of Antipater the Idumaean, a high-ranked official under ethnarch Hyrcanus II, and Cypros, a Nabatean. Herod's father was by descent an Edomite whose ancestors had converted to Judaism. Herod was raised as a Jew.[12][13][14][15][16]

A loyal supporter of Hyrcanus II, Antipater appointed his son governor of Galilee in 47 BCE, when Herod was either about 25 or 28 years old.[17] His elder brother, Phasael, was appointed governor of Jerusalem. Herod enjoyed the backing of Rome, but his brutality was condemned by the Sanhedrin.[18]

In 41 BCE, Herod and his brother Phasael, were named as tetrarchs by the Roman leader Mark Antony. They were placed in this role to support Hyrcanus II. Later, Antigonus, Hyrcanus' nephew, took the throne from his uncle with the help of the Parthians. Herod fled to Rome to plead with the Romans to restore Hyrcanus II to power. The Romans had a special interest in Judea because their general Pompey the Great had conquered Jerusalem in 63 BCE, thus placing the region in the Roman sphere of influence. In Rome, Herod was unexpectedly appointed King of the Jews by the Roman Senate.[19] Josephus puts this in the year of the consulship of Calvinus and Pollio (40 BCE), but Appian places it in 39 BCE.[20] Herod went back to Judea to win his kingdom from Antigonus. Toward the end of the campaign against Antigonus, Herod married the granddaughter of Hyrcanus II, Mariamne (known as Mariamne I), who was also a niece of Antigonus. Herod did this in an attempt to secure his claim to the throne and gain some Jewish favor. However, Herod already had a wife, Doris, and a young son, Antipater, and chose therefore to banish Doris and her child.

After three years of conflict, Herod and the Romans finally captured Jerusalem and Herod sent Antigonus for execution to Marc Antony. Herod took the role as sole ruler of Judea and the title of basileus (Βασιλεύς, "king") for himself, ushering in the Herodian Dynasty and ending the Hasmonean Dynasty. Josephus reports this as being in the year of the consulship of Agrippa and Gallus (37 BCE), but also says that it was exactly 27 years after Jerusalem fell to Pompey, which would indicate 36 BCE. Cassius Dio also reports that in 37 BCE "the Romans accomplished nothing worthy of note" in the area.[21] According to Josephus, Herod ruled for 37 years, 34 of them after capturing Jerusalem.

Model of Herod's Temple

As Herod's family were converts to Judaism, his religious commitment was questioned by some elements of Jewish society.[22] When John Hyrcanus conquered the region of Idumaea (the Edom of the Hebrew Bible) in 140–130 BCE, he required all Idumaeans to obey Jewish law or to leave; most Idumaeans thus converted to Judaism, which meant that they had to be circumcised,[23] and many had intermarried with the Jews and adopted their customs.[24] While Herod publicly identified himself as a Jew and was considered as such by some,[25] this religious identification was undermined by the decadent lifestyle of the Herodians, which would have earned them the antipathy of observant Jews.[26]

Herod later executed several members of his own family, including his wife Mariamne I.[16]

Reign in Judea[edit]

Herod's rule marked a new beginning in the history of Judea. Judea had been ruled autonomously by the Hasmonean kings from 140 BCE until 63 BCE. The Hasmoneans retained their titles, but became clients of Rome after the conquest by Pompey in 63 BCE. Herod overthrew the Hasmonean Antigonus in a three-year-long war between 40 and 37 BCE, ruled under Roman overlordship until his death in 4 BCE, and passed on the throne to his sons, thus establishing his own, so-called Herodian dynasty.

Herod was granted the title of "King of Judea" by the Roman Senate,[27] as such he was a vassal of the Roman Empire, expected to support the interests of his Roman patrons. Not long after he assumed control of Judea, Herod needed to show his worthiness to be king of Judea to the new emperor Augustus (who was still known as Octavian), as he had previously showed support for Augustus' opponent Mark Antony. Herod won the trust of Augustus and continued to rule his people as he saw fit. Despite the freedom afforded to Herod in his internal reign over Judea, restrictions were placed upon him in his foreign policies towards other kingdoms.[28]

Herod's support from the Roman Empire was a major factor in enabling him to maintain his authority over Judea. There have been mixed interpretations concerning Herod's popularity during his reign. In The Jewish War, Josephus characterizes Herod's rule generally in favorable terms, and gives Herod the benefit of the doubt for the infamous events that took place during his reign. However, in his later work, Jewish Antiquities, Josephus emphasizes the tyrannical authority that many scholars have come to associate with Herod's reign.[29]

Herod's despotic rule has been demonstrated by many of his security measures aimed at suppressing the contempt his people, especially Jews, had towards him. For instance, it has been suggested that Herod used secret police to monitor and report the feelings of the general populace towards him. He sought to prohibit protests, and had opponents removed by force.[29] He had a bodyguard of 2,000 soldiers.[30] Josephus describes various units of Herod's personal guard taking part in Herod's funeral, including the Doryphnoroi, and a Thracian, Celtic (probably Gallic) and Germanic contingent.[30] While the term Doryphnoroi does not have an ethnic connotation, the unit was probably composed of distinguished veteran soldiers and young men from the most influential Jewish families.[30] Thracians had served in the Jewish armies since the Hasmonean dynasty, while the Celtic contingent were former bodyguards of Cleopatra given as a gift by Augustus to Herod following the Battle of Actium.[30] The Germanic contingent was modeled upon Augustus's personal bodyguard, the Germani Corporis Custodes, responsible for guarding the palace.[30]

Herod spent lavish sums on his various building projects and generous gifts to other kingdoms, including Rome. His buildings were very large, ambitious projects. Herod was responsible for the construction of the Temple Mount, a portion of which remains today as the Western Wall. In addition, Herod also used the latest technology in hydraulic cement and underwater construction to build the harbor at Caesarea.[28] While Herod's zeal for building transformed Judea, his motives were not selfless. Although, he did built fortresses (Masada, Heodium, Alexandrium, Hyrcania, and Machaerus) that he and his family could go to in case of insurrection, all these vast projects were aimed at gaining the support of the Jews and improving his reputation as a leader.[31] While gaining the support for the Jews, Herod also built Sebaste and other pagan cities because he wanted to appeal to the country’s substantial pagan population as well as the Jews.[28] However, in order to fund these expenses, Herod utilized a Hasmonean taxation system that weighed heavily on the Judean people. Despite the economic burden placed by Herod's building projects and gifts, these enterprises also brought employment and opportunities for the people's provision.[32] In some instances, Herod took it upon himself to provide for his people during times of need, such as during a severe famine that occurred in 25 BCE.[33]

Although he made many attempts at conforming to traditional Jewish laws, there were more instances where Herod was insensitive, which constitutes one of the major Jewish complaints towards Herod as highlighted in Jewish Antiquities. In Jerusalem, Herod introduced foreign forms of entertainment, and erected a golden eagle at the entrance of the Temple, which suggested a greater interest in the welfare of Rome than of Jews.[32] Herod's taxes garnered a bad reputation - his constant concern for his reputation led him to make frequent, expensive gifts, increasingly emptying the kingdom's coffers, and such lavish spending upset his Jewish subjects.[31] The two major Jewish sects during his reign, the Pharisees and the Sadducees, both showed opposition to Herod. The Pharisees were angry because Herod disregarded many of their demands for the Temple's construction. At the same time the Sadducees, who were known for their priestly responsibilities in the Temple, opposed Herod because he replaced their high priests with outsiders from Babylonia and Alexandria, in an effort to gain support from the Jewish Diaspora.[34] These efforts proved ineffective, and at the end of Herod's reign, anger and dissatisfaction were common amongst Jews. Heavy outbreaks of violence and riots followed Herod's death in many cities, including Jerusalem, as all the built-up grievances against him were unleashed. The momentum from these revolts led to an increased demand for Jewish freedom from Roman rule. Herod's leadership caused enough anger for it to become a prime cause of the Great Revolt of 70 C.E.[31]

Architectural achievements[edit]

Main article: Herodian architecture

Herod's most famous and ambitious project was the expansion of the Second Temple in Jerusalem. Herod’s rebuilding of the Second Temple in Jerusalem was done so that he would “have a capital city worthy of his dignity and grandeur”[28] and with this reconstruction Herod hoped to gain more support from the Jews.[28] Recent findings suggest that the Temple Mount walls and Robinson's Arch may not have been completed until at least 20 years after his death, during the reign of Herod Agrippa II.[35]

In the 18th year of his reign (20–19 BCE), Herod rebuilt the Temple on "a more magnificent scale".[36] Although work on out-buildings and courts continued for another 80 years, the new Temple was finished in a year and a half.[37] To comply with religious law, Herod employed 1,000 priests as masons and carpenters in the rebuilding.[36] The finished temple, which was destroyed in 70 CE, is sometimes referred to as Herod's Temple. Today, only the four retaining walls remain standing, including the Western Wall. These walls created a flat platform (the Temple Mount) upon which the Temple was then constructed.

Herod's other achievements include the development of water supplies for Jerusalem, building fortresses such as Masada and Herodium, and founding new cities such as Caesarea Maritima and the enclosures of Cave of the Patriarchs and Mamre in Hebron. He and Cleopatra owned a monopoly over the extraction of asphalt from the Dead Sea, which was used in shipbuilding. He leased copper mines on Cyprus from the Roman emperor.

New Testament references[edit]

Herod appears in the Gospel according to Matthew (2:1-23), which describes an event known as the Massacre of the Innocents. According to this account, after the birth of Jesus, some magi (astrologers) from the East visited Herod to inquire the whereabouts of "the one having been born king of the Jews", because they had seen his star in the east (or, according to certain translations, at its rising) and therefore wanted to pay him homage. Herod, as King of the Jews, was alarmed at the prospect of a usurper. Herod assembled the chief priests and scribes of the people and asked them where the "Anointed One" (the Messiah, Greek: Ὁ Χριστός, ho Christos) was to be born. They answered, in Bethlehem, citing Micah 5:2. Herod therefore sent the magi to Bethlehem, instructing them to search for the child and, after they had found him, to "report to me, so that I too may go and worship him". However, after they had found Jesus, they were warned in a dream not to report back to Herod. Similarly, Joseph was warned in a dream that Herod intended to kill Jesus, so he and his family fled to Egypt. When Herod realized he had been outwitted, he gave orders to kill all boys of the age of two and under in Bethlehem and its vicinity. Joseph and his family stayed in Egypt until Herod's death, then moved to Nazareth in Galilee to avoid living under Herod's son Archelaus.

Regarding the Massacre of the Innocents, although Herod was guilty of many brutal acts including the killing of his wife and two of his sons, no other contemporary source refers to the massacre.[38] One reason that has been put forward for the lack of other sources for the alleged massacre is that Bethlehem was a small village, and thus the number of male children under the age of two might not have exceeded 20.[39] Of recent biographers of Herod, most doubt the event took place,[40] with one exception, Stewart Perowne, who deems the killing "wholly in keeping with all that we know of him."[41] Further, the flat declarations, by those biographers who call the massacre a legend and not historical, include no documentation for such claims and provide only slender support based on argumentation.[42] Other scholars such as Jack Finegan,[43] A. Schalit,[44] and Richard T. France[45] support the historicity of the event, or at least state there is nothing impossible about this command from Herod.[46]

Death[edit]

Herod died in Jericho.[10] Since the work of Emil Schürer in 1896[47] most scholars have agreed that Herod died at the end of March or early April in 4 BCE.[48][49] Evidence for the 4 BCE date is provided by the fact that Herod's sons, between whom his kingdom was divided, dated their rule from 4 BCE,[50] and Archelaus apparently also exercised royal authority during Herod's lifetime.[51] Josephus states that Philip the Tetrarch's death took place after a 37-year reign, in the 20th year of Tiberius (34 CE).[52] Other scholars have continued to support the traditional date of 1 BCE.[53][54][55][56][57] Filmer and Steinmann in particular have thought that Herod was named king by the Roman Senate in 39 BCE, but he died in 1 BCE, and Herod's heirs backdated their reigns to 4 or 3 BC.[20][58]

Josephus tells us that Herod died after a lunar eclipse.[59] He gives an account of events between this eclipse and his death, and between his death and Passover. An eclipse[60] took place on March 13, 4 BCE, about 29 days before Passover, and this eclipse is usually taken to be the one referred to by Josephus.[49] There were however three other total eclipses around this time, and there are proponents of both 5 BCE[48]—with two total eclipses,[61] and 1 BCE.[58][62]

Bronze coin of Herod the Great, minted at Samaria.

Josephus wrote that Herod's final illness—sometimes named "Herod's Evil"[63]—was excruciating.[64] Based on Josephus' descriptions, one medical expert has diagnosed Herod's cause of death as chronic kidney disease complicated by Fournier's gangrene.[65] Similar symptoms accompanied the death of his grandson Agrippa I in 44 CE.

Modern scholars agree Herod suffered throughout his lifetime from depression and paranoia.[66] Josephus stated that Herod was so concerned that no one would mourn his death, that he commanded a large group of distinguished men to come to Jericho, and he gave an order that they should be killed at the time of his death so that the displays of grief that he craved would take place.[67] Fortunately for them, Herod's son Archelaus and sister Salome did not carry out this wish.[68]

The Division of Herod's Kingdom:
  Tetrarchy (Judea) under Herod Archelaus,
  Territory under Herod Antipas
  Territory under Herod Philip II
  Salome I (cities of Jabneh, Azotas, Phaesalis)
  Autonomous cities (Decapolis)

After Herod's death, his kingdom was divided among three of his sons by Augustus, as was called for by Herod's will.[69] The Romans made Herod's son, Herod Archelaus, ethnarch of Judea, Samaria, and Idumea from 4 BCE to 6 CE, referred to as the tetrarchy of Judea. Archelaus was judged incompetent by the Roman emperor Augustus, who then combined the very same provinces (Samaria, Judea proper and Idumea) into Iudaea province[70] under rule of a prefect until the year 41. As to Herod's other sons, Herod Antipas was tetrarch of Galilee from 4 BCE–39 CE and Philip became tetrarch of territories east of the Jordan.

"Suicide" of Herod[edit]

Josephus records that the pain of his illness made Herod attempt to kill himself by stabbing, but he was seen and prevented by a cousin.[71] Other much later accounts recorded that Herod had successfully committed suicide, and this was sometimes depicted in medieval art (for example the 12th-century Eadwine Psalter[72]) and drama, although other depictions follow Josephus in making it merely an attempt,[73] as in the Ordo Rachelis.

Herod's tomb[edit]

Aerial photo of Herodium from the southwest

The location of Herod's tomb is documented by Josephus, who writes, "And the body was carried two hundred furlongs, to Herodium, where he had given order to be buried."[74] Josephus provides more clues about Herod's tomb, which he calls Herod's monuments:

So they threw down all the hedges and walls which the inhabitants had made about their gardens and groves of trees, and cut down all the fruit trees that lay between them and the wall of the city, and filled up all the hollow places and the chasms, and demolished the rocky precipices with iron instruments; and thereby made all the place level from Scopus to Herod's monuments, which adjoined to the pool called the Serpent's Pool.[75]

Professor Ehud Netzer, an archaeologist from the Hebrew University, read the writings of Josephus and focused his search on the vicinity of the pool and its surroundings. An article in the New York Times states,

Lower Herodium consists of the remains of a large palace, a race track, service quarters, and a monumental building whose function is still a mystery. Perhaps, says Ehud Netzer, who excavated the site, it is Herod's mausoleum. Next to it is a pool, almost twice as large as modern Olympic-size pools.[76]

It took thirty-five years for Netzer to identify the exact location, but on May 7, 2007, an Israeli team of archaeologists of Hebrew University, led by Netzer, announced they had discovered the tomb.[77][78][79][80] The site is located at the exact location given by Josephus, atop tunnels and water pools, at a flattened desert site, halfway up the hill to Herodium, 12 kilometers (7.5 mi) south of Jerusalem.[81] The tomb contained a broken sarcophagus but no remains of a body.

The Israel Nature and Parks Authority and the Gush Etzion Regional Council intend to recreate the tomb out of a light plastic material.[82]

In October 2013, archaeologists Joseph Patrich and Benjamin Arubas challenged the identification of the tomb as that of Herod. According to Patrich and Arubas, the tomb is too modest to be Herod's and has several unlikely features. Roi Porat, who replaced Netzer as excavation leader after the latter's death, stood by the identification.[83]

Opinion of his Reign[edit]

The study of Herod's reign includes polarizing opinions on the man himself. His critics have described him as "a madman who murdered his own family and a great many rabbis",[84] "the evil genius of the Judean nation",[85] and as one who would be "prepared to commit any crime in order to gratify his unbounded ambition."[86] His extraordinary spending spree is cited as one of the causes of the serious impoverishment of the people he ruled, adding to the opinion that his reign was exclusively negative.[87] Herod's religious policies gained a mixed response from the Jewish populace. Although Herod considered himself king of the Jews, he let it be known that he also represented the non-Jews living in Judea, building temples for other religions outside of the Jewish areas of his kingdom. Many Jews questioned the authenticity of Herod's Judaism on account of his Idumean background and his infamous murders of members of his family. However, he generally respected traditional Jewish observances in his public life. For instance, he minted coins without human images to be used in Jewish areas and acknowledged the sanctity of the Second Temple by employing priests in the construction of the Temple.[88]

However, he was also praised equally praised for his work, being called "the greatest builder in Jewish history,"[84] and one who "knew his place and followed [the] rules."[89] In fact, what is left of his building ventures are now popular tourist attractions in the Middle East, which many have come to cherish as both a historical and religious area.[90]

Despite the opinions historians have on him, his legacy has prevailed past his death, which to some might be seen as the embodiment of success, or a reminder of the harshness of his reign.

Chronology[edit]

Further information: Herodian kingdom

30s BCE[edit]

  • 39–37 BCE – War against Antigonus. After the conquest of Jerusalem and victory over Antigonus, Mark Antony executes him.
  • 36 BCE – Herod makes his 17-year-old brother-in-law, Aristobulus III, high priest, fearing that the Jews would appoint Aristobulus III as "King of the Jews" in his place.
  • 35 BCE – Aristobulus III is drowned at a party on Herod's orders.
  • 32 BCE – The war against Nabatea begins, with victory one year later.
  • 31 BCE – Judea suffers a devastating earthquake. Octavian defeats Mark Antony, so Herod switches allegiance to Octavian, later known as Augustus.
  • 30 BCE – Herod is shown great favor by Octavian, who at Rhodes confirms him as King of Judea.

20s BCE[edit]

  • 29 BCE – Josephus writes that Herod had great passion and also great jealousy concerning his wife, Mariamne I. She learns of Herod's plans to murder her, and stops sleeping with him. Herod puts her on trial on a charge of adultery. His sister, Salome I, was chief witness against her. Mariamne I's mother Alexandra made an appearance and incriminated her own daughter. Historians say her mother was next on Herod's list to be executed and did this only to save her own life. Mariamne was executed, and Alexandra declared herself Queen, stating that Herod was mentally unfit to serve. Josephus wrote that this was Alexandra's strategic mistake; Herod executed her without trial.
  • 28 BCE – Herod executed his brother-in-law Kostobar[91] (husband of Salome, father to Berenice) for conspiracy. Large festival in Jerusalem, as Herod had built a theatre and an amphitheatre.
  • 27 BCE – An assassination attempt on Herod was foiled. To honor Augustus, Herod rebuilt Samaria and renamed it Sebaste.
  • 25 BCE – Herod imported grain from Egypt and started an aid program to combat the widespread hunger and disease that followed a massive drought. He also waives a third of the taxes. Herod began construction on Caesarea Maritima and its harbor.
  • 23 BCE – Herod built a palace in Jerusalem and the fortress Herodion (Herodium) in Judea. He married his third wife, Mariamne II, the daughter of the priest Simon Boethus; immediately Herodes deprived Jesus the son of Phabet of the high priesthood and conferred that dignity on Simon.[92]
  • 22 BCE – The Roman emperor Augustus granted him the regions Trachonitis, Batanaea, and Auranitis to the northeast.
  • Circa 20 BCE – Expansion started on the Temple Mount; Herod completely rebuilt the Second Temple of Jerusalem.

10s BCE[edit]

  • Circa 18 BCE – Herod traveled for the second time to Rome.
  • 14 BCE – Herod supported the Jews in Anatolia and Cyrene. Owing to the prosperity in Judaea he waived a quarter of the taxes.
  • 13 BCE – Herod made his first-born son Antipater (his son by Doris) first heir in his will.
  • 12 BCE – Herod suspected his sons from his marriage to Mariamne I, Alexander and Aristobulus, of threatening his life. He took them to Aquileia to be tried. Augustus reconciled the three. Herod supported the financially strapped Olympic Games and ensured their future. Herod amended his will so that Alexander and Aristobulus rose in the royal succession, but Antipater would be higher in the succession.
  • Circa 10 BCE – The newly expanded temple in Jerusalem was inaugurated. War against the Nabateans began.

First decade BCE[edit]

Tomb of Herod
  • 9 BCE –Caesarea Maritima was inaugurated. Owing to the course of the war against the Nabateans, Herod fell into disgrace with Augustus. Herod again suspected Alexander of plotting to kill him.
  • 8 BCE – Herod accused his sons Alexander and Aristobulus of high treason. Herod reconciled with Augustus, who also gave him the permission to proceed legally against his sons.
  • 7 BCE – The court hearing took place in Berytos (Beirut) before a Roman court. His sons Alexander and Aristobulus were found guilty and executed. The succession changed so that Antipater was the exclusive successor to the throne. In second place the succession incorporated (Herod) Philip, his son by Mariamne II.
  • 6 BCE – Herod proceeded against the Pharisees.
  • 5 BCE – Antipater was brought before the court charged with the intended murder of Herod. Herod, by now seriously ill, named his son (Herod) Antipas (from his fourth marriage with Malthace) as his successor.
  • 4 BCE – Young disciples smashed the golden eagle over the main entrance of the Temple of Jerusalem after the Pharisee teachers claimed it was an idolatrous Roman symbol. Herod arrested them, brought them to court, and sentenced them. Augustus approved the death penalty for Antipater. Herod then executed his son, and again changed his will: Archelaus (from the marriage with Malthace) would rule as ethnarch over the tetrachy of Judea, while Antipas (by Malthace) and Philip (from the fifth marriage with Cleopatra of Jerusalem) would rule as tetrarchs over Galilee and Peraea (Transjordan), also over Gaulanitis (Golan), Trachonitis (Hebrew: Argob), Batanaea (now Ard-el-Bathanyeh) and Panias. Salome I was also given a small toparchy in the Gaza region. As Augustus did not confirm his will, no one received the title of King; however, the three sons were granted rule of the stated territories.

Wives and children[edit]

Herod's wives and children
Wife Children
Doris
Mariamne I, daughter of Hasmonean Alexandros,
executed 29 BCE
Mariamne II, daughter of High-Priest Simon
Malthace
Cleopatra of Jerusalem
Pallas
  • son Phasael
Phaidra
  • daughter Roxanne
Elpis
a cousin (name unknown)
  • no known children
a niece (name unknown)
  • no known children

It is very probable that Herod had more children, especially with the last wives, and also that he had more daughters, as female births at that time were often not recorded.[93]

Family trees[edit]

Ancestors[edit]

F=Olinivvia II

 
 
 
 
Antipater
the Idumaean
 
Cypros
(Nabatean)
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Phasael
 
Herod
the Great
 
Joseph
 
Pheroras
 
Salome I
 

Marriages and descendants[edit]

 
 
 
 
Herod
the Great
 
Doris
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Antipater II
d. 4 BCE
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Alexander
 
Alexandra
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Herod
the Great
 
Mariamne I
d. 29 BCE
 
Aristobulus III
d. 35 BCE
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Aristobulus
d. 7 BCE
 
Berenice
 
Alexander
d. 7 BCE
 
Phasael II
 
Salampsio
 
Antipater
 
Cypros II
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Mariamne III
 
Herod Archelaus
 
Herod V
 
Herodias
 
1. Herod II[dubious ]
2. Herod Antipas
 
Herod Agrippa I
 
Aristobulus Minor
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Herod Agrippa II
 
Berenice
 
Mariamne
 
Drusilla


 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Simon Boethus
(High Priest)
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Herod
the Great
 
Mariamne II
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Herod II
 
 
 
 


 
 
 
 
Herod
the Great
 
Malthace
(Samaritan)
 
 
 
 
Aretas IV
king of Arabia
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Phasaelis
 
Herod Antipas
 
Mariamne III
 
Herod Archelaus
 
Olympias
 
 
 


 
 
 
 
Herod
the Great
 
Cleopatra
of Jerusalem
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Philip the Tetrarch
d. 34 CE
 
 
 
 
Notes.
"Cypros II". Calmets Great dictionary of the holy bible. 1812. p. 340. Image of p. 340 at Google Books 
Family Tree of Herod

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Richardson, Peter. Herod: King of the Jews and friend of the Romans, (Continuum International Publishing Group, 1999) pp. xv–xx.
  2. ^ Knoblet, Jerry. Herod the Great (University Press of America, 2005), p. 179.
  3. ^ Rocca, Samuel. Herod's Judaea: a Mediterranean state in the classical world (Mohr Siebeck, 2008) p. 159.
  4. ^ Millar, Fergus; Schürer, Emil; Vermes, Geza. The History of the Jewish People in the Age of Jesus Christ (Continuum International Publishing Group, 1973) p. 327.
  5. ^ Wright, N. T. The New Testament and the People of God (SPCK, 1992), p. 172.
  6. ^ McGonigle, Thomas C.; McGonigle, Thomas D.; Quigley, James F. (1988). A History of the Christian Tradition: From its Jewish Origins to the Reformation Volume 1 of A History of the Christian Tradition. Paulist Press. 
  7. ^ Peters, Francis E. (2005). The Monotheists: Jews, Christians, and Muslims in Conflict and Competition, Volume II: The Words and Will of God The Words And Will of God. Princeton University Press. 
  8. ^ Kasher, Aryeh; Witztum, Eliezer (2007). King Herod: a persecuted persecutor : a case study in psychohistory and psychobiography. Translation by Karen Gold. Walter de Gruyter. 
  9. ^ Cohen, Shaye. Ancient Israel: From Abraham to the Roman Destruction of the Temple. Prentice Hall Biblical Archeological Society. p. 269. 
  10. ^ a b Perowne, Stewart H. (2013). "Herod". Encyclopædia Britannica. Retrieved 8 May 2013. 
  11. ^ Steinmann, Andrew "When Did Herod the Great Reign?", Novum Testamentum, Volume 51, Number 1, 2009, pp. 1–29.
    Andrew Steinmann, From Abraham to Paul: A Biblical Chronology. (St. Louis, MO: Concordia Pub. House, 2011), pp. 219-256.
    Filmer, W. E. "Chronology of the Reign of Herod the Great", Journal of Theological Studies ns 17 (1966), 283–298.
  12. ^ Herod at Encyclopædia Britannica: "...thus, Herod was, although a practicing Jew, of Arab origin on both sides."
  13. ^ http://ngm.nationalgeographic.com/print/2008/12/herod/mueller-text
  14. ^ Aryeh Kasher and Eliezer Witztum, King Herod: A Persecuted Persecutor: A Case Study in Psychohistory, pp 19-23
  15. ^ Jan Retsö,The Arabs in Antiquity: Their History from the Assyrians to the Umayyads, Routledge (2013), p. 374
  16. ^ a b Richard R. Losch, All the People in the Bible, Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing (2008), p. 155
  17. ^ Schürer, Emil, T. Alec. Burkill, Geza Vermes, and Fergus Millar. The History of the Jewish People in the Age of Jesus Christ (175 B.C.-A.D. 135). Edinburgh: Clark, 1973. pp. 270-275.
  18. ^ Herod I at Jewish Encyclopedia: "He was of commanding presence; he excelled in physical exercises; he was a skillful diplomatist; and, above all, he was prepared to commit any crime in order to gratify his unbounded ambition."
  19. ^ Josephus. The Wars of the Jews 1.14.4: Mark Antony "then resolved to get him made king of the Jews…told them that it was for their advantage in the Parthian war that Herod should be king; so they all gave their votes for it. And when the senate was separated, Antony and Caesar went out, with Herod between them; while the consul and the rest of the magistrates went before them, in order to offer sacrifices [to the Roman gods], and to lay the decree in the Capitol. Antony also made a feast for Herod on the first day of his reign".
  20. ^ a b Steinmann, Andrew "When Did Herod the Great Reign?", Novum Testamentum, Volume 51, Number 1, 2009, pp. 1–29.
  21. ^ Dio, Roman History 49.23.1–2.
  22. ^ Atkinson, Kenneth (October 1996). "Herod the Great, Sosius, and the Siege of Jerusalem (37 B.C.E.) in Psalm of Solomon 17". Novum Testamentum (Brill) 38: 312–322. doi:10.1163/1568536962613216. JSTOR 1560892. 
  23. ^ Circumcision: Circumcision Necessary or Not? at Jewish Encyclopedia: "The rigorous Shammaite view, voiced in the Book of Jubilees (l.c.), prevailed in the time of King John Hyrcanus, who forced the Abrahamic rite upon the Idumeans, and in that of King Aristobulus, who made the Itureans undergo circumcision (Josephus, "Ant." xiii. 9, § 1; 11, § 3)."
  24. ^ "Herod I". Encyclopaedia Judaica. (CD-ROM Edition Version 1.0). Ed. Cecil Roth. Keter Publishing House. ISBN 965-07-0665-8
  25. ^ Josephus, Wars, 2.13. "There was also another disturbance at Caesarea, - those Jews who were mixed with the Syrians that lived there rising a tumult against them. The Jews pretended that the city was theirs, and said that he who built it was a Jew, meaning King Herod. The Syrians confessed also that its builder was a Jew; but they still said, however, that the city was a Grecian city; for that he who set up statues and temples in it could not design it for Jews."
  26. ^ Herod I: Opposition of the Pious at Jewish Encyclopedia: "All the worldly pomp and splendor which made Herod popular among the pagans, however, rendered him abhorrent to the Jews, who could not forgive him for insulting their religious feelings by forcing upon them heathen games and combats with wild animals".
  27. ^ Jewish War 1.14.4: Mark Antony " ...then resolved to get him made king of the Jews ... told them that it was for their advantage in the Parthian war that Herod should be king; so they all gave their votes for it. And when the senate was separated[clarification needed], Antony and Caesar went out, with Herod between them; while the consul and the rest of the magistrates went before them, in order to offer sacrifices [to the Roman gods], and to lay the decree in the Capitol. Antony also made a feast for Herod on the first day of his reign."
  28. ^ a b c d e Cohen, Shaye. "Roman Domination: The Jewish Revolt and the Destruction of the Second Temple," in Ancient Israel, ed. Hershel Shanks. (Biblical Archaeology Society, 1999), p. 270.
  29. ^ a b Cohen, Shaye. "Roman Domination: The Jewish Revolt and the Destruction of the Second Temple," in Ancient Israel, ed. Hershel Shanks. (Biblical Archaeology Society, 1999), p. 271.
  30. ^ a b c d e Rocca, Samuel (2009). The Army of Herod the Great. Osprey Publishing. pp. 15–16. ISBN 1-8460-3206-7. Retrieved 2 November 2013. 
  31. ^ a b c Cohen, Shaye. "Roman Domination: The Jewish Revolt and the Destruction of the Second Temple," in Ancient Israel, ed. Hershel Shanks. (Biblical Archaeology Society, 1999), p. 269-273.
  32. ^ a b Levine, Amy-Jill. "Visions of Kingdoms: From Pompey to the First Jewish Revolt," in The Oxford History of the Biblical World, ed. Michael D. Coogan. (New York: Oxford University Press, 1998), p. 357.
  33. ^ Jagersma, Henk. A History of Israel from Alexander the Great to Bar Kochba, trans. John Bowden (London: SCM Press Ltd, 1985), p. 107.
  34. ^ Schiffman, Lawrence H. "The Jewish-Christian Schism," in From Text to Tradition: A History of Second Temple and Rabbinic Judaism (Hoboken: Ktav Publishing House, 1991), p. 145.
  35. ^ "Building the Western Wall: Herod Began it but Didn’t Finish it (december 2011)". Israel Antiquities Authority. Retrieved 9 November 2014. 
  36. ^ a b Temple of Herod at Jewish Encyclopedia
  37. ^ Graetz, Heinrich (1893) "History of the Jews: From the Reign of Hyrcanus (135 B.C.E.) to the Completion of the Babylonian Talmud (500 C.E.)", Cosimo Books, New York, Volume 2, 2009 ed, p.109
  38. ^ Sanders, E. P. (1994). The Historical Figure of Jesus. Viking Adult. pp. 87–88.
  39. ^ Hagner, Donald A. (1993). Matthew 1–13, Word Biblical Commentary, Vol. 33a. Thomas Nelson. p. 35.
  40. ^ Maier, Paul L. (1998). "Herod and the Infants of Bethlehem". Chronos, Kairos, Christos II. Mercer University Press. p. 170. most recent biographies of Herod the Great deny it entirely 
  41. ^ Perowne, Stewart (1956). The Life and Times of Herod the Great. Nashville: Abingdon. p. 172. 
  42. ^ Maier, Paul L. (1998). "Herod and the Infants of Bethlehem". In Vardaman, E. Jerry. Chronos, Kairos, Christos II. Macon, Georgia: Mercer University Press. p. 172. ISBN 0865545820. In any case, the flat declarations by these authors that the massacre is legend and not historical has slender support based on argumentation and no real documentation. 
  43. ^ Finegan, Jack (1992). The Archaeology of the New Testament. Princeton: Princeton University Press. p. 26. 
  44. ^ Schalit, A. (1969). "Konig Herodes: der Mann und sein Werk". Studia Judaica 4 (Berlin: de Gruyter): 648ff. 
  45. ^ France, Richard T. (1979). "Herod and the Children of Bethlehem". Novum Testamentum (21): 98–120. 
  46. ^ Pesch, Rudolf (2009). Die matthäischen Weihnachtsgeschichten: die Magier aus dem Osten, König Herodes und der bethlehemitische Kindermord ; Mt 2 neu übersetzt und ausgelegt. Paderborn: Bonifatius. p. 72. ISBN 9783897104488. 
  47. ^ Schürer, Emil. A History of the Jewish People in the Time of Jesus Christ, 5 vols. New York, Scribner's, 1896.
  48. ^ a b Barnes, Timothy David. "The Date of Herod's Death," Journal of Theological Studies ns 19 (1968), 204–219
  49. ^ a b Bernegger, P. M. "Affirmation of Herod's Death in 4 B.C.", Journal of Theological Studies ns 34 (1983), 526–531.
  50. ^ Josephus, Wars, 1.631–632.
  51. ^ Josephus, Wars, 2.26.
  52. ^ Hoehner, Harold. Herod Antipas, (Zondervan, 1980) p.251.
  53. ^ Edwards, Ormond. "Herodian Chronology", Palestine Exploration Quarterly 114 (1982) 29–42
  54. ^ Keresztes, Paul. Imperial Rome and the Christians: From Herod the Great to About 200 AD (Lanham, Maryland: University Press of America, 1989), pp.1–43.
  55. ^ Vardaman, Jerry; Yamauchi, Edwin M., eds. (1989). "The Nativity and Herod's Death". Chronos, Kairos, Christos: Nativity and Chronological Studies Presented to Jack Finegan (Winona Lake, Indiana: Eisenbrauns): 85–92. 
  56. ^ Finegan, Jack. Handbook of Biblical Chronology, Rev. ed. (Peabody, MA: Hendrickson, 1998) 300, §516.
  57. ^ B. MAHIEU – Between Rome and Jerusalem. Herod the Great and his Sons in their Struggle for Recognition in: Orientalia Lovaniensia Analecta 208 (Brill 2012) pp. 235-243.
  58. ^ a b Filmer, W. E. "Chronology of the Reign of Herod the Great", Journal of Theological Studies ns 17 (1966), 283–298.
  59. ^ Josephus, Antiquities, 17.6.4
  60. ^ Lunar eclipse of March 13, 4 BC
  61. ^ NASA lunar eclipse catalog Lunar Eclipses: -0099 to 0000 (100 BCE to 1 BCE)
  62. ^ Steinmann, Andrew. "When Did Herod the Great Reign?", Novum Testamentum, Volume 51, Number 1, 2009, pp. 1–29.
  63. ^ What loathsome disease did King Herod die of?, The Straight Dope, November 23, 1979
  64. ^ Josephus, Antiquities, 17.6.5
  65. ^ CNN.com – Health (25 January 2002). Mystery of Herod's death 'solved' CNN Archives, 2002. Accessed 30 January 2013.
  66. ^ http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/876330.htm[dead link]
  67. ^ Josephus, Antiquities, 17.6.174–175.
  68. ^ Josephus, Antiquities, 17.8.193.
  69. ^ Josephus, Antiquities, 17.12.317–319. Augustus "appointed Archelaus, not indeed to be the king of the whole country, but ethnarch of one half of that which had been subject to Herod, and promised to give him the royal dignity hereafter, if he governed his part virtuously. But as for the other half, he divided it into two parts, and gave it to two other of Herod's sons, to Philip and to Herod Antipas, that Herod Antipas who disputed with Archelaus for the whole kingdom. Now, to him it was that Perea and Galilee paid their tribute, which amounted annually to two hundred talents, while Batanea with Trachonitis, as well as Auranitis, with a certain part of what was called House of Lenodorus, paid the tribute of one hundred talents to Philip; but Idumea, and Judea, and the country of Samaria, paid tribute to Archelaus, but had now a fourth part of that tribute taken off by the order of Caesar, who decreed them that mitigation, because they did not join in this revolt with the rest of the multitude."
  70. ^ Ben-Sasson, H. H. A History of the Jewish People, Harvard University Press, 1976, ISBN 0-674-39731-2, p. 246: "When Archelaus was deposed from the ethnarchy in 6 CE, Judea proper, Samaria and Idumea were converted into a Roman province under the name Iudaea."
  71. ^ Josephus, Antiquities, 17.7
  72. ^ Zarnecki, George and others; English Romanesque Art, 1066–1200, p. 111, 1984, Arts Council of Great Britain, ISBN 0728703866
  73. ^ Murray, Alexander, Suicide in the Middle Ages: Volume 2: The Curse on Self-Murder, 2000, Oxford University Press, ISBN 0191613991, 9780191613999
  74. ^ Josephus, Wars, 5.33.1.
  75. ^ Josephus, Wars, 5.3.2.
  76. ^ Rosovsky, Nitza. (24 April 1983) "Discovering Herod's Israel", The New York Times. Accessed 7 May 2013.
  77. ^ Haaretz Staff; Barkat, Amiram (7 May 2007). "Archeologist: King Herod's tomb desecrated, but discovery 'high point'". Haaretz. Retrieved 7 May 2013. 
  78. ^ Associated Press (7 May 2007). "Israeli Archaeologist Finds Tomb of King Herod", FOX News, Accessed 7 May 2013.
  79. ^ "Herod's Tomb Discovered" IsraCast, May 8, 2007. Accessed 7 May 2013.
  80. ^ Kalman, Matthew (8 May 2007). "Herod's tomb reportedly found inside his desert palace" The Boston Globe, Accessed 7 May 2013.
  81. ^ Weizman, Steve (8 May 2007). "Archaeologists Find Tomb of King Herod". USA Today. Associated Press. Retrieved 7 May 2013. 
  82. ^ Hasson, Nir (29 January 2012). "Top archaeologists condemn Israeli plan to rebuild ancient tomb", Haaretz. Accessed 8 May 2013.
  83. ^ Nir Hasson (October 11, 2013). "Archaeological stunner: Not Herod's Tomb after all?". Haaretz. 
  84. ^ a b Spino, Ken (Rabbi) (2010). "History Crash Course #31: Herod the Great (online)". Crash Course in Jewish History. Targum Press. ISBN 978-1-5687-1532-2. Retrieved 7 May 2013. 
  85. ^ Tierney, John. "Herod: Herod the Great", Catholic Encyclopedia (1910): "Herod, surnamed the Great, called by Grätz "the evil genius of the Judean nation" (Hist., v. II, p. 77).
  86. ^ Herod I at Jewish Encyclopedia: "above all, he was prepared to commit any crime in order to gratify his unbounded ambition".
  87. ^ Cohen, Shaye. Ancient Israel: From Abraham to the Roman Destruction of the Temple. Prentice Hall Biblical Archeological Society. p. 273. 
  88. ^ Cohen, Shaye. "Roman Domination: The Jewish Revolt and the Destruction of the Second Temple," in Ancient Israel, ed. Hershel Shanks. (Biblical Archaeology Society, 1999), p. 272.
  89. ^ Cohen, Shaye. Ancient Israel: From Abraham to the Roman Destruction of the Temple. Prentice Hall Biblical Archeological Society. p. 270. 
  90. ^ Cohen, Shaye. Ancient Israel: From Abraham to the Roman Destruction of the Temple. Prentice Hall Biblical Archeological Society. p. 296. 
  91. ^ Josephus, Antiquities, 15.7.8
  92. ^ Josephus, Antiquities, 15.9.3
  93. ^ Josephus, Antiquities, 18.1.2–3.

Further reading[edit]

  • Brandon, S. G. F. (1962). "Herod the Great: Judaea's Most Able but Most Hated King". History Today 12: 234–242. 
  • Grant, Michael (1971). Herod the Great. New York: American Heritage Press. ISBN 0-07-024073-6. 
  • Günther, Linda-Marie (hg.) Herodes und Jerusalem (Stuttgart: Franz Steiner Verlag, 2009).
  • Günther, Linda-Marie (hg.) Herodes und Rom (Stuttgart: Franz Steiner Verlag, 2007).
  • Jacobson, David M. and Nikos Kokkinos (еds). Herod and Augustus: Papers Held at the Institute of Jewish Studies Conference, University College London, 21–23 June 2005 (Leiden, Brill, 2009) (IJS Studies in Judaica, 6).
  • Knoblet, Jerry. Herod the Great. Lanham, Maryland: University Press of America, 2005.
  • Kokkinos, Nikos. The Herodian Dynasty: Origins, Role in Society and Eclipse (Sheffield: Sheffield Academic,1998).
  • Marshak, Adam Kolman (2006). "The Dated Coins of Herod the Great: Towards a New Chronology". Journal for the Study of Judaism 37 (2): 212–240. doi:10.1163/157006306776564700. 
  • Netzer, Ehud. The Architecture of Herod, the Great Builder (Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2006).
  • Perowne, Stewart (1956). The Life and Times of Herod the Great. New York: Abingdon Press. 
  • Richardson, Peter. Herod the King of the Jews and Friend of the Romans (Edinburgh: 1999).
  • Roller, Duane W. (1998). The Building Program of Herod the Great. Berkeley: University of California Press. ISBN 978-0-520-91935-8. 
  • Sandmel, Samuel (1967). Herod: Profile of a Tyrant. Philadelphia: Lippincott. 
  • Schwentzel, Christian-Georges (2011). Hérode le Grand. Paris: Pygmalion.
  • Witztum, Eliezer. King Herod: A Persecuted Persecutor. A Case Study in Psychohistory and Psychobiography (Berlin and New York, Walter de Gruyter, 2006).
  • Zeitlin, Solomon (1963). "Herod: A Malevolent Maniac". Jewish Quarterly Review 54: 1–27. doi:10.2307/1453457. 
  • Zeitlin, Solomon (1962–1978). The Rise and Fall of the Judean State. Philadelphia: The Jewish Publication Society. 

External links[edit]

Herod the Great
House of Herod
Died: 4 BCE
Preceded by
Antigonus
King of the Jews
37 BCE – 4 BCE
Succeeded by
Herod Archelaus
Ruler of Galilee
37 BCE – 4 BCE
Succeeded by
Herod Antipas
Ruler of Batanea
37 BCE – 4 BCE
Succeeded by
Herod Philip II