Agrippa I

Agrippa I

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Agrippa I also known as Herod Agrippa or simply Herod (10 BCE - 44 CE), King of the Jews
Herodian Dynasty
The Herodian Dynasty was a Jewish dynasty of Idumean descent, client Kings of Roman Judaea Province between 37 BCE and 92 CE.- Origin :During the time of the Hasmonean ruler John Hyrcanus 134-104 BCE, Israel conquered Edom and forced the Edomites to convert to Judaism.The Edomites were integrated...

, was the grandson of Herod the Great
Herod the Great
Herod , also known as Herod the Great , was a Roman client king of Judea. His epithet of "the Great" is widely disputed as he is described as "a madman who murdered his own family and a great many rabbis." He is also known for his colossal building projects in Jerusalem and elsewhere, including his...

, and son of Aristobulus IV
Aristobulus IV
Aristobulus IV was a prince of Judea from the Herodian dynasty, and was married to his cousin, Berenice, daughter of Costobar and Salome...

 and Berenice
Berenice (daughter of Salome)
Berenice was the daughter of Salome I, sister of Herod the Great. She married her cousin Aristobulus who was executed by his father in 6 BC; she was accused of complicity in his murder...

. His original name was Marcus Julius Agrippa, so named in honour of Roman statesman Marcus Vipsanius Agrippa
Marcus Vipsanius Agrippa
Marcus Vipsanius Agrippa was a Roman statesman and general. He was a close friend, son-in-law, lieutenant and defense minister to Octavian, the future Emperor Caesar Augustus...

, and he is the king named Herod in the Acts of the Apostles
Acts of the Apostles
The Acts of the Apostles , usually referred to simply as Acts, is the fifth book of the New Testament; Acts outlines the history of the Apostolic Age...

, in the Bible
Bible
The Bible refers to any one of the collections of the primary religious texts of Judaism and Christianity. There is no common version of the Bible, as the individual books , their contents and their order vary among denominations...

, "Herod (Agrippa)" . He was, according to Josephus
Josephus
Titus Flavius Josephus , also called Joseph ben Matityahu , was a 1st-century Romano-Jewish historian and hagiographer of priestly and royal ancestry who recorded Jewish history, with special emphasis on the 1st century AD and the First Jewish–Roman War, which resulted in the Destruction of...

, known in his time as "Agrippa the Great".

Agrippa's territory comprised most of Israel, including Iudaea, Galilee
Galilee
Galilee , is a large region in northern Israel which overlaps with much of the administrative North District of the country. Traditionally divided into Upper Galilee , Lower Galilee , and Western Galilee , extending from Dan to the north, at the base of Mount Hermon, along Mount Lebanon to the...

, Batanaea
Batanaea
Batanaea or Batanea was an area of the Biblical Holy Land, north-east of the Jordan River, to the east of Trachonitis. It was one of the four post-Exile divisions of the area of Bashan...

 and Perea. From Galilee his territory extended east to Trachonitis
Trachonitis
Trachonitis was a region that once formed part of Herod Philip's tetrarchy. It now lies within the boundaries of modern Syria.It appears in the Bible only in the phrase tes Itouraias kai Trachbnitidos choras, literally, "of the Iturean and Trachonian region"...

.

Rome


Josephus
Josephus
Titus Flavius Josephus , also called Joseph ben Matityahu , was a 1st-century Romano-Jewish historian and hagiographer of priestly and royal ancestry who recorded Jewish history, with special emphasis on the 1st century AD and the First Jewish–Roman War, which resulted in the Destruction of...

 informs us that, after the murder of his father, young Agrippa was sent by Herod the Great to the imperial court in Rome
Rome
Rome is the capital of Italy and the country's largest and most populated city and comune, with over 2.7 million residents in . The city is located in the central-western portion of the Italian Peninsula, on the Tiber River within the Lazio region of Italy.Rome's history spans two and a half...

. There, Tiberius
Tiberius
Tiberius , was Roman Emperor from 14 AD to 37 AD. Tiberius was by birth a Claudian, son of Tiberius Claudius Nero and Livia Drusilla. His mother divorced Nero and married Augustus in 39 BC, making him a step-son of Octavian...

 conceived a great affection for him, and had him educated alongside his son Drusus, who also befriended him, and future emperor Claudius
Claudius
Claudius , was Roman Emperor from 41 to 54. A member of the Julio-Claudian dynasty, he was the son of Drusus and Antonia Minor. He was born at Lugdunum in Gaul and was the first Roman Emperor to be born outside Italy...

. On the death of Drusus, Agrippa, who had been recklessly extravagant and was deeply in debt, was obliged to leave Rome, fleeing to the fortress of Malatha in Idumaea. There, it was said, he contemplated suicide.

After a brief seclusion, through the mediation of his wife Cypros and his sister Herodias
Herodias
Herodias was a Jewish princess of the Herodian Dynasty. Asteroid 546 Herodias is named after her.-Family relationships:*Daughter of Aristobulus IV...

, Agrippa was given a sum of money by his uncle, Herodias' husband, Herod Antipas
Herod Antipas
Herod Antipater , known by the nickname Antipas, was a 1st-century AD ruler of Galilee and Perea, who bore the title of tetrarch...

, Tetrarch
Tetrarchy (Judea)
The Tetrarchy of Judea was formed following the death of Herod the Great in 4 BCE, when his kingdom was divided between his sons as an inheritance...

 of Galilee
Galilee
Galilee , is a large region in northern Israel which overlaps with much of the administrative North District of the country. Traditionally divided into Upper Galilee , Lower Galilee , and Western Galilee , extending from Dan to the north, at the base of Mount Hermon, along Mount Lebanon to the...

 and Perea
Perea (Holy Land)
Perea , a portion of the kingdom of Herod the Great occupying the eastern side of the Jordan River valley, from about one third the way down from the Sea of Galilee to about one third the way down the eastern shore of the Dead Sea; it did not extend too far inland...

, and was allowed to take up residence in Tiberias, and received the rank of aedile
Aedile
Aedile was an office of the Roman Republic. Based in Rome, the aediles were responsible for maintenance of public buildings and regulation of public festivals. They also had powers to enforce public order. There were two pairs of aediles. Two aediles were from the ranks of plebeians and the other...

 in that city, with a small yearly income. But having quarrelled with his brother-in-law, he fled to Flaccus
Flaccus
Flaccus was a cognomen of the ancient Roman plebeian family Fulvius, considered one of the most illustrious gentes of the city. Cicero and Pliny the Elder state that the family was originally from Tusculum, and that members still lived there in the 1st century.As usual for cognomina, "Flaccus" was...

, proconsul
Proconsul
A proconsul was a governor of a province in the Roman Republic appointed for one year by the senate. In modern usage, the title has been used for a person from one country ruling another country or bluntly interfering in another country's internal affairs.-Ancient Rome:In the Roman Republic, a...

 of Syria
Syria
Syria , officially the Syrian Arab Republic , is a country in Western Asia, bordering Lebanon and the Mediterranean Sea to the West, Turkey to the north, Iraq to the east, Jordan to the south, and Israel to the southwest....

. Soon afterwards he was convicted, through the information of his brother Aristobulus
Aristobulus Minor
Aristobulus Minor or Aristobulus the Younger was a prince from the Herodian Dynasty. He was of Jewish, Nabataean and Edomite ancestry....

, of having received a bribe from the Damascene
Damascene
Damascene refers to someone from Damascus.Damascene, inferring a direct or indirect link with the city, may also refer to:* John Damascene , Syrian Christian monk and priest* Damascene , a breed of fancy pigeon...

s, who wished to purchase his influence with the proconsul, and was again compelled to flee. He was arrested as he was about to sail for Italy
Italy
Italy , officially the Italian Republic languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Italy's official name is as follows:;;;;;;;;), is a unitary parliamentary republic in South-Central Europe. To the north it borders France, Switzerland, Austria and...

, for a sum of money which he owed to the treasury of Caesar, but made his escape, and reached Alexandria
Alexandria
Alexandria is the second-largest city of Egypt, with a population of 4.1 million, extending about along the coast of the Mediterranean Sea in the north central part of the country; it is also the largest city lying directly on the Mediterranean coast. It is Egypt's largest seaport, serving...

, where his wife succeeded in procuring a supply of money from Alexander the Alabarch
Alexander the Alabarch
Alexander the Alabarch, full name Tiberius Julius Alexander Major was an Alexandrian Jewish aristocrat who was one of the pro-Roman leaders of the Alexandrian Jewish community and one of the brothers of the exegete and philosopher Philo.-Ancestry and family:Alexander was born and raised in...

. He then set sail, and landed at Puteoli. He was favorably received by Tiberius
Tiberius
Tiberius , was Roman Emperor from 14 AD to 37 AD. Tiberius was by birth a Claudian, son of Tiberius Claudius Nero and Livia Drusilla. His mother divorced Nero and married Augustus in 39 BC, making him a step-son of Octavian...

, who entrusted him with the education of his grandson Tiberius Gemellus
Tiberius Gemellus
Tiberius Julius Caesar Nero Gemellus, known as Tiberius Gemellus was the son of Drusus and Livilla, the grandson of the Emperor Tiberius, and the cousin of the Emperor Caligula. Gemellus is a nickname meaning "the twin"...

. He also formed an intimacy with Caligula
Caligula
Caligula , also known as Gaius, was Roman Emperor from 37 AD to 41 AD. Caligula was a member of the house of rulers conventionally known as the Julio-Claudian dynasty. Caligula's father Germanicus, the nephew and adopted son of Emperor Tiberius, was a very successful general and one of Rome's most...

, then a popular favorite. Agrippa was one day overheard by his freedman Eutyches expressing a wish for Tiberius' death and the advancement of Caligula, and for this he was cast into prison.

Caligula and Claudius



Following Tiberius' death and the ascension of Agrippa's friend Caligula, Agrippa was set free and made governor first of the territories of Batanaea
Batanaea
Batanaea or Batanea was an area of the Biblical Holy Land, north-east of the Jordan River, to the east of Trachonitis. It was one of the four post-Exile divisions of the area of Bashan...

 and Trachonitis
Trachonitis
Trachonitis was a region that once formed part of Herod Philip's tetrarchy. It now lies within the boundaries of modern Syria.It appears in the Bible only in the phrase tes Itouraias kai Trachbnitidos choras, literally, "of the Iturean and Trachonian region"...

 that his cousin Herod II
Herod II
Herod II was the son of Herod the Great and Mariamne II, the daughter of Simon Boethus the High Priest . For a brief period he was his father's heir...

 had held, then of the tetrarchy
Tetrarchy (Judea)
The Tetrarchy of Judea was formed following the death of Herod the Great in 4 BCE, when his kingdom was divided between his sons as an inheritance...

 of Lysanias
Lysanias
Lysanias was the ruler of a small realm on the western slopes of Mount Hermon, attested to by the Jewish writer Josephus and in coins from circa 40 BC. There is also mention of a Lysanias dated to 29 AD in the gospel of Luke. It has been debated whether these are the same person.- Lysanias in...

, with the title of "king". Caligula also presented him with a golden chain of a weight equal to the iron one he had worn in prison. In 39 CE, Agrippa returned to Rome, and brought about the banishment of his uncle, Herod Antipas
Herod Antipas
Herod Antipater , known by the nickname Antipas, was a 1st-century AD ruler of Galilee and Perea, who bore the title of tetrarch...

, whose tetrarchy over Galilee
Galilee
Galilee , is a large region in northern Israel which overlaps with much of the administrative North District of the country. Traditionally divided into Upper Galilee , Lower Galilee , and Western Galilee , extending from Dan to the north, at the base of Mount Hermon, along Mount Lebanon to the...

 and Peraea
Perea (Holy Land)
Perea , a portion of the kingdom of Herod the Great occupying the eastern side of the Jordan River valley, from about one third the way down from the Sea of Galilee to about one third the way down the eastern shore of the Dead Sea; it did not extend too far inland...

 he then was granted.

On the assassination of Caligula in 41, Agrippa's advice helped to secure Claudius
Claudius
Claudius , was Roman Emperor from 41 to 54. A member of the Julio-Claudian dynasty, he was the son of Drusus and Antonia Minor. He was born at Lugdunum in Gaul and was the first Roman Emperor to be born outside Italy...

' accession as emperor, while he made a show of being in the interest of the senate
Roman Senate
The Senate of the Roman Republic was a political institution in the ancient Roman Republic, however, it was not an elected body, but one whose members were appointed by the consuls, and later by the censors. After a magistrate served his term in office, it usually was followed with automatic...

. As a reward for his assistance, Claudius gave Agrippa dominion over Judea
Judea
Judea or Judæa was the name of the mountainous southern part of the historic Land of Israel from the 8th century BCE to the 2nd century CE, when Roman Judea was renamed Syria Palaestina following the Jewish Bar Kokhba revolt.-Etymology:The...

 and Samaria
Samaria
Samaria, or the Shomron is a term used for a mountainous region roughly corresponding to the northern part of the West Bank.- Etymology :...

, while the kingdom of Chalcis
Chalcis, Syria
Chalcis was an ancient city in Syria. Syrian Chalcis was the birthplace of 3rd century Neoplatonist philosopher Iamblichus.It is thought to be the site of the modern town of Qinnasrin, though Anjar in Lebanon has also been suggested as the site of ancient Chalcis....

 in Lebanon
Lebanon
Lebanon , officially the Republic of LebanonRepublic of Lebanon is the most common term used by Lebanese government agencies. The term Lebanese Republic, a literal translation of the official Arabic and French names that is not used in today's world. Arabic is the most common language spoken among...

 was at his request given to his brother Herod
Herod of Chalcis
Herod of Chalcis , also known as Herod V, was a son of Aristobulus IV, and the grandson of Herod the Great, Roman client king of Judaea. He was the brother of Herod Agrippa I and Herodias....

. Thus Agrippa became one of the most powerful princes of the east; the territory he possessed exceeded that which was held by his grandfather Herod the Great
Herod the Great
Herod , also known as Herod the Great , was a Roman client king of Judea. His epithet of "the Great" is widely disputed as he is described as "a madman who murdered his own family and a great many rabbis." He is also known for his colossal building projects in Jerusalem and elsewhere, including his...

.

In the city of Berytus he built a theatre and amphitheatre, baths, and porticoes. He expressed similar magnanimity in Sebaste, Heliopolis
Baalbek
Baalbek is a town in the Beqaa Valley of Lebanon, altitude , situated east of the Litani River. It is famous for its exquisitely detailed yet monumentally scaled temple ruins of the Roman period, when Baalbek, then known as Heliopolis, was one of the largest sanctuaries in the Empire...

 and Caesarea. The suspicions of Claudius
Claudius
Claudius , was Roman Emperor from 41 to 54. A member of the Julio-Claudian dynasty, he was the son of Drusus and Antonia Minor. He was born at Lugdunum in Gaul and was the first Roman Emperor to be born outside Italy...

 prevented him from finishing the fortifications with which he had begun to surround Jerusalem. His friendship was courted by many of the neighboring kings and rulers, some of whom he housed in Tiberias, which also caused Claudius
Claudius
Claudius , was Roman Emperor from 41 to 54. A member of the Julio-Claudian dynasty, he was the son of Drusus and Antonia Minor. He was born at Lugdunum in Gaul and was the first Roman Emperor to be born outside Italy...

 some displeasure.

Account in Josephus



He returned to Judea and governed it to the satisfaction of the Jews. His zeal, private and public, for Judaism is recorded by Josephus
Josephus
Titus Flavius Josephus , also called Joseph ben Matityahu , was a 1st-century Romano-Jewish historian and hagiographer of priestly and royal ancestry who recorded Jewish history, with special emphasis on the 1st century AD and the First Jewish–Roman War, which resulted in the Destruction of...

 and the rabbi
Rabbi
In Judaism, a rabbi is a teacher of Torah. This title derives from the Hebrew word רבי , meaning "My Master" , which is the way a student would address a master of Torah...

s. Perhaps because of this, his passage through Alexandria
Alexandria
Alexandria is the second-largest city of Egypt, with a population of 4.1 million, extending about along the coast of the Mediterranean Sea in the north central part of the country; it is also the largest city lying directly on the Mediterranean coast. It is Egypt's largest seaport, serving...

 around 40 instigated anti-Jewish riot
Riot
A riot is a form of civil disorder characterized often by what is thought of as disorganized groups lashing out in a sudden and intense rash of violence against authority, property or people. While individuals may attempt to lead or control a riot, riots are thought to be typically chaotic and...

s. At the risk of his own life, or at least of his liberty, he interceded with Caligula on behalf of the Jews, when that emperor was attempting to set up his statue in the Temple at Jerusalem shortly before his death in 41. Agrippa's efforts bore fruit and persuaded Caligula to rescind his order thus preventing the Temple's desecration.

After Passover
Passover
Passover is a Jewish holiday and festival. It commemorates the story of the Exodus, in which the ancient Israelites were freed from slavery in Egypt...

 in 44, Agrippa went to Caesarea, where he had games performed in honor of Claudius. In the midst of his elation Agrippa saw an owl
Owl
Owls are a group of birds that belong to the order Strigiformes, constituting 200 bird of prey species. Most are solitary and nocturnal, with some exceptions . Owls hunt mostly small mammals, insects, and other birds, although a few species specialize in hunting fish...

 perched over his head. During his imprisonment by Tiberius a similar omen
Omen
An omen is a phenomenon that is believed to foretell the future, often signifying the advent of change...

 had been interpreted as portending his speedy release, with the warning that should he behold the same sight again, he would die within five days. He was immediately smitten with violent pains, and scolded his friends for flattering him and accepting his imminent death. He experienced heart pains and a pain in his abdomen, and died after five days. Acts
Acts of the Apostles
The Acts of the Apostles , usually referred to simply as Acts, is the fifth book of the New Testament; Acts outlines the history of the Apostolic Age...

 12 relates that he was eaten by worms, (possibly Fournier's gangrene, the same disease that may have killed his grandfather Herod the Great
Herod the Great
Herod , also known as Herod the Great , was a Roman client king of Judea. His epithet of "the Great" is widely disputed as he is described as "a madman who murdered his own family and a great many rabbis." He is also known for his colossal building projects in Jerusalem and elsewhere, including his...

) after God
God
God is the English name given to a singular being in theistic and deistic religions who is either the sole deity in monotheism, or a single deity in polytheism....

 struck him for accepting the praise of sycophants, comparing him to a god.

Josephus then relates how Agrippa's brother, Herod of Chalcis
Herod of Chalcis
Herod of Chalcis , also known as Herod V, was a son of Aristobulus IV, and the grandson of Herod the Great, Roman client king of Judaea. He was the brother of Herod Agrippa I and Herodias....

, and Helcias sent Aristo to kill Silas.

The Jewish Encyclopedia
Jewish Encyclopedia
The Jewish Encyclopedia is an encyclopedia originally published in New York between 1901 and 1906 by Funk and Wagnalls. It contained over 15,000 articles in 12 volumes on the history and then-current state of Judaism and the Jews as of 1901...

 has a different account of Agrippa's reign:

Claudius, showed himself grateful to Agrippa for important services rendered him, and upon his accession, placed under his rule the remainder of Palestine, the territories of Samaria, Judea, and Idumæa, formerly governed by Archelaus. Loaded with honors and titles, Agrippa returned home, and the few remaining years of his benevolent sway afforded the people a brief period of peace and prosperity. The evil consequences of a ruler's unbridled passions and tyranny had been sufficiently evident to him in Rome, and they had taught him moderation and strict self-control. His people regarded him with love and devotion, because he healed with tender hand the deep wounds inflicted upon the national susceptibilities by brutal Roman governors. He ruled his subjects with compassion and friendliness. Like the ancestral Asmoneans from whom he sprang through his noble grandmother Mariamne, he honored the Law. Like the merest commoner, he carried his basket of first-fruits to the Temple; with the people he celebrated appropriately the Feast of Tabernacles, and he devoted to the sanctuary a golden chain with which Caligula had honored him. On one occasion, while in the street, he met a bridal procession which drew up to let him pass, but he halted and bade it take precedence. He sought to lighten taxation, remitting the impost on houses in Jerusalem. On the coins minted by him he carefully avoided placing any symbols which could offend the people's religious sentiment. Thus, prosperity and comfort seemed to be dawning anew for the Jews.

The Romans, however, became jealous of this rising prosperity, and—sometimes covertly, sometimes openly—laid all manner of obstacles in his way. When he began to repair the fortifications of the capital, he was abruptly bidden to cease. His attempts to fraternize with neighboring peoples—vassals of Rome—were construed as portending rebellion. His sudden death at the games in Cæsarea, 44, must be considered as a stroke of Roman politics. His death, while in the full vigor of his years, was deeply lamented by his people, notwithstanding the fact that he had made many considerable concessions to heathen manners and customs. The Christians looked upon his death as a judgment for his undisguised hostility to their young community (Acts, xii.)."


The Talmud
Talmud
The Talmud is a central text of mainstream Judaism. It takes the form of a record of rabbinic discussions pertaining to Jewish law, ethics, philosophy, customs and history....

 also has a positive view of his reign:
The Mishnah explained how the Jews of the Second Temple
Second Temple
The Jewish Second Temple was an important shrine which stood on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem between 516 BCE and 70 CE. It replaced the First Temple which was destroyed in 586 BCE, when the Jewish nation was exiled to Babylon...

 era interpreted the requirement of that the king read the Torah to the people. At the conclusion of the first day of Sukkot
Sukkot
Sukkot is a Biblical holiday celebrated on the 15th day of the month of Tishrei . It is one of the three biblically mandated festivals Shalosh regalim on which Hebrews were commanded to make a pilgrimage to the Temple in Jerusalem.The holiday lasts seven days...

 immediately after the conclusion of the seventh year in the cycle, they erected a wooden dais in the Temple court, upon which the king sat. The synagogue
Synagogue
A synagogue is a Jewish house of prayer. This use of the Greek term synagogue originates in the Septuagint where it sometimes translates the Hebrew word for assembly, kahal...

 attendant took a Torah scroll
Scroll
A scroll is a roll of parchment, papyrus, or paper, which has been drawn or written upon.Scroll may also refer to:*Scroll , the decoratively curved end of the pegbox of string instruments such as violins...

 and handed it to the synagogue president, who handed it to the High Priest's
Kohen Gadol
The High Priest was the chief religious official of Israelite religion and of classical Judaism from the rise of the Israelite nation until the destruction of the Second Temple of Jerusalem...

 deputy, who handed it to the High Priest, who handed it to the king. The king stood and received it, and then read sitting. King Agrippa stood and received it and read standing, and the sages praised him for doing so. When Agrippa reached the commandment of that “you may not put a foreigner over you” as king, his eyes ran with tears, but they said to him, “Don’t fear, Agrippa, you are our brother, you are our brother!” The king would read from up through the shema
Shema Yisrael
Shema Yisrael are the first two words of a section of the Torah that is a centerpiece of the morning and evening Jewish prayer services...

 , and then the portion regarding tithes , the portion of the king , and the blessings and curses . The king would recite the same blessings as the High Priest, except that the king would substitute a blessing for the festivals
Jewish holiday
Jewish holidays are days observed by Jews as holy or secular commemorations of important events in Jewish history. In Hebrew, Jewish holidays and festivals, depending on their nature, may be called yom tov or chag or ta'anit...

 instead of one for the forgiveness of sin. (Mishnah Sotah 7:8; Babylonian Talmud Sotah 41a.)

Account in the New Testament


"King Herod," mentioned in the Bible
Bible
The Bible refers to any one of the collections of the primary religious texts of Judaism and Christianity. There is no common version of the Bible, as the individual books , their contents and their order vary among denominations...

's Acts of the Apostles
Acts of the Apostles
The Acts of the Apostles , usually referred to simply as Acts, is the fifth book of the New Testament; Acts outlines the history of the Apostolic Age...

, is identified by historians as the same person as King Agrippa I. The identification is based in part on the description of his death, which is very similar to Agrippa's death in Josephus
Josephus
Titus Flavius Josephus , also called Joseph ben Matityahu , was a 1st-century Romano-Jewish historian and hagiographer of priestly and royal ancestry who recorded Jewish history, with special emphasis on the 1st century AD and the First Jewish–Roman War, which resulted in the Destruction of...

's Antiquities of the Jews
Antiquities of the Jews
Antiquities of the Jews is a twenty volume historiographical work composed by the Jewish historian Flavius Josephus in the thirteenth year of the reign of Roman emperor Flavius Domitian which was around 93 or 94 AD. Antiquities of the Jews contains an account of history of the Jewish people,...

 19.8.2, although Josephus does not include the claim that "an angel of the Lord struck him down, and he was eaten by worms." Further evidence is the identification of the ruler in Acts 12:1 as "Herod the king," since Agrippa I is the only Herod who would have had authority in Jerusalem at that time. (Josephus
Josephus
Titus Flavius Josephus , also called Joseph ben Matityahu , was a 1st-century Romano-Jewish historian and hagiographer of priestly and royal ancestry who recorded Jewish history, with special emphasis on the 1st century AD and the First Jewish–Roman War, which resulted in the Destruction of...

, Antiquities of the Jews
Antiquities of the Jews
Antiquities of the Jews is a twenty volume historiographical work composed by the Jewish historian Flavius Josephus in the thirteenth year of the reign of Roman emperor Flavius Domitian which was around 93 or 94 AD. Antiquities of the Jews contains an account of history of the Jewish people,...

 19.5.1)

The description of Herod Agrippa I as a cruel, heartless king who persecuted the Jerusalem church, having James son of Zebedee killed and imprisoning Peter
Saint Peter
Saint Peter or Simon Peter was an early Christian leader, who is featured prominently in the New Testament Gospels and the Acts of the Apostles. The son of John or of Jonah and from the village of Bethsaida in the province of Galilee, his brother Andrew was also an apostle...

, sounds at first to be in stark contrast with Josephus' account of a kindly man. It makes sense, however, if one recalls that Agrippa had been born and raised to revere his Jewishness. Agrippa would resent a movement begun during his absence from Judæa when explained to him by the religious leaders of Israel as a sacriligeous mission trying to equate a mere man, Jesus of Nazareth, with the One God of Judaism.

Blastus
Blastus
Blastus was the chamberlain of Herod Agrippa , and a mediator for the Sidonians and Tyrians. Blastus was involved in the events that led to Herod's death.-Biblical account:...

 is mentioned in the New Testament as Herod's chamberlain
Chamberlain (office)
A chamberlain is an officer in charge of managing a household. In many countries there are ceremonial posts associated with the household of the sovereign....

.

Herod Antipas
Herod Antipas
Herod Antipater , known by the nickname Antipas, was a 1st-century AD ruler of Galilee and Perea, who bore the title of tetrarch...

, uncle and predecessor of Agrippa I as ruler of Galilee and Peræa, is the Herod mentioned in the Gospels who authorized the execution of John the Baptist
John the Baptist
John the Baptist was an itinerant preacher and a major religious figure mentioned in the Canonical gospels. He is described in the Gospel of Luke as a relative of Jesus, who led a movement of baptism at the Jordan River...

 and played a role in the trial of Jesus
Jesus
Jesus of Nazareth , commonly referred to as Jesus Christ or simply as Jesus or Christ, is the central figure of Christianity...

 (Matthew 14:3-12, Mark 6:17-29 and Luke 23:5-12).

Progeny


By his wife Cypros he had a son, Agrippa II
Agrippa II
Agrippa II , son of Agrippa I, and like him originally named Marcus Julius Agrippa, was the seventh and last king of the family of Herod the Great, thus last of the Herodians. He was the brother of Berenice, Mariamne, and Drusilla...

 [b.28 CE?-d.93 CE?], and three daughters, including:
  • Berenice, [b.28-after 81 CE] who first married her uncle Herod
    Herod of Chalcis
    Herod of Chalcis , also known as Herod V, was a son of Aristobulus IV, and the grandson of Herod the Great, Roman client king of Judaea. He was the brother of Herod Agrippa I and Herodias....

    , king of Chalcis
    Chalcis, Syria
    Chalcis was an ancient city in Syria. Syrian Chalcis was the birthplace of 3rd century Neoplatonist philosopher Iamblichus.It is thought to be the site of the modern town of Qinnasrin, though Anjar in Lebanon has also been suggested as the site of ancient Chalcis....

    , and afterwards lived with her brother Agrippa, reputedly in an incest
    Incest
    Incest is sexual intercourse between close relatives that is usually illegal in the jurisdiction where it takes place and/or is conventionally considered a taboo. The term may apply to sexual activities between: individuals of close "blood relationship"; members of the same household; step...

    uous relationship, and subsequently married Polamo, king of Cilicia
    Cilicia
    In antiquity, Cilicia was the south coastal region of Asia Minor, south of the central Anatolian plateau. It existed as a political entity from Hittite times into the Byzantine empire...

    ; she is alluded to by Juvenal
    Juvenal
    The Satires are a collection of satirical poems by the Latin author Juvenal written in the late 1st and early 2nd centuries AD.Juvenal is credited with sixteen known poems divided among five books; all are in the Roman genre of satire, which, at its most basic in the time of the author, comprised a...

    ; Bernice also had a common-law relationship with the Roman emperor Titus
    Titus
    Titus , was Roman Emperor from 79 to 81. A member of the Flavian dynasty, Titus succeeded his father Vespasian upon his death, thus becoming the first Roman Emperor to come to the throne after his own father....

    .
  • Mariamne
    Mariamne (daughter of Herod Agrippa I)
    Mariamne was a daughter of King Herod Agrippa I. She was betrothed by her father to Gaius Julius Archelaus Antiochus Epiphanes, first son of King Antiochus IV of Commagene, but this marriage had not yet been enacted upon her father's death. Her brother Agrippa II enacted the marriage once he had...

    , [b.34-?] who married Gaius Julius Archelaus Antiochus Epiphanes
    Gaius Julius Archelaus Antiochus Epiphanes
    Gaius Julius Archelaus Antiochus Epiphanes, also known as Julius Archelaus Epiphanes; Epiphanes; Gaius Julius Antiochus Epiphanes or simply known as Gaius was an influential prince of the Kingdom of Commagene, who lived in the 1st century.Epiphanes was the first-born son and child to King...

    ; they had a daughter Berenice (daughter of Mariamne)
    Berenice (daughter of Mariamne)
    Berenice was the daughter of Mariamne, daughter of Herod Agrippa I, and Julius Archealus. She was born sometime after 50 AD. After her parents had divorced, she lived with her mother in Alexandria....

     [b.50 CE] who lived with her mother in Alexandria, Egypt after her parents divorce
  • Drusilla
    Drusilla (daughter of Agrippa I)
    Drusilla was a daughter of Herod Agrippa I and thus sister to Berenice, Mariamne and Herod Agrippa II.-First marriage:She was six years of age at the time of her father's death at Caesarea in 44...

    , [38-79 CE] who married first to Gaius Julius Azizus, King of Emesa and then to Antonius Felix
    Antonius Felix
    Marcus Antonius Felix was the Roman procurator of Iudaea Province 52-58, in succession to Ventidius Cumanus.- Life :...

    , the procurator of Judaea. Drusilla and her son Marcus Antonius Agrippa died in the eruption of Pompeii. A daughter Antonia Clementiana became a grandmother to a Lucius Anneius Domitius Proculus. Two possible descendants from this marriage are Marcus Antonius Fronto Salvianus (a quaestor) and his son Marcus Antonius Felix Magnus a high priest in 225.

Agrippa in other media

  • Herod Agrippa is the protagonist of the Italian opera, L’Agrippa tetrarca di Gerusalemme (1724) by Giuseppe Maria Buini (mus.) and Claudio Nicola Stampa (libr.), first performed at the Teatro Ducale of Milan
    Milan
    Milan is the second-largest city in Italy and the capital city of the region of Lombardy and of the province of Milan. The city proper has a population of about 1.3 million, while its urban area, roughly coinciding with its administrative province and the bordering Province of Monza and Brianza ,...

    , Italy, on August 28, 1724.
  • Herod Agrippa is a major figure in Robert Graves
    Robert Graves
    Robert von Ranke Graves 24 July 1895 – 7 December 1985 was an English poet, translator and novelist. During his long life he produced more than 140 works...

    ' novel Claudius the God
    I, Claudius
    I, Claudius is a novel by English writer Robert Graves, written in the form of an autobiography of the Roman Emperor Claudius. As such, it includes history of the Julio-Claudian Dynasty and Roman Empire, from Julius Caesar's assassination in 44 BC to Caligula's assassination in AD 41...

    , as well as the BBC television adaptation I, Claudius
    I, Claudius (TV series)
    I, Claudius is a 1976 BBC Television adaptation of Robert Graves' I, Claudius and Claudius the God. Written by Jack Pulman, it proved one of the corporation's most successful drama serials of all time...

    , (wherein he was portrayed by James Faulkner
    James Faulkner
    James Sebastian Faulkner is a British actor, known for his many various appearance on television and in movies, usually in supporting roles.Faulkner made his big screen debut as Josef Strauss in The Great Waltz in 1972...

    ). He is depicted as one of Claudius' closest life-long friends.

External links