Herod the Great

Herod the Great

Overview
Herod also known as Herod the Great (born 73 or 74 BCE, died 4 BCE in Jericho
Jericho
Jericho ; is a city located near the Jordan River in the West Bank of the Palestinian territories. It is the capital of the Jericho Governorate and has a population of more than 20,000. Situated well below sea level on an east-west route north of the Dead Sea, Jericho is the lowest permanently...

), was a Roman client king
Client state
Client state is one of several terms used to describe the economic, political and/or military subordination of one state to a more powerful state in international affairs...

 of 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...

. His epithet
Epithet
An epithet or byname is a descriptive term accompanying or occurring in place of a name and having entered common usage. It has various shades of meaning when applied to seemingly real or fictitious people, divinities, objects, and binomial nomenclature. It is also a descriptive title...

 of "the Great" is widely disputed as he is described as "a madman who murdered his own family and a great many 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." He is also known for his colossal building projects in Jerusalem and elsewhere, including his expansion 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...

 in Jerusalem (sometimes referred to as Herod's Temple) and the construction of the port at Caesarea Maritima.
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Herod also known as Herod the Great (born 73 or 74 BCE, died 4 BCE in Jericho
Jericho
Jericho ; is a city located near the Jordan River in the West Bank of the Palestinian territories. It is the capital of the Jericho Governorate and has a population of more than 20,000. Situated well below sea level on an east-west route north of the Dead Sea, Jericho is the lowest permanently...

), was a Roman client king
Client state
Client state is one of several terms used to describe the economic, political and/or military subordination of one state to a more powerful state in international affairs...

 of 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...

. His epithet
Epithet
An epithet or byname is a descriptive term accompanying or occurring in place of a name and having entered common usage. It has various shades of meaning when applied to seemingly real or fictitious people, divinities, objects, and binomial nomenclature. It is also a descriptive title...

 of "the Great" is widely disputed as he is described as "a madman who murdered his own family and a great many 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." He is also known for his colossal building projects in Jerusalem and elsewhere, including his expansion 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...

 in Jerusalem (sometimes referred to as Herod's Temple) and the construction of the port at Caesarea Maritima. Important details of his biography are gleaned from the works of the 1st century CE Roman-Jewish historian Josephus Flavius.

The Romans made Herod's son Herod Archelaus
Herod Archelaus
Herod Archelaus was the ethnarch of Samaria, Judea, and Idumea from 4 BC to 6 AD. He was the son of Herod the Great and Malthace the Samaritan, the brother of Herod Antipas, and the half-brother of Herod Philip I....

 ethnarch
Ethnarch
Ethnarch, pronounced , the anglicized form of ethnarches refers generally to political leadership over a common ethnic group or homogeneous kingdom. The word is derived from the Greek words and ....

 of 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...

, 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 :...

, and Idumea (biblical Edom
Edom
Edom or Idumea was a historical region of the Southern Levant located south of Judea and the Dead Sea. It is mentioned in biblical records as a 1st millennium BC Iron Age kingdom of Edom, and in classical antiquity the cognate name Idumea was used to refer to a smaller area in the same region...

) from 4 BCE to 6 CE, referred to as the tetrarchy of Judea
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...

. Herod's other son 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...

 was tetrarch 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...

 from 4 BCE – 39 CE. Archelaus was judged incompetent by the Roman emperor
Roman Emperor
The Roman emperor was the ruler of the Roman State during the imperial period . The Romans had no single term for the office although at any given time, a given title was associated with the emperor...

 Augustus
Augustus
Augustus ;23 September 63 BC – 19 August AD 14) is considered the first emperor of the Roman Empire, which he ruled alone from 27 BC until his death in 14 AD.The dates of his rule are contemporary dates; Augustus lived under two calendars, the Roman Republican until 45 BC, and the Julian...

 who then combined Samaria, Judea proper and Idumea into Iudaea province
Iudaea Province
Judaea or Iudaea are terms used by historians to refer to the Roman province that extended over parts of the former regions of the Hasmonean and Herodian kingdoms of Israel...

 under rule of a prefect
Prefect
Prefect is a magisterial title of varying definition....

 until 41.

Biography


Herod was born around 74 BCE in the south (Idumea was the most southern region). He was the second son of Antipater the Idumaean
Antipater the Idumaean
Antipater I the Idumaean was the founder of the Herodian Dynasty and father of Herod the Great. According to Josephus, he was the son of Antipas...

, a high-ranked official under Ethnarch Hyrcanus II
Hyrcanus II
Hyrcanus II, a member of the Hasmonean dynasty, was the Jewish High Priest and King of Judea in the 1st century BC.-Accession:Hyrcanus was the eldest son of Alexander Jannaeus, King and High Priest, and Alexandra Salome...

, and Cypros, a Nabatean. Herod was a practicing Jew, as the Edomites and many Nabateans had been converted to Judaism by the Hasmoneans. A loyal supporter of Hyrcanus II, Antipater appointed Herod governor
Governor
A governor is a governing official, usually the executive of a non-sovereign level of government, ranking under the head of state...

 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...

 at 25, and his elder brother, Phasael
Phasael
Phasael was a prince from the Herodian Dynasty of Judea.-Origins and early career:...

, governor of Jerusalem. He enjoyed the backing of Rome but his excessive brutality was condemned by the Sanhedrin
Sanhedrin
The Sanhedrin was an assembly of twenty-three judges appointed in every city in the Biblical Land of Israel.The Great Sanhedrin was the supreme court of ancient Israel made of 71 members...

.

In 43 BCE, following the chaos caused by Antipater offering financial support to Caesar's murderers
Assassination of Julius Caesar
The assassination of Julius Caesar was the result of a conspiracy by approximately forty Roman senators who called themselves Liberators. Led by Gaius Cassius Longinus and Marcus Junius Brutus, they stabbed Julius Caesar to death in the Theatre of Pompey on the Ides of March 44 BC...

, Antipater was poisoned. Herod, backed by the Roman Army, executed his father's murderer. After the battle of Philippi
Battle of Philippi
The Battle of Philippi was the final battle in the Wars of the Second Triumvirate between the forces of Mark Antony and Octavian and the forces of Julius Caesar's assassins Marcus Junius Brutus and Gaius Cassius Longinus in 42 BC, at Philippi in Macedonia...

 towards the end of 42 BCE, he convinced Mark Antony
Mark Antony
Marcus Antonius , known in English as Mark Antony, was a Roman politician and general. As a military commander and administrator, he was an important supporter and loyal friend of his mother's cousin Julius Caesar...

 and Octavian that his father had been forced to help Caesar's murderers. After Antony marched into Asia, Herod was named 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 by the Romans.

Two years later Antigonus
Antigonus the Hasmonean
Antigonus II Mattathias was the last Hasmonean king of Judea. He was the son of King Aristobulus II of Judea...

, 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 him to power. There he was elected "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...

" by the Roman 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...

. Josephus puts this in the year of the consulship
Roman consul
A consul served in the highest elected political office of the Roman Republic.Each year, two consuls were elected together, to serve for a one-year term. Each consul was given veto power over his colleague and the officials would alternate each month...

 of Calvinus and Pollio
Gaius Asinius Pollio (consul 40 BC)
Gaius Asinius Pollio was a Roman soldier, politician, orator, poet, playwright, literary critic and historian, whose lost contemporary history, provided much of the material for the historians Appian and Plutarch...

 (40 BCE), but Appian
Appian
Appian of Alexandria was a Roman historian of Greek ethnicity who flourished during the reigns of Trajan, Hadrian, and Antoninus Pius.He was born ca. 95 in Alexandria. He tells us that, after having filled the chief offices in the province of Egypt, he went to Rome ca. 120, where he practised as...

 places it in 39 BCE. Herod went back to Judea to win his kingdom from Antigonus and at the same time he married the teenage niece of Antigonus, Mariamne (known as Mariamne I), in an attempt to secure a claim to the throne and gain some Jewish favor. However, Herod already had a wife, Doris, and a three-year-old son, Antipater
Antipater (son of Herod I)
Antipater II was Herod the Great's first-born son, his only child by his first wife Doris. He was named after his paternal grandfather Antipater the Idumaean. He and his mother were exiled after Herod divorced her between 43 BC and 40 BC to marry Mariamne I. However, he was recalled following...

, and chose therefore to banish Doris and her child.

Three years later, Herod and the Romans finally captured Jerusalem
Siege of Jerusalem (37 BC)
Herod the Great's Siege of Jerusalem was the final step in his campaign to secure the throne of Judea. Aided by Roman forces provided by Marcus Antonius , Herod was able to capture the city and depose Antigonus II Mattathias, ending Hasmonean rule...

 and executed Antigonus. Herod took the role as sole ruler of Judea and the title of basileus
Basileus
Basileus is a Greek term and title that has signified various types of monarchs in history. It is perhaps best known in English as a title used by the Byzantine Emperors, but also has a longer history of use for persons of authority and sovereigns in ancient Greece, as well as for the kings of...

 (Gr. Βασιλευς, king) for himself, ushering in the Herodian Dynasty
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...

 and ending the Hasmonean Dynasty. Josephus reports this as being in the year of the consulship of 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 Gallus
Lucius Caninius Gallus
Lucius Caninius Gallus was a Roman politician of the Roman Republic. Gallus was of plebs status and came from a family of consular rank....

 (37 BCE), but also says that it was exactly 27 years after Jerusalem fell to Pompey
Pompey
Gnaeus Pompeius Magnus, also known as Pompey or Pompey the Great , was a military and political leader of the late Roman Republic...

, which would indicate 36 BCE. (Cassius Dio also reports that in 37 "the Romans accomplished nothing worthy of note" in the area.) According to Josephus, he ruled for 37 years, 34 years of them after capturing Jerusalem.
As Herod's family had converted to Judaism, his religious commitment had come into question by some elements of Jewish society. When John Hyrcanus
John Hyrcanus
John Hyrcanus was a Hasmonean leader of the 2nd century BC.-Name:...

 conquered the region of Idumaea (the Edom
Edom
Edom or Idumea was a historical region of the Southern Levant located south of Judea and the Dead Sea. It is mentioned in biblical records as a 1st millennium BC Iron Age kingdom of Edom, and in classical antiquity the cognate name Idumea was used to refer to a smaller area in the same region...

 of the Hebrew Bible
Hebrew Bible
The Hebrew Bible is a term used by biblical scholars outside of Judaism to refer to the Tanakh , a canonical collection of Jewish texts, and the common textual antecedent of the several canonical editions of the Christian Old Testament...

) in 140–130 BCE, he required all Idumaeans to obey Jewish law or to leave; most Idumaeans thus converted to Judaism
Judaism
Judaism ) is the "religion, philosophy, and way of life" of the Jewish people...

, which meant that they had to be circumcised
Circumcision in the Bible
Religious male circumcision generally occurs shortly after birth, during childhood or around puberty as part of a rite of passage. Circumcision is most prevalent in Muslim countries and Israel, and is most prevalent in the Jewish and Muslim faiths, although also common in the United States, the...

. While King Herod publicly identified himself as a Jew and was considered as such by some, this religious identification was undermined by the decadent lifestyle of the Herodians
Herodians
The Herodians were a sect or party mentioned in the New Testament as having on two occasions — once in Galilee, and again in Jerusalem — manifested an unfriendly disposition towards Jesus .In each of these cases their name is coupled with that of the Pharisees...

, which would have earned them the antipathy of observant Jews.

Herod later executed several members of his own family, including his wife Mariamne (needs reference)

Architectural achievements



Herod's most famous and ambitious project was the expansion 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...

 in Jerusalem.

In the eighteenth year of his reign (20–19 BCE), Herod rebuilt the Temple on "a more magnificent scale". Although work on out-buildings and courts continued another eighty years, the new Temple was finished in a year and a half. To comply with religious law, Herod employed 1,000 priests as masons and carpenters in the rebuilding. 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 Wailing Wall or Western Wall. These walls created a flat platform (the Temple Mount) upon which the Temple was then constructed.

Some of Herod's other achievements include the development of water supplies for Jerusalem, building fortresses such as Masada
Masada
Masada is the name for a site of ancient palaces and fortifications in the South District of Israel, on top of an isolated rock plateau, or horst, on the eastern edge of the Judean Desert, overlooking the Dead Sea. Masada is best known for the violence that occurred there in the first century CE...

 and Herodium
Herodium
Herodium or Herodion is a volcano-like hill with a truncated cone located south of Jerusalem, near the city of Bethlehem in the West Bank. Herod the Great built a fortress and palace on the top of Herodium, and may have been buried there...

, and founding new cities such as Caesarea Maritima and the enclosures of Cave of the Patriarchs
Cave of the Patriarchs
The Cave of the Patriarchs or the Cave of Machpelah , is known by Muslims as the Sanctuary of Abraham or Ibrahimi Mosque ....

 and Mamre
Mamre
Mamre , full Hebrew name Elonei Mamre , refers to a Canaanite cultic shrine dedicated to the supreme, sky god of the Canaanite pantheon, El. Talmudic sources refer to the site as Beth Ilanim or Botnah. it was one of the three most important "fairs", market place or caravanserai, in Palestine...

 in Hebron
Hebron
Hebron , is located in the southern West Bank, south of Jerusalem. Nestled in the Judean Mountains, it lies 930 meters above sea level. It is the largest city in the West Bank and home to around 165,000 Palestinians, and over 500 Jewish settlers concentrated in and around the old quarter...

. He and Cleopatra owned a monopoly over the extraction of asphalt from the Dead Sea, which was used in ship building. He leased copper
Copper
Copper is a chemical element with the symbol Cu and atomic number 29. It is a ductile metal with very high thermal and electrical conductivity. Pure copper is soft and malleable; an exposed surface has a reddish-orange tarnish...

 mines on Cyprus
Cyprus
Cyprus , officially the Republic of Cyprus , is a Eurasian island country, member of the European Union, in the Eastern Mediterranean, east of Greece, south of Turkey, west of Syria and north of Egypt. It is the third largest island in the Mediterranean Sea.The earliest known human activity on the...

 from the Roman emperor.

Discovery of quarry


On September 25, 2007, Yuval Baruch, archaeologist with the Israeli Antiquities Authority announced his discovery of a quarry
Quarry
A quarry is a type of open-pit mine from which rock or minerals are extracted. Quarries are generally used for extracting building materials, such as dimension stone, construction aggregate, riprap, sand, and gravel. They are often collocated with concrete and asphalt plants due to the requirement...

 compound which provided King Herod with the stones to renovate 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...

. Coins, pottery and iron stakes found proved the date of the quarrying to be about 19 BCE. Archaeologist Ehud Netzer confirmed that the large outlines of the stone cuts is evidence that it was a massive public project worked on by hundreds of slaves.

New Testament references


Herod the Great appears in the Gospel according to Matthew (Ch. 2), which describes an event known as the Massacre of the Innocents
Massacre of the Innocents
The Massacre of the Innocents is an episode of infanticide by the King of Judea, Herod the Great. According to the Gospel of Matthew Herod orders the execution of all young male children in the village of Bethlehem, so as to avoid the loss of his throne to a newborn King of the Jews whose birth...

. According to this account, after the birth of Jesus
Jesus
Jesus of Nazareth , commonly referred to as Jesus Christ or simply as Jesus or Christ, is the central figure of Christianity...

, Magi
Magi
Magi is a term, used since at least the 4th century BC, to denote a follower of Zoroaster, or rather, a follower of what the Hellenistic world associated Zoroaster with, which...

 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 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
Messiah
A messiah is a redeemer figure expected or foretold in one form or another by a religion. Slightly more widely, a messiah is any redeemer figure. Messianic beliefs or theories generally relate to eschatological improvement of the state of humanity or the world, in other words the World to...

, Greek: Ο Χριστός (ho christos)) was to be born. They answered, in Bethlehem
Bethlehem
Bethlehem is a Palestinian city in the central West Bank of the Jordan River, near Israel and approximately south of Jerusalem, with a population of about 30,000 people. It is the capital of the Bethlehem Governorate of the Palestinian National Authority and a hub of Palestinian culture and tourism...

, 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, the Magi were warned in a dream not to report back to Herod. Similarly, Joseph
Saint Joseph
Saint Joseph is a figure in the Gospels, the husband of the Virgin Mary and the earthly father of Jesus Christ ....

 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 by the Magi, 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
Nazareth
Nazareth is the largest city in the North District of Israel. Known as "the Arab capital of Israel," the population is made up predominantly of Palestinian Arab citizens of Israel...

 in Galilee in order to avoid living under Herod's son Archelaus.

Regarding the Massacre of the Innocents
Massacre of the Innocents
The Massacre of the Innocents is an episode of infanticide by the King of Judea, Herod the Great. According to the Gospel of Matthew Herod orders the execution of all young male children in the village of Bethlehem, so as to avoid the loss of his throne to a newborn King of the Jews whose birth...

, although Herod was certainly guilty of many brutal acts, including the killing of his wife and two of his sons, no other known source from the period makes any reference to such a massacre. Since Bethlehem was a small village, the number of male children under the age of two might not exceed 20. This may be the reason for the lack of other sources for this history, although Herod's order in Matthew 2:16
Matthew 2:16
Matthew 2:16 is the sixteenth verse of the second chapter of the Gospel of Matthew in the New Testament.Joseph and Mary had been visited by an angel and told that Herod would attempt to kill Jesus, their son. Doing as told, they took their infant son and fled by night into Egypt, where they stayed...

 includes those children in Bethlehem's vicinity making the massacre larger numerically and geographically. Modern biographers of Herod tend to doubt the event took place.

Death


Since the work of Emil Schürer
Emil Schürer
Emil Schürer was a German Protestant theologian.-Biography:Schürer was born at Augsburg.After studying at Erlangen, Berlin and Heidelberg from 1862 to 1866, he became in 1873 professor extraordinarius at Leipzig and eventually professor ordinarius at Göttingen...

 in 1896 most scholars have agreed that Herod died at the end of March or early April in 4 BCE.

Further evidence is provided by the fact that his sons, between whom his kingdom was divided, dated their rule from 4 BCE, and Archilaus apparently also exercised royal authority during Herod's lifetime. Josephus states that Philip the Tetrarch
Philip the Tetrarch
Philip the Tetrarch was son of Herod the Great and his fifth wife Cleopatra of Jerusalem and half-brother of Herod Antipas and Herod Archelaus Philip inherited the northeast part of his father's kingdom, which includes Iturea and Trachonitis as...

's death took place after a 37-year reign, in the 20th year of 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...

 (34 CE).

Josephus tells us that Herod died after a lunar eclipse
Lunar eclipse
A lunar eclipse occurs when the Moon passes behind the Earth so that the Earth blocks the Sun's rays from striking the Moon. This can occur only when the Sun, Earth, and Moon are aligned exactly, or very closely so, with the Earth in the middle. Hence, a lunar eclipse can only occur the night of a...

. He gives an account of events between this eclipse and his death, and between his death and 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...

. A partial eclipse 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. There were however three other, total, eclipses around this time, and there are proponents of both 5 BCE– with two total eclipses, and 1 BCE.


Josephus wrote that Herod's final illness – sometimes named as "Herod's Evil" – was excruciating. From Josephus' descriptions, some medical experts propose that Herod had chronic
Chronic (medicine)
A chronic disease is a disease or other human health condition that is persistent or long-lasting in nature. The term chronic is usually applied when the course of the disease lasts for more than three months. Common chronic diseases include asthma, cancer, diabetes and HIV/AIDS.In medicine, the...

 kidney
Kidney
The kidneys, organs with several functions, serve essential regulatory roles in most animals, including vertebrates and some invertebrates. They are essential in the urinary system and also serve homeostatic functions such as the regulation of electrolytes, maintenance of acid–base balance, and...

 disease complicated by Fournier's gangrene. Modern scholars agree he suffered throughout his lifetime from depression and paranoia. More recently, others report that the visible worms and putrefaction
Putrefaction
Putrefaction is one of seven stages in the decomposition of the body of a dead animal. It can be viewed, in broad terms, as the decomposition of proteins, in a process that results in the eventual breakdown of cohesion between tissues and the liquefaction of most organs.-Description:In terms of...

 described in his final days are likely to have been scabies
Scabies
Scabies , known colloquially as the seven-year itch, is a contagious skin infection that occurs among humans and other animals. It is caused by a tiny and usually not directly visible parasite, the mite Sarcoptes scabiei, which burrows under the host's skin, causing intense allergic itching...

; the disease might have accounted for both his death and psychiatric symptoms. Similar symptoms attended the death of his grandson Agrippa I
Agrippa I
Agrippa I also known as Herod Agrippa or simply Herod , King of the Jews, was the grandson of Herod the Great, and son of Aristobulus IV and Berenice. His original name was Marcus Julius Agrippa, so named in honour of Roman statesman Marcus Vipsanius Agrippa, and he is the king named Herod in the...

 in CE 44.

Josephus also 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 order that they should be killed at the time of his death so that the displays of grief that he craved would take place . Fortunately for them, Herod's son Archilaus and sister Salome
Salome I
Salome I was the sister of Herod the Great and the mother of Berenice by her husband Costobarus, governor of Idumea.Upon the death of Herod the Great in 4 BCE, she was given a toparchy including the cities of Jabneh, Ashdod, Phasaelis, and 5000 drachmae. Caesar Augustus supplemented this with a...

 did not carry out this wish .

After Herod's death, his kingdom was divided among three of his sons by Augustus
Augustus
Augustus ;23 September 63 BC – 19 August AD 14) is considered the first emperor of the Roman Empire, which he ruled alone from 27 BC until his death in 14 AD.The dates of his rule are contemporary dates; Augustus lived under two calendars, the Roman Republican until 45 BC, and the Julian...

. Augustus "appointed Archilaus
Herod Archelaus
Herod Archelaus was the ethnarch of Samaria, Judea, and Idumea from 4 BC to 6 AD. He was the son of Herod the Great and Malthace the Samaritan, the brother of Herod Antipas, and the half-brother of Herod Philip I....

, not indeed to be the king of the whole country, but ethnarch
Ethnarch
Ethnarch, pronounced , the anglicized form of ethnarches refers generally to political leadership over a common ethnic group or homogeneous kingdom. The word is derived from the Greek words and ....

 or 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
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...

, that 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...

 who disputed with Archilaus
Herod Archelaus
Herod Archelaus was the ethnarch of Samaria, Judea, and Idumea from 4 BC to 6 AD. He was the son of Herod the Great and Malthace the Samaritan, the brother of Herod Antipas, and the half-brother of Herod Philip I....

 for the whole kingdom. Now, to him it was that Perea and 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...

 paid their tribute, which amounted annually to two hundred talents, while Batanea with 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"...

, 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
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 the country of 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 :...

, paid tribute to Archilaus
Herod Archelaus
Herod Archelaus was the ethnarch of Samaria, Judea, and Idumea from 4 BC to 6 AD. He was the son of Herod the Great and Malthace the Samaritan, the brother of Herod Antipas, and the half-brother of Herod Philip I....

, 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." Archilaus
Herod Archelaus
Herod Archelaus was the ethnarch of Samaria, Judea, and Idumea from 4 BC to 6 AD. He was the son of Herod the Great and Malthace the Samaritan, the brother of Herod Antipas, and the half-brother of Herod Philip I....

 became ethnarch of the tetrarchy of Judea
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...

, 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...

 became tetrarch 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 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...

, and Philip became tetrarch of territories east of the Jordan.

Tomb discovery



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." 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.


Professor Ehud Netzer
Ehud Netzer
Ehud Netzer was an Israeli architect, educator and archaeologist, known for his extensive excavations at Herodium, where in 2007 he found the tomb of Herod the Great; and the discovery of the oldest Jewish synagogue, located at Jericho....

, an archaeologist from Hebrew University, read the writings of Josephus and focused his search on the vicinity of the pool and its surroundings at the Winter Palace of Herod in the Judean desert. An article of the New York Times states,
Lower Herodium
Herodium
Herodium or Herodion is a volcano-like hill with a truncated cone located south of Jerusalem, near the city of Bethlehem in the West Bank. Herod the Great built a fortress and palace on the top of Herodium, and may have been buried there...

 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.


It took 35 years for Netzer to identify the exact location, but on May 7, 2007, an Israel
Israel
The State of Israel is a parliamentary republic located in the Middle East, along the eastern shore of the Mediterranean Sea...

i team of archaeologists of the Hebrew University led by Netzer, announced they had discovered the tomb. The site is located at the exact location given by Flavius Josephus, atop of tunnels and water pools, at a flattened desert site, halfway up the hill to Herodium
Herodium
Herodium or Herodion is a volcano-like hill with a truncated cone located south of Jerusalem, near the city of Bethlehem in the West Bank. Herod the Great built a fortress and palace on the top of Herodium, and may have been buried there...

, 12 kilometers (7.5 mi) south of Jerusalem. The tomb contained a broken sarcophagus but no remains of a body.

30s BCE

  • 39–37 BCE– War against Antigonus
    Antigonus the Hasmonean
    Antigonus II Mattathias was the last Hasmonean king of Judea. He was the son of King Aristobulus II of Judea...

    . After the conquest of Jerusalem and victory over Antigonus
    Antigonus the Hasmonean
    Antigonus II Mattathias was the last Hasmonean king of Judea. He was the son of King Aristobulus II of Judea...

    , Mark Antony
    Mark Antony
    Marcus Antonius , known in English as Mark Antony, was a Roman politician and general. As a military commander and administrator, he was an important supporter and loyal friend of his mother's cousin Julius Caesar...

     executes Antigonus
    Antigonus the Hasmonean
    Antigonus II Mattathias was the last Hasmonean king of Judea. He was the son of King Aristobulus II of Judea...

    .
  • 36 BCE– Herod makes his 17-year-old brother-in-law, Aristobulus III, high priest, fearing that the Jews would appoint Aristobulus III "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– Israel suffers a devastating earthquake
    Earthquake
    An earthquake is the result of a sudden release of energy in the Earth's crust that creates seismic waves. The seismicity, seismism or seismic activity of an area refers to the frequency, type and size of earthquakes experienced over a period of time...

    . Octavian
    Augustus
    Augustus ;23 September 63 BC – 19 August AD 14) is considered the first emperor of the Roman Empire, which he ruled alone from 27 BC until his death in 14 AD.The dates of his rule are contemporary dates; Augustus lived under two calendars, the Roman Republican until 45 BC, and the Julian...

     defeats Mark Antony
    Mark Antony
    Marcus Antonius , known in English as Mark Antony, was a Roman politician and general. As a military commander and administrator, he was an important supporter and loyal friend of his mother's cousin Julius Caesar...

    , so Herod switches allegiance to Octavian, later known as Augustus.
  • 30 BCE– Herod is shown great favor by Octavian, who at Rhodes
    Rhodes
    Rhodes is an island in Greece, located in the eastern Aegean Sea. It is the largest of the Dodecanese islands in terms of both land area and population, with a population of 117,007, and also the island group's historical capital. Administratively the island forms a separate municipality within...

     confirms him as King of Judea.

20s BCE

  • 29 BCE– 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...

     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
    Adultery
    Adultery is sexual infidelity to one's spouse, and is a form of extramarital sex. It originally referred only to sex between a woman who was married and a person other than her spouse. Even in cases of separation from one's spouse, an extramarital affair is still considered adultery.Adultery is...

    . His sister, Salome I
    Salome I
    Salome I was the sister of Herod the Great and the mother of Berenice by her husband Costobarus, governor of Idumea.Upon the death of Herod the Great in 4 BCE, she was given a toparchy including the cities of Jabneh, Ashdod, Phasaelis, and 5000 drachmae. Caesar Augustus supplemented this with a...

    , 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 (husband of Salome, father to 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...

    ) for conspiracy. Large festival in Jerusalem, as Herod had built a theatre
    Theatre
    Theatre is a collaborative form of fine art that uses live performers to present the experience of a real or imagined event before a live audience in a specific place. The performers may communicate this experience to the audience through combinations of gesture, speech, song, music or dance...

     and an amphitheatre
    Amphitheatre
    An amphitheatre is an open-air venue used for entertainment and performances.There are two similar, but distinct, types of structure for which the word "amphitheatre" is used: Ancient Roman amphitheatres were large central performance spaces surrounded by ascending seating, and were commonly used...

    .
  • 27 BCE– An assassination attempt on Herod was foiled. To honor Augustus, Herod rebuilt 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 :...

     and renamed it Sebaste.
  • 25 BCE– Herod imported grain from Egypt
    Egypt
    Egypt , officially the Arab Republic of Egypt, Arabic: , is a country mainly in North Africa, with the Sinai Peninsula forming a land bridge in Southwest Asia. Egypt is thus a transcontinental country, and a major power in Africa, the Mediterranean Basin, the Middle East and the Muslim world...

     and started an aid programme to combat the widespread hunger and disease that followed a massive drought
    Drought
    A drought is an extended period of months or years when a region notes a deficiency in its water supply. Generally, this occurs when a region receives consistently below average precipitation. It can have a substantial impact on the ecosystem and agriculture of the affected region...

    . He also waives a third of the taxes.
  • 23 BCE– Herod built a palace in Jerusalem and the fortress Herodion (Herodium) in Judea. He married his third wife, Mariamne II
    Mariamne (third wife of Herod)
    Mariamne II was the third wife of Herod the Great. She was the daughter of Simon Boethus the High Priest. Josephus recounts their wedding thus:...

    , 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.
  • 22 BCE– Herod began construction on Caesarea Maritima and its harbour. The Roman emperor Augustus grants him the regions Trachonitis, Batanaea and Auranitis to the northeast.
  • Circa 20 BCE– Expansion started on the Temple Mount
    Temple Mount
    The Temple Mount, known in Hebrew as , and in Arabic as the Haram Ash-Sharif , is one of the most important religious sites in the Old City of Jerusalem. It has been used as a religious site for thousands of years...

    ; Herod completely rebuilt the Second Temple of Jerusalem (see Herod's Temple).

10s BCE

  • Circa 18 BCE– Herod travelled for the second time to Rome.
  • 14 BCE– Herod supported the Jews in Anatolia
    Anatolia
    Anatolia is a geographic and historical term denoting the westernmost protrusion of Asia, comprising the majority of the Republic of Turkey...

     and Cyrene
    Cyrene, Libya
    Cyrene was an ancient Greek colony and then a Roman city in present-day Shahhat, Libya, the oldest and most important of the five Greek cities in the region. It gave eastern Libya the classical name Cyrenaica that it has retained to modern times.Cyrene lies in a lush valley in the Jebel Akhdar...

    . 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
    Will (law)
    A will or testament is a legal declaration by which a person, the testator, names one or more persons to manage his/her estate and provides for the transfer of his/her property at death...

    .
  • 12 BCE– Herod suspected both his sons (from his marriage to Mariamne I) Alexander and Aristobulus of threatening his life. He took them to Aquileia
    Aquileia
    Aquileia is an ancient Roman city in what is now Italy, at the head of the Adriatic at the edge of the lagoons, about 10 km from the sea, on the river Natiso , the course of which has changed somewhat since Roman times...

     to be tried. Augustus reconciled the three. Herod supported the financially strapped Olympic Games
    Olympic Games
    The Olympic Games is a major international event featuring summer and winter sports, in which thousands of athletes participate in a variety of competitions. The Olympic Games have come to be regarded as the world’s foremost sports competition where more than 200 nations participate...

     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


  • 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 by Mariamne I of high treason
    Treason
    In law, treason is the crime that covers some of the more extreme acts against one's sovereign or nation. Historically, treason also covered the murder of specific social superiors, such as the murder of a husband by his wife. Treason against the king was known as high treason and treason against a...

    . 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
    Beirut
    Beirut is the capital and largest city of Lebanon, with a population ranging from 1 million to more than 2 million . Located on a peninsula at the midpoint of Lebanon's Mediterranean coastline, it serves as the country's largest and main seaport, and also forms the Beirut Metropolitan...

    ) before a Roman court. Mariamne I's sons 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
    Malthace
    Malthace was a Samaritan woman who lived in the latter half of the 1st century BC. She was one of the wives of Herod the Great and the mother by Herod of Herod Antipas, Archelaus and a daughter Olympias....

    ) 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
    Herod Archelaus
    Herod Archelaus was the ethnarch of Samaria, Judea, and Idumea from 4 BC to 6 AD. He was the son of Herod the Great and Malthace the Samaritan, the brother of Herod Antipas, and the half-brother of Herod Philip I....

     (from the marriage with Malthace) would rule as ethnarch over the tetrachy of Judea
    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...

    , while 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...

     (by Malthace) and Philip (from the fifth marriage with Cleopatra of Jerusalem) would rule as tetrarchs over Galilee 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...

     (Transjordan), also over Gaulanitis (Golan
    Golan
    Golan was a biblical city in Land of Israel. It was in the territory of Manasseh in the Bashan.Golan was the most northerly of the three cities of refuge east of the Jordan River . Manasseh gave this city to the Gershonite Levites .According to the Bible, the Israelites conquered Golan from the...

    ), 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"...

     (Hebrew: Argob), Batanaea (now Ard-el-Bathanyeh) and Panias. Salome I
    Salome I
    Salome I was the sister of Herod the Great and the mother of Berenice by her husband Costobarus, governor of Idumea.Upon the death of Herod the Great in 4 BCE, she was given a toparchy including the cities of Jabneh, Ashdod, Phasaelis, and 5000 drachmae. Caesar Augustus supplemented this with a...

     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.

Marriages and children

Herod's marriages and children
Wife Children
Doris
Doris
- Geography :* Doris , region of Asia Minor inhabited by Dorians* Doris , region in central Greece in which the Dorians had their traditional homeland* Doris, Iowa, USA- People :* Doris, mother of Antipater...

  • Son Antipater II
    Antipater (son of Herod I)
    Antipater II was Herod the Great's first-born son, his only child by his first wife Doris. He was named after his paternal grandfather Antipater the Idumaean. He and his mother were exiled after Herod divorced her between 43 BC and 40 BC to marry Mariamne I. However, he was recalled following...

    , executed 4 BCE
Mariamne I
Mariamne (second wife of Herod)
Mariamne I, also called Mariamne the Hasmonean was the second wife of Herod the Great. She was known for her great beauty, as was her brother Aristobulus...

, daughter of Hasmonean Alexandros
  • Son Alexander
    Alexander, son of Herod
    Alexander, son of Herod was born about 35 BC; died about 7 BC. His mother was the Hasmonean princess Mariamne.The unfortunate fate which persistently pursued the Hasmonean house overtook this prince also. As heir presumptive to the throne by right of descent on his mother's side, he was sent to...

    , executed 7 BCE
  • Son 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...

    , executed 7 BCE
  • Daughter Salampsio
    Salampsio
    Salampsio was the eldest daughter of Herod the Great by his royal Hasmonean wife, Mariamne I. She was married to Phasael ben Phasael, Herod's nephew . The marriage resulted in five children--Antipater, Herod, Alexander, Alexandra, and Cypros. Cypros married Agrippa I, the son of Aristobulus and...

  • Daughter Cypros
  • Mariamne II
    Mariamne (third wife of Herod)
    Mariamne II was the third wife of Herod the Great. She was the daughter of Simon Boethus the High Priest. Josephus recounts their wedding thus:...

    , daughter of High-Priest
    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...

     Simon
    Boethusians
    The Boethusians were a Jewish sect closely related to, if not a development of, the Sadducees.-Origins according to the Talmud:The post-Talmudic work Avot de-Rabbi Natan gives the following origin of the schism between Sadducees and Boethusians: Antigonus of Sokho having taught the maxim, "Be not...

  • Son 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...

     Boethus
  • Malthace
    Malthace
    Malthace was a Samaritan woman who lived in the latter half of the 1st century BC. She was one of the wives of Herod the Great and the mother by Herod of Herod Antipas, Archelaus and a daughter Olympias....

  • Son Herod Archelaus
    Herod Archelaus
    Herod Archelaus was the ethnarch of Samaria, Judea, and Idumea from 4 BC to 6 AD. He was the son of Herod the Great and Malthace the Samaritan, the brother of Herod Antipas, and the half-brother of Herod Philip I....

     - Ethnarch
  • Son 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
  • Daughter Olympias
  • Cleopatra of Jerusalem
    Cleopatra of Jerusalem
    Cleopatra of Jerusalem was a woman who lived in the 1st century BC during the Roman Empire. She is remembered as one of the wives of King of Judea Herod the Great.There is a possibility that Cleopatra could have been a daughter of a local noble from Jerusalem...

  • Son Herod Philip II - Tetrarch
  • Son Herod
  • Pallas
  • Son Phasael
  • Phaidra
  • Daughter Roxanne
  • Elpis
  • Daughter Salome, daughter of Herod I
  • 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.

    Marriages and descendants



    Herod the Great + Doris
    Doris
    - Geography :* Doris , region of Asia Minor inhabited by Dorians* Doris , region in central Greece in which the Dorians had their traditional homeland* Doris, Iowa, USA- People :* Doris, mother of Antipater...


    |
    Antipater II
    Antipater (son of Herod I)
    Antipater II was Herod the Great's first-born son, his only child by his first wife Doris. He was named after his paternal grandfather Antipater the Idumaean. He and his mother were exiled after Herod divorced her between 43 BC and 40 BC to marry Mariamne I. However, he was recalled following...


    d. 4 BCE?

    Herod the Great + Mariamne I
    Mariamne (second wife of Herod)
    Mariamne I, also called Mariamne the Hasmonean was the second wife of Herod the Great. She was known for her great beauty, as was her brother Aristobulus...

    , d. 29 BCE?, dt. of Alexandros.
    |
    —————————————————————————————————————————————
    | | | |
    Aristobulus
    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...

      Alexander
    Alexander, son of Herod
    Alexander, son of Herod was born about 35 BC; died about 7 BC. His mother was the Hasmonean princess Mariamne.The unfortunate fate which persistently pursued the Hasmonean house overtook this prince also. As heir presumptive to the throne by right of descent on his mother's side, he was sent to...

      Salampsio
    Salampsio
    Salampsio was the eldest daughter of Herod the Great by his royal Hasmonean wife, Mariamne I. She was married to Phasael ben Phasael, Herod's nephew . The marriage resulted in five children--Antipater, Herod, Alexander, Alexandra, and Cypros. Cypros married Agrippa I, the son of Aristobulus and...

     + Phasael II Cypros
    d. 7 BCE? d. 7 BCE? | m. Antipater(2)
    m. 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...

      Cypros
    |
    ————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————
    | | | | |
    Mariamne III
    Mariamne III
    Mariamne III was a daughter of Aristobulus IV and Berenice. She had three brothers, Herod of Chalcis, Herod Agrippa I, and Aristobulus V, and one sister, Herodias...

      Herod V
    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....

      Herodias
    Herodias
    Herodias was a Jewish princess of the Herodian Dynasty. Asteroid 546 Herodias is named after her.-Family relationships:*Daughter of Aristobulus IV...

      Herod Agrippa
    Agrippa I
    Agrippa I also known as Herod Agrippa or simply Herod , King of the Jews, was the grandson of Herod the Great, and son of Aristobulus IV and Berenice. His original name was Marcus Julius Agrippa, so named in honour of Roman statesman Marcus Vipsanius Agrippa, and he is the king named Herod in the...

      Aristobulus V
    m. her uncle King of Chalcis
    Chalcis
    Chalcis or Chalkida , the chief town of the island of Euboea in Greece, is situated on the strait of the Evripos at its narrowest point. The name is preserved from antiquity and is derived from the Greek χαλκός , though there is no trace of any mines in the area...

      + King of 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...

      |
    Archelaus
    Herod Archelaus
    Herod Archelaus was the ethnarch of Samaria, Judea, and Idumea from 4 BC to 6 AD. He was the son of Herod the Great and Malthace the Samaritan, the brother of Herod Antipas, and the half-brother of Herod Philip I....

     ? m. 1. 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...

     Boethus Herod 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...


    her uncle
    2. 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...


    her uncle

    Herod the Great + Mariamne II
    Mariamne (third wife of Herod)
    Mariamne II was the third wife of Herod the Great. She was the daughter of Simon Boethus the High Priest. Josephus recounts their wedding thus:...

    , dt. of Simon the High-Priest
    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...

    .
    |
    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...


    Boethus

    Herod the Great + Malthace
    Malthace
    Malthace was a Samaritan woman who lived in the latter half of the 1st century BC. She was one of the wives of Herod the Great and the mother by Herod of Herod Antipas, Archelaus and a daughter Olympias....

     (a Samaritan
    Samaritan
    The Samaritans are an ethnoreligious group of the Levant. Religiously, they are the adherents to Samaritanism, an Abrahamic religion closely related to Judaism...

    )
    |
    ————————————————————————————————————————————————
    | | |
    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...

      Archelaus
    Herod Archelaus
    Herod Archelaus was the ethnarch of Samaria, Judea, and Idumea from 4 BC to 6 AD. He was the son of Herod the Great and Malthace the Samaritan, the brother of Herod Antipas, and the half-brother of Herod Philip I....

      Olympias
    b. 20 BCE?
    + Phasaelis,
    dt. of Aretas IV
    Aretas IV Philopatris
    Aretas IV Philopatris was the King of the Nabataeans from roughly 9 BC to AD 40.His full title, as given in the inscriptions, was "Aretas, King of the Nabataeans, Friend of his People." Being the most powerful neighbour of Judea, he frequently took part in the state affairs of that country, and was...

    , king of Arabia
    "divorced" to marry:
    + Herodias
    Herodias
    Herodias was a Jewish princess of the Herodian Dynasty. Asteroid 546 Herodias is named after her.-Family relationships:*Daughter of Aristobulus IV...

    ,
    dt. of Aristobulus
    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...

     (son of Herod the Great)

    Herod the Great + Cleopatra of Jerusalem
    Cleopatra of Jerusalem
    Cleopatra of Jerusalem was a woman who lived in the 1st century BC during the Roman Empire. She is remembered as one of the wives of King of Judea Herod the Great.There is a possibility that Cleopatra could have been a daughter of a local noble from Jerusalem...


    |
    Philip the Tetrarch
    d. 34 CE

    Notes.
    • Herod's Family Tree
    • Antipater(2) was the son of Joseph and Salome
    • Dates with ? need verifying against modern findings

    Ancestors



    Antipater the Idumaean
    Antipater the Idumaean
    Antipater I the Idumaean was the founder of the Herodian Dynasty and father of Herod the Great. According to Josephus, he was the son of Antipas...

     + Cypros, Princess from Petra, Jordan in Nabatea.
    |
    —————————————————————————————————————————————
    | | | | |
    Phasael
    Phasael
    Phasael was a prince from the Herodian Dynasty of Judea.-Origins and early career:...

      Herod the Great Joseph Pheroras Salome I
    Salome I
    Salome I was the sister of Herod the Great and the mother of Berenice by her husband Costobarus, governor of Idumea.Upon the death of Herod the Great in 4 BCE, she was given a toparchy including the cities of Jabneh, Ashdod, Phasaelis, and 5000 drachmae. Caesar Augustus supplemented this with a...


    (74-4 BCE)
    Legend
    Sign & Meaning
    + = married
    > = descended from
    ../——— = sibling
    dt. = daughter
    b. = born
    d. = died
    m. = was married to
    ? = not included here or unknown

    Alexandros + Alexandra
    |
    ———————————————————————————————————
    | |
    Aristobulus III  Mariamne
    Mariamne (second wife of Herod)
    Mariamne I, also called Mariamne the Hasmonean was the second wife of Herod the Great. She was known for her great beauty, as was her brother Aristobulus...

    , dt.
    (d. 35 BCE) m. Herod the Great
    (last Hasmonean
    Hasmonean
    The Hasmonean dynasty , was the ruling dynasty of Judea and surrounding regions during classical antiquity. Between c. 140 and c. 116 BCE, the dynasty ruled semi-autonomously from the Seleucids in the region of Judea...

     scion;
    appointed high priest; drowned)

    Further reading

    • Günther, Linda-Marie (hg.). Herodes und Jerusalem (Stuttgart: Franz Steiner Verlag, 2009).
    • Guenther, 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 IJS Conference, 21st-23rd June 2005 (Leiden, Brill, 2009) (IJS Studies in Judaica, 6).
    • Kokkinos, Nikos, The Herodian Dynasty: Origins, Role in Society and Eclipse (Sheffield, Sheffield Academic, 1998).
    • Netzer, Ehud, The Architecture of Herod, the Great Builder (Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2006).
    • Richardson, P., Herod the King of the Jews and Friend of the Romans (Edinburgh, 1999).
    • Witztum, Eliezer, King Herod: A Persecuted Persecutor. A Case Study in Psychohistory and Psychobiography (Berlin and New York, Walter de Gruyter, 2006).

    External links




    Tomb
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