Herodias

Herodias

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Herodias was a Jewish princess of 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...

. Asteroid
Asteroid
Asteroids are a class of small Solar System bodies in orbit around the Sun. They have also been called planetoids, especially the larger ones...

 546 Herodias
546 Herodias
546 Herodias is a C-type asteroid orbiting in the Main belt near the Eunomia family. However, it is not a family member but an un-related interloper in the region because its composition is inconsistent with membership. Its diameter is about 66 km, its albedo around 0.053, and its rotation...

 is named after her.

Family relationships

  • Daughter 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...

     (one of the two sons 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 the Hasmonean princess 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 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...

     (a daughter of Herod
    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...

    's 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...

    , and of Costabarus, governor of Idumea)
  • Full sister to 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....

     (king of Chalkis
    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....

    ), 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...

     (king of Judea), Aristobulus V, and 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...

     (possibly the first wife of her uncle, 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 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...

    )
  • Daughter-in-law of Herod the Great, twice: once by marriage to his son, Herod II, and again by marriage to another son, Herod Antipas.

Herod II


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...

 (born - ca. 27 BC; died - 33 AD) was the son 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 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:...

, who was the daughter of Simon Boethus
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...

 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...

 (Mark 6:17). For a brief period he was his father's heir. Some writers call him Herod Philip I (not to be confused with 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...

, whom some writers call Herod Philip II
).

Herod was the first husband of Herodias, and because the Gospel of Mark
Gospel of Mark
The Gospel According to Mark , commonly shortened to the Gospel of Mark or simply Mark, is the second book of the New Testament. This canonical account of the life of Jesus of Nazareth is one of the three synoptic gospels. It was thought to be an epitome, which accounts for its place as the second...

 states that Herodias was married to Philip, some scholars have argued that his name was actually Herod Philip. Many scholars dispute this, however, and believe the Gospel writer was in error, a suggestion supported by the fact that the later Gospel of Luke
Gospel of Luke
The Gospel According to Luke , commonly shortened to the Gospel of Luke or simply Luke, is the third and longest of the four canonical Gospels. This synoptic gospel is an account of the life and ministry of Jesus of Nazareth. It details his story from the events of his birth to his Ascension.The...

 drops the name Philip. Because he was the grandson of the high priest Simon Boethus he is sometimes described as Herod Boethus, but there is no evidence he was actually called this.

Herod the Great's execution of his 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...

 sons, Alexander and 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...

 in 7 BC, left the latter's daughter Herodias an orphan
Orphan
An orphan is a child permanently bereaved of or abandoned by his or her parents. In common usage, only a child who has lost both parents is called an orphan...

ed minor. Herod engaged her to Herod II, her half-uncle, and her connection to the Hasmonean bloodline supported her new husband's right to succeed his father.

This marriage led to opposition from Antipater III, Herod the Great's eldest son, and so Herod demoted Herod II to second in line to the succession. Antipater's execution in 4 BC for plotting to poison his father seemed to leave Herod II, now Herod I's eldest surviving son, as first in line, but his mother's knowledge of the poison plot, and failure to stop it, led to his being dropped from this position in Herod I's will just days before he died.

Herodias later divorced Herod II; however, it is unclear when they were divorced. 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...

:
Herodias took upon her to confound the laws of our country, and divorced herself from her husband while he was alive, and was married to Herod Antipas


According to biblical scholars, the Gospel of Matthew
Gospel of Matthew
The Gospel According to Matthew is one of the four canonical gospels, one of the three synoptic gospels, and the first book of the New Testament. It tells of the life, ministry, death, and resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth...

 and the Gospel of Luke
Gospel of Luke
The Gospel According to Luke , commonly shortened to the Gospel of Luke or simply Luke, is the third and longest of the four canonical Gospels. This synoptic gospel is an account of the life and ministry of Jesus of Nazareth. It details his story from the events of his birth to his Ascension.The...

, indicate that it was this proposed marriage which 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...

 publicly criticized. The historian Josephus does not say this but these events (the divorce, the marriage, execution, and the resulting war with Aretas IV Philopatris
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 the Nabataeans
Rulers of Nabatea
The Rulers of Nabataea, reigned over the Nabataean kingdom , inhabited by the Nabateans, located in present-day Jordan, southern Syria, southern Israel and north-western Saudi Arabia.- List :...

) chronologically give weight to this theory, suggesting the events are linked.

Salome


Herod II and Herodias had a daughter named Salome
Salome
Salome , the Daughter of Herodias , is known from the New Testament...

. Although some scholars indicate that some Greek texts show that Salome may have also been called Herodias like her mother, but referred to Salome in order not to confuse the two. As 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...

 reports in Jewish Antiquities (Book XVIII, Chapter 5, 4):
Herodias, [...], was married to Herod, the son of Herod the Great by 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 Simon the High Priest. [Herod II and Herodias] had a daughter, Salome
Salome
Salome , the Daughter of Herodias , is known from the New Testament...

...


Some ancient Greek versions of Mark read "Herod's daughter Herodias" (rather than "daughter of the said Herodias"). To scholars using these ancient texts, both mother and daughter had the same name. However, the Latin Vulgate Bible translates the passage as it is above, and western Church Fathers therefore tended to refer to Salome as "Herodias's daughter" or just "the girl".

Christian traditions depict her as an icon of dangerous female seductiveness, for instance depicting as erotic her dance mentioned in the New Testament (in some later transformations further iconised to the dance of the seven veils
Dance of the Seven Veils
In several notable works of Western culture, the Dance of the Seven Veils is one of the elaborations on the biblical tale of the execution of John the Baptist...

), or concentrate on her lighthearted and cold foolishness that, according to the gospels, led to 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...

's death. (This Salome is not to be confused with Salome the disciple
Salome (disciple)
Salome , sometimes venerated as Mary Salome, was a follower of Jesus who appears briefly in the canonical gospels and in more detail in apocryphal writings...

, who was a witness to the Crucifixion
Crucifixion
Crucifixion is an ancient method of painful execution in which the condemned person is tied or nailed to a large wooden cross and left to hang until dead...

 of Jesus in Mark 15:40.
)

Herod Antipas


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...

 (born - before 20 BC; died - after 39 AD) was also the son of Herod the Great by his fourth wife, 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....

, and half-brother of Herod II. He was a ruler 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...

, who bore the title of 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...

 ("ruler of a quarter"). He is best known today for accounts in the New Testament
New Testament
The New Testament is the second major division of the Christian biblical canon, the first such division being the much longer Old Testament....

 of his role in events that led to the executions 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 Jesus of Nazareth
Jesus
Jesus of Nazareth , commonly referred to as Jesus Christ or simply as Jesus or Christ, is the central figure of Christianity...

.

Antipas divorced his first wife Phasaelis, the daughter of King 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...

 of Nabatea, in favor of Herodias. According to the New Testament Gospel
Gospel
A gospel is an account, often written, that describes the life of Jesus of Nazareth. In a more general sense the term "gospel" may refer to the good news message of the New Testament. It is primarily used in reference to the four canonical gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John...

s, it was John the Baptist's condemnation of this arrangement that led Antipas to have him arrested; John was subsequently put to death. Besides provoking his conflict with the Baptist, the tetrarch's divorce added a personal grievance to previous disputes with Aretas over territory on the border of Perea and Nabatea. The result was a war that proved disastrous for Antipas; a Roman counter-offensive was ordered by Tiberius, but abandoned upon that emperor's death in 37 AD. In 39 AD Antipas was accused by his nephew 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...

 of conspiracy against the new Roman emperor 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...

, who sent him into exile in Gaul
Roman Gaul
Roman Gaul consisted of an area of provincial rule in the Roman Empire, in modern day France, Belgium, Luxembourg, and western Germany. Roman control of the area lasted for less than 500 years....

. Accompanied there by Herodias, he died at an unknown date.

The Gospel of Luke
Gospel of Luke
The Gospel According to Luke , commonly shortened to the Gospel of Luke or simply Luke, is the third and longest of the four canonical Gospels. This synoptic gospel is an account of the life and ministry of Jesus of Nazareth. It details his story from the events of his birth to his Ascension.The...

 states that when Jesus was brought before Pontius Pilate
Pontius Pilate
Pontius Pilatus , known in the English-speaking world as Pontius Pilate , was the fifth Prefect of the Roman province of Judaea, from AD 26–36. He is best known as the judge at Jesus' trial and the man who authorized the crucifixion of Jesus...

 for trial, Pilate handed him over to Antipas, in whose territory Jesus had been active. However, Antipas sent him back to Pilate.

It is uncertain if Herodias had any children by her second husband, Herod Antipas.

In the Gospels



In the Gospels of Mark
Gospel of Mark
The Gospel According to Mark , commonly shortened to the Gospel of Mark or simply Mark, is the second book of the New Testament. This canonical account of the life of Jesus of Nazareth is one of the three synoptic gospels. It was thought to be an epitome, which accounts for its place as the second...

 and Matthew
Gospel of Matthew
The Gospel According to Matthew is one of the four canonical gospels, one of the three synoptic gospels, and the first book of the New Testament. It tells of the life, ministry, death, and resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth...

, Herodias plays a major role in 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...

's execution, using her daughter's dance before Antipas and his birthday party guests to ask for the head of the Baptist as a reward. Antipas did not want to put John the Baptist to death, for Antipas liked to listen to John the Baptist preach (Mark 6:20). Furthermore, Antipas may have feared that if John the Baptist were to be put to death, his followers would riot.

Modern scholarship


At least one biblical scholar has doubted that the Gospels give historically accurate accounts of John the Baptist's execution. According to the ancient historian 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...

, John the Baptist was put to death by Antipas for political reasons, for Antipas feared the prophet's seditious influence. Some exegetes believe that Antipas' and Herodias' struggle with John the Baptist as told in the Gospels was some kind of a remembrance of the political and religious fight opposing the Israeli monarchs Achab and Jezebel
Jezebel (Bible)
Jezebel was a princess, identified in the Hebrew Book of Kings as the daughter of Ethbaal, King of Tyre and the wife of Ahab, king of north Israel. According to genealogies given in Josephus and other classical sources, she was the great-aunt of Dido, Queen of Carthage.The Hebrew text portrays...

 to the prophet Elijah..

In medieval literature


In medieval
Middle Ages
The Middle Ages is a periodization of European history from the 5th century to the 15th century. The Middle Ages follows the fall of the Western Roman Empire in 476 and precedes the Early Modern Era. It is the middle period of a three-period division of Western history: Classic, Medieval and Modern...

 Europe
Europe
Europe is, by convention, one of the world's seven continents. Comprising the westernmost peninsula of Eurasia, Europe is generally 'divided' from Asia to its east by the watershed divides of the Ural and Caucasus Mountains, the Ural River, the Caspian and Black Seas, and the waterways connecting...

 a widespread belief held Herodias to be the supernatural leader of a supposed cult of witches, synonymous with Diana
Diana (mythology)
In Roman mythology, Diana was the goddess of the hunt and moon and birthing, being associated with wild animals and woodland, and having the power to talk to and control animals. She was equated with the Greek goddess Artemis, though she had an independent origin in Italy...

, Holda
Holda
In Germanic folklore as established by Jacob Grimm, Frau Holda or Holle is the supernatural matron of spinning, childbirth and domestic animals, and is also associated with winter, witches and the Wild Hunt...

 and Abundia. See Cult of Herodias.

Further reading

  • Gillman, Florence Morgan. Herodias: At Home in the Fox's Den. Interfaces. Collegeville, Minn.: Liturgical Press, 2003.
  • Meier, John P. A Marginal Jew: Rethinking the Historical Jesus, Volume Two: Mentor, Message and Miracles. Anchor Bible Reference Library, New York: Doubleday, 1994.
  • Theissen, Gerd. The Shadow of the Galilean: The Quest of the Historical Jesus in Narrative Form. Philadelphia: Fortress, 1987.

Herodias in fiction

  • Hérodiade
    Hérodiade
    Hérodiade is an opera in four acts by Jules Massenet to a French libretto by Paul Milliet and Henri Grémont, based on the novella Hérodias by Gustave Flaubert...

    , opera by Jules Massenet
    Jules Massenet
    Jules Émile Frédéric Massenet was a French composer best known for his operas. His compositions were very popular in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, and he ranks as one of the greatest melodists of his era. Soon after his death, Massenet's style went out of fashion, and many of his operas...

    .
  • Hérodias, story by Gustave Flaubert
    Gustave Flaubert
    Gustave Flaubert was a French writer who is counted among the greatest Western novelists. He is known especially for his first published novel, Madame Bovary , and for his scrupulous devotion to his art and style.-Early life and education:Flaubert was born on December 12, 1821, in Rouen,...

    , one of the Three Tales (Trois contes), published in 1877.
  • Salomé
    Salome (play)
    Salome is a tragedy by Oscar Wilde.The original 1891 version of the play was in French. Three years later an English translation was published...

    , play by Oscar Wilde
    Oscar Wilde
    Oscar Fingal O'Flahertie Wills Wilde was an Irish writer and poet. After writing in different forms throughout the 1880s, he became one of London's most popular playwrights in the early 1890s...

    , French (1894), translated into English by Lord Alfred Douglas
    Lord Alfred Douglas
    Lord Alfred Bruce Douglas , nicknamed Bosie, was a British author, poet and translator, better known as the intimate friend and lover of the writer Oscar Wilde...

    , 1895.
  • Salome
    Salome (opera)
    Salome is an opera in one act by Richard Strauss to a German libretto by the composer, based on Hedwig Lachmann’s German translation of the French play Salomé by Oscar Wilde. Strauss dedicated the opera to his friend Sir Edgar Speyer....

    , opera by Richard Strauss
    Richard Strauss
    Richard Georg Strauss was a leading German composer of the late Romantic and early modern eras. He is known for his operas, which include Der Rosenkavalier and Salome; his Lieder, especially his Four Last Songs; and his tone poems and orchestral works, such as Death and Transfiguration, Till...

    , based on a German translation (by Hedwig Lachmann, grandmother of Mike Nichols
    Mike Nichols
    Mike Nichols is a German-born American television, stage and film director, writer, producer and comedian. He began his career in the 1950s as one half of the comedy duo Nichols and May, along with Elaine May. In 1968 he won the Academy Award for Best Director for the film The Graduate...

    ) of the play by Oscar Wilde
    Oscar Wilde
    Oscar Fingal O'Flahertie Wills Wilde was an Irish writer and poet. After writing in different forms throughout the 1880s, he became one of London's most popular playwrights in the early 1890s...

    .
  • Herodias
    Herodias (Dungeons & Dragons)
    Herodias is a Duke of Hell formerly in the service of Geryon, in the Dungeons & Dragons roleplaying game.-Publication history:Herodias first appears in Ed Greenwood's article "The Nine Hells Part I" in Dragon #75 ....

     is the name of an outcast devil
    Devil (Dungeons & Dragons)
    In the Dungeons & Dragons roleplaying game, devils are a powerful group of monsters used as a high-level challenge for players of the game. Devils are Lawful Evil in alignment and originate from the Nine Hells of Baator. True to their Lawful Evil alignment, devils are locked in a strict and brutal...

     in the Dungeons & Dragons
    Dungeons & Dragons
    Dungeons & Dragons is a fantasy role-playing game originally designed by Gary Gygax and Dave Arneson, and first published in 1974 by Tactical Studies Rules, Inc. . The game has been published by Wizards of the Coast since 1997...

    roleplaying game.