Herod the Great
|King of Judea|
|#REDIRECT Template:If empty
|Predecessor||Antigonus II Mattathias|
Philip the Tetrarch
and Salome I
Prince Aristobulus IV
Herod Philip I
Olympias the Herodian
Herod Philip II
|Father||Antipater the Idumaean|
4 BC (aged 70)|
|Burial||Possibly the Herodium|
|Religion||Second Temple Judaism|
Herod (//; Hebrew: הוֹרְדוֹס, Hordos, Greek: Ἡρῴδης, Hērōdēs; 74/73 BCE – 4 BCE), also known as Herod the Great and Herod I, was a Roman client king of Judea, referred to as the Herodian kingdom. He has been described as "a madman who murdered his own family and a great many rabbis", "the evil genius of the Judean nation", "prepared to commit any crime in order to gratify his unbounded ambition", and "the greatest builder in Jewish history". He is known for his colossal building projects throughout Judea, including his expansion of the Second Temple in Jerusalem (Herod's Temple), the construction of the port at Caesarea Maritima, the fortress at Masada and Herodium. Vital details of his life are recorded in the works of the 1st century CE Roman–Jewish historian Josephus.
Upon Herod's death, the Romans divided his kingdom among three of his sons and his sister—Archelaus became ethnarch of the tetrarchy of Judea, Herod Antipas became tetrarch of Galilee and Peraea, Philip became tetrarch of territories east of the Jordan, and Salome I was given a toparchy including the cities of Jabneh, Ashdod, Phasaelis.
- 1 Biography
- 2 Reign in Judea
- 3 Architectural achievements
- 4 New Testament references
- 5 Death
- 6 Herod's tomb
- 7 Chronology
- 8 Wives and children
- 9 Family trees
- 10 See also
- 11 References
- 12 Further reading
- 13 External links
Herod was of Arab (Nabatean) and Edomite descent, whose ancestors converted to Judaism. Herod was born around 74 BCE in Idumea, south of Judea. He was the second son of Antipater the Idumaean, a high-ranked official under ethnarch Hyrcanus II, and Cypros, a Nabatean. He was raised as a Jew. A loyal supporter of Hyrcanus II, Antipater appointed Herod governor of Galilee at 25, and his elder brother, Phasael, governor of Jerusalem. He enjoyed the backing of Rome but his brutality was condemned by the Sanhedrin.
Two years later Antigonus, Hyrcanus' nephew, took the throne from his uncle with the help of the Parthians. Herod fled to Rome to plead with the Romans to restore him to power. (The Roman general Pompey the Great had conquered Jerusalem in 63 BCE). There he was appointed King of the Jews by the Roman Senate. Josephus puts this in the year of the consulship of Calvinus and Pollio (40 BCE), but Appian 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, and chose therefore to banish Doris and her child.
Three years later, Herod and the Romans finally captured Jerusalem and executed Antigonus. Herod took the role as sole ruler of Judea and the title of basileus (Βασιλεύς, "king") for himself, ushering in the Herodian Dynasty and ending the Hasmonean Dynasty. Josephus reports this as being in the year of the consulship of Agrippa and Gallus (37 BCE), but also says that it was exactly 27 years after Jerusalem fell to Pompey, which would indicate 36 BCE. Cassius Dio also reports that in 37 "the Romans accomplished nothing worthy of note" in the area. According to Josephus, Herod ruled for 37 years, 34 of them after capturing Jerusalem.
As Herod's family were converts to Judaism, his religious commitment was questioned by some elements of Jewish society. When John Hyrcanus conquered the region of Idumaea (the Edom of the Hebrew Bible) in 140–130 BCE, he required all Idumaeans to obey Jewish law or to leave; most Idumaeans thus converted to Judaism, which meant that they had to be circumcised, and many had intermarried with the Jews and adopted their customs. While 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, which would have earned them the antipathy of observant Jews.
Reign in Judea
Herod's rule marked a new beginning in the history of Judea. Judea had been under the rule of the Hasmonean dynasty from 140 BCE until 63 BCE; Herod overthrew the Hasmonean Antigonus and established the Herodian Dynasty, ruling until his death in 4 BCE.
Herod was granted the title of "King of Judea" by the Roman Senate, as such he was a vassal of the Roman Empire, expected to support the interests of his Roman patrons. Not long after he assumed control of Judea, Herod needed to show his worthiness as king of Judea to the new emperor, Augustus (who was known as Octavian), after he showed support for Augustus' opponent Mark Antony. Herod was able to win the support of Augustus and continue to rule his people as he saw fit. Despite the freedom afforded to Herod in his reign over Judea, restrictions were placed upon him in his dealings with other kingdoms.
Herod's support from the Roman Empire played a major role in allowing him to maintain his authority over Judea. There have been mixed interpretations concerning Herod's popularity during his reign. In The Jewish War, Josephus characterizes Herod's rule generally in favorable terms, and gives Herod the benefit of the doubt for the infamous events that took place during his reign. However, in his later work, Jewish Antiquities, Josephus emphasizes the tyrannical authority that many scholars have come to associate with Herod's reign.
Herod's tyrannical authority has been demonstrated by many of his security measures aimed at suppressing the contempt his people, especially Jews, had towards him. For instance, it has been suggested that Herod used secret police to monitor and report the feelings of the general populace towards him. He sought to prohibit protests, and had opponents taken away by force. He had a bodyguard of 2,000 soldiers. Josephus describes various units of Herod's personal guard taking part in Herod's funeral, including the Doryphnoroi, and a Thracian, Celtic (probably Gallic) and Germanic contingent. While the term Doryphnoroi does not have an ethnic connotation, the unit was probably composed of distinguished veteran soldiers and young men from the most influential Jewish families. Thracians had served in the Jewish armies since the Hasmonean dynasty, while the Celtic contingent were former bodyguards of Cleopatra given as a gift by Augustus to Herod following the Battle of Actium. The Germanic contingent was modeled upon Augustus's personal bodyguard, the Germani Corporis Custodes, responsible for guarding the palace.
Herod spent lavish sums on his various building projects and generous gifts to other kingdoms, including Rome. His buildings were very large, ambitious projects. Herod was responsible for the construction of the Temple Mount, a portion of which remains today as the Western Wall. In addition, Herod also built the harbor at Caesarea. While Herod's zeal for building transformed Judea, his motives were far from selfless. All these vast projects were aimed at gaining the support of the Jews and improving his reputation as a leader. However, in order to fund these expenses, Herod utilized a Hasmonean taxation system that weighed heavily on the people of Judea. Despite the burden paying for Herod's building projects and gifts caused, the employment they created also created opportunities for people to provide for themselves and their families. In some instances, Herod took it upon himself to provide for his people during times of need, such as during a severe famine that occurred in 25 BCE.
In regards to religious policies, Herod experienced a mixed response from the Jewish populace. Although Herod considered himself king of the Jews, he let it be known that he also represented the non-Jews living in Judea, building temples for other religions outside of the Jewish areas of his kingdom. Many Jews questioned whether he was truly Jewish due to his Idumean background and the infamous murders he committed against members of his family. However, he generally respected traditional Jewish observances in his public life. For instance, he minted coins without human images to be used in Jewish areas and acknowledged the sanctity of the Second Temple by employing priests in the construction of the Temple.
Despite some of Herod's attempts at conforming to traditional Jewish laws, there were many instances where Herod was insensitive to these laws. As highlighted in Jewish Antiquities, one of the major complaints from Jews towards Herod was exactly this. In Jerusalem, he introduced foreign forms of entertainment, and had a golden eagle erected at the entrance of the Temple, suggesting he did not truly represent the interests of the Jewish populace. The taxes Herod put in place earned him a bad reputation as well. Because of his constant concern for his reputation, Herod often donated expensive gifts, spending large amounts of money. Herod's leadership methods upset the Jews because they were forced to pay for his lavish spending. The two major Jewish sects during his reign, the Pharisees and the Sadducees, also showed opposition to Herod. The Pharisees were angry with Herod because he disregarded many of the demands they made for the construction of the Temple. Simultaneously, the Sadducees, who were known for their priestly responsibilities in the Temple, were opposed to Herod because he replaced the high priests with priests from Babylonia and Alexandria (in an attempt to gain support from Jews in the diaspora). Unfortunately for Herod, his efforts did not satisfy his intentions. At the end of Herod's reign, anger and dissatisfaction were common feelings amongst the Jews. Heavy outbreaks of violence (such as riots) followed Herod's death, in many cities including Jerusalem. All the grievances the Jews had toward Herod's actions during his reign, such as heavy taxes and violating the rules, built up during the years before he died. Because of the treatment the Jews were receiving, they were ready to break free from Roman Rule. Herod's leadership sparked such anger, that eventually it became one of the causes driving the Great Revolt of 70 C.E.
Herod's most famous and ambitious project was the expansion of the Second Temple in Jerusalem. Recent findings suggest that the Temple Mount walls and Robinson's Arch may not have been completed until at least 20 years after his death during the reign of Herod Agrippa II.
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 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 and Herodium, and founding new cities such as Caesarea Maritima and the enclosures of Cave of the Patriarchs and Mamre in Hebron. He and Cleopatra owned a monopoly over the extraction of asphalt from the Dead Sea, which was used in shipbuilding. He leased copper mines on Cyprus from the Roman emperor.
New Testament references
Herod appears in the Gospel according to Matthew (2:1-23), which describes an event known as the Massacre of the Innocents. According to this account, after the birth of Jesus, some magi (astrologers) from the East" visited Herod to inquire the whereabouts of "the one having been born king of the Jews", because they had seen his star in the east and therefore wanted to pay him homage. Herod, as King of the Jews, was alarmed at the prospect of a usurper. Herod assembled the chief priests and scribes of the people and asked them where the "Anointed One" (the Messiah, Greek: Ο Χριστός (ho christos)) was to be born. They answered, in Bethlehem, citing Micah 5:2. Herod therefore sent the magi to Bethlehem, instructing them to search for the child and, after they had found him, to "report to me, so that I too may go and worship him". However, after they had found Jesus, they were warned in a dream not to report back to Herod. Similarly, Joseph was warned in a dream that Herod intended to kill Jesus, so he and his family fled to Egypt. When Herod realized he had been outwitted, he gave orders to kill all boys of the age of two and under in Bethlehem and its vicinity. Joseph and his family stayed in Egypt until Herod's death, then moved to Nazareth in Galilee in order to avoid living under Herod's son Archelaus.
Regarding the Massacre of the Innocents, although Herod was guilty of many brutal acts including the killing of his wife and two of his sons, no other source from the period refers to the massacre. Since Bethlehem was a small village, the number of male children under the age of two might not exceed 20, and this may be the reason for the lack of other sources for this history. Most biographers of Herod doubt the event took place.
Evidence for the 4 BCE date is provided by the fact that Herod's sons, between whom his kingdom was divided, dated their rule from 4 BCE, and Archelaus apparently also exercised royal authority during Herod's lifetime. Josephus states that Philip the Tetrarch's death took place after a 37-year reign, in the 20th year of Tiberius (34 CE).
Josephus tells us that Herod died after a lunar eclipse. He gives an account of events between this eclipse and his death, and between his death and Passover. An 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. Some conservative scholars have continued to support the traditional date of 1 BCE.
Josephus wrote that Herod's final illness—sometimes named "Herod's Evil"—was excruciating. Based on Josephus's descriptions, one medical expert has diagnosed Herod's cause of death as chronic kidney disease complicated by Fournier's gangrene. Similar symptoms attended the death of his grandson Agrippa I in 44 CE.
Modern scholars agree he suffered throughout his lifetime from depression and paranoia. Josephus stated that Herod was so concerned that no one would mourn his death, that he commanded a large group of distinguished men to come to Jericho, and he gave an order that they should be killed at the time of his death so that the displays of grief that he craved would take place. Fortunately for them, Herod's son Archelaus and sister Salome did not carry out this wish.
After Herod's death, his kingdom was divided among three of his sons by Augustus, as was called for by Herod's will. The Romans made Herod's son, Herod Archelaus, ethnarch of Judea, Samaria, and Idumea (biblical Edom) from 4 BCE to 6 CE, referred to as the tetrarchy of Judea. Archelaus was judged incompetent by the Roman emperor Augustus who then combined Samaria, Judea proper and Idumea into Iudaea province under rule of a prefect until the year 41. Herod's other son Herod Antipas was tetrarch of Galilee from 4 BCE–39 CE and Philip became tetrarch of territories east of the Jordan.
Herod's tombJosephus, 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, 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 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 thirty-five years for Netzer to identify the exact location, but on May 7, 2007, an Israeli team of archaeologists of Hebrew University led by Netzer, announced they had discovered the tomb. The site is located at the exact location given by Josephus, atop of tunnels and water pools, at a flattened desert site, halfway up the hill to Herodium, 12 kilometers (7.5 mi) south of Jerusalem. The tomb contained a broken sarcophagus but no remains of a body.
In October 2013, archaeologists Joseph Patrich and Benjamin Arubas challenged the identification of the tomb as that of Herod. According to Patrich and Arubas, the tomb is too modest to be Herod's and has several unlikely features. Roi Porat, who replaced Netzer as excavation leader after the latter's death, stood by the identification.
- 39–37 BCE – War against Antigonus. After the conquest of Jerusalem and victory over Antigonus, Mark Antony executes him.
- 36 BCE – Herod makes his 17-year-old brother-in-law, Aristobulus III, high priest, fearing that the Jews would appoint Aristobulus III as "King of the Jews" in his place.
- 35 BCE – Aristobulus III is drowned at a party on Herod's orders.
- 32 BCE – The war against Nabatea begins, with victory one year later.
- 31 BCE – Judea suffers a devastating earthquake. Octavian defeats Mark Antony, so Herod switches allegiance to Octavian, later known as Augustus.
- 30 BCE – Herod is shown great favor by Octavian, who at Rhodes confirms him as King of Judea.
- 29 BCE – Josephus writes that Herod had great passion and also great jealousy concerning his wife, Mariamne I. She learns of Herod's plans to murder her, and stops sleeping with him. Herod puts her on trial on a charge of adultery. His sister, Salome I, was chief witness against her. Mariamne I's mother Alexandra made an appearance and incriminated her own daughter. Historians say her mother was next on Herod's list to be executed and did this only to save her own life. Mariamne was executed, and Alexandra declared herself Queen, stating that Herod was mentally unfit to serve. Josephus wrote that this was Alexandra's strategic mistake; Herod executed her without trial.
- 28 BCE – Herod executed his brother-in-law Kostobar (husband of Salome, father to Berenice) for conspiracy. Large festival in Jerusalem, as Herod had built a theatre and an amphitheatre.
- 27 BCE – An assassination attempt on Herod was foiled. To honor Augustus, Herod rebuilt Samaria and renamed it Sebaste.
- 25 BCE – Herod imported grain from Egypt and started an aid program to combat the widespread hunger and disease that followed a massive drought. He also waives a third of the taxes.
- 23 BCE – Herod built a palace in Jerusalem and the fortress Herodion (Herodium) in Judea. He married his third wife, Mariamne II, the daughter of the priest Simon Boethus; immediately Herodes deprived Jesus the son of Phabet, of the high priesthood, and conferred that dignity on Simon.
- 22 BCE – Herod began construction on Caesarea Maritima and its harbor. The Roman emperor Augustus granted him the regions Trachonitis, Batanaea, and Auranitis to the northeast.
- Circa 20 BCE – Expansion started on the Temple Mount; Herod completely rebuilt the Second Temple of Jerusalem.
- Circa 18 BCE – Herod traveled for the second time to Rome.
- 14 BCE – Herod supported the Jews in Anatolia and Cyrene. Owing to the prosperity in Judaea he waived a quarter of the taxes.
- 13 BCE – Herod made his first-born son Antipater (his son by Doris) first heir in his will.
- 12 BCE – Herod suspected his sons from his marriage to Mariamne I, Alexander and Aristobulus, of threatening his life. He took them to Aquileia to be tried. Augustus reconciled the three. Herod supported the financially strapped Olympic Games and ensured their future. Herod amended his will so that Alexander and Aristobulus rose in the royal succession, but Antipater would be higher in the succession.
- Circa 10 BCE – The newly expanded temple in Jerusalem was inaugurated. War against the Nabateans began.
First decade BCE
- 9 BCE –Caesarea Maritima was inaugurated. Owing to the course of the war against the Nabateans, Herod fell into disgrace with Augustus. Herod again suspected Alexander of plotting to kill him.
- 8 BCE – Herod accused his sons Alexander and Aristobulus of high treason. Herod reconciled with Augustus, who also gave him the permission to proceed legally against his sons.
- 7 BCE – The court hearing took place in Berytos (Beirut) before a Roman court. His sons Alexander and Aristobulus were found guilty and executed. The succession changed so that Antipater was the exclusive successor to the throne. In second place the succession incorporated (Herod) Philip, his son by Mariamne II.
- 6 BCE – Herod proceeded against the Pharisees.
- 5 BCE – Antipater was brought before the court charged with the intended murder of Herod. Herod, by now seriously ill, named his son (Herod) Antipas (from his fourth marriage with Malthace) as his successor.
- 4 BCE – Young disciples smashed the golden eagle over the main entrance of the Temple of Jerusalem after the Pharisee teachers claimed it was an idolatrous Roman symbol. Herod arrested them, brought them to court, and sentenced them. Augustus approved the death penalty for Antipater. Herod then executed his son, and again changed his will: Archelaus (from the marriage with Malthace) would rule as ethnarch over the tetrachy of Judea, while Antipas (by Malthace) and Philip (from the fifth marriage with Cleopatra of Jerusalem) would rule as tetrarchs over Galilee and Peraea (Transjordan), also over Gaulanitis (Golan), Trachonitis (Hebrew: Argob), Batanaea (now Ard-el-Bathanyeh) and Panias. Salome I was also given a small toparchy in the Gaza region. As Augustus did not confirm his will, no one received the title of King; however, the three sons were granted rule of the stated territories.
Wives and children
| Mariamne I, daughter of Hasmonean Alexandros,
executed 29 BCE
|Mariamne II, daughter of High-Priest Simon||
|Cleopatra of Jerusalem||
|a cousin (name unknown)||
|a niece (name unknown)||
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
d. 4 BCE
d. 29 BCE
d. 35 BCE
d. 7 BCE
d. 7 BCE
|Mariamne III||Herod Archelaus||Herod V||Herodias||1. Herod II|
2. Herod Antipas
|Herod Agrippa I||Aristobulus Minor|
|Herod Agrippa II||Berenice||Mariamne||Drusilla|
king of Arabia
|Phasaelis||Herod Antipas||Mariamne III||Herod Archelaus||Olympias|
|Philip the Tetrarch|
d. 34 CE
- Cultural depictions of Herod the Great
- Herod's Palace
- Judean date palm: Germination of 2000-year-old seed
- Richardson, Peter. Herod: King of the Jews and friend of the Romans, (Continuum International Publishing Group, 1999) pp. xv–xx.
- Knoblet, Jerry. Herod the Great (University Press of America, 2005), p. 179.
- Rocca, Samuel. Herod's Judaea: a Mediterranean state in the classical world (Mohr Siebeck, 2008) p. 159.
- Millar, Fergus; Schürer, Emil; Vermes, Geza. The History of the Jewish People in the Age of Jesus Christ (Continuum International Publishing Group, 1973) p. 327.
- Wright, N. T. The New Testament and the People of God (SPCK, 1992), p. 172.
- McGonigle, Thomas C.; McGonigle, Thomas D.; Quigley, James F. (1988). A History of the Christian Tradition: From its Jewish Origins to the Reformation Volume 1 of A History of the Christian Tradition. Paulist Press.
- Peters, Francis E. (2005). The Monotheists: Jews, Christians, and Muslims in Conflict and Competition, Volume II: The Words and Will of God The Words And Will of God. Princeton University Press.
- Kasher, Aryeh; Witztum, Eliezer (2007). King Herod: a persecuted persecutor : a case study in psychohistory and psychobiography. Translation by Karen Gold. Walter de Gruyter.
- Spino, Ken (Rabbi) (2010). "History Crash Course #31: Herod the Great (online)". Crash Course in Jewish History. Targum Press. ISBN 978-1-5687-1532-2. Retrieved 7 May 2013.
- Tierney, John. "Herod: Herod the Great", Catholic Encyclopedia (1910): "Herod, surnamed the Great, called by Grätz "the evil genius of the Judean nation" (Hist., v. II, p. 77).
- Herod I at Jewish Encyclopedia: "above all, he was prepared to commit any crime in order to gratify his unbounded ambition"
- King Herod: A Persecuted Persecutor : a Case Study in Psychohistory and By Aryeh Kasher, Eliezer Witztum P:22-23
- Jan Retsö,The Arabs in Antiquity: Their History from the Assyrians to the Umayyads, Routledge (2013), p. 374
- Richard R. Losch, All the People in the Bible, Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing (2008), p. 155
- Herod at Encyclopædia Britannica: "...thus, Herod was, although a practicing Jew, of Arab origin on both sides."
- Perowne, Stewart H. (2013). "Herod". Encyclopædia Britannica. Retrieved 8 May 2013.
- Steinmann, Andrew. "When Did Herod the Great Reign?", Novum Testamentum, Volume 51, Number 1, 2009, pp. 1–29.
- King Herod: A Persecuted Persecutor : a Case Study in Psychohistory and By Aryeh Kasher, Eliezer Witztum P19-20 P:22
- Herod I at Jewish Encyclopedia: "He was of commanding presence; he excelled in physical exercises; he was a skillful diplomatist; and, above all, he was prepared to commit any crime in order to gratify his unbounded ambition."
- Josephus. The Wars of the Jews 1.14.4: Mark Antony "then resolved to get him made king of the Jews…told them that it was for their advantage in the Parthian war that Herod should be king; so they all gave their votes for it. And when the senate was separated, Antony and Caesar went out, with Herod between them; while the consul and the rest of the magistrates went before them, in order to offer sacrifices [to the Roman gods], and to lay the decree in the Capitol. Antony also made a feast for Herod on the first day of his reign".
- Dio, Roman History 49.23.1–2.
- Atkinson, Kenneth (October 1996). "Herod the Great, Sosius, and the Siege of Jerusalem (37 B.C.E.) in Psalm of Solomon 17". Novum Testamentum (Brill) 38: 312–322. JSTOR 1560892. doi:10.1163/1568536962613216.
- Circumcision: Circumcision Necessary or Not? at Jewish Encyclopedia: "The rigorous Shammaite view, voiced in the Book of Jubilees (l.c.), prevailed in the time of King John Hyrcanus, who forced the Abrahamic rite upon the Idumeans, and in that of King Aristobulus, who made the Itureans undergo circumcision (Josephus, "Ant." xiii. 9, § 1; 11, § 3)."
- "Herod I". Encyclopaedia Judaica. (CD-ROM Edition Version 1.0). Ed. Cecil Roth. Keter Publishing House. ISBN 965-07-0665-8
- Josephus, Wars, 2.13. "There was also another disturbance at Caesarea, - those Jews who were mixed with the Syrians that lived there rising a tumult against them. The Jews pretended that the city was theirs, and said that he who built it was a Jew, meaning King Herod. The Syrians confessed also that its builder was a Jew; but they still said, however, that the city was a Grecian city; for that he who set up statues and temples in it could not design it for Jews."
- Herod I: Opposition of the Pious at Jewish Encyclopedia: "All the worldly pomp and splendor which made Herod popular among the pagans, however, rendered him abhorrent to the Jews, who could not forgive him for insulting their religious feelings by forcing upon them heathen games and combats with wild animals".
- Losch, Richard R. All the People in the Bible, (Eerdmans, 2008) p. 155.
- Jewish War 1.14.4: Mark Antony " ...then resolved to get him made king of the Jews ... told them that it was for their advantage in the Parthian war that Herod should be king; so they all gave their votes for it. And when the senate was separated, Antony and Caesar went out, with Herod between them; while the consul and the rest of the magistrates went before them, in order to offer sacrifices [to the Roman gods], and to lay the decree in the Capitol. Antony also made a feast for Herod on the first day of his reign."
- Cohen, Shaye. "Roman Domination: The Jewish Revolt and the Destruction of the Second Temple," in Ancient Israel, ed. Hershel Shanks. (Biblical Archaeology Society, 1999), p. 270.
- Cohen, Shaye. "Roman Domination: The Jewish Revolt and the Destruction of the Second Temple," in Ancient Israel, ed. Hershel Shanks. (Biblical Archaeology Society, 1999), p. 271.
- Rocca, Samuel (2009). The Army of Herod the Great. Osprey Publishing. pp. 15–16. ISBN 1-8460-3206-7. Retrieved 2 November 2013.
- Cohen, Shaye. "Roman Domination: The Jewish Revolt and the Destruction of the Second Temple," in Ancient Israel, ed. Hershel Shanks. (Biblical Archaeology Society, 1999), p. 269-273.
- Levine, Amy-Jill. "Visions of Kingdoms: From Pompey to the First Jewish Revolt," in The Oxford History of the Biblical World, ed. Michael D. Coogan. (New York: Oxford University Press, 1998), p. 357.
- Jagersma, Henk. A History of Israel from Alexander the Great to Bar Kochba, trans. John Bowden (London: SCM Press Ltd, 1985), p. 107.
- Cohen, Shaye. "Roman Domination: The Jewish Revolt and the Destruction of the Second Temple," in Ancient Israel, ed. Hershel Shanks. (Biblical Archaeology Society, 1999), p. 272.
- Schiffman, Lawrence H. "The Jewish-Christian Schism," in From Text to Tradition: A History of Second Temple and Rabbinic Judaism (Hoboken: Ktav Publishing House, 1991), p. 145.
- "Building the Western Wall: Herod Began it but Didn’t Finish it (december 2011)". Israel Antiquities Authority. Retrieved 9 November 2014.
- Temple of Herod at Jewish Encyclopedia
- Sanders, E. P. (1994). The Historical Figure of Jesus. Viking Adult. pp. 87–88.
- Hagner, Donald A. (1993). Matthew 1–13, Word Biblical Commentary, Vol. 33a. Thomas Nelson. p. 35.
- Maier, Paul L. (1998). "Herod and the Infants of Bethlehem". Chronos, Kairos, Christos II. Mercer University Press. p. 170.
most recent biographies of Herod the Great deny it entirely
- Schürer, Emil. A History of the Jewish People in the Time of Jesus Christ, 5 vols. New York, Scribner's, 1896.
- Barnes, Timothy David. "The Date of Herod's Death," Journal of Theological Studies ns 19 (1968), 204–219
- Bernegger, P. M. "Affirmation of Herod's Death in 4 B.C.", Journal of Theological Studies ns 34 (1983), 526–531.
- Josephus, Wars, 1.631–632.
- Josephus, Wars, 2.26.
- Hoehner, Harold. Herod Antipas, (Zondervan, 1980) p.251.
- Josephus, Antiquities, 17.6.4
- Lunar eclipse of March 13, 4 BC
- Filmer, W. E. "Chronology of the Reign of Herod the Great", Journal of Theological Studies ns 17 (1966), 283–298.
- NASA lunar eclipse catalog Lunar Eclipses: -0099 to 0000 (100 BCE to 1 BCE)
- Edwards, Ormond. "Herodian Chronology", Palestine Exploration Quarterly 114 (1982) 29–42
- Keresztes, Paul. Imperial Rome and the Christians: From Herod the Great to About 200 AD (Lanham, Maryland: University Press of America, 1989), pp.1–43.
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- Finegan, Jack. Handbook of Biblical Chronology, Rev. ed. (Peabody, MA: Hendrickson, 1998) 300, §516.
- What loathsome disease did King Herod die of?, The Straight Dope, November 23, 1979
- Josephus, Antiquities, 17.6.5
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- Josephus, Antiquities, 17.8.193.
- Josephus, Antiquities, 17.12.317–319. Augustus "appointed Archelaus, not indeed to be the king of the whole country, but ethnarch 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, that Herod Antipas who disputed with Archelaus for the whole kingdom. Now, to him it was that Perea and Galilee paid their tribute, which amounted annually to two hundred talents, while Batanea with Trachonitis, as well as Auranitis, with a certain part of what was called House of Lenodorus, paid the tribute of one hundred talents to Philip; but Idumea, and Judea, and the country of Samaria, paid tribute to Archelaus, but had now a fourth part of that tribute taken off by the order of Caesar, who decreed them that mitigation, because they did not join in this revolt with the rest of the multitude."
- Ben-Sasson, H. H. A History of the Jewish People, Harvard University Press, 1976, ISBN 0-674-39731-2, p. 246: "When Archelaus was deposed from the ethnarchy in 6 CE, Judea proper, Samaria and Idumea were converted into a Roman province under the name Iudaea."
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- Josephus, Wars, 5.3.2.
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- "Herod I" in the Jewish Encyclopedia.
Herod the Great
House of HerodDied: 4 BCE
|King of the Jews
37 BCE – 4 BCE
| Succeeded by|
|Ruler of Galilee
37 BCE – 4 BCE
| Succeeded by|
|Ruler of Batanea
37 BCE – 4 BCE
| Succeeded by|
Herod Philip II