Herod: The King Of Judea

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Herod, the Roman-appointed king of Judea, was one of history’s most notorious and intelligent figures. His reign over Judea from around 37 to 4 BCE marked the beginning of the Herodian dynasty and Judea’s final absorption to the Roman Empire. He is one of the few client kings we still talk about today and is an important character in Christianity and Judaism. His building programs throughout Judea and his ability to deal with the Romans made him famous. After his reign, he became known as ‘Herod Magnus’ or Herod the Great. Herod was born around 73 BCE into a privileged family. His father, Antipater the Idumean, was chief minister of Judea. Antipater’s ancestors had converted to Judaism, Herod was therefore raised as a practicing Jew. Herod…show more content…
Right after this, the country erupted into civil war and his father was poisoned and died. Augustus Caesar reacted quickly. He appointed Herod king of Judea and he returned to Judea with a large Roman army. Antigonus, who was the reigning client king of Judea, was removed from the throne. Herod, knowing that his Judaism was in question and wanting to strengthen his power, married Miriam who was a Hasmonean princess. Herod loved Miriam, however she despised him due to the fact that he killed her brother. Miriam’s brother Aristobulus was appointed High Priest with help from Herod. Then when Aristobulus gained popularity, Herod felt threatened and had him drowned. Later he became jealous of his two eldest sons for the same reason and had them executed as well, his wife following shortly after. During his early reign, Herod’s position was still insecure. Herod undertook a massive building program to identify himself with the Romans and possibly get a more permanent position. His buildings often had statues of the Roman emperor to show where his loyalty laid. Herodium, which can be categorized as Herod’s most impressive work, gained respect from Augustus Caesar. To show Augustus that he appreciated the respect, Herod raised a statue of Augustus outside his…show more content…
In addition to being Herod’s secretary and close friend, he was also the tutor to the children of Cleopatra VII and Marcus Aurelius and he worked closely with Augustus Caesar. Nicolaus wrote a biography about Herod, called A Life Of Herod. Today only chunks of this book are recovered. This book contains information and facts that comes directly from Herod himself. Herod could have tampered with the information so that he would be portrayed as a better leader and person. Furthermore since some of the material also came from Roman officials, including Augustus Caesar, the book gets a more objective approach on various
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