Surnamed the Great and Ascalonīta, second son of Antipater the Idumaean, was born B.C. 71, at
Ascalon, in Iudaea. At the age of twenty-five he was made by his father governor of Galilee,
and distinguished himself by the suppression of a band of robbers and the execution of their
leader. He was summoned before the Sanhedrim for having done this by his own authority, and
having put these men to death without a trial; but, through the strength of his party and the
zeal of his friends, he escaped censure. He at first embraced the party of Brutus and
Cassius; but, after their death, reconciled himself to Antony, who appointed him and Phasael
tetrarchs of Iudaea. In B.C. 40 the Parthians invaded Iudaea, and placed Antigonus on the
throne, making Hyrcanus and Phasael prisoners. Herod escaped to Rome, where, by the influence
of Antony, he was appointed king of the Jews. But the Roman generals in Syria assisted him
very feebly, and it was not till the end of the year B.C. 38 that Jerusalem was taken by
Sossius. The commencement of Herod's reign dates from the following year. In the year 38 he
had married Mariamné, the granddaughter of Hyrcanus, hoping to strengthen his
power by this match with the Asmonaean family, which was very popular in Iudaea. On ascending the throne Herod appointed Ananel of Babylon high-priest, to the
exclusion of Aristobulus, the brother of Mariamné. But he soon found himself
compelled, by the entreaties
Coin of Herod the Great.
of Mariamné and the artifices of her mother Alexandra, to depose Ananel
and appoint Aristobulus in his place. Not long after, however, Aristobulus was secretly put
to death by the command of Alexandra having informed Cleopatra of the murder, Herod was
summoned to answer the accusation before Antony, whom he pacified by liberal bribes. When
setting out to meet Antony, he had commanded his brother Joseph to put Mariamné to
death in case he should be condemned, that she might not fall into Antony's power. Finding,
on his return, that his brother had revealed this order to Mariamné, Herod put him
to death. In the civil war between Octavius and Antony, Herod joined the latter, and
undertook, at his command, a campaign against the Arabians, whom he defeated. After the
battle of Actium, he went to meet Octavius at Rhodes, having first put to death Hyrcanus, who
had been released by the Parthians, and had placed himself under Herod's protection some
years before. He also imprisoned Mariamné and Alexandra, commanding their keepers
to kill them upon receiving intelligence of his death. Octavius, however, received him
kindly, and reinstated him in his kingdom. On his return, Mariamné reproached him
with his intentions towards her, which she had again discovered. This led to an estrangement
between Herod and his queen, which was artfully increased by his sister Salomé,
till, on one occasion, enraged at a new affront he had received from Mariamné,
Herod assembled some of his friends and accused her of adultery. She was condemned and
executed. After her death Herod suffered the deepest remorse, and shut himself up in Samaria,
where he was seized with an illness which nearly proved fatal. In the year B.C. 26 he put to
death the sons of Babas, the last princes of the Asmonaean family.
He now openly disregarded the Jewish law, and introduced Roman customs. He particularly
shocked the people by erecting a stately theatre and an amphitheatre in Jerusalem, in the
latter of which he celebrated games in honour of Augustus. Ten men conspired against his
life, but were detected and executed with the greatest cruelty. To secure himself against
rebellion, he fortified Samaria, which he named Sebasté (equivalent to the Latin
Augusta), and he built Caesarea and other cities and fortresses. In the year B.C. 17 he began
to rebuild the temple at Jerusalem. The work was completed in eight years, but the
decorations were not finished for many years after (John, ii. 20). Herod's power and
territories continued to increase, but the latter part of his reign was disturbed by the most
violent dissensions in his family, of which a minute account is given by Iosephus. He
died in March, B.C. 4, in the thirty-fourth year of his reign and the seventieth of his age.
Iosephus relates that, shortly before his death, he shut up many of the principal men of the
Jewish nation in the Hippodrome, commanding his sister Salomé to put them to death
as soon as he expired, that he might not want mourners. They were released, however, by
Salomé upon Herod's death.
The birth of Christ took place in the last year of Herod's reign, four years earlier than
the era from which the common system of chronology dates the years A.D. (Ioseph. Ant.
xiv. 17 foll., xv. 1 foll., xvi. 1 foll.; Bell. Iud.
etc.). It was Herod of whom Augustus said, after he had heard of the former's having put to
death his own sons, Alexander and Aristobulus, that he would rather be Herod's hog (ὗν
) than his son (υἱόν
upon the similarity of the two terms, and alluding at the same time to the aversion with
which the hog was regarded by the Jews (Macrob.
Sat. ii. 4
). It was this king who ordered the massacre of the children
. A son of Herod the Great, who
succeeded his father and was made ethnarch of Iu
Coin of Archelaus.
daea, Samaria, and Idumaea by Augustus Caesar (B.C. 3). In A.D. 7, however, for his
misgovernment, he was removed from his office and banished to Nienna in Gaul, where he died.
Antĭpas, a son of Herod the Great, whom his father, in
his first will, declared his successor in the kingdom, but to whom he afterwards gave merely
the office of tetrarch over Galilee and Peraea, while he appointed his other son
Archelaüs king of Iudaea. Antipas
, after being confirmed in these territories by
Augustus, married the daughter of Aretas, king of Arabia. He divorced her, however, A.D. 33,
that he might marry his sisterin-law Herodias, the wife of his brother Philip, who
Coin of Herod Antipas.
was still living. John the Baptist, exclaiming against this union, was seized, and
subsequently beheaded. Afterwards, A.D. 39, Herodias, being jealous of the prosperity of her
brother Agrippa, who, from a private person, had become king of Iudaea, persuaded her husband
to visit Rome, and to desire the same dignity from Tiberius. Agrippa, being
apprised of his design, wrote to the emperor, accusing Antipas
of being implicated in the
affair of Seianus, upon which he was banished to Lugdunum, in Gaul. This is the Antipas
being at Jerusalem at the time of the Saviour's suffering, ridiculed Jesus, whom Pilate had
sent to him, dressed him in mock attire, and sent him back to the Roman governor as a king
whose ambition gave him no umbrage. The year of his death is unknown, though it is certain
that he and Herodias ended their days in exile, according to Iosephus, in Spain.
Agrippa I., son of Aristobulus and Berenicé, and
grandson of Herod the Great. He was educated at Rome with the future
emperor Claudius, and Drusus the son of Tiberius. Having given offence to Tiberius, he was
thrown into prison; but Caligula, on his accession (A.D. 37), set him at liberty, and gave
him the tetrarchies of Abilené, Batanaea, Trachonitis, and Auranitis. On the death
of Caligula in 41, Agrippa, who was at the time in Rome, assisted Claudius in gaining
possession of the Empire. As a reward for his services, Iudaea and Samaria were annexed to
his dominions. His government was mild, and he was exceedingly popular among the Jews. It was
probably to increase this popularity that he caused the apostle James to be beheaded and
Peter to be cast into prison (A.D. 44). The manner of his death, which took place at Caesarea
in the same year, is related in Acts, xii. By his wife Cypros he had a son Agrippa and three
Coin of Herod Agrippa.
Mariamné, and Drusilla.
Son of Agrippa I., was educated at the court of Claudius, and at the time of his father's
death was seventeen years old. Claudius kept him at Rome, and sent Cuspius Fadus as
procurator of the kingdom, which thus again became a Roman province. On the death of Herodes,
king of Chalcis (A.D. 48), his little principality was given to Agrippa, who subsequently
received an accession of territory. Before the outbreak of the war with the Romans, Agrippa
attempted in vain to dissuade the Jews from rebelling. He sided with the Romans in the war,
and after the capture of Jerusalem he went with his sister Berenicé to Rome, and
died in the seventieth year of his age, A.D. 100. It was before this Agrippa that the apostle
Paul made his defence, A.D. 60 (Acts, xxv., xxvi.).
(in full, Tiberius Claudius Attĭcus Herōdes). See Atticus