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 Pompey curtailed the territory which had been forcibly appropriated by the Jews, and assigned to Hyrcanus the priesthood. Some time afterwards, Herod, of the same family, and a native of the country,1 having surreptitiously obtained the priesthood, distinguished himself so much above his predecessors, particularly in his intercourse, both civil and political, with the Romans, that he received the title and authority of king,2 first from Antony, and afterwards from Augustus Cæsar. He put to death some of his sons, on the pretext of their having conspired against him;3 other sons he left at his death, to succeed him, and assigned to each, portions of his kingdom. Cæsar bestowed upon the sons also of Herod marks of honour,4 on his sister Salome,5 and on her daughter Berenice. The sons were unfortunate, and were publicly accused. One6 of them died in exile among the Galatæ Allobroges, whose country was assigned for his abode. The others, by great interest and solicitation, but with difficulty, obtained leave to return7 to their own country, each with his tetrarchy restored to him.
1 It has been a subject of dispute whether Herod was of Jewish or Idumæan origin.
2 Herod went to Rome B. C. 38, and obtained from the senate the title of king. In the dispute between Octavius and Antony, he espoused the cause of the latter. Octavius not only pardoned him and confirmed him in his title, but also added other cities to his dominions. B. C. 18.
3 The chief promoters of the crimes of Herod were Salome his sister, who desired to gratify her hatred; and Antipater, who aimed at the throne. Herod, influenced by their misrepresentations, put to death Mariamne his wife, Aristobulus her brother, and Alexandra her mother; also his sons Aristobulus and Alexander, besides Antipater, a third son, who had conspired against his life.
4 Augustus conferred on Archelaus the half of the kingdom of Herod with the title of ethnarch, promising to grant the title of king, should he prove worthy of it. The other half of the kingdom was separated into two tetrarchies, and divided between Philip and Antipas, two other sons of Herod.
5 Augustus not only confirmed to Salome the legacy made to her by Herod, of the towns Jamneia, Azoth, and Phasaëlis, but granted to her also the royal palace and domains of Ascalon.
6 This was Archelaus, whose tyranny was insupportable. He was accused by the chief Jews and Samaritans before Augustus, who exiled him to Vienne, to the south of Lyons, where he died the following year, A. D. 7.
7 This refers to the journey of Philip and Antipas to Rome. At the death of Herod, Archelaus went to Rome, A. D. 2, to solicit the confirmation of his father's will, in which he had been named king. The two brothers, Antipas and Philip, also went there, and the kingdom of Herod was divided as above stated, After the exile of Archelaus, his dominions were administered by his two brothers. Strabo does not appear to have been acquainted with the history of the two brothers after their return to Judæa; for otherwise he would not have omitted to mention the exile of Antipas. This tetrarch, it is known, went to Rome A. D. 38, to intrigue against his brother, of whom he was jealous; but he was himself accused by Agrippa of having intelligence with the Parthians, and was exiled to Lyons, A. D. 39.
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