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[561] Now he was afraid of going subtlely about this matter with his father, who was hard to be pleased, and was presently moved upon the least suspicion: so he ventured to go to him directly, and to beg of him before his face not to deprive him of that dignity which he had been pleased to bestow upon him; and that he might not have the bare name of a king, while the power was in other persons; for that he should never be able to keep the government, if Alexander's son was to have both his grandfather Archelaus and Pheroras for his curators; and he besought him earnestly, since there were so many of the royal family alive, that he would change those [intended] marriages. Now the king had nine wives, 1 and children by seven of them; Antipater was himself born of Doris, and Herod Philip of Mariamne, the high priest's daughter; Antipas also and Archelaus were by Malthace, the Samaritan, as was his daughter Olympias, which his brother Joseph's 2 son had married. By Cleopatra of Jerusalem he had Herod and Philip; and by Pallas, Phasaelus; he had also two daughters, Roxana and Salome, the one by Phedra, and the other by Elpis; he had also two wives that had no children, the one his first cousin, and the other his niece; and besides these he had two daughters, the sisters of Alexander and Aristobulus, by Mariamne. Since, therefore, the royal family was so numerous, Antipater prayed him to change these intended marriages.

1 Dean Aldrich takes notice here, that these nine wives of Herod were alive at the same time; and that if the celebrated Mariamne, who was now dead, be reckoned, those wives were in all ten. Yet it is remarkable that he had no more than fifteen children by them all.

2 To prevent confusion, it may not be amiss, with Dean Aldrich, to distinguish between four Josephs in the history of Herod. 1. Joseph, Herod's uncle, and the [second] husband of his sister Salome, slain by Herod, on account of Mariamne. 2. Joseph, Herod's quaestor, or treasurer, slain on the same account. 3. Joseph, Herod's brother, slain in battle against Antigonus. 4. Joseph, Herod's nephew, the husband of Olympias, mentioned in this place.

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