Sunday, May 19, 2024

Herod the Great (73 BC - 4 AD)

Herod was born in Ashkelon, a Mediterranean seaport. His father, Antipater, was from Idumea or Edom ("land of red people"), the same region where Abraham established his territory. Antipater II was Procurator of Judaea.

Herod's mother, Kypros, was a Nabatean princess from Petra.

Edom was recognized as a seat of wisdom, but unlike Solomon who sought wisdom from the LORD, Herod the Great sought power. He executed his own relatives out of paranoia.

Herod the Great was the Roman-appointed king of Judaea who built many fortresses, aqueducts, theatres, and other public buildings and generally raised the prosperity of his land but who was the center of political and family intrigues in his later years. He ruled for 33 years and died a horrible death, possibly from intestinal cancer.

The BAS Library archive has some excellent articles on Herod, "the cruelty that defined his rule, and his horrific demise. Also, learn about the archaeological examinations of his building, and the Roman-inspired style that came to be known as “Herodian.”

Follow the links below.

In “Building Power,” Kenneth G. Holum takes the excavations of Caesarea’s harbor, built by King Herod.

In “Herod’s Roman Temple” David Jacobson explores Herod’s building project and what motivated him as he completed it.

In “Wooden Beams from Herod’s Temple Mount,” Peretz Reuven attempts to answer that question archaeologically, following the possible paths of re-use or destruction.

In “Reimagining Herod’s Royal Portico,” Orit Peleg-Barkat undertakes the difficult process of modeling what the Portico must have looked like in Herod’s time.

In “Searching for Portraits of King Herod,” Ralf Krumeich and Achim Lichtenberger attempt to discover what can be known about Herod’s appearance from the scanty evidence that remains.

In “Was Herod’s Tomb Really Found?”, Hershel Shanks examines the evidence and weighs in as the hunt for Herod’s tomb continues.

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