The True Herod

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  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 5/22/2014
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury T&T Clark
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Who was Herod the Great? How did he come to govern one of the most politically tumultuous regions in the world? Was he the heartless baby-killer of Matthew's Gospel, or does this popular tale do Herod a great disservice?

Geza Vermes, whose work on the Historical Jesus and the Dead Sea Scrolls has made him one of the most recognisable names in Biblical and Jewish studies, provides a new portrait of Herod. Vermes examines Herod's legacy as a political leader, and a potentate, a man of culture, and an all-round smooth operator. Vermes opens up the fascinating character of Herod, from his sizable and fragile ego to his devastation at the execution of his beloved wife, an execution that Herod ordered himself. Beginning with the key historical sources (notably Josephus) Vermes moves on to consider Herod's greatest legacy and testament - his extensive building works, which include the Temple in Jerusalem, Masada and Herodium. Colour images, combined with Vermes' lively prose make this new picture of Herod an enticing and informative guide to one of Ancient History's most misunderstood figures.

Author Biography

Geza Vermes is Professor Emeritus of Jewish Studies, University of Oxford, UK.

Table of Contents

Part I: A Bird's Eyeview of Biblical History
1. From King David to the start of the Hellenistic Period
2. From the arrival of Hellenization in Judaea to the outbreak of the MaccabaeanUprising
3. The Maccabee Trio: Judas - Jonathan - Simon
4. The Hasmonaeans from John Hyrcanus to Mattathias Antigonus
Part II: Herod theGreatPrologue: The main events of Roman history during Herod's ageIntroduction
1. Herod prior to his appointment as king (73/2 -40 BCE)
2. Herod, king of the Jews (40 - 4 BCE)
(a) Herod consolidates hisrule (37 - 25 BCE)
(b) Herod, thebuilder (25 - 13 BCE)
(c) The decline (13- 4 BCE)
3. Herod the Villain or Herod the Great
(a) The portrait ofHerod
(b) Herod'scharacter
(c) Evaluation ofHerod's positive and negative achievements
Appendix: Herod in literature and cinema
Part III: Thedescendants of Herod in the New Testament and Josephus
1. Herod Archelaus (4 BCE - 6 CE)
2. Herod Antipas (4 BCE - 39 CE)
3. Herod Philip (4 BCE - 33/4 CE)
4. Herod Agrippa I (41 - 44 CE)
5. Herod of Chalcis (41-48 CE)
6. Herod Agrippa II (50 - 92/3 or 100 CE)
Chronology of Herod's life

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