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King Herod

Discussion in 'Personal' started by inky, Jul 18, 2011.

  1. inky

    inky Lead commenter

    I'm perplexed. Herod the Great died in 4BC, apparently. So which of his complicated and unlikeable family is credited with the massacre of the innocents?
  2. inky

    inky Lead commenter

    I think I've answered my own question - the year of his death is uncertain and the chronology is open to different interpretations. I did know that but I was still puzzled.
    [I'm reading Josephus at the moment - fascinating stuff]
  3. The murder of the innocents was a made up story (Mathew) that cobbled together partial fact and partial fabrication.
    As you say Herod the Great died in 4 BC and was succeeded by his son Herod Antipas and Herod Archelaus.
  4. inky

    inky Lead commenter

    The chronology is not entirely reliable. The date could have referred to the time he named Antipas and Archelaus his heirs. It's all a bit above my head.
    As for the massacre, I've no idea. Apparently it would only have numbered twenty/thirty children anyway, and Suetonius mentions an earlier event which I suppose goes to show that such things weren't unheard of.
    A rum lot, the Herods. I've just been reading about events leading up to the death of Antipater. As for Herod the Great's death [five days later] what a gruesome medical mystery that was.

  5. The trouble with the Royal Dynasties in those days was that they were all inter-bred....they married their cousins and there children married their cousin's children. Fathers had their daughter-in-laws bumbed off. I'ts a good job things have changed within royal Families nowadays.
  6. inky

    inky Lead commenter

    Actually, what had puzzled me was that I couldn't understand how Herod had managed to die in 4BC when he was supposed still to be on the throne when Jesus was born!
    He had three of his sons done away with as well as a wife. Nice.

  7. oldsomeman

    oldsomeman Star commenter

    Lonfg time since i have read such tombs of books as josephus.but i was always under the impression the herod the great saw off his kids so that they couldnt challange hm to the throne.
  8. Because Jesus was born 6 BC.
  9. inky

    inky Lead commenter

    I know that his official birthday has more to do with the winter solstice than historical accuracy but I've always blithely assumed that he was born either in 1BC or 1AD! Not that I bothered to give the matter any thought until now.

  10. The census that required people to return to their place of birth was in 6 BC, so that is a (possible/probable) date for the nativity.
  11. inky

    inky Lead commenter

    I have a friend who posts on here who [forgive me if I'm wrong, friend] finds the whole idea of Roman history grimly boring because of an overdose of it in her youth. Me, I've been dipping into it for a couple of years and am besotted with it. Not that I know a lot. Despite all the reading, I have just a gossip's interest and a fascination for the big movers like Julius Caesar and Augustus.

  12. nomad

    nomad Star commenter

    Not so.
    Jesus was born either before 4 BC, which was when Herod the Great is accurately recorded to have died, or in 6 AD when the historical Census of Quirinius (to which I believe you are referring) was undertaken. This census was called when when Publius Sulpicious Quirinius was appointed governor of Syria, after the banishment of Herod Archelaus and the imposition of direct Roman rule on the area.
    No other record of such a census exists, and the idea of everyone in the Roman Empire returning to an ancestral city for a census is questionable. Certainly there is nothing in any Roman records which suggests that such a condition was imposed on the populace.
  13. Why did that make me think of Bigus Dickus?
  14. nomad

    nomad Star commenter


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