Buildings for mass entertainment tradition and innovation in Herodian construction

Zeev Weiss*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


The reign of Herod the Great, the builder-king, is characterized by large-scale construction that dramatically changed the face of ancient Palestine. The king's love of Graeco-Roman culture, and his wish to incorporate his kingdom into the Roman Empire politically, socially, and culturally, led him to establish games and build structures that would house performances, competitions, races, and other types of shows. The king's yearning for foreign culture was not limited to Roman mass entertainment, but also reflected in other realms of material culture and daily life-architecture, art, military, economy, and even education (Foerster 1996; Netzer 2009; Galinsky 2009; Geiger 1997). By constructing monumental buildings for mass entertainment, whether on the estates of his private palaces or in the cities throughout his kingdom, Herod changed the cultural habits of the local population and that which lay far beyond the bounds of his realm.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)98-107
Number of pages10
JournalNear Eastern Archaeology
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1 Jun 2014


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