In 37 bce, Herod, with the help of the Roman legions, captured Jerusalem from the last Hasmonean King, Antigonus II Mattathias, putting an end to his short-lived rule that was gained through the support of the Parthians (see Schwartz, Chapter 3, this volume). Only then could he finally realize his appointment as client king of Judea, which had been bestowed upon him three years before by Octavian, Mark Antony, and the Roman Senate. Following his ascendance to the throne, Herod gradually eliminated his Hasmonean rivals and their supporters among the aristocracy of Jerusalem and created a new priestly class and a more multicultural elite, though his ill-fated marriage to Mariamne, a Hasmonean princess, was supposed to earn him and his successors legitimacy in the eyes of the Jewish public. In 31 bce, the results of the Battle of Actium released Herod from his worries of Cleopatra VII, Queen of Egypt and consort of Mark Antony, and put him at the mercy of the now sole ruler of Rome, Octavian, later known as Augustus. Herod won Augustus’ confidence, who twice increased Herod’s territory. In 22 bce and 20 bce he expanded his realm into the regions of Trachonitis, Batanea and Auranitis, northeast of his original Judean kingdom.
Bibliographical notePublisher Copyright:
© 2019 selection and editorial matter, Suleiman A. Mourad, Naomi Koltun-Fromm and Bedross Der Matossian; individual chapters, the contributors.