Herod's western palace in Jerusalem: Some new insights

Orit Peleg-Barkat*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Despite Josephus' detailed description of Herod's palace built on the Southwestern Hill of Jerusalem in Bellum Judaicum, book 5, only scant archaeological remains from its substructure were revealed so far, and only few scholars have attempted reconstructing its plan and decoration. A group of monumental Ionic columns, alongside a sculpted head of a lion, found in the Southwestern Hill in the vicinity of the supposed location of the palace, seems to have originated from the palace complex, attesting to its grandeur and unique character. Combining this evidence with Josephus' description and our vast knowledge of Herod's palatial architecture, based on excavated palace remains in other sites, such as Jericho, Herodium, Masada, Caesarea Maritima and Machaerus, allows us to present a clearer picture of the main palace of this great builder.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)53-72
Number of pages20
StatePublished - 2019

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019 Jagiellonian University Press. All rights reserved.


  • Architectural Decoration
  • Flavius Josephus
  • Jerusalem
  • King Herod
  • Roman Architecture
  • Royal Ideology
  • Second Temple Period


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