Herod the Great: Statesman, Visionary, Tyrant

Herod the Great: Statesman, Visionary, Tyrant

by Norman Gelb


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Herod the Great, king of ancient Judea, was a brutal, ruthless, vindictive and dangerously high-strung tyrant. He had many of his subjects killed on suspicion of plotting against him and was accused of slaughtering children in Bethlehem when informed that a new king of the Jews had been born there. Among the victims of the murderous paranoia that ultimately drove him to the brink of insanity were his three oldest sons and the wife he loved most. But there was a crucial aspect to Herod's character that has been largely ignored over the centuries. Norman Gelb explores how Herod transformed his formerly strive-ridden kingdom into a modernizing, economically thriving, orderly state of international significance and repute within the sprawling Roman Empire. This reassessment of Herod as ruler of Judaea introduces a striking contrast between a ruler's infamy and his extraordinary laudable achievements. As this account shows, despite his horrific failings and ultimate mental unbalance, Herod was a fascinatingly complex, dynamic, and largely constructive statesman, a figure of great public accomplishment and one of the most underrated personalities of ancient times. History buffs and those interested in popular ancient history can are introduced to this ruthless tyrant and his victims.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780810895256
Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.
Publication date: 11/01/2017
Pages: 1
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.70(d)

About the Author

Norman Gelb is the author of a number of acclaimed books, including Kings of the Jews: The Origins of the Jewish Nation. He is a historian and freelance writer, who periodically contributes to publications such as Smithsonian magazine.

Table of Contents

Principal Characters ix

Timeline xi

Preface xv

Introduction: The Making of Herod the Great 1

1 Beginnings 17

2 The Road to Jerusalem 37

3 Securing the Throne 47

4 A New Start 75

5 Cultural Divide 95

6 Palace Intrigue 101

7 Crisis 117

8 The End Looms 127

9 Closure 137

10 Herod: The Image 141

11 Herod's Heirs 145

12 The Other Herodians 157

Afterword: The Dawn of Christianity 181

Notes 193

Select Bibliography 201

Index 203

About the Author 209

What People are Saying About This

Jodi Magness

This book accurately portrays the turbulent life and times of King Herod the Great in a highly readable and engaging manner. Fast-paced and clearly written, it will appeal to a broad audience.

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