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Major Events In The Life Of Herod The Great

1942 words - 8 pages

Some scholars believe Herod the Great was “one of the most notorious” figures in history to rule as a king. On the other hand, Herod’s life reveals a political leader who should be considered as “brilliant politician,” who successfully dealt with Roman Empire during his whole career. Herod’s success was molded with hardships he experienced throughout his life. As a young man, Herod was accustomed to “hardships,” which helped mold his ironclad character. As a soldier, Herod was “an excellent horseman” as well as an expert with both “lance” and “arrow.” Herod’s determination to excel would mold him as a future leader. As a young man, Herod already “won a reputation” as being a ...view middle of the document...

” Antipater took with him “three thousand armed Jews from Palestine” and helped Julius Caesar battle against Ptolemy XII. As a result, Caesar gave Antipater “Roman citizenship” and made him procurator over the entire Jewish province in Syria. Antipater was “a skilled politician” who ensured that his son Herod was “established […] within the court of Hyrcanus.” Respectively, Herod inherited from his father “a generous measure of interest” in Hellenistic and Roman ideas. Moreover, Herod developed “an acute sense of political opportunity.” Being raised in a Jewish background, Herod also developed “a real” regard for the Jewish religion. Herod’s father recognized Hyrcanus II as “a weak figure,” and ensured Herod was appointed as governor in Galilee. Herod displayed “his resolute character” immediately by dealing with the anti-Roman groups who were in his territory. Many of the Syrians in Galilees praised Herod for his actions and his “political career was established.”

Herod and Cassius
Soon after, Antipater was granted Roman citizenship, Julius Caesar was murdered by Brutus and Cassius. Octavian (Julius Caesar’s nephew) and Mark Antony vowed to punish Cassius and Brutus for killing Julius Caesar. However, Cassius fled to the East and demanded all the provinces pay money to fund his war campaign against Octavian and Mark Antony. This presented a hardship for Antipater and his sons, who took “harsh measures” obtaining the money demanded by Cassius. Consequently, those who opposed supporting Cassius, plotted to kill Antipater. As a result, Antipater was poisoned by his cupbearer. Regardless, Herod sought “to win Cassius’ confidence” by immediately collecting delinquent taxes proving his ability as a politician and leader. Moreover, Herod knew Cassius could easily destroy Judea with his “powerful army” and kill him along with anyone else who opposed him. Herod “had no choice” but to cooperate with Cassius. Herod took the risk of siding with Cassius over Mark Antony and Octavian. Nevertheless, Herod’s decision paid off. Cassius gave Herod “a cavalry, infantry, and navy” as well as appointing him as “procurator” of Galilee and southern Syria.

Herod Appointed King
Nonetheless, Cassius was defeated by Octavian and Mark Antony. Consequently, Herod faced new political challenges when Judaea “had fallen to the lot” of Mark Antony. Unlike, Cassius, Antony was a member of the “Second Triumvirate,” which was the new Roman power. Under the circumstances, the fate of Herod rested with Mark Antony. Herod convinced Antony that the eastern provinces were forced to support Cassius. Therefore, Mark Antony was convinced and appointed Herod as “tetrarch of Galilee.” When a conflict developed between Rome and the Parthians, the Jews sided with Rome. Furthermore, the Parthians invaded Palestine and a civil war broke out. Herod was compelled to flee to Rome. While in Rome, Antony influenced Octavian to recommend to the Senate that Herod be appointed as...


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