For the grammarian, see Aelius Herodianus. For the dynasty, see Herodian Dynasty. For the saint numbered among the Seventy Disciples, see Herodion of Patras.

Herodian or Herodianus (Greek: Ἡρωδιανός) of Syria, sometimes referred to as "Herodian of Antioch" (c. 170 – c. 240), was a minor Roman civil servant who wrote a colourful history in Greek titled History of the Empire from the Death of Marcus (τῆς μετὰ Μάρκον βασιλείας ἱστορία) in eight books covering the years 180 to 238. His work is not entirely reliable although his relatively unbiased account of Elagabalus is more useful than that of Cassius Dio. He was a Greek (perhaps from Antioch) who appears to have lived for a considerable period of time in Rome, but possibly without holding any public office. From his extant work, we gather that he was still living at an advanced age during the reign of Gordianus III, who ascended the throne in 238. Beyond this, nothing is known of his life.

Herodian writes (i.1.§ 3, ii.15.§ 7) that the events described in his history occurred during his lifetime. Photius (Codex 99) gives an outline of the contents of this work and passes a flattering encomium on the style of Herodian, which he describes as clear, vigorous, agreeable, and preserving a happy medium between an utter disregard of art and elegance and a profuse employment of the artifices and prettinesses which were known under the name of Atticism, as well as between boldness and bombast. He appears to have used Thucydides as a model to some extent, both for style and for the general composition of his work, often introducing speeches wholly or in part imaginary. In spite of occasional inaccuracies in chronology and geography, his narrative is in the main truthful and impartial. However, some charge him with showing too great a partiality for Pertinax.

Birth, life, and death

The dates of the birth and death of Herodian are unknown. All available information concerning his life is derived from what he himself wrote, so the evidence is scarce. One can assume that he must have reached the age of ten by the year 180 due to the attentive detail in his descriptions of the events of that time. One notion is that Herodian must have finished writing around 240, which would have made him about 70. He mentions, “My aim is to write a systematic account of the events within a period of seventy years, covering the reigns of several emperors, of which I have personal experience.” (2.15.7) This reaffirms the notion that Herodian was about 70 years of age when this was written and that the actions did indeed occur during his lifetime. However, it is possible that his history was composed at a later date. Herodian’s descriptions of Gordian III are less than flattering, and it is doubtful that he released such a negative review of a current emperor. Following this logic, his history was finished in 244 at the earliest, when Gordian III died. In his first and third books, Herodian mentions the games of Commodus in 192, and the Secular Games of Septimius Severus in 204. If Herodian did attend the games of Commodus, he must have been at least 14 at the time, which is to say that he was born in 178 at the latest.

The nationality of Herodian is also unclear. He was not from Italy, for he says the Alps were bigger than anything “in our part of the world.” (2.11.8) It has been suggested that Herodian was from Alexandria since he placed such a large emphasis on Caracalla's massacre of this city and its inhabitants. It is also believed that he could have possibly been an eyewitness to these attacks. Herodian does refer to Alexandria as the second city of the empire; however, this may be disregarded since he also applies the same title to Antioch and Carthage. It has been proposed that Herodian was the son of Aelius Herodianus, an Alexandrian grammarian. Although this does fit chronologically, there is no other evidence to support it. The popular speculation, however, is that Herodian was from Antioch. Herodian describes the character of the Syrians as quick-witted and mentions them twice more. However, there are also gaps in Herodian's knowledge of Syrian affairs which lead one to believe that he might not have been from the region at all. For example, he confuses two Parthian kings, and his chronology and geography of the Parthian campaign in 197–198 are deeply flawed. These flaws could be mended due to a lack of knowledge of a small part of the empire; however, one would assume that an inhabitant of Syria would have had access to this knowledge. In short, unless an inscription is discovered, Herodian’s place of birth will never be known for certain.

Occupation and social status

Neither the occupation nor the social status of Herodian is known. Herodian mentions, “I have written a history of the events following the death of Marcus which I saw and heard in my lifetime. I had a personal share in some of these events during my imperial and public service.” (1.2.5) It has been suggested that Herodian was a senator due to his knowledge of the senatus consultum tacitum, which was a secret declaration by the senate when they chose the emperors Pupienus and Balbinus. However, it is also stated that news of this was leaked by some senators, and it certainly would not have remained a secret for the entirety of Herodian’s lifetime. It is possible, however, that Herodian was a freedman. This fits the profile perfectly, for he would not have cared for the larger political issues, and instead, would have concentrated on personalities and intricacies. Still yet, Herodian could have been an apparitor, a scribe or an attendant to the emperor. This would be suiting, for he would have had access to senatorial documents, traveled extensively, and been knowledgeable in the field of fiscal affairs, which Herodian repetitively stressed in his history.[1]


Herodian's Roman History is a collection of eight books covering the period from the death of Marcus Aurelius in 180 A.D. to the beginning of Gordian III's reign in 238. It provides a first person account of one of the most politically diverse times of the Roman Empire. The first book describes the reign of Commodus from 180 to 192, and the second discusses the Year of the Five Emperors in 193. Book Three encompasses the reign of Septimius Severus from 193 to 211, while the fourth discusses the reign of Caracalla from 211 to 217. Book five is about the reign of Elagabalus from 218 through 222, and book six deals with the reign of Severus Alexander from 222 to 235. The seventh book recounts the reign of Maximinus Thrax from 235 to 238, and the final one describes the Year of the Six Emperors in 238. Most likely, Herodian is writing for an eastern audience, for he often explains different Roman customs and beliefs that would have seemed foreign to Easterners.

Herodian has been both praised and criticized by scholars. The first person on record to review Herodian is the ninth-century patriarch of Constantinople, Photius. Of Herodian, Photius wrote “he neither exaggerates with hyperbole nor omits anything essential; in short, in all the virtues of historiography there are few men who are his superior.” Zosimus used him as a source as did John of Antioch when writing his World Chronicle. An English translator of the Roman History wrote in 1705 that Herodian "still preserves a Majesty suitable to the Greatness of the Subject which he treats, and has something in him so pleasing and comely, as perhaps all the Art and Labour of other Men can never reach.” Altheim commended Herodian’s wide vision of the period, and F.A. Wolf acclaimed Herodian’s lack of bias and superstition. However, not all views of Herodian are positive. For example, Wolf also charged Herodian with a deficiency in critical faculty. While the author of the Historia Augusta drew from Herodian, he also censured him for bias, and Herodian was by no means Zosimus’ first choice. Similarly, Joannes Zonaras only utilized Herodian where Cassius Dio’s history leaves off.

Herodian has long been criticized for a lack of historical accuracy, but recent studies have tended to side with him, legitimizing his historical facts. In the second book, Herodian states that his intention was to “narrate only the most important and conclusive…actions separately and in chronological order.” (2.15.7) Because of this, Herodian sometimes consolidates a large number of events into a single reference or two. For example, all of Caracalla’s campaign in the north during 213 through 214 is condensed into two short allusions. Similarly, a single reference to a winter in Sirmium sums up Maximinus’ battles on the Rhine and Danube in 236 through 238. Herodian also occasionally falls short in his descriptions of geography. He confuses Arabia Scenite with Arabia Felix and claims that Issus was where the final battle and capture of Darius III took place.

In regards to Cassius Dio, both he and Herodian admittedly make many errors in their histories. Dio is credited as the expert when it comes to the senate; however, Herodian challenges Dio on his description of the people's reaction to the proclamation of Septimius Severus as their new emperor. Dio's work is not always the more accurate of the two and must not be immediately chosen over Herodian’s.


  1. ^ Bartolomeo Borghesi suggested that CIL 10, 7286, for a legate of Sicily, may be in his honour See ILS 2938.
  • Browning, Robert. The Classical Review, New Series, Vol. 21, No. 2 (Jun., 1971), pp. 194–196. Oxford: Cambridge University Press, 1995.
  • Carney, T.F.. The Classical Review, New Series, Vol. 21, No. 2 (Jun., 1971), pp. 194–196. Oxford: Cambridge University Press, 1995.
  • Downey, Glanville. The Classical Journal, Vol. 67, No. 2 (Dec., 1971 - Jan., 1972), pp. 182–184. Northfield: The Classical Association of the Middle West and South, Inc.
  • Roos, A.G. The Journal of Roman Studies, Vol. 5, (1915), pp. 191–202. London: Society for the Promotion of Roman Studies.
  • Whittaker, C.R.. Herodian: History of the Empire, Volume I, Books 1–4 (Loeb Classical Library No. 455). London: Loeb Classical Library, 1970.

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Dead Sea Scrolls

The Dead Sea Scrolls (also Qumran Caves Scrolls) are ancient Jewish religious manuscripts found in the Qumran Caves in the Judaean Desert, near Ein Feshkha on the northern shore of the Dead Sea. Scholarly consensus dates these scrolls from the last three centuries BCE and the first century CE. The texts have great historical, religious, and linguistic significance because they include the second-oldest known surviving manuscripts of works later included in the Hebrew Bible canon, along with deuterocanonical and extra-biblical manuscripts which preserve evidence of the diversity of religious thought in late Second Temple Judaism. Almost all of the Dead Sea Scrolls collection is currently under the ownership of the Government of the state of Israel, and housed in the Shrine of the Book on the grounds of the Israel Museum.

Many thousands of written fragments have been discovered in the Dead Sea area. They represent the remnants of larger manuscripts damaged by natural causes or through human interference, with the vast majority holding only small scraps of text. However, a small number of well-preserved, almost intact manuscripts have survived – fewer than a dozen among those from the Qumran Caves. Researchers have assembled a collection of 981 different manuscripts – discovered in 1946/47 and in 1956 – from 11 caves. The 11 Qumran Caves lie in the immediate vicinity of the Hellenistic-period Jewish settlement at Khirbet Qumran in the eastern Judaean Desert, in the West Bank. The caves are located about one mile (1.6 kilometres) west of the northwest shore of the Dead Sea, whence they derive their name. Scholarly consensus dates the Qumran Caves Scrolls from the last three centuries BCE and the first century CE. Bronze coins found at the same sites form a series beginning with John Hyrcanus (in office 135–104 BCE) and continuing until the period of the First Jewish–Roman War (66–73 CE), supporting the radiocarbon and paleographic dating of the scrolls.In the larger sense, the Dead Sea Scrolls include manuscripts from additional Judaean Desert sites, dated as early as the 8th century BCE and as late as the 11th century CE.The texts have great historical, religious, and linguistic significance because they include the second-oldest known surviving manuscripts of works later included in the Hebrew Bible canon, along with deuterocanonical and extra-biblical manuscripts which preserve evidence of the diversity of religious thought in late Second Temple Judaism. Biblical texts older than the Dead Sea Scrolls have been discovered only in two silver scroll-shaped amulets containing portions of the Priestly Blessing from the Book of Numbers, excavated in Jerusalem at Ketef Hinnom and dated c. 600 BCE. The third-oldest surviving known piece of the Torah, the En-Gedi Scroll, consists of a portion of Leviticus found in the Ein Gedi synagogue, burnt in the 6th century CE and analyzed in 2015. Research has dated it palaeographically to the 1st or 2nd century CE, and using the C14 method to sometime between the 2nd and 4th centuries CE.Most of the texts use Hebrew, with some written in Aramaic (for example the Son of God text; in different regional dialects, including Nabataean), and a few in Greek. Discoveries from the Judaean Desert add Latin (from Masada) and Arabic (from Khirbet al-Mird) texts. Most of the texts are written on parchment, some on papyrus, and one on copper.Archaeologists have long associated the scrolls with the ancient Jewish sect called the Essenes, although some recent interpretations have challenged this connection and argue that priests in Jerusalem, or Zadokites, or other unknown Jewish groups wrote the scrolls. Robert Eisenman vigorously posits his theory that the later, non-biblical "sectarian" scrolls must be viewed in the context of a wider first-century CE “Opposition Movement,” including Essenes, Zealots, Sicarii, and/or Nazoreans, and particularly the early Judeo-Christian community of Jerusalem, the Ebionites, whose leader, James, the brother of Jesus, was acknowledged by the entire “Opposition Movement,” and who is no other than the Scrolls' Teacher of Righteousness. He thus creates a strong link between the Scrolls and the pre-Pauline Jewish Christian community.

Owing to the poor condition of some of the scrolls, scholars have not identified all of their texts. The identified texts fall into three general groups:

About 40% are copies of texts from the Hebrew Scriptures.

Approximately another 30% are texts from the Second Temple Period which ultimately were not canonized in the Hebrew Bible, like the Book of Enoch, the Book of Jubilees, the Book of Tobit, the Wisdom of Sirach, Psalms 152–155, etc.

The remainder (roughly 30%) are sectarian manuscripts of previously unknown documents that shed light on the rules and beliefs of a particular group (sect) or groups within greater Judaism, like the Community Rule, the War Scroll, the Pesher on Habakkuk, and The Rule of the Blessing.

Herod Agrippa

Herod Agrippa, also known as Herod or Agrippa I (Hebrew: אגריפס;

11 BC – 44 AD), was a King of Judea from 41 to 44 AD. He was the last ruler with the royal title reigning over Judea and the father of Herod Agrippa II, the last King from the Herodian dynasty. The grandson of Herod the Great and son of Aristobulus IV and Berenice, He is the king named Herod in the Acts of the Apostles 12:1: "Herod (Agrippa)" (Ἡρώδης Ἀγρίππας).

Agrippa's territory comprised most of modern Israel, including Judea, Galilee, Batanaea and Perea. From Galilee his territory extended east to Trachonitis.

Herod Agrippa II

Herod Agrippa II (Hebrew: אגריפס) (AD 27/28 – c. 92 or 100) officially named Marcus Julius Agrippa and sometimes shortened to Agrippa, was the eighth and last ruler from the Herodian dynasty. He was the fifth member of this dynasty to bear the title of king, but he reigned over territories outside of Judea only as a Roman client. Agrippa was overthrown by his Jewish subjects in 66 and supported the Roman side in the First Jewish–Roman War.

Herod Antipas

Herod Antipater (Greek: Ἡρῴδης Ἀντίπατρος, Hērǭdēs Antipatros; born before 20 BC – died after 39 AD), known by the nickname Antipas, was a 1st-century ruler of Galilee and Perea, who bore the title of tetrarch ("ruler of a quarter") and is referred to as both "Herod the Tetrarch" and "King Herod" in the New Testament although he never held the title of king. He is widely known today for accounts in the New Testament of his role in events that led to the executions of John the Baptist and Jesus of Nazareth.

After being recognized by Augustus upon the death of his father, Herod the Great (c. 4 BC/AD 1), and subsequent ethnarch rule by his brother, Herod Archelaus, Antipas officially ruled Galilee and Perea as a client state of the Roman Empire. He was responsible for building projects at Sepphoris and Betharamphtha, and more important for the construction of his capital Tiberias on the western shore of the Sea of Galilee. Named in honor of his patron, the emperor Tiberius, the city later became a center of rabbinic learning.

Antipas divorced his first wife Phasaelis, the daughter of King Aretas IV of Nabatea, in favour of Herodias, who had formerly been married to his half-brother Herod II. (Antipas was Herod the Great's son by Malthace, while Herod II was his son by Mariamne II.) According to the New Testament Gospels, it was John the Baptist's condemnation of this arrangement that led Antipas to have him arrested; John was subsequently put to death in Machaerus. Besides provoking his conflict with the Baptiser, the tetrarch's divorce added a personal grievance to previous disputes with Aretas over territory on the border of Perea and Nabatea. The result was a war that proved disastrous for Antipas; a Roman counter-offensive was ordered by Tiberius, but abandoned upon that emperor's death in 37 AD. In 39 AD Antipas was accused by his nephew Agrippa I of conspiracy against the new Roman emperor Caligula, who sent him into exile in Gaul. Accompanied there by Herodias, he died at an unknown date.

The Gospel of Luke states that Jesus was first brought before Pontius Pilate for trial, since Pilate was the governor of Roman Judea, which encompassed Jerusalem where Jesus was arrested. Pilate initially handed him over to Antipas, in whose territory Jesus had been most active, but Antipas sent him back to Pilate's court.

Herod Archelaus

Herod Archelaus (Greek: Ἡρώδης Ἀρχέλαος, Hērōdēs Archelaos; 23 BC – c. 18 AD) was ethnarch of Samaria, Judea, and Idumea (biblical Edom), including the cities Caesarea and Jaffa, for a period of nine years (circa 4 BC to 6 AD). Archelaus was removed by Roman Emperor Augustus when Judaea province was formed under direct Roman rule, at the time of the Census of Quirinius. He was the son of Herod the Great and Malthace the Samaritan, and was the brother of Herod Antipas, and the half-brother of Herod II. Archelaus (a name meaning "leading the people") came to power after the death of his father Herod the Great in 4 BC, and ruled over one-half of the territorial dominion of his father.

Herod of Chalcis

Herod of Chalcis (d. 48-49 AD), also known as Herod V, listed by the Jewish Encyclopedia as Herod II, was a son of Aristobulus IV, and the grandson of Herod the Great, Roman client king of Chalcis. He was the brother of Herod Agrippa I and Herodias.

Herod the Great

Herod (; Hebrew: הוֹרְדוֹס, Modern: Hordus, Tiberian: Hōreḏōs, Greek: Ἡρῴδης, Hērōdēs; 74/73 BCE – c. 4 BCE), also known as Herod the Great and Herod I, was a Roman client king of Judea, referred to as the Herodian kingdom. The history of his legacy has polarized opinion, as he is known for his colossal building projects throughout Judea, including his expansion of the Second Temple in Jerusalem (Herod's Temple), the construction of the port at Caesarea Maritima, the fortress at Masada, and Herodium. Vital details of his life are recorded in the works of the 1st century CE Roman–Jewish historian Josephus. Herod also appears in the Christian Gospel of Matthew as the ruler of Judea who orders the Massacre of the Innocents at the time of the birth of Jesus. Despite his successes, including singlehandedly forging a new aristocracy from practically nothing, he has still garnered criticism from various historians. His reign polarizes opinion amongst scholars and historians, some viewing his legacy as evidence of success, and some as a reminder of his tyrannical rule.Upon Herod's death, the Romans divided his kingdom among three of his sons and his sister—Archelaus became ethnarch of the tetrarchy of Judea, Herod Antipas became tetrarch of Galilee and Peraea, Philip became tetrarch of territories north and east of the Jordan, and Salome I was given a toparchy including the cities of Jabneh, Ashdod, and Phasaelis.

Herodian Tetrarchy

The Herodian Tetrarchy was formed following the death of Herod the Great in 4 BCE, when his kingdom was divided between his sons Herod Archelaus as ethnarch, Herod Antipas and Philip as tetrarchs in inheritance, while Herod's sister Salome I shortly ruled a toparchy of Jamnia. Judea, the major section of the tetrarchy, was transformed by Rome in 6 CE, abolishing the rule of Herod Archelaus, thus forming the Province of Judea by joining together Judea proper, Samaria and Idumea. With the death of Salome I in 10 CE, her domain was also incorporated into the new Judea province. However, other parts of the Herodian Tetrarchy continued to function under Herodians. Thus, Philip the Tetrarch ruled Batanea, with Trachonitis, as well as Auranitis until 34 CE (his domain later being incorporated into the Province of Syria), while Herod Antipas ruled Galilee and Perea until 39 CE. The last notable Herodian ruler with some level of independence was Agrippa I, who was even granted lands of the Judea province, though with his death in 44 CE, the provincial status of Judea was restored for good.

Later Herodians including Herod of Chalcis, Aristobulus of Chalcis and Agrippa II (the last of the Herodian dynasty) were given rule over the Kingdom of Chalcis, a Roman vassal state. Agrippa II died childless and thus Chalcis was incorporated into the province of Syria.

Herodian dynasty

The Herodian dynasty was a royal dynasty of Idumaean (Edomite) descent, ruling the Herodian Kingdom and later the Herodian Tetrarchy, as vassals of the Roman Empire. The Herodian dynasty began with Herod the Great, who assumed the throne of Judea, with Roman support, bringing down the century long Hasmonean Kingdom. His kingdom lasted until his death in 4 BCE, when it was divided between his sons as a Tetrarchy, which lasted for about 10 years. Most of those tetrarchies, including Judea proper, were incorporated into Judaea Province from 6 CE, though limited Herodian de facto kingship continued until Agrippa I's death in 44 CE and nominal title of kingship continued until 92 CE, when the last Herodian monarch, Agrippa II, died and Rome assumed full power over his de jure domain.

Herodian kingdom

The Herodian kingdom of Judea was a client state of the Roman Republic from 37 BCE, when Herod the Great was appointed "King of the Jews" by the Roman Senate. When Herod died in 4 BCE, the kingdom was divided among his sons into the Herodian Tetrarchy.


Herodias (Greek: Ἡρωδιάς, Hērōdiás; c. 15 BC — after 39 AD) was a princess of the Herodian dynasty of Judaea during the time of the Roman Empire.

Herodion of Patras

Herodion of Patras (also Herodian or Rodion; Greek: Ἡρωδίων, Ἡρωδιανός, Ῥοδίων) was a relative of Saint Paul whom Paul greets in Romans 16:11. According to tradition, he was numbered among the Seventy Disciples and became bishop of Patras, where he suffered greatly. After beating, stoning, and stabbing him, they left him for dead, but St. Herodion arose and continued to serve the Apostles.

He was beheaded with Olympas in Rome while they were serving Saint Peter on the same day that St. Peter was crucified. His feast days are celebrated on January 4 among the Seventy, April 8, and November 10.

List of Hasmonean and Herodian rulers

List of Hasmonean and Herodian rulers can be found at:

Hasmonean dynasty

Herodian dynasty

List of manuscripts from Qumran Cave 11

The following is a list of the Dead Sea Scrolls from the cave 11 near Qumran.

List of manuscripts from Qumran Cave 2

The following is a list of the Dead Sea Scrolls from the cave 2 near Qumran.

List of manuscripts from Qumran Cave 4

The following is a list of the Dead Sea Scrolls from the cave 4 near Qumran.

List of manuscripts from Qumran Cave 6

The following is a list of the Dead Sea Scrolls from the cave 6 near Qumran.

Philip the Tetrarch

Philip the Tetrarch, sometimes called Herod Philip II (Greek: Ἡρώδης Φίλιππος, Hērōdēs Philippos) by modern writers (ruled from 4 BC until his death in AD 34) was the son of Herod the Great and his fifth wife, Cleopatra of Jerusalem. Philip II was born in c.26 BCE. He was a half-brother of Herod Antipas and Herod Archelaus; and should not be confused with Herod II, whom some writers call Herod Philip I.

Second Temple period

The Second Temple period in Jewish history lasted between 516 BCE and 70 CE, when the Second Temple of Jerusalem existed. The sects of Pharisees, Sadducees, Essenes, and Zealots were formed during this period. The Second Temple period ended with the First Jewish–Roman War and the Roman destruction of Jerusalem and the Temple.

After the death of the last Nevi'im (Jewish prophets) of antiquity and still under Persian rule, the leadership of the Jewish people was in the hands of five successive generations of zugot ("pairs of") leaders. They flourished first under the Persians (c. 539 – c. 332 BCE), then under the Greeks (c. 332–167 BCE), then under an independent Hasmonean Kingdom (140–37 BCE), and then under the Romans (63 BCE – 132 CE).

During this period, Second Temple Judaism can be seen as shaped by three major crises and their results, as various groups of Jews reacted to them differently. First came the destruction of the Kingdom of Judah in 587/6 BCE, when the Judeans lost their independence, monarchy, holy city and First Temple and were partly exiled to Babylon. They consequently faced a theological crisis involving the nature, power, and goodness of God and were also threatened culturally, racially, and ceremonially as they were thrown into proximity with other peoples and religious groups. The absence of recognized prophets later in the period left them without their version of divine guidance at a time when they felt most in need of support and direction. The second crisis was the growing influence of Hellenism in Judaism, which culminated in the Maccabean Revolt of 167 BCE. The third crisis was the Roman occupation of the region, beginning with Pompey and his sack of Jerusalem in 63 BCE. This included the appointment of Herod the Great as King of the Jews by the Roman Senate, and the establishment of the Herodian Kingdom of Judea comprising parts of what today are Israel, Palestinian territories, Jordan, Lebanon and Syria.

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