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Prolegomena to the History of Ancient Israel

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An Excerpt from chapter 14, "Herod and the Romans," in Prolegomena to the History of Ancient Israel by Julius Wellhausen (1885)

*This is a discussion of the division of Herod's kingdom amongst his sons.

His [Herod's] death (4 B.C.) gave the signal for an insurrection of small beginnings which gradually spread until it ultimately infected all the people; it was repressed by Varus with great cruelty. Meanwhile Herod's connexions were at Rome disputing about the inheritance. The deceased king (who was survived by several children of various marriages) had made a will, which was substantially confirmed by Augustus. By it his son Philip received the northern portion of the territory on the east of the Jordan along with the district of Paneas (Cæsarea Philippi); his thirty-seven years’ reign over this region was happy. Another son, Herod Antipas, obtained Galilee and Peræa; he beautified his domains with architectural works (Sepphoris, Tiberias; Livias, Machærus), and succeeded by his fox-like policy in ingratiating himself with the emperors, particularly with Tiberius, for that very cause, however, becoming odious to the Roman provincial officials. The principal heir was Archelaus, to whom Idumæa, Judæa, and Samaritis were allotted; Augustus at first refused him the title of king. Archelaus had experienced the greatest difficulty in carrying through his claims before the emperor in face of the manifold oppositions of his enemies; the vengeance which he wreaked upon his subjects was so severe that in 6 A.D. a Jewish and Samaritan embassy besought the emperor for his deposition. Augustus assented, banishing Archelaus to Vienne, and putting in his place a Roman procurator. Thenceforward Judæa continued under procurators, with the exception of a brief interval (41-44 A.D.), during which Herod Agrippa I. united under his sway all the dominions of his grandfather.

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