27 April 2007

Israeli archaeologists discover the tomb of Herod the Great south of Jerusalem.

Herod the Great (c. 73 BCE – 4 BCE) was a king of Judea who reigned from 37 BCE until his death. He is known for his ambitious building projects, including the expansion of the Second Temple in Jerusalem, and for his brutal methods of maintaining power, which included the murder of several members of his own family.

Herod was appointed king of Judea by the Roman Senate, with the support of Mark Antony and Octavian (later Emperor Augustus). He was a skilled politician and military leader, but his rule was marked by violence and cruelty. He executed anyone he saw as a threat to his power, including members of his own family, and he was responsible for the massacre of infants in Bethlehem, which was an attempt to kill the baby Jesus.

Despite his ruthless reputation, Herod is also remembered for his impressive building projects. He constructed a magnificent palace in Jerusalem and rebuilt the Second Temple, which had been destroyed by the Babylonians in 586 BCE. Herod’s Temple was one of the largest and most impressive religious buildings in the ancient world, and it was a symbol of his power and wealth.

Herod died in 4 BCE, and his kingdom was divided among his sons. Although he is a controversial figure, Herod the Great is an important historical figure and his reign had a significant impact on the political and religious landscape of Judea during the Roman period.