1st Edition

Agrippa II The Last of the Herods

By David Jacobson Copyright 2019
    268 Pages
    by Routledge

    266 Pages
    by Routledge

    Agrippa II is the first comprehensive biography of the last descendant of Herod the Great to rule as a client king of Rome. Agrippa was the last king to assume responsibility for the management of the Temple in Jerusalem, and he ultimately saw its destruction in the Judaean-Roman War.

    This study documents his life from a childhood spent at the Imperial court in Rome and rise to the position of client king of Rome under Claudius and Nero. It examines his role in the War during which he sided with Rome, and offers fresh insights into his failure to intervene to prevent the destruction of Jerusalem and its Sanctuary, as well as reviewing Agrippa’s encounter with nascent Christianity through his famous interview with the Apostle Paul. Also addressed is the vexed question of the obscurity into which Agrippa II has fallen, in sharp contrast with his sister Berenice, whose intimate relationship with Titus, the heir to the Roman throne, has fired the imagination of writers through the ages. This study also includes appendices surveying the coins issued in the name of Agrippa II and the inscriptions from his reign.

    This volume will appeal to anyone studying Judaean-Roman relations and the Judaean-Roman War, as well as those working more broadly on Roman client kingship, and Rome’s eastern provinces. It covers topics that continue to attract general interest as well as stirring current scholarly debate.


    Maps 1 and 2 available in colour at www.routledge.com/9781138331815

    List of Figures

    List of Maps




    Key Dates

    Stemma chart

    Chapter 1. Introduction

    Chapter 2. The Reliability of Josephus As a Historical Source for Agrippa II

    Chapter 3. Agrippa’s Early Years

    Chapter 4. Agrippa II in His Patrimony

    Chapter 5. Agrippa’s Address to the Population of Jerusalem

    Chapter 6. Agrippa II in the Opening Phase of the Judaean-Roman War

    Chapter 7. From the Campaigns of Vespasian and Titus to the Conclusion of the War

    Chapter 8. Agrippa’s Activities in the Aftermath of the War

    Chapter 9. Conclusions

    Appendix A1. Inscriptions Relating to the Reign of Agrippa II (David F. Graf)

    Appendix A2. The Coinage of Agrippa II




    David Jacobson is Visiting Research Fellow in the Department of Classics at King’s College London, UK, where he also gained his PhD for a thesis entitled The Place of Herod’s Temple in the Architecture of the Augustan Age. He has published extensively on the history, art, architecture and numismatics of Judaea in the Hellenistic and early Roman Imperial periods, including The Hellenistic Paintings of Marisa (2007), Distant Views of the Holy Land (with Felicity Cobbing) and Antioch and Jerusalem: the Seleucids and Maccabees in Coins (both in 2015).

    "Neglected in relation to his forefathers such as Herod, Antipas or his father Agrippa I, neglected even in relation to his own sister Berenice who maintained an idyll with Titus the destroyer of the temple of Jerusalem, Agrippa II has never been the subject of any biography. This error is now corrected thanks to this little book very familiar with the news of research on a large number of topics concerning Roman Judea ... We now better understand the extent of our ignorance about the last of the Herodians and it is certain that this work will now be essential for the examination of the dynasty." - Michael Girardin, Bryn Mawr Classical Review, 2020

    "...outstanding study ... Jacobson excellently threads the reader through the onomastic complexities of the Herodian dynasty, which can be baffling to all (a partial stemma is included) ... Included in the biographical narrative of Agrippa II is a solid account of the Roman-Jewish war. Even though this topic has been previously studied in detail, the author's clear and concise rendition (86-120) is one of the most valuable now available for these years ... The book broadly includes important ancillary material. Most notable is a long discussion and catalog of the inscriptions relating to the king--nearly 40 in all--written by David F. Graf (145-72). This brings all Agrippa II inscriptions into one place. Another essential supplement is a discussion (with photographs) of over a dozen of the king's coins (173-97), which demonstrate the romanization that took place during his reign, as Roman motifs and Latin inscriptions begin to appear over the years ... this will long be the definitive study of Agrippa II, and is an essential addendum to the examination of the ever-fascinating Herodian world." - Duane W. Roller, Classical Journal 2020

    "[A]n excellent workable summary for both scholar and layperson interested in the first century Land of Israel and its environs and in anything and everything that may have affected Agrippa II or upon which he may have had an effect." - Joshua Schwartz, Review of Biblical Literature

    "Overall, the portrait of Agrippa II the author presents is so interesting that the book can be recommended to a wide range of readers." - Edward Dabrowa, Sehepunkte 2020

    "An impressive piece of scholarship – the footnotes are well worth reading – this is a valuable work for any scholar of the period and particularly for the study of the First Romano-Jewish War."-The NYMAS Review

    "An impressive piece of scholarship – the footnotes are well worth reading – Agrippa II, a volume in the series "Routledge Ancient Biographies", is a valuable work for any scholar of the period and particularly for the study of the First Romano-Jewish War." - A. A. Nofi, Agade

    "Agrippa II fait-il désormais l’objet d’un ouvrage de référence, bien construit et très au fait de l’ensemble des découvertes. Refusant la facilité d’hypothèses improbables, Jacobson pose les bonnes questions, quitte à laisser ouverte la réponse jusqu’à ce que de nouveaux documents permettent de répondre avec des arguments pertinents. Une lecture excitante, un roi qui mérite d’être découvert, bref, un grand livre." - Maurice Sartre, Syria
    [Agrippa II is now the subject of a reference work, well-constructed and very familiar with all the discoveries. Rejecting the ease of improbable assumptions, Jacobson poses the correct questions, leaving the answers open until new documents allow one to respond with relevant arguments. An exciting read about a king who deserves to be discovered, in short, a great book.]