Herod : King of the Jews and Friend of the Romans book cover
2nd Edition

King of the Jews and Friend of the Romans

ISBN 9780367594626
Published August 14, 2020 by Routledge
488 Pages

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Book Description

Herod: King of the Jews and Friend of the Romans examines the life, work, and influence of this controversial figure, who remains the most highly visible of the Roman client kings under Augustus. Herod’s rule shaped the world in which Christianity arose and his influence can still be seen today.

In this expanded second edition, additions to the original text include discussion of the archaeological evidence of Herod’s activity, his building program, numismatic evidence, and consideration of the roles and activities of other client kings in relation to Herod. This volume includes new maps and numerous photographs, and these coupled with the new additions to the text make this a valuable tool for those interested in the wider Roman world of the late first century BCE at both under- and postgraduate levels. Herod remains the definitive study of the life and activities of the king known traditionally as Herod the Great.

Table of Contents


List of Maps, Photos, and Illustrations

Preface and acknowledgments


Ancient Sources



Chapter 1 In the End is the Beginning"

Chapter 2 From Idumea to Petra (to 64 BCE)

Chapter 3 From Petra to Rome (64–40 BCE)

Chapter 4 From Rome to Rhodes (40–30 BCE)

Chapter 5 From Rhodes to Rome (30–17 BCE)

Chapter 6 From Rome to Jericho (17–4 BCE)


Chapter 7 Late Hellenism in the Near East

Chapter 8 The Kingdom

Chapter 9 Herod’s Architecture and Archaeological Remains

Chapter 10 Herod's Finances: Inscriptions, Coins, and Economy 

Chapter 11 Religious and Military Elites

Chapter 12 Family Matters

Chapter 13 The Herods in Roman Perspective


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Peter Richardson is Professor Emeritus in the Department of Religion at the University of Toronto, Canada.

Amy Marie Fisher is an Adjunct Instructor in the Study of Religion at the University of Alberta, Canada.


"The first edition of Peter Richardson’s Herod King of the Jews and Friend of the Romans quickly established itself not only for its coherent and readable account of a figure of perpetual fascination, accessible for a more academic and a lay audience alike, but also for its attention to Herod’s building programme, and to the material evidence alongside the documentary. This second edition is to be warmly welcomed: if the overall estimation is consistent, revisions and additions are pervasive, reflecting both the ongoing contributions of scholarship, and the continuing engagement of Richardson and now of Amy Marie Fisher. For the richness of its rounded portrayal it deserves to be discovered and enjoyed by a new generation of readers across the disciplinary boundaries demarcating the ancient Mediterranean world."

- Professor Judith Lieu, University of Cambridge, UK

"They offer often scathing critical analyses of the sources, camoes of many of the most notable people of the times, and an interesting discussion of how and why Herod came to be seen as a villain by both Jews and Christians. Herod is a worthwhile read for the seasoned student of ancient history."

- NYMAS Review, No. 68, Winter 2018