Friday, May 19, 2017
Herod the Great by Norman Gelb
Herod (73 to 4 B.C.) was a client-king of Judea during a turbulent period of civil wars between several dominant Roman figures. He was shrewd enough to retain his position with a succession of Rome's rulers, and during his long reign Herod developed Judea into an economically diverse state. Unfortunately, he was never popular with his people who saw him as a usurper of the former ruling family. He likely arranged the murder of his brother-in-law (the last member of the royal family) and eventually became so paranoid he executed his wife and oldest sons for conspiracy. The book is somewhat repetitive, but presents an infamous king fairly.