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Philorhomaioi: The Herods between Rome and Jerusalem

In: Journal for the Study of Judaism
Author: John Curran1
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  • 1 The Queen’s University of BelfastSchool of History and AnthropologyThe Queen’s University of BelfastJohn.curran@qub.ac.uk
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This paper offers a reconstruction and analysis of the Herodian family as a presence in the city of Rome over more than three generations. The scholarly tendency to view the Herods as an aspect of a broader governmental system overlooks the workings of the particular relationships that elevated the Herods in their own land as well as at the centre of Roman power. Beginning with the foundation of a lasting connection between the Herods and the Julio-Claudians laid by Herod the Great and Augustus, this paper traces the legacy of that connection and its impact on affairs in both Judaea and Rome. The peculiar challenges of retaining status in both Roman and Jewish contexts are assessed and their importance as a vital aspect of our understanding of first-century Judaean politics is established. Examination, finally, of the development of their aspirations and their negotiation of dynastic change shows vividly the processes of ‘Romanisation’ in the context of an elite family.

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