Queen Berenice

A Jewish Female Icon of the First Century CE


This is a biography of Queen Berenice, the daughter of King Agrippa I, sister of King Agrippa II, wife of two kings and lover of the emperor designate Flavius Titus. A Jew of the 1st century, she witnessed some of the foundational events of her time like the emergence of Christianity and the destruction of the Second Temple in Jerusalem, is. She met and socialized with the most important people of her day - Philo the Philosopher (who was at one time her brother-in-law), Paul the Apostle (whose trial she witnessed) and Josephus the Historian who told part of her story.

Prices from (excl. shipping):

Add to Cart
Tal Ilan, PhD (1991), Hebrew University Jerusalem is professor of Jewish Studies at the Freie Universität Berlin. She is the editor of A Feminist Commentary on the Babylonian Talmud; and the author of Lexicon of Jewish Names in Late Antiquity (four volumes).

1 Methodology
 1 Chronology
 2 Silencing
 3 Disparagement

2 Berenice’s Foremothers: A Long Line of Hasmonean and Herodian Queens
 1 Simon the Hasmonean’s Nameless Wife, Berenice’s Great-Great-Great-Great-Great-Great-Grandmother (ca. 180 BCE–135 BCE)
 2 John Hyrcanus I’s Nameless Wife, Berenice’s Great-Great-Great-Great-Great-Grandmother (ca. 155 BCE–104 BCE)
 3 Salina Alexandra, Judah Aristobulus I’s Widow, Berenice’s Great-Great-Great-Great-Aunt (ca. 140 BCE–ca. 90 BCE)
 4 Queen Shelamzion-Alexandra, Berenice’s Great-Great-Great- Great-Grandmother (140 BCE–67 BCE)
 5 Aristobulus II’s Wife, Berenice’s Great-Great-Great-Grandmother (ca. 90–ca. 50 BCE)
 6 Alexandra, Berenice’s Great-Great-Grandmother (ca. 70 BCE– 26 BCE)
 7 Miriam the Hasmonean, Berenice’s Paternal Great-Grandmother (53–29 BCE)
 8 Salome, Herod’s Sister, Berenice’s Maternal Great-Grandmother (ca. 60 BCE–12 CE)
 9 Berenice, Aristobulus IV’s Wife, Berenice’s Grandmother (ca. 33 BCE–23 CE)
 10 Herodias, Berenice’s Paternal Aunt (ca. 10 BCE–ca. 50 CE)
 11 Cypros, Berenice’s Mother (ca. 10–ca. 50 CE)

3 Berenice’s Early Years
 1 Judea 28–42 CE
 2 Alexandria 42–44 CE
 3 Chalcis
3.1.1  Herod of Chalcis
3.1.2  Agrippa I’s Death
3.1.3  Mother Berenice
3.1.4  Herod of Chalcis’ Death
3.2.1  Queen of Chalcis
3.2.2  Brother and Sister (on Killer-Wives and Homosexuality)
 4 Caesarea-Philippi/Cilicia/Jerusalem (54 CE–66 CE)
4.1.1  Herodian Women Divorcing Their Husbands
4.1.2  Foreign Dignitaries Converting to Judaism for the Sake of a Herodian Marriage
4.1.3  Jealousy
4.1.4  Incest

4 The War with Rome 66–73 CE
 1 Jerusalem 66 CE
1.1.1  Excursus: Berenice and Judaism
 2 Caesarea-Philippi 66–70 CE

5 Berenice in Rome
 1 The Roman Way of Telling the Story of the Berenice-Titus Romance
1.2.1  Catamites and Eunuchs
1.2.2  “Cleopatra Minor”
1.2.3  Invitus invitam
1.2.4  Excursus: Rome’s Cleopatra
 2 Other Information about Berenice in Rome

6 Berenice’s End: Reception History and Fiction
 1 Berenice of Sardinia
 2 The French School
 3 The Jewish Interpretation
 4 But She Came Back to (or Stayed in) Rome
 5 A Final Speculation

7 Julia Crispina, Berenice’s (Female) Descendant

Two Conclusions
 1 The Men in Her Life
 2 The First Century

 Berenice’s Timeline
The book is intended for academics of classical studies, Jewish studies, Christian theology, history, as well as an educated and interested general public (especially those interested in biographies).
  • Collapse
  • Expand