Herod: Jewish King in a Roman World

Kings Place, London

A History of Judaism author Martin Goodman returns with a vivid account of the political triumphs and domestic tragedies of Herod, the phenomenally energetic ruler who took advantage of the chaos of the Roman revolution.

Both Jews and Christians developed myths about his cruelty; cast as the tyrant who ordered the Massacre of the Innocents and, despite fond memories of his glorious Temple in Jerusalem, recalled in the Talmud as a persecutor of rabbis.

In Herod the Great Oxford’s emeritus professor of Jewish Studies examines the extensive literary and archaeological evidence to explore his Idumaean origins, his installation by Rome as king of Judaea and his presentation of himself as a Jew. In conversation with Armand D’Angour.

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Sponsored by the Gordon family in memory of Sidney Gordon, a lover of history.

Speaker biography

Martin Goodman

Martin Goodman is emeritus professor of Jewish studies at the University of Oxford and a fellow of the Oxford Centre for Hebrew and Jewish Studies. His numerous books include A History of Judaism; Rome and Jerusalem: The Clash of Ancient Civilizations; and Josephus’s The Jewish War: A Biography. He lives in Oxford, UK.

Chair biography

Armand D’Angour

Armand D’Angour is a Professor of Classics at Oxford University. He teaches at Jesus College, and his research covers many areas of ancient Greek literature and culture. His book Socrates in Love (Bloomsbury 2019) has overturned standard views of Socrates’ life and philosophical influences, and How to Innovate: An Ancient Guide to Creative Thinking (2021) distils lessons from ancient Greece with very modern implications. He is currently working on books about the Roman poet Catullus and the epic singer Homer.

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