Josephus, Flavius - Life of Herod - ( Item 121673 )
Published in London by Folio Society. 2008. Reprint. Fine Hardback. No inscriptions or bookplates. Fine slipcase. 259 pp. colour illus. Extracted from Josephus' Jewish Antiquities, one of the greatest of all Jewish histories, Life of Herod is a remarkable work in itself, an extraordinarily vivid and masterly portrait of an iconic figure of the ancient world. This Folio edition also features an extensive and illuminating appendix by the modern authority Menahem Stern, which provides a lucid overview of Herod's reign, tracing the religious and political tensions that would be written into the biblical portrait of the tyrant. Josephus, a Jewish historian writing in the 1st century AD, provides fascinating answers in one of the most compelling biographies from antiquity. His Life of Herod reveals a character capable of savage cruelty but also of remarkable generosity and vision. Installed by Mark Antony as the client-ruler of Judaea in 40 BC, Herod brought stability and prosperity to his kingdom. He won renown throughout the classical world for his enlightened programme of public works, including the Temple in Jerusalem, and for his cunning in outwitting Cleopatra of Egypt. But beneath this civilised veneer, Herod ruled by fear. While his secret police and torturers stamped out popular dissent, his pathological delusions of conspiracy and intrigue prompted him to execute three of his children on trumped-up treason charges - making him a byword for cruelty, even in Rome.
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