Jews under Roman Rule - W. D. Morrison

The Roman Tetrarchs
(B.C. 4 to A.D. 37.)

Immediately after Herod's death Augustus sent Sabinus, a Roman official, to superintend the administration till he came to a decision respecting the future government of the country. Before the arrival of this functionary a dangerous tumult had already taken place in Jerusalem, in which three thousand citizens lost their lives; and, to complicate the situation, the authority of Sabinus, which was apparently ill-defined, was ignored by Herod's old officers. This step was taken in accordance with instructions from Archelaus, the king's son, who was then on his way to Rome to obtain the assent of Augustus to his father's will. After the arrival of Sabinus in the capital, the disorders throughout the country became so alarming, that Quintilius Varus, the Syrian pro-consul, had to overawe the disaffected with his legions, and before his departure he left a strong garrison in Jerusalem to uphold the authority of Rome. But the spirit of revolt was abroad; the turbulent had no longer the fear of the old king before their eyes. Sabinus was arbitrary, and the wild forces of fanaticism which were gathered together at the Feast of Pentecost (B.C. 4) shut up the Roman garrison in one of the fortifications of the Holy City. Sabinus, seeing the critical nature of his position, dispatched pressing messages to Varus to come to his relief; meantime the revolt assumed larger proportions, and, with the exception of Samaria, the whole of Palestine was in open rebellion. Bands of robbers and marauders, headed by pretenders and slaves, sprang up in different parts of the country. Herod's palace at Jericho was looted, the armoury at Sepphoris, in Galilee, fell into the hands of the insurgents, and the whole of Palestine was plunged into anarchy when Varus began his march to rescue the garrison of Jerusalem. As in former revolts, the desperate bravery of the insurgents was of no avail against the disciplined valour of the West. Varus inflicted severe chastisement upon the rebellious districts; several towns were burnt, many Jews were sold as slaves, and, as a terrible warning to the disaffected, two thousand rebels were taken and crucified.

It appears that Sabinus had for some reason incurred the displeasure of the proconsul, for when he approached the Holy City at the head of his troops, Sabinus did not dare to meet him, but retired to the sea coast, and Varus, with the assistance of one of Herod's old generals, succeeded in restoring a temporary tranquility to the unhappy land.

[Illustration] from The Jews Under Roman Rule by W. D. Morrison


While these events were transpiring in Judaea, most of the members of Herod's family had arrived in Rome, and were intriguing against one another for possession of the old king's inheritance. Herod had made a will shortly before his death disposing of his property and dominions, but his arrangements possessed no validity till they received the sanction of the emperor. Augustus placed himself in the position of a suzerain towards the princes, who were allowed to remain in authority in different parts of the empire, according them a wide discretion in internal affairs, but reserving certain questions for settlement by himself alone. Among these were the questions of peace and war and of succession to the throne. In the case of Herod's family it was difficult for the emperor to arrive at a decision, owing to the discord prevailing amongst them and their accusations against one another. Whilst he was considering the best methods for disposing of the old king's dominions, the situation was complicated by the appearance in Rome of a Jewish deputation, composed of citizens who were hostile to a continuance of Herodian rule, and whose aim it was to induce Augustus to place the country under the immediate control of a Roman governor. In order to obtain more light on the affairs of Palestine, Augustus summoned the sons of Herod and the deputies from Judaea to meet him in conference on an appointed day in the Temple of Apollo. Here, surrounded by the imperial officials, he heard the complaints of the Jewish delegates, as well as their proposals with respect to the future government of Palestine. The defence of the Herodians was undertaken by Nicolaus of Damascus, who not only rebutted the charges of the delegation, but also accused the Jews of taking pleasure in disorder and sedition, and of being unwilling to submit like peaceful citizens to the lawfully constituted authorities. A few days after the termination of these proceedings Augustus publicly announced his intention of adhering to the main provisions of Herod's will. Archelaus was accordingly made ruler of Judaea, Idumaea, and Samaria, with an annual income of one hundred and twenty thousand pounds, but without the title of king; his brother Antipas obtained the provinces of Galilee and Peraea, with power to raise a revenue of forty thousand pounds annually; while his half-brother Philip became ruler of the wild districts of Batanaea, Auranitis, and Trachonitis, in the northeast of Palestine, and had an annual revenue of twenty thousand pounds. Other members of the family were also suitably provided for by the emperor, and the whole of Herod's dominions, with the exception of the coast towns of Gaza, Gadara, and Hippos, remained in the hands of his relatives and children.

Of Philip's long reign (B.C. 4 to A.D. 34) there is little left on record. His mother was Cleopatra of Jerusalem, whom Herod received into his harem more on account of her beauty than her birth. Philip was educated at Rome along with his half-brothers Archelaus and Antipas, and from what is recorded of his character, he seems to have been the best disposed and most estimable of the Herodian family. While Archelaus was in Italy with the object of gaining the assent of Augustus to his father's will, the government of Palestine was left in Philip's hands, and during the interregnum he struggled manfully with the disturbances which arose. During this troubled period the high qualities of the young prince won for him the esteem of Varus, the proconsul, who recommended him to the favourable consideration of the emperor, and at the same time advised him to go and look after his interests at Rome. Philip accepted this counsel. The portion of the late king's possessions which Augustus allotted to him was in extent the largest, but in other respects the poorest, the most unsettled, and the most difficult to govern. It contained a mixed population of Arabs and Syrians, interspersed with Jewish and Idumaean colonists, who had settled in these regions in the preceding reign for the purpose of holding the predatory instincts of the wild inhabitants in check. Philip, like a wise ruler, made the most of the position in which he stood, and of the indifferent material with which he had to deal. Avoiding all schemes of territorial aggrandizement, the young tetrarch concentrated his attention on affairs at home, and acquired the reputation of a sober-minded and discreet ruler, who watched like a father over the welfare of his people. It was a custom of this excellent prince, accompanied by his trusted advisers, to make occasional visits to the different parts of his dominions. At such times he readily attended to the complaints of his subjects, and administered justice to them at a moment's notice. He apparently possessed the secret of ruling the intractable population of his tetrarchy, for during a reign of many years (B.C. 4 to A. D. 34) an era of peace and tranquility prevailed among a people whom the Syrian proconsuls had in vain attempted to reduce to order.

Philip's capital, Caesarea Philippi, originally bore the name of Paneas, and was situated in a beautiful and picturesque district among the mountains of Lebanon, near the sources of the Jordan, where Herod the Great had built a temple in honour of Augustus. Philip, who was under the necessity of choosing a chief town for the centre of his government, selected this place, and in order to increase the population, declared it an asylum where all could flee to and find security. At a critical period in His public ministry, Jesus had occasion to retire from Galilee to this neighbourhood, and it was here that He asked His disciples the momentous question, Whom do men say that I am? The village of Bethsaida, on the northeastern shores of the sea of Galilee, was also enlarged by the tetrarch, who changed its name to Julias, in honour of the notorious daughter of the emperor. He considered himself as a Gentile ruler, his coins being stamped with the head of Caesar and an impression of the heathen temple of Paneas. Of his marriage with Salome, a daughter of Herodias, there was no issue, and when he died in the reign of Tiberius (A.D. 33-4), at the age of fifty-five, his territories were incorporated with the pro-consulate of Syria.

Herod Antipas (B.C. 4 to A.D. 39), Tetrarch of Galilee and Peraea, was also a man of a peace-loving disposition, and would in all probability have died in the position to which Augustus appointed him if he had regulated his private life with the same prudence as he conducted public affairs. He was a son of Herod the Great by Malthace, a Samaritan woman, and a full brother of Archelaus, who was a little his senior in age. Like most of Herod's children he received a Roman education, and at one time it was the old king's intention to appoint him sole heir of his possessions. It is probable that his father discerned signs of ability in the young prince, or perhaps he had the good fortune not to incur the morbid suspicions of the aged king He was better liked in Herod's family than Archelaus, and his relatives made every effort to induce Augustus to carry out the king's earlier intentions with regard to the succession.= But these efforts utterly failed, probably because Augustus no longer felt the necessity of preserving a large kingdom on the eastern frontiers of the empire, but more likely because he did not wish to interfere with the final arrangements of the deceased king. Accordingly Antipas, in spite of powerful voices being raised in his behalf, had to rest content with the provinces which his father finally assigned to him.

[Illustration] from The Jews Under Roman Rule by W. D. Morrison


Antipas was only seventeen years of age when he began to reign (B.C. 4). His territories did not lie compactly together like the dominions of Archelaus, but they were not so difficult to govern, although the Galileans were a warlike and high-spirited people. In many respects Galilee was highly favoured by nature, and enjoyed a certain amount of commercial prosperity, but shortly before passing into the hands of its young ruler it had suffered severely, in consequence of the unsettlement of the whole country after Herod's death. Ruined towns and villages bore witness to the heavy chastisement inflicted on the people by the legions of Varus, and the fact that Antipas was sent to govern them by the same power which had so lately perpetrated these barbarities was not calculated to ensure him a warm welcome from his new subjects. He did not, however, meet with active opposition, and perhaps the people, after their recent experiences of war and disorder, were glad of any change which promised a restoration of the tranquility they had for so many years enjoyed. In the late troubles the important town of Sepphoris had been reduced to ruins, and its inhabitants sold as slaves; Antipas showed the people his desire to do the utmost for the welfare of the land, by rebuilding it and making it the seat of government. In the province of Peraea, which was exposed to the incursions of the wild sons of the desert, the tetrarch erected the fortress of Julias, on the eastern banks of the Jordan, opposite Jericho; and to still further ensure the safety of his possessions in this region, he allied himself by marriage with a daughter of Aretas, the Nabataean king, whose dominions here bordered on his own.

During the lifetime of Augustus (B.C. 4 to-A.D. 14) Antipas, who knew that his princely position depended solely on his ability to preserve peace and contentment among the population, acted with prudence and caution, and no complaint was made against him to the emperor. Still he never succeeded in securing the confidence of Augustus to the same extent as his father; and when his brother Archelaus was deposed, Judaea and Samaria were not placed under his control, as he probably had anticipated, but were incorporated with the province of Syria. The sacred ties of blood had very little influence with the children of Herod, and one of the worst characteristics of Anti-pas was his utter want of fraternal feeling. When his brother Archelaus was accused of tyranny by his subjects, Antipas, instead of attempting to shield him, in all probability did his best to procure his banishment (A.D. 6).

The accession of Tiberius to the imperial throne (A.D. 14 to A.D. 37) was an event of much importance to the tetrarch, for it changed the coldness of his previous relations with the imperial court, and ultimately exalted him into the position of a confidential agent of the new Caesar. Tiberius was a man of a soured and suspicious temperament, who never thoroughly trusted his officials, and Antipas served the emperor's purpose as a kind of spy on the Roman authorities charged with the administration of affairs in the East. It is probably on this account that he was hated by Pontius Pilate, who was Procurator of Judaea during the latter part of the reign of Antipas; for Pilate, who understood the character of Tiberius, would be well aware of the general nature of the correspondence which passed between the gloomy man on the Tiber and his vassal in Palestine. Vitellius, the Proconsul of Syria, also knew that Antipas was in the habit of sending secret communications to the emperor, and disliked him quite as much as Pilate. On one occasion he was deeply incensed at the underhand conduct of the Jewish prince. The proconsul had been requested by Tiberius to endeavour to conclude a treaty with the Persian king, Artabanus, and after he had carried the emperor's wishes to a successful issue he was mortified to find that Antipas, who accompanied him to the Euphrates to meet the Persian king, had dispatched an account of the whole proceedings to Rome which anticipated his own. On the death of Tiberius, the proconsul made Antipas feel that he had not forgotten his resentment.

Notwithstanding the hostility of the Roman officials Antipas retained the goodwill of the emperor to the last. As a token of gratitude to his patron he built a new capital on the western shores of the Sea of Galilee, and called it Tiberias. While the building operations were in progress, it was unfortunately discovered that an old graveyard occupied a portion of the site, a circumstance which caused the rabbis to declare the place unclean; and it was some time before the Jews in any numbers could be induced to settle in the new capital. Although situated in one of the most beautiful districts of Galilee, it had the reputation of being unhealthy; still, in spite of this serious disadvantage, the new city grew in a short time to be one of the most important places in Palestine. It was constructed in the Greco-Roman style of the period; its inhabitants were mainly Gentiles, and besides the royal palace the public buildings consisted of an amphitheatre, an arsenal, and latterly a synagogue.

While Antipas was at the summit of his prosperity he set out on a journey to Rome which proved to be the beginning of all his future misfortunes. During his stay in the imperial city, he lived at the house of his half-brother Herod (Boethus) whose wife Herodias was a granddaughter of Mariamne, whom Herod the Great had executed in a fit of jealousy. Herodias was an ambitious woman, and disliked the private station to which her husband had been consigned by his father's will. Antipas, although no longer young, was unable to resist her charms, and it was secretly arranged between them that Herodias should desert her husband and become the tetrarch's wife. One of the stipulations in this guilty arrangement was that Antipas should divorce the daughter of the Nabataean king, to whom he had been married for a great number of years. By some means or other knowledge of this immoral compact reached the ears of the unfortunate princess, who was to be its principal victim, and she anticipated the action of her faithless husband by at once fleeing from his dominions to the court of her father at Petra. Aretas, who had not been on harmonious terms with Antipas for some time, on account of a territorial dispute, now decisively broke with him, and made preparations for war. Antipas, on his side, was not idle, but when the two armies came to blows, the forces of the tetrarch were thoroughly defeated, and he had to fall back for protection on the friendship of Tiberius.

It is very probable that Antipas had obtained the emperor's sanction to his new matrimonial arrangements, for he at once espoused the cause of his servile vassal, and gave orders to Vitellius to declare war against Aretas, and execute him or send him to Rome in bonds. To all appearance fortune was once more smiling upon the schemes of Antipas: Vitellius had completed the necessary preparations for the campaign; the Roman legions were on the march; the fate of Aretas was trembling in the balance, when all of a sudden the situation was completely changed by the unexpected news that Tiberius, the tetrarch's protector, was dead. It was now that Vitellius found the long-sought-for opportunity of requiting Antipas for disclosing the contents of the Parthian treaty. He knew that the operations in which the army was engaged were intended to avenge the Jewish prince; accordingly the proconsul, on the pretext that he was without orders from the new emperor, immediately declared the campaign at an end, and withdrew to Antioch. To be baffled in this manner when the victim was almost in his grasp must have been a bitter disappointment to Antipas, if it did not also fill him with a presentiment that his own downfall was nigh at hand.

The war with Aretas was not the only difficulty in which Antipas became involved through his marriage with Herodias; this unfortunate alliance also led him to deliver over John the Baptist to imprisonment and death. It was within the tetrarch's dominions, in the province of Peraea that the preacher in the wilderness exercised his public ministry, and in the course of his admonitions he felt it a duty to rebuke the moral delinquency of a ruler whose relations with Herodias were equally opposed to the Law of Moses and the conscience of mankind. Notwithstanding the solemn condemnation of his unlawful union, Antipas continued to respect the Baptist. It was only when he began to dread the political consequences of John's missionary activity, that he listened to the advice of Herodias and cast the fiery preacher into prison. The place of confinement selected for the illustrious captive was the fortress of Machaerus on the Arabian frontier, chosen probably because it was far away from the religious excitement which was at that moment so profoundly agitating Jewish life. Here John was permitted a certain amount of freedom; his disciples were allowed to visit him, and through them he was enabled to communicate with the outside world. Antipas was not a man of a cruel or bloodthirsty disposition, and it is not probable that he ever intended to put the Baptist to death his imprisonment of John being rather a measure of precaution than an act of punishment but it was not easy for him to defeat the settled purpose of a woman like Herodias. Her heart was set upon accomplishing the destruction of the man who had dared to lift up an accusing voice against the propriety of her actions. John had been a few months in confinement when the opportunity for satisfying her revenge unexpectedly arrived. It was on the occasion of Antipas' birthday. To celebrate this event the prince entertained the chief dignitaries of his dominions at a feast in the course of which the graceful dancing of Salome, Herodias' daughter, so pleased the excited reveler that, in Oriental fashion, he promised the charming dancer anything she chose to ask, even to the half of his possessions. At the instigation of her mother the princess, to the tetrarch's great astonishment and consternation, asked to be presented with the head of John the Baptist, and Antipas was weak enough to satisfy this atrocious request. The executioner soon did his work, and Herodias could at last exult in the fact that the burning words of the preacher in the wilderness would trouble her uneasy heart no more.

John's execution occurred before the defeat of the tetrarch's army by the Nabataeans, and this defeat was attributed by his subjects to the foul manner in which he had taken the life of a man whom they all looked upon as fulfilling the sacred mission of a prophet. It is very likely that Antipas himself shared the feelings of his subjects with respect to this bloody decd. It is certain that the Baptist's death weighed heavily upon his mind, for when the fame of Jesus soon afterwards began to reach his ears, he seemed stricken with remorse, and said, "It is John the Baptist; he is risen from the dead." Within the tetrarch's dominions the greater part of Jesus' public ministry took place. Here the first Christian community was formed, consisting almost exclusively of the subjects of Antipas; and such was the commotion created among the people by the teachings of its Founder that the alarmed prince is said to have meditated making Jesus share the fate of John. This report, however, was very probably circulated by the enemies of Jesus, and had little or no foundation in fact. Antipas was not the kind of man to repeat an experiment which had already gravely endangered his popularity, and might easily have led to the downfall of his throne.

Still, we can gather from the expression which Jesus uses concerning Antipas, that he had no faith in the fox-like character of the man. He avoided the capital of this prince, and although Antipas had a great desire to see Him, that desire was not gratified till he beheld Jesus as a prisoner at Jerusalem in the closing hours of His earthly life. Antipas was in the Holy City when Jesus was arrested and brought before the Roman procurator, and Pilate imagined it would be an easy way of escaping the responsibility of condemning One whom he believed to be innocent by sending Him for judgment to the ruler under whose jurisdiction He had passed the greater portion of His public life. But Antipas, although he availed himself of the opportunity of gratifying a long-standing curiosity, and permitted Jesus to be brought before him, took care at the same time to express no definite judgment upon the case, and left Pilate to bear the odium of pronouncing a condemnation in which he disbelieved.

The death of Tiberius (AD. 37) was a severe blow to the fortunes of the Jewish prince, and soon after the accession of Caligula to the empire the foolish ambition of Herodias brought about the tetrarch's deposition and banishment. The same feeling which prompted this restless woman to desert her former husband now urged her on to torment Antipas into seeking the royal dignity from the new emperor. Caligula before ascending the throne was a bosom friend of Agrippa, a brother of Herodias, and when he became emperor, Agrippa (A.D. 37) was made ruler of the territories formerly in possession of Philip, being likewise elevated to the position of a king. Her brother's sudden rise of fortune aroused the jealousy of Herodias, and although Antipas had no desire for additional honours, she persuaded him against his own inclinations to go with her to Rome, and sue the new emperor for the name of king. Agrippa, on hearing of the departure of his relatives for the imperial city, determined, if possible, to defeat the object of their journey and foil his sister's cherished wish. In former days when Agrippa's future was overcast, and his position one of poverty and embarrassment, Antipas, although for a time befriending him, at last subjected the unfortunate prince to gross indignities which he would not readily forget. Agrippa's time had now come; while Herodias and her husband were on the way to Rome, he dispatched a messenger to his patron, the emperor, with the information that Antipas was a disloyal vassal, and had at that moment in his arsenals a stock of arms sufficient to equip seventy thousand men. In his interview with Antipas the emperor asked him if these allegations were true. As the tetrarch was obliged to admit that he had a large quantity of war material in his fortresses, Caligula concluded that Agrippa's accusations were well founded, and that Antipas was making preparations to throw off the imperial yoke. It is extremely improbable that the tetrarch had any ideas of the kind; still he had committed the fatal mistake of arousing suspicion; his doom was sealed. Caligula forthwith deposed him, confiscated his private property, which, along with his dominions, he bestowed upon Agrippa, and banished the hapless prince to Gaul for the remainder of his life (A.D. 39). When this crowning calamity fell upon her husband, Herodias rose superior to her antecedents, and acted with the greatest magnanimity. She had been the immediate cause of his misfortunes, and she was willing to be the sharer of his fate. When Caligula told her that she should be allowed to retain her estates and live where she pleased, she answered him in these noble words, "The love which I have for my husband prevents me, O Caesar, from accepting of thy favour; and since I have been his partner in prosperity it is not right for me to abandon him in misfortune."

[Illustration] from The Jews Under Roman Rule by W. D. Morrison


It has already been narrated that Augustus, after Herod the Great's death, appointed Archelaus with the title of Ethnarch (B.C. 4 to A.D. 6) to the most important division of his father's kingdom the provinces of Judaea and Samaria. This prince's reign was brief and inglorious. He was the elder son of Malthace, the mother of the tetrarch Antipas, and was born, as far as can be ascertained, about the year 21 B.C. It is evident that Herod at one time did not intend him to occupy the high position which afterwards fell to his lot, for when he was sent to Rome with his brothers Philip and Antipas to receive a Western education, his father put him under the care of a Roman unconnected with public affairs. Herod's elder children while in Rome had lived with Asinius Pollio, a man of consular dignity. They had also the option of making Caesar's palace their home, but the king, having in view the humbler future of his younger children, deemed it sufficient to place them in less illustrious hands. When Archelaus returned to Palestine towards the close of his father's life (B.C. 5), the evil genius of the Herodian family, his elder brother Antipater, made insidious accusations against him to the aged king. Even after Herod had discovered the lying villainy of Antipater, so suspicious was his nature, that he could not shake off the feeling that Antipater's calumnies had some foundation, and in his last will but one he excluded both Philip and Archelaus from all share in the inheritance, appointing as his successor their younger brother Antipas. But in the closing days of his life the bewildered king, feeling probably that he had committed an injustice again altered his mind, and Augustus confirmed the unhappy old man's final arrangements with respect to Archelaus, only withholding from him the title of king till he showed signs of deserving that distinction.

At the time of Herod's death Archelaus was only eighteen years of age, and troubles began to thicken on his path at the very outset of his public career. The people felt that the heavy hand of his father was removed, and discontent began to show itself before Augustus had confirmed the young prince in his new position. Archelaus attempted to satisfy the malcontents by assuring them that their grievances would be taken into consideration after his return from Rome. But the people were impatient for an immediate settlement of their wrongs, and at last their attitude became so menacing, that Archelaus found it necessary to disperse them by force (B.C. 4). The execution of this measure was accompanied with such terrible severity, that the prince immediately alienated not only his future subjects, but the members of his own family as well. His aunt Salome had been making efforts to win over the people after Herod's death by a policy of mercy; but all these attempts at conciliation were forever frustrated by the ill-considered barbarity of Archelaus. Salome now became his pronounced opponent, and on his arrival at Rome he had many hostile influences standing between him and the favour of the emperor. His claims to the inheritance were resisted by almost all his relatives, as well as by Sabinus, the imperial procurator, and a body of representatives from Judaea whom Varus had allowed to go to Rome for that purpose. Augustus hesitated in the face of so strong an opposition; but, finally deciding to abide by the main provisions of Herod's will, he exhorted Archelaus to make a mild use of his authority.

It is possible that the emperor's counsels produced a certain impression on the newly-appointed ethnarch, for we do not find him violating Jewish religious feeling to the same extent as his father. In his reign no offensive heathen edifices were constructed, and if heathen amusements were still permitted, they did not exist on a scale calculated to outrage national ideas. The coinage of the period is perfectly free from the heathen symbols which Philip did not fear to use in the north of Palestine. He followed his father's footsteps by frequently effecting changes in the high-priesthood. But his action in this respect may have proceeded as much from prudence as from choice, although the growth of the synagogue was no doubt imperceptibly undermining the political importance of the high priest. A hereditary love of magnificence induced the ethnarch to rebuild the palace at Jericho, which had been destroyed in the late civil convulsions; and from a desire to hand down his name to posterity he founded the town of Archelais, a little to the north of the newly-restored palace. Archelaus' deference to the Law did not prevent him from setting its ordinances aside when they stood in the way of his passions. It is expressly laid down in the Mosaic legislation, that a man shall not marry his brother's widow if her marriage has been blessed with children. But Archelaus treated this injunction as if it did not exist, and putting away his own wife, he allied himself with his brother's widow, Glaphyra, who was already the mother of two children. At Rome such a proceeding would have been perfectly legitimate, and was not an uncommon occurrence. But a prudent prince would have avoided Roman precedent, and followed the sentiments of his own subjects, even if he had ceased to share them. In other respects this marriage was imprudent. Glaphyra, during her previous residence in Jerusalem as the wife of Herod's son Alexander, had been a fruitful source of irritation in the Herodian family, and the folly of her behaviour was one of the causes which aroused Herod's suspicion, and led him to take the terrible step of putting his son to death. Time, however, appears to have worked a change for the better in the character of this princess, for on her return to Jerusalem, the city where she had spent the first days of married life, her mind began to brood on the wrongs she had done her murdered husband. In her dreams she saw him once again; she heard his reproaching voice; a sickness fell upon her and she died.

[Illustration] from The Jews Under Roman Rule by W. D. Morrison


The wise admonitions of Augustus did not have a permanent effect on the conduct of his vassal in Judaea. Despotism and barbarity were essential elements in his character which could not be effectively restrained. His rule at last became so intolerable that the Jews and Samaritans for a time abandoned the spirit of antipathy which had separated them for centuries, and united together for the purpose of securing the deposition of Archelaus and freedom from his odious tyranny. In this enterprise they were assisted by the relatives of Archelaus, and a deputation from Palestine represented to Augustus that the ethnarch had disregarded the imperial commands, and was a tyrant among his subjects. These reports incensed the emperor, and Archelaus's agent in Rome was sent to Palestine with orders to bring his master back to Italy to answer the charges preferred against him. Archelaus had a presentiment that his downfall was near at hand, and appears to have been brooding over it when the summons calling upon him to proceed to Rome arrived. His guilt was established to Caesar's satisfaction; he was banished to Vienne in Gaul, the ethnarchy was abolished, and Judaea became a Roman province (A.D. 6). The despotic character of Archelaus is alluded to in the Gospel narrative, where it is mentioned that the holy family on their return from Egypt avoided his dominions and settled in Galilee, under the milder rule of his brother Antipas.