The Who2 Blog

Duelling Herods

Religion and antiquities editor Hans Holznagel has just come up with two new profiles of juicy Biblical villains: King Herod and Herod Antipas.

Herod #1 is the ruler who, in the famous story, ordered the murder of all Bethlehem boys under age 2. (The toddler Jesus of Nazareth escaped just in time.) Herod #2, Herod Antipas, is the dude who beheaded John the Baptist.

As our profiles point out, the history of these men is pretty vague: though we know Herod #1 as “Herod the Great,” for instance, there’s no proof that he was ever called that in his own time. For that matter, they weren’t exactly kings; more like local governors backed by the muscle of distant Rome.

If you’re curious about John the Baptist’s head, by the way (and who isn’t?), you may enjoy the loop Heads With a Life of Their Own.

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