REVILED AND REVERED: THE DIVISIVE FIGURE OF KING HEROD OF JUDEA
In the Christian story, Herod ordered his men to kill all baby boys in and around Jesus' birthplace Bethlehem, fearing one would grow up to become 'King of the Jews' and challenge his rule.According The Gospel of Matthew, Jesus and his family escaped the slaughter by fleeing to Egypt.
Historians said Herod ruled Judea from about 37 BC until his death in 4 BC - four years before Jesus' official birth day, though that date is also contested.
King Herod has been called as 'the greatest builder of human history,' but was also responsible for killing his wife and three of his children over alleged treasons.
He rebuilt the Jewish Temple in Jerusalem and was also renowned for other grandiose construction projects, such as the fortress at Masada.
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