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The Herodian Dynasty

The remarkable Herodian dynasty flourished from the second century BCE to the second century CE. The following book, published in 1998 (an updated version of a doctoral thesis written between 1987 and 1992), examines its origins, measures its impact on Jewish society, and discusses the influence it exerted beyond Judaea. It argues that the Herodian dynasty played a central part in the workings of the Eastern Roman Empire. The author suggests that Herod the Great would be better described as a 'Hellenised Phoenician' rather than simply as an 'Idumaean' and he draws on a variety of evidence to support this view. The Herodian dynasty is seen in the context of the political structure of the province of Judaea and life in Graeco-Roman Palestine as a whole. This book encompasses many ideas which open up a dimension through which the history of the Second Temple Period, Judaism and Early Christianity can be viewed anew.


Nikos Kokkinos, The Herodian Dynasty: Origins, Role in Society and Eclipse (Journal for the Study of the Pseudepigrapha Supplement Series 30). Sheffield: Sheffield Academic Press, 1998. ISBN 1-85075-690-2. 16 x 24 cm. 518 pp. (with 3 maps, 3 charts & 14 family trees). Hardback £60/$95.

[This edition went out of print with the closing down of Sheffield Academic Press at the beginning of the 21st century.  A paperback edition announced repeatedly between 2002 and 2004 by Continuum (which took over Sheffield's list) was never published (for reasons better known to them), as a result of which not a single copy, new or secondhand, could be found anywhere on the internet!  However, for a reprint now by Spink (2010) see below.]



List of Maps, Trees and Charts





Chapter 1: From Edom to Idumaea

Chapter 2: Early Hellenistic Idumaea

1. Creation and Economy

2. Geography, Divisions and Centres

3. Urban Communities and Military Settlement

4. Administration

5. Population

6. Ethnic Composition

7. Hellenization

Chapter 3: Late Hellenistic Idumaea

1. Idumaea and Maccabaean Judaism

2. Herodian Beginnings

3. The Question of Origins

4. The Culture of Ascalon and the Herods

5. The Coins of Ascalon and the Herods


Chapter 4: Programmatic Notes

Chapter 5: The Uncles and Cousins of Herod

1. Phallion I

2. Joseph I (Josephus I)

Chapter 6: The Brothers, Nephews and Nieces of Herod

1. Phasael I

2. Joseph II (Josephus II)

3. Pheroras

Chapter 7: The Sister of Herod and her Offspring

1. Salome I

2. Antipater III

Chapter 8: The Wives of Herod and their Offspring

1. Doris

2. Mariamme I

3. The x-Niece and x-Cousin

4. Mariamme II

5. Malthace

6. Cleopatra

7. Pallas, Phaedra and Elpis

Chapter 9: The Descendants of Alexander I

1. Alexander II

2. Tigranes I (V)

Chapter 10: The Descendants of Aristobulus I

1. Herodias (I) and Mariamme IV

2. Agrippa I

3. Herod (V) of Chalcis

4. Aristobulus II

5. Agrippa II



1. Herodian Prosopography

2. Main Points in the Chronology of Herod

3. Structure of the Josephus Text 14-8 BCE

4. The Family of Aretas IV

5. Date of Agrippa I's Death

6. Identity of Polemo, Husband of Berenice II

7. Sadducean High Priests and the Ananus Family

8. Redating the Last Procurators and the Brother of Jesus

9. Dating the First Jewish Revolt

10. Date of Agrippa II's Death


Index of References

Index of Modern Authors

Index of Ancient Names and Places



Reviews of the The Herodian Dynasty in academic journals include the following:

Journal of Jewish Studies 50 (1999), 156-8 (by P. Richardson)

Religious Studies Review 25 (1999), 311 (by K. Atkinson)

Biblica 80 (1999), 592-5 (by D. W. Roller)

Journal of Roman Studies 89 (1999), 234-5 (by G. W. Bowersock)

Catholic Biblical Quarterly 61 (1999), 784-5 (by D. E. Oakman)

Scripta Classica Israelica 18 (1999), 194-8 (by A. Kushnir-Stein)

Theologische Literaturzeitung 124 (1999), 720-2 (by J. Maier)

Gnomon 72 (2000), 611-6 (by M. Bernett)

Biblical Illustrator 7 (2000), 427-9 (by M. Moran)

Journal for the Study of Judaism 32 (2001), 101-5 (by J. Sievers)

Palestine Exploration Quarterly 133 (2001), 64 (by M. Grant)

Cathedra 103 (2002), 165-84 [in Hebrew] (by A. Kasher)




Nikos Kokkinos, The Herodian Dynasty: Origins, Role in Society and Eclipse. London: Spink and Son Ltd, 2010. ISBN 978-1-907427-01-5 (Hb) and 978-1-907427-03-9 (Pb). 16 x 24 cm. 530 pp. (with 3 maps, 3 charts and 14 family trees, plus 2 new maps, 10 family trees, and a new preface). Hardback £45. Paperback £25.

Copies are now available from Spink and Son Ltd (, as well as at Amazon. Link: Herodian Dynasty at Amazon



 (The Dead Sea)