The Hellenization of Judea under Herod the Great
Purtell, Steven Matthew
MetadataShow full item record
This study examines the reign of Herod the Great for evidence indicating that he was a major catalyst in Hellenizing Judea and that this process was one of the major reasons for the success of his reign. Ruling at the crossroads of three cultures (Hellenistic East, Roman, and Judean), Herod walked a fine cultural line in pulling Judea as far towards Athens and Rome as he could possibly manage. Further, Herod sought a Judaism that syncretized these cultures into an acceptable whole, resulting in an elevated status of Judaism in the eyes of the Mediterranean World. In this thesis I will argue that while Hellenism, and resistance to it, was nothing new, Herod renewed that ancient tug-of-war for mastery of the Levant between the East and West. Second, I will examine Herod’s own path of instruction in the ways of Hellenization and Roman kingship in relation to Augustus. The previous attempts at Hellenization had built a solid foundation, which allowed Herod to build a monumental period of success for Judea. Third, I will demonstrate that upon assuming the throne, Herod accelerated Roman Hellenizing policies and thus systematically reshaped Judean politics, cultic institutions and architecture.