Herod the Great (74/73 B.C. – circa 4 B.C.) lived 2,000 years ago, but he still causes arguments among historians. He built the second temple in Jerusalem, the port at Caesarea, fortresses, and palaces. He reorganized Judea’s social hierarchy. He rather artfully managed his Roman overlords.
Yet he was among the most violent and ruthless of kings, including within his own family. He’s most infamously associated with the slaughter of the innocents, the killing of the young children and babies to eliminate the king foretold to take his place. Some scholars doubt that story, recorded in the Gospel of St. Matthew, but Herod certainly had the reputation to be credibly accused of it.
Irish poet Harry Clifton uses the idea of Herod in his latest poetry collection, Herod’s Dispensations.
To continue reading, please see my post today at Tweetspeak Poetry.