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King Herod's Tomb

2009-10-07 | 🔗

King Herod wasn't the world's worst ruler. Yet seventy years after his death his tomb was desecrated and forgotten. Learn more about the life and death of King Herod (along with the rediscovery of his tomb) in this podcast from HowStuffWorks.com.

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This is an unofficial transcript meant for reference. Accuracy is not guaranteed.
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just how close we are getting to a more collective future time tomorrow is now available on the eye hot radio app or wherever you listen to parliament we will continue to have you missed in history class from has suffered stockholm hello i'm not into the pot cast i'm taking the event and i'm sorry daddy and sarah read a really cool article they kind of thinking about king herod of all people i did a few months back national geographic had a really need article about king herod tomb and then recently smithsonian just put outline and i the thinking we need to talk about the historical celebrity so if a snow king herod from his biblical reputation which is about the massacre of the innocents where preparation for the birth of the messiah he had all the male infants in bethlehem killed but it's
kind of unlikely that this actually happened that only recorded instant it is in the gospel of matthew so biblical scholars debate where this really went down but he didn't kill all the baby's of bethlehem he certainly killed plenty of people on his own time including his own children and his favorite wife mother in law nobles really anybody got on his dad's i hadn't or anyone he thought might usurp has placed on the throne like his wife's brothers with a huge family ten wives and more than a dozen kids he had plenty to be paranoid about and he was also living in a time of lot of conflict and strife so let's go back to the beginnings of herod he was born and seventy three b c and grew up and judea and palestine the time of civil war and plenty of enemies the monarchy of judea that has many a monarchy was split between two fighting brothers over who would take the throne and the roman
in the parthians and if a set of kingdom were fighting ever judy as well his father was an adviser to one of the brothers who wanted the king shaped and he was also a general and decided to side with the romans witches a thread that he'd coming out parents delight the romans for for the long haul definitely which made a lot of people feel that he was a traitor to the jewish people but we'll get into that a little bit later his mother was an arab and his father was an adamite so he was what they called a have you and a bit of an outsider even though he was raised jewish and in three bc his father was poisoned and the parthians invaded judea considering that heralds family was on the roman side this didn't go over well for them the un's mutilated and tell the king and they came after herod who left jerusalem with his family and went round for help but
site that would later become herodium he defeated the parthians and went around where the senate me and him the duty and king and if you can picture this extra him walking out of the senate with mark antony on one side and octavia and on the other celebrity the proper at theme is that one and he proceeded to make a sacrifice at the temple of joe which of course was a pagan thing to do and being a jew scandalous here had the kingship but he had to fight for years to actually get control of his kingdom and he finally capture jerusalem in thirty seven bc divorce his wife and married has many and princess hoping that he would it get in better with the people and then
brother drowned so that probably didn't go over so great so another famous monarch living in this time cleopatra is also involved with herod she tries to get bits of his kingdom from mark anthony who gives them to her because they are in a relationship and she also traced to seduce herod which really feels cleopatra reputation and it didn't work he said now but in thirty one b c at the battle of act him octavius crushes like anthony and cleopatra armies and this isn't looking great for herod because he's my get me a good buddy so he runs off to roads to see octavia unto pledges allegiance he goes without his crown tv and not only confirmed him king but gave him even more land and this is the good stuff starts despite his reputation herod was actually a pretty great ruler and decades of prosperity and peace follow kingship he gets very cultural and invites poets and artists and architects and
item for building doesn't it which he really really loves he built a deepwater harbour on the north coast of judea and also and the northern palace at mazato which goes down a cliff face on terraces and rebuild the second temple if not the only thing he don't he also builds a huge fortress and pleasure palace at herodium its basically on top of this can you know type now it's not really volcano just but it looks like it's a steep mountain with a flat top and at the bottom of it is the place palace sort of area lower herodium but some forty acres it has homes and gardens and stables and this huge pool that's about its biggest that soccer field that even her island in the middle of very luxurious and prefer outcome at the top is to have a five story tower and that was the palace and fortress but
herodium is located pretty far outside of jerusalem and herod actually moved his whole operation there his whole city it takes three or four hours on horseback to get their citizens in vignette location an on the spot to cheer if it did it reminds me of versailles at all a little area our capital to this sort of out of the way place and surrounding yourself with loyal families and building the ideal city and in as far as urban planning goes herodium was very well set out yet has this royal theatre with beautiful sacco landscapes dine very symmetrical there clearly have some sort of master plan that put everything together it wasn't just built willy nilly yeah so stay herodium looking like it's a pretty this place it's surrounded by desert and it is out of the way like we said so why would herod build his four
press and his palace in the middle of nowhere this is the good part of the story here so it turns out that it wasn't anything about strategy so pleasant to serve god location to build a fortress it was all personal with herod and had been governor of galilee and the parthenon invaded he got out because the new king being name right and tried to fleet around and he where does the legions everything and he fled with five thousand of his people and during this discussion his mother's wagon flips over inherent think she's dead he's about to commit suicide when he realizes that she's actually okay later he returns to the site and fight like katy talked about earlier and he makes the promised that it will be buried there as a tribute birth to his victory and whose mothers survival
if he says that he will be buried there where exactly is his tomb because we ve talked about herodium but we haven't actually talked about harrods tomb her on him but have actually known about it for a while obviously it sort of faded off the map some time after herod staff this is his spot after all but it was positively identified in eighteen thirty eight by an american scholar edward robinson who compared it to a room greco roman dorians accounts and identify as the hidden excite but people still didn't know where the two was in it s kind of become this biblical quest for archaeologists to posit lee i d heard him but we didn't find it until april of two thousand and seven when who'd not sir anarchy just said that after thirty
five years of archaeological work he had puzzled we found the town was absolutely sure that he found it lots of eggs had been looking for this term eighteen sixteen a french explorer was focusing on that island in the middle of the pool he he thought that would be the place herod herod was sitting another archaeologists checked out the summit of herodium and later lambert dollars then say that katy might like not related who is from the silicon valley thought that the two must be located on the at the base of the highest tower on the mountain top not sir wasn swayed by any of these previous expeditions and he wasn't looking for harrods tomb when he even started excavating dick
locations but at some point it turned into an obsession and in two thousand six he saw an irregularity and a wall and decide that again since everything looked so planned out if something was irregular that must mean something bigger and decided for they should luck and he had already so thoroughly covered the lower complex here pretty sure that time was not very just here everywhere it could be so in two thousand seven they found fragments of hard pink limestone with rosettes on it and thought is a good chance that might be his sarcophagus and later in april they found giant blocks of white limestone which would have been part of a structure that was eighty feet high according to the national geographic article there a cube shaped first floor cylindrical second floor and a high peaked roof and they also found to other sarcophagus that weren't quite nice along with some human bones
no sir suspects herod probably changed his mind about the burial spot this pathway up the mountain location is kind of surprising it is space everyone locked obviously but there's still a little question about whether this is for sure herds tomb it's definitely o a role a person's tomb yes but there's no inscription witches kind of positive identification you really want but part of the problem with that was that the sarcophagus have been destroyed about seventy years after herod staff during one of the jewish revolt against the romans and its clearly been smashed to pieces with hammers so even if there had been some sort of identification it may have been purposefully destroyed so while herod was obviously unpopular enough to get his tomb smashed seventy or so years after he died he wasn't
farewell liked even immediately after he died part of that comes from his great bad idea to imprison a lot of the law call notables jewish notables and ordering them to be killed after he died that way everyone would be even sadder that he was dead and not only have you lost your king you lost all of you notable judy in citizens but obviously herod dies and these guys are let go and everybody celebrate because hey you know all about it and notable citizen they're alive and there were none too impressed with their king at that point although we ve talked about here it's too we haven't talked about his actual death and its a bit grisly has a pretty remarkable disgusting death up i left these modern day diagnostics where around me tat if it happened recently with mozart mozart in florida hackers
just where modern there you go back and look at the case history of some famous long dead patient and try to diagnose how they died this happened a few years ago a duck jeanne hersman made a diagnosis based on the biography of here and by flavius justice which was itself based on account of herds historian and the police had written that herod had a fever they not have raging won an intolerable itching of the whole skin tenuous pans and they intestines tumors the feet inflammation of the abdomen and gangrene of the privy parts author he had as much loomed convulsions and bad breath i father bad breath in turn and purified and worm eaten genitals along with a ravenous appetite and in all three did call when so
people have thought that hurried died of gonorrhea better syphilis or syphilis hersman figured that all the symptoms except for the general gangrene signal chronic kidney disease figure that gangrene with actually caused by a rare infection called for any areas gangrene but people have said that these may all have been a figment of his biographers imagination because again herod wasn't so popular at that particular time he was called herod the great a bit sarcastically so he may have just listed all of the things that could happen to you if you had incurred the wrath of god which they assumed that herod he was looked out as the anti christ during the middle ages so you might not put it passed biographer after the fact to make his death is disgusting as possible if you really didn't like somebody visa the symptoms i can hear the holy ghost worm eaten genitals handed out one
regardless of how it went down herod done jericho which was his winter palace and his carried him twenty five miles on a golden beer family army in full battle gear five hundred servants and freed slaves all just walk into herodium and they only promise to be buried here gemstones and purple drapes and his crown in sectors where he was still shown arose dignity and deaf again even if he wasn't the favourite and after he died everything and judea just completely fell apart his fortune spent by his family in harmony was destroyed things started to get into conflict again and heard son was so bad at ruling that the romans finally put someone else in there to rule which just in time
if the conflict between the jews and the romans so the juice first revolted and sixtys eighty and vandalized harrods tomb changed his dining room into a synagogue dogma clause in the courtyard and they lost and at methodical said they ve killed themselves to avoid becoming roman slaves revolt within the one thirties where they again used herodium and methodical which says and does tunnels into the hills herodium which you can still see today so if
like to learn more about jerusalem in jerusalem syndrome archaeology and the battle of actaean can go to our home page at w w w dot how stuff works dot com and taken into the search bar and also take a look at our blog and if you have any comments and questions centred some emel at history podcast positive works dot com for more on this and thousands of other topics does it how stuff works dot com what is no urgently send an email to cast housetop were to stockholm and be sure to check out the stuffing list in his request blood on the health of words that come home we're gonna vote of stuff you must measure glasses brought to you by k became i'll everybody
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Transcript generated on 2020-02-06.