BAR 34:04, Jul/Aug 2008
Archelaus Builds Archelais
Herod’s Son Constructs a Desert City That Becomes Pagan, Then Christian
Herod’s son Archelaus was hated by his Jewish subjects no less than his father. Herod had left instructions that on his death leading scholars were to be put to death to ensure that there would be mourning when he died. This gives some idea of the attitude of the people toward him.
Archelaus was no less cruel. When protestors threw stones at Archelaus’s soldiers on one Passover, Archelaus responded by killing 3,000 of his countrymen in the Temple. “They were slain like sacrifices themselves… till the Temple was full of dead bodies.” So the event was described to Augustus in Rome, according to the contemporary historian Josephus.