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Agrippa II from "Promptuarii Iconum Insigniorum "
For other with this name, see Agrippa (disambiguation).

Agrippa II (b. AD 27/28),[1] son of Agrippa I, and like him originally named Marcus Julius Agrippa, was the seventh and last king of the family of Herod the Great, thus last of the Herodians. He was the brother of Berenice and Drusilla (second wife of the Roman procurator Antonius Felix). He is sometimes also called Herod Agrippa II.[2]

Contents

Life

Agrippa was educated at the court of the emperor Claudius, and at the time of his father's death was only seventeen years old. Claudius therefore kept him at Rome, and sent Cuspius Fadus as procurator of the kingdom, which thus again became a Roman province. While at Rome, he voiced his support for the Jews to Claudius, and against the Samaritans and the procurator of Iudaea Province, Ventidius Cumanus, who was lately thought to have been the cause of some disturbances there.[1] On the death of Herod of Chalcis (in 48), his small principality was given to Agrippa, with the right of superintending the Temple and appointing the high priest. In 53, he was deprived of that kingdom by Claudius, who made him governor over the tetrarchy of Philip and Lysanias.[3] Agrippa celebrated by marrying off his two sisters Mariamne and Drusilla.

In 55, Nero added the cities of Tiberias and Taricheae in Galilee, and Julias, with fourteen villages near it, in Peraea. Agrippa expended large sums in beautifying Jerusalem and other cities, especially Berytus. His partiality for the latter rendered him unpopular amongst his own subjects, and the capricious manner in which he appointed and deposed the high priests made him disliked by the Jews. Agrippa failed to prevent his subjects from rebelling, and urged instead that they tolerate the behavior of the Roman procurator [[Gessius Florus]. But in 66 the Jews expelled him and Berenice from the city.[1] During the First Jewish-Roman War of 66–73, he sent 2,000 men, archers and cavalry, to support Vespasian, showing that, although a Jew in religion, he was entirely devoted to the Romans. He accompanied Titus on some campaigns,[1] and was wounded at the siege of Gamala. After the capture of Jerusalem, he went with his sister Berenice to Rome, where he was invested with the dignity of praetor and rewarded with additional territory.

According to Photius, Agrippa died, childless, at the age of seventy, in the third year of the reign of Trajan, that is, 100,[4] but statements of historian Josephus, in addition to the contemporary epigraphy from his kingdom, cast this date into serious doubt. The modern scholarly consensus holds that he died before 93/94.[1] He was the last prince of the house of the Herods.

It was before him and his sister Berenice that, according to the New Testament, Paul the Apostle pleaded his cause at Caesarea Maritima, in 59.[5]

He lived on terms of intimacy with the historian Josephus, having supplied him with information for his history, Antiquities of the Jews. Josephus preserved two of the letters he received from him.[6][7][8]

References

  1. ^ a b c d e Rajak, Tessa (1996), "Iulius Agrippa (2) II, Marcus", in Hornblower, Simon, Oxford Classical Dictionary, Oxford: Oxford University Press  
  2. ^ Mason, Charles Peter (1867), "Agrippa, Herodes II", in Smith, William, Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology, 1, Boston: Little, Brown and Company, pp. 78, http://www.ancientlibrary.com/smith-bio/0087.html  
  3. ^ Acts of the Apostles 25:13; 26:2, 7
  4. ^ Photius cod. 33
  5. ^ Acts of the Apostles 26
  6. ^ Josephus, Antiquitates Judaicae xvii. 5. § 4, xix. 9. §2, xx. 1. § 3,5. §2, 7. §1,8. §4&11,9. § 4
  7. ^ Josephus, The Wars of the Jews ii. 11. § 6, 12. § 1,16, 17. § 1, iv. 1. § 3
  8. ^ Vit. s. 54
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Agrippa II
Preceded by
Herod
Tetrarch of Chalcis
48 – 53
Vacant
Title next held by
Aristobulus

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