Agrippa II

Agrippa II: The Last of the Herods
By David Jacobson 2019

About the Author
David Jacobson, “I hold a PhD (from KCL) in Classical Archaeology and have taught at UCL and KCL, London. I served on the Executive Committee of the Palestine Exploration Fund for 23 years and edited its journal, PEQ for 6 years, returning it to a quarterly publication after a gap of three-quarters of a century. I edited Strata from 2019 to 2022 and held an affiliation to the Faculty of Middle Eastern and Asian Studies at the University of Oxford from 2020 to 2022. My most recent book is a biography of Agrippa II (Routledge, 2019). I have published more than a dozen other books and scores of journal articles, conference contributions and book reviews in two separate disciplines. Previously, I had qualified as a Materials Scientist with a DPhil in that field and pursued a successful career in materials research in academia, being appointed to a Chair of Manufacturing Technologies, and in industry, as Manager of the Materials Fabrication Division at GEC-Marconi in the UK.”

About the Book
“Neglected in relation to his forefathers such as Herod, Antipas or his father Agrippa I, neglected even in relation to his own sister Berenice who maintained an idyll with Titus the destroyer of the temple of Jerusalem, Agrippa II has never been the subject of any biography. This error is now corrected thanks to this little book very familiar with the news of research on a large number of topics concerning Roman Judea … We now better understand the extent of our ignorance about the last of the Herodians and it is certain that this work will now be essential for the examination of the dynasty.” – Michael Girardin, Bryn Mawr Classical Review, 2020

“…outstanding study … Jacobson excellently threads the reader through the onomastic complexities of the Herodian dynasty, which can be baffling to all (a partial stemma is included) … Included in the biographical narrative of Agrippa II is a solid account of the Roman-Jewish war. Even though this topic has been previously studied in detail, the author’s clear and concise rendition (86-120) is one of the most valuable now available for these years … The book broadly includes important ancillary material. Most notable is a long discussion and catalog of the inscriptions relating to the king–nearly 40 in all–written by David F. Graf (145-72). This brings all Agrippa II inscriptions into one place. Another essential supplement is a discussion (with photographs) of over a dozen of the king’s coins (173-97), which demonstrate the romanization that took place during his reign, as Roman motifs and Latin inscriptions begin to appear over the years … this will long be the definitive study of Agrippa II, and is an essential addendum to the examination of the ever-fascinating Herodian world.” – Duane W. Roller, Classical Journal 2020

“[A]n excellent workable summary for both scholar and layperson interested in the first century Land of Israel and its environs and in anything and everything that may have affected Agrippa II or upon which he may have had an effect.” – Joshua Schwartz, Review of Biblical Literature

Agrippa II is the first comprehensive biography of the last descendant of Herod the Great to rule as a client king of Rome. Agrippa was the last king to assume responsibility for the management of the Temple in Jerusalem, and he ultimately saw its destruction in the Judaean-Roman War.

This study documents his life from a childhood spent at the Imperial court in Rome and rise to the position of client king of Rome under Claudius and Nero. It examines his role in the War during which he sided with Rome, and offers fresh insights into his failure to intervene to prevent the destruction of Jerusalem and its Sanctuary, as well as reviewing Agrippa’s encounter with nascent Christianity through his famous interview with the Apostle Paul. Also addressed is the vexed question of the obscurity into which Agrippa II has fallen, in sharp contrast with his sister Berenice, whose intimate relationship with Titus, the heir to the Roman throne, has fired the imagination of writers through the ages. This study also includes appendices surveying the coins issued in the name of Agrippa II and the inscriptions from his reign.

This volume will appeal to anyone studying Judaean-Roman relations and the Judaean-Roman War, as well as those working more broadly on Roman client kingship, and Rome’s eastern provinces. It covers topics that continue to attract general interest as well as stirring current scholarly debate.

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