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The Many Faces of Herod the Great

3.80  ·  Rating details ·  10 ratings  ·  4 reviews
An old, bloodthirsty tyrant hears from a group of Magi about the birth of the Messiah, king of the Jews. He vengefully sends his soldiers to Bethlehem with orders to kill all of the baby boys in the town in order to preserve his own throne. For most of the Western world, this is Herod the Great -- an icon of cruelty and evil, the epitome of a tyrant.

Adam Kolman Marshak por
Paperback, 448 pages
Published July 30th 2015 by Eerdmans (first published September 15th 2014)
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3.80  · 
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 ·  10 ratings  ·  4 reviews

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Sep 02, 2015 rated it it was amazing
When we visited Israel earlier this year, I was struck at the awe-inspiring projects built by Herod the Great - Masada and Caesarea besides the Jerusalem Temple - all tremendous projects of amazing engineering skills. And he was able to do these, and more, while still sending the required money to Rome. I had only seen the evil aspects of late Herod in the birth story of Jesus, but they expanded my view and this book does even more. He was the ultimate political chameleon who survived three civi ...more
Oct 06, 2017 rated it liked it
This is not a bad book, but it seemed incomplete. I learned a lot about King Herod in his early years, but once the writer reached King Herod’s reign under Augustus Caesar, it ceased to explain the specific events of King Herod’s life and focused more on his self-presentation, coinage, and architecture.

While it is true that you cannot write a decent biography on King Herod without discussing those issues in detail, I wanted more of a biography. I wanted some more details of what occurred with h
Mar 08, 2015 rated it it was ok
I think I opened the cover of this book with the wrong idea of what it was, and that's on me. I read through the table of contents and forward/introduction and was very excited to dig in. I really enjoyed the first third of the book - about Herod's rise to power - and various parts in the latter two thirds. However, I felt like I was reading through a college thesis or research paper during various parts of the book. A lot of detail was given to small things like coinage design. The two star rat ...more
Jonathan Caldwell
This was an interesting, but fairly technical book on Herod the Great. To be honest, it was more about client kingship, in many ways, than it was Herod. The author has certainly done his research as he explores Herod's ability to be a political chameleon. Many of the conclusions are based in the exploration of coinage and architecture which may not be of interest to some and was too much for my preference. This is certainly not a work on Herod's relationship to Biblical studies but Herod as a hi ...more
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Adam Kolman Marshak teaches ancient history at Gann Academy, a non-denominational Jewish high school. He is also the supervisor of the Gann Academy Teacher Training Program, which pairs young teaching interns with experienced mentors, and the head of professional development funding at the school.

He received his BA in History and Classics with honors from Stanford University (2001), and his PhD in