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Portrait of Marcus Aurelius, detail of a relief from a lost arch, Rome, Italy, ca. A.D. 175–180. Marble, approx. life size. Palazzo dei Conservatori, Rome.

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Herod Antipas was named tetrarch of Galilee and ruled prior to, and during, the life of Jesus. He divorced his first wife in order to marry Herodias, the wife of his half-brother. John the Baptist condemned the marriage, and Herod had him beheaded for it. He was finally driven to ruin by Herodias’ ambitions. Herod Antipas was one of the judges, with Pontius Pilate, in the decision to order the execution of Jesus. He was banished to Gaul by Caligula and died in exile.

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Ariel view of the modern location of the City of David (Ophel) - Looking from South to North. The white broken-line is where the ancient city of David was located (which is outside the city wall today). The gold domed building is the Muslim shrine called the Dome of the Rock. It is surrounded by ancient retaining wall of the Herodian Temple mount. This picture gives distance perspective. The Kidron valley can be seen on the left (?) side.

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A, late-16th century, vision of a Pictish warrior (clearly based on Herodian's description of the “barbarians” of Caledonia) by John White. The overall blue tinting of the body is inspired by a remark made by Julius Caesar, who had spent a few weeks in the south-eastern corner of Britain in 55BC and 54BC: “All the Britons, without exception, stain themselves with woad, which produces a blueish tint; and this gives them a wild look in battle.”

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Herodian: Herod the Great built this monumental fortress and palace in the Judean desert south of Jerusalem, and was buried here. The site was a rebel stronghold during the great revolts against the Romans. It is one of the most exciting archaeological sites in Israel.

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To the east of the Double Huldah Gates was situated a set of three gates, called the Triple Huldah Gates. Leading up to these gates was a staircase. The present gates are not original to the Herodian period, but were built on their ruins (H. ben-Dov, In the Shadow of the Temple, 138).

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Southern retaining wall of the Herodian Temple mount. The stairs led up to the court of the gentiles. The red-roofed basilica is called the Royal Stoa. (Model, Holy Land Hotel, Jerusalem)

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ISRAELI ARCHAEOLOGISTS DISCOVER ROYAL PASSAGEWAY TO KING HEROD'S HILLTOP PALACE Ya'akov Sa'ar/GPO via Getty Images

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