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Arch Hellen Med, 35(6), November-December 2018, 811-814


The diseases and death of Herod Antipas

Ν. Stavrakakis
"Venizelio-Pananio" General Hospital, Heraklion, Crete, Greece

Herod Antipas was King of the Judaea from 40 BC to 4 BC. Although he is known as "Herod the Great", because of his great deeds, including planning major building activities, he is forever infamous because of the incident of the slaughter of the infants. He was a bloodthirsty and ruthless king, killing his rivals and eliminating all potential threats to his throne and power, including his own children and his wives, if he considered them to be a threat. He is considered by historians to have been a mad king, whose psychotic behavior started to appear around 29 BC, just after he ordered the execution of his second wife, Mariam. Various speculations regarding his medical condition have been recorded in the past, including meningitis and Fournier's disease. According to the records and historical sources, he died of kidney failure. One characteristic example of his paranoia, was ordering the imprisonment of distinguished Jews in the Jericho circus. After his death, the guards had orders to execute the prisoners as a token of the mourning of its "leader" by the nation to. His body was buried within the Herodium and has not yet been discovered.

Key words: Christianity, Herod the Great, Josephus, Judaea, Paranoia.

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