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After supporting Marc Antony in the Battle of Actium (31 B.C.), King Herod, fearful of losing his power, went to Rome, apologized to Augustus and assured him that he was his biggest supporter. Augustus, giving Herod an opportunity to redeem himself, allowed him to return to Judea as King of the Jews. In an effort for Herod to express his continued commitment to Rome, he reconfigured his building styles by making cities that would depict Rome in the Levant. Herod created architecture that implemented Roman technology, designs, and styles, while co-mingling them with his existing Hellenistic style of architecture that made him forever remembered as Herod the Great.
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Journal of Ancient History and Archeology No. 3.2/2016 13
Vivian A. Laughlin
Ph.D. Pre-Candidate
Abstract: After supporting Marc Antony in the Battle of Actium (31 B.C.),
King Herod, fearful of losing his power, went to Rome, apologized to Augustus
and assured him that he was his biggest supporter. Augustus, giving Herod an
opportunity to redeem himself, allowed him to return to Judea as King of the
Jews. In an eort for Herod to express his continued commitment to Rome,
he recongured his building styles by making cities that would depict Rome in
the Levant. Herod created architecture that implemented Roman technology,
designs, and styles, while co-mingling them with his existing Hellenistic style
of architecture that made him forever remembered as Herod the Great.
Keywords: Agrippa, Augustus, ancient, architecture, Caesarea, Herod, Israel,
Judea, near east, Sebaste.
Herod the Great ruled in the Judean-Levant from 37 - 4 B.C. Some may
remember him as the sadistic mass murderer of the Hasmoneans,
and male infants in Bethlehem—in an attempt to kill the baby Jesus.
While some scholars like Mueller dispute the latter as factual, purporting
that “he is almost certainly innocent of this crime,”1 this is, nonetheless, a
great part of Herod’s legacy. Equally congruent to Herod’s sadistic legacies
are his eclectic styles of architecture. During Herod’s reign, he created what is
known today as “Herodian Architecture.” is particular style is classied as
classical architecture, as it stems from the “study of physical remains of the
ancient civilization of Rome.”2 It’s where Herod’s ancient architectural styles
and techniques from the Eastern Levant met harmoniously with Ancient
Roman cosmopolitan architectural styles and techniques from the West.
is research exemplies that Herod became known as a “King of the Jews
and a friend to the Romans” by showcasing his utilization of architecture,
which was employed as a tool that allowed him to demonstrate his honor and
patronage to Rome while simultaneously sustaining his power and creating
posterity as “e Great Builder.
Focusing primarily on architectural styles and techniques that Herod
apparently adopted from the Romans, possibly even duplicating some styles
from his friend, Marcus Agrippa, this research provides a brief overview
of general architectural similarities honed from various structures in the
Western Italy that were then duplicated within the Eastern Samaria/Sebaste,
and Caesarea Maritima. e primary focus is on Samar ia/Sebaste and Caesarea
1 MUELLER 2008, 42.
Journal of Ancient History and Archeology No. 3.2/2016
Maritima because these two cities are believed to be pivotal
within the ecumenical inux of Roman temple building that
began in the Levant. is research will also briey review
Herod’s interpersonal relationships with his court as a way
of introducing his overall character, and the development
of his relationship with Augustus and Agrippa. e research
will continue to journey through Roman Temple-City
Planning, where the integration of Roman culture within
Samaria/Sebaste and Caesarea Maritima took place. is will
also allow us to briey cover the usage and implementation
of Roman building materials and designs that were meant
to display artistic, symbolic, and historical meaning. en
nally, we will hone specically on Samaria/Sebaste and
Caesarea Maritima as Herod’s initial Roman cities where his
Roman Temple building began in the Levant. is is meant
to showcase how Herod utilized his architecture to display
his patronage, and unity with Rome, while also exhibiting
his political prowess to maintain his position of power.
e royal court of a Hellenistic King was a network
of power comprised of including, but not limited to: family;
friends (philoi); state ocials (bureaucrats, ambassadors,
etc…); elites; domestic attendants; and any and all civil
servants.3 Herod the Great followed the standard makeup of
the Hellenistic court model4 down to a science. Herod learned
as a young child from his father, Antipater, the Procurator
of Judea,5 the importance of building relationships and its
strength in obtaining and keeping power. It is because of his
father that Herod understood all the dynamics within politics
and how to maneuver around in it. Understanding this,
Herod knew the key factor in succeeding would be to gather
as many allies as possible by developing genuine friendships
with those in power. He realized this was necessary in order
to obtain respect from the elite, powerful circles, of which he
would not ordinarily be privy.
Herod’s relationship with his court has yet to be
meticulously examined. However, based on the biography
of Nicolaus of Damascus, Herod’s Consul and Ambassador,
the relationship was corrupt with intense power struggles
and scheming dark attractions.6 However, recent scholars
such as, Richardson and Marshak have researched the
familial and friendship dynamics of Herod’s court, which
are quite interesting and revealing. In brief, Marc Antony
protected Herod after being indicted, as he “refused to hear
their complaints and dismissed them.”7 Marc Antony and
Herod had quite a devoted friendship with one another, one
of mutual protection for one another, almost as brothers.
Herod would repay Marc Antony with loyalty to him, until
his death. Sometime later, after Marc Antony pushed the
idea upon Augustus, he appointed Herod as King of Judea.8
In the midst of this, Herod met Mariamne, a
Hasmonean Princess. He quickly divorced his rst wife,
Doris,9 banishing her and their son so that he could betroth
3 BIKERMAN 1938, 40-50.
4 KOKKINOS 1998, 86-139.
5 MARSHAK 2015, xxxi.
6 TOHER 2001, 427-247.
7 MARSHAK 2015, 95.
8 RICHARDSON 1996, 128.
9 RICHARDSON 1996, 44.
Mariamne. Shortly thereafter, as a method to placate the
Jewish population, Herod married Mariamne.10 is would
solidify her Hasmonean heritage with his. ereby, consoling
the Jews to feel more comfortable having a mixed heritaged
Idumean/Nabataean ruler, as opposed to the Hasmonean
leadership the country had historically been known to have.11
Herod’s marriage to Mariamne caused Herod to appoint
Aristobulus, Mariamne’s brother, as High Priest. When
Aristobulus’ position became ocial, the people rejoiced.
Herod witnessed this and immediately sought to get rid of
Aristobulus, as now he was seen as a threat. Later, Aristobulus
was found drowned in the swimming pool that held two feet
of water.12 e death of Mariamne’s brother created much
grief and mistrust within her marriage. Mariamne was
rumored to have been unfaithful to Herod, causing Herod to
kill her for treason. Herod, later, took eight more wives.13 It is
important to understand this dynamic, even if in brief, as it
is paramount to understanding the background, framework,
and rationale for Herod’s political prowess.
Augustus ruled Rome from 27-17 B.C. After the
Battle of Actium in 31 B.C., Herod, who had earlier united
with Marc Antony, realized this was a great mistake after
Augustus won. Herod quickly switched sides to unite with
Augustus. Herod, fearful of losing his power, went to Rome
apologized to Augustus and assured him that he was his
biggest supporter and ally. Augustus gave Herod another
chance, allowing him to return as ruler of the Jews. Herod,
realizing he had much in common with the Emperor, as “both
had children they could not or did not rely upon,14 may have
placated this. Initially this was a tool to remain the King of
the Jews, yet true friendship had begun.
Whereas Herod initiated this friendship with an
agenda, once trust was established a relationship of mutual
genuine admiration and respect began. Herod traveled to
Rome more than once and became such a friend to Augustus
that he left his children in Rome15 to obtain the great
advantages of the Roman education that he had not had.16
Subsequently, his children were raised in Rome and had a
noble Roman education. Herod’s friendship allowed him
and his children to come and go within the Emperor’s home
as they pleased. Herod certainly did not want to damage
the dynamic of his relationship with Augustus, as it would
inevitably not only ruin his own life, but also the lives of his
children and grandchildren.
Augustus, like Herod, took on a multitude of building
projects. Prior to Augustus, monuments in Rome took on a
local political meaning and meant nothing abroad. Augustus
changed this, ultimately making Roman imagery political
both within Rome and abroad.17 Uniquely dierent than many
Roman Emperors, Augustus shared his architectural fame
with his architect, Agrippa. e strategic planning behind
10 RICHARDSON 1996, 41.
11 MARSHAK 2015, 111.
12 MARSHAK 2015, 115-116.
13 CURRAN 2014, 495.
14 RICHARDSON 1996, 263.
15 CURRAN 2014, 496.
16 RICHARDSON 1996, 3.
17 ZANKER 2014, 83.
Journal of Ancient History and Archeology No. 3.2/2016
this was for Augustus to implement a form of autonomy and
acceptance for Agrippa, as Caesar had done for him. is was,
perhaps, because Agrippa was not just Augustus’ Architect,
but also his General, son-in-law, and heir to the throne, who
was entrusted with Imperial privileges equal to Augustus’.18
Because these privileges were documented in Augustus’
will,19 it had become common knowledge and created strife
for Marcellus, Augustus’ nephew, whom the Senate and
Imperial Court presumed should have had such privileges.20
Augustus, being fully aware of Marcellus’ hatred, became
fearful and protective of Agrippa’s life and guarded it as he
had his own. In an eort to protect Agrippa, Augustus sent
him to the East for almost ve years.21
Around 16/15 B.C., Herod visited Agrippa in Lesbos
and extended a personal invitation for him to come to
Judea. Upon Agrippa’s arrival in 15 B.C., Herod gave him a
tour of his newly constructed cities, Sebaste and Caesarea
Maritima,22 to show o his architectural achievements.
Josephus recounts that after Herod sailed from Italy to Asia,
“… he hastened to meet him and asked him to come to
his kingdom and receive the welcome that might be expected
from a host and friend. Agrippa yielded to his earnest
insistence and came to Judaea. And Herod, omitting nothing
that might please him, received him in his newly founded
cities and, while showing him his buildings, diverted him and
his friends with enjoyable food and luxury; this he did both
in Sebaste and in Caesarea Maritima, at the harbor which
had been constructed by him, and in the fortresses which
he had built at great expense, Alexandreion, Herodeion,
and Hyrcania. He also brought him to the city of Jerusalem,
where all the people met Agrippa in festival attire and
welcomed him with acclamations. en Agrippa sacriced a
hecatomb to God and feasted the populace, which was not
less in number than any of those in the greatest (cities).”23
After seeing the construction at Samaria/Sebaste and
Caesarea Maritima, Herod’s loyalty stood out to Agrippa,
causing him to recognize the ambitions of Herod as a
valuable asset to both him and Rome.24 One can presume an
overwhelming feeling of admiration as Agrippa was touring
both Samaria/Sebaste and Caesarea Maritima, as they
resembled similarities to some of his own building projects
in Rome. is was probably one aspect that contributed to
having created their great friendship. ey became such great
friends that Herod’s grandson was named Herod Agrippa.
Once Herod obtained trust from Augustus, he was
provided the ocial legal authority and armation to
rule over both Samaria/Sebaste and Caesarea Maritima in
addition to other lands. Herod, having had extensive building
experience, realized the formal acquisition of the two
territories presented opportunity to construct additional
massive monuments that he was known for, giving him
more accolades, while also presenting the opportunity to
18 DIO CASSIUS, Roman Hist. 54.31.
19 a legally binding document approved by the Roman Senate
20 DIO CASSIUS, Roman Hist. 54.32.
21 DIO CASSIUS, Roman Hist. 54.32; RICHARDSON 1996, 263.
22 Ant 10.5.1@12; RICHARDSON 1996, 263.
23 Ant 10.5.1@ 12-15.
24 HOHLFELDER 2000, 247.
commemorate the new Roman Emperor, Augustus.25 us
exhibiting his loyalty and trust, while ultimately showing o
his building skills.
While Herod’s legacy is known for his massive palaces,
theaters, and amphitheaters, arguably even more massive
were the temples constructed at Samaria/Sebaste and
Caesarea Maritima.26 Herod realized that Roman religion
was just as important to the Romans as the Jewish religion
was to the Jews. e ancient culture of Rome viewed religion
very dierently than most cultures do today. Many cultures
today try to separate religion and the state. However, in
ancient times, religion was strongly intertwined as one with
the state.27 e greatest aspect of Roman life was the love
of their gods. e Romans felt “the relationship between a
human and being a deity or deities nds its manifestation in
the form of religion...ey bound people together and gave
each individual a place in society.28 Herod acknowledged
the importance of this type of relationship and became
very active in making Roman temples. Albeit, for Herod,
everything had a strategic and political reason, as his temple
buildings would not only showcase his loyalty to Rome
but would also have assisted in “maintaining the balance,
within [his] kingdom, between the Jewish and the Gentile
populations.”29 us, creating a more unied state and quite
possibly, even more, admiration from the people towards
Since the ocial religion of Ancient Rome, was not
one of monotheism, there were plenty of gods and goddesses
to worship. Pliny the Elder equated the importance of deities
to everything in life and nature.30 Herod embraced the
25 HOHLFELDER 2000, 241.
26 MARSHAK 2015, 209.
27 JEFFERS 1999, 89.
28 TAKACS 1995, 8.
29 NETZER 1999, 282.
30 PLINY, Nat. Hist. I.I.1-2. “The world and this—whatever other men have
Fig.1. Chart created depicting the influence of deities the sun, air,
water and all of their movement.
Journal of Ancient History and Archeology No. 3.2/2016
deities and all they encompassed by initiating Roman temple
building. While learning the importance of the deities within
the universe and the role they played for the Romans, he
further understood that the deities were the reason for the
sun, air, water, and all their movement (gure 1). is was
important because its representation needed to be exhibited
in a grand way. In a further eort to display the high
standards of Rome, Herod duplicated the core principles
teaching of Vitruvius’ architectural models (i.e., order,
proportion, symmetry, décor, and economy) ,31 which was
exhibited within every building plan. Each principle could
not be possible without the other, so it had to be duplicated
in totality. Vitruvius teaches the core principles of Roman
architecture to be necessary, and explained the requirements
for construction and their importance.
Further more, Vitruvius teaches that there is no
particular hierarchy (gure 2). As previously mentioned,
every principle needs the other in order to accelerate to its
fullest potential. One can view it as a circle of life for ancient
Roman architecture. One that allowed and required the
equal necessity from each counterpart, but also showing
the necessary components for one to compliment the other.
While Pliny the Elder, however, expressed the importance of
the deities in nature, this was not just of architecture, but
chosen to designate the sky whose vaulted roof encircles the universe, is tly
believed to be a deity, eternal, immeasurable, a being that never began to exist
and never will perish. What is outside it does not concern men to explore
and is not within the grasp of the human mind to guess. It is sacred, eternal,
immeasurable, wholly within the whole, nay rather itself the whole, nite
and resembling the innite certain of all things and resembling the uncertain,
holding in its embrace all things that are without and within, at once the
work of nature and nature herself.” This statement shows the importance of
the deities to everything in nature and life and how it should be depicted and
utilized when building.
31 (Vitruvius Arch. I.1-9). “Order is the balanced adjustment of the details of
the work separately, and, as to the whole, the arrangement of the proportion
with a view to a symmetrical result. This is made up of Dimension, which
in Greek is called posotes…Proportion implies a graceful semblance; the
suitable display of details in their context. This is attained when the details
of the work are of a height suitable to their breadth, of a breadth suitable to
their length; in a word, when everything has a symmetrical correspondence…
Symmetry also is the appropriate harmony arising out of the details of the
work itself… First, in sacred buildings, either from the thickness of columns,
or a triglyph, or the module; of a balista by the perforation which the Greeks
call peritreton; by the space between the rowlocks in a ship which is called
dipechyaia: so also the calculation of symmetries, in the case of other
works, is found from the details…Décor demands the faultless ensemble
of a work composed, in accordance with precedent, of approved details.
It obeys convention, which in Greek is called thematismos, or custom or
nature. The convention is obeyed when buildings are put up in the open and
hypethral to Jupiter of the Lightning, to Heaven, the Sun, the Moon; for of
these gods, both the appearance and effect we see present in the open, the
world of light…Economy, however, is the suitable disposal of supplies and
the site, and the thrifty and wise control of expense in the works. This will
be guarded if, in the rst place, the architect does not require what can only
be supplied and prepared at great cost. For it is not everywhere that there
is a supply of quarry sand or hewn stone, or r or deal or marble. Different
things are found in different places, the transport of them may be difcult and
costly…The second stage in Economy comes, when buildings are variously
disposed for the use of owners or with a view to the display of wealth or lofty
enough to suit the most dignied eloquence. For manifestly houses should
be arranged in one way in towns; in another way for persons whose income
arises from country estates; not the same for nanciers; in another way for the
wealthy men of taste; for the powerful, however, by whose ideas the state is
governed, there must be special adjustment to their habits. And generally, the
distribution of buildings is to be adapted to the vocations of their owners.”
This statement is important to understanding the important parts to ancient
also for life in general; and unlike Vitruvius’ core principles,
there is a hierarchy. e deity is the highest hierarchal need
for everything, and in everything, including architecture, it
should be paid tribute. Nevertheless, just as there is a mutual
respect and level of importance for each core principle of
Vitruvius’ model, Pliny wanted to be very clear that nothing
would exist without the deities, not even the sun, air, water,
or its movement around us. is may be another reason why
temples are built in such a grand manner. As will later be
explored, each temple is set high, as if it is to reach the sun in
the sky. If one was to climb to the top, the view seen would be
of the water, while feeling and embracing the free owing air,
further exhibiting movement within and around the temple,
making the temple and its deities the reason for it all.
In addition, implementing a city plan that included
Roman temples meant the implementation of Roman culture
that would inevitably be transplanted to the Levant. is
would have made the general population (Jews and Gentiles)
familiar with all things Roman, including their gods. With
Samaria/Sebaste being located in the center of Samaria,
Roman temple building would have allowed connectivity
(i.e., knowledge about the gods through imagery) with the
people of the region and sub-regions. Caesarea Maritima,
being a harbor city, allowed connectivity to those traveling
to and from other lands abroad with the purpose of trading,
while simultaneously also reaching the local people of the
region and sub-regions of Caesarea Maritima. is resulted
in having had created an opportunity for the masses to
inevitably worship Roman gods, and ultimately the Emperor.
Strategically, it was political of Herod to integrate Roman
temples into Samaria/Sebaste and Caesarea Maritima. e
Greeks had already implemented Roman temples in their
lands, which was presumably less complicated since the
appearance of the Imperial Cult was essentially the same
as the Greek gods that had previously been implemented
during the time of Alexander the Great and later Hellenistic
kings. Yet, with Rome ruling the majority of the regions in
Fig. 2. Chart created depicting the lack of hierarchy and the mutual
influence of Vitruvius’ architecture principles.
Journal of Ancient History and Archeology No. 3.2/2016
the Levant and consistently expanding, it became pertinent
for the Levantines to learn of Roman life, accept it, and
implement it into their daily practices.
Around 37 B.C., when Herod initially began
ruling Judea under Marc Antony’s leadership, he slowly
began implementing Roman architectural styles into his
Hasmonean-Judean kingdom. is was a standard practice
of implementation for the Romans, as too much sudden
change would surely have exasperated the existing love-
hate relationship within both his Jewish citizens, while
inadvertently creating an increased hatred for the Romans.
e Jews did not want to be Romanized in any way. Herod
followed the Roman standard practice, which was to produce
little change in the internal organization of lands they
conquered. Realizing it was equally important to be tactful
when introducing a new culture that was rejected by the
masses, it beneted him to follow this Roman governance
In addition, Herod’s understanding that Roman
religion was a political function33 may have been another
political tactic, because this allowed him to delicately
implement subtle Roman architectural styles by merely
using Corinthian columns and Roman baths in his palaces.
Herod was cunning and understood from Augustus and
Agrippa that there was power in imagery. e Augustan
era is known for establishing imagery by reusing ancient
building practices, ultimately integrating various ancient
cultural practices of its already conquered nations with the
new Roman technologies. Augustus knew that imagery
within the new Empire would have been useless without his
many resources and allies. Ultimately, the imagery was used
as a tool for juxtapositioning a new religion for Rome with a
new ritual of power for the Emperor.34
Nonetheless, archaeological research on Herod’s
structures has helped us understand that his palaces were
built according to Hellenistic styles.35 However, Herod
ceased using the standard Hasmonean style of building
with Doric columns, substituting them with Corinthian,
which, Herod typically “reserved for the most important
parts” of his palace building.”36 is may seem like a minor
thing, but it was signicant for two reasons: (1) the use of
Corinthian columns was created and commonly used by
Augustus, indicated the important levels of the structures;
and, (2) the acanthus leaf, which was utilized on both the
Corinthian columns and various Doric frieze fragments,37
was a plant only grown in the Mediterranean lands. is
paid homage to the Emperors of the Mediterranean lands.
It’s usage in this decorative manner more than likely began
in the early Augustan period.38 e representation of this
leaf inadvertently and subtly symbolized enduring life and
immortality. ereby, also subtly symbolizing “long live the
king.” When Augustus and Marc Antony ruled together the
32 MILNE 1913, 1.
33 TAKACS 1995, 19.
34 ZANKER 2007, 3.
35 REGEV 2012, 183.
36 PELEG-BARKAT 2014, 145.
37 PELEG-BARKAT 2014, 146.
38 STRONG 1960, 120.
acanthus leaf was utilized as a symbolic way to simultaneously
display respect to both rulers. As Herod began to formally be
allowed to rule additional Roman territories, this subtlety
was not satisfactory and his Roman building would begin to
be bolder.
When the temple building projects began, Herod
wanted to build larger and grander edices as an eort to
express his continued commitment to Rome, but also to
help epitomize the belief in the Roman gods. Essentially,
Herod managed to restructure his building styles by making
larger monuments and cities that would depict Rome
in the Levant. Herod’s utilization of Roman materials
expanded his technology—while making his building
projects stand out from previous ones. Herod, traditionally
being known for his ashlar stone style monuments, began
to use Roman opus caementicium (concrete) and various
other Roman architectural decorations (i.e., arches, domes,
Corinthian columns, etc…). While ashlar stone contributed
to the contemporary building inuence of the Levant and
became Herod’s standard style, the utilization of Roman
concrete allowed Rome to inuence architecture in Judea by
intermingling the architectural styles and techniques of the
Levant with those of the Romans. ereby, contributing to
having made Herod’s building projects quite innovative for its
time, as well as setting a standard of transforming the Levant
in a very cosmopolitan way. Weiss characterized Herod’s
architectural structures as, creative, daring and innovative.39
Further expounding, “they bore a local distinctiveness but
were clearly eclectic, combining traditions from the Graeco-
Roman East and the Western Roman Empire.40
e innovation of concrete was a technology that
freed the Roman architect from the connes of rectilinear
architecture, by allowing them to create innovative buildings
that departed signicantly from that which was previously
inherited from the Etruscans and Greeks. Its innovative
use started in the late Roman Republic 100-27 BC. e
ingredients of concrete include a mixture of “small stones,
lime mortar, sand, and pozzolana, a volcanic substance,
especially plentiful in the area around the Bay of Naples.”41
e resources were utilized to create a building material that
inspired the Romans to create new forms, which expressed
both innovation and new technology. Ancient Roman
concrete is not cut or quarried. It is cast in molds. e
ancient concrete could be cast in any shape that a carpenter
could build with wood. Like modern builders, the Romans
erected wooden frames for their walls and ceilings and
poured the concrete into them. Ancient Roman concrete,
being a composite of various natural elements that became a
liquid mass when mixed with water, hardened into a stronger
substance that is much stronger than any of its ingredients
alone. Concrete was a perfect construction material for
Herod, a paranoid King who used his cities as fortresses. It
would provide a much stronger foundation that would be
less susceptible to damage during a war. Concrete was a great
resource for him to have embarked upon and would come to
be quite benecial to him, especially with the temple building
projects in both Samaria/Sebaste and Caesarea Maritima.
39 WEISS 2014, 102
40 WEISS 2014, 102
41 KLEINER 2014, 21.
Journal of Ancient History and Archeology No. 3.2/2016
Since 9th century BC, Samaria was the capital of
Israel. One might presumably understand why King Herod
would choose to make this city a priority to rebuild. Netzer
states “Herod decided to rebuild and beautify the city in
order to gain the loyalty of its inhabitants (and that of the
population of the greater area) and named it Sebaste, the
Emperor [Augustus’] Greek [name].”42 e etymological
Greek origin of the name is Σεβαστη/σεβαστός (Sebaste/
Sebastos). In Hebrew, it is יטסבס (Sebaste). Pronounced:
Sebaste or Sebastos, Sebaste is the feminine form—Sebastos
is the masculine form. However, since the property was not
a person, but part of the land/earth, the feminine form was
generally used. Since it was the goal of Augustus to expand
his empire, renaming the city after him may have been a
way to placate and stay in the Emperor’s good graces while
also notifying its inhabitants and visitors that the city was
now under Roman rule. e synergy of the name was so
well appreciated by the masses that it was duplicated much
later with a new city to have been built under the reign of
Tiberius called Sebasteion Aphrodisias, known as a temple city
dedicated to Aphrodite and the Judeo-Claudian Emperors.43
Excavations at Sebaste began from the inquiry
and investigations of Pere Vincent O.P., of the House of
St. Stephen in Jerusalem.44 e initial excavations were
performed under e Harvard Expedition in 1908 and were
directed by Gottlieb Schumacher. From 1909-1910 George
Andrew Reisner succeeded as director. e second excavation
project was a joint venture from 1931-1935 by Hebrew
University in Jerusalem; the Palestine Exploration Fund;
the British Academy; and the British School of Archaeology
in Jerusalem that was directed by J. W. Crowfoot, Kathleen
Kenyon, and E.L. Sukenik. e eld reports explained a great
deal about the fortied city, its accomplishments with its
temple structures and its drawbacks conrming its need for
rebuilt walls and the Roman innovation of aqueducts.45
Nevertheless, true to Herodian form, Sebaste
was made a fortied city. Herod rebuilt the walls in order
to blockade the city46 on a “steep slope of the place as a
means of strengthening it.”47 is was a necessity, as the
walls were “barely a kilometer across at the widest point.”48
Maintaining the traditional structure of the city, Herod
kept the Acropolis at the center and built the Temple of
Augustus, (gure 3). Josephus accounts, “In the center of
this settlement he erected a massive temple, enclosed in
ground, a furlong and a half in length, consecrated to Caesar;
while he named the town itself Sebaste. e inhabitants were
given a privileged constitution.”49 Netzer’s archaeological
research reveals, “Herod’s major eorts here were invested
in the construction of a pagan temple and the fortications
into which its precinct was integrated.50
e temple was very large consisting of “approximately
42 NETZER 2009, 81.
43 SMITH 1987, 88.
46 JW 1.10.10@64.
47 Ant 10.5@297.
49 JW1.10.10@403.
50 NETZER 2009, 82.
115 feet long and 80 feet wide with a portico 23 feet deep in
front. In front was a large forecourt, which measured about
20 feet by 170 feet and was accessed by a ight of twenty-
four steps, divided into two equal levels. e temple stood
1450 feet above sea level and was erected on a podium 14 feet
above the forecourt.”51 52 is was a massive structure. e
temple to Augustus at Sebaste, like the temple Herod built
in Jerusalem, had similar resemblances, as they addressed
similar problems. Because the amount of space at each
location did not consist of enough room to build as massive
a structure as Herod was accustomed to (or the standard
practice of Roman temple building) he built both temples
on raised platforms.53 Given the probability of a war, and
because stone was typically used in the East when building
temples, the temple was built with concrete as the primary
foundation.54 e temple at Sebaste also had a “hexastyle
Corinthian façade, and the cella [partitioned room] was
divided into a broad nave and two narrow side aisles.55
Nevertheless, while Rocca indicates that visually
the temple at Sebaste had similar external characteristics
as the Temple of Venus in Rome,56 Marshak’s tripartite
cella description suggests similarities to the interior of the
Jupiter Optimus Maximus, also known as the Capitoline
Triad Temple, located at the Capitoline Hill in Rome. e
tripartite cella similarity may not be happenstance. e
Temple of Jupiter Optimus Maximus was erected in 509 B.C.
and was destroyed four times in history. e second time it
was destroyed, it was rebuilt and repaired during Augustus’
reign by Agrippa. e Temple of Jupiter Optimus Maximus
is considered to be the grandest epitome of Roman temples,
as it is dedicated to the Capitoline Triad: Jupiter (Zeus),
Juno (Hera), and Minerva (Athena). Jupiter was the King of
the gods; Juno was his sister/wife, Queen of the gods; and
51 MARSHAK 2015, 209.
52 REISNER/FISHER/LYON 1924, 177. This is the original eld report that
Marshak would have presumably gotten the measurements from. Please note:
Excavation eld reports measurements are always in meters, as opposed to
54 NELSON 2015, 79.
55 MARSHAK 2015, 209.
56 ROCCA 2008, 317.
Fig. 3. Temple to Augustus at Samaria/Sebaste.
Journal of Ancient History and Archeology No. 3.2/2016
Minerva was their daughter, the god of wisdom. Jupiter’s
cella was always in the center, with two cellas on opposite
sides for Juno and Minerva. e Jupiter Optimus Maximus
Temple is not to be confused with singular cella temples
dedicated solely to Jupiter. e Jupiter Optimus Maximus
Temple is dedicated to all three deities simultaneously.
According to legend, Jupiter approved and designated
Augustus as an equivalent to the gods. Suetonius describes
an event that explains how Jupiter blessed Augustus
and proclaimed him the Emperor.57 Perhaps the internal
architectural building style similarities were based on
these dreams. Because of the symbolic aspects of Augustus’
deication into his position as Emperor (having been
appointed the future Emperor by Jupiter, the King of the
Roman deities), Herod may have intermingled the history
of these dreams within his architectural plans. ereby,
recreating the cosmological predictions of Quintus Catulus’
dreams – wherein Jupiter proclaimed Augustus as the future
ruler of Rome was captured in an artistic form of hidden
imagery within his architecture. is may have been a method
to continuously and artistically convey that the Augustus
was, in fact, a true god appointed and received as such by the
Supreme Roman god (at that time), Jupiter. But, also as a
way of stimulating a reason for the masses to simultaneously
worship Augustus while worshipping Jupiter Optimus
Maximus. us, making the temple at Sebaste symbolic to
Augustus. If this were the case, one might understand how
Augustus and Agrippa would embrace Herod and make him
as one of the royal family, especially after his display of such
betrayal during the Battle of Actium—which he would have
ordinarily been subject to death, by cause of treason.
Aside from the tripartite cella for each deity, there
are also additional structural similarities of the temple at
Sebaste that are very similar to that of the Temple of Jupiter
Optimus Maximus. ey both were: built on a high podium;
contained Corinthian columns with a façade orientation;
and had a large front porch. While these similarities are
important, the most interesting architectural observation
about the Temple to Augustus at Sebaste is that while its
massive structure of 35 x 24 meters stood out - being on the
highest part of the hill,58 it was built within a “cultic precinct
or forecourt and did not stand alone.”59 In the excavation
reports of Crowfoot/Kenyon/Sukenik 1942, the remains of
a temple dedicated to Kore, the Ancient Cult of Persephone,
57 SUETONIUS 2.8. “After Quintus Catulus had dedicated the Capitol, he
had dreams on two nights in succession: rst, that Jupiter Optimus Maximus
called aside one of a number of boys of good family, who were playing
around his altar, and put in the fold of his toga an image of Roma, which
he was carrying in his hand; the next night he dreamt that he saw this same
boy in the lap of Jupiter of the Capitol and that when he had ordered that he
be removed, the god warned him to desist, declaring that the boy was being
reared to be the saviour of his country. When Catulus next day met Augustus,
whom he had never seen before, he looked at him in great surprise and said
that he was very like the boy of whom he had dreamed… As Marcus Cicero
was attending Gaius Caesar to the Capitol, he happened to tell his friends a
dream of the night before; that a boy of noble countenance was let down from
heaven on a golden chain and, standing at the door of the temple, was given a
whip by Jupiter. Just then suddenly catching sight of Augustus, who was still
unknown to the greater number of those present and had been brought to the
ceremony by his uncle Caesar, he declared that he was the very one whose
form had appeared to him in his dream.”
59 ROCCA 2008, 317.
which superseded the Cult of Isis and Serapis in the Roman
era, was discovered in area T.60 e remains of the temple
to Isis was also uncovered, which indicated that it was built
partly out of the ruins of the old Hellenistic temple once
dedicated to Kore.61
is was interesting because while the Isis and
Serapis cult maintained its existence there it was not to pay
tribute to anything pertaining to Egypt. e Isis and Serapis
cult, while derived out of the Hellenistic-Egyptian Ptolemaic
Sarapis cult, had begun to be a Romanized cult. e Sarapis
cult was originally occupied with both Greek and Egyptian
gods. e supreme gods were Egyptian, Osiris and Apis,
simultaneously. However, this supreme god comprised of
Egyptian deities carried a very Greek appearance. When the
Serapis Cult was imported and implemented by Augustus,
the supreme god combination of Osiris and Apis were
replaced with a singular god, Isis. Isis became the supreme
god reigning over all the gods Greek, Egyptian, and Roman
alike. Augustus utilized the Serapis cult as a method for
his political prowess by making it a political function and
more signicantly attaching it to the House of Augustus.62
Doing this reected to the Roman world that the divine
realm was very much a part of the Imperial power and so
was the authority assigned to Augustus. us making the
Emperor a walking god. Paramount to anything else, with
the incorporation of the plethora of gods into Serapis, this
also meant that by worshipping any other god whether
it was Greek, Roman, or Egyptian, one inadvertently
worshiped Serapis. Which also meant one automatically, and
perhaps inadvertently, also worshiped the Roman Emperor
In 1960 Edwin Link formed a team of professional
divers under the direction of Charles T. Fritsch and Immanuel
Ben-Dor63 underwater exploration of the submerged sections
of Sebastos and Caesarea Maritima took place. In 1979 the
combined forces of the Caesarea Maritima Ancient Harbor
Project (CAHEP) was conducted by Avner Raban and Elisha
Linder, Center for Maritime Studies, and the University of
Colorado with Robert L. Hohlfelder serving as co-director64
explored Caesarea Maritima, and because of its closeness in
proximity, inadvertently also explored Sebastos, which was
adjoined to Caesarea Maritima and is not to be confused
with Samaria/Sebaste. Hohlfelder, et. al, acknowledges that
“Sebastos, itself, had technological features found nowhere
else in the world. At the time of its completion it was not
only the largest Levantine harbor but also one that showed a
maritime engineering sophistication that can only be called
modern.”65 Josephus said that Sebastos contained civic
structures that would be common to any major Roman city,
and that it was most impressive architecturally, having had
to be carved from an uncompromising coastline that was
62 TAKACS 1995, 19.
64 HOHLEFELDER 1988, 1-12.
Journal of Ancient History and Archeology No. 3.2/2016
void of a cape or bay.66 Since the explorations of the Scholars,
many have been intrigued and fascinated with the area of
land, because it, too, was built with the sole purpose of
expanding the Roman Empire and the Imperial Cult in the
Herod, having had the building experience with
Samaria/Sebaste, would set his sights to build Caesarea
Maritima in a grander manner. Caesarea Maritima would
become a very important building project because it was
“on a section of the coastline that had recently belonged to
Cleopatra [VII] before its repatriation following the Rhodes
settlement.”67 It was quite ironic for Herod to have had
acquired a piece of land once belonging to Egypt’s Queen.
Especially since this new acquisition was right after the
Battle of Actium, making Egypt a newly acquired province
under Rome. To compound insult with injury, Herod made
Caesarea Maritima, a trading harbor city, and one that
would compete with the harbor of Alexandria. is sardonic
message must have carried a strong sense of patronage to
Augustus that appeased him. It allowed Herod to display his
loyalty to Augustus by dishonoring the Queen who had come
between Augustus and Marc Antony, while simultaneously
allowing Augustus to fully proclaim the land Marc Antony
had love stricken and foolishly gave away. Not to mention
the prospective amount of income to be generated from
the trans-Atlantic trading industry. Acquiring this land had
endless possibilities of prosperity for both Herod and Rome.
is was the harbor city that historically had the name
Stratos Tower, founded by the King of Sidon. Herod, wanting
to rid his newly acquired territory of its history chose to
rename the land Caesarea Maritima. Doing so would ratify
his love for both old Rome, under Augustus’ mentor, Caesar,
while simultaneously showing his patronage to the new
Rome under Augustus. Caesarea Maritima was considered to
be the “most beautiful both in material and construction.”68
In addition to this being a great port city, it would become
the “administrative center of Roman police control and
tax collection in its district, two important functions of
cities in eastern provinces.”69 Like at Samaria/Sebaste,
Roman materials and design styles were utilized during its
construction. A unique thing about this city is that Herod
built it from scratch, providing an opportunity for him to
create his own canvas for his artistic work. Herod put Roman
concrete in boats and then sunk the boats until it was high
enough for him to build a harbor on top. e entire city was
made of concrete. is made the city of Caesarea Maritima
withstand the probable hardships of war, and nature by
having a strong foundation created right from within the
body of water. Making Herod, one to have conquered nature.
As an effort to mimic the styles of Roman port cities,
Herod made the harbor opening “comparable to Ostia and
other great Imperial harbors such as Leptis Magna.”70 Another
unique structure at Caesarea Maritima, according to Roman
inscriptions,71 are the aqueducts. Previous scholarship72
66 JW 1.10.10@408-414; Ant 10.5@331-341.
67 HOHLFELDER 2000, 242.
68 Ant 10.5. 340
69 BEEBE 1983, 196.
70 CASSON 1971, 368.
71 SCHÜRER 1886; VILNAY 1928; HAMBURGER 1959
72 REIFENBERG 1951, 26.
dispute that Herod actually built aqueducts, claiming instead
that Hadrian built them much later. However, more recent
scholarship has demonstrated that Hadrian only made repairs
to the original aqueducts built by Herod.73 Because water
was not good at this port city, it was very necessary to build
plumbing. Aqueducts were another innovative Roman design
that Herod implemented in the Levant. The utilization of
aqueducts made this Eastern province far more cosmopolitan
than any of its neighboring cities in the Levant, with the
exception of Samaria/Sebaste that also had aqueducts.74
Architecturally, Herod accomplished much at
Caesarea Maritima. Unfortunately, much of it is not examined
within the scope of this research. However, one of the great
architectural structures that will be examined is the temple
dedicated to both Augustus and Roma (gure 4). Josephus
notes that the temple was on a hill.75 However, this temple
was built on a raised podium to give the appearance of it
being on a hill as a measure to signify both its massive size,
and its greatness within the cosmological realm. This was to
create the illusion of “holiness,” as it was located on a hill,
and appeared as if it was high in the sky, like the gods. The
temple is said to have been so large that it had Corinthian
orders that reached nearly twenty-two meters high. Magness
describes the Temple as having been “…constructed in
an Italic rather than a Hellenistic style. e Italic features
include the placement of the temple on a tall, raised podium
that was accessed by steps only on the west (with the porch
facing the harbor), creating an axiality and a frontality that
diered from Greek temples.76 MacDonald further states
that such “details are signs of the Empire, like the traditional
Corinthian colonnade, which, with its slender shafts rising
from bases of layered stone discs to wreathed capitals above,
epitomized the grand formal manner of the age.”77
Much of the above sounds very familiar to the
Roman temple at Samaria/Sebaste. However, Holem points
out the uniqueness of this temple is that Herod managed to
capture the essence of a Roman structure while duplicating
many characteristics from Jerusalem’s Temple Mount, which
he was building simultaneously while constructing Caesarea
Maritima. “Apparently, the two building projects, pagan and
Jewish, proceeded in tandem in the two cities. With a hint
of irony, and drawing attention to the parallelism of Herod’s
projects in Jerusalem and Caesarea Maritima.”78 Arguably,
the visible Roman and Hellenistic styles may have been
Herod’s way of (1) keeping his own identity while utilizing
new Roman styles and technologies; and (2) creating images
with some similarities for the Jews as an effort to provide a
visual comfort level for them. Thereby, leaving his mark in
the architectural world by creating his own architectural style,
while again, paying the utmost respect to Rome.
Notably, Caesarea Maritima was more than likely
intended to be duplicative of Rome’s Forum, as it was
also meant to be the primary location for the local Roman
government in the Levant. It became a tax center and a place
that focused primarily on the personal and public growth of
73 OLAMI/PELEG 1977, 136; FINEGAN 1992, 142.
75 JW 1.10.10@414; Ant 10.5@339.
76 MAGNESS 2012, 173.
77 MACDONALD 1986, 191.
78 HOLEM 2004, 186.
Journal of Ancient History and Archeology No. 3.2/2016
Augustus as Emperor. Therefore, the symbolic similarity of
the Temple to Augustus and Roma in Caesarea Maritima to
that of Mars Ultor located in Rome’s Forum was elevated.
One might question how this is possible when, as previously
mentioned, there are notable architectural similarities of the
temple at Caesarea Maritima to that of the temple at Samaria/
Sebaste. Nonetheless, in this particular instance, particular
attention should be honed on the artistic, symbolic, and
historical similarities of the Temple to Augustus and Roma
that are similar to that of Mars Ultor. Notwithstanding, the
temple of Mars Ultor was architecturally inuenced by
the Temple of Jupiter Optimus Maximus, as the Temple to
Augustus at Sebaste, and it was said to be Augustus’ “most
ambitious architectural undertaking.”79 Thereby making it a
great reason to emulate its style. However, focusing on the
artistic, symbolic, and historical meanings of this structure
assists with understanding the historical theory. Understanding
the historical theory helps one to see there is a recursive
relationship between theory and practice, which allows a
cause and an effect, and even permits an event to become
labeled as an action that has expressed some serious thought
by its agent, in this case the agent is Herod.80 e purpose of
which was to create monumental forms including histories
of order, proportion, symmetry, décor, and economy.
Mars Ultor was initially built as a result of defeating
Brutus and Cassius. Perhaps Herod duplicated this temple
at Caesarea Maritima, to send a further well-thought out
message—one that would be a reminder of Augustus’ military
youth (of defeating Brutus and Cassius) while simultaneously
honoring and displaying his defeat of Marc Antony and
Cleopatra. Additionally, while it took several decades to
complete the construction of the Temple of Mars Ultor, the
premise behind it was Augustus’ expansion of the Imperial
Cult, which was also a major priority of Herod. Last but not
least, the Temple of Mars Ultor permeated Roman religious
reform.81 Since “founding a city in the ancient world was
considered a sacred act,”82 building a Temple to Augustus
and Roma in a newly built city by Herod would have caused
79 STAMPER 2005, 130.
80 (COLLINGWOOD 1939, 127-128; HODDER/HUTSON 2003, 146;
GIDDENS 1984, 162-227; BOURDIEU 1977, 72-87.While these are
sociological related, the methodology therein is applicable and practical to
understanding archaeology. These methods are being applied more within
81 STAMPER 2005, 130.
82 LEVINE 1975, 15.
the temple to seemingly be perceived as more sacred—while
possibly also illuminating Augustus as a god and helping him
to be perceived as a holy man. At this time, Herod was still
not well received or liked by the general population. Building
a Roman temple may have also been a motivating factor to
make the gentiles living in this vicinity feel as though they
had a place within a predominantly Jewish region of Rome.
Accordingly, also having had created a situation that would
have made some people begin to like Herod would have been
a win-win situation. Thereby, assisting with the autonomy and
harmony of the population at Caesarea Maritima.
History exemplies that Herod was a complex man,
one with great paranoia who partook of barbarian acts to
protect his throne. Yet he was also a man who was loyal to
his trusted friends. Herod’s reputation as a great builder is
congruent with his reputation as a sadistic murderer. During
a time, where cities were created from conglomerations of
structures, Herod took risks and created a unique building
style at Caesarea Maritima, one that introduced the realm
of creating cities rst, and then building massive structures
within them. us, making the cities themselves equally
monumental to its structures therein. It was important for
Herod to partake of city building because he knew even if
his structures wouldn’t survive after him, a city probably
would. is is pivotal to him being remembered long after
his death. It is further believed that within the rebuilding of
Samaria/Sebaste and the building of Caesarea Maritima that
Herod’s reputation may have begun to change for the better.83
Perhaps it was his interest in obtaining favor by the Emperor,
but ultimately it served to gain the gentile populations favor
as well.
One might question, why Herod, a Jew, would be
inclined to risk his already terrible reputation with the
Jews to build temples to non-Jewish gods? While Herod
was a practicing Jew,84 the Hellenistic culture at the time
perpetuated considerable intermingling. In 1st century B.C.
Jerusalem, it was common for Jewish elites to embrace all
people from all walks of life. Doing so meant they had to
have interfaith dialogue for which they needed to speak
Greek, Latin, and Aramaic/Hebrew. However, this interfaith
dialogue eventually led to implementing and merging
various cultural practices into the Jewish ones like dressing
in Hellenistic styled clothing, obtaining Roman citizenship,
and giving up the standard Jewish diet. Jeers indicates
that the average Jewish dinner would have been served in
the same type of banquet style that may have been seen in
Athens or Rome.85 erefore, while the overall concept was
that the general Jewish population rejected Romanization.
e elite Jewish population had begun to subliminally
implement various aspects of Romanization into their
personal lives.
Arguably, Herod’s interfaith experiences may have
become inuential within his cultural practices, allowing
his personal interfaith experience to intertwine within his
building projects. To this end, it served to his advantage, as
83 MCCANE 2008, 726.
84 PEROWNE 2015.
85 JEFFERS 1999, 14.
Fig. 4. Temple to Augustus and Roma at Caesarea.
Journal of Ancient History and Archeology No. 3.2/2016
it helped to burgeon the emergence of a Herodian building
phenomenon. As previously mentioned, the temples at
both Samaria/Sebaste and Caesarea Maritima created an
inux of temple building that sparked Herod to build the
Temple to Ba’al Shamim at Si’a and memorials to Abraham
in Idumea (i.e., Haram al Khalil, and Mamre’s Haram Ramet
al-Khalil). While building a temple to Abraham would have
been completely against Jewish tradition, Herod built
memorials instead to commemorate Abraham and his
descendants. “e Idumean location of both suggests Herod
aimed to incorporate patriarchal traditions—common to
both Edomites and Israelites—and to appeal to Judeans
and Idumeans, who like his own family, had embraced
Judaism.”86 ese memorials were perhaps built because
Herod presumably experienced compunctions about
supporting other deities outside the Jewish faith,87 and may
have attempted to redeem himself within his Jewish religion
by doing this. Nevertheless, Herod learned to balance the
competing needs of Judaism and the needs of Rome,88 while
also having had created a royalty line for his Jewish family
directly from the Roman Emperor.
Samaria/Sebaste and Caesarea Maritima, having
shared the commonality of being cosmopolitan cities
with temples dedicated to Augustus, assisted greatly with
expanding the Roman Imperial Cult in the Eastern provinces.
Herod made certain to build a temple to the Emperor
Augustus in these cities as a way of fostering deeper loyalty.
is inadvertently ensured the worshipping of not just the
Roman gods, but also the Emperor, the latter being of high
priority to Augustus. Monuments that were built to mimic
the glory of Rome, simultaneously created an opportunity
to further expand the Roman Imperial Cult. “Recognizing
[that] old political, religious and cultural patterns were
passing away and that a new synthesis—a rst-century
Mediterranean version of globalization—was on the
way”89, Herod built Roman temples to begin the process of
implementing a cross-cultural understanding of Roman life
and gods foreign to the people in the vicinity. e exhibition
of these temples was not just for the sake of architecture but
was “cosmopolitan and ecumenical. Within a highly urban
context, it was framed around personal and institutional
ritual,”90 as a compulsive attraction came with the spread
of Romanization that motivated participation within the
empire.91 is was the purpose of the architecture.
Herod contributed to this compulsive desire by
creating imagery with his monumental architectural
structures, while also contributing to the implementation of
a new construction that introduced a new epistemological
system,92 and a new religion. e intermingling of Roman
architectural styles with those of his own contributed to an
altered topography in the Levant, which we call Herodian
Architecture. While simultaneously appeasing the Emperor
(i.e., showing that he was dedicated to Rome), Samaria/
Sebaste and Caesarea Maritima became two cities in the
86 RICHARDSON 2004, 279.
87 RICHARDSON 1996, 67.
88 RICHARDSON 1996, 18.
89 MCCANE 2008, 727.
90 YEGUL 2012, 37.
91 MACMULLEN 1981, 134.
92 WALLACE-HADRILL 2005, 81.
Levant that were free of Jewish nationalism, and with
cultures that accepted Roman dictatorship. e strategic
planning necessary for such a feat must have taken quite
some time. A number of necessary resources and supplies
alone make it “highly probable that perhaps Augustus
and Herod discussed Roman hegemony in Syria and
Palestine.93 is conversation was quite probable given
that “Herod’s construction of Sebastos on the site of ancient
Samaria might have fullled that purpose since Jewish and
Samaritan hatred of each other would have denied Sebastos
any symbolic value in uniting Jews against Roman rule, but
it would not satisfy Rome’s need for a harbor.94 Herod also
understood that while appeasing Augustus’ ego, he also
needed to appease him nancially. Making Caesarea a port
city would bring in nances, while also making it a complete
Roman governmental agency within the client state. It was
pivotally understood that by building Roman temples he
provided a sacred place to worship the Roman Emperor.
Indeed, also a place for sacrices and appealingly pay the
gods, funds of which would ultimately go to the Roman
Emperor. e embodiment of it all would have created a win-
win situation for both Augustus and Herod. Paramount for
Herod, it was equally important to stay in good graces with
the Emperor, and stay in power, not just for him but also his
Herod’s architectural styles duplicated that of
Agrippa’s, but further complimented the royal family. As
mentioned above, much of Rome’s political designs were
intended to having meaning locally. Herod broadened those
horizons by importing the architectural styles of Rome,
and the Roman history reected within these architectural
styles—by allowing his structures to tell artistic, symbolic,
and historical stories. e implementation of Roman
innovative technologies, styles, and designs allowed Herod
to experiment with commingling the Hellenistic style of his
culture for which he was known with something new. While,
the utilization of Roman technology assisted greatly within
the overall Roman landscape allowed Herod to architecturally
capture the deities within the natural elements (which they
controlled), it also allowed him to show the beauty and
symbolic meaning of the deities, while also completing his
goal of bringing Rome to the Levant.
Moreover, Herod may have been the builder that
assisted with the expansion of the Imperial Cult east of
the Mediterranean. ereby, having had contributed to it
being the fastest growing and the most widespread of all
cults.95 Previously, the Imperial Cult had been instituted
sporadically for special occasions. But as it began to expand
under Augustus, it appeared everywhere. is movement,
conceivably, made it more of a priority for Herod to show
Augustus his loyalty by promoting it as well. Herod began to
implement the Imperial Cult into his building projects and
made them grander by utilizing Roman technology, which
contributed to his creating a far more Roman appearance
than his Greek counterparts.
Herod understood these acts would benet him with
remaining in Augustus’ good graces; and would also serve
93 BEEBE 1983, 202.
94 BEEBE 1983, 206.
95 ZANKER 2007, 297.
Journal of Ancient History and Archeology No. 3.2/2016
himself, as he, true to Roman architectural standards, would
have wanted to go down into history as a great builder.
Herod was a man that allowed his paranoia and his drive for
achievement to play a strong role in his political prowess,
ultimately exhibiting his savoir-faire (knowing how to do)
both in ruling and controlling the population over which
he ruled, as well as creating a pathway for the population to
begin to accept Romanization. Finally, by combining Eastern
and Roman architecture of the West, Herod was ahead of
his time. Perhaps this may have been the re that sparked
the use of these artistic practices within future Roman
architectural standards. Such practices were betting of “the
Great King” that he was. In the words of Josephus, Herod
was “a man who was cruel to all alike and one who easily gave
in to anger and was contemptuous of justice. And yet he was
as greatly favored by fortune as any man has ever been in
that from being a commoner he was made king….96
BEEBE 1983
Beebe, H. K., Caesarea Maritima Maritima: Its Strategic
and Political Signicance to Rome, Journal of Near Eastern
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This paper pays close attention to architectural decoration in King Herod's construction projects and offers a renewed perspective on Herod's use of monumental display to situate his own kingdom within the empire. His increased reliance on the Corinthian rather than the Doric order, for example, appears to reflect Augustus's choice of the Corinthian order as representing the new Roman taste. His introduction into local architecture of particularly Roman architectural elements, such as the stucco ceilings of the “coffer-style” and the console cornice, moreover, transformed the adornment of buildings throughout Judaea. The recently discovered mausoleum in Herodium identified by its excavators as Herod's tomb exemplifies how these new Roman trends were incorporated into the local Hellenistic architectural tradition. I suggest that Herod's decorative program influenced the tastes of many of his subjects; the architectural decoration in cities such as Jerusalem demonstrates how the innovations introduced by Herod to the local architecture were embraced by the upper-class citizens of those cities. In peripheral cities and smaller sites such as En-Gedi and Gamla, however, the architectural decoration maintains the local Hellenistic tradition. In these sites, the Doric order continues to be popular, and entablature elements are rare.
This book provides an introduction to the archaeology and history of ancient Palestine - modern Israel, Jordan and the Palestinian territories - from the destruction of Solomon's temple in 586 BCE to the Muslim conquest in 640 CE. Special attention is paid to the archaeology of Jerusalem and the Second Temple period, in the time of Herod the Great and Jesus. For each period, the book offers a historical background for the Mediterranean world and the ancient Near East, as well as the events in Palestine. Major sites such as Masada, Caesarea Maritima and Petra are examined in archaeological and historical detail, along with the material culture - coins, pottery, glass and stone vessels - of each period. This book provides a thorough overview of the archaeology of this historically vibrant part of the world.