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Pesher of Christ: Herod Agrippa the Great: Timeline

© 2014 by Dylan Stephens

Looks at the Timeline of Herod Agrippa the Great to determine his influence on the New Testament especially as to whether he was the Herod in Luke 23:6-12 at Jesus' trial.

(Antiquities is Antiquities of the Jews by Josephus)

Herod Agrippa ( (11 BC - 44 AD) grandson of Herod the Great
who succeeded in reclaiming all his territory

It is important to decipher the times when Herod Agrippa was acting in the events of the New Testament. In Acts it is clear that King Herod was Agrippa as cousin Herod Antipas had been exiled to Lugdunum Convenarum, modern Saint-Bertrand-de-Comminges. Obviously, the Herod in the time of the infancy of Jesus is Herod the Great, Agrippa's grandfather.
(Antiquities: Antiquities of the Jews by Josephus)

(See Genealogy Map of Herod's Wives and their progeny)
He was son of Bernice was the daughter of Salome I, sister of Herod the Great on of Aristobulus IV (son of Herod the Great - executed by Herod in 6 BC) and Bernice (Bernice was the daughter of Salome I, sister of Herod the Great)
11BCage 0BornAntiquities 9.8.2 he (Agrippa) departed this life, being in the fifty-fourth year of his age
6BC age 5Aristobulus, his father executed by HerodAntiquities 16.11.7 As for Herod, if he had before any doubt about the slaughter of his sons, there was now no longer any room left in his soul for it; but he had banished away whatsoever might afford him the least suggestion of reasoning better about this matter, so he already made haste to bring his purpose to a conclusion. He also brought out three hundred of the officers that were under an accusation, as also Tero and his son, and the barber that accused them before an assembly, and brought an accusation against them all; whom the multitude stoned with whatsoever came to hand, and thereby slew them. Alexander also and Aristobulus were brought to Sebaste, by their father's command, and there strangled; but their dead bodies were in the night time carried to Alexandraum, where their uncle by the mother's side, and the greatest part of their ancestors, had been deposited.
5BC age 6In Rome with Drusus, son of TiberiusAntiquities 18.6.1 A little before the death of Herod the king, Agrippa lived at Rome, and was generally brought up and conversed with Drusus, the emperor Tiberius's son, and contracted a friendship with Antonia, the wife of Drusus the Great, who had his mother Bernice in great esteem, and was very desirous of advancing her son.
4BC age 7Death of Herod in SeptemberAntiquities 18.8.1 And now Herod altered his testament upon the alteration of his mind; for he appointed Antipas, to whom he had before left the kingdom, to be tetrarch of Galilee and Perea, and granted the kingdom to Archelaus. He also gave Gaulonitis, and Trachonitis, and Paneas to Philip, who was his son, but own brother to Archelaus by the name of a tetrarchy; and bequeathed Jarnnia, and Ashdod, and Phasaelis to Salome his sister, with five hundred thousand [drachmae] of silver that was coined. He also made provision for all the rest of his kindred, by giving them sums of money and annual revenues, and so left them all in a wealthy condition. He bequeathed also to Caesar ten millions [of drachmae] of coined money, besides both vessels of gold and silver, and garments exceeding costly, to Julia, Caesar's wife; and to certain others, five millions. When he had done these things, he died, the fifth day after he had caused Antipater to be slain; having reigned, since he had procured Antigonus to be slain, thirty-four years; but since he had been declared king by the Romans, thirty-seven.
14ADage 33Tiberius is Emperor, August 19Annals of Tacitus 1.5 While these and like topics were discussed, the infirmities of Augustus increased, and some suspected guilt on his wife's part. For a rumor had gone abroad that a few months before he had sailed to Planasia on a visit to Agrippa, with the knowledge of some chosen friends, and with one companion, Fabius Maximus; that many tears were shed on both sides, with expressions of affection, and that thus there was a hope of the young man being restored to the home of his grandfather. This, it was said, Maximus had divulged to his wife Marcia, she again to Livia. All was known to Caesar, and when Maximus soon afterwards died, by a death some thought to be self-inflicted, there were heard at his funeral wailings from Marcia, in which she reproached herself for having been the cause of her husband's destruction. Whatever the fact was, Tiberius as he was just entering Illyria was summoned home by an urgent letter from his mother, and it has not been thoroughly ascertained whether at the city of Nola he found Augustus still breathing or quite lifeless. For Livia had surrounded the house and its approaches with a strict watch, and favorable bulletins were published from time to time, till, provision having been made for the demands of the crisis, one and the same report told men that Augustus was dead and that Tiberius Nero was master of the State.
23ADage 33Drusus poisoned by SejanusAnnals of Tacitus 4.3 On considering every plan Sejanus thought his easiest revenge was to turn his attention to Livia, Drusus's wife. She was a sister of Germanicus, and though she was not handsome as a girl, she became a woman of surpassing beauty. Pretending an ardent passion for her, he seduced her, and having won his first infamous triumph, and assured that a woman after having parted with her virtue will hesitate at nothing, he lured her on to thoughts of marriage, of a share in sovereignty, and of her husband's destruction. And she, the niece of Augustus, the daughter-in-law of Tiberius, the mother of children by Drusus, for a provincial paramour, foully disgraced herself, her ancestors, and her descendants, giving up honor and a sure position for prospects as base as they were uncertain. They took into their confidence Eudemus, Livia's friend and physician, whose profession was a pretext for frequent secret interviews. Sejanus, to avert his mistress's jealousy, divorced his wife Apicata, by whom he had had three children. Still the magnitude of the crime caused fear and delay, and sometimes a conflict of plans.
Annals of Tacitus 4.8 Sejanus accordingly thought that he must be prompt, and chose a poison the gradual working of which might be mistaken for a natural disorder. It was given to Drusus by Lygdus, a eunuch, as was ascertained eight years later.
26ADage 36Tiberius retires to CapriAnnals of Tacitus 4.67 Caesar, meanwhile, after dedicating the temples in Campania, warned the public by an edict not to disturb his retirement and posted soldiers here and there to keep off the throngs of townsfolk. But he so loathed the towns and colonies and, in short, every place on the mainland, that he buried himself in the island of Capri which is separated by three miles of strait from the extreme point of the promontory of Sorrentum. The solitude of the place was, I believe, its chief attraction, for a harborless sea surrounds it and even for a small vessel it has but few safe retreats, nor can any one land unknown to the sentries. Its air in winter is soft, as it is screened by a mountain which is a protection against cutting winds. In summer it catches the western breezes, and the open sea round it renders it most delightful. It commanded too a prospect of the most lovely bay, till Vesuvius, bursting into flames, changed the face of the country. Greeks, so tradition says, occupied those parts and Capri was inhabited by the Teleboi. Tiberius had by this time filled the island with twelve country houses, each with a grand name and a vast structure of its own. Intent as he had once been on the cares of state, he was now for thoroughly unbending himself in secret profligacy and a leisure of malignant schemes. For he still retained that rash proneness to suspect and to believe, which even at Rome Sejanus used to foster, and which he here excited more keenly, no longer concealing his machinations against Agrippina and Nero. Soldiers hung about them, and every message, every visit, their public and their private life were I may say regularly chronicled. And persons were actually suborned to advise them to flee to the armies of Germany, or when the Forum was most crowded, to clasp the statue of statue of the Divine Augustus and appeal to the protection of the people and Senate. These counsels they disdained, but they were charged with having had thoughts of acting on them.
26AD?age 36Sets sail from Rome to Malatha, Idumaea
(assumes later leaving date rather than 23AD as corresponding to death of his mother Bernice)
Antiquities 18.6.1 Now as Agrippa was by nature magnanimous and generous in the presents he made, while his mother was alive, this inclination of his mind did not appear, that he might be able to avoid her anger for such his extravagance; but when Bernice was dead, and he was left to his own conduct, he spent a great deal extravagantly in his daily way of living, and a great deal in the immoderate presents he made, and those chiefly among Caesar's freed-men, in order to gain their assistance, insomuch that he was, in a little time, reduced to poverty, and could not live at Rome any longer. Tiberius also forbade the friends of his deceased son to come into his sight, because on seeing them he should be put in mind of his son, and his grief would thereby be revived.
Antiquities 18.6.2 For these reasons he went away from Rome, and sailed to Judea, but in evil circumstances, being dejected with the loss of that money which he once had, and because he had not wherewithal to pay his creditors, who were many in number, and such as gave him no room for escaping them. Whereupon he knew not what to do; so, for shame of his present condition, he retired to a certain tower, at Malatha, in Idumea, and had thoughts of killing himself;
26AD?age 36Wife Cypros ask Herodias, wife of Herod Antipas to help Antiquities 18.6.2 but his wife Cypros perceived his intentions, and tried all sorts of methods to divert him from his taking such a course; so she sent a letter to his sister Herodias, who was now the wife of Herod the tetrarch, and let her know Agrippa's present design, and what necessity it was which drove him thereto, and desired her, as a kinswoman of his, to give him her help, and to engage her husband to do the same, since she saw how she alleviated these her husband's troubles all she could, although she had not the like wealth to do it withal.
27AD?age 37Assignment in Tiberias as commissioner of marketsAntiquities 18.6.2 So they sent for him, and allotted him Tiberias for his habitation, and appointed him some income of money for his maintenance, and made him a magistrate of that city, by way of honor to him.
31ADage 37Sejanus consulship, Antonia reveals to Tiberius his plot against him, he is executed Antiquities 18.6.6 Now Antonia was greatly esteemed by Tiberius on all accounts, from the dignity of her relation to him, who had been his brother Drusus's wife, and from her eminent chastity; for though she was still a young woman, she continued in her widowhood, and refused all other matches, although Augustus had enjoined her to be married to somebody else; yet did she all along preserve her reputation free from reproach. She had also been the greatest benefactress to Tiberius, when there was a very dangerous plot laid against him by Sejanus, a man who had been her husband's friend, and wire had the greatest authority, because he was general of the army, and when many members of the senate and many of the freed-men joined with him, and the soldiery was corrupted, and the plot was come to a great height. Now Sejanus had certainly gained his point, had not Antonia's boldness been more wisely conducted than Sejanus's malice; for when she had discovered his designs against Tiberius, she wrote him an exact account of the whole, and gave the letter to Pallas, the most faithful of her servants, and sent him to Capri to Tiberius, who, when he understood it, slew Sejanus and his confederates; so that Tiberius, who had her in great esteem before, now looked upon her with still greater respect, and depended upon her in all things.
31ADage 37John the Baptist arrested by Herod Antipas prior to equinoxRevelation 9:1-4 And the fifth angel sounded, and I saw a star fall from heaven unto the earth: and to him was given the key of the bottomless pit. And he opened the bottomless pit; and there arose a smoke out of the pit, as the smoke of a great furnace; and the sun and the air were darkened by reason of the smoke of the pit. And there came out of the smoke locusts upon the earth: and unto them was given power, as the scorpions of the earth have power. And it was commanded them that they should not hurt the grass of the earth, neither any green thing, neither any tree; but only those men which have not the seal of God in their foreheads.
(Jesus is the Bethlehem Star, having the key to Hades because of his subsequent Resurrection who is taking over the followers of John the Baptist in prison (associated with locusts as he ate locusts, but now imprisoned as scorpion). These followers (grass = wheat i.e. Gentiles like Andrew and John Mark (unnamed)).)
31ADage 37John the Baptist removed as Pope by Herod Antipas prior to September transferred to Machaerus prison where he is killed by AgrippaRevelation 9:5-7 And to them it was given that they should not kill them, but that they should be tormented five months: and their torment was as the torment of a scorpion, when he striketh a man. And in those days shall men seek death, and shall not find it; and shall desire to die, and death shall flee from them. And the shapes of the locusts were like unto horses prepared unto battle; and on their heads were as it were crowns like gold, and their faces were as the faces of men.
(John the Baptist in prison for five months. Jonathan Annas (Stephen: 'stephanos' is Greek for crown) taking over for him at his death. (Jonathan is portrayed as Dositheus, the founder of the Sadducees).)
(Although Herod Antipas had imprisoned John the Baptist at Machaerus, he also relied on him for advice and did not want to have him killed. Although it is not recorded anywhere, given that Herodias hated John the Baptist for opposing her marriage to Antipas Herod, she must have begged her sister-in-law Cypros to return the favor of getting Herod Agrippa the job at Tiberias and to persuade him to kill John.)
33ADage 43Tries Jesus; becomes friends with PilateLuke 23:5-8 And they were the more urgent, saying -- "He does stir up the people, teaching throughout the whole of Judea -- having begun from Galilee -- unto this place." And Pilate having heard of Galilee, questioned if the man is a Galilean, and having known that he is from the jurisdiction of Herod, he sent him back unto Herod, he being also in Jerusalem (Qumran) in those days. And Herod having seen Jesus did rejoice exceedingly, for he was wishing for a long [time] to see him, because of hearing many things about him, and he was hoping some sign to see done by him, and was questioning him in many words, and he answered him nothing. And the chief priests and the scribes stood vehemently accusing him, and Herod with his soldiers having set him at nought, and having mocked, having put around him gorgeous apparel, did send him back to Pilate, and both Pilate and Herod became friends on that day with one another, for they were before at enmity between themselves.
33ADage 43Antiquities 8.6.2 Herod Antipas reproaches him in Tyre and Agrippa leaves for proconsul L. Pomponius Flaccus (32-34)Yet did not Herod (Antipas) long continue in that resolution of supporting him, though even that support was not sufficient for him; for as once they were at a feast at Tyre, and in their cups, and reproaches were cast upon one another, Agrippa thought that was not to be borne, while Herod hit him in the teeth with his poverty, and with his owing his necessary food to him. So he went to Flaccus, one that had been consul, and had been a very great friend to him at Rome formerly, and was now president of Syria.
34ADage 44Quarrels with Flaccus and leaves for PtolemaisAntiquities 8.6.3 Hereupon Flaccus received him kindly, and he lived with him. Flaccus had also with him there Aristobulus, who was indeed Agrippa's brother, but was at variance with him; yet did not their enmity to one another hinder the friendship of Flaccus to them both, but still they were honorably treated by him. However, Aristobulus did not abate of his ill-will to Agrippa, till at length he brought him into ill terms with Flaccus; the occasion of bringing on which estrangement was this: The Damascens were at difference with the Sidonians about their limits, and when Flaccus was about to hear the cause between them, they understood that Agrippa had a mighty influence upon him; so they desired that he would be of their side, and for that favor promised him a great deal of money; so he was zealous in assisting the Damascens as far as he was able. Now Aristobulus had gotten intelligence of this promise of money to him, and accused him to Flaccus of the same; and when, upon a thorough examination of the matter, it appeared plainly so to be, he rejected Agrippa out of the number of his friends. So he was reduced to the utmost necessity, and came to Ptolemais;
34ADage 44Borrows money from Marsyas and leaves for Anthedon, near GazaAntiquities 8.6.3 and, lacking the means to live anywhere else, he resolved to set sail for Italy. Since he was restrained from doing so for want of funds, he appealed to Marsyas, his freedman, to borrow from someone and provide him with the necessary means. Marsyas thereupon bade Protos (Peter - his name being derived from פטר (patar) meaning "Firstborn"), a freedman of Agrippa's mother Berenice, who under the latter's will had become a retainer of Antonia, to provide him with the money on the written bond and security of Agrippa. Protos, however, complained that Agrippa had defrauded him of some money, and forced Marsyas to draw up a bond for 20,000 Attic drachmasa but to accept 2500 less. The latter yielded since he had no alternative. The money once in hand, Agrippa repaired to Anthedon, where he engaged a ship and was on the point of putting out to sea.
34ADage 44Owes a large debt to the Imperial Treasury, escapes to Alexandria Antiquities 8.6.3 But Herennius Capito,the procurator of Jamnia, learned of this and sent soldiers to exact from him the 300,000 pieces of silverd which he owed the Imperial treasury at Rome; and they put constraint upon him to remain. He pretended at the time that he would obey these orders, but when night fell, he cut the mooring cables and proceeded on his voyage to Alexandria. There he begged Alexander the alabarch to grant him a loan of 200,000.
34ADage 44Alexander the alabarch is willing to give the money to his wife Cypros who returned to JudeaAntiquities 8.6.3 Alexander refused to grant this loan to him, but he did not deny it to Cypros because he marvelled at her love of her husband and all her other good qualities. She promised to repay it; and so Alexander gave them five talents in Alexandria and offered to hand over the rest when they arrived in Dicaearchia, for he did not trust Agrippa's prodigal vein. Cypros thereupon dispatched her husband on his voyage to Italy and herself returned with her children to Judaea.
34ADage 44Agrippa goes to Dicaearchia to pick the rest of the money then to PuteoliAntiquities 8.6.4 And now Agrippa was come to Puteoli, whence he wrote a letter to Tiberius Caesar, who then lived at Capri, and told him that he was come so far in order to wait on him, and to pay him a visit; and desired that he would give him leave to come over to Capri:
34ADage 44Sends a letter to Tiberius who invites him to CapriAntiquities 8.6.4 whence he wrote a letter to Tiberius Caesar, who then lived at Capri, and told him that he was come so far in order to wait on him, and to pay him a visit; and desired that he would give him leave to come over to Capri: and when he was come, he did not fail to treat him as kindly as he had promised him in his letter to do.
34ADage 44The news of his escape from the debt arrives and Tiberius bars himAntiquities 8.6.4 But the next day came a letter to Caesar from Herennius Capito, to inform him that Agrippa had borrowed three hundred thousand drachmae, and not paid it at the time appointed; but when it was demanded of him, he ran away like a fugitive, out of the places under his government, and put it out of his power to get the money of him. When Caesar had read this letter, he was much troubled at it, and gave order that Agrippa should be excluded from his presence until he had paid that debt:
34ADage 44Philip Herod diesAntiquities 8.4.6 About this time it was that Philip, Herod's ' brother, departed this life, in the twentieth year of the reign of Tiberius, after he had been tetrarch of Trachonitis and Gaulanitis, and of the nation of the Bataneans also, thirty-seven years. He had showed himself a person of moderation and quietness in the conduct of his life and government; he constantly lived in that country which was subject to him; he used to make his progress with a few chosen friends; his tribunal also, on which he sat in judgment, followed him in his progress; and when any one met him who wanted his assistance, he made no delay, but had his tribunal set down immediately, wheresoever he happened to be, and sat down upon it, and heard his complaint: he there ordered the guilty that were convicted to be punished, and absolved those that had been accused unjustly. He died at Julias; and when he was carried to that monument which he had already erected for himself beforehand, he was buried with great pomp. His principality Tiberius took, (for he left no sons behind him,) and added it to the province of Syria, but gave order that the tributes which arose from it should be collected, and laid up in his tetrarchy.
35ADage 45Borrows money from Antonia, mother of Claudius and GermanicusAntiquities 8.6.4 upon which he was no way daunted at Caesar's anger, but entreated Antonia, the mother of Germanicus, and of Claudius, who was afterward Caesar himself, to lend him those three hundred thousand drachmae, that he might not be deprived of Tiberius's friendship; so, out of regard to the memory of Bernice his mother, (for those two women were very familiar with one another,) and out of regard to his and Claudius's education together, she lent him the money; and, upon the payment of this debt, there was nothing to hinder Tiberius's friendship to him.
35ADage 45Tiberius has him watch over his grandson Tiberius Gemellus, son of DrususAntiquities 8.6.4 After this, Tiberius Caesar recommended to him his grandson, and ordered that he should always accompany him when he went abroad. But upon Agrippa's kind reception by Antonia, he betook him to pay his respects to Caligula, who was her grandson, and in very high reputation by reason of the good-will they bare his father. Now there was one Thallus, a freed-man of Caesar, of whom he borrowed a million of drachmae, and thence repaid Antonia the debt he owed her; and the rest of the money he spent in paying court to Gaius, with whom he consequently rose to higher favor. (Caligula is the grandson of Antonia, son of Germanicus, who will become the next Emperor.)
36ADage 46Comment to Caligula leads to his incarceration Jewish War 2.9.5,6 Now this Agrippa, at a certain time, feasted Caligula; and as he was very complaisant to him on several other accounts, he at length stretched out his hands, and openly wished that Tiberius might die, and that he might quickly see him emperor of the world. This was told to Tiberius by one of Agrippa's domestics, who thereupon was very angry, and ordered Agrippa to be bound, and had him very ill-treated in the prison for six months,
Antiquities 8.6.5/6 Now as the friendship which Agrippa had for Caligula was come to a great height, there happened some words to pass between them, as they once were in a chariot together, concerning Tiberius; as the the two sat by themselves, Agrippa saying that they wished that Tiberius might soon be gone, and leave the government to Caligula, who was in every respect more worthy of it. Now Eutychus, who was Agrippa's freed-man (Eutychus is John Mark's name before he was baptized in the Church. This can be seen in John Mark (Eutychus) where he is reconciled with Paul Mar 58 AD) , and drove his chariot, heard these words, and at that time said nothing of them; but when Agrippa accused him of stealing some garments of his, (which was certainly true,) he ran away from him; but when he was caught, and brought before Piso, who was governor of the city, and the man was asked why he ran away, he replied, that he had something to say to Caesar, that tended to his security and preservation: so Piso bound him, and sent him to Capri. But Tiberius, according to his usual custom, kept him still in bonds, being a delayer of affairs,
On this account it was that Eutychus could not obtain a bearing, but was kept still in prison. However, some time afterward, Tiberius came from Capri to Tusculum, which is about a hundred furlongs from Rome. Agrippa then desired of Antonia that she would procure a hearing for Eutychus, let the matter whereof he accused him prove what it would. So when Tiberius was desired by this Antonia to examine Eutychus, he answered, "If indeed Eutychus hath falsely accused Agrippa in what he hath said of him, he hath had sufficient punishment by what I have done to him already; but if, upon examination, the accusation appears to be true, let Agrippa have a care, lest, out of desire of punishing his freed-man, he do not rather bring a punishment upon himself." As Tiberius lay once at his ease upon his sedan, and was carried about, and Caligula, her grandson, and Agrippa, were before him after dinner she walked by the sedan, and desired him to call Eutychus, and have him examined; to which he replied, "O Antonia! the gods are my witnesses that I am induced to do what I am going to do, not by my own inclination, but because I am forced to it by thy prayers." When he had said this, he ordered Macro, who succeeded Sejanus, to bring Eutychus to him; accordingly, without any delay, he was brought.
Then Tiberius asked him what he had to say against a man who had given him his liberty. Upon which Eutychus said, "O my lord! this Caligula, and Agrippa with him, were once riding in a chariot, when I sat at their feet, and, among other discourses that passed, Agrippa said to Caligula, Oh that the day would once come when this old fellow will die and name thee as ruler of the habitable earth! for then his grandson Tiberius, would be no hinderance, because you would put him to death, and that earth would be happy, and I happy also."
Now Tiberius took these to be truly Agrippa's words, and bearing a grudge withal at Agrippa, because, when he had commanded him to pay his respects to Tiberius, his grandson, and the son of Drusus, Agrippa had not paid him that respect, but had disobeyed his commands, and transferred all his regard to Caligula; he said to Macro, "Bind this man." But Macro, not distinctly knowing which of them it was whom he bid him bind, and not expecting that he would have any such thing done to Agrippa, he forbore, and came to ask more distinctly what it was that he said. But when Caesar had gone round the hippodrome, he found Agrippa standing: "For certain," said he, "Macro, this is the man I meant to have bound;" and when he still asked, "Which of these is to be bound?" he said "Agrippa."
Upon which Agrippa betook himself to make supplication for himself, putting him in mind of his son, with whom he was brought up, and of his grandson Tiberius whom he had educated; but all to no purpose; for they led him about bound even in his crimson garments.
Antiquities 8.6.7 But now Antonia took Agrippa's misfortune to heart: however, to speak to Tiberius on his behalf, she took to be a very difficult thing, and indeed quite impracticable, as to any hope of success; yet did she procure of Macro, that the soldiers that kept him should be of a gentle nature, and that the centurion who was over them and was to diet with him, should be of the same disposition, and that he might have leave to bathe himself every day, and that his freed-men and friends might come to him, and that other things that tended to ease him might be indulged him. So his friend Silas came in to him, and two of his freed-men, Marsyas and Stechus, brought him such sorts of food as he was fond of, and indeed took great care of him; they ,also brought him garments, under pretense of selling them; and when night came on, they laid them under him; and the soldiers assisted them, as Macro had given them order to do beforehand. And this was Agrippa's condition for six months' time, and in this case were his affairs.
36ADage 46Prophecy of Agrippa's release and greatness but also his fall when the owl appears again Antiquities 8.6.7 Now Agrippa stood in his bonds before the royal palace, and leaned on a certain tree for grief, with many others,. who were in bonds also; and as a certain bird sat upon the tree on which Agrippa leaned, (the Romans call this bird bubo,) [an owl,] one of those that were bound, a German by nation, saw him, and asked a soldier who that man in purple was; and when he was informed that his name was Agrippa, and that he was by nation a Jew, and one of the principal men of that nation, he asked leave of the soldier to whom he was bound, to let him come nearer to him, to speak with him; for that he had a mind to inquire of him about some things relating to his country; which liberty, when he had obtained, and as he stood near him, he said thus to him by an interpreter: "This sudden change of thy condition, O young man! is grievous to thee, as bringing on thee a manifold and very great adversity; nor wilt thou believe me, when I foretell how thou wilt get clear of this misery which thou art now under, and how Divine Providence will provide for thee. Know therefore (and I appeal to my own country gods, as well as to the gods of this place, who have awarded these bonds to us) that all I am going to say about thy concerns shall neither be said for favor nor bribery, nor out of an endeavor to make thee cheerful without cause; for such predictions, when they come to fail, make the grief at last, and in earnest, more bitter than if the party had never heard of any such thing. However, though I run the hazard of my own self, I think it fit to declare to thee the prediction of the gods. It cannot be that thou shouldst long continue in these bonds; but thou wilt soon be delivered from them, and wilt be promoted to the highest dignity and power, and thou wilt be envied by all those who now pity thy hard fortune; and thou wilt be happy till thy death, and wilt leave thine happiness to the children whom thou shalt have. But do thou remember, when thou seest this bird again, that thou wilt then live but five days longer. This event will be brought to pass by that God who hath sent this bird hither to be a sign unto thee. And I cannot but think it unjust to conceal from thee what I foreknow concerning thee, that, by thy knowing beforehand what happiness is coming upon thee, thou mayst not regard thy present misfortunes. But when this happiness shall actually befall thee, do not forget what misery I am in myself, but endeavor to deliver me." So when the German had said this, he made Agrippa laugh at him as much as he afterwards appeared worthy of admiration.
37ADage 47Death of Tiberias.Antiquities 8.6.8 But for Tiberius, upon his return to Capri, he fell sick. At first his distemper was but gentle; but as that distemper increased upon him,
Antiquities 8.6.10 So when Tiberius had at this time appointed Caligula to be his successor, he outlived but a few days, and then died, after he had held the government twenty-two years five months and three days. Now Caligula was the fourth emperor. But when the Romans understood that Tiberius was dead, they rejoiced at the good news, but had not courage to believe it; not because they were unwilling it should be true, for they would have given huge sums of money that it might be so, but because they were afraid, that if they had showed their joy when the news proved false, their joy should be openly known, and they should be accused for it, and be thereby undone. For this Tiberius had brought a vast number of miseries on the best families of the Romans, since he was easily inflamed with passion in all cases, and was of such a temper as rendered his anger irrevocable, till he had executed the same, although he had taken a hatred against men without reason; for he was by nature fierce in all the sentences he gave, and made death the penalty for the lightest offenses; insomuch that when the Romans heard the rumor about his death gladly, they were restrained from the enjoyment of that pleasure by the dread of such miseries as they foresaw would follow, if their hopes proved ill-grounded. Now Marsyas, Agrippa's freed-man, as soon as he heard of Tiberius's death, came running to tell Agrippa the news; and finding him going out to the bath, he gave him a nod, and said, in the Hebrew tongue, "The lion is dead;" who, understanding his meaning, and being overjoyed at the news, "Nay," said he, "but all sorts of thanks and happiness attend thee for this news of thine; only I wish that what thou sayest may prove true." Now the centurion who was set to keep Agrippa, when he saw with what haste Marsyas came, and what joy Agrippa had from what he said, he had a suspicion that his words implied some great innovation of affairs, and he asked them about what was said. They at first diverted the discourse; but upon his further pressing, Agrippa, without more ado, told him, for he was already become his friend; so he joined with him in that pleasure which this news occasioned, because it would be fortunate to Agrippa, and made him a supper. But as they were feasting, and the cups went about, there came one who said that Tiberius was still alive, and would return to the city ill a few days. At which news the centurion was exceedingly troubled, because he had done what might cost him his life, to have treated so joyfully a prisoner, and this upon the news of the death of Caesar; so he thrust Agrippa from the couch whereon he lay, and said, "Dost thou think to cheat me by a lie about the emperor without punishment? and shalt not thou pay for this thy malicious report at the price of thine head?" When he had so said, he ordered Agrippa to be bound again, (for he had loosed him before,) and kept a severer guard over him than formerly, and in that evil condition was Agrippa that night; but the next day the rumor increased in the city, and confirmed the news that Tiberius was certainly dead; insomuch that men durst now openly and freely talk about it; nay, some offered sacrifices on that account. Several letters also came from Caligula; one of them to the senate, which informed them of the death of Tiberius, and of his own entrance on the government; another to Piso, the governor of the city, which told him the same thing. he had small or no hopes of recovery.
37ADage 47Caligula is Emperor and frees AgrippaAntiquities 8.6.10 He also gave order that Agrippa should be removed out of the camp, and go to that house where he lived before he was put in prison; so that he was now out of fear as to his own affairs; for although he was still in custody, yet it was now with ease to his own affairs. Now, as soon as Caligula was come to Rome, and had brought Tiberius's dead body with him, and had made a sumptuous funeral for him, according to the laws of his country, he was much disposed to set Agrippa at liberty that very day; but Antonia hindered him, not out of any ill-will to the prisoner, but out of regard to decency in Caligula, lest that should make men believe that he received the death of Tiberius with pleasure, when he loosed one whom he had bound immediately. However, there did not many days pass ere he sent for him to his house, and had him shaved, and made him change his raiment; after which he put a diadem upon his head, and appointed him to be king of the tetrarchy of Philip. He also gave him the tetrarchy of Lysanias, and changed his iron chain for a golden one of equal weight. He also sent Marullus to be procurator of Judea.
38ADage 48Agrippa leaves for Judea to rule the tetrarchy of PhilipAntiquities 8.6.11 Now, in the second year of the reign of Caligula Caesar, Agrippa desired leave to be given him to sail home, and settle the affairs of his government; and he promised to return again, when he had put the rest in order, as it ought to be put. So, upon the emperor's permission, he came into his own country, and appeared to them all unexpectedly as asking, and thereby demonstrated to the men that saw him the power of fortune, when they compared his former poverty with his present happy affluence; so some called him a happy man, and others could not well believe that things were so much changed with him for the better.
39ADage 49Herod Antipas goes to Rome to request higher status, accused by Agrippa of sedition and is deposed and his lands are added to AgrippaAntiquities 8.7.1 But Herodias, Agrippa's sister, who now lived as wife to that Herod who was tetrarch of Galilee and Peres, took this authority of her brother in an envious manner, particularly when she saw that he had a greater dignity bestowed on him than her husband had; since, when he ran away, it was because he was not able to pay his debts; and now he was come back, he was in a way of dignity, and of great good fortune. She was therefore grieved and much displeased at so great a mutation of his affairs; and chiefly when she saw him marching among the multitude with the usual ensigns of royal authority, she was not able to conceal how miserable she was, by reason of the envy she had towards him; but she excited her husband, and desired him that he would sail to Rome, to court honors equal to his; for she said that she could not bear to live any longer, while Agrippa, the son of that Aristobulus who was condemned to die by his father, one that came to her husband in such extreme poverty, that the necessaries of life were forced to be entirely supplied him day by day; and when he fled away from his creditors by sea, he now returned a king; while he was himself the son of a king, and while the near relation he bare to royal authority called upon him to gain the like dignity, he sat still, and was contented with a private life. "But then, Herod, although thou wast formerly not concerned to be in a lower condition than thy father from whom thou wast derived had been, yet do thou now seek after the dignity which thy kinsman hath attained to; and do not thou bear this contempt, that a man who admired thy riches should he in greater honor than thyself, nor suffer his poverty to show itself able to purchase greater things than our abundance; nor do thou esteem it other than a shameful thing to be inferior to one who, the other day, lived upon thy charity. But let us go to Rome, and let us spare no pains nor expenses, either of silver or gold, since they cannot be kept for any better use than for the obtaining of a kingdom.
Antiquities 8.7.2 But for Herod, he opposed her request at this time, out of the love of ease, and having a suspicion of the trouble he should have at Rome; so he tried to instruct her better. But the more she saw him draw back, the more she pressed him to it, and desired him to leave no stone unturned in order to be king; and at last she left not off till she engaged him, whether he would or not, to be of her sentiments, because he could no otherwise avoid her importunity. So he got all things ready, after as sumptuous a manner as he was able, and spared for nothing, and went up to Rome, and took Herodias along with him. But Agrippa, when he was made sensible of their intentions and preparations, he also prepared to go thither; and as soon as he heard they set sail, he sent Fortunatus, one of his freed-men, to Rome, to carry presents to the emperor, and letters against Herod, and to give Caligula a particular account of those matters, if he should have any opportunity. This man followed Herod so quick, and had so prosperous a voyage, and came so little after Herod, that while Herod was with Caligula, he came himself, and delivered his letters; for they both sailed to Dicearchia, and found Caligula at Bairn, which is itself a little city of Campania, at the distance of about five furlongs from Dicearchia. There are in that place royal palaces, with sumptuous apartments, every emperor still endeavoring to outdo his predecessor's magnificence; the place ,also affords warm baths, that spring out of the ground of their own accord, which are of advantage for the recovery of the health of those that make use of them; and, besides, they minister to men's luxury also. Now Caligula saluted Herod, for he first met with him, and then looked upon the letters which Agrippa had sent him, and which were written in order to accuse Herod; wherein he accused him, that he had been in confederacy with Sejanus against Tiberius's and that he was now confederate with Artabanus, the king of Parthia, in opposition to the government of Caligula; as a demonstration of which he alleged, that he had armor sufficient for seventy thousand men ready in his armory. Caligula was moved at this information, and asked Herod whether what was said about the armor was true; and when he confessed there was such armor there, for he could not deny the same, the truth of it being too notorious, Caligula took that to be a sufficient proof of the accusation, that he intended to revolt. So he took away from him his tetrarchy, and gave it by way of addition to Agrippa's kingdom; he also gave Herod's money to Agrippa, and, by way of punishment, awarded him a perpetual banishment, and appointed Lyons, a city of Gaul, to be his place of habitation. But when he was informed that Herodias was Agrippa's sister, he made her a present of what money was her own, and told her that it was her brother who prevented her being put under the same calamity with her husband. But she made this reply: "Thou, indeed, O emperor! actest after a magnificent manner, and as becomes thyself in what thou offerest me; but the kindness which I have for my husband hinders me from partaking of the favor of thy gift; for it is not just that I, who have been made a partner in his prosperity, should forsake him in his misfortunes." Hereupon Caligula was angry at her, and sent her with Herod into banishment, and gave her estate to Agrippa. And thus did God punish Herodias for her envy at her brother, and Herod also for giving ear to the vain discourses of a woman. Now Caligula managed public affairs with great magnanimity during the first and second year of his reign, and behaved himself with such moderation, that he gained the good-will of the Romans themselves, and of his other subjects. But, in process of time, he went beyond the bounds of human nature in his conceit of himself, and by reason of the vastness of his dominions made himself a god, and took upon himself to act in all things to the reproach of the Deity itself.
40ADage 50Agrippa is in Rome to visit. Attempts to stop Caligula from erecting his statue in the Jerusalem TempleAntiquities 8.7.7 But King Agrippa, who now lived at Rome, was more and more in the favor of Caligula; and when he had once made him a supper, and was careful to exceed all others, both in expenses and in such preparations as might contribute most to his pleasure; nay, it was so far from the ability of others, that Caligula himself could never equal, much less exceed it (such care had he taken beforehand to exceed all men, and particularly. to make all agreeable to Caesar); hereupon Caligula admired his understanding and magnificence, that he should force himself to do all to please him, even beyond such expenses as he could bear, and was desirous not to be behind Agrippa in that generosity which he exerted in order to please him. So Caligula, when he had drank wine plentifully, and was merrier than ordinary, said thus during the feast, when Agrippa had drunk to him: "I knew before now how great a respect thou hast had for me, and how great kindness thou hast shown me, though with those hazards to thyself, which thou underwentest under Tiberius on that account; nor hast thou omitted any thing to show thy good-will towards us, even beyond thy ability; whence it would be a base thing for me to be conquered by thy affection. I am therefore desirous to make thee amends for every thing in which I have been formerly deficient; for all that I have bestowed on thee, that may be called my gifts, is but little. Everything that may contribute to thy happiness shall be at thy service, and that cheerfully, and so far as my ability will reach." And this was what Caligula said to Agrippa, thinking be would ask for some large country, or the revenues of certain cities. But although he had prepared beforehand what he would ask, yet had he not discovered his intentions, but made this answer to Caligula immediately: That it was not out of any expectation of gain that he formerly paid his respects to him, contrary to the commands of Tiberius, nor did he now do any thing relating to him out of regard to his own advantage, and in order to receive any thing from him; that the gifts he had already bestowed upon him were great, and beyond the hopes of even a craving man; for although they may be beneath thy power, [who art the donor,] yet are they greater than my inclination and dignity, who am the receiver. And as Caligula was astonished at Agrippa's inclinations, and still the more pressed him to make his request for somewhat which he might gratify him with, Agrippa replied, "Since thou, O my lord! declarest such is thy readiness to grant, that I am worthy of thy gifts, I will ask nothing relating to my own felicity; for what thou hast already bestowed on me has made me excel therein; but I desire somewhat which may make thee glorious for piety, and render the Divinity assistant to thy designs, and may be for an honor to me among those that inquire about it, as showing that I never once fail of obtaining what I desire of thee; for my petition is this, that thou wilt no longer think of the dedication of that statue which thou hast ordered to be set up in the Jewish temple by Petronius."
Antiquities 8.7.8 And thus did Agrippa venture to cast the die upon this occasion, so great was the affair in his opinion, and in reality, though he knew how dangerous a thing it was so to speak; for had not Caligula approved of it, it had tended to no less than the loss of his life. So Caligula, who was mightily taken with Agrippa's obliging behavior, and on other accounts thinking it a dishonorable thing to be guilty of falsehood before so many witnesses, in points wherein he had with such alacrity forced Agrippa to become a petitioner, and that it would look as if he had already repented of what he had said, and because he greatly admired Agrippa's virtue, in not desiring him at all to augment his own dominions, either with larger revenues, or other authority, but took care of the public tranquillity, of the laws, and of the Divinity itself, he granted him what he had requested.
41ADage 51Caligula assassinated.Antiquities 9.1.14 Cherea met him, and asked him for the watchword; upon Caligula's giving him one of his ridiculous words, he immediately reproached him, and drew his sword, and gave him a terrible stroke with it, yet was not this stroke mortal. And although there be those that say it was so contrived on purpose by Chorea, that Caligula should not be killed at one blow, but should be punished more severely by a multitude of wounds; yet does this story appear to me incredible, because the fear men are under in such actions does not allow them to use their reason. And if Cherea was of that mind, I esteem him the greatest of all fools, in pleasing himself in his spite against Caligula, rather than immediately procuring safety to himself and to his confederates from the dangers they were in, because there might many things still happen for helping Caligula's escape, if he had not already given up the ghost; for certainly Cherea would have regard, not so much to the punishment of Caligula, as to the affliction himself and his friends were in, while it was in his power, after such success, to keep silent, and to escape the wrath of Caligula's defenders, and not to leave it to uncertainty whether he should gain the end he aimed at or not, and after an unreasonable manner to act as if he had a mind to ruin himself, and lose the opportunity that lay before him. But every body may guess as he please about this matter. However, Caligula was staggered with the pain that the blow gave him; for the stroke of the sword falling in the middle, between the shoulder and the neck, was hindered by the first bone of the breast from proceeding any further. Nor did he either cry out, (in such astonishment was he,) nor did he call out for any of his friends; whether it were that he had no confidence in them, or that his mind was otherwise disordered, but he groaned under the pain he endured, and presently went forward and fled; when Cornelius Sabinus, who was already prepared in his mind so to do, thrust him down upon his knee, where many of them stood round about him, and struck him with their swords; and they cried out, and encouraged one another all at once to strike him again; but all agree that Aquila gave him the finishing stroke, which directly killed him. But one may justly ascribe this act to Cherea; for although many concurred in the act itself, yet was he the first contriver of it, and began long before all the rest to prepare for it, and was the first man that boldly spake of it to the rest; and upon their admission of what he said about it, he got the dispersed conspirators together; he prepared every thing after a prudent manner, and by suggesting good advice, showed himself far superior to the rest, and made obliging speeches to them, insomuch that he even compelled them all to go on, who otherwise had not courage enough for that purpose; and when opportunity served to use his sword in hand, he appeared first of all ready so to do, and gave the first blow in this virtuous slaughter; he also brought Caligula easily into the power of the rest, and almost killed him himself, insomuch that it is but just to ascribe all that the rest did to the advice, and bravery, and labors of the hands of Cherea.
Antiquities 9.1.15. Thus did Caligula come to his end, and lay dead, by the many wounds which had been given him.
41ADage 51Agrippa helps to negotiate Claudius as emperor. Antiquities 9.4.1 Now Claudius, though he was sensible after what an insolent manner the senate had sent to him yet did he, according to their advice, behave himself for the present with moderation; but not so far that he could not recover himself out of his fright; so he was encouraged [to claim the government] partly by the boldness of the soldiers, and partly by the persuasion of king Agrippa, who exhorted him not to let such a dominion slip out of his hands, when it came thus to him of its own accord. Now this Agrippa, with relation to Caligula, did what became one that had been so much honored by him; for he embraced Caligula's body after he was dead, and laid it upon a bed, and covered it as well as he could, and went out to the guards, and told them that Caligula was still alive; but he said that they should call for physicians, since he was very ill of his wounds. But when he had learned that Claudius was carried away violently by the soldiers, he rushed through the crowd to him, and when he found that he was in disorder, and ready to resign up the government to the senate, he encouraged him, and desired him to keep the government; but when he had said this to Claudius, he retired home. And upon the senate's sending for him, he anointed his head with ointment, as if he had lately accompanied with his wife, and had dismissed her, and then came to them: he also asked of the senators what Claudius did; who told him the present state of affairs, and then asked his opinion about the settlement of the public. He told them in words that he was ready to lose his life for the honor of the senate, but desired them to consider what was for their advantage, without any regard to what was most agreeable to them; for that those who grasp at government will stand in need of weapons and soldiers to guard them, unless they will set up without any preparation for it, and so fall into danger. And when the senate replied that they would bring in weapons in abundance, and money, and that as to an army, a part of it was already collected together for them, and they would raise a larger one by giving the slaves their liberty, - Agrippa made answer, "O senators! may you be able to compass what you have a mind to; yet will I immediately tell you my thoughts, because they tend to your preservation. Take notice, then, that the army which will fight for Claudius hath been long exercised in warlike affairs; but our army will be no better than a rude multitude of raw men, and those such as have been unexpectedly made free from slavery, and ungovernable; we must then fight against those that are skillful in war, with men who know not so much as how to draw their swords. So that my opinion is, that we should send some persons to Claudius, to persuade him to lay down the government; and I am ready to be one of your ambassadors."
Antiquities 9.4.2 Upon this speech of Agrippa, the senate complied with him, and he was sent among others, and privately informed Claudius of the disorder the senate was in, and gave him instructions to answer them in a somewhat commanding strain, and as one invested with dignity and authority.
41ADage 52Agrippa is rewarded with Judea making his realm the size of Herod the Great's and returns home.Antiquities 9.5.1 Now when Claudius had taken out of the way all those soldiers whom he suspected, which he did immediately, he published an edict, and therein confirmed that kingdom to Agrippa which Caligula had given him, and therein commended the king highly. He also made all addition to it of all that country over which Herod, who was his grandfather, had reigned, that is, Judea and Samaria; and this he restored to him as due to his family.
44ADage 54Agrippa kills (excommunicates) James and imprisons Peter who escapes.Acts 12:1-11,19 Now about that time Herod the king stretched forth his hands to vex certain of the church. And he killed James the brother of John with the sword. And because he saw it pleased the Jews, he proceeded further to take Peter also. (Then were the days of unleavened bread.) And when he had apprehended him, he put him in prison, and delivered him to four quaternions of soldiers to keep him; intending after Easter to bring him forth to the people. Peter therefore was kept in prison: but prayer was made without ceasing of the church unto God for him. And when Herod would have brought him forth, the same night Peter was sleeping between two soldiers, bound with two chains: and the keepers before the door kept the prison. And, behold, the angel of the Lord came upon him, and a light shined in the prison: and he smote Peter on the side, and raised him up, saying, Arise up quickly. And his chains fell off from his hands. And the angel said unto him, Gird thyself, and bind on thy sandals. And so he did. And he saith unto him, Cast thy garment about thee, and follow me. And he went out, and followed him; and wist not that it was true which was done by the angel; but thought he saw a vision. When they were past the first and the second ward, they came unto the iron gate that leadeth unto the city; which opened to them of his own accord: and they went out, and passed on through one street; and forthwith the angel departed from him. And when Peter was come to himself, he said, Now I know of a surety, that the Lord hath sent his angel, and hath delivered me out of the hand of Herod, and from all the expectation of the people of the Jews. And when Herod had sought for him, and found him not, he examined the keepers, and commanded that they should be put to death. And he went down from Judaea to Caesarea, and there abode.
44ADage 54Poisoned by chamberlain Blastus under direction of Simon Magus Acts 12:21-23 On the appointed day Herod, wearing his royal robes, sat on his throne and delivered a public address to the people. They shouted, "This is the voice of a god, not of a man." Immediately, because Herod did not give praise to God, an angel of the Lord struck him down, and he was eaten by worms and died.
Antiquities 9.8.2 Now when Agrippa had reigned three years over all Judea, he came to the city Caesarea, which was formerly called Strato's Tower; and there he exhibited shows in honor of Caesar, upon his being informed that there was a certain festival celebrated to make vows for his safety. At which festival a great multitude was gotten together of the principal persons, and such as were of dignity through his province. On the second day of which shows he put on a garment made wholly of silver, and of a contexture truly wonderful, and came into the theater early in the morning; at which time the silver of his garment being illuminated by the fresh reflection of the sun's rays upon it, shone out after a surprising manner, and was so resplendent as to spread a horror over those that looked intently upon him; and presently his flatterers cried out, one from one place, and another from another, (though not for his good,) that he was a god; and they added, "Be thou merciful to us; for although we have hitherto reverenced thee only as a man, yet shall we henceforth own thee as superior to mortal nature." Upon this the king did neither rebuke them, nor reject their impious flattery. But as he presently afterward looked up, he saw an owl sitting on a certain rope over his head, and immediately understood that this bird was the messenger of ill tidings, as it had once been the messenger of good tidings to him; and fell into the deepest sorrow. A severe pain also arose in his belly, and began in a most violent manner. He therefore looked upon his friends, and said, "I, whom you call a god, am commanded presently to depart this life; while Providence thus reproves the lying words you just now said to me; and I, who was by you called immortal, am immediately to be hurried away by death. But I am bound to accept of what Providence allots, as it pleases God; for we have by no means lived ill, but in a splendid and happy manner." When he said this, his pain was become violent. Accordingly he was carried into the palace, and the rumor went abroad every where, that he would certainly die in a little time. But the multitude presently sat in sackcloth, with their wives and children, after the law of their country, and besought God for the king's recovery. All places were also full of mourning and lamentation. Now the king rested in a high chamber, and as he saw them below lying prostrate on the ground, he could not himself forbear weeping. And when he had been quite worn out by the pain in his belly for five days, he departed this life, being in the fifty-fourth year of his age, and in the seventh year of his reign; for he reigned four years under Caligula Caesar, three of them were over Philip's tetrarchy only, and on the fourth he had that of Herod added to it; and he reigned, besides those, three years under the reign of Claudius Caesar; in which time he reigned over the forementioned countries, and also had Judea added to them, as well as Samaria and Caesarea. The revenues that he received out of them were very great, no less than twelve millions of drachmae. Yet did he borrow great sums from others; for he was so very liberal that his expenses exceeded his incomes, and his generosity was boundless.

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