How Jewish Was Herod?

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DCHindley
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Re: How Jewish Was Herod?

Post by DCHindley » Sat Oct 12, 2019 7:56 am

Evie Gassner's web article uses some loaded language ("forced to convert," etc.) that is biased against Herod the Great. The picture she used to portray Herod makes him look shifty, too.

Herod did obtain many concessions from the Romans for his subjects of Judean identity, but he adopted a decidedly lax interpretation of Judean law more akin to the way it was practiced among the Hellenistic Diaspora. I suppose this is similar to Reform or Liberal Judaism today.

See Fabian E. Udoh, To Caesar What Is Caesar’s: Tribute, Taxes, and Imperial Administration in Early Roman Palestine (63 B.C.E.–70 C.E.), a reworking of his 1996 Duke University PhD thesis, published 2005 by Brown University. I found a copy online, hopefully legit.

The portrait of Herod presented by Udoh is almost the exact opposite of that most critics accept as "fact," e.g., that Herod was a tyrannical ruler who taxed his subjects to ruin. He was able to generate income creatively by taxing trade routes through his kingdom, and actually lowered in-kind taxes on several occasions. Material culture in his realm actually rose during his reign. On at least one occasion, when there was a famine, he liquidated his own gold and silver objects, regardless of sentimental value, to raise the money necessary to bring in grains from far away. While I agree I would not want to be one of his sons, he did not seem to me to be purposely disrespectful of his subjects.

I think when he nicely asked the students who pulled down his golden eagle why they did that, and got an attitude in response, he decided he had to nip in the bud that kind of disrespect towards him and had them executed. He was not tolerant of plots against his policies or rule.

DCH

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DCHindley
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Location: Ohio, USA

Re: How Jewish Was Herod?

Post by DCHindley » Sat Oct 12, 2019 8:24 am

Here is the TOC from Udoh's book:

Contents

Preface and Acknowledgments . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ix
Abbreviations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . xi
Introduction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1

1 • Roman Tribute in Jewish Palestine
under Pompey (63–47 B.C.E.) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9
Cicero, Dio Cassius, and Appian . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12
Cicero . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12
Dio Cassius . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17
Appian . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18
Tribute and Exactions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22
Conclusion. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 30

2 • Caesar’s Favors (47–44 B.C.E.) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 31
Tribute: For the City of Jerusalem, and for the City of Joppa . . . 41
Tribute for the City of Joppa . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 45
Tribute for the City of Jerusalem . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 48
Further Reductions, Collection. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 52
Local Taxes. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 57
Territorial Grants: Joppa, “The Villages in the Great Plain,” and Lydda . . . . . 60
The Senate, Joppa, and the Plain of Sharon . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 68
Joppa, “The Villages in the Great Plain,” and Lydda . . . . . . . 71
Grants of Freedom: Billeting, Military Service, and Molestation . . . . . . . . . . . 75
Billeting . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 76
Military Service. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 79
Molestation: Angareia, the Temple Tax . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 82

3 • Cassius and Antony in the East (43–40 B.C.E.). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 100
Cassius in Syria (43–42 B.C.E.) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 101
After Philippi: Antony and the Jewish State (42–31 B.C.E.) . . . . 108

4 • Herodian Taxation (37 B.C.E.–4 B.C.E.) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 113
The Herods and Roman Tribute . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 190
Roman Tribute and the Status of Judea . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 122
Appian’s Bell. civ. 5.75 and Herod’s Appointment . . . . . . . . . . . . 137
A King’s Accounting . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 143
Herod’s Taxes. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 159
Land and Property Taxes. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 162
The “Head Tax” . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 164
Tolls and Duties on Goods in Transit. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 171
Sales Taxes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 175
House Tax . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 177
Epilogue . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 180

5 • Taxation of Judea under the Governors . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 207
Judea and the Provincial Census. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 208
Judea and Provincial Taxes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 219
Tributum Soli . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 221
Tributum Capitis . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 223
Other Taxes and the System of Collection. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 238
Conclusions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 241

6 • Tithes in the Second Temple Period . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 244
Tithes: For Priests or for Levites?. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 245
Biblical Laws and Postexilic Harmonizations . . . . . . . . . . . . 245
“First Tithes” to Priests and to Levites . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 248
Num 18:21–32; Lev 27:30–33 in Ezra/Nehemiah’s Restoration . . . . . . . . . 258
Centralized Collection . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 263
Offered Also to Individual Priests and Levites . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 273
Tithes of Livestock. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 275
Summary and Conclusion . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 277
Epilogue . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 279

Bibliography . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 289
Index . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 314
Passages . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 314
Modern Authors . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 327
Subjects . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 335

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