The participation of women in the courts of Herod and Augustus

Classics Seminar Series 

Cultural Collections, Auchmuty Library Level 2,

11am Friday March 25, 2011

Hugh Lindsay
Senior Lecturer in Classics
School of Humanities and Social Science


High Lindsay

The participation of women in the courts of Herod and Augustus

Herod the Great was an Idumaean whose family had relatively recently converted to Judaiasm. Moreover his father Antipater was a leading administrator in the service of the Hasmonaean dynasty, rather than himself royal. Despite this background, Herod managed to secure the role of Roman client king in Judaea in 40 BC and to develop a court on Hellenistic lines in which women had a significant role. Herod himself was polygamous and was married at least 10 times, but this did not prevent women from gaining significant power at court. I shall attempt to chart the areas of influence of his sister Salome as well as Herod’s Hasmonaean bride, Mariamme. Another issue is the amount of influence that Herod’s womenfolk had on the court of Livia and Augustus, and the extent to which their concerns were driven by the imperial model.

General view of the fortress at Masada

Members of the General Public are welcome
to attend this free public lecture

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