Herod AntipasBiblical Figure
Born: c. 21 B.C.
Died: c. 40
Best known as: The ruler who had John the Baptist beheaded
Herod Antipas was tetrarch, or local ruler, of parts of Palestine from 4 B.C. to 39 A.D. Like his father, King Herod, he ruled with permission of the Roman government that controlled much of the Mediterranean region. Less accomplished than his father (and never really a king, though the Bible erroneously calls him that once), he is credited with building a city on the Sea of Galilee and naming it for his friend, the Roman emperor Tiberius. According to Christian scriptures, he ordered John the Baptist beheaded at the request of his own daughter (egged on by her mother) after John had criticized the ruler's marriage as improper. He was also a questioner of the soon-to-be-executed Jesus. Herod Antipas died in exile in Gaul or Spain, having lost a family power struggle with Herod Agrippa I in the year 39.
Extra credit: The Herod character in the play and movie Jesus Christ Superstar is based on Herod Antipas... His biblical encounters with the Baptist are in Matthew 14, Mark 6 and Luke 3; Jesus appears before him in Luke 23... He should not be confused with the Antipas mentioned in the biblical book Revelation, who is a saint in Roman Catholic Christianity.
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