Date of Award
Campus Access Thesis
Master of Arts (MA)
This thesis explores the material culture of the Herodian dynasty of Judea during the First Century AD. It brings together analysis of coins, tombs, temples (especially the Second Temple in Jerusalem) and other material artifacts sponsored by the Herodians. The thesis focuses on Herod the Great but also examines the ways in which his successors, especially Agrippa I and Agrippa II, developed his approach to architectural and artistic patronage. The thesis argues that Herod and his successors were not as insensitive to their subjects and contemporaries as has sometimes been argued by scholars. Through examination of artistic elements used in material artifacts, large and small, it posits that they carefully calibrated their patronage to communicate and promote their political, social, and cultural agendas. Rather than targeting their material culture at one audience over another, the Herodians used their material to communicate with the Jewish, Roman and Hellenistic communities of the Roman Empire. The use of artistic elements from multiple cultures and intentional use of iconographical ambiguity aided the Herodians in their policies as they sought to mediate the process of Romanization in Judea. As such the cultural works and policies of the Herodians must be understood as the balancing of cultures within the context of Romanization.
D'Amore, Alexander J., "The Language of the Herodians: An Analysis of Herodian Material Culture" (2019). Graduate Masters Theses. 590.