All Sources -
Updated Media sources (1) About content Print Topic Share Topic
views updated


BERENICE (1) (last half of first century b.c.e.), daughter of *Salome, sister of *Herod and of Costobar the Edomite. She was the wife of *Aristobulus (son of Herod and Mariamne). Berenice bore Aristobulus three sons (*Herod, who became king of Chalcis; Agrippa, who became *Agrippa i; and *Aristobulus) and two daughters (Mariamne and *Herodias, the second wife of *Antipas (Herod Antipas)). Berenice did not live harmoniously with her husband, who was proud of his descent from the Hasmonean Mariamne. She was used by Salome to obtain information about her husband so as to arouse Herod's enmity against him. After Aristobulus had been put to death in 6 b.c.e., Berenice was given in marriage to Theudian, brother of *Doris, the first wife of Herod and mother of his son Antipater. She spent her last years in Rome, where she gained the friendship of the emperor *Augustus and *Antonia, the widow of Drusus. On the strength of this friendship Antonia was well disposed toward the young Agrippa i, even to the extent of assisting him with large sums of money when he was heavily in debt.

(2) (b. 28 c.e.), the oldest daughter of Agrippa i. At the age of 13 she was married to Marcus, son of the *alabarch Alexander Lysimachus. After the death of Marcus she was married to *Herod, king of Chalcis, her father's brother. Two sons were born of this marriage – Berenicianus and Hyrcanus. On the death of her husband in 48 c.e., Berenice went to stay with her brother *Agrippa ii, who had succeeded Herod. The residence of brother and sister under one roof gave rise to calumny. Berenice was married a third time, c. 65 c.e., to Polemon ii, then king of Olba in Cilicia. However, she left him after a short time and returned to the house of her brother. She was in Caesarea with Agrippa in 60 c.e. when Paul was put on trial before the governor Festus (Acts 25:13–26;30). The Jerusalem riots of 66 c.e. found Berenice in the city in fulfillment of a Nazirite vow made when she was ill. She risked her life in an attempt to keep Gessius Florus from provoking the multitude, but was unsuccessful. When she attempted to pacify the rioters, they burned down her palace, forcing her to flee. Later, when the Syrian governor *Cestius and his

army marched on Jerusalem, she went over to him with her brother. She remained in the Roman camp even when Vespasian commanded the army fighting against the rebels. Titus, son of Vespasian, fell in love with Berenice who was 39 years old at the time. She was with him during the siege of Jerusalem and witnessed the horrors of its destruction. In 75 c.e. Titus established her in the royal palace at Rome and conducted himself toward her as if she were about to become his legal wife. The ruling circles in Rome, however, did not look favorably upon the affair and when Berenice began to act like an empress, the opposition to her deepened and Vespasian compelled Titus to send her away. After Vespasian's death in 79 c.e., she returned to Rome. However, her previous relationship with Titus was not renewed. The Greek inscription in honor of Berenice by the civic leaders of Athens dates apparently from the period of her travels between Italy and Judea.

Her story has been the subject of fiction as in Leon Kolb's Berenice, Princess of Judea (1959) and Lion Feuchtwanger's Josephus trilogy.


berenice daughter of costobar:

Schuerer, Hist, 152, 215f.; Pauly-Wissowa, suppl. 3 (1918), 203, no. 19; A. Schalit, Hordos ha-Melekh (19643), 287, 292; Klausner, Bayit Sheni, 4 (19502), 270. berenice daughter of agrippa i: Pauly-Wissowa, 5 (1897), 287 9, no. 15; Schuerer, Hist, 238–42, 245, 248; Klausner, op. cit., 35; 5 (19512), 20, 140–4, 265, 281; A.H.M. Jones, Herods of Judea (1938), index.

[Abraham Schalit]

views updated

Bereniceanis, apiece, Berenice, caprice, cassis, cease, coulisse, crease, Dumfries, fils, fleece, geese, grease, Greece, kris, lease, Lucrece, MacNeice, Matisse, McAleese, Nice, niece, obese, peace, pelisse, piece, police, Rees, Rhys, set piece, sublease, surcease, two-piece, underlease •mantelpiece • headpiece • hairpiece •tailpiece • Greenpeace •chimney piece • frontispiece •timepiece • codpiece • crosspiece •mouthpiece • showpiece • earpiece •masterpiece •centrepiece (US centerpiece) •altarpiece • workpiece • ambergris •calabrese

views updated

Berenice, b. c.AD 28, Jewish princess; daughter of Herod Agrippa I (see under Herod). A very beautiful woman, she was often involved in intrigue. After her first husband died, she was married to her uncle Herod of Chalcis. After his death (AD 48) she lived in incest with her brother, Herod Agrippa II, causing some scandal. Her third husband was the Cilician king Polemon II, whom she abandoned, returning to Herod Agrippa II. She and her brother sided with Rome in its struggle with Judaea. The emperor Titus apparently planned to marry her, but the Romans' great dislike of the Jews forced him to withdraw from the match. Titus' dilemma is the subject of Racine's play Bérénice.

views updated

Berenice (bĕrənī´sē), b. c.340 BC, d. 281 or 271 BC, consort and half-sister of Ptolemy I, king of ancient Egypt. A Macedonian, she was the widow of Philip, one of the officers of Alexander the Great, and was by this marriage the mother of Magas, king of Cyrene; Antigone, wife of Pyrrhus of Epirus; and Theoxena, wife of Agathocles, ruler of Syracuse. Berenice, whose portrait appears with that of Ptolemy on many medals, was the mother by him of Ptolemy II and Arsinoë II.

views updated

Berenice, c.280–46 BC, queen-consort of ancient Syria; wife of Antiochus II. She was called Berenice Syra. She was the daughter of Ptolemy II, and her marriage (252) to Antiochus II marked a temporary cessation in the wars between the Egyptian monarchs and the Seleucids. On the death of Antiochus, however, Laodice I, the king's divorced first wife, brought about the death of Berenice and her infant son before Berenice's brother, Ptolemy III, could arrive. New war resulted.

views updated

Berenice, c.273–21 BC, queen of ancient Cyrene and Egypt. She was the daughter and successor of King Magas of Cyrene. In 247 BC she married Ptolemy III, thereby effectively annexing Cyrene to Egypt. According to Callimachus and Catullus, he named a constellation after her, Berenice's Hair (Coma Berenices). After her husband's death she ruled jointly with their son, Ptolemy IV, until he had her put to death.

views updated

Berenice, fl. 6 BC, Jewish princess; daughter of Costobarus and Salome, sister of Herod the Great (see under Herod). She was married to her cousin Aristobulus and bore him a son, Herod Agrippa I. She was accused of having instigated the murder of her husband by Herod the Great in 6 BC Later she married Theudion, a brother-in-law of Herod the Great. After Theudion was put to death for plotting against Herod, she married Archelaus.

views updated

Berenice. Opera in 3 acts by Handel to lib. by Antonio Salvi already used by Perti in 1709. Prod. London 1737. Well-known minuet occurs in the ov.