The daughter of Aristobulus, the son of herod the great and the hasmonaean Mariamme; her mother was Berenice, daughter of Herod's sister Salome and Costobar. Herodias's first husband was her uncle Herod "Without-land" (called Philip in Mt 14.3; Mk 6.17), son of Herod the Great and Mariamme II. Some time after the birth of their daughter Salome, Herod's half-brother herod antipas, the tetrarch of Galilee, who had married the daughter of the nabataean King Aretas IV, became infatuated with Herodias. Antipas and Herodias divorced their spouses and married (c. a.d. 27). Herodias's motive was probably ambition; Antipas was tetrarch, while Herod had neither power nor the inclination to seek it. It was at the instigation of Herodias that Antipas had St. john the baptist beheaded for having condemned their marriage (Mt 14.3–11; Mk 6.17–28). When the Emperor Gaius (Caligula) made her brother Agrippa king in a.d. 37, Herodias was humiliated by his success, and in 39 she persuaded Antipas to go to Rome to seek the same title himself. When he was, instead, banished to Lyons, Herodias elected to accompany her husband into exile, where she died.
Bibliography: j. blinzler, Lexikon für Theologie und Kirche, ed. j. hofer and k. rahner, 10 v. (2d, new ed. Freiburg 1957–65) 5:266–267. Encyclopedic Dictionary of the Bible, tr. and adap. by l. hartman (New York 1963), from a. van den born, Bijbels Woordenboek 991.
[j. p. m. walsh]
HERODIAS (first century c.e.), daughter of Aristobulus, the son of *Herod i and *Mariamne the Hasmonean. Herodias was married to Herod, son of Herod i and Mariamne ii, to whom she bore a daughter, *Salome. After 31 c.e. Herodias was divorced from her first husband and married his brother, Herod Antipas. The marriage aroused the anger of the people, because Jewish law forbade a man to marry his brother's divorced wife (see Lev. 18:6). John the Baptist, leader of those who opposed the marriage (Mark 6: 17–18; Matt. 14: 34; Luke 3:18–20), was seized by Antipas, who imprisoned him in *Machaerus in Transjordan, and later ordered him to be executed. One cause apparently was his fear of the messianic movement which John had stirred up among the people. There is no historical foundation to the New Testament story according to which John was killed at the request of Salome the young daughter of Herodias by her first marriage after Antipas had undertaken to grant anything she requested as a reward for her dancing at his birthday celebration. After Agrippa i became king (c. 40 c.e.) Herodias persuaded her husband to go to Rome to request a royal crown for himself from Caligula. As a result of Agrippa's slanders, however, Antipas was exiled to Lugdunum (Lyons?) in Gaul and his fortune given to Agrippa, brother of Herodias. Although the emperor permitted Herodias to return to her home, she chose to accompany her husband into exile.
Jos., Ant., 18:240–55; Matt. 14:3ff.; Mark 6:17ff.; Luke 3:19ff.; Klausner, Bayit Sheni, 4 (19502), 193ff.; Schuerer, Hist, index. add. bibliography: N. Kokkinos, The Herodian Dynasty: Origins, Role in Society and Eclipse (1998); S. Gibson, The Cave of John the Baptist (2004), 242–44.