Shagi / Steps the Journal of the SASH


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The figures of David and Herod the Great in light of the idea of kingly power in the Second Temple Period

A. Iu. Sgonnova
St. Tikhons Orthodox University for the Humanities (Russia, Moscow)

DOI: 10.22394/2412-9410-2022-8-3-119-136

Keywords: King David, Herod the Great, early Judaism, the Bible, The Jewish War, king, kingly power, myth

Abstract: This article is dedicated to an analysis of the influence of King Davids image on the image of Herod the Great. As yet no studies have focused on the comparison of these two historical figures and on uncovering the connections between them, as well as on the degree of influence that one of them had on the other. The author assumes that in the Second Temple Period the history of David became a myth by which kingly power was legitimized. Through a parallel comparison of characteristic passages from Davids and Herods biographies the answers to several questions are given: whether the resemblance between the two life stories was accidental or not; why the image of David was chosen for the description of Herods history; which religious motives could have influenced this choice. The author claims, using Sundens role theory, that Herod turned out to be similar to the biblical king not only owing to the ingenuity of the chroniclers, but also due to the possibility of his self-identification with the image from the Old Testament. The religious traditions of Jewish society influenced not only the Jerusalem cult and the literature of that period, but also the political sphere.

Acknowledgements: The reported study was funded by RFBR, project number 20-311-90023.

To cite this article: Sgonnova, A. Iu. (2022). The figures of David and Herod the Great in light of the idea of kingly power in the Second Temple Period. Shagi/Steps, 8(3), 119136. (In Russian). https://doi.org/10.22394/2412-9410-2022-8-3-119-136.