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The dynasty that ruled over Palestine and the surrounding country from about 55 B.C.to A.D. 93. None of the Herods was Jewish by birth. First in line in the dynasty was Antipater, the Governor of Idumaea, who came from Ashkelon, a Philistine city. His son, Herod the Great, received a Roman appointment during Julius Caesar's administration to rule Palestine, and his successors continued in control for approximately one hundred fifty years. Herod the Great was the one responsible for the slaughter of the Holy Innocents. (Etym. Greek h_r_d_s, sprung from a hero.)
All items in this dictionary are from Fr. John Hardon's Modern Catholic Dictionary, © Eternal Life. Used with permission.