Who was Herod?
During his reign, Herod the Great was a Roman appointed governor of Judea from 37 BCE till his death in 4 BCE. He was most famous for building fortresses, aquaducts and theatres as well as other public buildings. In Judea he raised the prosperity of the land, improving trade in the area and put Judeo 'on the map' when it came to the economy and trade. However, in his later years he was at the centre of many political and personal intrigues. His monarchic rule began in a high milatiristic reign, establishing an iron fist rule over the land and he coupled this with the building of great infrastructure.
He put power and strength at the forefront of what he projected to his subjects and those around him. He used coins as propaganda, and in this way he was also seen striving to keep the orthodox Jewish practices that his people held. This increased his popularity with the Jewish population, allowing him to be a figure that was respected but also enabled him to be able to supress any potential anger that could lead to an uprising whilst still appeasing the people. His plans to be a figurehead of praise for the Jewish community were to be exemplified in 20 BCE when Herod began to rebuild the temple in Jerusalem. By building in a similar style to Solomon he was not only reinforcing the favour towards the Jews but also kept to their traditions, and this advocated their actions as being good, again apeasing to their religion in an attempt to gain support. This was not the only temple he built however, as he also built other temples for minority religions to appease all of his subjects. Therefore, Herod seemed to be a ruler who pleased his subjects and strived to gain their support by not only aiding trade and the economy of Judea, but by the building of magnificent infrastructure that left its mark on 1st century architecture and still remains for us to see today.