[proconsul 30 - 29 BCE]
The last governor of Syria
appointed by Marc Antony
played a small but pivotal role in the political history of the Near
East. By abandoning his patron after Antony's defeat at Actium, he
convinced other rulers to follow suit. To demonstrate his support
for Octavian, Didius
blocked an army of gladiators headed to Egypt to reinforce Antony. The
gladiators turned back without a fight when Herod
sent word forbidding them to pass through his territory. Didius' report of
Herod's support in this incident convinced Octavian to receive Herod as a
reliable ally despite his previous support of Antony. Without
Didius' lead, it would have been harder for Herod to change his
allegiance. And even if he did, without Didius' commendation Herod
may not have retained his throne or established a dynasty.
Josephus, Antiquities 15.194-195.
_____, War 1.391-392.
Cassius Dio, Roman
Perspective on the World of Jesus
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Mahlon H. Smith
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an American Theological
Library Association Selected Religion Website
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