Machaerus

Greek: "The Sword"

Hasmonean stronghold in Perea built by Alexander Jannai. As the base of Aristobulus II's resistance, it was destroyed by Pompey (64 BCE) but later rebuilt by Herod on a grander scale, complete with a lavish palace & enough supplies to withstand a 5 year siege. It was located 5 miles west of the mineral springs of Callirohe. According to Josephus it was the place where Antipas imprisoned & executed Johanan the Baptizer.

References: Josephus, Antiquities 14.83-96, 111, 119; 18.118-119.
                   _____, War 1.161-172; 2.485-486; 7.164-210.

For further information about archaeological & historical evidence, see:

  • Rousseau, John J. & Rami Arav. Jesus & His World. (Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 1995) pp. 187-188.

Other resources on line: 

Perspective on the World of Jesus

Copyright 1999-2008 by Mahlon H. Smith
All rights reserved.

an American Theological Library Association Selected Religion Website
OCLC catalog no.: 62046512

Reader  since May 1999 on Web Counter.