I've been thinking about the practice of kings in killing off an identity that was no longer needed or had become a hindrance in some way. The best example of this in the Egyptian New Kingdom was pharaoh Aye, who had so many ups and downs during his over six decades of kingship.
There are other good examples, such as the "Nubian" king Taharqa and "Libyan" Tefnakhte.
In the late Hasmonean Period and Herodian Period, this practice seems to have become epidemic. For example, when one regional identity became odious either to the local population or to Rome, it was conveniently terminated. In the case of Julius Caesar, he apparently had a number of local names. For example, Hasmonean Alexander II (brother of Antigonus), Idumean Antipater, and Parthian Artavasdes (brother of Tigranes II). His Hasmonean identity seems to have been the first of these to go. Josephus informs that after Julius Caesar took Rome, Alexander was beheaded for his "crimes against Rome, which he was guilty of". [Antiquites, Book 14, Chapter 7] After the literal death of Julius Caesar, Herod the Great may have staged the death of Caesar's Idumean alias Antipater in order to blame it on Malichus/Marcus Antony (Chapter 11). As we now realize, Herod sold out his former patron (and probable father) Antony to make a new deal with Antigonus/Octavius (Augustus).
© Charles N. Pope, US Library of Congress. All rights reserved.