A wonderful find! Wonder when we hear of the results?
"Josephus, The Wars of the Jews references to Herodium" at; http://www.tagnet.org/spiritquest/josephus.htm
"1:33:9. So there was an acclamation made to Archelaus, to congratulate him upon his advancement; and the soldiers, with the multitude, went round about in troops, and promised him their good-will, and besides, prayed God to bless his government. After this, they betook themselves to prepare for the king's funeral; and Archelaus omitted nothing of magnificence therein, but brought out all the royal ornaments to augment the pomp of the deceased. There was a bier all of gold, embroidered with precious stones, and a purple bed of various contexture, with the dead body upon it, covered with purple; and a diadem was put upon his head, and a crown of gold above it, and a secptre in his right hand; and near to the bier were Herod's sons, and a multitude of his kindred; next to which came his GUARDS, and the regiment of THRACIANS, the GERMANS. also and GAULS, all accounted as if they were going to war; but the rest of the army went foremost, armed, and following their captains and officers in a regular manner; after whom five hundred of his domestic servants and freed-men followed, with sweet spices in their hands: and the body was carried two hundred furlongs, to HERODIUM, where he had given order to be buried. And this shall suffice for the conclusion of the life of Herod."
It seems that Herod is alleged to have had his personal guards, like David and Solomon, etc., and these were, it appears made up of Thracians, Germans and Gauls! It must be assumed that these guards were mercenaries. Did Herod purchase their services himself, or did he pick and take from soldiers that came to Judeah with the Roman Legions? Why does it seem that all of the great kings of Israel / Judeah had to have foreign mercenaries as personal guards? Why were the Jews themselves not trusted for these positions?
Also, I wonder just what words were used by Josephus that are now rendered as Thracians, Germans and Gauls? I would have assumed that the word German, which basically means "relative" or "cousin", etc., is or was a later time creation?
Also, it seems that Josephus Flavius identified two Herodiums! Thus;
"Josephus, The Wars of the Jews references to Herodium
(References given are as follows Book Number:Chapter Number:Section Number.)
1:13:8. Nay, he found by experience that the Jews fell more heavily upon him than did the Parthians, and created him troubles perpetually, and this ever since he was gotten sixty furlongs from the city; these sometimes brought it to a sort of a regular battle. Now in the place where Herod beat them, and killed a great number of them, there he afterward built a citadel, in memory of the great actions he did there, and adorned it with the most costly palaces, and erected very strong fortifications, and called it, from his own name, Herodium. Now as they were in their flight, many joined themselves to him every day; and at a place called Thressa of Idumea his brother Joseph met him, and advised him to ease himself of a great number of his followers, because Masada would not contain so great a multitude, which were above nine thousand. Herod complied with this advice, and sent away the most cumbersome part of his retinue, that they might go into Idumea, and gave them provisions for their journey; but he got safe to the fortress with his nearest relations, and retained with him only the stoutest of his followers; and there it was that he left eight hundred of his men as a guard for the women, and provisions sufficient for a siege; but he made haste himself to Petra of Arabia.
1:21:10. And as he transmitted to eternity his family and friends, so did he not neglect a memorial for himself, but built a fortress upon a mountain towards Arabia, and named it from himself, Herodium (35) and he called that hill that was of the shape of a woman's breast, and was sixty furlongs distant from Jerusalem, by the same name. He also bestowed much curious art upon it, with great ambition, and built round towers all about the top of it, and filled up the remaining space with the most costly palaces round about, insomuch that not only the sight of the inner apartments was splendid, but great wealth was laid out on the outward walls, and partitions, and roofs also. Besides this, he brought a mighty quantity of water from a great distance, and at vast charges, and raised an ascent to it of two hundred steps of the whitest marble, for the hill was itself moderately high, and entirely factitious. He also built other palaces about the roots of the hill, sufficient to receive the furniture that was put into them, with his friends also, insomuch that, on account of its containing all necessaries, the fortress might seem to be a city, but, by the bounds it had, a palace only.
(35) There were two cities, or citadels, called Herodium, in Judea, and both mentioned by Josephus, not only here, but Antiq. B. XIV. ch. 13. sect. 9; Of the War, B. I. ch. 13. sect. 8; B. III. ch. 3. sect. 5. One of them was two hundred [25 mi.], and the other sixty furlongs [7.5 mi.] distant from Jerusalem. One of them is mentioned by Pliny, Hist. Nat. B. V. ch. 14., as Dean Aldrich observes here.
[Note: There is only one place known as Herodium to archaeologists. Perhaps Josephus was just "guesstimating" the distances, and guessed differently each time. He wrote while living in Rome after the war.]"
There always exists this lack of respect or regular dismissals of much of what Josephus wrote, assuming there was but one Herodium, makes his other statements seem stupid or at least uninformed. And, considering his position while in Judeah, he should not have been wrong so many times, unless he also lied about it?
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