Ed Edd n Eddy,
Actually I have that book and it was very useful in figuring out the relationship of Herod the Great to Antony and the Roman ruling house in general.
But I didn't bother reading past Chapter 8, after which the book skips forward to the 1st Century AD. (O.K., it's now on my list to do!)
It wasn't above kings to throw a battle or even an entire campaign to achieve some greater objective. In the case of Cestius, a minor defeat led all the Zealots out to be slaughtered.
In other situations, legions were lured into a trap in order to kill off their commander, because he was considered a threat to the king.
I'll be showing that the invasion of Greece by Xerxes was such an undertaking. At the time, Xerxes had recently succeeded Darius to the throne and was not particularly secure. After the "disastrous" invasion of Greece, Xerxes found himself without a number of his leading brothers and nephews! Tragic, really.
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