Tuesday, August 22, 2006


Ruins of MachaerusMachaerus is a fortress fifteen miles southeast of the mouth of the Jordan river, in the wild and desolate hills that overlook the Dead Sea from the east. The fortress was originally built by the Hasmonean king Alexander Jannaeus (104 BC-78 BC) in about the year 90 BC (Josephus, Wars 7.6.2). It was destroyed by Pompey's general Gabinius in 57 BC (Wars 1.8.5), but later rebuilt by Herod the Great.

Flavius Josephus tells us that the Machaerus as the site of the imprisonment and execution of John the Baptist.

When Herod the Great died, it passed into the hands of Herod Antipas, and his foreign relations with Nabatea made the place, strategically oriented in the direction of Nabatea, of special importance to him.


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