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Mariamne

(killed 29 BCE)


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Last heir to the Hasmonean dynasty and ancestor of many Herodians. The beautiful granddaughter of both Hyrcanus II and Aristobulus II, married Herod [32 BCE], the de facto ruler of Judea, not long after he had drowned her brother, a popular 16 year old high-priest. Herod, though madly in love with her, was also an insanely jealous husband. His Edomite mother [Cypros] and older sister [Salome] poisoned his mind by feeding him false rumors that Mariamne had often committed adultery and was even preparing to win his lustful patron, Marc Antony, from the aging Cleopatra.

After Antony and Cleopatra were defeated at Actium [Sept. 31 BCE], Herod placed Mariamne and her mother, Alexandra, in custody while he went to Rome [30 BCE] to placate the new emperor, Augustus. After his triumphant return, he ordered them executed on charges of infidelity and treason. Mariamne was survived by two sons [Alexander and Aristobulus IV] and two daughters [Salampsio and Cypros]. Twenty-two years later, Herod had both sons executed for treason, like their mother. They lived long enough, however, to sire Hasmonean grandsons to Herod [Herod Agrippa I, Herod of Calchis and Tigranes of Armenia] who a generation later together governed more territory than Herod or their Hasmonean forebears had controlled.


Sources: Into His Own

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