Herod Agrippa I
Agrippa Returns to Palestine
His arrival in Palestine with the title of "king" roused Antipas' jealousy,
but Agrippa's sister Herodias became even more outraged and she pressed Antipas
to seek Rome to give him also the title of king. Because of Herodias'
insistence, Antipas finally in A.D. 39 went to Rome to ask for the new title.
When Agrippa heard about this he dispatched one of his freedmen, Fortunatus,
to Rome to make accusations of treason and independence against Antipas. He
suggested that Antipas was conspiring with the Parthians against Rome, and made the
point that his arsenal at Tiberias contained enough weapons to equip 70,000
This was enough to destroy Antipas and led to his downfall. Antipas was exiled
to Gaul (ancient Lyons) in 39 A.D. and Caligula gave Agrippa his tetrarchy
(Galilee and Perea) in addition to the rest of his domains. He offered Herodias an
estate of her own but she preferred to accompany her husband into exile.
At about the same time Caligula was clearly going mad and, among other things,
demanded that he should be universally deified and adored as a god and that
all men should swear by his name.
He filled his Jewish subjects with the utmost horror when he ordered
Petronius, governor of Syria, to place a gilded statue of the emperor in the Holy of
Holies of the Temple at Jerusalem to be worshiped.
In the meantime Agrippa acted shrewdly and furnished a magnificent banquet in
honor of Caligula. When the emperor was full of wine, and Agrippa had toasted
his health, Caligula generously proposed in return anything within his power
that might contribute to Agrippa's happiness. Agrippa, on behalf of his brethren
at home, said, "My petition is this, that thou wilt no longer think of the dedication of that
statue which thou hast ordered to be set up in the Jewish temple by Petronius."
Caligula thereupon "as a favour to Agrippa"
rescinded the order (Ant. 18.8.7-8).