Herod Agrippa I | Index

Sudden Death

coins_agrippa_1_small.gifIn 44 A.D. Agrippa suddenly died after he fell ill and while he presided at a festival at Caesarea (Strato's Tower) he fell dead.

Early in the morning of the second day of the celebration the king presented himself to the people, he was wearing "a garment made wholly of silver, and of a texture truly wonderful." When the sun's rays touched his dress the reflections "shone out after a surprising [splendor]." Josephus says that the people exclaimed that "he was a god" and that "the king did neither rebuke them nor reject their impious flattery" the crowd was so impressed with his lavish radiance that they acclaimed him a god. He gladly received the acclamations and according to Acts 12:19-23 and Ant. 19.343-350 he was struck dead.

Compare Josephus Account of Herod Agrippa's Death

After five days the king "departed this life, being in the fifty-fourth year of his age, and in the seventh of his reign; for he reigned four years under Caius [Caligula] Caesar, three of them were over Philip's tetrarchy only, and on the fourth he had that of Herod [Antipas] added to it; and he reigned besides those, three years under the reign of Claudius Caesar" (Ant. 19.8.2).

His Children

Agrippa of Cypros had five children:

Marcus Julius Agrippa (Agrippa II), Drusus, Bernice, Mariamne, and Drusilla.

Their names reveal Agrippa's ties to Jewish tradition as well as the Roman imperial family.

His Titles

Agrippa as king boasted the titles:

"great king, friend of Caesar, pious, and friend of the Romans."

The book of Acts in the New Testament calls him Herod.